Students Fostering Conservative Thought

SFCT is a non partisan campus organization at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. SFCT's goal is to spark conversation about conservative issues on our campus and across the state of Minnesota

Monday, January 30, 2006

Conservative author set to speak at St. John's

D'Souza is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Pellegrene Auditorium at St. John's.
D'Souza has been criticized by liberals for bashing issues related to multiculturalism and lauded by conservatives as an influential thinker.

He was a senior policy analyst from 1987 to 1988 during the Reagan administration and has published several books, including the controversial "The End of Racism."

A Seattle school recently called off a speech invitation to the author after faculty took issue with his subject matter.

"We've finally become a big enough club on campus to bring in a speaker like him," Luke Hellier said.

The junior at St. John's and president of SFCT has watched the club grow from just a few members to 30 to 50 active members with a mailing list of 200.

They've received interest from professors, deans and even the bookstore, which wants to set up a display of D'Souza's works.

SFCT usually doesn't get that kind of interest in speakers, Hellier said.

The event has sparked dialogue among political science majors and clubs, Rachel Dougherty said. Although the junior and co-chairwoman of the College Democrats doesn't agree with D'Souza's book, she will attend a dinner for the author.

"It's that understanding of what you don't believe that makes your own beliefs stronger," Dougherty said.

Inviting such an extreme speaker to campus marginalizes students in the middle of the political spectrum, Dougherty said.

Conservative groups on campus have been advertising since November to promote one of their most expensive speakers to date, Hellier said.

He said they have received some negative feedback, but not as much as the positive.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dinesh D'Souza

January 31, 2006

Pellegrene Auditorium 7:30 PM
St. John's University

Dinesh D'Souza is the Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

D'Souza has been called one of the "top young public-policy makers in the country" by Investor’s Business Daily. The New York Times Magazine named him one of America's most influential conservative thinkers. The World Affairs Council lists him as one of the nation's 500 leading authorities on international issues. Newsweek cited him as one of the country's most prominent Asian Americans.

Before joining the Hoover Institution, Mr. D'Souza was the John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In 1987-88 he served as senior policy analyst at the Reagan White House. From 1985 to 1987 he was managing editor of Policy Review. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983.

Mr. D'Souza's books have had a major influence on public opinion and public policy. His two most recent books are the New York Times bestseller What’s So Great About America (Penguin Books) and Letters to a Young Conservative (Basic Books). In 1991 he published Illiberal Education the first book to publicize the phenomenon of political correctness. The book was widely acclaimed and became a New York Times bestseller for 15 weeks. It has been listed as one of the most influential books of the 1990's.

In 1995 D'Souza published The End of Racism, which became one of the most controversial books of the time and a national bestseller. D"Souza's 1997 book Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader was the first book to make the case for Reagan's intellectual and political importance. In 2000, D'Souza published The Virtue of Prosperity: Finding Values in an Age of Techno Affluence, which explores the social and moral implications of wealth.

D'Souza's articles have appeared in virtually every major magazine and newspaper, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, New Republic, and National Review. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including the Today Show, Nightline, The News Hour, O'Reilly Factor, and the Dennis Miller Show.

Following the event, there will be a book signing of Mr. D'Souza's most recent book What's So Great About America. For more information email The event isponsoreded by Students Fostering Conservative Thought, CSB/SJU College Republicans, and Young America's Foundation.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Record

Former Johnnie, 9/11 hero's legacy lives on through wife's speech

His words, ‘Let's Roll,' left imprints in Americans' hearts. His wife will tell his story at St. John's

Jessa Cizek
The Record

October 6, 2005
Former Johnnie Tom Burnett heroically gave his life Sept. 11, 2001, aboard United Flight 93.

That day, he boarded the plane headed for San Francisco from Newark, N.J.

Little did he know that his flight had been hijacked.

Deena Burnett, Tom's wife, will speak about his life and story at SJU on Oct. 17.On Sept, 11, she was able to reach her husband via telephone and alert him of the attacks that had hit the World Trade Center Towers and Pentagon earlier that morning.

Her husband, along with a group of passengers aboard the flight, then flooded the cockpit, and the plane went down into a Pennsylvanian field.

Deena Burnett lives to share her husband's legacy.

This event has had a major impact on her life.

"I think that it has certainly made me more aware of the impact that one person can have on the community and on the world," Burnett said. "It makes me want to make a difference, not only for the benefit to have a better world to raise my children in, but also in Tom's honor.

"She said her husband was a man of great faith, which he strengthened at St. John's."Tom was a person of incredible faith," Burnett said.

"He was raised in a strong Catholic home and he has always accredited his strong faith to his time spent at St. John's."

"He didn't think if he had gone anywhere else he'd have the faith that he developed at St. John's," Burnett said.

"He found his faith to be invaluable in his life.

"She will speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 at St. John's to discuss her husband's actions and how they have inspired her family to continue what he started.

Students Fostering Conservative Thought arranged her presentation to take place at 7 p.m. in Pellegrene.

"He's a good example of an everyday hero, somebody that stepped up when he faced death, and he put his life on the line to save the lives of many other people," said SJU junior Luke Hellier.

"He's a hero that students here can identify with, he's someone who was willing to step up to the plate and protect others and help others in need.

