IS-GSA stands with the Transgender community: Statement

March 7, 2023

Dear IS-GSA Members,

The UB IS-GSA stands with the transgender community, let that be clear.

If you are not already aware, the UB chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom organization will be hosting the speaker Michael Knowles on March 9th. Michael Knowles is a political commentator known for his extremely hateful statements about transgender people, saying that “transgenderism isn’t true” and that “transgenderism must be eliminated.” The talk he will be giving is titled “How Radical Feminism Destroys Women (And Everything Else).” You can read more about the event and Michael Knowles here.

UB released a statement that while the values of this speaker go against the university’s views, they “must uphold the principles of the First Amendment and cannot disallow student groups from inviting controversial speakers to campus.” This is unacceptable, as this person’s ideologies and hateful speech can cause direct harm to the campus community and the campus’ values of “fostering a safe, welcoming environment at all times.” In addition, the event is supposedly in part paid for by the mandatory student fees which forces students to monetarily support this speaker and his harmful ideologies.

The UB IS-GSA stands with the transgender community and does not condone hate speech of any kind in our events, media, or other services. We demand that UB should put out a statement affirming trans and gender non-conforming students and supporting their right to exist in addition to canceling the event.

Students, we encourage you to reach out to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion either through their contact form (linked here) or by phone (716-645-2266) to let them know that it isn’t free speech to call for the eradication of groups of people, including those in the UB community.

I will be reaching out to the IS Department faculty to ask them to join in with the professors mentioned in the article and rescind the invitation for Michael Knowles to speak on campus.

Thank you for reading,

Ayiana Crabtree
IS-GSA President

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