The University of Alabama has backed off of a nearly $7,000 fee that it was set to charge the university’s chapter of the College Republicans for an event set to feature Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled for Monday.
Initially the university was going to charge the group $6,955 in security fees. But late Friday, Chris Bryant, the interim director of the University of Alabama’s Office of Media Relations, released a statement saying the group “will not incur any expense” for University of Alabama Police Department security for the event.
“Several UA staff members held a preliminary meeting on September 19 with the organizers of the Milo Yiannopoulos event, and one of the topics discussed was security,” Bryant’s statement said. “Staff have been trying to meet with the College Republicans for the last week to finalize details, but they have not responded to repeated requests. The goal all along has been to make sure they have a successful event. To that end, the College Republicans will not incur any expense for UAPD security. The University of Alabama supports free speech and welcomes diverse speakers to our campus. As with all speakers, the views of Mr. Yiannopoulos do not necessarily reflect the views of the university.”
Yiannopoulos applauded the university’s decision.
“Once again, the Dangerous Faggot emerges victorious over the forces of darkness: censors, cultural scolds, nannies, puritans, feminists, race-baiters, wacko progressives and of course college administrators,” Yiannopoulos said. “They lost again today and they will keep losing. Because free speech always prevails.”
Gerald Fraas, treasurer for the College Republicans chapter and the member of the group spearheading the Yiannopoulos event, also praised the university’s decision.
“The UA College Republicans applaud the decision of the University of Alabama to yield the security costs pertaining to our upcoming Milo Yiannopoulos event,” Fraas told Breitbart. “The ability to hear from controversial speakers is inherent to a free academic discourse and we are glad the University of Alabama has recognized it as such. We are looking forward to finalizing the specifics of Monday’s event and are excited to welcome Milo Yiannopoulos to Tuscaloosa.”
Yiannopoulos’ event in Tuscaloosa is part of a two-stop swing through the Yellowhammer State that kicks off in Auburn, AL at Auburn University tonight.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor