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YAF Dropped Lawsuit Against University Employees

A settlement has been reached in a 2016 free speech case filed for Ben Shapiro incident

Gage Skidmore

Gage Skidmore

Enron Franklin, Copy Editor

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Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a student organization on campus has dropped its lawsuit against university employees. Since the suit was filed in May of 2016, Cal State LA has changed its policies regarding free speech and expression on campus. The suit stemmed from a February 2016 speaking engagement organized by YAF, featuring Ben Shapiro, entitled “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.”

The event sparked outrage amongst campus community members with Shapiro addressing students and they showed up to protest and block the event entrance. YAF claimed university administrators made an attempt to shut the event down but were unsuccessful.

A campus spokesperson recounted the events that took place at the University Student Union Theatre last year and said Cal State LA is dedicated to freedom speech. “As a public university, California State University, Los Angeles, is deeply committed to freedom of speech. At the invitation of a student organization, Ben Shapiro spoke to a large audience on the campus in February 2016. Individuals with different viewpoints protested outside the auditorium,” said Robert Lopez, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs.

Shapiro learned of the recent suit dismissal and is excited about the opportunity to protect free speech and other potential speaking engagements on campus.

“I’m excited that we were able to come to an agreement with them to protect free speech in the future, and I look forward to coming to the campus soon to speak again,” said Shapiro.

Now that a settlement has been reached, students within the Cal State LA chapter of Young Americans for Freedom are speaking. They released the following statement to the University Times.

“I only have this to say that this settlement is a victory not just for the Young Americans for Freedom in the matter of this specific lecture, but a First Amendment victory for all students at California State University-Los Angeles. It should also serve as a warning to all schools and administrators who may seek to use their authority over students to suppress free speech and persecute conservative students and their organizations,” said Mark Kahanding, the President of Young American for Freedom on campus.

The terms of the settlement has cleared university employees and administrators of any wrongdoing and restitution sought within suit. The school is pleased that its stance on free speech has been affirmed.

“We have now reached a settlement under which a lawsuit filed against several University employees has been finally dismissed, without any admission of wrongdoing by any party and without payment of money by anyone. The University is pleased that its longstanding support for freedom of speech has been affirmed,” said Lopez.

Young Americans for Freedom said that they are “dedicated to help bring the conservative voice to the student body at Cal State LA.”

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YAF Dropped Lawsuit Against University Employees