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Penn State campus organization to host Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at comedy-related event

University officials responded critically about the event, saying that they don't support nor condone "the vitriolic and hateful language" the speakers have used in the past.
Gavin McInnes
Posted at 8:53 AM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 11:53:44-04

Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes is slated to participate in a comedy-related event later this month at Pennsylvania State University.

The Oct. 24 event, which will also feature far-right media figure Alex Stein, is organized by the registered campus organization Uncensored America, CNN and Huffington Post reported.

"Join us for a politically provocative comedy night with professional troll Alex Stein and the godfather of hipsters Gavin McInnes," the organization's website said.

Students plan to protest the event, stating in a public petition to university administrators that "paying and platforming Gavin McInnes while allowing him to build networks and political prestige goes against everything for which we Penn Staters stand, including the core values of our university."

On Tuesday, school officials issued a statement saying that the university "neither supports nor condones the vitriolic and hateful language targeting particular groups that has been used by these speakers in the past."

But they added they would allow the event to be held as planned, citing the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment "to protect various expressive rights."

"While the type of rhetoric these speakers regularly engage in does not represent the values of Penn State, our student organizations operate independent of the University and are free to sponsor programs or speakers of their choosing without censorship," officials said in a statement.

The university is encouraging students to attend two other events occurring the same day at the school, one that will celebrate their diverse community and the other that aims to educate on disinformation.

This isn't the first time the organization has scheduled a controversial figure to come to the school.

Last November, Uncensored America invited political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos to an event.

Penn State officials issued a statement denouncing Yiannopoulos’ visit but said they would not cancel the event, citing the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, the university's student-run newspaper reported.