Student hecklers broke up a debate at Boston State College (BSC) yesterday between conservative spokesman William F. Buckley, Jr. and Democratic political pundit Jimmy Breslin.
Boston State College Revolutionary Student Brigade member Leslie E. Lewis started the student tirades against both speakers, causing the debate to be halted 15 minutes early.
She said yesterday after the debate "Buckley did mental gymnastics that nobody could follow, and Breslin addressed himself solely to the problem of racism. It was a waste of time and money."
The debate, sponsored by BSC, was to be on improvement of domestic and foreign conditions in general. Debate moderator Daniel Rudsten said yesterday Buckley received $2000 and Breslin approximately $1700 for their hour-and-a-half-long appearance in front of about 1000 people.
According to a flyer distributed to the audience at the beginning of the debate, part of the debate fees came from an account that is supposed to pay for part-time faculty.
Boston State College President Kermit C. Morrissey said yesterday the $5000 expenditure was a large part of the student dissatisfaction. "Many students don't like their money being spent on an all-college event," he added. He estimated that 60 per cent of the debate costs came from his own discretionary funds.
According to BSC student James P. Moore, the speakers did not satisfy the curiosity of the students. "Breslin tried to make us feel guilty and Buckley tried to make us feel stupid," he said yesterday.
During the debate Buckley spoke against the federalization of welfare and the progressive income tax, adding that present United States foreign policy is ineffective and incoherent.
Rather than replying to Buckley's opening comments, Breslin spent his allotted twenty minutes speaking on the race problems in the U.S. He said that racism is the main cause of unemployment in most cities, especially New York. He also defended New York's welfare policy, saying "the government is a last resort, but there is no place else to go.