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Michael Knowles event is free speech

Claudia Fury, a sophomore and chair of the Washburn University College Republicans, introduces Michael Knowles ahead of his speech titled "Banning Transgenderism" on Thursday evening in the university's Memorial Union auditorium.

Ahead of a speech hosted by the Washburn University College Republicans titled “Banning Transgenderism,” the organization’s chair says the lecture is meant mostly to bring a different perspective to the campus in a demonstration of free speech.

Additionally, Claudia Fury said the university attempted to stonewall the group’s efforts to bring Michael Knowles, a controversial conservative commentator, to campus.

Knowles’ planned speech, “Banning Transgenderism,” has sparked outrage across the Washburn University community, especially as the event coincides with International Transgender Day of Visibility.

But Fury, a sophomore from Wichita, said the event isn’t meant to target any individual or group but is instead about free speech, which the university has tried to block, she claimed.

“Our goal is to promote free speech and to provide a new perspective, because our perspective as College Republicans is underrepresented on campus, which is why we decided to do this in the first place,” Fury said.