Ben Shapiro speaks at college cam­puses across the country, and will hope­fully come to campus this spring. Wiki­media Commons | Courtesy


Student Fed­er­ation allo­cated $3,000 to Young Amer­icans for Freedom so the group can bring prominent con­ser­v­ative speaker Ben Shapiro to campus.

Shapiro is known for his no-non­sense attitude and has made head­lines for speaking at liberal-leaning col­leges.

“Ben Shapiro is a staunch defender of freedom, justice and pursuit of truth – every­thing Hillsdale stands for,” YAF pres­ident and junior Luke Bar­brick said. “His big goal is to teach the next gen­er­ation of Amer­icans the founding prin­ciples of America. That’s what YAF is here for, that’s what Hillsdale is here for, so we share a common mission.”

The YAF chapter on campus has worked to bring Shapiro to campus for about a year now, and hopes to bring him in next semester. The club came to the fed­er­ation for financial assis­tance with Shapiro’s speaking cost, about $20,000. Through fundraising, YAF was able to raise $1,000. Due to the club’s high activity and success on campus, the YAF national orga­ni­zation gave the chapter $10,000, an unusually high amount to give.  

The club asked for $7,500 from the fed­er­ation, with hopes that this would leave only a small gap for the club to fill through fundraising. The finance com­mittee of the fed­er­ation only approved $3,000 at the meeting.

The fed­er­ation was hes­itant to give such a large amount since future requests down the line also required due con­sid­er­ation. The finance com­mittee already has three more pro­posals they will discuss in their next meeting.

Bar­brick and YAF are still devoted to moving forward with this event.

“We’re planning to go back to the fed at some point, hope­fully this year, and see if we can get some more,” Bar­brick said. “We have some plans right now. The stu­dents have started writing letters asking for dona­tions and someone is setting up the GoFundMe page. My goal is before we meet with the Student Fed the next time that we can have some­thing to show.”

Although the fed­er­ation has had a bud­getary surplus in the last few years, upgrades and gen­erous dis­burse­ments toward campus improve­ments have required the fed­er­ation to become more fis­cally respon­sible. Until now, the fed­er­ation has been spending while the budget has been at a deficit.

Fed­er­ation Trea­surer junior Ross Hatley pro­vided some clarity on why the fed­er­ation was unable to give the requested amount and how that may be due to the timing of the pro­posal.   

“The YAF pro­posal is ill-timed for two reasons: it’s coming at a point where we are now con­scious that we do have a budget and we’re seeking to max­imize the ben­efits that that budget can bring across a variety of campus orga­ni­za­tions. We’ve been very good, and campus orga­ni­za­tions have been very good about making them­selves more finan­cially respon­sible,” Hatley said. “We no longer have that brief moment of ‘let’s spend whatever we want.’”

The fed­er­ation has only about $5,000 of security, according to Hatley, and this comes along with a new method of spending for the fed­er­ation.

“The second reason we’re in this position is that the fed­er­ation has been trans­ferring the way that it does accounting,” Hatley said. “It essen­tially means we pay our expenses up front and we get our income on a semes­terly basis. So that means in this fall semester we are in a one-time cash pinch. Once we get past this tran­sition and we rebuild our cash cushion with our suc­cessive layers of income, we’ll be able to operate nor­mally.”

As of right now, the numbers for the student fed­er­ation budget are the smallest they have been in a decade.

However, this does not mean YAF cannot return to the fed­er­ation and ask for more.  

Delta Tau Delta rep­re­sen­tative and finance com­mittee case officer junior Adam Cieply expressed the oppor­tunity for recon­sid­er­ation.

“We told them: ‘Come in at the end of the semester, after every­thing has come through,’” Cieply said. “Maybe we can make the dif­ference that we didn’t give this semester.”

Regardless of the next student federation’s inter­action with YAF, the current student fed­er­ation hopes its assis­tance will help YAF bring Shapiro to campus.

“The $3,000 was a vote of con­fi­dence that YAF will make this work because they’re ded­i­cated to bringing Ben Shapiro and they are ded­i­cated to for­warding freedom on this campus,” Hatley said.

YAF’s request was not the only one granted, however.

Both the Anime club and the Fed­er­alist Society asked for full club status approval. The new club approval process usually takes about two semesters. The club first gains tem­porary status for one semester from the fed­er­ation and then presents again for full approval the second semester.

Fed­er­alist Society Pres­ident senior Jacob Weaver spoke on behalf of the club at the meeting. Weaver described the many ben­efits the club brings to campus, such as LSAT prep, dis­cus­sions on law topics, and assis­tance on law school appli­ca­tions. The club has about 113 members, with 130 people on their email list.

The second club up requesting full club status was Anime Club. The club meets once a week to discuss and watch anime and con­sists of around six con­sistent members.

Both clubs received unan­imous approval for full club status.

The fed­er­ation also passed five amend­ments, which seek to clarify the standard oper­ating pro­ce­dures and bylaws, would allow nonof­ficial clubs to receive Student Fed money, and allow the federation’s Trea­surer to view club’s account bal­ances.