The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI YAF Chair Jasmyn Jordan testifies before U.S. House Judiciary Committee

The hearing focused on antisemitism on college campuses in wake of the Israel-Hamas war.
Theodore Retsinas
Young Americans for Freedom Chairwoman Jasmyn Jordan opens lecture during a Young Americans for Freedom hosted event about Chloe Cole, an activist, in the Iowa Memorial Union’s Blackbox Theather in lowa City on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. Pro-Transgender activists protested outside the IMU and later blocked the North Madison Street and West Jefferson Street intersection. The protest concluded with protests in front of University of lowa president Barbara Wilson’s residence on Church St.

University of Iowa third-year student and Young Americans for Freedom at Iowa Chairwoman Jasymn Jordan testified Wednesday at a U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing investigating free speech on college campuses.

The hearing, mixed with pleas for a cease-fire of the Israel-Hamas war by protestors among the crowd in the House committee chamber, was focused on antisemitism on college campuses. 

Jordan and recent University of Buffalo graduate Connor Ogrydziak added their experience with disruptive protests and a lack of support from university officials when bringing controversial speakers to campus. 

The hearing comes on the heels of a massive protest of at least 10,000 people in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and more protests worldwide calling for a cease-fire in Gaza, including a protest in Iowa City attended by over 100 Iowa City residents. 

Jordan’s testimony focused on her experience facing opposition to speakers invited to campus by the Young Americans for Freedom at Iowa, or YAF, which she currently chairs. 

Jordan, who also chaired the conservative student organization last year, hosted Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator famous for his anti-transgender views, in April in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge

Student opposition to the event was vast. Before the lecture, students allegedly vandalized YAF’s advertisements, including paper signs and chalk promoting the event. Over 20,000 marbles were also spilled down the stairs of the IMU but were quickly cleared by university employees. 

Protestors blocked the streets outside the Matt Walsh lecture for hours following the lecture in April. 

“I share these occurrences with you all to show that despite repeatedly meeting with the university administration, the rules are continually permitted to be broken by left-leaning students,” she said with tears in her eyes. 

A 2022 campus climate survey conducted by the UI’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion found that 91 percent of students feel that faculty encourage diverse viewpoints. 

Jordan also said she feels conservatives have to censor their views on campus to prevent receiving a bad grade, threats, intimidation, and doxing. 

“I went to college with the expectation that I would hear different points of view because I thought it’d be a place where young people could come together, disagree, and still be friendly and courteous to one another,” Jordan said. “However, after two years, I’ve realized that this is not the case at all and that students who hold opposing views are often subjected to frequent violent threats and other forms of harassment with no accountability.” 

In an email to The Daily Iowan following a protest at YAF’s Chloe Cole lecture, UI Public Relations Specialist Chris Brewer said the UI works with student groups that plan counter-demonstrations to ensure they comply with local, state, and federal law in addition to the conduct Code of Student Life. 

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About the Contributors
Liam Halawith, Senior Politics and News Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Political Science. Before his role as Senior Politics and News Editor, Liam was the Politics Editor and a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.
Theodore Retsinas, Photojournalist
Theodore Retsinas is a freshman at the University of Iowa studying Neuroscience.