Texas A&M has decided to cancel an on-campus white-supremacist speech and gathering just days after a violent rally in Charlottesville, Va.
A former student had requested the Sept. 11 speaking venue for Preston Wiginton, who is not a student. Texas A&M did not allow Wiginton access to a speaker hall, but he was granted access to Rudder Plaza in the center of campus for the all-day event.
Texas A&M changed its stance Monday.
“With no university facilities afforded him, he chose instead to plan his event outdoors for Sept. 11 at Rudder Plaza, in the middle of campus, during a school day, with a notification to the media under the headline ‘Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M,’ ” a press release read. “Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus.”
In December, Richard Spencer, who helped organize the Charlottesville rally, spoke on the same topic at Texas A&M. He was met with heavy criticism and a police presence. Fallout from that incident changed the university’s policy on speakers.
During that event, Members of Texas A&M’s Jewish community found their own ways to counter Spencer’s message. It included a peaceful silent protest and attending an “Aggies United” event at Kyle Field that drew thousands of students and detracted from Spencer’s influence on campus.