The University of Wisconsin's
decision Tuesday to pay nearly $1,300 in security fees for a student
event has sparked concern among representatives of some
liberal-oriented groups on campus.
After an Oct. 22 event organized by the
College Republicans generated an expensive security bill, chair Sara
Mikolajczak said the group would be unable to afford the charges.
UW junior Zach Heise, an active member
of the Campus Antiwar Network, said the number of police was "most
definitely not" necessary and disagreed with UW paying for the
The "most interesting" thing to
happen, Heise added, was former UW lecturer Kevin Barrett yelling at
Horowitz during the lecture before being asked to leave the room.
"There was absolutely no problem, and
the university is being publicly billed for this thing, and it just
doesn't seem fair to me," Heise said. "I don't think that,
for example, if CAN had a speaker that they would have security
guards around them, and if they did, I think it should be our
responsibility to pay for security."
Heise added he has been to many
protests, and none of these times has security been necessary.
"They're always there for the 'just in case.' But I don't
think the 'just in case' is worth $1,300," Heise said.
But Casey Nagy, executive assistant for
the chancellor, said the money comes from private donations, and not
taxpayer dollars or student tuition.
"This money comes from discretionary
accounts held by the chancellor's office," Nagy said. "We use
that money to fund student activities all the time."
Another CAN member, UW junior Rob
Lewis, said it is understandable that security is needed, but said he
condemns College Republicans for "bringing such a hateful speaker."
"Personally and morally I think that
he never should have came here," Lewis said. "Would a Nazi
speaker be allowed to speak? I'm not sure."
In a previous interview with The Badger
Herald, Nagy said even though he does not expect UW would be "picking
up the tab timer after time," it is in the campus interest to make
events like the Horowitz visit happen.
College Democrats Chair Oliver Kiefer
said though he disagreed with Horowitz's point, it is always
important to defend the First Amendment.
"For me to know that my free speech
will be protected, everyone else's free speech should also be
protected," Kiefer said.
Kiefer said he is pleased UW moved to
address the situation in timely fashion, taking into account both the
needs of security on campus and the issue free speech.
"A lot of people gave us a hard time
for bringing someone as controversial as Mr. Horowitz, but as far as
I'm concerned, if you don't bring in someone like that, it's
not going to ignite interest," Mikolajczak said. "If you don't
ignite interest, what's the point of even having an event?"
Mikolajczak added Horowitz was very
controversial but he filled the Union Theater, "and that's really
what we were going for."