Conservative activist Matt Walsh came to Southern New Hampshire University at the request of the SNHU College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation, but Walsh and College Republicans believe his speech was not treated fairly.
Walsh is a conservative columnist for the Daily Wire, a news website run by Ben Shapiro.
As the day of the event approached, events occurred, for which Walsh apologized to his audience at the end of his remarks.
Walsh described the actions taken that undermined the event. He claimed that the staff turned attendees away, that protesters tore down nearly all of the posters and advertisements for his speech, and that a professor lectured Walsh about being a “white privileged male”—then walked away when he sought to respond.
Walsh issued his full statement on his official Facebook page:
The Daily Signal reached out to Ruby Murphy, the executive director of the SNHU College Republicans and a senior studying justice studies and forensic psychology.
Murphy issued this statement regarding the incident:
At Southern New Hampshire University, there are many events that occur daily across our campus. Most of our events are free; however, it’s a common practice to reserve a “ticket” online to ensure your spot.
Most events end up having plenty of space for students who haven’t signed up, and those students are warmly welcomed into those events.
The SNHU College Republicans hosted a free, private event featuring our guest speaker, Matt Walsh. Prior to this event, the time slot for the opportunity to reserve a ticket was minimal and was closed out more than 24 hours before the event occurred.
The SNHU College Republicans hung up flyers across campus advertising Matt Walsh coming to speak to our students. Many of these flyers were ripped down by other students.
The SNHU College Republicans’ executive board asked our school for reimbursement for the money that was spent on printing the flyers. We were turned down.
The only factor that differentiated this event from all other events on our campus is that students of our university were turned away from available seats.
Students who were genuinely interested in our event, who even presented their student ID, were turned away at the door because they never reserved a ticket.
The College Republicans’ executive board even tried to compromise with [the campus public safety office] by offering to hold onto those students’ IDs until the event ended, in case the students caused a disruption.
This idea was also turned down. It is unclear why the SNHU College Republicans’ event has been treated unfairly, compared to all other events that take place on our campus.
The university and the SNHU College Republicans have since then held a reconciliatory event with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, to help resolve the issue.