We contacted St. Thomas senior Katie Kieffer and asked for her report on Ann Coulter’s appearance at St. Thomas. Ms. Kieffer’s report provides a valuable counterpoint to the columns by the Star Tribune’s fatuous columnist as well as to Father Dease’s condemnation of the event:
Here are my thoughts on the atmosphere at the Ann Coulter event. Please note that the quotes are accurate to the best of my knowledge, but since there was no recording of the speech, they may not be word-for-word.
About five days prior to the event, several members of the St. Thomas Standard staff and some of the College Republicans made and posted fliers all around campus advertising Ms. Coulter’s talk. I had to personally replace these signs around campus every day because they were repeatedly torn down or defaced. The vandals wrote “sad” across Ann’s forehead, wrote “man hands” on them, or drew Ann on a leopard-print couch on several of the fliers. These acts foreshadowed the inappropriate manner of several rioters who ended up attending Ms. Coulter’s speech.
My sister, Amie Kieffer, the artist for the St. Thomas Standard, and freshman at UST, told me that she felt that the atmosphere prior to, and especially after Ms. Coulter’s speech was very oppressive. For example, she said that before the speech, her Old Testament professor told one of the College Republican students in her class–in front of the rest of the class–that she did not hold Ann in high regard–basically degrading the speech before it happened, and saying she wouldn’t go. When her roommate had another student ask her if she was going to the speech, and she said she didn