Turning Point USA planned to host an event at Rider University on April 2 named “White Privilege Is A Myth.” As reported by Campus Reform, Rider University’s political science department has since banned the promotion of any TPUSA event:
“Barbara Franz, chairwoman and professor of Rider’s political science department, told the TPUSA chapter that the department would stop sending listserv emails to students promoting TPUSA events…”
When speaking to the university’s TPUSA chapter president, Joshua Aminov, Franz said the issue behind this event and all future events was because she believes the events are based on “fake facts.”
“The Dept cannot support an event that is entitled ‘White Privilege is a Myth’ because the event advertises a false reality, that is not based on scientific facts and a clear understanding of historic realities… It promotes ‘fake facts.’”
Franz also asked that the chapter president not send any more information regarding the event or any future TPUSA events to her because the department “will not advertise their events anymore.”
Aminov spoke to Campus Reform in an interview and said that the university has advertised TPUSA events in the past, calling this cancellation a “surprise”:
“For [Franz] to go out of her way to judge [the white privilege event] as something that is promoting fake facts, I think that is a shame… At least political science department chairs should always try to present all viewpoints to all their students instead of shielding them from opposing views that they may hold.”
The advisor of the TPUSA chapter, Larry Newman, an associate professor of marketing and dean of the College of Business Administration at Rider University, spoke out about Franz’s actions:
“Having an educator refuse to promote speakers that are associated with conservative groups on campus because that individual holds conflicting views is contrary to everything that Rider states in its Statement of Community Values… I have always encouraged students to openly express their views and opinions on various topics in class, regardless of whether or not I or anyone else shares the same perspective.”
In response, Kristine Brown, the associate vice president of marketing and communications at Rider University, told Campus Reform that Rider values free speech and that TPUSA can promote its events through ways that exclude the political science department. The Vice President said, “this decision was inappropriate and does not reflect the university’s values regarding free speech and open dialogue. Turning Point USA’s event is happening as planned.”
“Rider University fully supports open speech and freedom of expression,” Brown included. “We have many mechanisms for our formally recognized student organizations, of which Turning Point USA is one, to promote their events to our campus community.”
Ting Wei, the secretary of the TPUSA chapter, told Campus Reform, “Franz has an obvious political bent and is not very open to hearing conservative ideas.” The chapter president, Aminov, went as far to say that Franz is an “avid socialist.”
Franz, at this time, has not responded to any invitation of an interview in hopes of clearing this matter up.
Editor’s note: This headline has been updated to be more accurate and reflect the body of the story.