LINCOLN, Neb. — A sophomore at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln has resumed recruiting for a conservative group after she says she was berated and intimidated last week by people on campus.
Kaitlyn Mullen of Colorado initially tried to recruit people Friday for the conservative group Turning Point USA, but she said she met resistance from several university faculty and graduate students.
She said a woman held a sign that said “Just Say No! to Neo-Fascism.” Police eventually escorted Mullen out when a situation with several women accusing her of advocating for white nationalism allegedly grew hostile.
The university released a statement Monday saying the school is “committed to free speech from all viewpoints” and that the campus should “be a place of civil discourse.”
University representatives “had an opportunity to model how differing opinions can be exchanged with civility, respect and dignity. It appears that opportunity was missed,” said Hank Bounds, president of the University of Nebraska system. “I’m deeply troubled that a student has been treated this way.”
Mullen resumed recruitment outside the Nebraska Union on Tuesday. She said she had more than 60 people sign up as of that morning.
Mullen said she likes Turning Point’s pro-capitalism, anti-big government message. She hopes to start a chapter at the university.
Turning Point is a group known in part for its professor “Watchlist,” made up mostly of professors the organization deems radically liberal. A photograph Mullen took from Friday shows faculty member Amanda Gailey near her table holding a sign that read “Turning Point: Please put me on your watchlist. Prof. Amanda Gailey.”
Gailey said all she did was make a sign.
“When I arrived at the plaza there were other protesters already there,” Gailey said. “I did not participate in or encourage chanting or comments, and my only interaction with the TPUSA representative was to express compassion for her as a person. Claims that I organized a protest, encouraged any kind of harassment of the TPUSA representative, or harassed her myself are false and defamatory.”