Hampshire College canceled an event featuring Second Amendment advocate Antonia Okafor just three hours prior to its scheduled start time on Wednesday evening.
In a Facebook post, the group announced that the event had been canceled by the administration just a few hours prior to its scheduled start time. “We are sorry to inform but this event has been canceled due to the campus deeming it too controversial after already approving it,” they claimed. “We were informed by the administration that our event was canceled with just two hours notice.”
Hampshire College’s director of campus leadership, Carolyn Strycharz, told the event’s organizers that they pulled the plug on the event at the last minute due to a technicality on the event request form. She also mentioned that the college did not have sufficient security staff for an event on the Second Amendment, which she called a “very controversial subject.”
“The Contract Request Form that was submitted was denied because it did not have complete information about the presenter,” Strycharz wrote, arguing that the group failed to inform the college of the event’s subject matter. “Also, an event where someone is coming to campus to speak about the second amendment [sic], which is a very controversial subject, would need to have extra considerations and precautions put into place which cannot be done on such short notice.”
“Also, could you please explain why Junoon is sponsoring an event of this nature when it is not associated with the group’s mission statement?” she added.
Despite the hiccup at Hampshire college, Okafor is scheduled to speak at the nearby Mount Holyoke College on Thursday night. Hampshire issued a statement on Wednesday evening claiming they “did not cancel the speech because of the speaker, the subject of the speech, or the content.”
“Hampshire College values academic freedom and the careful examination of ideas, including when those ideas may be controversial,” the school claimed.