AMES, Iowa -- Organizers of the Milo Yiannopoulos event scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9, have canceled his appearance following a meeting with Iowa State University's Memorial Union, police and risk management staff.
Yiannopoulos, a writer for the conservative Breitbart News, was being hosted by ISU Students 4 Trump, which is not a recognized student organization and not affiliated with Iowa State. The ISU stop was part of a nationwide college tour.
Corey Williamson, interim director of the Memorial Union, said event organizers, along with Yiannopoulos' production manager, this afternoon "acknowledged the justification for security expectations but expressed concerns about the group's ability to fund the cost." The university offered to reschedule the event at a later date to provide additional time to secure funding. Organizers declined, citing Yiannopoulos' future availability.
Williamson and his team will work with the group to finalize the cancellation process.
The MU has long been a venue that can be rented by private organizations and members of the public. Use of the Memorial Union is governed by specific guidelines that all users must follow.
Support required for the Yiannopoulos event was consistent with publicly stated policies and guidelines for all Memorial Union events. As per MU practice, the event organizer was notified twice (via email – once before he made a down payment, once after making the payment) on Sept. 7, 2016, that the organization was expected to follow all Memorial Union policies, and directed to the MU website where the policies are posted. Those policies state:
“Events may require additional facility staffing to address additional service requests and/or risk management concerns at the expense of the organization hosting the event.”
Physical altercations, bomb threats and threats of weapons violence at other universities where Yiannopoulos has appeared or was scheduled to appear resulted in the need for the Memorial Union to require additional security for the event. The event organizer had several phone calls with the Memorial Union director, during which he was informed that additional security would be required.