WSU ends ‘hecklers veto’ aid but threatens conservative student’s graduation

December 17, 2005

It shouldn’t have taken a threatened law suit and being held up to nationwide public scorn but Washington State University officials have stopped paying student hecklers who shout down speakers with whom they disagree.

Unfortunately, the stench remains strong at Washington State University of a Stalinist suppression of political views that deviate from the politically correct academic liberal orthodoxy.

Regular readers of this space will recall from this July column that the controversy began when it was learned university administrators were paying students to heckle the production of a controversial play by a student author.

Student playwright Chris Lee warned attendees before his production was staged on campus that it would likely “offend everybody” and indeed some Mormon students who paid their own way to see the play silently protested its content.

But 40 other students repeatedly shouted “I am offended” and did everything in their power to shut down the production, including threatening performers on stage with physical harm. These protesting students were all Black, as is Lee.

It was not merely that the Black students insisted on disrupting the production that set them apart from others like the Mormons in the audience who found Lee’s play disturbing. Guess who paid for the hecklers’ tickets? Washington State University’s very own Office of Campus Involvement, headed by Raul Sanchez. The same office helped organize the heckling. Lane Rawlins, the school’s president, even praised and defended the hecklers...

Schools: Washington State University Cases: Washington State University: Use of Dispositions Theory to Enforce Ideological Orthodoxy Washington State University: Administrative Support for Heckler’s Veto of Student Play