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Bristol Palin will not speak at Washington University; SHAC says decision mutual

Students pack Wednesday night's Student Union Senate meeting to speak out against Bristol Palin's selection as the keynote speaker for Sexual Responsibility Week. Following student dissent, Palin and SU mutually decided that Palin would not speak on campus.Matt Mitgang | Student Life

Students pack Wednesday night's Student Union Senate meeting to speak out against Bristol Palin's selection as the keynote speaker for Sexual Responsibility Week. Following student dissent, Palin and SU mutually decided that Palin would not speak on campus.

The proposed speaker that had Washington University students in an uproar for nearly two days is no longer scheduled to appear on campus.

Bristol Palin, 20, was expected to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Sexual Responsibility Week. But her $20,000 price tag led students to contest Student Union Treasury’s funding decision, arguing that she is unqualified to speak about the subject of abstinence on a college campus.

Palin, the daughter of 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, had a child when she was 18 and is now an ambassador to The Candie’s Foundation—a foundation that encourages abstinence as a way to prevent pregnancy among teenage girls.

Kathryn Plax, a pediatrician and the director of the Adolescent Center at the medical school is slated to take Palin’s place in the panel discussion on sexual abstinence. Hosted by the Student Health Advisory Committee, the panel discussion will still be in Graham Chapel on Feb. 7.

The four-person panel also includes representatives from the Catholic Student Center, Planned Parenthood and Student Health Services.

Scott Elman, president of SHAC, said that both SHAC and Palin agreed that the controversy surrounding her appearance would overshadow the event’s intended message of sexual responsibility. Palin had never signed a contract committing to her appearance.

“The decision was 100 percent mutual,” Elman said. “SHAC stands by our decision to extend an invitation to Bristol, but we understand that a lot of our original intentions for discussing abstinence on campus, as well as sexual responsibility, were going to be lost.”

Elman originally said that SHAC invited Palin because they thought a big name would spark discussion on campus. The group also wanted to address abstinence, a position that has scarcely been addressed in past Sex Weeks.

On Tuesday evening, Treasury voted to approve SHAC’s $20,000 appeal to bring in Palin and the three other members of the panel.

According to SU VP of Finance Eliot Walker, SHAC will now have to return the $20,000 and resubmit an appeal to fund the new panel. If the group’s new appeal is less than $1000, as Walker said is expected, SHAC can take its request straight to Walker for approval, as opposed to going through another round of a Treasury vote.

Junior Ryan McCombe said that the announcement that Palin would not be coming to campus was a victory for the student body. McCombe was one of many students who protested Treasury’s funding of Palin’s appearance at Wednesday’s Senate meeting.

“I am glad that in the aftermath of [Wednesday] night’s Senate meeting, SHAC was able to take a moment to listen to what all the students had to say, and to think about it critically,” McCombe said.

At the Senate meeting, two students held signs that read, “Can I get paid for an accident too?” The College Democrats and Republicans created a bipartisan petition in the hopes of securing enough signatures to get a referendum on Treasury’s initial approval.

“We are happy that SHAC, and Bristol Palin herself, responded to the student body’s concerns,” said sophomore Sherveen Mashayekhi, president of the College Democrats. “It’s a sad state of politics at Wash. U. when Bristol Palin is what required us to get politically active.”

The overwhelming disaproval of Palin as a speaker caused students to question the efficacy of Student Union and whether the student government actually represents students’ interests.

SU President Morgan DeBaun issued a statement in response to the criticism and said that SU is examining its procedures to allow for increased student input in SU decisions.

“We are receptive to student concerns and feedback and look forward to working closely with their constituency for the rest of the term,” DeBaun wrote in the release.

While Elman said he thinks that the main message of Palin and Sex Week got lost amid the protests, he hopes that students still show up in high numbers to the panel.

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  • rsgoldjw says:

    very good, it’s very useful to me, thank you very much!

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  • J Todd says:

    I sincerely question why anyone would think that Bristol Palin would be a good representation of a pro-abstinence speaker. Is here experience anywhere near typical of a teenaged mother who bears a child out of wedlock? Do most teen moms become household names who appear on talk shows and Dancing With the Stars? Do most teen moms buy $100,000 + homes at the age of twenty without a college degree? Do most teen moms have any chance of someone paying $20,000 just to hear them speak? No, Bristol Palin, like the teens of MTV Shows like “16 and Pregnant” is having the opposite effect on the abstinence movement – the creation of the teen mom celebrity. Does that send an effective abstinence message to other teens?

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  • Paul S. Rhodes says:

    By the way, this is what I would like presented at this upcoming panel:

    From the weblog of a young woman:

    “Why can´t we love as many people as we want in a life time?? Monogamy is really a very unnatural state that’s being forced on us for centuries by screwed-up religious leaders who are completely out of touch with their own sexuality.”

    I would like to suggest that there is no difference in kind between the question above and this question: “Why can’t we love as many people as we want in a day or, say, even an hour?” The difference is merely one of degree.

    The premise of this question subordinates love to our wants. As any student of marketing demographics will tell you, the wants of people can fluctuate wildly. We’ve subordinated God’s creation to our wants, and now the landscape is littered with the wastes of our ever-changing and insatiable desires. Is it really wise to endorse a concept of love that is as disposable as cola cans? I know that it is practiced all the time, so is gluttonous consumerism. Should we just think of falling in love as eating Lays potato chips: “You can’t each just one!” That’s the logic of that rhetorical question above, and I don’t think such logic repulses only sexually repressed religious wackos.

    I wonder how many women would understand their boyfriend’s or husband’s desire to love as many people as they want in a lifetime. The female author of that weblog post above may well understand, and I would suggest that she is thereby just setting herself up for savage exploitation and very keen pain.

    Love is the yearning for permanence. This is why the pain from losing a loved one to death never goes away this side of the eschaton. And if it does go away, then you did not really love.

    Truly loving someone romantically is different in kind than love of family or friendship for romantic love involves the complete surrender of one’s entire person to another. Romantic love culminates in the sacrifice of one to another. This is why the climax of the consummating act is called The Little Death, and like death itself le petit mot is supposed to make your loved one even more dear.

    A good friend of mine and I were once debating the morality of pre-marital sex. He conceded to me that the tremendous feeling of self-sacrifice ultimately explains the desirability of the sex act but hastened to add that it is healthier to want that feeling without the actual self-sacrifice, by which he meant an unconditional commitment to monogamous wedlock. This undergraduate pagan understood health in an Epicurean sense as freedom from pain. Genuine self-sacrifice is not healthy because the pain to orgasm ratio is not very conducive to the Epicurean ideal of equanimity. Therefore, it is better not to get too attached to just one person. Too much investment in just one person involves too much pain, but if you “love” many people simply to satisfy your ephemeral wants for a mere simulation of sacrificial passion, then you will learn that love like any other comfort is fleeting and fungible. You will learn not to take it too seriously, hence, it will not obsess you, and you will have sound Epicurean health.

    But you will also not take death, the little and the real, seriously. If the self-sacrifice of any person is simply a handmaiden to the health of a self-satisfied materialist, then the human being simply does not have any eternal worth. For the substance of the sacrifice no longer matters, only the accident of pleasure which now becomes the measure of the act’s worth. The human being ceases to be a creature with a capacity for eternity but merely a machine that exists for temporal pleasures. Machines are replaceable, and it is just silly to mourn the death of machine. Machines break down, and more can be made. No big deal.

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  • Judy Frazier says:

    The talk that Bristol was going to have was obviously about what these students should know, but instead this is all about politics. How stupid of the students if they were the ones to make this decision. I feel that Bristol is doing very well considering what she went through with the goofy father of her child.

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    • Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain says:

      If you actually took the time to read the articles, you would have read that Bristol Palin’s presence on campus would have overshadowed any possibility of an intelligent discussion, as evidence by the fact that people with no connection to Washington University are now commenting on these articles. It has become a political circus.

      From whence did this controversy come? see below before replying…
      1. The panel was titled “abstinence in a college setting”
      2. The panel was funded by money gathered from students

      Immediately after the decision (within minutes, thanks to online communication) multiple concerns were raised. Chief among them:
      1. Bristol Palin was not abstinent
      2. Bristol Palin has never attended college
      3. Bristol Palin is famous through none of her own merits
      4. Students do not want their money wasted

      Colleges are perhaps the last remaining meritocracy in the nation. Those who work hard get the best results. Students get better grades. Professors publish papers. The idea that Bristol Palin made a mistake and was able to become rich from it (making upwards of $10,000 per hour) because of who her mother is insults the very nature of a system where you have to put in the work to get ahead.

      Later, more concerns were raised:
      1. The event had become politicized by many parties to the point that the talk would no longer be about abstinence, college, or the lack of either
      2. Bristol Palin was not an expert and was not qualified to speak about college experience due to her lack of familiarity with such a setting

      Therefore, alternative plans were made, replacing Ms. Palin with a medical doctor with familiarity with all aspects of sex education and extensive experience living and working in college settings.

      And at last, the final point was made:

      If Bristol Palin truly cared about abstinence and stopping teen pregnancy, she would use her star power to give these talks across the nation without a speaker’s fee that makes her inaccessible to many audiences that could benefit from her message. However, this is not the case. This is an opportunity for Bristol Palin to make more money than even most Washington University graduates can ever hope to make. Washington University students, instead of allowing such to occur, decided to mobilize and did so successfully.

      In short, the emperor has no cloths.

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      • conscience says:

        Simply put, Washington University has to fall back on censorship. They obviously cannot handle a diversity of views. Nor do they have any confidence in their own ability to debate other views. All they can do is silence other views. Notice that now, nobody wants to come up with what any other speaker was paid. Notice also that Palin has been replaced by an abortion doctor and mouthpiece for the Culture of Death.

