A student at Pennsylvania State University was caught on video admitting to throwing away signs advertising a Turning Point USA event on campus. When asked why she threw away the promotional materials, the student replied, “because I don’t like you.”
A Penn State student admitted to throwing away promotional materials for a Turning Point USA event on campus about “Big Tech Censorship,” featuring YouTube personalities Carl Benjamin (AKA Sargon of Akkad) and Hunter Avallone, according to a report by Campus Reform.
When a TPUSA member approached the student to inquire as to why she had thrown away the event flyers, the student responded, “because I don’t like you.”
“Why are you throwing away our stuff?” asked the TPUSA member. “You don’t believe we should have a right to free expression, to advertise for our own events?”
“Yeah, you can,” responded the student vandal.
“Then why are you throwing our stuff away?”
“Because I don’t like you.”
“That’s vandalism, you know.”
“No, it’s not.”
Penn State itself also chimed in, releasing a statement on the day of the event to denounce the “repulsive” speakers, and inform students and faculty that “counseling and psychological services” would be offered to anyone who might be upset over Benjamin and Avallone’s presence on campus.
“Past comments by these individuals have been both inflammatory and controversial, and the University has put into place a number of measures aimed at the safety and security of its community,” alerted Penn State to its campus community, noting that the speakers have been “banned” from Twitter.
The school also made it a point to mention that the speakers’ “hateful” and “grotesque” views are “in direct conflict with the university’s values,” and that “the University stands with our community members who oppose this hate-filled and derisive rhetoric, and we remain committed to our belief in civil discourse, inclusivity and diversity.”
From there, the university went on to explain that while it “profoundly disagrees” with the speakers’ views, “Penn State is obligated to protect freedom of expression on campus.”
“This obligation means that the University cannot take action against such speakers,” added Penn State. “Universities must protect and encourage free speech, especially speech with which we disagree, no matter how offensive, as this freedom of expression is fundamental to the very idea of a university.”
“Without free speech, a university cannot fulfill its most basic purposes, which include fostering freedom of thought and ideological diversity,” concedes the university.
Penn State then offered counseling services for both students and school staff who might feel negatively affected over the exercising of free speech.
“The well-being of students, faculty and staff members is the University’s priority and Penn State provides a range of assistance and support available for those who may need these resources,” concludes the statement, adding that students can contact the “Gender Equity and Sexual and Gender Diversity or the Multicultural Resource Center” regarding their personal concerns.
The statement also encouraged campus community members “who experience or witness bias or discrimination” to file a report with the school.
According to Campus Reform, Benjamin said that offering counseling services over his and Avallone’s presence on campus “is just a sign of the ongoing decline of intellectual life in the West,” adding, “it’s pathetic that the administration felt so held hostage that they needed to abandon any pretense of impartiality and begin moralizing, as if they were a church.”
“If anyone was so offended by my speech last night to the point they needed counseling, they didn’t listen to my speech,” added Avallone, “if you are so offended by the presence of a person you don’t like on your campus, regardless of their message, you need counseling for other reasons.”