Washburn student organization criticizes Dr. Farley for condemnation of conservative speaker
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Washburn student organization is criticizing the university’s president after he issued a school-wide email condemning an upcoming guest speaker.
The Young America Foundation has an event planned for Thursday evening that will feature guest speaker Michael Knowles, a personality from conservative website ‘The Daily Wire.’
Dr. Jerry Farley promoted free speech while condemning Knowles for a history of spreading hate and misinformation.
“While I am strongly in the support of first amendment rights, I am disappointed when those rights are used to make others feel unwelcome and even unsafe in our community,” Dr. Farley wrote. “While we support the right to speak freely, Washburn University does not condone the hate and misinformation spread by the speaker and his supporters.”
The Foundation says Dr. Farley is alienating and intimidating conservative students.
“Every conservative student has now been “marginalized” by Farley’s disgusting email. Intimidation of conservative students by tyrannical administrators should not be tolerated on any campus, let alone a public university that alleges to protect first amendment rights.”
Knowles himself denied the allegations.
Washburn president Jerry Farley, who personally signed the contract inviting me to come speak, just sent a campus-wide email condemning me for spreading "hate and misinformation"—two days before my speech is scheduled to take place. 🧵 https://t.co/U8cXRItLQb— Michael Knowles, Biological (And Spiritual) Male (@michaeljknowles) March 30, 2022
The event is set to continue as scheduled.
To the Washburn University Community:
A Washburn student organization has invited a speaker to campus who has a history of inciting fear and distrust. While I am strongly in the support of first amendment rights, I am disappointed when those rights are used to make others feel unwelcome and even unsafe in our community. While we support the right to speak freely, Washburn University does not condone the hate and misinformation spread by the speaker and his supporters.
Thursday also happens to be International Trans Visibility Day. Washburn University supports the Trans community and students who identify as LBGTQ+. We support and stand in solidarity with Trans people around the world and encourage you to learn more about the issues affecting students, faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ+. We will continue to engage our resources to influence campus community to be an inclusive place where all feel they are protected, affirmed, and valued.
I encourage you to celebrate the day with messages of compassion and support. With your help this university can be a shining light and example to the greater community. We will learn together and from each other and we will be better people for the effort.
Copyright 2022 WIBW. All rights reserved.