By Alyse Parks
Utah Valley State College held a press conference Wednesday addressing issues regarding the controversial director Michael Moore”s visit and announcing Sean Hannity as their next speaker.
“What we have done here has created a spark at our school,” said UVSC”s student body president Jim Bassi.
Bassi was seated next to Michael Mower, who is a representative for the school”s Board of Trustees.
According to Mower, by bringing Michael Moore and Sean Hannity to speak, UVSC hopes to create an atmosphere of free exchange on campus.
“We want a balance, that”s why Moore and Hannity are coming,” Mower said.
Bassi and Mower said they think with Moore”s coming students can be better prepared for the upcoming presidential elections.
“We encourage students to take advantage of the democratic process, that”s partly why we are bringing both speakers,” Bassi said. “Never has UVSC done something this controversial … we live in a community that will respect that.”
However, some community members are outraged by UVSC”s invitation to Moore.
“I don”t see the point of paying a man $40,000 to come in here and change who we are,” said Kay Anderson, a resident of Orem who”s home borders the campus.
Anderson said he thinks UVSC acts like they are separated from the community.
“This is family city USA, this is who we are,” Anderson said, “We are a conservative city in a conservative county in the most conservative state of the union and somebody is paying a guy to give us a different point of view.”
Anderson said that he does not want to hear Moore”s viewpoint because he does not want his family influenced negatively.
“I”m not taking my kids over to Hooters this week for family night, and I”m not going to read Playboy for scripture study because I want to give them another point of view,” he said. “Sometimes we know what the other point of view is and we don”t need it.”
After the press conference, students and community members gathered in UVSC”s cafeteria to voice their opinions.
“I personally think that this is a good thing for the school,” said Andrew Stone, 22, a UVSC student from Sacramento, Calif. “I plan on attending it … he”d be an interesting guy to listen to.”
Some BYU students were among the UVSC students carrying signs and voicing their opinions.
“Michael Moore coming brings diversity and will make people think,” said Andrew Adair, 21, from Lindon. “If you don”t want to listen you don”t have to.”
Adair said he thinks it is beneficial Hannity is coming because he thinks it will be good to hear both sides of the story.
Sean Hannity will be coming to UVSC at no charge, unlike Moore, who UVSC will be paying $40,000.
“I think it”ll be good to get a debate,” Stone said of Hannity coming to UVSC. “I just hope it doesn”t turn into a ”let”s totally go against Michael Moore and make him look like a fool here in Utah.””
Hannity will be at the school on Oct. 11 at 8:30 p.m. and Moore will speak on Oct. 20, both speakers will be in the McKay Events Center.