Concordia College students rescind funding to bring controversial speaker to campus

MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) The student government of Concordia College in Moorhead has voted to pull funding that was previously approved to bring a conservative commentator to speak on campus.

The Student Senate Thursday night addressed concerns by some students about the appearance of Ben Shapiro, Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Wire. More than 150 students showed to debate whether to pull the funding.

A Concordia chapter of the organization Young America's Foundation had previously secured the more than $7,000 to bring Shapiro to campus.

Valley News Live spoke to students on both sides of the debate.

"I believe even as a democrat as a liberal school, wanting to put open-minded students into the world, we should be open to this view and I believe we should allow him to come," said Rhiannon Markegard, a Concordia Freshman.

"I think that challenging your views is very important, like getting a wide variety of speakers that come from different backgrounds. But I don't think that Ben Shapiro promotes this because he promotes a lot of hate, and I don't think that is really challenging our views, that's just hearing how he feels about like people from the LGBTQ community and Planned Parenthood," said Ellie O'Brien, Concordia student.

In the end, the student senate voted to pull the funding in a 28-2 vote. Student Government Association Vice President Will Kuball said the decision was in response to those that voiced concerns about what Shapiro represents.

"Our constituents made it clear that this decision did not best represent their safety or their ideals, and as I said our executive team and the rest of SGA's goal is to best represent them."

The decision does not bar Shapiro from visiting Concordia's campus, but pulls the funding that would have brought him here.

The Young America's official twitter account posted this message along with the letter to Concordia students about the meeting and vote tonight.

We've also attached the letter sent to Concordia students notifying them of the meeting tonight with this article.