Following a sudden cancellation last week, an event featuring conservative commentator Elisha Krauss has been rescheduled to be in the student union on Wednesday.
The event, hosted by the university chapter of conservative student organization Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), was originally scheduled to be held in the Overby Center Auditorium on Nov. 13. However, six days before the event, Krauss tweeted out a link from the YAF website with the caption, “Funny that my speech was gonna be about the importance of free speech…even for those that we don’t agree with.”
The YAF article references an email from Curtis Wilkie, the inaugural fellow at the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, in which Wilkie justified the cancellation because YAF is an openly partisan group. Wilkie cited an Overby Center rule that prohibits the center from allowing events hosted by partisan groups.
In response to backlash, the official Twitter account for the university responded to Krauss, tweeting, “This decision was made unilaterally by two individuals on our campus without consulting with members of the university administration.” The account continued, “As soon as university leaders learned about this decision, they moved promptly to re-invite you and continue to try to reach you directly to confirm your upcoming appearance on campus…The University of Mississippi is committed to promoting freedom of speech, assembly and respectful discourse, which are pillars of a healthy and inclusive learning environment.”
While the Ole Miss School of Journalism and New Media and the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics share a building, they are separate entities. The Overby Center, founded in 2007, is privately funded and is “dedicated to educating people about the importance of a free press and the First Amendment,” according to their website.
The event is now scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the student union ballroom.