Florida International University (FIU) student Andrew Pis told Breitbart News of the difficulties in hosting a hurricane relief drive at his school, which he believes has to do with the fact that his student group hosting the event — Turning Point USA — is a conservative organization. Pis joined SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow in a Tuesday interview for TPUSA’s weekly campus report.
“We told them about this a good week in advance,” said Pis of his TPUSA student group’s hurricane relief drive. “We would tell them it’s a hurricane drive and that we needed to get the reservation booked — and even then, they still gave us trouble — they canceled our event and then forced us to have to re-reserve our event with all the details they wanted.”
“[The administration] is not bad, it’s just these little problematic things that cause issues in the long run that do need to be called out,” added Pis. “And [it’s] why I advise that you can’t give up, because if not, nobody else is going to stand up — because these little difficult things are why a lot of conservative organizations don’t get off the ground.”
While the event was able to proceed in the end, Pis mentioned that conservative student groups typically run into these types of issues while trying to plan for an event on campus, to which Marlow concurred, noting the red tape and high security fees students face when trying to bring conservative speakers to campus.
“And a lot of these [fees] are passed down to the students,” said Marlow. “And this is all about stifling speech — to make it so that you can’t even do a hurricane drive without at least some level of harassment, which is designed to make you throw up your hands and just say, ‘I’m out, I don’t care anymore. I’m not gonna do it.'”
“When you put it that way, you’re absolutely right,” the student responded. “I can tell you from first-hand experience that the College Republicans at FIU have pretty much been wiped out. Seriously, they haven’t even applied yet to be an organization, because the barrier for entry has definitely gotten a lot more difficult.”
Pis added that he believes student apathy regarding political issues is also one of the consequences of schools stifling speech by making it difficult to organize a conservative student group on campus.
Last week, a student from the College of Charleston mentioned on the show that his college had been sued over free speech issues, after it rejected a student group from becoming an official club on campus.
Pis also offered his advice to other young conservatives struggling on their campuses.
You have to have a warrior spirit, and not only do you have to have a warrior spirit, if you can contribute, at any point, to helping out conservative causes — not only should you do it, but you should never give up until it’s unrealistic to keep going. And the reason I say that is because in my experience, I’ve seen a lot of young conservatives who want to help, but they’re afraid to do so. And the reality is, is that we live in a society where we can’t do that anymore. You have to get out, and you have to do your part, even if it’s a little bit.
“The Internet is no longer a true free speech platform,” added Pis. “You can’t just post something and expect the truth to get out — the Internet is no longer a viable place to spread your ideas, at least not on the same level as it was back in 2016. So, you have to be out there, spreading the message in person.”
“Whether it’s working with an organization, starting up an amicable conversation with other people, you have to do it yourself,” said Pis. “Because nobody else is going to stand up if you’re not going to stand up.”