Marquette University’s plan to host conservative speaker Ben Shapiro sparks controversy on campus

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MILWAUKEE -- Windows were smashed and fires were set to protest a polarizing Breitbart news editor on a California campus. There are now new concerns on Marquette University's campus as a different conservative is set to give a talk. The controversy is not just about who is talking, but plans one campus group says was an attempt to sabotage their event.young-americans-for-freedom

They are some of our most formative years, and as a sophomore at Marquette University, Mark Seeberg is taking full advantage.

"Really what we are trying to do is give conservatives a stronger voice on campus," said Mark Seeberg, Young Americans for Freedom.

Mark Seeberg

Mark Seeberg

Seeberg is the chairman of the campus's Young Americans for Freedom Chapter. As part of his group's mission, they've invited a well-known conservative voice to campus: political commentator, columnist and radio show host, Ben Shapiro.

"He's one of the best conservative speakers we feel is able to debunk the campus phenomenon that has been exploding recently," said Seeberg.

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro

Shapiro's comments can come with controversy. Now, someone is accused of trying to stop Shapiro -- not students, but an employee.

"It's unfortunate someone who is employed by the university, working directly with students, would advise they sabotage an event," said Ethan Hollenberger, campus adviser.

Ethan Hollenberger

Ethan Hollenberger

According to the group, a member of the university's "Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies," posted to Facebook urging students to "reserve a seat as a student (to take a seat away from someone who would actually go)" and then not show up.


"She claims she got off the phone with a director of diversity for this idea. Which is contrary of diversity of thought. Diversity of intellect on campus," said Seeberg.

Marquette University

Marquette University

The employee even urges a former employee to "register as a student (they can't tell honestly)." Other students say the plan is wrong.

"I think it's a foolish way of making a statement," said a student. Another student said, "it is un-American if you only listen to what you like."

The university has responded with a statement saying:

"We had addressed this issue with the staff member internally and will work to make sure that interested students have an opportunity to see Ben Shapiro on February 8."

In fact, the conservative campus group says the employees plan backfired. They say they are expected a standing room only crowd next Wednesday. The group is encouraging people with differing political opinions to be in the room, but be respectful.

Marquette University

Marquette University


  • lovin2017sofar

    Freedom of speech is a left thing, not a Conservative thing, apparently. What is the left afraid of? People are paying for a well rounded, informative education. This means on very rare occasions the Conservatives will be allowed to speak. Shame on this employee, she/he/it/we/they should be fired.

  • Flowers

    “Conservative” is Marquette double speak for racist white supremacy. This isn’t freedom of speech – it’s just crap wrapped in the Flag. My association with Marquette continues to devolve. This white colony in the heart of Milwaukee remains an embarrassment.

    • Reason

      you realize Ben Shapiro is a jewish, right? The number 1 target of anti-semitism in the USA last year? You think white supremacists like orthodox jews? Damn you’re stupid. You clearly have zero clue about anything Ben talks about.

  • i work

    A bunch of suburban white liberal kids pretending they care. There parents will turn off the money as soon as they get into a relationship with a minority.

  • patty

    All this behavior is just one more in a repetitive series of events which serve to “punish” the right for winning the election. “We must shut them down”. “Hit em over and over ” (in some cases they do just that). “Don’t let them have any success whatsoever”. I’ve never seen such baby behavior in all my life.

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