College Republicans Resubmit Proposal to Bring Ben Shapiro to Campus


The BAC has endorsed a proposal by the College Republicans to bring conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to campus to speak. Ben Shapiro has yet to accept or reject the offer.

During their October 14 meeting, the Budget Allocations Committee (BAC) approved a $34,900 proposal submitted by the College Republicans to invite conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to Colgate. The proposal was initially submitted last month, but was withdrawn and resubmitted after budget adjustments were made. The new budget requires the proposal to only obtain BAC approval, and not face a Senatorial vote.

In order for an SGA-approved club to receive money for an event, the BAC must approve a funding proposal. If the proposal exceeds the threshold of seven percent of the BAC’s semester-long budget for funding, it must be brought in front of the SGA Senate for an additional confirmation vote.

According to the BAC, their semester budget for this fall is $534,803; therefore, that seven percent threshold comes out to over $35,000. The College Republicans withdrew their initial proposal, which had a budget that fell over the seven percent marker and would require SGA approval, and resubmitted it with a new budget of $34,900 that fell just under the seven percent threshold, requiring only BAC approval.

To provide some context regarding previous BAC funding approvals for political clubs, College Republicans hosted an event approved last year for $25,050 that brought General David Petraeus to campus. The non-partisan student group Democracy Matters received funding from the BAC for a brown bag series with a budget of $1,110 this semester. The BAC considers SGA-approved clubs’ funding proposals on a case-by-case basis. The past success or failures of the groups’ funded events are taken into consideration when allocating funds.

According to the “BAC Guidelines for Funding” book, Section 2, A, Article IV, requests “[should further] the SGA organization’s mission as outlined in their constitution. The BAC is not convened to express likes or dislikes towards Funding Requests but rather to determine eligibility and practicality.”

According to BAC bylaws the following factors are taken into account when decisions are made to approve proposals: how the proposal fits into the organization’s constitution and mis- sion statement, the fiscal responsibility of the group and the proposal itself.

Junior and President of the College Republicans Michael Reed expressed why the group wanted to bring Shaprio to campus.

“It is the wishes of the College Republicans Club that an event like this will widen the campus dialogue on political affairs and foster an environment where ideological discussion is encouraged more on campus,” Reed said. “Therefore, every political opinion is welcome at this event, and I specifically encourage people with differing political opinions to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”

Shapiro is a former Breitbart editor and currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Wire. In the past, his speaking engagements at colleges have sparked debates about free speech and academic freedom.

BAC endorsement does not necessarily mean an event will occur. According to SGA President Jenny Lundt, Shapiro has yet to respond to the College Republicans’ invitation to campus for March 28.

Contact Nick Francoeur at [email protected]