FULLERTON, Calif. (FOX 11) - Two words that can strike fear into the hearts of college administrators: Milo Yiannopoulos! The controversial political firebrand has blazed a trail filled, in some cases with real fire.
A past appearance at Berkeley had to be cancelled because of violence on campus that touched off fires at the school from angry protestors who didn't want him to appear.
Who is Milo Yiannopoulos? By his own description he says, “I can be an unsympathetic character because I go out on purpose and provoke, right?”
That is right which is why you find CSUF students like Malia Jackson who don't like the man. The say Jackson puts it, “I don’t like that energy he’s giving…I don’t like it.”
But, like it or not - Yiannopoulos may be coming to Cal State Fullerton because of an invitation from the school's Republican Club.
Ryan Hoskins, a member of the Republican Club is excited about the prospect of Yiannopoulos coming to his school. He says they are close to a deal and the club hopes to have an announcement in about a week.
Hoskins says they've already booked a room in the Titan Student Union Building that can old an audience of several hundred. He says they are working on ticket prices hoping they can keep each one at about $20.
On this day Milo made a live appearance on Good Day LA. He talked about his college tour and how he wants to promote free speech adding "the first amendment is under threat like never before.”
As for Milo's firebrand style Milo says, “I think Americans are a little sick of political correctness and niceness. Tiptoeing around has gone on too long and Americans voted in the last election for somebody who wasn’t typically nice. I think the discourse could use a little shaking up.”
But, while there are students like Nicholas Lui who would like to see Milo others like Susanna Guerrero worry about the possible chaos and protests. Chilisa Phiboolsilk says she wouldn't go to see him personally but, echoes Sabrina Martin's feeling that..."I’m not going to be 'oh no he shouldn’t be here because I don’t agree with him.'”
To make sure it is a positive experience and a safe one inside and outside, the student union building school officials are already making plans even though its not a done deal.
Jeff Cook with the University says "Outside the venue, we’ll be working with university police to make sure the facility itself remains safe...because of his experience with past speaking engagements the university, of course, has taken this seriously in terms of appropriate planning…keeping the campus community safe is of paramount importance."
Cook says, there would be safe zones for all sides including those who might want to protest - which brings us back to Milia Jackson who says she’d be in the protest zone.
That way, she says, "I get to practice my free speech too…don’t I, yeah!"
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