The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

DePaul University has a double thug problem


The first problem: DePaul ("the nation's largest Catholic university") seems to think that speakers and audiences on its campus are in peril from thugs. The second, and more serious, problem: DePaul is responding by giving in to the (presumed) thugs. From today's Chicago Tribune (Marwa Eltagouri):

DePaul University has denied a request to have conservative commentator Ben Shapiro give a speech at the university, citing security concerns.

"DePaul University's Office of Public Safety determined, after observing events which took place when Mr. Shapiro spoke elsewhere, that it was not in a position to provide the type of security that would be required to properly host this event at this time," DePaul spokeswoman Carol Hughes said in an email.

A very bad attitude for institutions of higher learning to take, it seems to me, for many reasons—one of which is that behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. If thugs see that just by engaging in (or just threatening) violence, they can get speakers they dislike shut down, the consequence will be more violence or threats of violence, by thugs of all political stripes.