Within the gallery of college campuses left fervent in Milo Yiannopoulos’ wake, at-risk undocumented students have found themselves especially spotlighted by the threat of the provocateur’s anti-undocumented message.
With Yiannopoulos’ potential Cal State Fullerton appearance slated for Oct. 31, and the situation facing the 1,024 undocumented students at CSUF increasing in peril, some students are left paralyzed by the notion that Yiannopoulos will turn that spotlight on them.
“By outing these students, their lives are at risk,” said Students for Quality Education member Rebecca Hesgard. “They get threats. They get attacked. They are targeted at their campuses, so the threat to DACA students is very real and very immense.”
During his Jan. 27 visit to the University of New Mexico, Yiannopoulos splashed the Immigration Customs Enforcement hotline onto a big screen for the audience’s viewing, encouraging them to call the number if they suspected anyone of being an “illegal alien.”
In a letter to the Berkeley College Republicans club, the Berkeley Office of Student Affairs detailed Yiannopoulos’ intentions to out undocumented students at his cancelled Feb. 1 speech.
“There are concerns that (Yiannopoulos) will be employing the strategies of using pictures and personal information of Cal students during his speech,” the letter read. “Which, as you know, is simultaneously being livestreamed therefore making these images widely available and subsequently putting students at risk.”
To Hesgard, the possibility of Yiannopoulos reattempting these strategies at CSUF is “not hypothetical.”
“Milo poses a very real, tangible threat to vulnerable students in these communities because he has a history of outing them,” Hesgard said.
Regarding Yiannopoulos’ past incitements, Student Life and Leadership Director Vincent Vigil said student safety is the focus.
“There have already been discussions in terms of what should we be doing to make certain that the event happens, but that everyone on our campus is safe,” Vigil said.
In a Wednesday Instagram post, SQE’s official account accused the CSUF administration of urging student organizations to “stay away from collective events for they will only recreate the events of Charlottesville.”
Vigil refused to directly respond to the accusation.
“My office is reaching out to all the Inter-Club Councils to talk to them about free speech,” Vigil said.