By Jesse Lewis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Controversial director, writer and political activist Michael Moore will speak to UA students Oct. 11 at McKale Center.
Moore is coming to campus to address the upcoming election and offer his point of view, said Fernando Ascencio, ASUA Speakers Board director. He is coming to campus through a speaker series put on by the ASUA Speakers Board.
Ascencio, a political science senior, said he knows Moore's appearance will cause controversy on campus, but said ASUA is not endorsing Moore or his ideas. They are only bringing him to campus for students to hear and educate themselves on what he has to say.
"We believe he is an engaging character. That's what we are trying to show," Ascencio said. "ASUA is not passing judgment. We believe he has a unique way of presenting his ideas and addressing the opposition."
The ASUA Speakers Board will also feature speeches next month by Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) and writer David Hardy.
Alicia Cybulski, president of the UA Young Democrats, said she thinks Moore's appearance will be positive for students of all political backgrounds.
"I think it's a good opportunity for the UA to have him come. It will open up some dialogue that wouldn't have been talked about if he didn't come," Cybulski said.
UA College Republicans President Danielle Roberts disagreed with Cybulksi, and said she thinks Moore's visit is unfair because he only represents one side of politics.
"Students have the right to see both sides of the campaign. Michael Moore is blatantly partisan, and it is only fair that we should have a conservative speaker to balance the spectrum," Roberts said.
Roberts suggested ASUA sponsor a conservative speaker such as talk show host Sean Hannity or host a debate among candidates representing different political ideas.
Alistair Chapman, ASUA president, said Moore's speaking is part of a bigger frame of projects to get students motivated to vote and to invoke civic engagement.
"We are getting students more involved with the political process," Chapman said.
ASUA has also been working hard on other aspects of civic engagement. The first part of its effort is getting students registered to vote.
An ASUA/Rock the Vote concert will feature Nappy Roots Oct. 1, with the only entrance charge being a student's voter registration card. The third branch of their project is to get students to the polls to vote. ASUA is working very hard at getting a polling site on campus, Chapman said.
Moore will speak at McKale Center at 7 p.m. Oct. 11. Tickets are available to students today for $5 with a CatCard in the UofA Bookstores in Park Student Union and the Student Union Memorial Center.
Tucson community members can purchase tickets beginning Sept. 29. Only two tickets will be sold per CatCard and per person for community members.
Ascencio hopes to fill the 14,500 seats in McKale Center. ASUA estimates that at least 60 percent of the arena will be filled.
Ascencio said he hopes the speech will spark discussion and an interest in finding out about all the candidates involved in this year's presidential election.
"I'm here to put on informative, engaging speakers. Moore is definitely a controversial speaker and there will definitely be a lot of people for it and a lot of people against it," Ascencio said.