Amanda Gailey, a faculty member in the English Department at UNL, with her sign on campus.
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Nebraska student meets resistance for political stance
Omaha World-Herald
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A sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said she was berated and intimidated by people on campus Friday afternoon because she was trying to recruit students for a conservative group.
Kaitlyn Mullen said she had a table set up in front of the Nebraska Union on behalf of Turning Point USA, a national organization that has chapters on campuses around the nation. Mullen said she likes Turning Point’s pro-capitalism, anti-big government message.
Soon, however, she was confronted by women who accused her of advocating white nationalism and having KKK leanings.
She said that she began to cry because of the hostile atmosphere and that campus police eventually took her home.
Mullen took photos and videos of parts of the incident.
UNL said through a statement Monday that it is “committed to free speech from all viewpoints” and expects the campus “to be a place of civil discourse.”
The statement said the atmosphere of civility Friday “was eroded by behavior that was offensive to many. ... We are continuing our review of this situation, including discussions with all involved.”
UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green and Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman met with Mullen on Monday.
Hank Bounds, president of the NU system, said through a statement Monday night that UNL representatives “had an opportunity to model how differing opinions can be exchanged with civility, respect and dignity. It appears that opportunity was missed. I’m deeply troubled that a student has been treated this way.”
Turning Point is known in part for its professor “Watchlist,” made up mainly of professors whom the organization deems radically liberal.
Mullen, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, took a photograph of one woman near her table who held a sign: “Please put me on your watchlist. Prof Amanda Gailey,” the sign read. Gailey is a faculty member in the English department at UNL. She could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
At least one other woman flipped off Mullen and held a sign that read: “Just Say No! to Neo-Fascism.”
Others had signs about the Watchlist.
Earlier, Mullen said, a man came out of the Nebraska Union and told her to move her table to another area because she was distributing propaganda and hadn’t reserved the spot. He said he would call the campus police if she didn’t move.
She said the police came but didn’t order her to move.
Eventually, she said, the police came to her aid as the situation grew more heated with several women. That’s when the police took her home.