Jesuit university blocks Ben Shapiro event, saying it prompts ‘hateful speech’ from protesters


A Jesuit university has blocked a proposed event featuring conservative writer Ben Shapiro, citing the possibility of “hateful speech” by protesters.

Officials at Gonzaga University in Washington state rejected a request from the school’s College Republicans chapter seeking to bring Shapiro to campus, according to conservative college news site Campus Reform.

Judi Biggs Garbuio, Gonzaga’s vice president of student development, reportedly said in the denial that Shapiro’s speeches “routinely draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior, which is offensive to many people, regardless of their age, politics or beliefs.”

{mosads}Biggs Garbuio also cited the school’s Christian mission, as well as safety and security concerns about the event.

“Gonzaga University is committed to the human dignity of every individual,” Biggs Garbuio wrote. “This is the core of our mission based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, and the foundations of the Society of Jesus. We stand in solidarity with vulnerable members of our community who may be targeted for discrimination, ridicule, or harassment by others.”

Shapiro, the editor of conservative website the Daily Wire, has been blocked from speaking by a number of universities, including DePaul and California State University, though Shapiro showed up at the latter anyway.

“If Gonzaga’s idea is that my speeches draw protests from groups who cannot be trusted to be safe, then they are simply giving way to the heckler’s veto,” Shapiro told The Hill. “If their idea is that I violate Biblical principles, I’d ask which ones, and how often the administration actually reads the Bible.”
Olivia Johnston, president of Gonzago College Republicans, told Campus Reform that the school’s response to the event shows that they “have made it clear diversity of thought [is] not welcome.”

“I refuse to accept a University that only supports strictly liberal thinking,” she added. “The hypocrisy must end.”

-Updated 7:40 p.m.

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