Two Horowitz Protesters Arrested · 09 November 2006

By Staff Reports--BSU Daily News
Filed under: Press Coverage

Staff Report
BSU Daily News

Conservative activist David Horowitz got a 50-foot "not welcome" sign, 15 cheese pizzas and nearly a cream pie in the face before speaking at Ball State University about political agendas of professors Wednesday night.

Two women were arrested by university police near the Teachers College in connection with the pie-throwing incident, but the identity of the pizza pranksters remains a mystery.

Sgt. John Foster said one woman, Ball State junior Cassandra Reed, ran at Horowitz with a cream pie in her hand. Director of Public Safety Gene Burton stood between the two, and he and other officers were hit with the pie, Foster said.

"Gene saw it coming and got in the middle," he said.

The police pursued Reed and Grace Mitchell, Columbia City, who was with Reed at the time of the attack, Foster said.

Reed was arrested on suspicion of resisting law enforcement and three counts of battery of a police officer, and Mitchell was arrested on suspicion of resisting law enforcement, Delaware County Jail officials said. Reed remained in jail on $17,500 bail, but Mitchell was released Wednesday night on a $2,500 bond, officials said.

Horowitz, whose speech was sponsored by the College Republicans, Young America's Foundation and Student Government, said he hoped the people involved in the pie incident would be punished.

Horowitz received a similar welcome during stops at other Indiana colleges. During a speech at Butler University in 2005, he was struck in the face with a pie. A few days later while speaking at Purdue, a streaker interrupted his speech.

Horowitz has a history with Ball State. In 2006, he wrote "The ProFessors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America" about how universities teach students what, not how, to think. He criticized George Wolfe, professor of music and coordinator of outreach programs for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, claiming he had no qualifications to teach peace studies.

SGA President Asher Lisec said the organization was not aware Horowitz was a controversial speaker when it decided to co-sponsor him and did not think he would be speaking across party lines. However, she said she supports activities that encourage students to be more politically active and aware.

"Political conversation is something that is lacking at the university level," she said. "I'm happy people are taking an interest in politics, but I don't think it should have been taken to the level it was taken to."

To protest Horowitz's speech, students projected a sign saying "Horowitz not Welcome" on the south side of Teachers College. In addition, someone placed a fake order for 15 pizzas and had them sent under Horowitz's name to the site of the speech.

Ben Heighway, assistant manager of the Pizza Hut on Wheeling Ave., said an order for about $230 worth of pizzas and breadsticks was placed around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. to be delivered to Horowitz at Teachers College at 7 p.m. All the food had to be thrown away.

"I went with the driver because we had a lot of food and when we got there a lady was like we can't come in," he said. "A teacher came out and asked if we needed help, but soon another girl came out and said we needed to leave because I guess other stuff was happening."

Despite the problems, Horowitz's speech began about five minutes behind schedule.

"You can't get a good education if teachers are only telling you half of the truth," Horowitz told the audience of more than 100 people. "If you're getting an instruction that excludes other points of view you won't come out smarter."

When Horowitz attended college, he said his professors graded assignments based on how he made and assembled arguments. Now, universities are less academic and scholarly, but more political, he said.

"You don't go to a doctor expecting to get a speech about the war in Iraq and you shouldn't get one from your teachers," he said.

During the speech, some audience members yelled at Horowitz that he was only controversial because he was a liar.

Horowitz said he did not lie, and such accusations were simply misinformed character attacks.

He also said feminism was a leftist ideal and Ball State's Women's Studies program taught only one side of the issue.

Betsy Mills, SGA president pro-tempore, told Horowitz that she had been taught in her women's studies classes to ask why things happen and look at both sides of the issue. Horowitz replied by saying feminism is not equality, and Mills was not receiving information on both sides.

When he talked about Wolfe, Horowitz said a professor who teaches saxophone does not have the qualifications to teach peace studies. For the same reason, he said it was also unethical for Wolfe to recruit students for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.

While Wolfe did not attend the event, he said he did not condone the mistreatment Horowitz faced on campus Wednesday. The provocative acts, which he said were probably designed to intimidate Horowitz, actually sent a bad message.

"Horowitz has put himself in a situation where he speaks about highly politically charged issues and uses language that's offensive and raises people's emotions," Wolfe said in a phone interview after the event. "When people act on these negative emotions and feelings in a bad way they strengthen his position which is counter-productive to what they intended to do."

UPDATE: NewsLink Indiana reports that both Cassandra Reed and Grace Mitchell have been released on bond.