DETROIT — Michigan State University has denied a request to rent space to a group headed by white nationalist Richard Spencer.
The university said in a statement Thursday that the decision was made “due to significant concerns about public safety.” It cites last weekend’s “tragic violence” in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Michigan State officials say they support “freedom of expression” but their “first obligation” is to safety and security on campus.
Spencer calls the decision “obvious censorship.” He says “there’s a clear legal precedent” for him to speak.
The University of Florida also denied a request by Spencer’s National Policy Institute to rent space for a September event.
Spencer has popularized the term “alt-right” to describe a fringe movement that’s a mix of white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration beliefs.