As Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance at Cal State Fullerton draws near, the CSUF Academic Senate unanimously voted to pass a resolution against the practice of trolling Thursday.
“Trolling is an attempt to intimidate and to silence – with fear and threats – the people that you are targeting,” said senator and human communications professor Jon Bruschke, Ph.D.
The resolution was originally written and presented by Bruschke as a direct response to Yiannopoulos’ appearance at CSUF Oct. 31.
Yiannopoulos’ appearance at CSUF is part of his “Troll Academy” tour.
“We have every reason to expect that the speaker is going to target our students, our staff and our faculty,” Bruschke said.
The resolution initially supported its condemnation of trolling by listing acts Yiannopoulos has carried out himself, like harassing women in the media industry and convincing his followers to harass religious and ethnic minorities, as well as those in the LGBTQ community.
“We will have dialogue, but we will not let you attack and destroy the people on our campus,” Bruschke said.
While Senator Merri Lynn Casem supported the resolution, she requested that the list of Yiannopoulos’ trolling acts be removed from the text of the resolution.
“I’m concerned that lines 11-25, are perpetuating the insults that have been paid to these people,” Casem said. “Why are we promoting this guy?”
Senator Matthew Jarvis suggested that giving out the names of individuals who have been trolled by Yiannopoulos in the past would give the provocateur’s followers reason to troll them again.
“We write resolutions about ideas, not people, unless they’re commendations. I strongly feel like adding this makes it about Milo, and I’m against trolling period,” said Senator Sean Walker.
The senate voted unanimously to amend the resolution by removing all references to Yiannopoulos. After it was amended, there was a unanimous vote to pass the resolution.
“Trolling, as defined in this resolution, we should all condemn,” said Interim Provost Anil Puri.
Following the approval of the resolution, the Academic Senate resolved to distribute it to the California State University Chancellor’s Office, CSUF President Mildred García, the statewide Academic Senate, the California Faculty Association and department chairs at CSUF.