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2 Mar, 2020 23:23

Freedom of speech? Conservative college group says Syracuse University blocked public from Sean Spicer lecture

Freedom of speech? Conservative college group says Syracuse University blocked public from Sean Spicer lecture

Young Americans Foundation (YAF), a conservative college advocacy group, says that the administration at Syracuse University blocked the public from attending a guest lecture from former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Although the university is spending $23,000 to bring President Donald Trump’s former spokesman and controversial Dancing with the Stars contender for the lecture that was supposed to be free and open to public, they apparently decided to limit admittance.

Syracuse “administrators refuse to allow other young people and members of the surrounding community to attend,” YAF said in a press release on Monday.

The group claims it is an “apparently-subjective decision,” noting that the private university has allowed public access to speeches by former officials from Democrat administrations, such as former Clinton staffer Matt Bennett.

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“Syracuse’s hypocrisy in choosing which events can and cannot be open to the public is blatantly obvious,” YAF added. “They fear the potential reach conservative ideas may have in the liberal echo chamber of their college campus.”

Other YAF chapters across the US have chimed in to protest as well.

“Syracuse is restricting attendance to a lecture featuring...Sean Spicer? Regardless of political party, a lot can be learned from former White House officials. Isn’t it the job of a university to give their students these opportunities?” tweeted Baylor University YAF chairman Zachary Miller.

“It’s incredible to see someone with such a strong repertoire as [Spicer] get ‘special treatment’ from Syracuse,” said Hunter Morrow, founder of YAF Iowa. “This double standard is no longer radical—it has suddenly become the norm. This thought discrimination is ridiculous.”

Many on social media also rallied behind the Syracuse YAF, with one supporter writing on Facebook, “Back in the 60’s these people were protesting for free speech. Now these same people want [to] stifle free speech because they don’t agree with it.”

Another wrote, “What a shameful display of biased ‘higher’ education. They should not receive any government funds until they honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

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This is not the first time Syracuse has been accused of singling out Conservatives. Last year, the university refused to recognize the YAF as an official student organization, but reversed course after mounting public pressure.

Syracuse University later denied the College Republicans’ application to bring PragerU Book Club host and political commentator Michael Knowles to the campus, citing controversial remarks he made regarding climate activist Greta Thunberg.

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