9-21-16 Milo

Milo Yiannopoulos speaks on multiple topics such as fat shaming during his speech on Wednesday Sept. 21, 2016, in the LSU Union Theatre.

Haskell Whittington

Milo Yiannopoulos’ speaking event at the University was canceled the day before it was scheduled to take place because he failed to “obtain insurance,” according to the College Republicans of LSU’s Twitter page. The event was scheduled for the evening of April 11 in the Union Theater. The visit would have been Yiannopoulos’ second appearance at the University, as he also spoke in September 2016.

It is best Yiannopoulos does not speak on the University's campus. Whether you agree with his politics or not, it is hard to deny he is a public safety liability. Speakers that come to campuses, especially ones who are such huge flight risks, are required to purchase their own insurance to make sure any and all damage they cause are covered. When Yiannopoulos signed up to speak at the University, he knew exactly what he was getting himself into.

In February 2017, Yiannopoulos’ visit to the University of California Berkeley ended in flames before it even began. After violent riots injured six people and caused $100,000 in damage to the campus, the speech was canceled two hours before it was set to begin, and Yiannopoulos was removed from the Berkeley campus.

The idea that his lack of insurance coverage was the sole reason for his cancellation is hard to believe. The College Republicans of LSU, the organization responsible for inviting him to speak on campus, should have been aware of his obligations before his speaking engagement.

College Republicans of LSU announced Yiannopoulos’ return to campus via Twitter on March 28. The first post about the tickets came on April 2, stating tickets cost $25 each. By April 6, tickets were $15. On April 9, tickets went all the way down to $10. Despite lowering the price several times, it appears tickets sales were not as high as expected. Yiannopoulos' cancellation was about more than insurance. Perhaps, it was because ticket sales did not meet expectation.

Following the cancellation of the event, the College Republicans of LSU Twitter account did not pin the tweet announcing the cancellation. Rather, the cancellation tweet was buried under a large number of retweets. It appeared as though the account administrators were attempting to hide news of the cancellation under other unrelated content.  

On the College Republicans of LSU’s webpage, their mission includes a section about being “family-oriented,” yet they choose to host such an insensitive and crass speaker who resigned from Breitbart News Network after pedophilic remarks made last year. His speeches border on hate speech and have been known to attract violent protests. Why would an organization claiming to be “family-oriented” invite someone like Yiannopoulos to speak?

The University is an extremely diverse campus with roughly 30 percent of the student population identifying as races other than white. Is it possible that it is a time of change? Was there pressure from the University to not host an alt-right speaker who promotes racist ideology?

It is no secret Yiannopoulos is a controversial guy, but maybe he is old news. He came to the University once in September 2016, and that may have been the last time he will step foot on campus. Hopefully, this marks a new wave of groups realizing Yiannopoulos is merely a provocateur and old news. It is hard to take the College Republicans of LSU seriously because they take Yiannopoulos seriously.

Sarah Grobety is a 20-year-old mass communication junior from Atlanta, Georgia.

Recommended for you

Load comments