The campus is preparing for the TPUSA event on March 14th
UC Davis Police, ASUCD and other organizations are preparing for TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk to speak at the U Center next week
By SYDNEY AMESTOY — email@example.com
Content Warning: This article contains discussions of transphobia, homophobia, and racism that may be disturbing to some readers.
The UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD), ASUCD and members of the campus community are preparing for Turning Point USA (TPUSA) to return to campus on March 14 for a speaker event with the organization’s founder, Charlie Kirk. The presentation, which will take place at the U Center, comes after protests outside of the last TPUSA event 25 Oct escalated, leading to the cancellation of the event.
TPUSAa registered student organization a conservative student group with a mission to “identify, educate, educate and organize students to promote the principles of liberty, free markets and limited government”. their website. Before the group has been criticized for inviting guest speakers who made statements that some students believe violate UC Davis Community Principles. The October 25 event was hosted by Stephen Davis, who previously said that “systematic racism is not real”.
Kirk, the scheduled speaker for the March 14 event, has been criticized for previous anti-trans and LGBTQ+ pronouncements, such as labeling people who identify as LGBTQ+ a “social contagion.” Kirk continued speaking at UC Santa Barbara 1st Marchwhere he referred to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio as a “war on the white man.”
Campus police have security-related plans for the event, according to Julie Ann Easley, a media specialist for UCDPD. This includes limiting event attendance to 1,000 and requiring proof of registration to attend.
“In preparing for the student event, the campus has worked with student organizers to create an environment where free speech can be exercised, including for those wishing to protest the speaker,” Easley said. “UC Davis has developed a comprehensive safety plan and is providing appropriate staffing for public safety needs.”
At the last TPUSA event, UCDPD was not used despite escalation; Instead, the private security service stepped in Press release of October 25th. According to the press release, the campus police were not deployed because the situation could be de-escalated without serious injuries.
ASUCD is also preparing for the upcoming event by planning alternative programs concurrently with the event. A final study session will be held that evening from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., according to ASUCD President Radhika Gawde.
“ASUCD has not only worked closely with the campus to provide alternative spaces for students on March 14, but also to ensure students remain safe if they protest or attend the event,” Gawde said.
After the last TPUSA event, ASUCD released a official statement Condemning the counter-protesters who arrived on campus, declaring that they were in solidarity with those who were protesting TPUSA’s presence on campus.
Following what happened at the October 25 event, UC Davis reiterated its commitment to freedom of expression for all students and regretted that the event could not go ahead, saying a press release.
“We understand that given the university’s obligations under the First Amendment, student groups that follow all campus policies are allowed to bring speakers to campus,” Gawde said. “It would be unwise for members of the ASUCD to be involved in conversations that might violate students’ first amendment right, even if a group’s values do not align with those of the UC Davis community.”
Flyers calling for protests against Kirk’s arrival, issued by the unofficial student group Cops Off Campus, have already been distributed on campus, according to the group Twitter page.
“[The UC Davis police] recognize that there is potential for conflict in settings where individuals are particularly passionate about differing viewpoints,” said Easley. “We stand ready to do our best to de-escalate potential incidents.”
Written by: Sydney Amestoy — firstname.lastname@example.org