The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) reported that the University of Northwestern, a Christian institution in Minnesota, didn’t want Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, to speak at a campus event.
The school’s YAF chapter president, Hayley Tschetter, asked the school’s administrators what was going on.
Tschetter requested details from UNW administrators, and on February 20, they responded via email, saying their “main concern is that it is an open event.”
Apparently “it would be different if you were having a speaker just come speak to your club. Speakers open to all UNW students would have more strictness” explained the email before turning to ad hominem attacks on Star Parker’s character:
“There were quite a few concerns about Star. Our staff has been very adamant about bringing speakers to campus who educate and expand worldviews, but we really don’t bring speakers who radically hold beliefs that UNW as a whole would not agree with,” states the email. “In the past UNW has stayed away from sensationalized speakers. I foresee us continuing to do this. After reviewing some of Star’s material online we didn’t feel she was a good fit for our community.”
They called Star Parker, a pro-lifer who believes in what makes America great — capitalism, Christianity, and the Constitution — “sensationalized” and not a “good fit” to speak at a Christian institution.
“I accepted UNW YAF’s gracious invitation to defend life and traditional Christian principles,” Star said in a statement. “Abortion has devastated the black community and is the moral crisis of our time. Christian universities are precisely where this urgent discussion should be happening.”
The school offered this explanation on its Facebook page:
The University has prayerfully considered how to best address the concerns over Ms. Parker’s appearance on campus. First, student clubs are not permitted to host community-wide, externally-focused events, and any outside speaker to campus must be approved by the University prior to the invitation. Unfortunately, the event was marketed to the public before a signed contract was in place, which makes the University look like it “uninvited” Ms. Parker. The University procedures were simply not followed.
We have a history of welcoming healthy dialogue from various viewpoints, but within an atmosphere that allows the University to guide the process and event. We passionately agree with Ms. Parker’s strong pro-life stance.
This is an unfortunate situation, and we are grieved that it has caused concern and confusion for our students and our broader community.
So which is it — was Star barred from speaking because YAF didn’t follow procedure or because she was “not fit”?