Proposed Bills Limit Funding for UT Speakers

Proposed bills in the state House and Senate would limit or cut funding for University of Tennessee student groups to host campus speakers, the Columbia Daily Herald reports. In a backlash against the student-organized Sex Week — a week-long event promoting sexual health — Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, has introduced SB 1608, which would allocate speaker fees based on the membership size of student organizations. A companion bill, HB 2378, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet. A second proposal, SB 2493 / HB 2450, sponsored by Campfield and Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, would eliminate funding for all speakers. UT President Joe DiPietro said it was the first time in 40 years there was such concern over campus activities, but defended the university's open speaker policy.