The student organizer behind MILO’s Iowa State University event next week has spoken out against the college’s last minute security fee increase, claiming that their actions were “intentional.”
“They’re saying that raising security fees for an event that was planned months ago is common practice” said student organizer Austen Giles, referencing the college’s statement to Breitbart News. “I’m pretty sure fees should be included in the initial payment, or even a month later, but this happened to be two months later. This was intentional what they did.”
“I absolutely do not want to fundraise, because we already raised $500 of our members money in 24 hours” he continued. “How can I ask them to pay a dime more? What they’re doing is wrong”.
In an emailed statement from Iowa State University’s Office of the President, the college blamed the hiked up fees on previous threats at MILO events, despite the fact that those cited happened around six months ago, with administrators only raising their previously determined security fees recently.
“Physical altercations, bomb threats and threats of weapons violence at other universities where Yiannopoulos has appeared or been scheduled to appear have resulted in the need for the Memorial Union to require additional security for this event” claimed the college, linking Breitbart News to a story about the violent protesters at DePaul University, and a story about the threats made towards Florida Atlantic University— both of which were several months ago and were common knowledge before the college quoted their original security fee.
“Modifying the security requirements as the risk assessment changes closer to the event is standard practice for Iowa State University” they declared. “The event organizer had several phone calls with the Memorial Union Director during which he was told that additional security would be required. Again, as stated in the policy, event organizers are responsible for the costs of that support.”
The college finished their statement with an announcement, claiming “As a public university, Iowa State upholds the First Amendment and the protective scope of free speech. Our university supports open discussion and civil discourse; challenging different ideas and views is at the foundation of higher education.”
“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 Giles in an email to Breitbart Tech on Wednesday. “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”.
“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.”
As reported on Wednesday, “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.