Student Voice


June 20, 2024

Letter to the editor

Insulted student calls out Student Senate president

October 28, 2011

This past Monday on Oct. 24, in our very own University Center, I was called a name. Now, I’ve been insulted and called names more than I can remember, and usually they really don’t bother me, as I learned in elementary school to just ignore, or not pay any attention to bullies. But this one time really bothered me because of the name, and the individual who uttered it. I was referred to as a “tea bagger.” Yes. A “tea bagger.” A pejorative term used for members of the Tea Party, and some individuals rather fond of sexual assault against an unsuspecting mark.

I find it incredible that such a term implying such a deplorable act in a University that prides itself on its diversity and tolerance. But the most jarring thing about the entire incident is who said it. An individual I thought was a respected member of our University. Our Student Senate president, Tyler Halverson.

I was under the impression that as Senate president, one must possess a certain amount of respect for all of his constituents and fellow students, and maintain a level of civility and perhaps some type of discretion or filter in what you say. Apparently this is no longer in vogue as our president seems to enjoy running his rather large mouth, and doing whatever he likes, regardless of his actions.

Tyler Halverson is not the person we want for this job, as he has demonstrated that he is indeed an arrogant, obnoxious bully. I call on Halverson, if he has any class at all, to resign as president of the Senate. His actions and words are incredibly disrespectful and in complete defiance of our University’s values. If he refuses, I call on the Senate and the student body to impeach him.

Wes O'Brien

Editor’s note: Tyler Halverson confirmed an incident at the University Center in which he told two acquaintances at the College Republican vendor table to “take the tea bagging elsewhere.” Halverson stated the comment was received with laughter.


Mark on 01 Nov 2011: Wes, very nice job on the letter! This is unacceptable for a representative of the campus body. Not to mention, this is unprofessional. He should know better and show some respect and decency. I hope the Senate moves forward with impeaching him.

Julie Zittlow on 31 Oct 2011: Good for you Wes! Thanks for making others aware. I swear some people think they can get away with anything just because of who they are!

Rozy on 01 Nov 2011: Dear Editor, There is an old saying, "I before E except after C". In your note, please correct your spelling. It should be RECEIVED not RECIEVED. Thank you. Wes, I am very proud of you for standing up and speaking out (very eloquently, I may add). Please do not hold your breath for an apology. Mr. Halverson's student loans will no doubt be forgiven (courtesy of the taxpayers) before any apology will come your way. Joke or no joke, I am not amused at all by his statement.

Alumni on 01 Nov 2011: I have known Halverson from the beginning of his run for presidency in Student Senate. The honest thing you can say about him is that he is passionate in what he believes in. Who hasn't been known to take something they firmly believe in and go a little far into it? However, for someone to be as close-minded as is sometimes demonstrated, that is a flaw to be worked on. As far as having him resign as president, well thats seems to be a passionate feeling you may be taking a little too far. He did something wrong and he SHOULD apologize for it, after that see how everyone feels. Passion is one thing people. We all need to learn when to stop.

Lance on 30 Oct 2011: In response to “Insulted student calls out Student Senate president” in the October 28 2011 issue. I have known Mr. Obrien for nearly 10 years and Mr. Halverson for nearly 2 years and consider them both friends! I believe that what started as a joke has just gone too far, hopefully Mr. Obrien’s letter will put an end to it! It is slightly less insulting to be called the derogatory term ‘Tea Bagger’ in the confines of a meeting or other more private setting but to be harassed in a public loction while trying to raise awareness for the College Republicans is simply unnaccptable, nonetheless coming from our very own Student Senate President! I would like to believe that the University of Wisconsin – River Falls is a place where all beliefs are welcome and this sort of hate speech will not be tolerated! If Mr. Halverson will not resign, the absolute very least he could do is make a formal public written/spoken apology to the people operating the vendor table for the College Republicans and to the College Republicans as a whole!

An Alumi on 28 Oct 2011: I read this and find it obscene. I know Mr. Halverson and always thought he had class even though we may not agree and all the issues but this has gone WAY too far Mr. Halverson should resign as the president of Student Senate.

Matt on 28 Oct 2011: I'm not laughing. If your not a democrat Tyler isn't respectful to your views. That's putting it lightly.