Contact: Sid Salter
Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum issued the following statement on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018: “I have appreciated hearing from interested groups and individuals regarding the Gender Studies event on our campus on March 1, particularly the heartfelt concerns about the speaker’s message regarding abortion. From time to time across our campus, organizations promoting different perspectives on issues invite speakers whose presentations could be controversial.
“While some may view this program as objectionable, other members of our campus community would argue that in support of academic freedom, differing opinions on topics of national debate should be heard. I believe an objective look at the overall lineup of speakers and events at MSU would be judged fair and balanced with regard to the pro-choice, pro-life debate.
“In keeping with the university’s efforts to provide students with viewpoints on all sides of the compelling issues of the day, we are supporting the efforts of MSU Students for Life and Catholic Campus Ministry to present a program that gives our campus community a national speaker from the pro-life position on Tuesday, March 6, in the same venue that Thursday’s program will be held. The event will include a keynote address by Connecticut pro-life activist Christina Bennett. Contrary to previous published reports, I can offer assurance that neither Dr. Parker’s pro-choice presentation on March 1, nor the pro-life program from Ms. Bennett next week, are being funded with taxpayer dollars.
“I would also note that on the pro-life side of the ledger, our student groups have been very active over the past couple of years, leading over 30 meetings, events and initiatives on the MSU campus.
“Our goal in all university programming is to give our students the intellectual components necessary in an environment of academic freedom and mutual respect to make their own judgments and form their own opinions on important issues,” Keenum said.