January 27th, 2011 10:09 EST
Planned Speech By Bristol Palin Goes Viral At Washington University
Saint Louis (Sapientia Media) " Ire towards a planned speech by Bristol Palin has gone viral at Washington University in St. Louis in the day following a $20,000 funding approval for the event by the university`s Student Union. With the goal of discussing abstinence during its Sexual Responsibility Week in February, the Student Health Advisory Committee submitted a $20,000 funding request for the speech that was approved in a 7-4-1 vote by the Student Union Treasury on Tuesday night. Studlife, the campus newspaper of Washington University, broke the news to the student body shortly thereafter with an article that has served as an impetus for frustrated students, planned protests and attempts to repeal the decision.
A message of abstinence is respectable and should be validated by a speaker, but please bring someone to Wash U who can broaden students` thought processes and experience " stated student Jennifer Shirar, reflecting the general sentiment that 20 year old Bristol Palin may be unable to provide meaningful insight to the student body. The Wash U College Democrats organization created a Facebook event entitled "No thanks, Bristol!` with the goal of organizing active protests of the speech. In the single day since its creation, over 800 students have marked their intention to attend. The event`s size is currently over five times that of the Wash U College Democrats Facebook page itself, quelling concerns about purely partisan opposition.
Efforts by students to stifle the speech have focused on Article IX Section 1 of the Student Union Constitution, which allows for a referendum to occur upon the submission of a petition containing the names of 5% of the student body. Sources place this number at 302 names. At 6:45pm on Wednesday afternoon, the Facebook page "Digital Petition for SU Referendum on Bristol Palin Speech` (http://facebook.com/suPalinPetition) was created by Sapientia Media with the goal of rapidly reaching this number. As of press time, 436 students have joined the digital petition and the list continues to grow as the social media effort has gone viral among its target audience.
Referendum efforts were stifled at a Student Union meeting on Wednesday night when it was determined that the organization`s madnated 10 day minimum waiting period preceding a vote on a referendum would exceed the time it would take for both parties to sign the contract for the speech, at which point a refund would not be possible. This has lead organized efforts to end the event into disarray and frustration.
The fight is not over for Student Union President Morgan DeBaun shared that, while funding has been approved for Palin`s speech, the Student Health Advisory Committee has yet to finalize its contract and send it to Bristol Palin. Concerned students have focused their efforts on contacting the committee and its president, Scott Elman, with the hope of having them end the speaking arrangement before the decision becomes financially-binding.
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SOURCE: Sapientia Media LLC