        Ryan McCombe and his cabal at WU lied about why they were trying to silence a voice they could not debate. That’s clear for everyone to see now.

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  • conscience says:

    Ryan McCombe, your silence is DEFEANING now. Suddenly, the cat has your tongue. So.. it was all about what Palin was getting paid, but what anyone else is getting or got paid is – uh – irrelevant? Really? Fee to speakers are instantly of no consequence unless their last name is Palin?

    wow… It seems that Ryan McCombe and his colleagues at WU are incapable of defending their own positions! This is a “top school?” Heaven help us.. It also seems that dishonesty is a perfectly acceptable tact, from faculty on down to undergraduates, as long as excluding and silencing someone they feared might disturb their insular and naive political agenda is achieved. Sure seems that way..

    Now the student newspaper has decided that the folks daring to ask simple questions about this can have their posts be made to simply vanish from view! Funny how that feature just arrived yesterday, huh?

    Is there nobody at this college educated or reasonable enough to answer a few questions, or defend their own positions? What kind of education are these kids actually getting from these Ivy Tower dinosaurs anyway?
    (well, that’s at least becoming obvious..)

    You replace a young pro life mother with a thug doctor in partnership with Planned Parenthood – yet you still think the rest of the world is going to buy your dishonest crap about inclusiveness, fairness, and diversity of views?

    It’s obvious that YOU CAN’T HANDLE DIVERSITY OF VIEWS, because you can’t defend yours with anything other than censorship of the other side. =o)

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  • Just Interested says:

    I’m glad I sent my son to SLU!

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  • Rich says:

    Nice to see that tolerance and diversity of opinion are alive and well at Washington University.

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  • Former College Student says:

    Funny how conservatives, supposed champions of the ‘free market’, are now disparaging students for wanting to decide how THEIR money is spent. The students paid for their education, they have a right to demand their money does not go to causes or individuals they do not support.

    These wingnuts are throwing out terms like “liberal fascist” to these poor students, who don’t want to pay this girl $20,000 when she is LESS QUALIFIED THAN THEY ARE. What the hell is a liberal fascist anyway? That doesn’t even make sense… fascists are right-wing extremists. That’s the definition of a fascist. But the average conservative is so stupid he looks in the mirror and doesn’t realize he is actually looking at his reflection.

    Stop disparaging these poor students by trying to shove your sick ideology down their throats. They are working hard for their education and don’t need their money spent on someone who is too stupid to know how to use a condom.

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    • conscience says:

      um, if you listen to Fidel Castro, or even the last few North Korean leaders – you will find that their rhetoric will sound very much that that a modern American academic Ivy Tower propagandist turning his English and Sociology classes into political indoctrination sessions. Additionally, Hitler’s movement was called National SOCIALISM, and had a great amount of government control over the economy. The Black Panthers and Weather Underground also paint a rather fascist pose from the far left. Essentially, “agree with us, or die.”

      There is fascism of the left just like the right. It’s obvious you need to start school all over again.

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    • Hal says:

      Hate much?

      Your arguments are pathetic, flawed, and based not on “student rights” but your own political bent. The disingenuous arguments that “The students paid for their education, they have a right to demand their money does not go to causes or individuals they do not support” shows the lazy ignorance of yourself and students in general. They don’t give a flying crap about 99.9% of the other speakers, but when their leftist panties get in a wad, like yours, LOOK OUT!

      Sad, embaressing, and foolish.

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      • Greyto says:

        hey cheyrl didnt see that you made the cut to dance .. how old were you when you know what dont just dont not ladylike in any way you must not get enough attention so you bash children and yes to me 18 is still a child . You dont just say ok no more mistakes in life because your to old.. ha hahahahahha LOL roll on the floor no more mistakes , Bet you can t say that about yourself . Bet you make mistakes and poor choices every day were normal human beings and we make mistakes.. that we that make them live with them and learn.. Pray for humility..

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  • A Mother says:

    As a parent, I am offended for Ms. Palin to portray herself as a spokesperson for abstinence. It’s nothing against this young woman, it’s just offensive to parents who have supported their children in living this decision. I have raised three children who made the decision to abstain and it demands a great deal of sacrifice and hard decisions, especially in the teen years when they are sitting home a lot and skipping the “cool” dates and drinking parties. I believe Ms. Palin would be a better spokesperson on the confidence of her choice to give birth as a teenage mother.

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  • Air Cav says:

    Just another example of jackbooted liberal silencing anything they disagree with. The shame is theirs.

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  • conscience says:

    It seems that Ryan McCombe, the SHAC, the enemies of free speech and diversity of thought, and the WU administration have suddenly become tongue twisted and silent with regard to how much the other panelists are being paid.

    And how much Van Jones was paid.
    And how much Gloria Steinem was paid.

    If indeed Palin’s fee (and it now appears it was LESS THAN the $20,000 figure) was the real reason she was booted, these other facts and figures will make that very clear. Or, it was take the mask off this charade about money and show everyone what WU really was up to here. So show the world the facts, folks. Shut those of us who doubt you up, or take your masks off. This is all really quite simple. What were all these other speakers paid or going to be paid.

    Additionally, explain how these same high minded people seem to suddenly be AOK with Palin not being replaced with a similar, like minded speaker in a similar life situation – but rather with a mouthpiece for the Wu health care infrastructure that partnerships with Planned Parenthood. How is that contributing to the diversity of opinion?

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    • conscience says:

      An orchestra of crickets – two days long and counting – from all these folks who were supposedly only concerned about Palin’s speaking fee..

      Is not a single other speaking fee paid/going to be paid to anyone by WU of any consequence to them? Listen to all the silence now from the folks frothing at the mouth and jumping up and down a few short days ago..

      Did they really think people were going to believe them?

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  • Michael Little says:

    News flash to students: Kate Walsh is NOT REALLY a doctor. She is an actress who pretends to be a doctor in order to entertain people. Bristol Palin, on the other hand, is REALLY a single mom with experience and insight to share on the topic of abstinence. Instead of going with reality, though, you allowed a puffed-up, self-important phony to tell you what to think and do. Why? Because she’s a movie star?!? That’s pathetic.

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  • momof5 says:

    How sad, you kids bought hook line and sinker into the liberal left wing nonsense. You embraced Van Jones, a freedom stealing radical who will take you down the path to nowhere. And effectively shut down freedom of speech by angrily shutting out Bristol Palin. I question your intelligence, every last one of you, for you are being led like sheep. Wake up, or you WILL NOT live the America your parents were raised in.

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  • Wade says:

    How could anyone listening to Bristol Palin relate to her message? She puts no value on college educations. She wants $20,000 for a speech written by a speech writer and got the job offer because of the Palin name! She has cried to the tabloids and talk shows about how pregnancy robbed her of her childhood (was Fertile Mrytle pregnant at two???). She says it is so difficulty being a single mother (college students have done less whining without the millions she is making this year and all the hired nannies etc.) and her Grandfather Chuck said that she received over one hundred thousand baby gifts (same man who complained that Bristol was having to buy formula and diapers–like why weren’t they just given cash for the incidentals? It must have been so tedious opening up all those gifts and Bristol did not give one gift to the local charities.) And Bristol has hired a ghost writer to write a book–this idea doesn’t go over too well with college students who write papers all by themselves!And these students work hard to support themselves and aren’t having money tossed their way because of their last name. And these same people would have to get a degree before they could have their own talk show–yet Bristol says that she is qualified to have her own talk show because she has phoned in to the Bob and Mark Show and talked about what a bad parent Levi is. These college students have learned that nobody has sympathy for someone playing the blame game or inviting them to a Pity Party. Basically these students at Washington University are struggling to get a quality education and cannot relate to Bristol when she says she bought a new five bedroom house so that she can attend Arizona State and she doesn’t even have to apply for admission . These students have spoken their opinion–and it is rather silly to pay someone who cannot even speak for herself and has to hire her attorney to speak for her–charge them $20,000 to say nothing.

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    • momof5 says:

      Oh please Wade, and you “fact checked” every fact in your whining expose? Grow up!

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    • Matt Davies says:

      You didn’t want her to speak because hate her. We get it. It is probably better this way. She won’t get embarrassed by the obnoxious, rude hecklers.

      Now, who else do we know that cannot write his own speech and cannot even read a single speech without a teleprompter? Yep! Mr. 57 states himself. You see, there’s plenty of favors being handed out all over the place. You don’t want to be going down a road that opens your pals up for criticism.

      If you take away the fee from the discussion and actually listened to her with an open mind, you might learn something. Yes, she’s not attending an expensive university, but she does have some experiences to share that just might help some of you — if you open up your minds just a bit.

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  • William says:

    Liberal student fascism at work. Waist money on Van Jones who wants to destroy America and so he and his elites will be rich and control your lives with lies about global warming. You see lucky for America there are those of us 44-47 (Beck, Palin, many others) year olds that have seen everything and thought for themselves. The 60′s were about liberal fascism while some us 70′s children of those hippies called them smelly losers. We had to jack many of those child molesting drug addicts into stop molesting there daughters. We rejected the yuppy scum message “die you yuppie scum” nor did we buy into global cooling of the 70′s. We saw our fathers get laid off in overpaying union jobs while moms went top work for the first time. I personally paid rent and have not been out of a job for more than two months since the age of 14. We loved our Country and joined the Military not the reserves like today in order to get your education benefits paid for. We had the worst benefits since before WW2 (Gramm rudman bill). I personally went to school full time and worked full time and got two 4.0/4.0 at Devry. A private school that teaches skills and doesn’t give grades for hating America. This age group of latch key kids grew up poorer than any children since the great depression. My father left when I was four and there were no laws to force dads to pay child support and many of your hippy liberal hypocrite teachers also never paid any child support. We saw the destruction of the global economy under Carter with regimes being overturned this happens every time a liberal socialist gets into office causing many in the world to starve. We fear no one and it is us this little age group who will set America right and back to freedom. We have defeated all those who are against freedom and we will not back down not ever!!! We were a very diverse group that is described in the movies Dog town boys, Dazed and Confused and Remember the Titans. Yes we were the first ones to tell our hippie parents who used the “N” word all the time it was wrong. I was bussed from Markham Il. A predominantly black neighborhood into Tinley Park HS as part of the bussing program. You are buying back into segregation while we were just Americans. Trying to get through life while believing in the great American melting pot. All this age group is a pawn to the people my age group rejected. You believe anything they say.

