Turning Point USA Penn State Hosts Controversial YouTubers

Story posted October 29, 2019 in News, CommRadio by Gillian Silbiger

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State received a lot of backlash from students last week for hosting controversial YouTubers.

The speakers discussed internet censorship and many other topics. The discussion was held in the Kern building on Wednesday.

Some Penn State students were very upset when Penn State’s Chapter of Turning Point USA revealed that two very controversial YouTubers would be speaking at Penn State.

One of the speakers, Carl Benjamin, who is known as Sargon of Akkad on YouTube, has had his videos taken down and has been banned from Twitter due to racist language and rape jokes.

The second speaker, Hunter Avallone, has also been banned from Twitter due to expressing anti-transgender opinions.

Sophie Stein, a junior studying english, explained why she took part in a protest against the speakers coming to Penn State.

“It’s not about conservative ideology, it’s about violence and protection of students and the fact that in student tuition, our student money goes through sponsoring these events,” Stein said. “I don’t feel comfortable with my money going to somebody who promotes violence, hate, xenophobia, racism and all of the above.”

Sean Semanko, President of Turning Point USA Penn State, defended the decision to allow Benjamin and Avallone to speak, stating that students should be exposed to different viewpoints.

Theresa Woolslager, a junior studying advertising, believes that hosting the speakers sheds a bad light on Penn State.

“I’m really surprised that Penn State is even offering these controversial people to host at our school because I feel like we are a really inclusive and diverse school,” Woolslager said. “I don’t agree with it.”

Regardless of the protests, Benjamin and Avallone spoke last Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Kern Building.


Gillian Silbiger is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email gbs5194@psu.edu.