Bucknell students condemn 'cowardly' reaction to upcoming 'Most Dangerous Faggot' event
Conservative students at Bucknell University are concerned that anonymous outrage over a planned visit by Milo Yiannopoulos will cause administrators to cancel the event.
Tom Ciccotta, president of the College Republicans group that is sponsoring the February 25 lecture, told Campus Reform that “cowardly” students have been demonstrating their displeasure over the event with juvenile stunts—first by ripping down promotional flyers, and most recently by placing their own flyers in a newsstand reserved for the school’s conservative student newspaper.
“Yesterday, we started to notice that some of the posters were missing from the walls,” he said, adding, “we spent about $200 of club funds to print them up,” but the administration has agreed to print new ones.
Ciccotta documented the vandalism in a video that he posted on YouTube. First, he visits various billboards on campus, showing how they had been denuded of posters for the Milo event, but otherwise left undisturbed. Later, he discovers several of the missing flyers in trash receptacles near the billboards, prompting him to comment sarcastically, “Thank you, Bucknell.”
“It’s a pretty organized effort; obviously it’s more than one person,” Ciccotta told Campus Reform. “What we’re most upset about is that these people are too cowardly to take responsibility.”
The mysterious miscreants struck again Monday morning, printing up literature of their own condemning Yiannopoulos as “racist,” “lesbian-hating,” and “misogynistic.” As evidenced by a photograph obtained by Campus Reform, however, the protest flyers were placed in a newsstand reserved for The Counterweight, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Bucknell University Conservatives Club.
A complete version of the flyer that Ciccotta provided to Campus Reform reveals the header to read: “Bucknell University Conservatives Club supports hate-brings [sic] racist, lesbian-hating, misogynistic speaker to campus.”
As evidence of those aspersions, the flyer lists several tweets from Yiannopoulos’ Twitter account in which he speaks derisively of the physical attractiveness of Mexicans and expresses dislike for lesbians and lesbianism.
Ciccotta stated that the tweets are simply examples of Yiannopoulos’s sense of humor, explaining that “unless you go out of your way to understand what Milo is all about, and what his sense of humor is, you may jump to a false conclusion really quickly after reading the tweets.”
He also mentioned that the CR’s have been in contact with administrators about their anonymous antagonists, but said that despite receiving assurances that the event would go on as planned, he is concerned that the university may yet succumb to demands that the speech be cancelled.
“As of today, the school has decided to put some restrictions on the event, the biggest being that they aren’t going to let us live-stream it ourselves,” he claimed, explaining that the school has decided to film the address itself and then review it to determine whether it is “appropriate” to put online.
“They also won’t let students ask questions; they have to write their questions on index cards and then I have to read them,” Ciccotta added, saying he believes administrators are “going out of their way to cover up any sort of bad student reaction like the Rutgers incident, which would make Bucknell look bad.”
Ciccotta says he countered by asking the administrators whether students’ reactions are “a reflection on Milo or on the students at the university,” adding, “if we’re going to love Bucknell, we should love it because it’s good.”
Nonetheless, he said “I don’t think it’s out of the question that this event will be cancelled altogether,” noting that administrators have told him they are facing significant pressure to cancel the speech.
“We’re expecting the worst,” he fretted.
Campus Reform reached out to Bucknell for comment on both the vandalism and concerns that the event might be cancelled, and received the following response from Chief Communications Officer Andy Hirsch:
“Let me first make a few clarifications: Saying the group ‘no longer’ is allowed to live stream the event suggests that the student group sponsoring the talk at one point obtained permission to live stream it, which isn't the case. They requested permission to live stream the talk on Friday afternoon. Today, the University declined the request. To my knowledge, in my four years at the University no outside speaker has been permitted to live stream an on-campus event.
Regarding the question-and-answer format, we don't see that as a restriction but as a way to better facilitate the exchange between Mr. Yiannopoulos and the audience. That format was used at one of Mr. Yiannopoulos' recent presentations on another university campus and seemed to work well. It's worth noting that the University isn't playing any role in approving or in any way vetting the questions. That will be done at the sole discretion of the moderator, who was selected by the student organization sponsoring the event.
Having Bucknell Public Safety work an event on campus is not an uncommon practice.
The incident involving the posters is disappointing and certainly nothing the University condones. As for your question about cancellation, all I can tell you is the event is scheduled to proceed as planned.”
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