For universities, the new academic year has nearly arrived. If it’s anything like last year, controversial speakers will be a consistent challenge for administrators and students alike.

More often than not, the speakers that generate the most controversy are those labeled right-wing reactionaries by their critics. Last fall, Richard Spencer, a white nationalist, launched a speaking tour to recruit college students to the alt-right, a loose group of white supremacists and online agitators. His speech at Texas A&M University at College Station saw protest become physical, a turn that would become common throughout the coming months.