NewsWed May 7, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Wisconsin U Student Senator Vandalizing Pro-Life Display of Crosses
ARLINGTON, VA, May 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Thursday, May 1, 2008, a peaceful Cemetery of the Innocents display at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point (UWSP) was vandalized by a Student Senator, Roderick King.
After having their display vandalized on the night of April 30th, several members from the UWSP pro-life group, Pointers for Life, were repairing the display around 11am on the morning of May 1st when a group of angry students, lead by UWSP Student Senator Roderick King, began to walk though the rows, taking crosses from the ground and throwing them.
King began to voice his complaints and said that Pointers for Life had "no right" to display the crosses, and that it was "his duty as a paying student" to take them down.
When the campus Protective Services officer arrived, most of the students stopped vandalizing the display; however, Senator King did not stop. He claimed, "The freedom of speech does not cover these signs and symbols!" Only after the Protective Services officer threatened to make him pay for damages did Senator King stop.
Bob Tomlinson, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, apologized to Pointers for Life for the disrespect and vandalism by the students. Student Senators Katie Kloth and Erica Wardle came to the display and clearly defined the university’s policies, asserting that Pointers for Life had correctly reserved the space and were allowed to host the display.
That night, Pointers for Life submitted a complaint to the Student Government Association (SGA) and asked for Senator King to resign or be disciplined appropriately under the student government Constitution. However, the student government has yet to force Senator King to resign.
Jackie Kryzkowski, the Pointers for Life President, said, "Student Senators should be helping to defend our freedom of speech, not trying to take it away because of personal beliefs. If students had a problem with the display, they could exercise their freedom of speech maturely by protesting it peacefully, not by defacing our display."
Ryan Wrasse, another member of the group pointed out: "As we filed our official complaint with the UWSP Student Government Association, we also issued a strong ultimatum: The SGA could either vote to retain Senator King and condone this type of behavior, or remove him from Senate and send a clear message to UWSP students and faculty that this type of behavior will not be tolerated."
Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director of Students for Life of America, remarked: "This event shows that our country is not immune to the situation going on in Canada right now, where campus pro-life groups are being singled out and excluded from the guaranteed freedom of speech and expression on college campuses. This is not the first time that a student group has had this same type of peaceful display vandalized or has faced discrimination on a college campus. SFLA is here to make sure all college pro-lifers are guaranteed their rights to demonstrate on behalf of those who have no voice."
Students for Life suggests that citizens take action on the matter and call the University of Wisconsin -Stevens Point Chancellor of Student Affairs, Linda Bunnell, at 715-346-2123 or email her at [email protected] "to let her know you want the school to remove Roderick King from the Student Senate for vandalizing a legal, peaceful display."
WATCH: See the video of the vandalism here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5NeLyMZUYM