The Academic Senate will discuss capping security costs paid by the university for club speakers May 29 in the Julian A. McPhee University Union. Under a proposed resolution, the Senate is recommending security costs up to $5,000 to be paid by the university and costs more than $5,000 be paid by the club hosting the speaker.
The resolution may change before it is voted on and will only be advisory to campus administration, which is revising its security spending policy.
Cal Poly and the California State University System spent $86,000 on security for Cal Poly College Republicans’ and Cal Poly’s Turning Points U.S.A. chapter’s panel with Milo Yiannopolous this year and $55,000 last year for the same speaker.
“I’m not against any club bringing anyone on campus, but they can’t do it willy nilly and expect the campus to pick up the tab,” horticulture and crop science professor and member of the Academic Senate Wyatt Brown said. “We don’t have deep pockets, we don’t have multi-million dollar trust funds here.”
Some members of the Academic Senate Executive Committee are concerned adding the cost of security onto typically hefty speaker fees would further inequity for small clubs who do not have the resources to pay for both.
“I don’t want to prevent any groups from bringing who they want to because they don’t have the resources,” Associated Students, Inc. President and agricultural science senior Riley Nilsen said.
Nilsen said she wants to discuss the resolution with students and clubs before she decides whether she will support the resolution.
Cal Poly College Republicans released a statement calling the proposed resolution a direct attempt to stifle free speech. They said security fees associated with their speakers were due to what they call ‘violent ambitions of leftist extremists,’ and that they paid for security at their own events when they only required two police officers.
“It is only the Left that engages in violence and the destruction of property, and it is only the left right-of-center that will exceed the cap as a result,” the statement read.
Psychology professor Gary Laver said he wanted to have a discussion about security spending, even though he did not think the resolution would pass in its current revision.
Students who want to speak in the meeting must ask an Academic Senator to sponsor them, because there is no public comment in their meetings.