Fear of Political Speakers Grips Minnesota's College of Saint Catherine

All I can say to students at this college is - you chose to attend the wrong college.

No institution of higher learning worth its salt would shy away from political speakers during this season and before the most important election in a generation or more.

The Wildcats? Hardly. More like the Scaredycats.
St. Kate's students rally today, meet with administrators
By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

The furor over rejecting politically oriented speakers at the College of St. Catherine is showing no signs of slowing down.

An online student petition denouncing the St. Paul school’s decisions has collected nearly 200 signatures, on-campus demonstration is planned for later this morning and school administrators are meeting with students this afternoon.The developments follow last week’s news that the all-female Catholic school turned away visits by conservative commentator Bay Buchanan, a leading supporter of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The former First Lady is a campaign trail regular on behalf of Barack Obama, her party’s nominee for the White House.

St. Kate’s administrators said that the two speakers, as well as Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken of Minnesota, were denied speaking opportunities on campus this election season because the school was worried that it couldn’t provide an equal amount of opportunity to both sides of the political spectrum.

In an open letter, college President Andrea Lee explained that “our goal was to [ensure] St. Catherine’s 'neutrality’ throughout the election process while encouraging strong and active campus engagement.”

The students’ online petition said that “this 'neutrality’ is both disheartening and disturbing. The students of St. Kate’s would like to challenge the notion that there is such a thing as 'neutrality’ when it comes to the political world. ... Many students at St. Kate’s and elsewhere would challenge the idea that they fall into either of the dominant political parties....more

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