EXCLUSIVE: Conservative activists kicked off public campus
The campus police at SUNY College-Old Westbury in New York recently ordered two conservative organizers to leave the campus.
When he asked the campus police about the policy that justified their actions, one of the officers allegedly responded with, 'I don’t know. I was told to get you out.'
The campus police at SUNY College-Old Westbury in New York recently ordered Leadership Institute Field Representative Nick Softy and student Michael Caprio to leave campus under threat of arrest for trespassing.
The pair were distributing QR codes to recruit for a new Young Americans for Liberty chapter.
“Me and Nick, the representative…for LI [Leadership Institute], were tabling at SUNY Old Westbury handing out QR code surveys,” Matthew told Campus Reform. “Two campus security cop cars [then] came up. [They] said that they had been told by the Dean of students that we were not allowed to be there without asking for permission…Because we weren’t students, it would be considered trespassing.”
The Leadership Institute is the parent organization of Campus Reform.
When Caprio asked the campus police about the policy that justified their actions, one of the officers allegedly responded with, “I don’t know. I was told to get you out.”
The two proceeded to leave campus upon being ordered to do so.
After reaching out to campus police for comment, Campus Reform received a statement from Michael Kinane, the college's Vice President of Communications & College Relations.
“Each person reported they were not affiliated with SUNY Old Westbury,” Kinane said.
“When asked whether they had the permission or permit required of external parties, they responded that they did not," he said. "When those being questioned asked what would happen if they did not leave, our officers advised that they could be subject to a charge of trespassing. At that juncture, the officers asked the parties to leave campus and the parties complied.”
Kinane also provided the policy regarding free speech at the university.
The policy states that any third party wanting to use a “designated public forum” for free speech activities must complete a Designated Public Forum application with the Office of Facilities Rentals at least seven business days prior to the date of event.
“We do plan on having the group on that campus,” Matthew said, “so that they can fight this policy because it is a terrible policy to have and does infringe on…free speech.”
Campus Reform reached out to Dean of Students Kathleen Lieblich and to Leadership Institute representative Nick Softy. This article will be updated accordingly.
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