Sam Penrod ReportingRickard Lindgre, UVSC Student: “It was a poor decision; I want the community to know that students here at UVSC don't agree with what they've done."
A group of UVSC students are banding together, trying to round up signatures to protest the student council's decision to bring controversial filmmaker Michael Moore to campus. The student council at UVSC has booked Michael Moore for a speech and will pay him $40,000.
When Eyewitness News first broke this story last week, few students had anything to say. But today they were lining up at our camera for a chance to speak their minds.
It's clear the first amendment is alive and well at UVSC and there are some very strong feelings on both sides of this. But regardless of people's opinions of Michael Moore, his visit one month from today seems to have transformed UVSC into a very political campus.
At the ticket office at UVSC, phone orders are coming in and people are buying tickets to see Michael Moore.
Keri Jensen, Utah County Resident: “I’ve been following him for a couple of years. I’m very excited and I’m ready for balance in Utah County.”
But not everyone is lining up to see Moore, and at least two separate petition campaigns are underway to stop his appearance.
Rickard Lindgre: “I'm getting a petition going to remove the student council members who decided to spend $40,000 to get Michael Moore here."
The petition drive lists four reasons student leaders should be recalled.
Rickard Lindgre: "Poor use of allotted funds, striving to upset a peaceful campus, bringing negative publicity to the school, inviting a speaker that will polarize the student body and escalate unrest."
While many students are signing the petitions, others were speaking out against the petition drive, saying UVSC needs some diversity.
Dan Smith, UVSC Student: "We live in a community that is inside a bubble, and if we only brought speakers here that reinforce our opinions and our point of view, then we would just live inside of that bubble."
Gina Weissgarver, UVSC Student: "He's a propagandist for the Left but still I think that people should be exposed to that Left propaganda, so they can know there are different opinions."
While the majority of students we talked to seem to be less concerned about what Moore will say, they don't like the idea of their student fees being used to pay him. But some believe a high profile speaker will make the best use of that money earmarked for guest speakers.
Errin Julkunen, UVSC Student: "We're spending a lot of money to bring people to campus and no one's attending, where now we've spent a lot of money and guess what, a lot of people are going to go."
No one from the student council had a response to the removal petition. And privately some faculty members told us they are taking heat from their neighbors who are upset because UVSC is bringing Moore to Utah County.