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Monday, May 27, 2024

Ben Shapiro won’t back down and neither will we

Opinions generic
Opinions generic

Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Florida is proud to host Ben Shapiro this Fall on campus. As the voice for many young conservatives at our school, we are excited for the opportunity to host someone who has had a major impact on our country and society. 

As chapter president, I am beyond proud of all the hard work the members and officers of YAF have done to make this event possible. 

I became involved in YAF when I was in high school after watching Ben Shapiro’s videos on YouTube with my grandfather. My story is not unique. Many young conservatives were motivated to join organizations like YAF because of commentators like Shapiro. Not only is this an opportunity to hear from one of the best political voices in the nation, it is a chance to meet the person who inspired many to stand up for what they believe. 

Ben Shapiro is a conservative commentator, lawyer and editor emeritus of the Daily Wire. His views are not scary, intimidating or dangerous. He simply holds conservative beliefs like promoting individual liberty, a strong national defense and traditional values. 

It is no surprise the announcement of Ben Shapiro’s impending visit to the University of Florida was met with lots of whining, hate comments and hundreds of fake ticket reservations. 

As college students, we are entering a time of our lives that encourages us to learn more about ourselves and form opinions of the world around us. This includes engaging in meaningful civil discourse, which is the prime objective of this event. Ben Shapiro, with his quick wit, devotion to facts and logic, is ready and willing to take on any questions that come his way. We encourage you to ask them. 

The First Amendment protects our rights to freedom of speech. Our founders deliberately included freedom of speech at the top of the list of rights protected in the Constitution. The ability to assemble and participate in public discourse is the foundation of our republic and is an integral part of American society. 

Open debate can and should be encouraged. Not only does it challenge your own personal perspectives, but it opens the door for an opportunity to learn. As students of one of the top public universities in the nation, I encourage you to challenge your views and be open to learning about new ones. 

Instead, many will complain online or even attempt to shut this event down. To that we say, we won’t back down. 

Ben Shapiro will be speaking live at UF Oct. 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Curtis M. Phillips Performing Arts Center. Shaprio will take audience questions live. There is no cost to attend this event. No posters, bags or signs will be allowed into the event. No party poppers, noise makers, balloons or other objects that make loud sounds. 

This event is hosted by Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Florida in partnership with Young America’s Foundation. 

You can find out more information about Young Americans for Freedom at the University of Florida on our Instagram @ufyaf and our Twitter @ufloridayaf. You can find more information about our conferences and events at

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Caitlyn McCoy is a UF political science senior at the University of Florida. 

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