Students Protest Tucker Max lecture in student Union
Three Brockport students posted signs in an attempt to boycott the lecture
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 23:09
Twelve hours after Brockport Student Government announced the controversial booking of author Tucker Max, three women students stormed the Union in an attempt to show fellow students what they believe Max stands for.
Seniors Carrie Hellwig, Nicole Boothby and Kellie Engelmeier, all social work majors, posted typed-up quotes from Max' book in the Union after their night class. Student Union managers and employees worked quickly to tear them down and dispose of them before anyone saw as the Ballroom was full for a "Sex Signals" program.
The signs included such quotes as "It's because of women like you that in no language on Earth does the phrase 'smart as a woman' appear" and "That's the beauty of alcohol. If you don't remember it, it didn't happen."
Of nine different quotes, seven of them included swear words inappropriate for print. Boothby said there were "hundreds of quotes we could have picked," and that these were just "skimming the surface."
"We chose the quotes because if someone doesn't know who Tucker Max is — say if I'm talking to person x and he says "Who's this Tucker Max?" and I say 'He's hilarious. Come to the show you'll laugh your a** off the whole time,' but if hear, 'Well, he promotes rape culture and this is what he said,' as a woman I'm going to be like 'That's not OK,'" Boothby said. "That's a lot different than saying, 'Oh, he's funny.'"
Max is best known for his book "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell." The first of four New York Times bestsellers, Max's writing is characterized as "fratire." He writes about his views on women, drinking (often to excess), insulting people and embarrassing sexual encounters.
Based on surveys from two and three years ago, the BSG executives booked him for the concert. The organization announced it shortly after 9 a.m. this morning. The Facebook post confirming the long-swirling rumors has 55 comments and 36 likes as of Tuesday night. BSG has also received Facebook posts, tweets and visits by students.
Boothby said she went to talk to BSG President Samantha Wheeler earlier Tuesday.
Boothby said Wheeler told her the lecture is an opportunity to ask Max questions, including why he thinks it's OK to do the things he writes about. Wheeler also told The Stylus this in an interview Monday.
"I don't give two [explicit] about why this piece of dirt thinks it's OK," she said.
Hellwig said she doesn't want Max to come because he promotes the college culture of excessive drinking.
"I've lived on campus for four years and I see what it's like on the weekends," Hellwig said. "People party Thursday through Sunday if it's a long weekend. It's just wild. I understand that you're in college, but there comes a point where you can't encourage that. That's what's so irritating.
"He's telling kids to keep doing what they're doing. [He's saying] 'It's OK, because hey, look at me, I'm a lawyer. Nothing will happen to you, you're invincible.' He's teaching men how to behave."
Hellwig, Boothby and Engelmeier said they had known Tucker Max was coming since last Tuesday as professors had announced it in class and urged their students to take action. They said they're leading a protest the night of the lecture. No one is sponsoring the protest in any way or giving money to the event.
Hellwig said organizations involved include: National Organization of Women, Student Social Work Organization, Women and Gender Studies Organization, SOUL, Voices for Planned Parenthood and various other students. Hellwig said they're trying to get students from other schools involved as well.
While many in favor of bringing Max argue not everyone will be pleased all the time, the three women are quick to argue.
"When you take it to a point where it hurts someone and causes damage, then it's too far," Engelmeier said.
"As far as people saying, 'Well, this is BSG. You voted for this,' people have voted for presidents in this country who promoted segregation," Hellwig said. "Nazi Germany existed."
Hellwig, Boothby and Engeimeier said in the future they want to see BSG actively reach out to all students to see what the students want.
"Getting elected to BSG is not a free pass to do what you want," Engelmeier said. "It's your responsibility to represent the student body."
Said Boothby: "What's that quote from Spiderman? ... With great power comes great responsibility."