Campus Reform: Gonzaga Admits Mistake, Opens D'Souza Speech To Public

Originally posted at Campus Reform by Peter Fricke.

Gonzaga University has overturned its decision to close an upcoming lecture by Dinesh D’Souza to the public, conceding that the restriction was based on concerns about his words and views.

“The primary issue leading to the decision to not open the event to the public was a concern over the potential hurtfulness of Mr. D’Souza’s words/views, and that this might serve to create a hostile learning environment,” University President Thayne McCulloh told the school community Friday in a statement that was also shared with Campus Reform.

Conservative students expressed outrage last week upon being informed that only students, faculty, and staff of the university would be allowed to attend the February 24 lecture, claiming they were told that “D’Souza’s beliefs are contradictory to Gonzaga’s ‘social justice’ mission,” and specifically that “he is ‘homophobic’ and ‘anti-immigration’.”

Gonzaga initially countered that “the parameters of this event are in line with Gonzaga’s longstanding and common practice of balancing a broad spectrum of viewpoints while providing a supportive learning environment,” but has now revised that determination in response to an official appeal from the school’s College Republicans chapter.

“A clear intention of the policy is to make the outright prohibition of a speaker’s appearance on campus a decision of last resort,” McCulloh notes after elaborating on the original rationale for restricting attendance at the lecture.

“A fundamental principle that sits at the heart of Gonzaga’s educational mission is the commitment to freedom of expression,” he continues. “While this commitment is, for us, understood to operate in the context of and with respect for our Catholic, Jesuit, and humanistic mission, it is a critical component of the academic project—a project which seeks to educate our students to be critical, enlightened, and well-informed individuals.”

While he acknowledges that administrators had probably exaggerated “the potential hurtfulness of Mr. D’Souza’s words/views,” McCulloh also points out that, “as a practical matter, the amount of publicity generated around Mr. D’Souza’s planned upcoming appearance raises legitimate questions about how to meet audience demand while meeting our obligations to our students and community.”

Moreover, “given that student fees and University resources form a primary source of support for this event,” McCulloh says he settled upon a compromise solution that allows members of the public to attend the speech, but gives priority to students, faculty, and staff in ticket allocation.

There will be two ticket distribution periods—each with defined, well-publicized beginning and ending dates and times—first for the Gonzaga community and then for the public, with any unclaimed tickets to be made available to students, faculty, and staff on the day of the event. Additionally, the university is exploring the feasibility of videotaping and/or streaming the event online for those who are unable to attend in person.

Read more at Campus Reform.


Available now, Dinesh D’Souza’s new book United States of Socialism reveals modern-day socialism as a “identity socialism.” Who is behind it, why is it evil, and how can we stop it?

United States of Socialism

Click here to get your copy today!

Keep reading:

AUDIO: Pre-Debate D’Souza/Ayers Interviews
Truth Revolt: D'Souza Destroys Bill Ayers Over Criminal Justice Inequality
Townhall: Bill Ayers Still Teaching Revolution In New D'Souza Debate
VIDEO: D'Souza Responds To Gonzaga University Ban On His Lecture
VIDEO: D'Souza On The State Of Christianity In America Today
Campus Reform: Gonzaga Claims D'Souza Event Could Disrupt "Supportive Learning Environment"
The College Fix: Public Shut Out Of D'Souza Lecture By Gonzaga Because He Opposes "Social Justice"
TheBlaze: D’Souza Faces Off With Bill Ayers In Debate—And Stings Him With One Devastating Response

Through D'Souza's trademark incisiveness, wit, and originality, United States of Socialism reveals how the Left uses the Venezuelan formula for socialism, decisively refutes this new face of socialism, chillingly documents the full range of the Left’s gangster tendencies, and provocatively exposes the tactics of the socialist Left.

Sign up to be notified about new releases! Enter your email below and we'll send you more information.

By filling out the form above, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


  • Dan Vitale says:

    February 13, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    At one time, colleges were very choosy about what type of student they admitted. These days, the student, (customer,) needs to be choosy. Colleges, such as this one, have lost much of their integrity and respectability. Chances are, these people will be unable to embrace or process the things Dinesh has to say. It’s most likely a waste of his time. But he has a good heart and the patience to bring a good message to the insular and uninitiated.

  • john lindsay says:

    February 13, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    As an alumnus of Gonzaga Law School I am troubled by the initial decision making process that led to the proposed closure of the lecture to the public. It is reflective of the political correctness in today’s academia that seeks to limit dialogue that some administrators find objectionable. Academic freedom is permissible when used to allow certain “approved” substance. Voltaire’s observation remains. This stance by Gonzaga’s leadership raises serious question about future support for what has been a valued institution

  • Joe says:

    February 13, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    D’Souza is on the money!!

  • Tom LoGrasso says:

    February 14, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Trying to curb speech is absolutely unconstitutional and against any Christian belief I am familiar with. If someone considers words hurtful that is within the person him or herself it really doesn’t have anything to do with the actual words. They are just that- words. Didn’t Jesus teach us to love our enemies? That surely wouldn’t include banning them from speaking their mind nor diminishing their right to speak.
    Living a happy, successful and productive life does not include blaming others for how one feels. That kind of blame leads to eventual punishment of the speaker all in the name of a supposed justice. It also can lead to mob rule as evidenced by the students insanity at the University of Missouri.
    We are responsible for what we do and how we feel not the other guy. I would suggest Gonzaga University teach a curriculum based on those biblical and Constitutional tenets not on populist opinions that go against observable and demonstrable observations in other words teach ideas that will keep us and all future generations free!

  • CU says:

    February 14, 2016 at 8:55 PM

    Dinesh is an excellent speaker, and very eloquent when exposing the liberal hypocrisy. If you can get tickets, GO, you won’t be disappointed. Glad Gonzaga came to their senses!

  • E says:

    February 16, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    I expect lefties will show up in large numbers to shout him down.

  • Carol Graham says:

    February 17, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    Gonzaga’s reasoning was more of the “safe space” nonsense, that dominates colleges and universities today. Apparently, “sticks and stones” is a saying of the past.

  • Joe Pouchy says:

    February 17, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    Most colleges and universities have something in their mission statement about fostering critical thinking. The reality is that far too many of the same colleges and universities suppor critical thinking. I have worked in higher education for most of my adult life and have found colleges to be one of the most biased environments I have ever experienced.