Win for free speech declared after University flips to allow conservative comedian’s visit


The Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter of DePaul University were told they could not host conservative comedian and commentator Steven Crowder. That initial decision has now been overturned, according to Campus Reform.

Students are calling it a win for freedom, as YAF member James Kindt said that he views the decision “as a step in the right direction for free speech at DePaul.”

From CR: After initially rejecting Crowder’s invitation, the university later agreed to “reconsider” the event because the Speaker Review Board had failed to invite a single YAF member to discuss the proposal.

On Friday, however, three YAF members and their advisor met with the Board to discuss the invitation, as well as an invitation the conservative club had extended to James O’Keefe, both of which have now been approved.

“I am writing to you on behalf of the Student Organization Speaker Review Board regarding the DePaul Young Americans for Freedom speaker applications for Steven Crowder. This [sic] requests have been approved,” Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Peggy Burke informed YAF President Jorin Burkhart, according to an email obtained by Campus Reform.

The report continues: “They realized that they messed up, gave us a second chance, and had no choice but to affirm free speech,” [Burkhart] added, noting that YAF members had hoped that the appeals process would allow them to highlight Crowder’s strong suits, particularly pointing to his popular “Change My Mind” segments. 

“Crowder presents an opportunity to expose students to perspectives which they may be unfamiliar with. We wanted to show the board that segments like ‘Change My Mind’ would give students an opportunity to engage with one another in respectful debate,” YAF member James Kindt told Campus Reform.


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