    Its bad to see kids today with no backbone to hear another side of the story. Thats OK because this time we are educated and will keep shining the truth on both these older and younger spoiled generations. The hippies had parents who seen the worst of times, Holocaust, WW2, some the great depression and grandparents from WW1. They spoiled there kids rotten and look what happened. Now we have kids who never had a paper rout, shoveled snow, cut lawns. They live with there parents till age 30 and have one of the highest dropout rates with so much money being poured into education.. They don’t know how to think for themselves and get mesmerized with anyone using fancy words in a monotone voice. You are followers and not thinkers.. So sad – too bad. We will lead you back into freedom. I served my country once USAF 84-88. which taught us under Ronald Reagan that Communism and socialism are evil, which leads to corruption and that the poor always starves under it.

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    • momof5 says:

      William!! You are so right on! I relate 100%. If these kids would just open their ears and minds, not to mention their hearts, this country would go back to where our Founding Fathers hoped it would go.
      And of course living the 10 Commandments and understanding the Constitutions and Bill of Rights, wouldn’t be such a bad idea either. What a novel idea.
      BTW, you would make an excellent Tea Party spokesperson!

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      • Matt Davies says:

        Understanding the Constitution may be an unreasonable expectation. They don’t teach it in any detail any more. The politicians ignore it. The media ignores it. When people stand up and ask why it is being ignored, they are called vulgar names.

        Now, I am sure that the time of our Founding Fathers wasn’t as ideal as we would like to believe. That’s part of being human. We are so naturally flawed. They did believe that we could work towards the goal of being a more ideal government where the people were those being served — not special interests. Until our government can do something so basic as spending less than what they take in, I don’t see much hope in returning to the Republic we are supposed to be.

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    • Matt Davies says:

      There’s a lot to digest here William. I’ll try to reply in a concise manner:
      * Thank you for serving our country. Our freedoms would be nothing without people like you.
      * Congrats on being able to getting a college education. Your perseverance is typical of our generation.
      * Today’s kids are incredibly fortunate. I remember growing up having to play with the set same of blocks for most of my child hood with an occasional new Hot Wheels car. Today’s kids get mountains of toys.
      * There is some bright spot in this whole discussion. One of the opposition groups actually took a reasonable stand against Miss Palin’s participation — the $20K fee. Not too often we actually see a conservative group actually practice what it preaches (they usually cave in). Too bad the radical left students latched onto this as the main reason for their opposition — even though their hatred of Palin is the real main reason.
      * There is hope. I am seeing more and more kids today that are conservative. Who believe that abstaining from sex is actually the best way to avoid unintended pregnancies. Who believe that human life is something to be cherished and not so easily dismissed.

      Thanks William.

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  • conscience says:

    What are the other speakers getting paid?

    If this was only about money and not ideological McCarthyism, then why is it that none of these protesters are protesting that Palin was not replaced with another single mother with similar views – but with a mouthpiece for the WU hospital that partnerships with Planned Parenthood?

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    • William says:

      * Gloria Steinem was brought to Washington University as a speaker in spring of 2010. Guess what her usual fee is? $20,000, plus round trip first class tickets for her and another person.
      * Van Jones recently spoke at Wash U in the fall of 2010. His cost? $20,000 plus expenses.

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      • William says:

        But rather than attack the bigots, the Establishment Media attacked Bristol and defended the bigots. To top it all off, Huffpo and St. Louis’ own Riverfront Times each reported that Bristol’s honorarium was to be $20,000, WHEN IN FACT, $20,000 was the amount dedicated to the ENTIRE speakers panel – not just Bristol. It’s no small matter: it’s representative of a small campaign to vilify and condemn Bristol. As if what’s going on here is about money

        From Jonathon Burns article – Washington University Bans Bristol Palin, Spreads Oppression, Bigotry and Hate

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        • nowgohaveabeer says:

          It looks as though either you or Burns needs to reread the SL article. The cost of the program *without* tabloid celebrity Bristol Palin is expected to be under $1,000. So although she wasn’t going to be paid exactly $20,000, it seems apparent that it was very, very close to $20,000. Unfortunately we don’t know the specific amount because, as the earlier article stated, SHAC declined to disclose the exact amount. Other sources, however, say that she typically charges between $15,000 and $30,000. I would have also been opposed to this kind of expenditure on ANY speaker when I was a student at WU. In my opinion, paying honoraria of $10,000 to any speaker, never mind $15,000 or $20,000, is excessive.

          (BTW, I searched for the Burns opinion piece you cited, and it seems as though he needs to check his facts. WU did NOT pay Jones $20,000; it was $5,000.)

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          • Matt Davies says:

            Now $5K for Van Jones is way too much. What we also don’t know is if Miss Palin would have come here for less. Van’s fee is normally higher, and he came here for a lot less.

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  • tj2013 says:

    Shame on Washington University. This whole event has been a disgrace to the ideals of free speech and revealed a blaring sense of entitlement and arrogance from the student body and alumni. What is clear from much of the commentary from the raging mob is that the overwhelmingly wealthy and privileged people who attend this school have demonstrated a smug, sense of superiority that is both anti-woman and self-righteous.

    The term “knocked up” in the context of this commentary is flat out sexist. It has mostly been men saying “I would get knocked up for 20k.” Has this been addressed? How dare they! Those who have suggested, as one student did in an article, that Bristol “could not contribute to an intelligent, reasonable discussion about sex” make veiled statements of a baseless assumption that a person with a different experience and perception of sex could not contribute. The other implied implication is that a woman could not be intelligent or reasonable or have a valid sexual experience. These same students likely had nothing to say about last year’s speaker, a porn star. Why? Because much of the porn industry caters to and promotes the same dangerous, sexist assumptions that women are sexual objects and nothing more than the means to an end for a misogynist, male fantasy narrative that focuses on controlling and being superior towards the woman.

    How dare anyone have the arrogance and naivety to claim any expertise on the sexual experiences and identity of anyone else? Sexuality is one of the core experiences of humanity, one that bears the power to connect, bind, delight, create, and destroy. Each person has all of those capabilities in them, and each of us learns what it will mean for our lives. The fact that a person who has had a highly publicized, high profile experience would be immediately be dismissed, would come to campus for what would assumedly be the going rate for a similarly situated person reveals something that is deeper.

    There is a disappointing and unnerving fear that is revealed by the words and actions of the Wash U community in this escapade. What is revealed is a fear of differing opinions and viewpoints. There really is no other logical explanation. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, Bristol Palin advocates for a viewpoint that is widely advocated in the United States. There are plenty of people who argue such advocacy is not effective. So why not hear what she has to say? The University experience, be it a mythical expectation or not, provides students the opportunity to be challenged by views, backgrounds, people, ideas that they have not yet experienced. “University”, the very word, implies a place for everyone. Why is there no room for a difference of opinion at Wash U? Take out the red and blue, the left and right. It doesn’t matter. Wash U purports itself to be such a place where a fountain of ideas may be shared, challenged, debated, protested. But inherent in any positive outcome or true richness of learning is an actual exchange of ideas. That requires listening, and even inviting new ideas and adversarial ideas.

    Wash U has shown its true colors over the past several days. And it’s sad evidence of a closed door and, perhaps more disturbing, hollow group think that looks down on women and elevates males with status.

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    • Paul S. Rhodes says:

      As a Catholic, I very much want someone to present a convincing case that teenagers, young adults, and anyone still unmarried should avoid pre-marital sex. I just think that Bristol Palin is not the one to do that. She is a National Joke. Have you ever considered that the big bad liberal elite at Washington U. chose to invite Ms. Palin not because they wanted to someone to defend the idea of abstinence but rather to discredit it?

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    • Matt Davies says:

      They had a porn star speak for sex week? Seriously?

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    • Aul says:

      Posted on She’s an exceptional fietghr, and a very strong person. I’m very proud of her, and glad of being by her side loving and supporting her. <3

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  • Dave says:

    What is that about freedom of speech that these adolescent children of the left do not understand? Palin is admittedly not the best example of abstinence, but she her story is a great example of why young people should BE abstinent. I would wager that those who opposed Palin speaking are mainly pro-abortion and left-leaning because they have been TAUGHT to be that way in our so-called “institutions of higher learning”. The same thing happened to Ben Stein when he was invited to speak at UVM, the University of Vermont. Socialists in the faculty who oppose Stein’s views on evolution (he questions the “theory”, a mortal sin in the eyes of socialists). Whatever happened to the old student adage, “question everything”? I guess in today’s professor boot-licking, pro-choice student body that the ONLY speech that is acceptable is whatever the left tells the youthful useful idiots to believe. The missed opportunity of the college children at this school is to hear another side of the story and ask questions instead of protesting free speech. But of course stifling free speech is what universities are all about these days, right, comrade?

