A Texas university is charging conservative students thousands of dollars to host an event on campus.
The University of Texas at Arlington’s police department sent a memo to UTA’s Turning Point USA chapter last month asking the students to pay more than $26,000 for the security personnel at a November 2022 event.
Our @TPUSA Chapter at the University of Texas Arlington is being targeted by their own university alongside campus PD to pay an outrageous security fee of over $26,000. This is a blatant attempt to prevent freedom of speech and diversity of thought on campus! pic.twitter.com/i4KsXLN9hg
— Carlos Turcios (@Carlos__Turcios) April 26, 2023
The student organization hosted Jeff Younger last November to discuss child gender mutilation.
Younger is a Texas father fighting to stop his ex-wife from transitioning his son James in the internationally known child abuse case. James’ legal mother (though not his biological one) told him he was a girl as a toddler and wants to force him—against his father’s wishes—to take sterilizing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones and eventually be castrated.
UTA’s Turning Point USA chapter faced intense backlash from left-wing students for hosting Younger.
The UTA School of Social Work also attempted to shut down the event. Although the school claimed to support the First Amendment right to free speech, they accused Younger of spreading “non-scientific” and “factually incorrect information.”
According to UTA’s TPUSA Chapter President Carlos Turcios, the event had a large turnout despite angry protestors waiting outside the building attempting to intimidate attendees.
Turcios later called out UTA for offering statements supporting the left-wing activists’ protests while ignoring Antifa’s presence as an intimidation tactic.
In his letter to the TPUSA students, Mike McCord, the captain of UTA’s police department, referenced the event’s controversy and claimed that “the staffing allocated to the event was necessary for the safe outcome of the event and UTA campus based upon threat and risk assessments.”
McCord asked the students to pay $17,980 for City of Arlington Police Department staffing, $8,443 for UTA Police Department staffing, and $384 for a metal detector rental.
McCord also noted that the Arlington Police Department staffing charge was a reimbursement to UTA because the school had already paid the original fee.
UTA ordered the students to pay the bill within 30 days.
Turcios condemned UTA for charging students large fees to host events on campus.
“Charging over $28,000 for two small events is expensive speech—not free speech,” Turcios told Texas Scorecard. “The events we hosted were peaceful and no disruption occurred, and the fact that the university is trying to force us to pay this large amount of money is outrageous. UTA should be encouraging free speech, not putting burdensome restrictions on it. I hope they will reverse course and quickly acknowledge that free speech should be just that—free.”
UTA is a public university overseen by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Led by Chairman Kevin Eltife, all members were appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed by the Texas Senate.
As of publication, the University of Texas at Arlington has not responded to a request for comment.