Murray waived speaker fee for upcoming talk

By JAMES FINN

Charles Murray will not receive financial compensation for his upcoming talk at Middlebury. Lodging and transportation fees for the visit will be covered by The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank where Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar.

Murray is scheduled to speak at Middlebury on March 31 in a talk sponsored by both the Middlebury College Republicans and the Open Campus Initiative (OCI). In a phone interview with The Campus, Murray confirmed that the AEI will cover transportation and lodging costs. He said he agreed to waive payment for the talk because the College Republicans’ budget would not have been sufficient to cover that cost.

However, student organizations are not allowed to fund speaking engagements through their Student Government Association-approved budgets, per the student organization handbook. MCAB President Zeke Hodkin said that at no point did a member of the College Republicans or the OCI reach out to the MCAB Speakers Committee to request funding for the talk, as is standard protocol for any club seeking to find funding for a speaking engagement. 

Murray said he was willing to waive a speaker fee because he felt it was important that he return to Middlebury after the reaction to his 2017 talk. 

“I was willing to do that because I thought it was an important statement to come back,” Murray said. He said he and the College Republicans had not yet decided on the topic of the talk, but that discussing his new book “Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class” would “sort of make sense.”

Murray’s visit will, however, incur additional security fees. The Campus previously reported that the college has hired extra security for the event.

Neither a spokesperson from the Department of Public Safety nor the AEI could be reached for comment before publication.

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