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  • Ryan McCombe says:

    As I am quoted in this article, and numerous other articles related to it, I wanted to ensure that everyone heard my correct opinion, in order to dispel the many theories regarding my political affiliations, motivations, and beliefs regarding Bristol Palin herself, and her appearance on this campus. If you are interested, you may find my statement here:
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_184571138243454&view=doc&id=185217314845503

    Thank you to everyone for their continued support.

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    • BrokenArrow says:

      HA………hope no one bothered to go to this boy’s silly facebook page. You’re not getting your 15 minutes, yet. Oh, and what do you need “support” for? I-me-mine, huh?

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    • conscience says:

      Ryan McCombe,

      What are each of the other speakers getting paid?

      What do you think of the decision to replace Palin not with another single mother with similar views, but with someone from inside the WU health care infrastructure that partnerships with Planned Parenthood?

      Do you think this decision adds or subtracts to the diversity, fairness, and open mindedness of this event?

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    • conscience says:

      Gee, Ryan – you wanted the publicity – and got it, but now you seem to suddenly be at a loss for words. How about that.. Let’s try this again..

      Ryan McCombe,

      What are each of the other speakers getting paid?

      What do you think of the decision to replace Palin not with another single mother with similar views, but with someone from inside the WU health care infrastructure that partnerships with Planned Parenthood?

      Do you think this decision adds or subtracts to the diversity, fairness, and open mindedness of this event?

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  • Paul S. Rhodes says:

    So, Bristol Palin’s invitation to speak on abstinence was revoked because she was deemed unqualified to speak about abstinence. She is a ditz with a bastard child. So, ya think?!

    Anyway, it’s good that the SHAC now wants speakers who know what they are talking about. I notice that representatives of the CSC have also been invited to speak on this panel. I assume they have been invited to speak about the Catholic teaching on sexuality. If so, it would be wise to revoke their invitation as well because it is pretty much an open secret that the Catholic Student Center at Washington University is a cesspool of heresy and dissent. The RCIA Director there wants women to priests and tells her RCIA class that the moral teachings of the Church are not binding on Catholics. The priest there preaches from the pulpit that the Catholic stance on abortion is an embarrassment and encourages those with the homosexual orientation to identify themselves as gay. Now, many students at Washington University may well applaud the heterodoxy at the CSC as enlightened and progressive. Fine. My only point if the SHAC wants someone to represent Catholic teaching accurately, it should look elsewhere. The Catholic Student Center does not represent Catholic teaching accurately. Rather, it seeks to undermine it.

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    • conscience says:

      “she is a ditz with a bastard child.”

      What on earth makes you think that anyone on earth should listen to you after that comment about two people you have never met?

      I use tough language sometimes to, when appropriate. “Killing Lobby” and the like. But I don’t call people schoolyard names, especially the ones I know very little about. Get a life. No idea if the other stuf you mention is true or not, but who else will keep reading after your bastard comment anyway? YOU are an embarrassment to Catholics.

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    • It’s called learning from your mistakes, and passing that wisdom onto others, Mr. Rhodes.

      I cannot speak to the correctness of Catholicism in such matters, but it is very much inline with Protestant teaching about sin, repentance and forgiveness.

      We all have lessons to learn and wisdom to impart.

      But, obviously, you have sanctimoniously attained perfection, honed judgmentalism to a fine art, and have no need from such lessons.

      Your post is most instructive.

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      • Paul S. Rhodes says:

        I have absolutely nothing against forgiving Ms. Palin. But surely one can do so without treating her as an expert on abstinence with a $20,000 speaking fee.

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      • Paul S. Rhodes says:

        Must one shell out $20,000 to learn that sexual intercourse just might get a young woman pregnant?!

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        • You and I are in agreement, Mr. Rhodes: $20,000 is a ridiculous speaking fee.

          Yet, as I’ve said elsewhere, I wish the dissenters would drop the academic pretense against Ms. Palin, and simply say it’s all about the $20,000.

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        • momof5 says:

          Must one shell out thousands of dollars to listen to a destructive radical like Van Jones, and then turn around and diss a young mother with a positive message? Grow up!

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          • Paul S. Rhodes says:

            I repeat, as a Catholic I very much want a convincing case to be made publicly that pre-marital sex is wrong. I just do not think that Bristol Palin can do this. Even if she were not, like her mother, an incoherent ditz (first she says abstinence is not realistic and now she says it is), the very fact that she has cashed in on being a celebrity teen mother distracts from whatever profound insight she might have about teenage sexuality. How the deuce can she credibly say that her decision to fornicate was wrong when that very decision has made it possible for her now to really rake it in?! Again, I want a convincing case against fornication to be made, and for this reason I do not want Bristol Palin’s ridiculous celebrity intruding as a distraction.

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    • William says:

      Yea having Van Jones is a great speaker. Follow him unto your own destruction. His group is using young college students so that they are highly unemployed and they are entitled to healthcare, job and if they don’t get it they need to riot. I think for myself thank you. But seeing these college students of today who will always be a follower till the day they die I no what it means when the bible says in the last days they will believe a lie. This generation is lost but mine is full of leaders for such a time as this. The truth shall set you free while rules for radicals is the book of lies and evil the book this generation follows will bind their minds and souls into slavery. It is the tactics of Satan and is dedicated to him.

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    • momof5 says:

      Enough said. I am very glad I threw away all the many, many pieces of mail my son received encouraging him to apply at Wash. U. The RCIA Director’s actions alone prevented me from paying application fees.

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      • Matt Davies says:

        Don’t judge the school based on these radical actions. I received a very good education from this institution and actually stayed conservative throughout. It was great entertainment, sitting on the library patio watching the silly protesters march by.

        The best reason to stay away today is the cost. My oh my has the tuition sky rocketed.

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  • conscience says:

    So nobody else, including the Planned Parenthood speakers already swimming in money, were going to be paid anything to take part in this?

    NOTE: They specifically refused to bring in another young single mother to take Ms. Palin’s place. Proof positive that what this loony left cabal at WU REALLY feared was not a speech about abstinence, but a mother bringing the very real result of NOT having an abortion to campus, and telling students how happy she was with her decision.

    Like it or not, WU is now firmly on the radar of Lila Rose, Stephanie Gray, Kelsey Hazzard, and the rest of the national pro life heroes who have made us the majority again. You’ve abundantly earned everything soon to be coming your way due to your narrow minded censorship and unfairness, Washington University!

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    • current student says:

      I pretty sure that the pro-life position will be adequately represented by the panelist from the Catholic Student Center.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Refusing to pay Bristol Palin 20k to speak about whatever it is she speaks about is NOT censorship. That is an absurd and invalid accusation. Hell, I would be happy to have Bristol here if she were under 1k!

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  • Robert Sussman says:

    Who is taking care of the two Palin babies when the mothers are running around the country and doing amateur speaking and amateur dancing, and putting targets on maps?

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  • conscience says:

    Maybe they could have offered $20,000 to a WU student who got pregnant while attending (lots of them do) and had her give a speech while showcasing her beautiful young baby.

    Oh, wait.. something else happened to all those babies..

    This is what the loony left at WU really feared. A young, happy, single mother quite at peace with the decision she made that so many (all?) at WU do not make – and the very real show and tell of the results.

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    • BrokenArrow says:

      If you are a college student, you should be smart enough to understand the following: IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY ACTIVE, AND DO NOT WANT TO PROCREATE, USE SOME BIRTH CONTROL. Your pulling THE ABORTION CARD, when it was all about cashing in on the PALIN BRAND, is absurd. The abortion thing has nothing to do with it. Don’t hump w/o birth control. Don’t multiply unless you want to raise a kid…….Palin ain’t doin much of that judging from her silly escapades……i.e DWTS, and being a media whor#.

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      • conscience says:

        So the pill arriving in 1960 made abortions irrelevant, as they were advertised to? It lowered rates rates of child abuse and male abandonment, also as advertised? Or has the REALITY has turned out to be much different?

        Condoms and steroids are easily available everywhere, yet there are still 3400 abortions a DAY. I see that the Ivy Tower professors at WU are really brainwashing some folks. No wonder they hate free speech so much.

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      • WashU student says:

        Exactly- the expressed purpose of bringing in Bristol Palin was to speak on the topic of abstinence- which, if it as successful as they say- should make the need to decide how to handle an unexpected pregnancy unnecessary. The panel focus was sexual health, and the assertion that a decision not to pay a non-abstinent, high school graduate $19,000 to lecture college students about abstinence is somehow a decision that promotes abortion is a false equivalency. It seems to be far right commentators who can’t justify Ms. Palin’s sterling credentials and are therefore trying to smear the student body. But the fact is, both college Republicans and Democrats were behind the position not to invite Ms. Palin. So despite non-students trying to politicize this for their own means, the students didn’t do anything wrong. They brought their concerns to their representatives, and the student government listened.

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      • momof5 says:

        You are broken alright……

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    • Jussayin' says:

      The issue at hand was not pro-life or pro-choice, and it is misguided to suggest that the “left” leanings of the student body prompted the upheavals. As the students’ opinions suggest, the egregious price tag versus the value of the speaker’s insights was the issue. Nobody would have contested a talk given by young single mom who has suffered through the same experiences (baby or not), whose goodwill actions and lifestyle actually supported the abstinence stipulations she claims to advocate for — and who charged a less obscene sum to speak about it. Bristol would have had valuable insights to share, I’m sure — as would have innumerable single moms — but, in her case, not $20,000′s worth.

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      • conscience says:

        But her space was NOT offered to a similar, young single mom. But instead to some Killing Lobby apologist who works at the same WU medical center that coordinates with Planned parenthood!

        This was about silencing dissent to a political agenda at a major university, plain and simple.

