Texas A&M plans to hold an “Aggies United” event at the same time a white nationalist is scheduled to speak on campus next week, university President Michael K. Young announced Tuesday.
The school has emphasized that neither it nor any student group invited Richard Spencer to campus. Instead, a “private individual” organized the event and rented out meeting space in a room available to the public, Young said.
But while Spencer is scheduled to speak on the evening of Dec. 6, the Aggies United event will be held at Kyle Field from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“The Aggies United event will be an opportunity for those who want to add their name to a large wall expressing their commitment to unity to do so,” Young said in the statement Tuesday.
Spencer, a Dallas native who coined the term “alt-right,” has drawn headlines this month for his neo-Nazi rhetoric, including when he led a “Hail Trump!” chant and spoke in German at a white nationalist conference in Washington, D.C.
In a Washington Post story published last week, he said he planned to spread his message to college campuses, including Texas A&M and the University of Michigan.
“I think there’s going to be a huge crowd,” he told the newspaper. “The world is changing.”
Spencer’s comment prompted Texas A&M to release a statement last week, clarifying that no one at the school invited him to campus.
“In fact, our leadership finds his views as expressed to date in direct conflict with our core values,” the university said.
In Tuesday’s statement, Young said, “Students, faculty, staff, former students and members of the community expressed their outrage over the speaker's previously-expressed views and have roundly condemned everything for which he seems to stand. I strongly agree with those sentiments.”
Others have denounced Spencer this month, including his classmates at the St. Mark’s School in Dallas, where Spencer graduated in 1997.
Alums from that year organized a fundraiser last week for the International Rescue Committee, which helps resettle refugees in Dallas.
“We are politically heterogeneous but unite in considering these values under attack by our white supremacist classmate Richard B. Spencer '97,” their Crowdrise page said. “We repudiate Spencer and urge others to join us.”
“First of all, I don’t want to energize the group,” Trump said. “I’m not looking to energize them. I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group.”