Speaker Hit with Pie · 12 April 2005

Filed under: Indiana, Press Coverage

By Amanda Hase--Butler Dawgnet--04/10/05

David Horowitz got more than he signed up for when speaking at Butler Wednesday evening. The speaker, who had been invited by College Republicans, had a pie thrown at him during the middle of his speech in Gallahue Hall.

"Early in Mr. Horowitz's presentation, an as-yet-unidentified person threw a pie at Mr. Horowitz and, with a small group of protesters, disrupted his presentation," Bobby Fong, president of Butler University, said in a press release. "That incident and the events that followed are still being investigated by the Butler University Police Department."

His views regarding liberal teaching on college campuses have gained Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, much notoriety.

Horowitz has become known as an "outspoken opponent of censorship and racial preferences, and a prominent defender of intellectual diversity and academic freedom," Carl Heck, president of College Republicans, said.

Heck, who is also the state chairman of the Indiana Federation of College Republicans, said he was sickened at the incident Wednesday evening.

"This incident was an unfortunate reality check for conservatives on this campus and across the country… there should be zero tolerance for obstruction of campus speakers on the campus of Butler University, whether they be conservative or liberal or of any other political stripe," Heck said.

Carol Reeves, an English professor at Butler was also present for Horowitz's speech.

"Throwing pies rather than hearing someone out, then challenging him to defend his views is childish and anti-intellectual, but such actions do have their effects," Reeves said. "For one thing, it actually created sympathy among the audience for Mr. Horowitz."

In a statement sent to the Butler community, Fong said, "A university is at its best a forum for the open exchange of ideas and opinions. Mr. Horowitz's right to express his opinions was violated by those who disrupted his speech. We support the constitutional rights of free speech granted to Mr. Horowitz as well as to those who disagree with his opinions. The university does not support this inappropriate behavior.

I ask for the Butler community to reaffirm the critical role universities play as a forum for civil discourse by supporting the right of all speakers on campus to express their viewpoints in a safe environment and with due respect."