Charlie Kirk Invites UNLV Students to Prove Him Wrong

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Student debates Charlie Kirk on the values and international relations of China. (Abbie Millman/ Scarlet & Gray Free Press)

On March 21, from noon to 3 p.m., Charlie Kirk, political figure and founder of the organization Turning Point USA, tabled at UNLV’s Free Speech walkway inviting students and campus community to debate him or ask questions about political and ideological topics.

The event was set up by UNLV’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a nonprofit organization advocating for free speech, free markets, constitutional rights, limited government and more on high school and university campuses.

With Kirk often known to be a controversial Conservative-leaning figure, the event brought a wave of student engagement and presence on campus not often seen for those three hours.

“We’ve actually never had Charlie Kirk on campus at UNLV, so this was a huge deal that we were able to bring him. I think in light of everything that’s occurred in the past semester and the past few months, it’s important that he came on campus,” said Aubrey Bucher, president of UNLV’s chapter of Turning Point USA.

Over the three hours, Charlie Kirk debated and conversed with students over a wide array of topics including religion, international relations, campus safety, college choice, legalization of marijuana, transgenderism and more.

Bucher added, “I know a lot of students had questions about specifically campus safety, current events going on in the world, so I think it was important to give students the opportunity to express their views but also ask questions to clarify or to learn more about the topics as well.”

While a handful of students that disagreed with Kirk walked up to the table and used the microphone provided to have their conversation, there were also some people disagreeing who stood to the side heckling Kirk.

One man in particular walked around calling out to students that Kirk is a “Nazi anti-semitic fascist,” and urged “You brown kids, these people would like to see you exterminated and burned.”

Alternatively, large groups of students also showed support for Kirk and the event by nodding along, clapping and cheering on points Charlie made.

One aspect of the event was Kirk urging students to think critically. To a student he debated about the necessity of attending college, Kirk asked, “Why do half of these kids end up with anywhere between 50 to 100 thousand dollars in debt and they end up getting a job that says ‘Oh, sorry, you never needed a degree in the first place?’”

Kirk then suggested that students read the book he wrote on the subject, titled “The College Scam: How America’s Universities are Brainwashing America Away the Future of America’s Youth.”

Throughout the event, Kirk’s table was surrounded by security ensuring the safety of the speaker. While there were people who disapproved of Kirk being on UNLV’s campus, none took any sort of violent or physical action.

Bucher thought, “It was very successful. We did change locations; we were supposed to be in the Student Union Courtyard, but we ended up moving to Free Speech. I’m gonna assume there were over 100 or 200 students out here. We had community members as well, we had people that disagreed, people that agreed, a lot of questions being asked so that was a huge success. We got a lot of community engagement.”

UNLV’s Turning Point USA tries to get one large speaker every semester, so they are currently in the works of getting some different speakers to come on campus in the fall semester as well.

UNLV’s Turning Point USA currently holds meetings twice a month on Wednesday nights at 5:30 on campus, usually in the Student Union or the Recreational Wellness Center. They can be found on Instagram at @unlv.tpusa.

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