KUNM

Conservative Speaker Cost UNMPD $16,000

Apr 20, 2017

Universities around the country are grappling with security risks and costs when student groups bring extremist speakers to town. Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos came to the University of New Mexico earlier this year, KUNM has been trying to find out how much security for the event cost. 

The UNM Police Department spent a hair under $16,000 to provide security at the Yiannopoulos speech in late January, according to UNMPD Lt. Tim Stump. In the interest of free speech, UNM waived a fee for the College Republicans to hold the event on campus.

But $16,000 is not the total security cost, since the Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico State Police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department were there, too, and they didn’t charge UNM. We’re looking into those totals. We had to file public records requests.

Shortly after he came to Albuquerque, Yiannopolous’ popularity tanked because video clips circulated where he talked about relationships between male adolescents and older men, and he resigned from his post at Breitbart, a website associated with the so-called "alt-right," a white nationalist movement.

The student government at UNM voted to give $10,000 to student groups bringing two more extreme conservatives speakers to the university this year. The Students For Socialism and Liberation is protesting these events and has plans to meet with the university president Monday to talk about it.