Full house for controversial speaker at ECU

Published: Mar. 23, 2017 at 5:51 AM EDT
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Students at one campus here in the east were able to hear from a conservative voice who has gone viral on several occasions with her thoughts on hot button issues.

Tomi Lahren spoke at 7:00 in the Hendrix Theater at Mendenhall Student Center.

Lahren, who claims she was fired from conservative talk show host Glenn Beck's television channel The Blaze, got attention last month when during an appearance on The View, said that she was pro-choice.

We spoke with Lahren at ECU's campus ahead of her speech about the backlash caused by her visit.

"Those that want to silence speech they don't like, that's just so counter-productive, especially when we're in an environment on a college campus," she says. "I want this to be a learning experience. There are probably going to be people in the audience today who probably hate my guts, and that is o.k., I'm glad that they're going to be here. I hope they'll take a minute to listen, because I'm not on the attack tonight, I'm really not. My message is we need to talk with each other, we need to have conversations, we need to make sure to separate the person from their political opinion."

Lahren says that she believes those in attendance that disagree with her may be surprised by some of her thoughts.

Media is not allowed at the event.

Erik Kneubuehl, the associate vice chancellor for student involvement and leadership, says, "Contracts for speakers do not allow for recordings which is why we asked to have the media availability. Not having media in some events is not unusual at ECU especially for events in Hendrix because it's a smaller venue. We did tickets because the venue is small. Our larger venue, Wright was already booked for this date."

Previous Story

A controversial speaker is coming to East Carolina University Monday and will speak before a sold out crowd.

The student group Turning Point USA at ECU says all the tickets for the free event featuring Tomi Lahren have been claimed. Lahren is speaking at Hendrix Theatre at 7 p.m.

At the time Lahren's visit was announced, she was working for The Blaze. Earlier this month, Lahren filed a lawsuit against The Blaze and Glenn Beck for wrongful termination. Lahren was ousted from her program after she said she was in favor of abortion rights while appearing on ABC's "The View" on March 17.

Some at ECU say they will protest Lahren's appearance on campus.

Previous Story

A student group is responding to backlash over an upcoming speaker coming to campus.

Turning Point USA announced Tomi Lahren is speaking on campus on April 17th in Mendenhall Hendrix Theatre.

She's a 24 year old conservative political commentator who currently works for "The Blaze."

Turning Point USA at ECU released a statement on their Facebook page Wednesday night, referencing comments and concerns about Lahren's upcoming event, saying, "We understand that many community members disagree with the views of our speaker..." it goes on to say, "we believe in the concepts of free speech, tolerance, and diversity of thought."

Tickets for this event are available at the ECU Central Ticket Office and are free for students, faculty and staff with the presentation of a valid ECU One Card.

Doors for the event will open at 6 p.m. with the actual event starting at 6:30 p.m. and will be premier passport event, though seating will be limited.