Texas A&M to hold 'Aggies United' event on day of alt-right leader's visit

Aggies United is a counter-event that will begin before Richard Spencer's event on the Texas A&M Campus.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M President Michael K. Young says the university will hold an "Aggies United" event on Dec. 6. This is the same day alt-right movement leader Richard Spencer is scheduled to give a speech on campus. 

The university says it did not invite Spencer to the university and the Aggies United event is in response to the reaction from the campus community. 

"In recent days, there has been a significant outpouring of concern by members of the Aggie community and beyond regarding an individual scheduled to speak on campus next week," said President Young.

"Students, faculty, staff, former students and members of the community expressed their outrage over the speaker's previously-expressed views and have roundly condemned everything for which he seems to stand.

"I strongly agree with those sentiments. I find the views of the organizer - and the speaker he is apparently sponsoring - abhorrent and profoundly antithetical to everything I believe. In my judgment, those views simply have no place in civilized dialogue and conversation."

Since the university is a public institution, private citizens have the right to reserve space for public speakers. A&M also has no plans of keeping Spencer from speaking. 

"So let me be clear, barring a breach of contract and/or unresolvable safety concerns, we have no plans to prohibit the speaker from using the room he has rented," said Young. "Freedom of speech is a First Amendment right and a core value of this university, no matter how odious the views may be."

Young says he plans to attend the Aggies United event, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m at Kyle Field. Afterwards, the university's Silver Traps ceremony will be held at in the Academic Plaza. 

(© 2016 KAGS)


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