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College Republicans forced to scrap Ann Coulter event

Photo: College Republicans forced to scrap Ann Coulter event

Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak Sept. 20, but the talk was postponed. College Republicans hope to host the event in October.

When it comes to Ann Coulter, controversy is a given.

And controversy is exactly what the Republican pundit has brought to the University in the form of a dispute between UNC’s College Republicans and Student Congress.

The College Republicans decided Monday to postpone Coulter’s speaking event following Student Congress’ allocation of funds on Aug. 30 for the event.

Student Congress appropriated $5,000 in student fees for the event, coupled with an additional loan of $15,000, provided it was paid back by June 30.

But $5,000 was simply not enough money, said College Republicans’ Chairman Greg Steele.

Coulter’s speaking fee is $20,000, excluding travel and other expenses, he said.

“I feel like we really got gypped,” Steele said. “I don’t see how it is justified to make us raise that much money to pay back. And we just can’t find a way to do that — that’s why we’re pushing the event back and starting all over again.”

The organization scheduled Coulter to speak Sept. 20. Now, the organization hopes to host the event in late October, Steele said.
In order to do this, Steele said the organization plans to reject the allocated funds and submit a new request to Student Congress.

Leah Josephson, a district six representative in Student Congress, said that to have any more money allocated for the event, members of the College Republicans will have to show that they have made more of an effort in fundraising.

“If we actually gave them $20,000 for one event, it would have been $37 per attendee – a huge number,” she said. “We try to shy away from that as much as possible.”

Alex Pfadt, secretary of College Republicans, said significant efforts at fundraising have been made. But Steele said it is impossible to raise $15,000, especially when the group must plan for future, smaller scale events.

“The blatant partisanship and clear bias that occurred when voting is devastating and unfair,” Pfadt said.

Josephson stressed that the money that College Republicans received had nothing to do with partisan bias.

“Do I like Ann Coulter? No, not at all,” Josephson said. “But my vote didn’t have to do with that, nor did the discussion in Congress. This doesn’t have to do with Ann Coulter. It’s about the size of the request.”

Jared Simmons, chairman of the finance committee of Student Congress, agreed, saying that the decision was not based on political leanings.

“We strive to have continuity and consistency,” he said. “My finance committee has never allocated funds on a political basis.”
Pfadt said the group chose Coulter for her ability to spark debate.
“Ann Coulter is one of those lightning rods — she gets people interested and engaged,” she said.

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