After the recent success of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s appearance on campus, the Bradley chapter of Studying Towards a Leaderless Independent Nation (STALIN) announced recently it had invited former Cuban President Fidel Castro to speak at Bradley on May 1st.
STALIN President junior Anatoli Firsov said the decision was made after seeing how many students attended the event for Romney.
“If 1,000 people will come to hear a rich man like that, how many will come to hear an 85-year-old speak for hours on all the faults of our society and our education system?” he said.
Firsov admitted that Castro was wary at first about speaking at Bradley.
“When we told his people that Peoria was the home of a Fortune 500 company, his interest changed dramatically,” Firsov said. “Sure, Caterpillar has deals with other communist nations, like China, but that still doesn’t mean they should be making billions of dollars, even if they do reinvest in places like this school that gives me an education.”
STALIN member Anna Pretovna said she was most interested in hearing what Castro would say about the school.
“Education is a weapon whose effect depends on who holds it in their hands and at whom it is aimed,” she said. “The university cannot be an ivory tower, far away from the society, removed from the practical accomplishments of the coming revolution. If that attitude is maintained, the university will continue giving our society lawyers we do not need.”
University President Joanne Glasser said she was surprised when members of STALIN made the proposal, but ultimately accepted the idea.
“We strive to create a school filled with independent thinkers that care about political issues, and look at those issues from all sides, even ones that wanted to have nuclear missiles pointed at our country,” Glasser said.
Student reaction to the announcement of Castro’s speech was mixed.
Senior economics major Rich Bissell was unhappy about the decision due to Castro’s politics.
“I can’t believe they’re allowing this,” said Bissell. “Not only does he not like the United States, he shut down the mafia’s brothels in the ‘60s. He took Havana and turned it from New Orleans into Detroit.”
Sophomore communications major Ian Gammill had a different perspective.
“I don’t really have a problem with it,” said Gammill. “I enjoyed his performances in the episodes of The Simpsons and Seinfeld he was in. If he’s anything like that, it should be an interesting speech.”
Firsov revealed that Castro was not STALIN’s first choice for a speaker.
“We originally wanted to get (former Soviet premier) Mikhail Gorbachev, but then we learned he did an ad for Louis Vuitton a few years ago. We were disappointed to learn he had become just another capitalist pig,” said Firsov, who was wearing a mass market-produced Che Guevara t-shirt.
*The Sprout is the Scout’s April Fool’s day edition. The stories and quotes are made up, and most of the photos are doctored and/or fake.