Controversial Speaker Comes To CSUMB · 07 May 2006

By Adam

“V-Day: The Feminist War Against Love” and “Guns Don’t Kill Black People, Black People Do” are two out of many hundred disputatious articles written by nationally known conservative author, C-SPAN commentator and former Black Panther, David Horowitz.

The smoke has yet to settle regarding the debate on whether Horowitz should or shouldn’t be invited to speak on campus.
With the Associated Student’s budget already spent, a suggestion was made to draw money from the AS contingency fund to bring Horowitz to campus. The first day back from spring break, an appeal was filed with the AS to overturn the Financial Committee’s initial decision to deny drawing funds from the contingency to bring far-right speaker to campus.

Kimber Solana, AS senator-at-large, was asked early in the spring semester by AS colleagues if he would lead a search for a conservative speaker to bring to the campus. As a liberal campus, the intention of AS was to help bring more political balance to CSUMB after having two speakers from the far-left, Ward Churchill and Joe Wilson, come to campus.

“The event will serve the student population that is underrepresented at CSUMB,” Solana said during the appeal.

Solana had already received a promise from the Young America’s Foundation to pay for $2,000 of Horowitz’s $5,000 speaking fee as well as his room and board. The Republican Club agreed to pay for Horowitz’s car rental, ushering at the event, and catering. The $4,500 remaining cost that needed to be raised would cover the rest of Horowitz’s speaking fee and parking and security for the event. AS paid $2,490.40 for Wilson and $5,175.23 to have Churchill speak on campus.

Michael Ludwig, vice president of AS asked for a point of clarification regarding whether the motion would be for approval of using money from the AS contingency or approval of bringing someone like Horowitz to the CSUMB campus.

Ren Herring, AS president, said that the reason the Financial Committee voted against bringing Horowitz to campus was the lack of funds to do so. Herring clarified that the motion was for the approval of moving money from the AS emergency fund to pay for the speaker.

“If we dip into the contingency, there will be enough money,” Herring said.

The forum opened for discussion.

“ Balanced, to me, doesn’t mean bringing a racist to campus,” Sara Villagrana, AS multicultural senator said. Villagrana provided the analogy, “We wouldn’t bring someone who is considered to be a great priest to campus if that same great priest molests children.”

“What makes you think he’s racist?” Solana asked.

“I don’t know…I don’t want to dig myself into a hole,” Villagrana responded.

“His (Horowitz) articles aren’t racist, they’re factual. As a minority, I would be the first to prevent a racist from coming to speak on campus,” Solana said with sincerity.

Upper Division Academic Senator Lydell Martin said, “some of what he (Horowitz) says is hard to stomach, but I love the idea of bringing a conservative speaker to campus. It’s hard for me to say yes, but I can’t oppose.” Martin continued, “I’ll probably abstain from voting altogether.”

Environmental Senator Zoe Carlson wanted clarification about what Horowitz’s topic of speech would be.

Horowitz talks about Academic Freedom…unbiased teaching in the university classroom,” Solana responded.

“The AS is supposed to represent all students. Everyone pays a $48 fee and every student doesn’t have the same point of view. The last two speakers the AS brought to campus catered to liberal views. It’s important to cater to the rest of the students on campus,” Herring said.

Zoe Carter, senator-at-large, expressed the importance of representing both sides, then asked if it was “necessary to bring a speaker that would stir up controversy.”

“I welcome controversy and I expect it,” Solana said.

“Actually, I don’t really know anything about him (Horowitz),” Carter confessed.

Orlando DeLaCruz, senator-at-large, motioned for a vote. With four votes in favor, three against, and three abstentions, Solana’s appeal was successful. On May 4, Horowitz will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. in the UC Ballroom. The event is free and open to faculty, staff, students and members of the community.