"Tom Burnett grew up in Bloomington, Minn. where he was the star quarterback of his football team. He continued his passion for football at St. John's for three years before an injury prevented him from playing.

He finished his degree in economics at the University of Minnesota. Burnett said her husband was a dedicated father of three girls, husband and top executive. He resided in San Ramon, Calif., where he attended daily Mass and was senior vice president and chief operating officer at Thoratec Corporation.

Since his heroic actions on 9/11, Tom Burnett has been honored by SJU as recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award and a scholarship fund was set up in his name.

Among many other national awards and honors, he was nationally recognized by ESPN through the Ashe Award, which commemorated him and fellow passengers for the courage and heroism they showed that day.

Deena Burnett continues to share the legacy her husband left.She is the president of the Tom Burnett Family Foundation, a public charity founded to educate children to be active citizens and tomorrow's leaders.

She is currently working on a book titled "Fighting Back."

Burnett and her three daughters now live in Little Rock, Ark.

She continues to deliver her husband's story."Our hope is that in doing so we lay the foundation for a stronger America."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Intellectual Takeout Debuts

New conservative website aimed at college students targets St. Olaf
Mary Jane Smetanka, Star Tribune
September 14, 2005

Hoping to breach the walls of supposedly liberal colleges and universities with intellectual ammunition, the Center of the American Experiment Tuesday launched a new website for conservative college students.

Center CEO Annette Meeks said the website ( is the first of its kind and is intended to "support free exchange of ideas on campus."

"The point is not to indoctrinate students," she said, but to "expose students to points of view not readily available in the classroom."

While most of the site is informational, it also has an edgier feature called the "Daily Dish." The debut item targets St. Olaf College in Northfield, which has declared sustainability as a theme for this school year. The website says Prof. Jim Farrell's paper on sustainability, which is posted on St. Olaf's website, "assumes we're burning too much fossil fuel, we're not eating healthy foods, we're not respecting workers' rights, we're wasteful, and we're spoiling the environment. Those are serious and controversial charges against our culture."

Farrell, a history professor and director of American studies at St. Olaf, was puzzled by the criticism. Conservatives have a tradition of conservation, he said, pointing to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, who created national parks and signed the first significant environmental legislation.

"I just don't see how this is a liberal agenda," Farrell said. "Most people on campus are pretty excited about it."

He was pleased that the site provides a link to his paper, so people can read it for themselves. "I think it's fine if they want to choose St. Olaf. We benefit from their attention," he said. "And the full intellectual take on ideas is a good thing."

The center's website features research and writings from a conservative viewpoint, summaries of arguments from the right and left, links for like-minded students to find each other, jobs and internships listings and a calendar of events.

Meeks said the site was the brainchild of Katherine Kersten, former chairwoman of the center's board and now a columnist with the Star Tribune.

Nolan Soltvedt, a University of Minnesota senior, welcomed the site's debut. While he said he hasn't seen overt bias in most of his classes, he's been uncomfortable with some professorial asides and political discussions that were unrelated to class subjects. He said conservative students can feel intimidated.

"For me, this will be an excellent resource," he said. "Sometimes it's tough to get both sides."
Richard McCormick, a University of Minnesota professor who leads a school senate committee on educational policy, said he welcomed the new website so long as it isn't used to vilify individuals.

"I say let a hundred flowers bloom," he said. "If it gives people access to articulate views from a conservative viewpoint, it certainly has its uses."

Mary Jane Smetanka is at

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Animal Rights BBQ


2nd Annual "Animal Rights BBQ"
@ Involvement on the Main
Thursday 5:00 PM

Come eat some FREE BBQ as we celebrate the advances of science through animal testing.

From the Foundation of Biomedical Research:

A survey by the American Medical Association found that 99 percent of active physicians in the U.S. believed that animal research had contributed to medical progress, and 97 percent supported the continued use of animals for basic and clinical research.1 A 1996 survey of living Nobel Laureates for medicine found unanimous support for animal research.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hurricane Relief at CSB/SJU

This Friday, September 9, from 7 – Midnight, join us in Sexton for a fundraiser with proceeds going to the American Red Cross. Contributions of 2$ or more will be collected at the
Hurricane Katrina left in her wake what is expected to be a death toll in the thousands. At the moment, more than 107,400 evacuees are being cared for in shelters throughout the region. The Red Cross response to Hurricane Katrina is the largest response to a single, natural disaster in the 125-year history of the organization. For more information on the American Red Cross relief efforts, please visit their web page at
As university students it is difficult to identify our role within a tragedy so close to home. While it isn’t much, some of us on campus have found a way we can come together and start to help.
The evening will feature:
A Poker Tournament beginning in Sexton at 7:00 (registration will be at the door, and will include an additional 3$ sign up fee, winner of tournament will receive an iPod shuffle)
Open Mic Night beginning in the Pub at 9:00. All CSB/SJU community members are encouraged to perform. Please respond to this email in order to secure stage time.
We hope to see you there!
Students Fostering Conservative Thought
College Republicans
Campus Greens
College Democrats
Student Coalition for Global Solidarity

Monday, August 29, 2005


Students Fostering Conservative Thought is a non-partisan organization at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. Our goal is to create a conversation on campus about conservative issues.

SFCT will use this blog to inform students, faculty, and community members about the upcoming events, as well as other activism initiatives by SFCT.

To reach us, email us at