Young Dems stand in solidarity with UW students protesting Prager

All Wyomingites should be able to lead happy, successful lives. By ensuring every generation has access to a quality education, we give our youth the tools to drive our economy forward. Wyoming is strongest when our workers are trained with the knowledge and ingenuity to perform at the highest levels. The Young Democrats of Wyoming believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach for that horizon and fulfill the American Dream.

That’s why we’re disappointed with the ASUW Student Government and University of Wyoming’s decision to partner with the Wyoming GOP, College Republicans, Turning Point USA, and PragerU to use student fee dollars for a speaker known for his divisive—often violent—rhetoric against women, LGBTQ people, people of faith, and working families. As Wyomingites, we pride ourselves on bucking trends and defining our own future, yet UW is following a disturbing national effort by conservatives to target universities in an attempt to turn us against our neighbors. We’re better than that.

We are committed to ensuring every student—no matter their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability—is treated with respect and fairness. This means spending student fee and University dollars wisely. It means ensuring students have health care, stable housing, and communities free of violence. It means enriching programming on civic engagement while speaking out against bigotry and other forms of intolerance permeating our political discourse. While freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental constitutional right, we must condemn any speech that creates a fertile climate for violence.

We, the Young Democrats of Wyoming, stand in solidarity with the UW students protesting this event. We know too well what it means to be silenced and shut out of the process. We have repeatedly tried to plan events at UW, only to be rebuffed by the administration in the name of non-partisanship. So, we ask: How can the Wyoming GOP sponsor this event without the same requirement? This double standard and right-wing partnership are symptoms of a system that needs fixing. We ask students across Wyoming to join us. We can’t do this without you.

Carrie Murthy