Bill Ayers At UConn

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A radical coming to campus. You may remember Bill Ayers as a bomb-blasting left-winger during the 60's, or more recently as the controversial figure with ties to Barack Obama during his run for president. Thursday afternoon, Ayers will bring all his controversy to the University of Connecticut where he will be a guest speaker during "Human Rights Awareness Week." Campus group "Idealists United" extended the invitation because of Ayers' more recent work on education reform, especially his focus on less privileged kids. However, it is his past, particularly in the 1960's and 1970's, which has "UConn College Republicans" critical of the planned visit. It's well documented that Ayers was a founder of "Weather Underground" -- a radical anti-Vietnam War group responsible for setting off bombs in the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and New York City's Police Headquarters. "UConn College Republicans" argue Ayers should not be allowed to speak at a public university. "I don't think it's the proper venue, and the proper use of taxpayer's money, as well as student fees, as well as alumni donations to be promoting what he stands for," UConn College Republicans Vice President Tim Plungis said. Andrew Wicks, Vice President of UConn's "Idealists United," countered, "If the College Republicans have issue with bringing someone of this nature to this campus to talk about education, I think they don't know enough about his education policies." Ayers will be speaking at 3:30pm in the "Torrey Life Sciences" building. The University of Connecticut's only official comment about the controversial visit is that the university values free speech.

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