The controversy surrounding the cancellation of Bristol Palin’s speaking engagement at Washington University has opened a dialogue on campus about abstinence, a topic that many students feel has long been underrepresented.
“We valued Bristol Palin’s ability to fill Graham Chapel to capacity and bring this discussion to the widest possible audience. A rich and multi-dimensional dialogue was sure to follow,” we wrote. Moreover, we challenged those Wash. U. students who claimed to value the substance of the discussion to attend our panel despite the absence of such a high-profile guest.
Regardless of Bristol Palin’s merits as a speaker, there is one thing we know for certain: The majority of the student body did not want to pay her speaking fee. It is important, for purposes of clarification, to note that the appeal for funding was made by the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), and the money would have come from the Student Activity Fee, a charge that is used exclusively for student programming and is equal to one percent of tuition.
Since the appeal hearing on Tuesday night, there has been, to say the least, a great deal of talk about Bristol Palin. Concerns were voiced to family and friends. Facebook and Twitter exploded with status updates, tweets and wall posts. News of Bristol’s offer to speak found its way into Student Life, The Huffington Post and local news channels the very next day.
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