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.
Download the press release for this event here.
9:00 AM to 9:50 AM
Opening keynote session with former UVSC student body president Jim Bassi, former UVSC student body vice president of academics Joe Vogel, and former College Times news editor Shawn Mansell. Moderated by Vegor Pedersen.
10:00 AM to 11:50 AM
Forum on academic freedom featuring UVU professors Alex Caldiero, Christa Albrect-Crane, Chris Foster, David Knowlton, Dennis Potter, and Alex Simon. Moderated by Philip Gordon.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Break for lunch
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Film screening of This Divided State, followed by a Q and A with filmmaker Steven Greenstreet.
Jim Bassi- was the Student Body President at UVSC during the Michael Moore and Sean Hannity events of 2004. After graduation from UVSC in 2005 Jim moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area where he largely stayed in education, promoting careers in STEM. Currently Jim is the VP of Strategy and Business Development for an Business Intelligence and Education Technology company in Los Angeles, CA. He resides in Agoura Hills with his wife of 11 years and their 3 children.
Joseph Vogel was the student Vice President of Academics who, along with Jim Bassi, invited Michael Moore to UVSC in 2004. Since graduating from UVU in 2006, he earned his MA and PhD from the University of Rochester. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, The Huffington Post and PopMatters, and are forthcoming in the Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. His 2011 book, Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson, has been praised by Rolling Stone, the Associated Press, and Library Journal, and translated into four languages. In 2012, he worked with filmmaker Spike Lee on the documentary, Bad 25. He is currently at work on a new book on author James Baldwin.