University Student Senator Who Vandalized Pro-Life Display Gets Another Term

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

University Student Senator Who Vandalized Pro-Life Display Gets Another Term

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 13
, 2008

Stevens Point, WI (LifeNews.com) — The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student government member who, earlier this month, trashed and vandalized a pro-life display hasn’t been disciplined. Instead, Roderick King is still a member of the Student Senate and was unanimously re-appointed to another term.

As LifeNews.com first reported, King vandalized a display featuring crosses erected by the campus pro-life group to memorialize those babies killed in abortions.

While pulling and tossing them, King shouted "Freedom of speech does not cover these signs and symbols!" His actions were filmed by members of the campus pro-life group Pointers for Life and put on the Internet for display.

UWSP officials responded to the news last week saying it wouldn’t disclose whether it would take any disciplinary action against King.

Now, Students for Life of America tells LifeNews.com that King is getting another term in the student government body.

Yesterday, Stephen Ward, the Assistant of Chancellor of University Relations and Communications, claimed King is no longer a member of the student senate.

"On the evening of May 1, the UWSP Student Senate’s Rules Committee voted to remove the senator who, earlier that day, was the apparent leader of a group of students who disrupted the campus display by Pointers for Life," he said. "This particular student is no longer as senator, as his term expired and he did not seek re-election."

However, PFL member Ryan Wrasse says Ward’s claim is inaccurate.

Wrasse said King told the senate he was not sorry for his actions and rejected a request from the student government that King merely issue a letter of apology and suspend his application to be a part of the senate until the next school year.

SFLA tells LifeNews.com it spoke with Erika Wardle, College of Natural Resources Caucus Chair and a member of the senate, who told the group King is on board the government body for the next school year.

In addition, the student government constitution requires the body to hold another meeting before it can address the situation again. Since it has adjourned for the school year, the earliest the senate can revisit King’s standing with the group won’t occur until after the next school year begins.

"I am disappointed that this problem wasn’t resolved last Thursday by the UWSP Student Government Association," Wrasse said. "Instead, they unanimously reappointed Senator King to another term."

Wrasse said university officials and the student government will continue hearing from pro-life students about the vandalism.

"The body essentially tabled any further discussions on this matter until their next meeting in September which means that this will be drug out for another three months. If they are hoping we will forgot about this, they couldn’t be more mistaken," he said.

Meanwhile, Kristan Hawkins, the director of Students for Life of America, told LifeNews.com that the decision makes it so the campus is tolerating infringements on free speech rights.

"It is disappointing that the UWSP Student Senate voted unanimously to re-appoint King for another term after his actions," she said. "Their decision is a slap in the face to Pointers for Life and clearly shows they are not interested in protecting students’ rights if they don’t agree with the opinion being expressed."

ACTION: Contact UWSP officials and urge that they take actions against King for his vandalism. Call the University of Wisconsin -Stevens Point Chancellor of Student Affairs, Linda Bunnell, at 715-346-2123 or email her at [email protected] and demand that King be removed from Student Senate.

Related web sites:
Students for Life of America – https://www.studentsforlife.org