With the prospect of a military conflict in Iraq looming, many members and organizations of the UCSD campus community have taken the opportunity to present the requisite forums and fanfare seen on college campuses. Rallies, “”teach-ins”” and panel discussions have all contributed to a rising political climate on campus over the past year.

On March 7, a forum titled “”War in Iraq: Contemplating the Consequences”” was held at Peterson Hall and included three UC professors and an official from the U.S. Navy. This event proved to be very helpful in maintaining a dialogue about the impending war in Iraq.

UCSD professors Michael Bernstein and Vali Nasr spoke on the economic repercussions of a war and the impact a war would have on the activism conducted by the Islamic society, respectively. Kiren Chaudry, a political scientist at UC Berkeley, discussed the regional consequences in the Middle East following an invasion of Iraq, and U.S. Navy Captain Richard Ray spoke about the conflict from an American military viewpoint.

The event provided those in attendance with the opportunity to listen to speakers of varying perspectives and fields of expertise engage in a constructive dialogue about an issue that has been distorted too much by emotion and sloganeering on this campus. Students and staff had the opportunity to develop informed opinions on a subject that has become all too cluttered.

Speakers at the March 7 event delivered opinions that were substantiated by fact and thoughtful insight. To call a university event a “”teach-in,”” the event should be designed to teach students about the facets of the issue from more than one viewpoint, while basing arguments on fact and educated speculation, and straying away from partisan agenda.

The Guardian applauds the efforts put forth by the March 7 event’s organizers to present a thoughtful and well-represented dialogue, regarding an issue where past presentations of a similar nature have often been about emotion and politics instead of information and balance. As a publication that strives to deliver objectivity and balance in its reporting, we believe that campus events of this nature should be held to the same standard.

Furthermore, the Guardian urges other campus groups that intend to present “”educational”” or “”informative”” events about such issues as the American-Iraq or Israeli-Palestinian conflicts to follow suit, and remember that the goal of any university community is to educate – and that intrinsically requires providing more than one perspective.