UWM students say controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos targeted transgender woman during remarks

Posted at 7:32 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 20:54:48-05

MILWAUKEE -- A UW-Milwaukee student organization caused controversy on campus when it invited speaker Milo Yiannopoulos to the school.

Yiannopoulos is known for his extreme conservative views, but some students also described his rhetoric as hateful.

"At the end of the night I started watching the live stream that was posted," Elijah Walker said. "[My friends] and I watched that for about 15 minutes and got really upset."

Walker is referring to Yiannopoulos' Tuesday evening campus appearance, where a transgender student was targeted and called out by name.

"I think that [Adelaide's] been put in a really difficult position, and she's handling it the best that she can," Walker explained.

Chancellor Mark Mone responded to Tuesday night's rhetoric in an email to the campus community in which he said:

"I do not agree with Yiannopoulos' views, and I strongly condemn the belittling of others and their appearance."

But for Adelaide Kramer, and other students who feel sympathetic toward that fact she was targeted, Mone's response wasn't enough. 

"He finally addressed it, and so that's good," Walker said. "But... trans students on campus have been completely ignored and undeserved continually by the administration," he continued.

Kramer typed a seven-page email to Chancellor Mone and 500 other people in which she expressed her dissatisfaction with how the school handled the Yiannopoulus speech controversy. According to Kramer, she felt verbally attacked, and she also said the school knew this would happen.

"Don't act like you didn't know this would happen," Kramer said.

"You knew [it] would. I lost track of how many people pointed this out to you," she continued.

James Hill is Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Life, he agreed events like this one and others have created divisiveness on campus, but he's hopeful the school will find a way to band as a community and move past this instance of controversy.