University of Minnesota Sued for Suppressing Free Speech at Shapiro Event

University of Minnesota Sued for Suppressing Free Speech at Shapiro Event

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Sign up By , Christian Post Contributor | Jul 4, 2018 12:44 PM

The University of Minnesota has just been slapped with a federal lawsuit related to the guest appearance of conservative speaker Ben Shapiro, who visited the campus for a speaking engagement back in February this year.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, July 3, by two conservative groups, with Shapiro himself named as a plaintiff as well, . The suit accused the university of removing Shapiro from the 1,000 seat venue in their campus and Minneapolis, and instead relegated him and his guests to another location that is just around half the capacity of the original one.

Wikipedia Commons/AlexiusHoratiusSmith Hall at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Located on the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus.

The university reportedly made the change based on fears that protesters would come in and interrupt the program.

“The free and open exchange of ideas is critical to a student‘s education, but the University of Minnesota is depriving its student body of an intellectually diverse learning environment,” Spokesman Spencer Brown of . YAF is one of the two conservative groups named on the lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Brown continued, saying that the “quarantine” of Shapiro and the students present to hear his talk sent them to the “remote area,” which was the St. Paul Campus. The decision was “a result of administrators‘ disagreement with the viewpoint of Shapiro‘s speech,” according to the YAF.

As for the University of Minnesota, representatives have issued a short statement that just said that they “will review it carefully to determine our next steps,” referring to the lawsuit. University officials have earlier explained back in February that they withheld the use of the Willey Hall from Shapiro‘s event due to security concerns.

They have also worked with the event organizers to move the talk to another site that was “easier to safeguard.” Shapiro‘s speeches have been known to draw both supporters and critics alike.

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