Thursday, September 23, 2004

Cal State San Marcos Controversy : Michael Moore to speak – but not on CS San Marcos campus

SAN MARCOS – Cal State San Marcos organizers declared victory Thursday after it was announced that filmmaker Michael Moore will speak Oct. 12 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, at an event open to the public and free to students.

The director of "Fahrenheit 9/11," which criticizes President Bush's security policies, is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. on that date, according to a student association group.

Some 200 to 300 students and faculty members staged a rally today to protest the cancellation of Moore's previously scheduled appearance at Cal State San Marcos on Oct. 13.

"We are definitely happy he is coming," said Sarah Leonard, a CSUSM sociology major and one of the event's organizers.

CSUSM President Karen Haynes, who attended the rally, banned the Oscar-winning director from speaking at the university. She said it would be illegal to have Moore on campus before the Nov. 2 presidential election.

Her decision came days after the student government voted to help subsidize Moore's $37,000 appearance.

"As a public university, we are prohibited from spending state funds on partisan political activity or direct political advocacy," Haynes wrote in a statement posted on the campus Web site and released for opinion pages in local newspapers.

She argued that Moore has campaigned for Democratic candidates and publicly declared his desire to oust Bush, and said the university would welcome him as a speaker after the election.

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