In a series of emails sent to Breitbart News, it was revealed that University of California Irvine is attempting to put a halt to a planned rally in support of Republican nominee Donald Trump, with Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos as the figure-head, due to “security concerns.”
College administrators have also placed a stealth charge of around $1,500 against the account of the Chairman Emeritus of the College Republicans, Robert Petrosyan, a combination of a payment demanded for Milo’s last event at UCI which had been previously dropped, along with a new payment for security at the previous event.
According to the UCI CR, Petrosyan noticed a charge of $1,486.60 from July 6th on his online account which processes payments from the University, due on August 15th. Suspecting the payment was partially composed of a $987.10 fine levied against the society due to alleged claims of “co-sponsoring” Milo’s event at UCI back in early June – a claim that was immediately contested, as there was no evidence of any other outside group sponsoring the appearance.
It had also not shown up in Petrosyan’s account again in the days following Milo’s visit. The date of the charge was not only over a month after the event, but also on the same day that the CR re-registered as a society for the 16/17 academic year.
After some phone calls, Petrosyan received an email from the Student Center and Event Service Specialist, Michael Pulli, the same administrator who sent the CR the notification that they were suspended for the year (a decision that was later reversed following Breitbart‘s coverage).
Mr Pulli confirmed that the $1,486.60 fee did consist of the “co-sponsoring” fine, on top of a new $499.00 “Parking/Transportation” Order for a safety escort that Milo had to use to leave the previous event, due to protesters engulfing the hall in which he gave his lecture. The College Republicans had never asked for this additional security, but was thrust onto them. Petrosyan argued this set a worrying precedent, as “student groups are essentially fined for other group’s threats.”
Moreover, the fine was sent directly to his personal account, not that of the society itself, with no email informing him of the charge. Petrosyan said that he felt “blindsided by this fee”, and that it was perhaps due to “my club’s struggle to resist an unfair attempt to suspend us for a full year.” If he had not noticed the charge in time, it would have potentially led to the de-registration of his first quarter classes, along with other serious consequences.
Due to the treatment of the College Republicans by the administration, it is no surprise that Milo accepted their invitation to return to campus. The CR planned a rally in support of Donald Trump in Aldrich Park, with Milo as their figurehead. However, UCI then rejected their request for space for up to 3,000 students, citing “high security concerns.”
Ariana Rowlands, current President of the CR, spoke to the UCI Police Lieutenant, who confirmed that there were legitimate security concerns, as no amount of police presence could prevent against the possibility of protesters shouting and drowning out Milo’s speech; in order to have the event run smoothly, an inside venue would be more suited. However, as the administration took so long to reply, all large rooms had been booked, with the biggest available option only able to contain a maximum of 400 people, which would be nowhere near enough.
Rowlands told Breitbart News that they were looking at the Hotel Irvine as possible venue, as it had a capacity of 2,000. “If UC Irvine tries so hard to prevent us from having a Rally for America, then you bet we are going to do everything we can to have that rally,” said Rowlands defiantly. She also stressed that “the PD has been very cooperative and kind to CRUCI this entire ordeal… I want to be clear this is on the administration.”
“UC Irvine doesn’t want young people to get educated, get excited about voting for Trump? Fine. We’ll cut them out of the equation entirely, free ourselves from their blatant political discrimination and host the rally anyway… leaving them with no control over Irvine’s youth political education,” Rowlands continued. “I’m sure they’ll love that.”
Jack Hadfield is a student at the University of Warwick and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can email him at email@example.com.