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WKU President Caboni responds to Kyle Rittenhouse to speak on campus 


WKU President Timothy Caboni sent an email to all WKU students this afternoon in response to concerns regarding Kyle Rittenhouse speaking on campus at a WKU Turning Point USA event this Wednesday, March 27.

“As guardians of free speech, universities have an obligation to establish an environment where a wide range of perspectives are exchanged, even if the ideas presented are different from our own, offensive or even contemptible,” Caboni wrote. 

Caboni said WKU is a public university and is compelled by law to provide space for students to practice free speech. The Campus Free Speech Protection Act, signed into Kentucky law in 2019, prohibits public universities from disinviting speakers to campus that have been invited by students, faculty or staff. 

Further, Caboni stated that the university will not condemn the event and will continue to uphold the ideas of institutional neutrality. WKU will continue to provide an environment for the “free exchange of ideas.”

“WKU does not take positions on local, national or international issues unrelated to higher education or the university directly – clarifying that students and faculty are the instruments of dissent and critique,” Caboni stated. 

Caboni encouraged students that disagree with the event to express their feelings in a multitude of ways. Students may choose to either attend or not attend the event, create a counter program of their own on campus in response to the event or peacefully protest. 

“This week provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate to the broader community that WKU is a place that defends the ideals of free speech, academic freedom and inquiry, even when challenging to do so,” Caboni stated. 

News reporter Maggie Phelps can be reached at [email protected].edu  

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