Letters to the Editor

    April Fool’s prank hurt journalistic integrity

    The student paper at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh fired a cartoonist who ran a racially derogatory cartoon in the April Fool’s Day edition.

    At UCSD, the April Fool’s Day edition of our primary campus paper, The Guardian, allied with The Koala — a student organization humor publication notoriously regarded for its liberal use of racist, sexist, and anti-gay epithets — to produce a four-page humor section. Past publicity acts included the wide distribution of a Muslim-hate paper titled “Jizzlam,” which included illustrations of Muslim women getting raped. I was recently bombarded by a member of the Koala staff repeatedly messaging me the text “nigger” and wallowing in their manipulative use of student funds.

    The Guardian editors are not the most humorous, but at least smart enough to anticipate the reactionary progressive responses to the obviously very political, “not political” choice to piggyback Koala publicity.

    Aside from the occasionally useful coupons our primary student paper is understood heavily as an opinion paper with typically an entire third of its content as editorials and opinions. The Guardian is the most powerful campus publication, and the Koala is clearly a politically oppositional student organization. So, don’t be silly. Contrary to what was written in your alleged “apology,” it is not a reader’s “prerogative” to make the Guardian’s choices a political issue — you already have.

    The Guardian’s promotion of the Koala has disturbed those who the Koala have pointed clear oppositions to — SAAC, student cultural organizations, anti-racist organizations and media, and anyone opposed to a small group of spoiled children screaming racist and sexist epithets for the sake of indulgent self-promotion.

    At first I thought the guys dug into their parents’ pockets and forked out the dough for full page ads. We found out in the following paper, where a few more pages were allocated to the Koala, that it was complicity supported by the Guardian.

    It’s pretty shameful to see UCSD’s primary publication further its lack of responsible and credible journalism by resorting to affiliating with the shock tactics of the Koala.

    I do not care “how funny” you guys think you are. Please do your job as to respect the diverse range of oppositions and sensibilities at this campus. Be accountable to those who you seek to exclude in promoting your divisive agendas — whether it be promoting for the Koala’s speech or saturating intellectual waste bins of the op-eds.

    — Mark Marcelo

    Thurgood Marshall college

    senior

    Kerry rally sounded like an endorsement

    The College Democrats’ rally for John Kerry on March 30 left me feeling nothing but disgust for both UCSD administrators and John Kerry’s campaign.

    First, UCSD administrators: I have spent two years volunteering with an environmental organization on campus. Occasionally, we wanted to put electric, hybrid or zero-emission vehicles on Library Walk to help ensure that the Air Quality Management District would not roll back their emissions regulations, for Earth Day or simply as a general information day. We were never able to put even one vehicle on Library Walk because it was a “fire hazard.” Yet, at the rally, there were no less than five giant news vans on Library Walk spitting out diesel fumes onto the campus’ central walkway. What happened to fire regulations? Apparently they go out the window when one of the two white men that actually have a chance of being president comes to town.

    This university, ostensibly, is supposed to be a place of learning. Yet classes in Price Center were canceled for four hours. Being the first week of classes, most students are scrambling to get books. The line for the Bookstore was a block long as access to the Bookstore was restricted. These are not characteristics of a place of learning. UCSD has, in the past, taken every effort to give the appearance of being nonpartisan. Everything I saw was, at best, one step short of a full endorsement of Kerry. From the giant flag over the Price Center, to the introduction by the A.S. president (I thought this was supposed to be a Campus Democrats event?), to the Regents Lot shuttle being renamed the “John Kerry shuttle.” The campus reeked of endorsement on that day.

    On to Kerry: John Kerry is supposed to present an alternative to Bush. However, the platform he chose was centered on low gas prices, as loudly stated by the thirty foot sign, “Low gas prices fuel the economy.” Now, how is that environmental? How is that different from Bush? Despite some discussion of alternative energy sources and a commitment to stay out of ANWR, clearly the take-home message is that we need oil, and lots of it.

    Let me make myself clear: I do not want Bush in power. I would, however, hope that the one “liberal” option would be a bit more on the liberal side.

    If UCSD worked to bring Kerry here in an effort to promote voting and fight apathy, and had done it in a manner that neither violated fire laws, disrupted class nor endorsed him, then I would applaud their efforts.

    But as it is, Kerry wanted something to campaign around — the economy — and saw that San Diego has the highest gas prices in the country. Most likely, a little over a week ago his campaign called UCSD to ask if they could hold a press conference here. The university more than willingly obliged and in their scramble to host him, they ignored everybody else. To make matters worse, Kerry chose a poor platform. How disgusting.

    To anybody that cares about the world or your education, I encourage you to speak out. Contact the vice chancellor of student affairs. This November, vote Green. After all, California will go with the Democrat anyway. The only presidential vote wasted is either for a Democrat, or, especially, for a Republican.

    — Chris Nodding

    Earl Warren College

    senior

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