Horowitz to Speak at University of Rhode Island · 28 November 2005

By The Associated Press--11/29/05

KINGSTON - Conservative students at the University of Rhode Island have scheduled a series of activities for this week that are intended to draw attention to their viewpoints and their Republican organization.

The group, the URI College Republicans, meets Monday nights and has raised roughly $5,000 in donations to invite speakers to its "Coming Out Conservative Week."

The group has also received money from a national conservative organization to finance 3,500 copies of a conservative newspaper that will be distributed on campus.

The group's members say they feel their views are not well-accepted at their university and that some professors express liberal opinions in the classroom.

"When we read about an evil character in a book, and then the professor relates it to (Vice President) Dick Cheney, I think that's unnecessary," said senior Bethany Gardiner, who is active in the College Republicans.

Gardiner said she was "horrified" when a professor, during a discussion on Homer's "The Odyssey," drew a comparison between conquering Greeks and American soldiers in Iraq.

Among the scheduled speakers for the week is Cranston Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Stephen Laffey, who is to discuss fiscal conservatism Monday night. Conservative commentator David Horowitz is scheduled to speak Tuesday night, and the group has planned a trip to Yale University on Thursday for a debate about abortion.

"My hope is that we showcase conservative ideals while attracting more students who are conservative, but who may be almost embarrassed to come out," said Ryan Bilodeau, a URI junior and chairman of the College Republicans. "There are a lot more Republicans in Rhode Island than people know about."