Jason Mattera

Campus liberals are unaccustomed to hearing conservative ideas in their echo chambers, so it’s not uncommon for them to become discomforted when hearing alternative opinions.

Take Jane Canney, the vice president of student affairs at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, as an example. This administrator is depriving students the ability to hear Star Parker, a prominent conservative black speaker, because Canney was bothered by what another conservative had said at St. Thomas more than two years ago. On April 21, Star Parker was slated to deliver a talk on how abortion has devastated minority communities—a topic that seemed like a no-brainer at a Catholic university and the largest private college in Minnesota.

The conservative campus organizers only needed advertising space and a room to host Parker, as Young America’s Foundation and Conservative Student News Inc. were covering all the other costs.

Jane Canney nixed the idea entirely, citing “concerns” that the lecture was being underwritten by Young America’s Foundation. “As long as I am a vice president at St. Thomas, the Young America’s Foundation will not be allowed on campus,” Canney fumed in a recent meeting she had with Katie Kieffer, an alumna of St. Thomas and founder of the St. Thomas Standard as well as Conservative Student News Inc. Canney didn’t return the Foundation’s phone calls seeking comment.

Canney’s hostility toward Young America’s Foundation originated two years ago when YAF sponsored Ann Coulter at St. Thomas—an event attracting more than 750 students. Canney claimed she felt “uncomfortable” and “disturbed” while listening to Coulter, adding that she will never allow another Foundation-sponsored speaker on campus again.

So let’s get this straight: Just because some students and some administrators claimed to have been offended by what one conservative speaker warrants blocking an entire campus population from hearing conservative viewpoints? Such guilt-by-association is unbecoming of a college administrator. Moreover, this type of anti-intellectualism is an embarrassment to a school whose namesake reflects one of the greatest thinkers in civilization.

Young America’s Foundation sponsors more than 500 lectures annually featuring a wide variety of the very best in the Conservative Movement, including John Ashcroft, Michelle Malkin, Dinesh D’Souza, Sean Hannity, Bay Buchanan, Ann Coulter, and many others.

Liberals speakers at St. Thomas receive full support from the school’s administration. Within the past year, Canney’s Student Life Committee approved the appearances of Al Franken, the bombastic liberal commentator, and Debra Davis, a transgendered activist who believes God is a black lesbian.


Jason Mattera

Jason Mattera is the author of the New York Times bestseller Hollywood Hypocrites: The Devastating Truth About Obama's Biggest Backers (Simon & Schuster, March 2012).