Missouri college latest to grapple with speaker uproar
KIRKSVILLE (AP) — Some students at Truman State in northeast Missouri are circulating a petition seeking to halt a speech by an author who runs the website "Jihad Watch" in the nation's latest fray over a controversial collegiate speaker.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that concerns arose at the public university in Kirksville, Missouri, when a college Republican group arranged to bring Robert Spencer to campus Thursday night. The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Spencer as an anti-Muslim "propagandist." And the school's Muslim Student Association has responded by recruiting another speaker.
Truman State says allowing the event to proceed is a free speech issue. Controversies over speakers have erupted at several other campuses in recent months, including at Vermont's Middlebury College, where a group rocked a car during a protest.