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Milo Yiannopoulos should participate in panel discussion format at Cal Poly SLO

This petition had 1,140 supporters


Alt-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited by Cal Poly Republicans to  speak at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo on January 31st, 2017. Yiannopoulos, an editor and writer with the right-wing website Breitbart News, is a vocal critic of feminism, Islam, and social justice, and has been banned from Twitter for initiating harassment campaigns against individuals. 

We are petitioning President Armstrong and Cal Poly, SLO to change the format of Yiannopoulos's presentation from an uncontested speech to that of a panel discussion. The precedent for such a format change was set in 2009 when Cal Poly President Baker, at the request of Cal Poly donor David E. Wood, chairman of Harris Ranch Beef, required this same change of format for speaker Michael Pollan, a respected author and the recipient of numerous environmental awards. In defense of that controversial format change President Baker wrote, "We are diligently working to create a more balanced forum … Our singular goal is to provide our students with a full perspective on how the agriculture industry is working to be efficient in its production techniques, and to make sure that our students are familiar with the full range of ideas that are being advanced today.”

Compare Baker's 2009 statement with this statement from Cal Poly's Public Affairs office defending Yiannopoulos's right to speak, "Censoring viewpoints that we don't agree with violates free speech and does not represent what we stand for as a university. Rather, free speech and the open exchange of ideas and opinions - even those that conflict with our own - is an important part of student growth and preparation for success in today's global marketplace." 

Requiring the format to be changed to a panel discussion would not limit any right to free speech and would promote the open exchange of ideas and opinions. 

 

 



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