Students staged a sit-in Tuesday outside the University of Utah president’s office over an upcoming speech by the conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro, the former editor-at-large of Breitbart News.
A group called Young Americans for Freedom is sponsoring his talk on September 27.
But the chicano/chicana group MEChA wants the speech cancelled, and it organized an hours-long sit-in outside the university president’s office.
“We’re trying to pressure the administration as much as we can, so they cancel the event,” says protestor Juan Salazar, “so that they can show us that they genuinely care for the safety of students.”
U spokesman Chris Nelson says administrators are balancing freedom of expression and safety.
“The same free-speech rights that allow these passionate protestors to be here today,” he says, “are the same rights that allow student groups to bring somebody like Mr. Shapiro to campus.”
More than 700 people have RSVP’ed for the event on Facebook.