American University Alumna Describes Shutting Down of YAL Event

You can shut down anyone these days if you label them as a “hate group.” And anyone progressives disagree with are hate groups. Convenient. 

Young Americans for Liberty was supposed to hold a campus panel on various topics but got shut down.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown wrote about it at Reason:

My Alma Mater American University Cancelled My Title IX ‘Hate Speech’ Panel

Last night I was supposed to participate in a panel at my alma mater, American University, on feminism, free speech, and Title IX. My co-panelists were to include a former president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the current head of a group that fights for students’ rights, and two staffers from the British website spiked—not what you might think would be a controversial lineup. But in the days leading up to the event, the AU chapter of American Association of University Women organized a campaign to “Keep Our Campus Safe,” describing the panel as “hate speech” and “violence” designed to undermine “decades of work… to make campuses safer for victims of sexual violence.”

The panel was put together by spiked as part of its “Unsafe Space” tour, which will visit several U.S. campuses and include such figures as Laura Kipnis and Jonathan Haidt (along with Reason’s Robby Soave). The event on American’s D.C. campus was to kick off the tour, with me, spiked’s Ella Whelan, former ACLU chief Nadine Strossen, and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education director Robert Shibley on a panel moderated by spiked Deputy Editor Tom Slater.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) was the student group hosting the event, and was in charge of making arrangements with the campus. An auditorium had been secured since summer, but a few days before the event AU administrators told YAL that the space was no longer available and then that the panel had to be canceled altogether.

Annamarie Rienzi, D.C. chair of YAL and one of the student organizers of last night’s event, told me that the school claimed it came down to YAL classifying the panel as a “meeting” rather than an “event.” But this is standard practice for YAL and other student groups, she says, when a talk or panel does not involve bringing paid speakers to campus or providing refreshments.