Posters were found on campus Thursday appearing to threaten GW’s chapter of Young America’s Foundation for hosting right-wing speaker Ben Shapiro on campus.
The poster, which YAF tweeted out Thursday morning, shows an “X” crossed through a photo of Shapiro and reads “Hey YAF, get security.” Shapiro, the editor in chief of the conservative online publication DailyWire, spoke to a packed crowd in Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre Thursday evening.
“When you’re so scared of a conservative speaker that you threaten a student organization?” YAF tweeted. “What is wrong with people? Maybe @benshapiro will tell us tonight! We are not intimidated by leftist bullies.”
When you’re so scared of a Conservative speaker that you threaten a student organization? What is wrong with people? Maybe @benshapiro will tell us tonight! We are not intimidated by leftist bullies. @yaf pic.twitter.com/dbxISLSLhR
— GW YAF (@GWYAF) January 17, 2019
Representatives for YAF did not immediately return a request to comment.
Dean of the Student Experience Cissy Petty responded to the threat in a tweet Thursday afternoon saying that the GW Police Department “does not see a threat” and will attend the event. Petty wrote that she believes “in the value of free speech, respectful dialogue and civility.”
“Having voted for both parties, I am [grateful] for freedom of choice,” she said.
Members of YAF responded to the threats by writing “freedom wins” and “you’re free, stop whining” in chalk in front of the Marvin Center.
Through a partnership with the YAF national organization, Shapiro has spoken at multiple other universities, like Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Gonzaga University banned Shapiro from visiting its campus in November because officials were concerned about the event’s “safety and security.” Student governments at schools like the University of Southern California and Tufts University also threatened to cut funding for Republican student organizations looking to host Shapiro on campus, according to their respective campus publications.