Absurd College Plan to Charge Conservatives a “Security Fee” for the Damage Liberals Might Cause 

Ken Wolter / shutterstock.com
Ken Wolter / shutterstock.com

In a surreal decision to pre-empt liberal violence, the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to impose a “security” fee on a conservative group hosting Daily Wire host Michael Knowles on campus. Knowles’s speech, “The Case Against Murder,” was a topic guaranteed to anger liberals on campus.  

This move appeared to reward unruly protesters with a heckler’s veto, with conservatives required to foot the bill for police presence to prevent liberals from committing crimes against them. 

Before Knowles’ speech on Wednesday, college administrators informed Young Americans for Freedom that they must pay $4,271.17 for metal detectors, increased police presence, and other security-related expenses. Interestingly, they even called for “sales tax” for the services they demanded. 

College administrators claim the charge resulted from “significant security/safety problems at event sponsor events, as revealed in a risk assessment worksheet.” 

The risk assessment was most likely considering past liberal violence at conservative events. In April of 2023, pro-transgenderism protesters ignited an “incendiary device” in an attempt to disrupt a speech by Knowles at the University of Pittsburgh. These protesters had reportedly planned to “shut it down.” 

Protestors also attempted to drown out Knowles by shouting obscenities and playing loud music at the event. The protest, organized by the campus Young Democratic Socialists for America, featured chants such as “F**k you fascist” and “When trans rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back.” Additionally, activists disrupted the speech by repeatedly yelling “F**k you fascist” outside the ballroom where Knowles spoke, continuing throughout the 45-minute-long speech and Q&A session. 

Subsequently, two individuals faced charges by the federal government for conspiracy and obstruction of law enforcement.  

In 2022, leftists engaged in large-scale vandalism ahead of a conservative event on the university campus. They spray-painted profane messages on prominent historic buildings during an event where Matt Walsh, a Daily Wire host, was brought to campus by the YAF. Despite having video evidence of these acts, police opted not to prosecute or otherwise punish the vandals and have refused to release public records of the crime.  

Other protests have occurred, with some less violent than others. At the University of Albany, students mobilized in protest against Ian Haworth, a conservative writer and podcaster known for making controversial remarks regarding transgender individuals. Viewing their demonstration as a means of showing solidarity with LGBTQ+ students, protesters aimed to counter Haworth’s “hateful rhetoric.” The event was disrupted as protesters chanted slogans and hurled insults at Haworth and the conservative student organization Turning Point USA, which hosted the event. 

Similarly, at the University of New Mexico, over 100 students assembled outside the Student Union Building to protest Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator invited by the UNM chapter of Turning Point USA. Chants such as “We don’t want you here!” and “Shut it down!” echoed through the crowd as a form of vocal opposition to Lahren’s presence on campus. 

An appearance by Matt Walsh in 2022 caused liberals at UW Madison to feel “physically sick and hurt.” 

YAF explained that while they cover expenses such as venue set up and decorating for events, “security fees have never been implemented, and this sudden change sets a very dangerous precedent.”  

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and the Mountain States Legal Foundation sent a letter to university administrators asking for the security fee to be removed. The letter noted that the university had never billed students additional security fees in the past and that the charges were “unlawful.” The letter accused the university of “punishing conservatives” for crimes liberals committed against them while ignoring the liberal crimes altogether. Such a policy, the Foundation wrote, will only encourage leftists to commit more crimes at conservative events. 

Subsequently, the fee was dropped. Nancy Lynch, the university’s legal affairs vice chancellor, emphasized, “Solely to ensure that the speaker event moves forward in this tight timeframe, the contract is being revised to remove charges related to the extensive security protocol.” Her comments did not rule out future security fees. 

It’s not over for the YAF. “While reassuring that the event will move forth as scheduled, the school’s guarded language raises significant red flags,” the group posted on its website Monday. “Young America’s Foundation intends to ensure that these discriminatory attempts at stifling speech are never again attempted.” 

It’s a baffling reality where conservatives are forced to foot the bill for damages that liberals might cause at their events. Although not quite the riots of 2020, it’s a similar theme – liberals are given the freedom to destroy while everyone else pays the price.