A scheduled event on MILO’s “Dangerous Faggot” tour at the University of Maryland was cancelled after university administrators hit students with a massive increase in security fees just days before the event.
After a bomb threat, which occurred during the tour’s stop at Florida Atlantic University, administrators at the University of Maryland increased security fees from $4,500 to $6,500. In response, the student group responsible for organizing the event created a GoFundMe page to raise the remaining funds.
We at Terps for Trump regret to inform that we have run into some bumps regarding funding for this event.
Due to incidents bomb threats made at other schools that Milo had agreed to perform at and the general tensions with unruly students, the security team has increased our rate for their coverage to around 2000 dollars as they need extra officers/K9 units along with the forced change to a more expensive, venue (i.e Richie Coliseum) bringing the total cost of the event to 6500 dollars.
We all love and appreciate Milo’s work and wholeheartedly want him to give his talk at our University, however we simply cannot afford to pay for this more or less enormous last minute bill by ourselves. At the end of the day, we’re simply a group of college students with a limited pool of income. If we are to make the event happen by ourselves, we would have to take out a large loan that would be extremely strenuous to pay back, adding to the financial burden of our members. After much deliberation with the rest of the group, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not in the best interests of our group to do that.
Unfortunately, the campaign finished short of its $2,000 fundraising goal. As a result, the “Terps for Trump” were forced to cancel the event.
This event has been cancelled by Terps For Trump due to the school rasing costs for the venue and security at the second.
Our organization cannot the $6,500 it will now cost to put on the event (Milo was coming for $0, these are 100% costs the school wants to run the event).
This event’s cancellation is yet another causality in the new censorship war that university administrators have begun to wage on conservative and libertarian students. Both the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Breitbart Tech have addressed the increasing concerns regarding “security fee censorship” or the willingness of university administrators to allow excessive security fees alter or cancel events.
Covering a series of incidents in early October, I argued that security fee censorship is a deceptive new tactic that administrations are beginning to utilize so that they can censor ideas under the guise of prioritizing the physical safety of their students.
It seems that university administrators have failed to realize that the precautions they must take when faced with a controversial guest lecturer are a result of the inability of their students to behave rationally in the face of opposing viewpoints. In asking student groups to pay for extra security for controversial speakers, administrators are asking groups to compensate for the university’s failures in preparing their students to engage with ideas that conflict with their own.
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.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org