A university professor in Mississippi raised some eyebrows last month when he told Young America's Foundation that it couldn't use a venue because the event with conservative speaker Elisha Krauss of the Daily Wire was partisan.
Ole Miss journalism professor Curtis Wilkie informed YAF that the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics wasn't available to be used by "partisan or openly ideological student groups." In an email, Wilkie called out the host group for its apparent affiliation with the GOP:
"Young Americans for Freedom is described as an 'ideologically conservative youth activism organization.' From my many years as a political reporter, I know that the group is strongly linked to the Republican Party. So I feel we have to say 'no' to you, too."
But Brett Kittredge of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy informs OneNewsNow that partisan speakers have used the venue in the past – among them a speaker with the Cato Institute, a former strategist for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, and a former Mississippi Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.
"It just gets to all of a sudden they have a conservative coming and they've got this model that they can't justify having a conservative speaker," Kittredge relates.
According to Campus Reform, university officials quickly overrode the unilateral decision and moved promptly to re-invite Krauss to the campus. Kittredge was happy to see that.
"But kudos to the chancellor, the administration who welcomed Elisha back, [inviting her to] Come on. We'll find some other place for you," he adds. "Obviously, it's a big school – and so we're happy to see that the administration gets it."
Campus Reform reports the event was promptly rescheduled for the same day and relocated to the student center.