Milo Yiannopoulos Invited To Speak At Fullerton Campus On Halloween
Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur whose track record includes fueling cyberbullying at the expense of actress Leslie Jones and labeling rape culture as a "fantasy," has been invited to speak at Cal State Fullerton on Halloween.
The campus chapter of College Republicans, which is hosting the speaking engagement, says that the event is almost a certainty. “At this point, it’s pretty much a done deal. We’re just formalizing it,” senior Christopher Boyle, the group’s president emeritus, told the L.A. Times. “It’s really just the fine details — things like how the room will be set up — that’s holding it back.” Boyle said he restarted the campus club last year, and that the group had first reached out to Yiannopoulos' manager in June.
"Milo was by far the number one most requested speaker from conservative students on our campus," Boyle said in a written message to LAist, when asked about the decision to invite Yiannopoulos. "This is meant to be a fun event, and conservative students deserve to be able to host entertainers who talk about and share their viewpoints."
While the event won't come for another two months, there's already growing opposition to Yiannopoulos' visit. A Change.org petition with the title "No Alt-Right Speakers or Hate Groups at CSUF" was started with intentions of getting 5,000 signatures. At time of publication, the petition had about 3,800 signees.
"This is a call to action letting the CSUF Administration know that we do not want Milo Yiannopoulos or any other alt-right figures on our campus," says the petition's mission statement, adding, "Hate speech to incite violence and threaten the lives of students is not the same as free speech of diverse opinions."
The petition points to another Yiannopoulos event that took place earlier this year at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo—it was later reported that $55,400 was spent on campus security, with $15,800 coming from the school itself, and $39,600 from the Cal State system. "[Having] students throughout the CSU system pay for this is insulting," argues the petition.
Yiannopoulos' presence has ignited controversy at a number of California campuses in 2017. Earlier this year, campus administrators at UC Berkeley were reportedly concerned that Yiannopoulos would use a February speaking event at the campus to "dox" (or out) undocumented students. That event was eventually canceled after widespread protests. "One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down," Yiannopoulos said in response to the protests in a Facebook message.
Before the Berkeley incident, a speaking engagement at UCLA was also canceled earlier this year. And, just a couple weeks prior to that, another speaking event at UC Davis was nixed at the last minute after protests erupted on campus.
Aside from the Halloween event at CSUF, Yiannopoulos has also reportedly planned a "Free Speech Week" at Berkeley in September; there are rumors that Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter may be joining him.
Yiannopoulos, who was something of a hot ticket a year ago, has seen his star wane in recent months. In February, clips surfaced in which Yiannopoulos seemed to speak sympathetically of sexual relationships between men and young boys. Yiannopoulos was let go from his editor position at Breitbart News following the surfacing of the clips. Furthermore, a book deal with Simon & Schuster was later scrapped by the publisher, and the Conservative Political Action Conference rescinded an offer for Yiannopoulos to speak at an event.
LAist reached out to CSUF College Republicans but had yet to hear back at time of publication.