A speech by controversial conservative pundit Ann Coulter at Cornell University, her alma mater, was interrupted by student protesters on Wednesday, according to a video of the event, posted to YouTube by an attendee.
Coulter was speaking at an event hosted by Cornell’s chapter of Leadership Institute, a nonprofit organization that trains conservative organizers and leaders, and Network of Enlightened Women, an organization for conservative women. The event was interrupted by protesters and hecklers several times, with one individual loudly playing “Entrance of the Gladiators,” a late-19th-century military march often associated with circuses and clowns, as Coulter stepped up to the podium to speak.
That individual and a handful of other disrupters were asked to leave or escorted out, according to another video of the event, posted by Zach Winn, the recently defeated Republican candidate for mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., where Cornell is located.
Winn also tweeted that Coulter “became annoyed and left the venue in approximately 20 minutes.”
Some members of the Cornell community pushed back against the event in the days leading up to it. Two students published an opinion piece in the university’s newspaper criticizing Cornell’s decision not to bar Coulter from speaking on campus. Before the event, one of the hosts encouraged students to listen to her speak even if they disagreed. Coulter herself chastised the hecklers during her speech, noting that she had previously been shouted down at other elite universities, but never before at Cornell.