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        • Jussayin' says:

          As a member of the student body, I do not agree with the accusation that sex politics motivated our objections, as multiple student commenters herein have similarly made clear. That said, I cannot necessarily speak for the event organizers, and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.

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          • Jussayin' says:

            (Though, considering those same event organizers were the ones that extended Palin the invitation in the first place, I’m pretty sure they aren’t politically biased against her, either.)

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  • Barbara Blanton says:

    She was an inappropriate speaker for abstinence, the speaking fee was outrageous from a college student organization and she is more aligned with her Mother’s antics than sex. No one ever paid extra attention to my two adopted kids’ biological Mothers. In fact they shamed them in the 60′s. That was terribly wrong but they are a part of our family now after our kids found them. However, Bristol is just one of multi-million kids who gets pregnant and raises the baby. Do we care if she is sexually active now or not?

    There are responsibilities and consequences for having sex for all of us, married or not. At that decision point we stand alone, making our own choices and living with the consequences. No sex, unprotected sex, sex with a little birth control, sex with really good birth control. All birth control fails at some point. Then what?

    Congratulations for standing up for your beliefs, students!! A retired college professor.

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    • conscience says:

      Then, if you are a WU student, you behead the little bastard, of course.

      That’s very obvious.

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    • momof5 says:

      Barbara Blanton, a retired professor….. hmmm.. I would have to question what your students learned. Clearly bringing life lessons into your classroom would have been silly and forbidden. Is it the jealousy from the left that causes a young woman with a very visible mom to be ousted from speaking to students? Her peers? Shame on you. You are a lib from the 60′s. ugghhh

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    • Matt Davies says:

      If birth control fails at some point, then abstinence is a great way to go. Now, what is your logical next step when birth control fails?

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  • Peg says:

    Wow, talk about a witch hunt. Fox news and big journalism are covering this story and claiming that actress Kate Walsh is behind the whole thing because she retweeted a students call protesting this.
    Honestly, this is not about Sarah Palin. If they had titled the panel “Children of politicians and how they handle the media” Bristol would have been perfect and I don’t think anyone would disagree. But the panel was called “Abstinence in a College Setting” and Bristol was the KEYNOTE speaker. Keynote usually means you have some experience in what the panel is about.
    Bristol has never been in a college setting, so even forgetting that she has a child and pretend she was really abstinent her whole young life, she still would not be a good choice to be a key speaker as she has never be in a campus setting.
    I honestly don’t understand why this is so hard to understand for Palin fans. Let her give speeches in rural high schools about it, it would be much more appropriate and help a lot more kids.

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    • Matt Davies says:

      On the other hand, if they invited Snooky to come speak that would of course have been a different story I am sure. Let’s really be honest here. The backlash was more about her political association and less about what she could contribute to the discussion.

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      • Peg says:

        If it was just political, then why did the College Republicans also object so strongly. And if Snooki came to speak on a panel about Reality TV Stars, that would be fine. If she came to speak on a panel about the fine points of taxation, just because she doesn’t like the tanning booth tax, people would be pissed.

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        • Matt Davies says:

          No, don’t buy it. Perhaps the College Republicans had legitimate concern, but the vitriolic response from the liberal side of the student body/alums was definitely more political in nature. I am certain that Chelsey Clinton would have been welcomed with open arms at $20,000.

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          • james says:

            Stupid should not be encouraged or funded.
            The legitimization of stupid is perhaps the biggest problem with the right wing in this country.

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          • Jussayin' says:

            Yes, I am sure part of the reason for the LEVEL of ire was political in nature — and maybe if Bristol was not associated with the right, the protests may have been toned down in the LEVEL of vitriol. Both sides do this, unfortunately. But, the fact that BOTH sides of the student body supported the objections suggests that Bristol’s political affiliation was hardly the cause of the protests against her coming to speak.

            The price tag was.

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          • Matt Davies says:

            james… Are you serious? Miss Palin made a mistake and is living up to her responsibility as a mother and she accepted the consequence of her actions. Stupid is making the same mistake and ending the life because one would rather avoid responsibility. Now you will get a speaker that will promote stupid responses for irresponsible actions.

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          • momof5 says:

            James states “the legitimization of stupid is perhaps the biggest problem with the right wing in this country”- clearly he has not made it in the real world yet; thats what makes him quite the expert.

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    • Scottie says:

      yeah but rural high schools can’t afford $20,000 speaking fees either!

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  • A Wash. U. Parent says:

    As a parent, every time I see how the “open-minded”, “tolerant”, and “compassionate” liberal students react to an issue like Bristol Palin’s planned appearance, I just want to throw up. It reminds me again how spoiled, privileged, and arrogant that the so-called “progressive” Wash. U. student activists can be.

    Disagreeing with the size of the speaker’s fee is justified. I think that it was too high also. But the vicious hate-filled anti-Palin hysteria is disgusting.

    It’s also hypocritical for students to scream about the price of Palin’s speaking fee but not give a rat’s behind about draining their parents’ savings to attend an overpriced snobatorium like Wash. U.

    My kid is a freshman at Wash. U. I will do my very best to convince him to change schools next year and stop wasting my money on this exorbitantly priced intellectual gulag.

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    • Kevin L. says:

      And way to be to be just an intolerant, closed-minded, and completely devoid compassion, just as the very people you try to criticize. Thanks for generalizing over 6,000 people, and to blame it all on the progressives. Why did the College Republicans join in the boycott? Why were some of the most vocal people speaking out against her conservatives? You judge us on our perceived hate, but spew out nothing better.

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    • Peg says:

      If you raised your child the way you felt was appropriate, then don’t you think as an adult they can make up their own mind where they go to school? You can convince him/her to change schools, and if it takes any real convincing at all, you will be the one to suffer as they might very well resent you for this. If you don’t want to pay for it, let him get scholarships and loans and you can donate the money to SarahPac.

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    • Matt Davies says:

      Don’t get frustrated. I made it through the 4 years at this institution and received a very good education out of it. Yes, the tuition is crazy high, so I hope he is going into a field that will be able to pay off the debts he incurs.

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    • A Wash. U. Sister says:

      To see how open minded and tolerant you are to the student of this school speak out about how they do not agree with the propsed speaker makes me want to just throw up. How ignorant are you? And I don’t appriciate you calling my family member that attends Wash U spoiled, privileged and/or arrogant. Because let me tell you she burried herself in student loans to pay for what her scholarships didn’t, that is untill she worked her way up to a full ride. SO maybe your kid is spoiled, privileged and/or arrogant because he is draining your savings account, but don’t be bitter about it. YOU decided to have a child, YOU decided to keep that child, YOU decided to pay for that child’s education. Other students at Wash U have to acctually do it on thier own. SO next time keep your insults to you darn self.

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      • Matt Davies says:

        I also was part of the minority working class students that attended Wash U. I incurred a great debt and worked many hours during the school year to keep up with expenses. However, you have to admit that most of the student body come from well-to-do families and could very easily be perceived as spoiled and privileged. This parent definitely over reacted and should encourage her son to push on with his education. If he can filter out the liberal bias, he’ll do well in the end.

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    • Zach says:

      You are obviously not a Wash. U. parents (nice troll).

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    • momof5 says:

      As a mom of 5 with two in universities and one on the way, I am amazed and alarmed at the way these kids shut Bristol out. More importantly, here is a young mom who could have aborted her pregnancy without telling her parents but took the tough way out and kept her baby. And…. is willing to put herself in the spotlight (don’t waste your breath debating the speaking fees, she is now a professional speaker).
      Sounds like many of these students would rather listen to the no-good Van Jones revolutionary radical (hey kids, anyone take the time to research this guys radical past?) and feminist (might I add that means pro-abortion) Gloria Stienam instead of someone they can actually learn a REAL life lesson from.
      You college students are being played, and you won’t wake up to realize it.

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  • jacob says:

    Good for Wash U. students for recognizing that a teen mother does not qualify for a $20,000 speaking fee.

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  • conscience says:

    McCartyism lives..

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    • Charlotte Ray says:

      McCartyism? As in Kelli McCarty, Miss USA from 1991? I’m not sure I see the connection, but I shall research it further.

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  • fleep says:

    To the brainwashed majority, the political automatons that our institute spits out with all the grace and effectiveness of a factory assembly line, I congratulate you on your unanimity and consistency. You can always be counted on to act, en masse, against the best political interests of yourselves and your community. In order to preserve the continued conformity of our political discourse I would suggest that any and all scheduled pop culture Republican/Conservative pundit speakers be replaced by the Islamic terrorists and Western antiestablishmentarianists that we all find so wonderfully palatable. To all the self-congratulating commentary blatherskites posting herein I raise my glass to your successful self neutering, Cheers!

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  • Wash U '10 says:

    Exactly what is Bristol Palin an expert in? Universities should be sites for the dissemination of careful scholarship and thoughtful viewpoints; they should encourage a re-vivification of intellectual life in a country that has historically been very hostile to the idea of the intellectual. Bristol Palin’s only qualification to speak on abstinence is that she and Levi didn’t use protection . . . which makes her no more of an authority on the subject of abstinence than any of the thousands of other young people in this country who’ve had out of wedlock babies. I’m sure tons of them would be happy to speak to WashU students for free.

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  • Esquire to Be says:

    These comments are all focused on the wrong thing. The point of this “Sex Week” was to bring attention to topics that don’t always get adequate attention and are not appropriately discussed with young people. Bristol Palin, a young mother, has to deal with the consequences of her decision to have sex every day. The fact that she is young, or an unintentional celebrity, or not an academic is not a reason to have seen this response. Academics like to study and theorize, often without much in the way of any actual experience. G-d forbid the University brings real attention to the sexual activity of young people, instead of just pretending everyone’s a GD angel. Palin would be able to personally speak about her choices and what happens after that “uh oh” moment. Instead of an event that could have had a real impact by luring a large audience and stimulating real thought and discussion about a difficult topic, Sex week will once again fade into obscurity and be yet another failed attempt at reaching young people.

