In the four weeks since students at Middlebury College shouted down a speech by Charles Murray, many have debated what the incident says about the state of free speech in academe. Murray has since given talks at Duke and Columbia Universities that were not disrupted.
On Thursday, he spoke at Villanova University, and three who attended disrupted the beginning of the talk, speaking over him and asking such questions as why a white supremacist should be allowed to appear at Villanova. But, unlike at Middlebury, where a much larger group disrupted, security officers from the university intervened and in about 10 minutes escorted the three people outside of the room where Murray was talking. He then went on with his talk, before more than 100 people, and took questions.
Murray indicated that he would not object to silent protests during his speech. And during his talk, after the three protesters were escorted out, a few attendees stood at the front of the room holding signs criticial of Murray. The university did not intervene in the silent protest.
Villanova officials said that they did not arrest anyone, and that it was unclear whether those removed from the talk would be charged with violating Villanova rules. The university bars protests that prevent a talk from taking place.