White supremacist organization requesting space for speaker at MSU, Simon releases statement
The National Policy Institute, an organization headed by white supremacist Richard Spencer, has contacted MSU and intends to rent space for a speaker on campus, a statement released Wednesday afternoon by President Lou Anna K. Simon stated.
Simon wrote MSU is not aware of a connection with any MSU-related group or individuals, but said connection isn't required to rent publicly available space.
No decision has been made and the request is being reviewed in light of the "deplorable violence" in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, according to the statement.
"Michigan State takes seriously its obligations to accommodate a broad range of speech," Simon's statement read. "As our record shows, this university does not determine who can access public spaces based on what they think or say."
The University of Florida declined a request by the National Policy Institute to rent space for an appearance by Spencer early Wednesday, citing safety concerns following the events in Charlottesville.
"The diversity they shun is a source of our strength, like America itself, and every day some 65,000 students, faculty and MSU staff — and half a million alumni — are the living proof," Simon's statement read. "So we will not be intimidated, nor stoop to reciprocate hate...
"We stand with our colleagues across the country for the best of humanity, and our resolve is implacable. Spartans Will."
Read Simon's full statement here.