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White nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at the University of Cincinnati during spring break

White nationalist Richard Spencer to speak at the University of Cincinnati during spring break
Posted at 1:19 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 15:38:34-05

CINCINNATI -- White nationalist Richard Spencer has agreed to speak at the University of Cincinnati on March 14, 2018, at Zimmer Hall, according to Michigan attorney Kyle Bristow.

The date falls squarely within UC's scheduled spring break. A specific time for Spencer's hourlong speech and an hourlong Q-and-A session has not yet been set, but it would fall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. that Wednesday, according to a letter from the university's attorney. 

"In order for the university to meet its educational obligations, safety and logistical considerations require that the time of the event occur outside of our academic session," wrote Lori Ross, UC general counsel, in a letter to Bristow dated Nov. 30.

In that letter, the university offered Spencer a two-hour window on his choice of one of three days: March 13, 14 or 15. The letter also notes that the Kingsgate Conference Center was considered, but Marriott rejected the event.

Gregory J. Vehr, UC's Vice President of Government Relations and University Communications, would not comment on the March 14 date, but said the university is still in discussion with Spencer's lawyer and does not yet have a signed agreement. 

"We will release the specifics when the contract is signed and approved by both parties," Vehr said.

Letter Dated Nov 30 2017 from UC to Kyle Bristow by WCPO Web Team on Scribd

Ohio State - Cameron Padgett Lawsuit by WCPO Web Team on Scribd

Bristow represents Cameron Padgett, a senior at Georgia State University who has been attempting to rent publicly available rooms on college campuses for Spencer, 38, to present his "alt-right" political philosophy. Bristow threatened a lawsuit against UC should it refuse to allow Spencer to speak on campus.

Padgett is currently suing Ohio State, Michigan State and Pennsylvania State universities for all declining to allow Spencer to speak. He successfully sued Auburn University and settled for nearly $30,000 this spring.

UC has created a special website just for answering the public's questions about Spencer's appearance in Cincinnati.

In October, the UC board of trustees condemned hate while defending its decision to allow Spencer on campus. In a statement, the board recognized the fundamental role of free speech in public universities, saying they should be “the marketplace of ideas.”

The board also denounced prejudice and racism, saying, “Hate has no place on our campus or in our world.”

"To be clear, Richard Spencer was not invited to speak by anyone at the University of Cincinnati," said UC President Neville Pinto. "This request to speak is provoking fear and unease for our community, especially those who are direct targets of his hate, prejudice and racism."