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    • tie dye jedi says:

      Even if she had some insight on being a single parent, can you really justify spending $20,000 to have her speak about something that, as other people have said, many other single mothers would do for so much less or for free? How about a college student who discusses the strain of being a single mother and a full time student? That’d be far more useful than someone outside of the college environment. She simply can’t relate to the audience, and the fee is ridiculous.

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    • A Wash. U. Sister says:

      I’m a single mother/teen mother; how about paying me $20,000 to speak during sex week? That’s right, obviously I’m not a pro at being abstainate, I’m not and never have been living the college life, and I’M NOT QUALIFIED! I could however talk about how having a kid as a teen made my life really hard and being on welfare and having a man for the father of my child that won’t pay one penny is really difficult. Bristol on the other hand; pampered. She should try living like the average woman does that has a kid at the age she and I did; she’d mess all over herself!! She’s not a true example of what happens when you have an unplanned kid.

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    • anonymous says:

      And how exactly does one promote abstinence by promoting someone who got famous and wealthy precisely because she *didn’t* practice it?

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  • Bill Keller says:

    I thought universities were suppose to be bastions of education and information = free speech. Not at Wash U., obviously! Maybe this would have worked has the speakers name been Bristol OBAMA?

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    • current student says:

      The students would have objected to a ridiculous speaking fee for anyone who was so ill-qualified to speak on the topic. All of the petitions made a point of explaining that students welcomed a discussion on the importance of abstinence, but felt that Bristol Palin was not qualified, and certainly did not merit $20,000 of student funds when things like debate teams are being cancelled for lack of funding. This young woman’s sole experience that is relevant is as a teenage mother- an experience which she went through in an incredibly privileged and virtually consequence-free manner, and is, in fact, profiting from (to the tune of $15,00 to $30,000). Not exactly the kind of experience that is relevant to college students. Add to that she has never been a college student, has no idea what the environment is like, she is not at all qualified to address abstinence in a college setting.

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    • Seriously? says:

      Totally irrelevant my friend, Bristol Palin has not attended college, nor is she a virgin. thus, what business does she have addressing the issue of abstinence on a college campus? this has nothing to do with party politics

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    • washustudent says:

      We’re all for free speech–just not free speech that costs $20,000.

      I’m completely supportive of having abstinent speakers during Sex Week, but the fact of the matter is that we as a student body do not recognize a “celebrity”–whose complete fame is based on controversy–as a qualified keynote speaker. If Bristol still wants to come to campus and be a proponent of abstinence, then let her come. But anyone with her credentials doesn’t deserve $20,000 for a 25 minute speech.

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    • Kevin L. says:

      It’s not free speech if it costs $20,000. we would be impinging on her free speech only if we blacklisted her from speaking. There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that entitled her to $20,000 of our money. She can come speak for free for all I care.

      Yes, universities are “bastions of education.” What would she be here to educate about? If you have an unplanned pregnancy, hope you have a rich mom and private tutors?

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    • nowgohaveabeer says:

      Hmmmm, is what I heard in a news report (on a FOX station), that the last major proposed speaker cancelled by WU was a certain now-former U.S. Senator from Illinois whose first and last initials are B and O?

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      • nowgohaveabeer says:

        [sorry, error, omitted a word and can't edit or delete and resubmit]
        …in a news report…_true_…, that the last major speaker….

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    • nowgohaveabeer says:

      Hmmmm, is what I heard in a news report (on a FOX station) true, that the last major proposed speaker cancelled by WU was a certain now-former U.S. Senator from Illinois whose first and last initials are B and O?

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    • professor says:

      Please do not associate the Obama girls with Bristol Palin! The question I have is the same one mentioned by anonymous above, “…how exactly does one promote abstinence by promoting someone who got famous and wealty precisely because she didn’t practice it?”

      There is no way that Bristol should have been invited to speak in the first place. She would do better speaking to middle-school or high school students in Alaska who perhaps would be excited about their “famous star” returning home to address them.

      If there is concern about someone relating to college-age students about abstinence, there are plenty students on campus who have pledged to abstain from sex until after marriage. There are also single-parent college students who are in school full-time while working on a degree to have a better life for themselves.

      What kind of “star” or “student activist” is Bristol Palin? Does having a baby out of wed-lock make you a star? Come on folks, let’s get real, Bristol needs to enroll in college and earn a living the old-fashion American way–WORK!

      Hats off to the students who arose to the occasion and put a stop to this madness, no matter Who it was. It is time that we stop the “dumbing” of America and get on the ball. Our country is slipping further and further behind other countries in practically every academic area and we want to pay a high-school drop-out to speak on a noted college campus as a keynote speaker?? Please give me a break!!

      This has nothing to do with politics;everything to do with common sense! It’s not the left or the right; liberal or conservative;it’s about our future as the “leader of the free world.”

      Right-on students, keep up the good work. I am proud of you!

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  • Current Student says:

    This whole controversy is missing the crux of the problem: this school is very expensive and spends a ridiculous amount of money on everything. How much do we pay for other speakers? What about the costs of keeping the campus perfectly manicured? How much of a subsidy do you think organizations like college council and other various clubs get to put on events that are of questionable importance? $20,000 for Bristol Palin is a rounding error in the school’s overall budget.

    I wish people would just admit that they don’t like Palin rather than being up in arms that the school is about to spend $20,000; if you are really upset about the way the school spends money don’t act like bringing in Palin is the most egregious allocation of funds you’ve ever seen. I personally think it was a poor choice to try to bring her but this is just further proof that people go absolutely crazy about all things Palin.

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  • Alex says:

    What irks me about this situation is that Treasury is so utterly out of touch with the students they represent, and that there is no substantive and fast way in which students can take action against poor SU decisions.

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  • Rob Wanzek says:

    I am pretty disappointed to hear what I see as immature or possibly discriminatory views concerning single mothers. I think it’s just as much a mistake to moralize being a single mother (that is, say that single mothers, by being single mothers, have made some sort of moral slip and therefore deserve any negative consequences of their situation or that they are not even worth listening to) as moralizing premarital sexual activity. That being said…

    I think the point of bringing in a speaker is for the purpose of intellectual stimulation of the student body. It seems like there are two ways you could do that- one being that we could learn from a speaker’s personal experience, and the second being that the speaker is an expert on the subject (an expert being someone who has spent a lot of time studying the subject or interacting with the people who actually experience it).
    I don’t think Bristol Palin is the correct choice for either of these. If we are looking for someone with personal experience, couldn’t we bring in a single mother who actually needs the money? Or (this is $20,000 we are talking about) bring in a panel of single mothers who could benefit from the money? Bristol Palin is a pseudo-celebrity and daughter of a prominent political candidate. I do not mean to say that having a high socio-economic status cancels out all difficulties of being a single mother; I mean to say that surely we could bring someone in who has those same difficulties and needs the money more or someone who has even greater difficulties (due to a poor economic situation).
    If we are looking for an expert, surely her replacement is a better choice- someone who has spent time working with teen mothers and is presumably familiar with any scientific literature.

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  • student says:

    Let’s all just say what we’re thinking. We have this reaction to the name Palin because of how we all hate her mother. The University spends thousands of dollars every week to bring in various speakers, none of which create a fuss.

    As far as her “qualifications” to speak on abstinence, I’d say that not abstaining, and having to deal with being a parent at such a young age, and her subsequent regrets is qualification enough.

    I just think its ridiculous to have someone speaking to college students about abstinence. Her message might be a lot more powerful to kids still in HS who are trying things for the first time. In college, one about safe sex might be a little more useful.

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    • nowgohaveabeer says:

      No, the opposition to the proposal to pay Bristol Palin a huge honorarium to speak has very little to do with “this reaction to the name Palin.” The opposition is to spending such a large amount of money for someone who, were it not for her tabloid celebrity status, would never have been considered. (And she possesses that “celebrity” status solely as the product of being related to the political figure of the former partial-term governor of a small (by population) state.) You would see the same level of opposition to wasting student money on an equally unqualified tabloid celebrity not named Palin.

      I don’t know how much various entities on campus spend collectively on speaker honoraria in any given week, but let’s assume for “student”‘s benefit that it totals into the “thousands of dollars.” I doubt, however, that very many of these speakers programs cost >=$20,000 each, or that any of the sponsors spend that kind of money on tawdry celebrity rather than intellect.

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      • student says:

        So you’re telling me that if the school was bringing in Snooki, you’d have the same reaction? Doubtful.

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        • nowgohaveabeer says:

          Ummmm, and on what topic would you propose she speak? Do you honestly believe anyone would support spending any money to have her speak? Of course people would be outraged. sigh….

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        • Caleb Posner says:

          I would have protested just as vigorously, provided she cost a comparable sum and was asked to speak on a topic about which she had no meaningful expertise. So too would most of the students who were outraged, I imagine.

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        • notdonating says:

          It is amazing that you managed to type that response and not automatically realize just how dumb it is. The idea that thousands of undergrads wouldn’t be outraged about 20k of student activity funds going towards one night of programming with a pseudo celebrity of no merit is just undoubtedly absurd on all levels. But thanks for submitting a counterpoint even more ridiculous than your original argument.

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          • Matt Davies says:

            Just curious, how much did Van Jones charge when he spoke at the University? Really, while I applaud students for being concerned about activity funds being spent, it really wasn’t what drove the backlash. It was pure hatred driving this revolt and not the possible speaking fee that may or may not have been charged.

