In the fall of 2004, just weeks before the contentious Bush-Kerry general election, filmmaker Michael Moore was invited by student government leaders to speak at Utah Valley State College. In response to the invite, TV pundit Sean Hannity offered to speak as well. The ensuing uproar surrounding these visits transformed campus that year as UVSC faculty, staff, and students wrestled with issues of free speech, academic freedom, and national politics.
At the center of all this controversy stood two students; student body president Jim Bassi and vice president of academics Joe Vogel invited Moore as a way to shake things up on campus. Death threats, bribes, and the harsh spotlight of national media attention soon followed. There were protests and counter protests in the halls and in the classrooms on a daily basis. They wanted to shake things up, and they got their wish.
The aftershocks of The Moore War are still being felt at UVU. In many ways we as a campus community owe a lot to the events of October 2004. With that in mind we thought we would get folks back together and talk about the critical issues this event came to symbolize.
The purpose of this symposium is not to open up old wounds, but to compare our scars and the stories behind them.