Bucknell: ‘Hunting Terrorists’ Offensive Language

The phrase “hunting terrorists” is apparently offensive hate speech at Bucknell University. Evan Coyne Maloney reports:

Two words. At Bucknell University, that’s all it takes to get dragged into the President’s Office for a half-hour discussion of word choice. And these aren’t offensive words, at least not out here in the real world. But Bucknell apparently has a different definition of what is and is not acceptable.

On August 29th, the Bucknell University Conservatives Club sent out a campus-wide e-mail announcing an upcoming speaker: Major John Krenson, who had been in Afghanistan “hunting terrorists.” Those two words–“hunting terrorists”–resulted in three students being called to Bucknell’s Office of the President by Kathy Owens, the Executive Assistant to the President.

According to the students, when they arrived at the President’s Office for the meeting, Ms. Owens held up a print-out of the offending e-mail and said “we have a problem here,” telling the students that the words “hunting terrorists” were offensive. For the next half-hour, the three students were given a lecture on inappropriate phrasing.


Last year, while collecting footage for my upcoming film Indoctrinate U, I noticed that the campus was plastered with flyers that screamed “vagina” in large block letters. Although some people might find these flyers offensive, it is protected speech at Bucknell–as it should be–but apparently the phrase “hunting terrorists” is not.

(Perhaps someone should remind Bucknell’s administrators that the American soldiers who are “hunting terrorists” are fighting the very sort of misogynistic thugs who would gladly stone a woman to death for talking about her vagina in public.)

Indeed. Most bizarre.

via Dean Esmay

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. This dread phrase “hunting terrorists” would be offensive to… terrorists?

    Ohyea, my girls are gonna fit in at Bucknell real well some day. My oldest is 6 and she already knows that the master terrorist bin Laden deserves to be hunted.

  2. Don Surber says:

    Bizarre? How dare you offend residents of Bizarro World! Oh wait. Offend is good. Me sorry (/sarcasm)

  3. anjin-san says:

    I am sure the ACLU would be glad to go to bat to protect the free speech rights of the students. Oh wait, the Bushites think the ACLU are commies…

  4. Herb says:

    It’s amazing, The lefty loneys,and the EV wackos will jump on anything to bash Bush.

    I don’t know why they just don’t get into their iddybiddy cars, go out and hug the burning trees, and go cash their welfare checks, buy a beer and chill out a little.

  5. Lurking Observer says:

    So, anjin-san, when the ACLU actually does defend the right of students to use the phrase “hunting terrorists,” you can crow all you like about how the Dubya Administration views them.

    Until then, however, it would appear that the ACLU is more interested in defending the rights of terrorists to speak out than of students to invite American soldiers and Marines to speak out.

  6. Jack Ehrlich says:

    I find “hunting terrorist” offensive also. I prefer pursuing, with the intention of killing Islamic radicals bent on terror. My question is who was the irresponsible bunch of human like creatures that allowed an idiot to become president of that university. Information about who administers these schools should be outlined in school catalogs so that parents could see where there kids are going to school. A drop in applications would bring about abrupt changes in politics.

  7. McGehee says:

    I’d comment on this, but I’m afraid my language would make Ms. Owens’ head explode.

  8. ken says:

    This story is entirely bogus. Another example of conservatives making something up about their ‘victimhood’.

  9. Chris Imbriano says:

    In response to ken:

    “This story is entirely bogus. Another example of conservatives making something up about their ‘victimhood’.”
    Posted by: ken at September 29, 2005 22:25

    Unfortuantely this story is not bogus in anyway, I wish it were.

    As a member of the group lectured by the administrator in question, the Conservatives Club did nothing more than write a breif summary of the meeting in the form of a newsbrief in our publication, The Counterweight.

    The exact article can be see at http://www.thecounterweight.org, in the most recent issue.

    Please scroll to page 6 and read the newbrief titled “President’s Office Doesn’t Like ‘Hunting Terrorists'”

    This is the only public thing the Club has done since the meeting took place, if it can even be considered “public”. Many subscribe to our publication and one in particular wrote a web log on his site, which apparently recieves a lot of traffic, seeing the results of his post.

    His website is

    He has since added another post regarding this event