“Dancing With the Stars” finalist Bristol Palin will address Washington University as the keynote speaker for next month’s Sexual Responsibility Week, the university newspaper Student Life reported Wednesday.
Palin will deliver a 25-minute speech and head up a four-person panel, which will include representatives from the Catholic Student Center, Missouri Right to Life, and Planned Parenthood. Palin, daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will address “the issue of abstinence in a college setting,” and her speech will be followed by an hour-long panel discussion and thirty minute Q&A session. Afterward, there will also be a reception so students can have one-on-one time with Palin.
Palin, herself an unwed teenage mom, has been a major abstinence/safe sex advocate since giving birth to son Tripp in 2008. Palin has done several Candie’s Foundation pregnancy prevention PSA’s, one of which included a rather peculiar collaboration with “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.
Because previous Sexual Responsibility weeks have been scrutinized for partisanship, the Student Health Advisory Committee decided Palin would provide a good balance to the discussion.
“We thought a big name like Bristol’s would help to start a dialogue,” SHAC President Scott Elman said. “We also wanted to target abstinence because SHAC and Sex Week have been criticized for being too liberal and too one-dimensional, and that the abstinence conversation hasn’t been brought up.”
Elman added that he expects many students to protest Palin’s presence.
“We really just want to start dialogue and the fact that we’re bringing in a balanced panel should be taken into account,” Elman said. “We’re not just bringing in Bristol Palin, we’re bringing her in with three or four other educated people.”