Injury stalls controversial Coulter talk

Ann Coulter’s Dec. 3 visit to the College is being rescheduled for a date in February, due to an injury resulting in a broken jaw.

Despite the postponement, many student groups say they still intend to protest the event in February.

The far-right political commentator, syndicated columnist and best-selling author was scheduled to give a lecture titled “Ann Coulter and the 2008 Election: Why Liberals Are Wrong About Everything.”

As was first reported by The New York Post and later confirmed by the College Republicans, Coulter is healing from a broken jaw. It is currently unknown how the injury occurred or how severe it is.

“Her condition does not change anything about the event except the date,” Brian Hackett, chairman of the College Republicans, said. Hackett said he believes the later date will allow Coulter to “comment more on President (-elect) Obama,” since Inauguration Day will take place Jan. 20.

The February date will also occur after the release of Coulter’s seventh book, “Guilty: Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assault on America,” on Dec. 30.

Prior to Coulter’s injury, her upcoming visit had kept the political fervor of the campus at full tilt.

The College Democrats and other campus groups had planned a protest in and outside Kendall Hall, the venue for her lecture.

“We want people to know that (the College), as a whole, does not agree with Coulter and does not think that she contributes anything positive to American political discourse,” College Democrat Glenn Eisenberg, sophomore political science major, said.

The protestors have planned an “anti-racist” chant outside of Kendall Hall, before the lecture begins. At some point during the lecture, “we will stage a walk-out protest in which all of us will simultaneously walk out quietly,” Eisenberg said.

In October, the Student Finance Board (SFB) unanimously awarded the College Republicans a $20,000 request to bid for Coulter and a $2,800 request in November for security. The combined $22,800 price tag has irked some students who feel it is too much money to spend on Coulter.

“I feel about that price tag the way I feel about this whole event – I want my money back,” College Democrat Matt Hoke, junior history major, said.

Leo Acevedo, executive director of SFB, defended the board’s decision to award unanimous funding for the lecture and security.

“Considering the fact that we had just allocated $20,000 to bring Ann Coulter here it would be unreasonable for us then not to fund the needed security for the event, for her safety, for the safety of the students,” Acevedo said.

He explained one of the reasons SFB decided to fund the event was to foster College political discussion.

“Obviously as you can see from the reactions so far, it’s really sparked interest both in terms of the College Republicans and protesters because of the controversy that surrounds her.”

Some of those reactions have included “chalking-wars” around campus. “Ann Coulter Probably Hates You” was written outside Brower Student Center. Someone then crossed out “Coulter” and replaced it with “Davis,” referring to Angela Davis, a Democratic political activist who came to campus last spring.

Danielle Paterno, senior psychology major, does believe in protesting, but doesn’t believe it should be hateful. Instead, the protest should generate support for charity, community and respect.

“That is the only true and accurate opposition to what Ann Coulter stands for,” Paterno said.

News of Coulter’s appearance has even spread to students studying abroad. Kate Whitman, a junior English major currently studying in Galway, Ireland, is glad she will be back next semester to attend the lecture.

“There is a difference between having conviction and simply making hateful statements, and the latter is what Ann Coulter does,” Whitman said.

“I’m actually very happy and excited that I’ll be back at (the College) during that time to see all of the political energy this event will generate.”