White nationalist group requests speaking space at Michigan State University

Posted at 6:48 AM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 08:46:09-04

Michigan State University administrators are reviewing a request by the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group, to rent space for a speaker on campus. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon says the University is looking at the request in light of last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

MSU spokesman Jason Cody tells us the request came in a couple weeks ago. The NPI is looking for a date in mid-September and did not ask for any specific space.

The National Policy Institute describes itself as, "An independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world."

In a statement posted online Wednesday, President Simon says the NPI and similar groups stage campus events that are, "Intended to provoke reaction that might seem to justify organizers’ racist and divisive messages, which we categorically reject."

She says Michigan State is obligated to, "Accommodate a broad range of speech," and doesn't make decisions on access based on the message. She also says granting access would not be an endorsement of the NPI's message.

We will be tracking this story and will have updates when Michigan State makes a decision or if the National Policy Institute released more information about its request.