The administration at Iowa State University is trying to torpedo an upcoming event featuring Breitbart News senior editor MILO by demanding student organizers pay nearly $2,000 in security fees at the last minute.
“I had paid in full September 7th an amount of $1070 out of my own pocket, which including the rental space, lighting, AV, tech, and the whole shabang” explained the student organizer in an email to Breitbart Tech. “Just yesterday, the event manager at ISU said the ISUPD is requiring 6 officers to secure the rental space which will cost additional but did not say amount. Today, the event manager sent out an email saying it will require an additional $1944”.
In response to the raised security fee imposed by college administrators, the student organizer attempted to raise money to cover the extra costs, and managed to raise just over $500 from fellow students— leaving $1444 left to be raised.
“As far as I can tell, no liberal events even required additional security let alone any at all” continued the organizer. “There is rarely any conservatives events that are held so its pretty obvious they are trying to cancel this event.”
After all the preparation they pull a move like this” he continued. “Where the heck is a college student going to get almost 2 grand a week before an event happens.”
By imposing excessive fees on student groups, administrators at the University of Maryland are likely violating a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, which decided that public universities can not impose security fees based upon their perception of how attendees may react to the event.
In Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992), the Supreme Court determined that government actors—like public college or university administrators—may not lawfully impose security fees based on their own subjective judgments about “the amount of hostility likely to be created by the speech based on its content.” Such fees amount to a tax on speech an administrator subjectively dislikes, or subjectively believes is likely to cause disruption or violence.
Several universities have previously raised security fees in an attempt to derail MILO’s talks at universities around the United States, including the University of Maryland, where a MILO event was cancelled under similar circumstances in October.
Minnesota State University, where MILO is due to visit on the 15th of December, has also placed an extra security fee on the event, demanding “double the recommended security presence” and “double the funds.”