Bylaws restrict MSA from funding College Republican speaker event
According to MSA, the College Republicans did not request funding to bring Ann Coulter to campus properly.
Dec. 02, 2011
The MU College Republicans are planning to bring conservative political activist Ann Coulter to campus in April, but the process isn’t going as smoothly as they’d hoped.
The organization hoped to receive funding from Missouri Students Association Speakers Committee, but MSA President Eric Woods said MSA denied the request because the College Republicans didn’t follow procedure and the committee has already allocated all of its money.
Members of College Republicans think the rejection is because MSA is “liberally slanted,” according to emails several members have been sending to MSA members.
Coulter is an author, commentator and columnist. Her works include “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob in Endangering America” and “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.”
College Republican Vice President Amanda Swysgood said she believes MSA's previous speaker selection shows a bias toward more liberal speakers.
“I can’t really say, (but) I think so just because in the past they’ve brought in speakers who were socialists,” she said. “So, I want to say yes, but I can’t speak for them.”
Woods said the decision did not come about because of any biases.
“Politics obviously has nothing to do with our decision not to bring Ann Coulter,” he said. “It’s just the process wasn’t followed, and the money’s not there.”
MSA bylaws dictate that for MSA to be a part of an event, it has to be a part of the planning from start to finish.
“We have to have a complete equal share in all planning,” Woods said. “They came to us with an event in mind, with a day already picked, and so by that time, they didn’t qualify for our co-program.”
The Speakers Committee has already allocated all the money they have this year.
“(MSA Speakers Committee Chairwoman) Amanda Gastler’s speakers budget has already been pretty much tapped for the year," Woods said. "She’s been able to bring a lot of very good and very expensive speakers on a very small budget.”
Swysgood said the College Republicans contacted MSA a couple months ago for a couple thousand dollars and they responded saying they did not want to be involved.
However, Gastler said when she was contacted the College Republicans had already planned the event and was only in need of funding.
As for MSA’s bias, Woods said the liberal speakers brought in in the past were either not promoting their views or were not connected to MSA.
The Black Programming Committee brought socialist activist Angela Davis because of her involvement with civil rights, Woods said, not because of her political agenda.
The second liberal speaker the College Republicans mentioned was Jarvis Tyner, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Communist Party USA, who was funded by a student organization not associated with MSA.
Woods said MSA would have considered Coulter fairly if procedure had been followed.
“We vet every speaker that is brought to us in terms of how many students it will appeal to, whether the funds are there (and) how can we get sponsors for it,” he said.
Swysgood said the College Republicans will be looking into private funding to compensate for the money they are not receiving from MSA. Regardless of how they pay for the event, they hope to raise awareness of their apparent mistreatment.
“We’re just hoping to be able to bring to light that we’re trying to bring Ann Coulter, and we’re facing a lot of issues and not getting a lot of support from the university that we also pay student fees toward,” Swysgood said.