EXCLUSIVE: Campus police tells conservatives to move to ‘free speech zones’ or risk being arrested
Leadership Institute Field Representative explained to Campus Reform that she and Barlow had been talking to a university staff member before the police arrived.
An officer tells both women that while they can be on campus they are not allowed to table due to not being in a 'free speech zone.'
On Wednesday, several conservatives were kicked off the State University of New York at New Delhi (SUNY-New Delhi) campus by university police while they were talking to students about starting a Turning Point USA chapter (TPUSA).
Leadership Institute Field Representative Elianna Geertgens and TPUSA Field Representative Kathrine Barlow were tabling on campus to garner support for a new TPUSA chapter when they were confronted by police.
Geertgens explained to Campus Reform that she and Barlow had been talking to an unidentified female staff member before the police arrived.
“We were tabling on the sidewalk for an hour before anything happened. A woman who was part of the faculty came up and started talking to Katie, everything seemed fine, she was definitely not a conservative but she didn’t say anything that was negative against us,” she stated. “Right after she left, campus security came up to Katie and told her that she had to leave.”
An officer tells both women that while they can be on campus they are not allowed to table due to not being in a “free speech zone,” a video obtained by Campus Reform shows.
“You can be on campus, that’s not the issue, but there is a specific area in which you can do this,” the officer stated.
“Like a free speech zone?” Geertgens asked.
The officer replied in the affirmative but also noted he did not know exactly where the “free speech zone” was. The officer also mentioned that if Geertgens and Barlow stayed they could be considered “persona non grata” and arrested for trespassing.
Another video obtained by Campus Reform shows a second officer who tells the women for a second time that they could be arrested.
“What happens if we don’t leave,” Geertgens asked.
“Oh we will make you leave, you can’t just stay here” the officer replied.
Geertgens told Campus Reform that before they were interrupted by the police, they’d had positive interactions with students.
“[W]e had some students come up and sign up for the group and take our pins and stuff like that. But we had no issues prior to the campus security and police officer coming,” she concluded.
Campus Reform contacted SUNY-New Delhi and will update this article accordingly.
Follow @kliseanderson on Twitter.