On Saturday, the Stanford Anscombe Society (SAS) moved its scheduled event to a different location on campus, according to Campus Reform, an online college news site. Although students and faculty had expressed concern about the subject of the event, University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin explained that the reason for the relocation was due to the conference’s conflicting with Admit Weekend for the School of Medicine.
According to its website, SAS is an organization that “promotes discussion regarding the roles of the family, marriage and sexual integrity in the lives of Stanford students both now and after graduation.” The student group “defines marriage as a union, until death, between one man and one woman,” and its members also “promote the idea that sexual integrity is necessary for this family unit to be successful.”
The event in question was entitled “Facing History: The Legacy of the Sexual Revolution.” This was the second consecutive year that SAS held the conference. The event, which received funding from the Undergraduate Senate, the Graduate Student Council and the Stanford Speakers Bureau, was originally going to be held at the Li Ka Shing Center at the School of Medicine.
The Campus Reform article stated that an LGBT rights group in the medical school objected to SAS using the space and that members created a petition asking the dean of the School of Medicine to revoke the right to the conference hall that SAS was planning to use.
According to Lapin, however, SAS was informed that the event would need to be moved as a result of Admit Weekend prior to any letter of concern.
“Space is very tight here, and we will need to use Berg Hall for the admit day programs and events,” read an email from the School of Medicine to SAS.
“Our sincere apologies that we will not be able to accommodate your conference here at Berg Hall on April 11,” wrote Priya Singh, senior associate dean of strategy and communications for the School of Medicine, in the email. “Please know that we will be happy to schedule your event at Berg Hall on another date (based on availability). Realizing that this is short notice, we are also doing our very best to locate alternative space for you either on or off campus.”
The LGBT rights group and its supporters who signed the petition felt that the event hosted by SAS constituted hate speech and would “make our LGBT students feel threatened on their own campus,” according to Campus Reform.
Members of SAS disagreed with the characterization of their conference as hate speech and published a response to the petition online claiming that they “bring conservative speakers to campus because we believe that this discussion is not present, that conservative students’ viewpoints are not being represented and that Stanford students have not had an opportunity to hear a well-supported, academic talk on traditional sexual ethics.”
The students and faculty in the medical school who objected to the event using its space succeeded in getting the event moved out of a medical school building, and the Facing History event was still held on Stanford campus at the Faculty Club.
Based on a false report in Campus Reform, an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the reason for moving the event was due to protests by faculty and students. Prior to the letter of concern, however, the School of Medicine had already informed SAS that the conference would conflict with Admit Weekend for the medical school and would need to be moved. The Daily regrets this error.
Contact Sarah Wishingrad at swishing ‘at’ stanford.edu.