Conservative political pundit Michael Knowles spoke at Slee Hall on UB’s North Campus as a guest speaker invited by the UB chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) Thursday night.
Hundreds protested the speech, titled “How Radical Feminism Destroys Women (And Everything Else).”
Knowles made national headlines last week when he called for “transgenderism” to be “eradicated from public life entirely” at the Conservative Party Action Conference (CPAC), sparking backlash from students and faculty who urged the university to bar the Daily Wire host from speaking on campus.
UB said in a Sunday statement that it “must uphold the principles of the First Amendment” and that “student government-sponsored clubs have the ability to invite speakers of their choosing, as long as they follow the laws and guidelines concerning public events on campus.”
Protestors gathered outside of Slee Hall around 6 p.m., about an hour before Knowles’ speech.
Tens of University Police officers were present in the event in marked and unmarked cars. YAF also hired private security for the event.
UPD made one arrest during the protests, per UB spokesperson John Della Contrada. The protestor — who was released with an appearance ticket — was charged with harassment, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
A long line of people hoping to secure a seat at YAF’s event ran from Slee Hall through the entrance of Alumni Arena.
Doors opened at 6:51 p.m. with Knowles’ speech beginning at 7:36 p.m. Doors were originally slated to open at 6 p.m. with the speech beginning at 7 p.m. Two people were ejected from Slee’s Lippes Concert Hall after they continuously chanted “trans lives matter” at the beginning of Knowles’ monologue.
Here’s a look at The Spectrum’s social media coverage of the event — spanning from before, during and after Knowles’ controversial speech:
Follow @ubspectrum on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.
Anthony DeCicco is the editor-in-chief and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Lauricella is the assistant managing editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Anthony DeCicco is the Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum. His words have appeared in outlets such as SLAM Magazine. In 2020, he was awarded First Prize for Sports Column Writing at the Society of Professional Journalists' Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards. In his free time, he can be found watching ‘90s Knicks games and reading NFL Mock Drafts at 3 a.m.