by

Penn State Is the Latest to Deny a Request for a White-Nationalist Event

Pennsylvania State University has denied the National Policy Institute its request to have the white supremacist Richard Spencer speak on campus, according to a statement from Eric J. Barron, the university’s president.

Penn State is at least the fourth university to deny Mr. Spencer a speaking event after deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va., at the University of Virginia. Other campuses turning down the requests include Michigan State University, the University of Florida, and Texas A&M University. Louisiana State University announced pre-emptively that Mr. Spencer was not welcome there.

In his statement, Mr. Barron wrote that after consulting with law-enforcement officials, the university’s leaders concluded that Mr. Spencer’s appearance would have presented a security risk for students, faculty members, staff, and campus visitors.

Mr. Barron wrote that he disagreed with Mr. Spencer’s message, but that ultimately the risk the speech presented led him to the decision.

“Penn State is an institution of higher education, and fully supports the right of free speech and encourages its expression in thoughtful and respectful ways, even when we strongly disagree with the opinions expressed,” Mr. Barron wrote. “But the First Amendment does not require our University to risk imminent violence.”

Return to Top