By Erin Murphy
Washington University had planned on having Bristol Palin speak for their Student Sexual Responsibility Week however, after an uproar of protests from the student body, they canceled Bristol’s contract, showing that students can impact and alter school policy.
StlToday claims that the anger coming from the student body was due to the fact that they had allotted $20,000 of student-generated funds, at least $15,000 of which would go to Ms. Palin. Fox News reported that it was the work of celebrity Kate Walsh, who tweeted, “Welcome to the Idiocracy! RT @elliekirsh: @katewalsh please join students at Wash.U. to boycott Bristol Palin’s speech on abstinence. What does she know about college or abstaining?” A Facebook petition was also launched asking that Ms. Palin not be paid with student funds to speak, and by Thursday, January 27, thousands of people had signed on for the protest.
Washington University’s Student Health Advisory Committee had compiled a list of speakers for the week, including Ms. Palin who was to talk about abstinence and preventing teen pregnancy. However, after student protests, a mutual agreement was made between the committee and Ms. Palin that she would no longer speak, stating that, “the message that they intended on sharing would be overshadowed by controversy.”