Who Talks For You? 

Conservative students at Boise State say they'd like to have more right-leaning speakers show up on campus, and they're hoping to tell Idaho lawmakers about it in an upcoming meeting of the Senate Education Committee Thursday, February 15.

After former Vice President Al Gore drew 10,000 people to the Taco Bell Arena (a speech he did for free, after a cold call from Bethine Church), civil rights leader Jesse Jackson stopped by for Martin Luther King commemorative events. All well and good, the students say, but they'd like to see some diversity.

"When the university only presents one side of every issue, it's called indoctrination, a practice in which no institution of higher education should be involved," said Brandon Stoker, a Boise State student.

But speakers that the university pays for are selected by committees that include students, said Frank Zang, spokesman for Boise State. Joining one of those committees, Zang said, might be a better route for frustrated students.

Now religious activist Brandi Swindell said she's joining the students, saying the university needs to perform that hallowed role of fostering open discussion of issues, not parading left-wing speakers. Swindell, who had "no problems" with Gore's arrival, and who describes Jackson as "a fascinating gentleman," nonetheless feels that Boise State isn't doing a good enough job of challenging students in their beliefs.

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