Caleb Slater, President of IC Republicans, scheduled a discussion panel on First Amendment rights for Feb. 8, 2018 in Emerson Suites. The panel will include Dave Rubin, host of The Rubin Report, Cabot Phillips, media director for Campus Reform, and Angela Rulffes, coordinator of Ithaca College’s pre-law program.

Slater said the three panelists will provide well-rounded discussion on the issue of free speech—Rubin as a member of the media, Phillips as a campus activist and Rulffes as a First Amendment legal scholar.

Since the beginning of the fall semester, Slater has been working to raise the $10,000 for Rubin’s appearance by appealing to the Student Governance Council and Park School of Communications. However, Slater said he could not disclose how much each funding source contributed.

Following a controversial visit from Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, the conservative student group was looking for someone less controversial to speak on campus said Elaina White, IC Republicans treasurer. Additionally, Slater said Rubin’s commitment to First Amendment rights complemented Pratt’s knowledge of Second Amendment rights.

“The First Amendment gives us the ability to even talk about the second amendment,” Slater said.

In anticipation of possible protesters disrupting the Feb. 8 event, Slater will preface the evening with the Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order, the campus code of conduct prohibiting anyone in attendance from disrupting the panel.

“The idea is to let everyone know if you’re rude or you’re shouting, then you’re actually violating campus policy,” Slater said.

Leaving the Left

Rubin found his political voice in 2016 as a classical liberal when he moved The Rubin Report to YouTube, where it continues to run on advertisements and viewer donations. Previously, it was produced by The Young Turks Network, a proponent of the left-wing politics Rubin would go on to criticize.

“As much as I don’t like to admit it, defending my liberal values has suddenly become a conservative position.”

On The Rubin Report, he has included a wide range of politically minded guests, from those associated with the alt-right like Stefan Molyneux to feminist YouTuber Laci Green. A growing focal point of his discussions is a criticism of the “regressive left,” which he believes stifle free expression and is compounded by group think.

“The portion of the left that is no longer progressive, that is, for progress, has clearly been identified and now we’re clearly bringing people back to the side of reason,” Rubin editorialized in The Rubin Report’s video “The Left is No Longer Liberal.”

Rubin is among the most charismatic personalities of civil libertarians on the blogosphere who criticize identity politics and “political correctness” of the modern political Left. He isn’t interested in trolling like ex-Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, and isn’t as confrontational as The Daily Wire editor Ben Shapiro. However, his criticism of contemporary left-wing politics doesn’t pull any punches.

In a video called “Why I Left the Left,” for PragerU, a conservative media organization, the former TYT collaborator criticized student activism against controversial speakers and censoring politically incorrect speech as examples of the regressive left at work.

“As much as I don’t like to admit it, defending my liberal values has suddenly become a conservative position,” he said in the video.