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Oscar-winning filmmaker and best-selling author Michael Moore announced today the establishment of “The Michael Moore Freedom of Speech Scholarship at Cal State San Marcos.” The $2,500 scholarships will be awarded annually, for a minimum of four years, to the two individual students who have done the most to fight for issues of student rights by standing up to the administration of Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM).
Moore pledged to establish the scholarship after the Cal State San Marcos student-body came out to protest the school administration and CSUSM President Karen Haynes’s decision to cancel a speaking engagement Mr. Moore had at the school on the grounds that the speaker was too “political.” The student government responded to Ms. Haynes’ decision by raising money and organizing a 10,000 person rally at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on October 12, 2004, as part of Moore’s 63-city “Slacker Uprising Tour.”
Folk music icon Joan Baez and guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine and Audio Slave), performing as “The Nightwatchman,” both joined Moore on stage that evening to commend the students of Cal State San Marcos and to perform songs of protest.
“I hope this scholarship will encourage students to show courage and stand up for what they believe in”, Moore stated. “It’s not easy to take on the establishment, but when students do so for the right reasons, they should be rewarded.”
The first scholarships will be awarded to two students during the 2005-06 academic year. Students must fill out an application, have three references, and write a letter to Michael Moore stating the reasons they deserve the scholarship and what they have done to take a stand to make their community a better place.
“At a time when the media and politicians have shown a lack of courage, we should look to America’s universities and America’s young people to show us how patriotic dissent is. The University should not be a place for fear, but a place for bravery, free thought, and a little bit of rebellion.”