It’s amazing what happens when you enforce the law and protect free speech, versus when you do not.
We saw in the case of San Francisco State University, how wrong things can go when you do not enforce the law properly and protect free speech. Women’s rights activist and All-American college swimmer Riley Gaines was assaulted and kept trapped in a room by howling activists because the University failed to protect the speaker and failed to properly handle things once they got out of hand. Then, they failed to even apologize, recognize the assault occurred, or even attempt to hold anyone accountable. As far as we know, so far no one has yet been arrested in the matter, and the school itself seems to be keeping its head in the sand. Gaines has said that she intends to sue.
Fast forward to this week, and Gaines speaking at the University of Buffalo (UB). What is it that she has to say that is so controversial? She thinks it is unfair to women that biological men compete with women in sports such as hers. Yet for that, she has leftist protesters hounding her wherever she goes, painting her as “transphobic.”
According to reports, there was one arrest after three of the protesters, dressed in black, began following Deputy Director of the Leadership Institute, Sofie Salmon, then one of them tried to knock the camera out of her hands. The Sports Desk Editor of the UB Spectrum caught the action.
Not exactly the smartest idea on the planet—as the police, who were already on site, were right there and swiftly caught up to the person, placing her in custody.
“University Police arrested a 22-year-old female from Buffalo Thursday evening for harassment and disorderly conduct. The individual has no affiliation [with] UB. She was released with an appearance ticket,” UB’s Vice President for Communications John Della Contrada told Campus Reform.
While some were students, others there — like the person arrested — were not even students.
Here was some of the reaction to the visit, and Gaines’ take on some of the wild signs that the radical activists put up against her appearance on campus.
The Young Democratic Socialists are thought to be behind organizing the protest, according to the UB Spectrum, as the group had organized a previous protest against another conservative speaker.
But despite some of the anger and the arrest, Gaines’ speech went off without a hitch, with the proper planning by the University.
This was an interesting tidbit in the UB Spectrum on the event:
The Student Life Freedom of Assembly Support Team (FAST) will also be in attendance to remind students and faculty of the right to free speech and the “responsibility to abide by public rules of order and maintain a climate of respect,” according to the university.
That’s something maybe more universities should encourage. We can see the need for teaching college students that they need to respect the rights of those with whom they disagree. We saw an issue this week at the University of Washington, although that University reacted correctly as well.
Buffalo got it right. Gaines was able to speak, protesters were able to protest. Nobody’s speech was shut down, and the University didn’t have to make any excuses because they took the time to plan and care about the safety of everyone involved. Plus, the police reacted appropriately to the one person who created a problem.