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WKU administrators respond to Kyle Rittenhouse event announcement


Dean of Students and Interim Vice President of Student Experience Martha Sales sent an email to all WKU students this afternoon stating that as a public institution, WKU cannot restrict Kyle Rittenhouse from speaking on campus.

“To be clear, the event is not organized or sponsored by WKU,” Sales wrote. “As a public institution, WKU cannot restrict the content of those activities or demonstrations.”

The announcement of the event led many WKU students and alumni to question how the institution could allow WKU’s chapter of Turning Point USA to organize Rittenhouse speaking on campus, posting comments on social media such as “Absolutely disgusted with WKU for this,” “@wku @caboni This is shameful” and “this is gross, do better wku.”

Sales stated WKU embraces the marketplace of ideas and defends the right to free speech, and just because an individual visits campus, it does not mean the institution supports, endorses or agrees with the views that individual shares.

She additionally encouraged all students to engage in advocacy for issues they are passionate about “safely and respectfully.”

Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Engagement Molly Kerby sent a similar email to all WKU faculty and staff after Sales, stating that many faculty members may be getting questions from students about the event.

“This is not the first time a controversial speaker has visited our campus, nor will it be the last,” Kerby wrote. “It is important to remember that the foundation of higher education rests on the knowledge we gain from civil discourse, and that WKU is committed to fostering an environment where everyone is free to express themselves and Where Everyone Belongs.”

Assistant News Editor Ali Costellow can be reached at [email protected]

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