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          • Peg says:

            Van Jones typical fee is 20k, but the treasury only approved 5k for him since it was a summer assembly series. Someone called in a favor and he did it for the 5k. When the green group on campus asked for another $2500 for a round table discussion, the treasury refused and it didn’t happen.
            However, this is a false equivalency. Jones was Obama’s Green Czar and had published a book on the environment and was a Rockefeller fellowship winner as well as a Civil Rights activist, so having him speak on the Green initiative was entirely appropriate.

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          • Matt Davies says:

            Are you serious? Mr. Jones’ qualifications are dubious. He has done more for the communist movement than he has for green jobs.

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  • Ronald Siegel says:

    As a parent of a WashU student, I’m very happy that Bristol Palin will not be paid large sums to speak at the Universtity. What makes her and authority on sexuality? Has she studied the topic extensively? Is she really expert on effect of abstinance programs on mental and physical health, or the sociological impact of such programs?

    This is a University. There is a reason that knowledge and experience are criteria for choosing faculty. Our culture is already foolishly preoccupied with the lives of celebreties. It would have been a terrible waste of university resources to pay Bristol Palin to speak about sexuality simply because her mother happened to have been a candidate for Vice President.

    Student protests should not have been needed to stop this.

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    • Bill Keller says:

      Maybe she was going to relate how “Bad” her judgements were and what
      prices she paid – that others could avoid? Just maybe.

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      • Current Grad Student says:

        That’s exactly the point- she didn’t pay any prices- or at least, nothing remotely like the consequences that would face the average Wash U student with an unplanned pregnancy. She didn’t have to hold down a job while being pregnant, didn’t have to worry about health insurance. Most single mom’s can’t have a nanny watch their kid while they film 2 reality shows and then pay cash for their own huge house! If they thought a “Do as I say not as I do because look at how hard it was for me” speaker was needed- I’m sure there are plenty of local single moms that could provide a more realistic perspective.

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    • Matt Davies says:

      As an alum, I can only shake my head at the closed-mindedness of these student leaders and parents like yourself. Since no contract was signed, no fee was set, but that really is beside the point. Outrageous fees have been paid in the past for other speakers and we know that this part of the argument really is a distraction from the real motivations. It could have been a positive event if the students had open minds. Instead, they will pay more attention to “Kink 101″ classes during this week.

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  • nowgohaveabeer says:

    As a WU alum, I was saddened to hear that Student Union was about to spend $20,000 on an utterly unqualified tabloid “celebrity” to speak on campus. Who’s next, Paris Hilton?? But I am pleased that the huge student response on campus finally brought them to their senses. I was particularly sensitive to this because when I was at WU, I was on both the Assembly Series Committee and on SU’s Speaker’s Programming Board (the SU committee that at the time was responsible for hearing requests for funding for speakers programs sponsored by student groups). Assembly Series in particular was especially proud of programming a diverse range of high quality speakers and avoided big-ticket speakers who commanded ridiculously high honoraria. We weren’t looking for celebrity (although some of the speakers we booked were fairly well known), but rather, we wanted thoughtful and intelligent people who had something worthwhile to say. I don’t know if Trudi Spiegel (who chaired the Assembly Series for who-knows-how-many years) is still affiliated with WU, but I’m sure she would have been appalled by the thought of such an unqualified and overpaid speaker taking the podium in Graham Chapel.

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  • JD says:

    What I find interesting is that, years ago, other student groups started getting involved because SHAC’s Sex Week always had events that were specifically about nothing but male+female sex and “use a condom”. Just because SHAC’s events have always been heterocentric and about safe sex doesn’t mean that other groups haven’t put on events that were appropriate for people who were abstaining from sex with a partner. Almost every year since the ALA got involved there have been events about masturbation, kink (if you’re in to kink you can do kink sans sex and it can still be a fun and satisfying thing for all involved) and also oral sex (for those who are only sort-of abstaining). I’m disappointed that SHAC thinks that people who aren’t having sex can only be represented by an event about abstinence (although having the panel for $1,000 sounds much more worth it than $20,000!).

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  • Anonymous says:

    Still not giving a donation as an alum. This should have never come up in the first place. As of late, students that I have met act privileged and out of touch with reality.

    I don’t know what happened to my Wash U from only 13 years ago, but it sure is different. The things that drew me to the school are long gone.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As a current WashU student, I think it is completely acceptable for you to not want to give a donation to the school, but I think that in this case, your reasoning seems to be flawed. Just because 7 students on the treasury and a few people in SHAC wanted Bristol Palin to come does not mean that the whole student body held the same opinion. In fact, the whole reason why Bristol is NOT coming is because of the outrage such a suggestion caused among the student body.

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      • Matt Davies says:

        Anonymous replier — This person could be speaking about students like yourself. You must be proud to show your hatred of conservatives to the whole country. As an alum, I find it disgraceful. On the other hand, it is good she won’t be there. I can only imagine the vile hate speech that would have been directed at her.

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  • splinterbones says:

    Congrats to the students of Washington University for getting this right! Regardless of political leanings, Bristol lacks all credibility to be a speaker on this topic. Not credible enough for $20K. What is worrisome is the judgement to even suggest her as a credible expert on the subject. What’s next, on Just Say No to Drugs Week, will they book Charlie Sheen? Or book Jared Loughner on Gun Safety Week??? While these are utterly absurd suggestions, they are no more absurd than that of young Miss Palin. Congrats again to the students speaking up on this!

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    • Bill Keller says:

      Just as Hitler burned books, speech is also important…even from the other side. Who said you were right and the few (according to comments from students) that would have shown to “learn” were out voted. Is this democracy of numbers burning books? Possibly!

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      • Kevin L. says:

        Um, this isn’t free speech. We’re not shutting her up. She can speak anywhere she wants to. She can come speak here for free if she wants. But she has no right to $20,000 of our money. This is hardly burning books.

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        • Bill Keller says:

          Yes it is, as she is NOT speaking and you are responsible for that happening. The money is your issue, but the effect is still the same. You are a University where all sides should be heard, no compromise. Otherwise, it is no education when all you hear is WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR.

          As one who is 75 years old and seen much more of this world & life than you – believe me when I say you have won, but you have lost. For all those who gave up their lives that you can squirm in your seat for a few minutes to hear other views and avoid it over money, say SHAME ON YOU. The camps of World War II, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and the mass graves of in Serbia should all haunt you to hear what EVERYONE has to say.

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          • anonymous says:

            For someone who is 75 years old, your reasoning is clearly out of whack. The students of Wash U. have the choice to choose who they want to spend 20,000 dollars on, and they certainly don’t choose to spend it on a hypocrite for whom getting knocked up (and having a famous mother) was the biggest payoff in her life. What does she know that she can POSSIBLY teach a group of college kids? How to represent the lowest form of American intelligence possible?

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      • tie dye jedi says:

        Free speech doesn’t cost you $20,000 to listen to it.

        It seems many students are perfectly open to the idea of a young single mother speaking at this panel – just not one with such a ridiculous price tag.

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        • Jussayin' says:

          Hear hear. I don’t think it will happen, but in all honesty, I actually would be very much in favor of that idea. I enjoyed that aspect of what a speaker like Bristol could bring to the table — the personal story of a young, single mother who did go through the pregnancy, etc. — but, again, I didn’t feel like paying $20,000 for it.

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        • Bill Keller says:

          Don’t you see that all you keep talking about is $20,000. Pathetic when you are attending one of the finest and richest universities in the U.S. What are you afraid of? And also, your phrase “what does she know that she can possibly teach a group of college kids” is very elitist. Now I get it, many of you are snobs, and I wonder what you are doing in college if you can’t learn something other than burning up your parents money and hiding out from reality.

          College is suppose to aid in your growing up. Well after reading these replies….it isn’t happening.

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  • BrokenArrow says:

    Scott Elman is quoted as saying, “He was very disappointed that sutdents weren’t more open to having Palin speak.” WHY? Who wouldn’t be disappointed? She has zero qualifications. What was he thinking, and what would ever merit her being paind TWENTY GRAND to show up?? If she were there to be an example of what NOT to do, then fine, pay her travel and lodging expenses, and a small stipend, maybe $500, but TWENTY GRAND. Scott, how close are you with the Palin’s?

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  • Anonymous says:

    I had always thought Wash U students to be open-minded. Apparently they have some ‘fears’ that are not allowing this to be true. Bristol Paling is NOT running for office, and HAS had a life-experience that would be encouraging for those considering abstinence. Look at other motivational speakers… the most effective one’s are the one’s that have failed and recognized it. Open up your minds students! Your point of view in college will shape your point of view in life… don’t miss out by closing your minds to all possibilities.

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    • indiawilkes says:

      How is her experience “encouraging” to those considering abstinence? Thus far, her teen pregnancy has netted her the cover and feature article in People magazine, a slot on Dancing with the Stars, and unknown amounts of SWAG that celebrities are given. What insights on the tough life and sacrifices the average teen mom experiences can she provide? NONE. Also, if you think she and her new boyfriend are practicing abstinence, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

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    • 2009 Alum says:

      Wash U students are open-minded.

      This had nothing to do with fear and everything to do with the fact that $20,000 is far too much to pay someone who doesn’t have the qualifications to speak about abstinence on a college campus.

      I agree with you that the ones who have failed and recognize it are powerful speakers, but I think we can all agree that the only reason Bristol was considered as a speaker was to increase attendance at the panelist event – many who would have attended for the spectacle, instead of for quality discussion.

