Balancing free speech and fairness

By October 20, 2006

When Lafayette College President Daniel Weiss nixed a visit by Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann this week, he got caught in a maelstrom of complaints that he was smothering free speech.

For Weiss, it was a matter of protecting the Easton school's status as a nonprofit entity that, under federal guidelines, must remain impartial in politics.

But other local colleges don't see visits by political candidates that way. Gov. Ed Rendell, Swann's Democratic opponent, will be at Kutztown and Lehigh universities next week for what students at both schools described as rallies.

Rendell's campaign contacted the College Democrats at Kutztown and Lehigh and asked them to organize events, according to student leaders at those schools. Swann's campaign contacted the College Republicans at Lafayette, said sophomore Sara Walter, the group's president...

Schools: Lafayette College