Northwestern University’s student government has cut off funding for the Illinois school’s chapter of College Republicans over a controversial poster advertising a campus event on “the dangers of identity politics” with a conservative guest speaker.
The college’s Associated Student Government (ASG) passed “emergency legislation” last week that “indefinitely” froze funding for the Northwestern University College Republicans (NUCR), according to student newspaper the Daily Northwestern.
The vote came after the organization posted flyers for a May 2 event with conservative author and conspiracy theorist speaker James Lindsay that featured an image of sunglasses with a queer pride flag and a skull and crossbones superimposed over the lenses, according to the paper.
The event was also sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom [YAF], however, they do not receive funding from ASG like NUCR.
Lindsay told conservative Canadian outlet The Post Millennial that “woke” students at the school apparently took the flyer as “a death threat.”
“A kid showed it to me, and the first thing I said was, ‘Oh, that’s the poison symbol, not a threat. If you were educated here you’d know that,’” he told the outlet.
“The Leftist agitators on the rather embarrassing campus convinced the Leftist student government to freeze their funding based on the use of the internationally recognized poison icon on the flyer, claiming it represents death threats against ‘LGBTQ.’ Designer is gay himself.”
Molly Whalen, a junior who serves as co-president of ASG, told the Daily Northwestern they cut funding with emergency legislation because the flyers were in violation of the university’s Discrimination and Harassment policy, which prohibits the display of “offensive objects and pictures that are based on a protected class.”
“We can’t prevent a speaker from coming to campus as student government. That’s done by administration,” Whalen said.
“We focused on the part that we could control, which is student group conduct and student group finances.”
Agustin Bayer, the acting president of NUCR, told the College Fix that the organization was never told that the ASG was meeting to discuss freezing their funds.
“They did not reach out to us regarding their concern over the advertisement before the event, nor did they invite us to speak for ourselves at the meeting, and in fact they still haven’t even officially notified us of their decision,” Bayer told the outlet.
“We only learned of their move from the school paper when they asked us for comment.”
He blasted the move in the Daily Northwestern as “an attempt to kill our freedom of expression and speech at Northwestern.”
Ahead of the event, a Northwestern University spokesperson said that while “the speaker’s views do not align with Northwestern’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, they are protected by free speech and free expression.”
The funds will reportedly remain frozen until university officials determine whether or not the posters violated the harassment policy.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Lindsay as a leading voice in the “reactionary anti-student inclusion, anti-LGBTQ, and conspiracy propaganda movements.”
“He regularly shares conspiracy theories about the supposed communist takeover of the world (especially the United States), promotes ‘groomer’ rhetoric against the LGBTQ community and spreads the ‘white genocide’ theory that Marxists want to eradicate the white race,” the nonprofit says of the author.
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