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    • BrokenArrow says:

      No, BP isn’t running for office. She is just hocking the family name in order to make a whole lot of moola while the PALIN BRAND is still somewhat popular. Someone else suggested a local, single mother, who actually had made it through college, worked at least part-time, and was the main care giver for her baby, be a guest speaker. Now, that would make sense. BP is not qualified in those areas, and lives an ELITIST LIFE. Know any other single mom’s w/o a DEGREE who can write a check to pay for their AZ. home??? Yeah, that’s what i thought. WHO’S IDEA WAS THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE??

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    • james says:

      Palin’s experience:

      Due to a lack of sex education for either your parents or your school, get knocked up.
      Use your mom’s fame to get suckers to give you several hundred thousand dollars.

      So as long as students have famous parents’ coattails to ride, Bristol’s experience is completely applicable.
      I’m sure

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  • Joe 01 says:

    I’m pleased to see Wash U’s student body react in a constructive way. Spending 20K on any speaker for this panel would be too much. It also strikes me as odd to seek out a speaker for safe sex on campus who has (a) clearly not practiced safe sex, nor (b) been on a college campus as a student. I do not mean to say that she has nothing good to say as a general matter, but I wonder at the utility of her message to college students, with whom she cannot really have anything in common but age. If she were talking to a high school, fine, but it is not at all clear to me she would have anything pertinent to say to Wash U’s student body. It would be much more useful to bring in someone who can relate to the college students’ experiences; she clearly cannot.

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  • Anony says:

    Great way to start off the weekend! It’s good to know that activism works, and even better that this was a bipartisan issue that brought together the entire campus! Good work, guys!

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  • nottilmyhusband says:

    Well thank goodness for that. I think it’s great to pay special effort to making sure ALL options are represented; not everyone thinks it’s cool to have sex b4 marraige and I think the ratio of virgins to non-virgins is greatly exaggerated, because no one expects us to make the decision to stay chaste for the person we’ll marry. So YAY on that decision.

    But that Bristol girl puts on this act like she learned her lesson and now she’s doing this out of the kindness of her heart to help us, but she’s going to charge 20-did-you-say-thousand-dollars for a measley couple of hours? I don’t ever want to hear any pr line about her connecting her to the struggles of single mothers. If she’s paid $20,000 for one day she doesn’t have any right. I volunteer with my church and help single moms with work clothes and kids’ school supplies and food. They’re so tired and malnourished from working all the time I can’t even imagine what it’s doing to their kids. That was one of the biggie reasons I knew the purity law was given to us for a reason and I reaffirmed my vow to stay celebate until marrying. What was that Bristol girl going to teach us, that if you are a teen mom you can go around talking about it and get rich?How insulting; I don’t care who her mom is.

    Some of us have to work long hours at real jobs for normal wages to pay for our tuition here, and it’s offensive to me after all my hard work to keep up costs and my studying at the same time that the school would just hand all of that money over. MY MONEY. in one day. I’d rather get reimbursed my share of that and spend it on groceries. Or give one of those real single moms a scholarship so they can get a degree and a good job and have the resources to just spend time with their kids, and talk to their kids about abstinence theirselves! That’s what my mom did with me and it made a big difference. So, Briston Palin’s presumptuous may be insulting, but my own school doing this to us is downright offensive.

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  • Jas8 says:

    Wait. So we’re suppossd to believe Bristol Palin is abstinent? So she kept going back to Levi for his witty conversation?

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  • jw says:

    Ingrates. A big name carrying a message to makes it acceptable for young women to say no to being objectified in over sexual environment, attracts a wide attendence to the forum & promotes discussion is bullied off the stage bc/ she is conservative. So much for universities being the bastion of diverse opinions, ideas & free speech. Bristol & the students deserve better.

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    • Anony says:

      Did you read the article? this wasn’t a liberals vs conservatives thing. SHE WAS UNQUALIFIED, AND WE WERE SHELLING OUT $20,000. Do you deny that a single mother from STL who also put herself through college might be more qualified that Palin? Do you deny that someone who’s done research and written about the subject might be more qualified?

      Take your “end of the world” rhetoric back to the teabaggers, bagger.

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      • Matt Davies says:

        Classy. I am guessing that you will be participating in some teabagging during sex week — most likely on the receiving end.

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    • Kevin L. says:

      You’re right, the students deserve better. Which is why we protested and why she isn’t coming.

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  • Jake says:

    Nice article, Perry!

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  • shminda bishong says:

    yeah you students! You highly intelligent individuals who are capable of distinguishing between a wholly unqualified speaker and politics and came together to band against an embarrassing choice for Sex Week – you have a pathetic view of the world! Nice one Linda!

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  • linda dishong says:

    It’s not the money. You students are afraid to hear anything that doesn’t fit your pathetic world view. Complain loud enough and you won’t have to engage other opinions…pathetic.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not true at all. The student body appreciates and supports SHAC’s desire to represent both sides of the safe sex vs abstinence argument. Any and every good debate/discussion must have both views present. As a WashU student, I can assure you that her political views are NOT what concerned us. Good try though.

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    • MLS says:

      Linda who are you to judge a world view as being pathetic? Bristol and her bastard son would be welcome to come and talk, but 20K for a speaker who is both uneducated and not an authority is ridiculous. Furthermore are we to support her homophobic views and be part of her cash in on my new found celebrity status? I’d hope not.

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      • Matt Davies says:

        Yep, the hatred for her wasn’t the reason. I wonder if you would have preferred that her bastard son was aborted.

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        • BrokenArrow says:

          Pulling the off topic abortion card, eh? Mamma Griz, herself, said BP had made the “CHOICE”…….so you best play that card where it lays.

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    • Jocelyn says:

      I am an alum of Wash U, and I can tell you that you are wrong. While at Wash U, I know most of the student body leaned to the left politically, but I never encountered a student who wasn’t open to discussing an opposing viewpoint. Wash U students are there to learn, and to have their own world views challenged.

      Wash U was going to pay $20,000 to have Bristol Palin speak about abstinence on a college campus. Bristol does not have experience on a college campus, so her validity as a qualified panelist was questioned by the student body.

      Inviting her to speak would have been for the publicity and only that. Now they will have informed speakers there to discuss abstinence, without the large price tag.

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      • Anonymous says:

        As an alum who did NOT lean to the left, I can tell you that Wash U is NOT an “open” place. There are so many horrible things said to conservatives on a daily basis that you would not even realize, being a part of the innocuous left. I didn’t try to force my beliefs on others (though I was willing to have civil conversations about them)… I cannot say the same about my classmates. Wash U is “tolerant” of everything BUT conservatives.

        Need a refresher? Just read some of the comments here about Bristol Palin, a 20 year-old who made a mistake and is being lambasted by a bunch of hypocritical college students.

        But go on, keep believing Palin’s removal isn’t about the politics. Keep believing that Wash U is a bastion of tolerance. Instead, let’s invite more porn stars and sex radio hosts to sex week! No one complains about paying them each year. But when someone finally tries to bring in a speaker of interest who is not lascivious, the student body unites to in righteous dignity.

        Gag me.

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        • BrokenArrow says:

          Your comment, esp. the last paragraph, BEGS THE QUESTION…….yes, it is about politics, SO WHO MADE THE DECISION TO START THIS WHOLE STINKING MESS???? Politics were certainly involved INITIALLY……DUH. Controversy is the Palin’s life force, and whomever it was who booked her, is responsible, and willingly caused this upset. Still trying to recover from her mother’s BLOOD LIBEL guilt-ridden reactive excuse.

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    • fleur says:

      Shut up. Wasn’t the message or the politics, it was the unqualified speaker asking for an enormous sum of money at a school that just raised tuition. You, Linda, are pathetic.

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  • Relieved says:

    Phew. I don’t think bringing her was a good idea in the first place, and I’m glad SHAC “reconsidered.” Maybe they were just trying to troll us.

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  • unfortunate says:

    I think everybody underestimates the amount of fun having bristol come to speak would be. Imagine the drinking games/pregames for this event. WashU fails me again.

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  • well played says:

    the ultimate troll courtesy of WashU

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  • Scott says:

    LOL at the entire debacle. This alumni is glad to see things are still staying interesting at WashU.

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  • Marieke says:

    Thank god.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_ce74697f-8e28-57b3-9af0-cc0cb4c76733.html

    Apparently Scott Elman said that he was very disappointed that students weren’t more open to having Palin speak. I just want to clarify for Mr. Elman that if Palin was willing to speak for a reasonable price (say, less than $1,000), the student body would not have been so up in arms about this. It was the wasteful spending of our money on a speaker who has no particular expertise, and with no regard to what the student body wanted, that was particularly offensive.

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  • Anonymous says:

    wait, is she coming or not?

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  • CalBear says:

    At least WU was decent enough to realize that it was going to be a waste of their time and money.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t she only one member of a panel that cost $20,000? Were the others volunteers, or is that an overstatement of her fee?

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    • JD says:

      The others were all volunteers (or perhaps they would get an honorarium of around $100 or $200 to go to the organization they work for, that wouldn’t be uncommon). Now that they’re replacing Palin with a Dr. who works with pregnant teens in St. Louis the whole panel will cost less than $1,000.

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  • student says:

    So Palin didn’t accept the invitation? Or did SHAC rescind the offer?

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  • Ryan McCombe says:

    Mr. Elman, I appreciate your quote. Last night, as quoted in StudLIfe, I did bring up in your presence that the original intentions were going to be lost amid the furor, yet you made no acknowledgement of this as valid, instead choosing to further rile up the group last night. Glad you’ve come to your senses.
    -Ryan McCombe

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  • DJC says:

    48 hours later, everything is relatively back to normal. In the mean time, well over 300 comments combined on the two related articles and thousands of online views. The winner by a large margin: Studlife. Scott Elman and Bristol Palin should be first on your holiday card mailing list this year.

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