Skip to comments.Bristol Palin's Talk on Abstinence Canceled amid Student Uproar (Washington University in St. Louis)
Posted on 01/30/2011 10:28:13 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Washington University in St. Louis canceled abstinence advocate Bristol Palins speaking engagement amid much outcry over her qualifications and payment.
The university withdrew her invitation after students began to protest her scheduled February appearance as part of Student Sexual Responsibility Week. Scott Elman, president of Student Health Advisory Committee, told WUs school paper that the decision to cancel Palins appearance was 100 percent mutual.
Elman said the SHAC initially invited Palin because they felt a big name would draw more people to hear a message about abstinence. But both parties agreed that the controversy would overshadow the events intended message of sexual responsibility.
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 in the uproar surrounding her appearance, stated Elman.
The controversy began after the university unveiled that a $20,000 budget was approved to sponsor the panel discussion featuring the Dancing with the Stars alumna. Student Union President Morgan DeBaun issued a statement announcing that students had not been consulted in the decision to bring Palin to campus. The university has nearly 14,000 students. The announcement and SU statement were followed by student petitions and verbal protests against the decision.
According to the campus publication Student Life, the protests are over mainly over the money. However, there appears to be some other issues involved in the protest.
On a Facebook page entitled No Thanks Bristol, it states, It's not that we don't support abstinence as a legitimate approach to sex on campus, but that we're paying an inordinate amount of money on a panel and a speaker that really don't deserve such resources when things like EST and a bunch of competitive debate groups don't get the money they need to fully operate!
The Facebook page appears to have been created by the Washington University College Democrats. Four paragraphs down, the page goes on to question Palins qualification to speak on abstinence.
She is a polarizing figure, both politically and socially, and does not provide the well-rounded and thoughtful approach a matter as hot as sex on campus deserves. She is unqualified, undeserving and her fame comes only as a result of her association to a most ridiculous political family, the page states.
The above message is reportedly the general sentiment on campus. Democrats, Republicans and abstinent individuals alike reportedly agree. However, many messages posted on the page conflict with allegations that Palin is unqualified.
A poster named Brian Kline wrote, I understand not thinking she's the most qualified or not liking her political views, but she does have firsthand experience of the matter at hand teen sex so it would be unwise to deride her just because you don't like her and/or her family.
Commenter Christopher Kittredge George responded to claims that Palin is a hypocrite saying, Last time I checked, most anti-drug advocates are reformed addicts. They're all hypocrites too, right?
Palin, the daughter of the former Alaska Governor, became pregnant at age 17. Since giving birth to her now two-year-old son, Tripp, Palin, 20, has become a spokesperson for Candies campaign against teen pregnancy. She also advocates for abstinence.
Palin was scheduled to talk about her experiences as a teenage mom and also abstinence as an option for teens wishing to prevent teen pregnancy. It is unclear how much of the $20,000 would have been paid to her for speaking on the panel. She never signed a contract with the university committing to an appearance.
Kathryn Plax, a pediatrician and the director of the Adolescent Center at the medical school, will replace Palin in the panel discussion on sexual abstinence. The panel discussion will be held in WUs Graham Chapel on Feb. 7.
Leftist tolerance and acceptance on full display again.
I bet NOW and planned parenthood wouldn’t have had any problem from these students
If she was to say “go out there and screw all you want and if you get pregnant, just abort”, she would be welcomed.
The next generation of the perpetually unemployed heard from again...
It may not all be leftist sentiment.
If I were a student paying hundreds of dollars in student ‘fees’ I would not be happy having her come talk for $20,000.
I don’t exactly see her as Mother of the Year either - but that’s another issue.
Well, as long as “EST and a bunch of competitive debate groups” get the support they “deserve”...
Lot’s of drooling lib’s in the woodpile.
Heaven forbid someone tells those hysterical bitchy @ss liberals to stop fornicating.
Personally I don't think there should be any mandated activity fees for students. Individual student groups should be able to do their own fundraising. Of course, someone who has time for that kind of thing in college isn't really studying hard anyway.
These fees will pay leftist speakers to come to campus. It isn't right when that happens either. But if students have to pay, then speakers of all stripes should be invited.
According to the story, it wasn’t her message that was the problem, it was the amount of money it was going to cost to have her come to speak. I can see their point; $20K is a lot from the Student Activities budget for one speaker. But it would be interesting to see how much they’d paid for other speakers, and if any of the students had protested them.
I understand Bristol's milking the gravy train thanks to her mother. This is America. However, $20K for an appearance fee? Give me a break.
It is a university full of wimps.
The cancellation justifies the means.
The Washington University Student Union paid for the appearance of the Communist Van Jones in November 2010. The $20.000 fee is within the standard range. There was no outcry about that one. My wife, who is a Wash U. alumni, won’t give them another dime.
Actress Kate Walsh was also involved in calling for a boycott.
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