Candace Owens stops at NDSU for Live Free Tour; protestors oppose her presence

NDSU’s Turning Point USA student organization invites Owens to speak on campus

Students and other community members protesting outside the Oceti Sakowin Ballroom at NDSU.
Photo Courtesy | Hayden Austin

Turning Point USA at North Dakota State University hosted Candace Owens to speak at the Memorial Union on Monday. Students and other community members gathered outside of the building and in the hallways at 5:30 p.m. to protest the event, opposing Owens’s conservative discussions. Police were present at the event to monitor the shouts between the attendees and the protestors. 

Candace Owens is currently on her Live Free tour, with NDSU being one of her stops. The event was free and open to the public. The room where she spoke was filled, as people were turned down at the door.

Turning Point USA, a student organization, discusses and promotes free government and conservative values. They have around 40 active members who meet to discuss and debate certain issues. 

The organization decided to bring in Candace Owens to speak on conservative values, most of which Turning Point agrees with. “Candace, while she’s controversial, she is a very popular person among people that are conservative,” said Dylan Taves, a senior in computer engineering major and TPUSA Chapter President.

During the event, Owens spoke on issues such as puberty-blockers used by transgendered persons, toxic masculinity, abortion and climate change. For around 35 minutes, she took questions from the audience, many asking advice about how to navigate their conservatives beliefs in a liberal environment. 

Owens also spoke about how modern-day feminists are not fighting for equality anymore. “It’s not feminism because the early feminists envied men, they wanted to be like men, they wanted to be on equal footing with men, they didn’t hate men, these women hate men,” said Owens, “and they’re giving all of this pressure to women to do things that actually fight our natural biological instinct.”

She also discussed her stance on race and the Black Lives Matter movement. “They need to paint me as a monster and a person that hates my own race because I have higher expectations,” said Owens, “I never thought there was a more toxic narrative for black America than the George Floyd story and the lies surrounding it.”

During the event, the fire alarms went off; however, the attendees did not evacuate the building. Candace responded to the alarms by saying, “this is obviously just a protestor thing and we’re not going to stop because we have communists outside.” The alarms sounded for about 7 minutes during the question and answer portion of the event. 

Prior to the event, Landon Allex, the secretary of Turning Point, said “we’re expecting people to be opposed to it, that usually happens with political speakers.” 

Kianna Gould, a junior in women and gender studies and President of the Women’s Activist Organization at NDSU, protested outside of the union. “Candace Owens specifically, along with TPUSA, spreads so much hate and it really doesn’t have a home here,” said Gould. 

“She doesn’t believe in abortion care, which I believe is health care for women,” said Gould, and “as someone’s sign says, no matter what you believe, Candace Owens does not stand with you.” 

Protesters chanted outside the event and held signs; however, supporters also started chanting “USA,” in response to drown out the shouts. “There might be a large crowd of people that show up for this but there are people out here that aren’t hateful people,” said Gould. 

One of Owen’s main points was that the left is working to disrupt families. “The one thing that unites the left in its purpose in this society is the destruction of family.” She explained that one way that they are doing this is by promoting gender change, which she stated was a “cosmetic surgery.” 

Turning Point USA funded the event. “As a group on campus, we’re allowed to have events like these,” said Taves. Last year, Turning Point brought in three speakers that spoke on what it means to be unapologetically American. 

Prior to the event, Turning Point members expressed that people without conservative beliefs are welcome to attend the event as well. “We’re open to all sides, any views, it makes conversation,” said Elizabeth Frelich, a second-year in mechanical engineering and TPUSA Chapter Social Media Coordinator.

“Today, there is so much in our society where people don’t listen to each other and they just automatically assume that you’re an awful human being whether you’re on one side or the other,” said Taves. “If you don’t allow the discussion to happen, there will be no growth for anybody.”

Candace Owens says, for the future, she will continue to be on the outsides of politics playing offense. “I am having way too much fun on the outside right now, so I’m just gonna stay out here and fight the cultural battle, I think you can have more of an impact,” said Owens. 

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