Conservative Ann Coulter to speak at MU
MU College Republicans are fundraising $10,000 to bring conservative speaker Ann Coulter to MU.
Feb. 03, 2012
Ann Coulter, syndicated columnist and political commentator, will visit MU’s campus April 11, courtesy of the MU College Republicans.
After the Missouri Students Association declined to fund the event, the MU College Republicans resorted to fundraising the $10,000 necessary to secure Coulter’s trip. This figure is a reduced price due to the organization’s connection with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, MU College Republicans President Craig Arnzen said.
With help from Missouri State University and Truman State University, Coulter’s visit was arranged through the CBLPI out of Washington, D.C. According to its website, the organization devotes itself to preparing and promoting conservative women leaders. The institute also secured Coulter a discounted flight.
MU College Republicans secretary Justice Green was one of the members who approached Coulter about speaking at MU. Green went to the capital with the Young America’s Foundation where she heard Coulter speak.
“Ann Coulter is one of the best speakers because she is so controversial,” Green said. “She is especially great at explaining her opinions in a manner so that students will be enthralled about what she’s going to say. It’s great getting her during election year.”
One of the larger fundraisers deals with collecting contributions from Republican donors around Missouri and the Columbia area, Arnzen said.
“The donors love young people, the future of the party,” Arnzen said. “When they see an opportunity to bring someone that can spread a message like Ann Coulter, they want to get on board.”
Arnzen estimates the endeavor will cost the organization another $1,000 to orchestrate.
The organization plans for a considerable amount of funds to be collected the day of the event. Coulter will have to be a major part of the fundraising efforts, Arnzen said.
“We are willing to stick our necks out and cause a stir,” Arnzen said. “She is supporting that. She wants to be a part of it by doing whatever she can to help.”
Arnzen also said Coulter was aware of the difficulty in bringing her to MU’s campus.
“Ann knew what was going on,” Arnzen said. “Before we had her secure, she was coming. She made a commitment. She was going to be at the university on April 11.”
The day’s festivities will include a speech in Missouri Theatre followed by a private reception and dinner.
“She wants to hang out with the members of the College Republicans after she speaks, and getting small group time with her will be a great experience,” Brenna Shannon, public relations director of the MU College Republicans, said in an email.
Pi Sigma Alpha fraternity President Samantha Hall said that as a non-partisan political science group, the organization wants people to be informed about politics and government, so it supports Coulter as a political figure.
“I think that Ann Coulter in general has a great deal of support around the country, but as to the political culture at Mizzou, I couldn’t say,” Hall said. “I’m really interested in seeing how she will be received.”
MU College Democrats Vice President Thomas Wright said in an email that the organization does not currently have a speaker scheduled to visit the campus, but it will be looking at this option throughout the semester.
“I believe that every organization has the right to bring speakers representing their views,” Wright said in an email. “However, in the current political climate, a less polarizing figure would be more appropriate.”