Washington State University College Republicans are scrambling to raise $1,000 for security costs associated with a visit of Milo Yiannopoulos, a far-right speaker and editor of Breitbart News, with little more than a month remaining until the long-planned event.
Yiannopoulos, self-proclaimed super villain of the internet and critic of third-wave feminism, social justice and political correctness, is currently traveling the U.S. as part of his “Dangerous Faggot Tour.”
In a statement accompanying a plea for donations on gofundme.com, College Republican President James Allsup said the group was unaware of the security requirement for the Jan. 19 event until recently. The group had raised $480 of a $1,000 goal as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
“Washington State University, despite knowing that this event would be taking place for a full five months, decided to inform WSU CRs at the last minute – literally a week before winter break began – that they would need to pay approximately $1,500 in security fees to allow the speech to continue,” Allsup wrote.
It is unclear where Allsup’s $1,500 figure originated. Despite numerous attempts, Allsup was unable to be reached for comment.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the university refuted the claim, saying the group was aware of security requirements at the time it registered the event in July. The statement said the group indicated it would contact WSU Police to make arrangements, a step the university – and university police – said never took place.
The university also stated the $1,000 figure was taken from a WSU Police estimate of the cost of two officers, four security personnel in the stage area and a security barrier, which would be required at the speech.
“We are exercising our constitutional, Supreme Court-affirmed right to not pay for WSU PD protection, but we will be hiring private security in order to appease administration requests for security and to keep the event safe,” Allsup wrote on gofundme.com. “Private security will likely cost us around $500, and then there will be another $500 in fees to rent barricades and crowd control devices – again, things we were not made aware were requirements until the last minute.”
The social media and online fundraising effort began two days after another student group announced it was canceling a Yiannopoulos event, citing last-minute security fee hikes. ISU Students 4 Trump, a non-university student organization connected with Iowa State University, announced Monday it was canceling the event, claiming the university had hiked security fees in order to prevent it.
At least one other university has also canceled his appearance, citing security concerns.
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