Letters to the Editor

HR-509 Article Unfair and Incomplete

Dear Editor:

The article “Bill Could Force Profs to Defend Lectures” by Matthew McArdle was appalling. The bill that this article is based around is never named, frustrating independent research into the topic. The information that is given, moreover, is vague and incomplete to the point of manipulation. HR-509 clearly states that: “Nothing … shall be construed to authorize the International Advisory Board to mandate, direct, or control an institution of higher education’s specific instructional content, curriculum, or program of instruction.”

All the fear about fascist government oversight of higher education that this article seems aimed to generate is dispelled with a simple reading of the bill. I find it irresponsible that the Guardian could publish Kokotovic’s claim as fact that the bill will lead to the government “telling scholars and teachers what they can research and teach” when the truth is so obviously different.

Whether from a lack of journalistic standards or the furthering of an agenda, this article does blatant violence to the truth, and that is something the Guardian should be ashamed of.

—Travis Weinger

Revelle College Sophomore

Tritons United! Apologize for Violations

Dear Editor:

I worked out an informal agreement with Denis Shmidt that stipulated that Tritons United! should stop campaigning on April 14 at noon instead of at 4 p.m. Although we took down all our flyers and stopped all campaigning, the Tritons United! Facebook group and Web site remained online. The elections committee decided that this broke the informal agreement with Shmidt, so they punished Tritons United! by requiring the following actions:

1. Hand out flyers on Library Walk explaining that we left our Facebook group and Web site up for four extra hours.

2. Buy online Facebook advertising explaining that we left our Facebook group and Web site up for four extra hours.

3. Speak at the A.S. meeting and tell them that we left our Facebook group and Web site up for four extra hours.

4. Write this letter to the Guardian, outlining the violation.

—Daniel Watts

Former Presidential Candidate,

Tritons United!

Aim of UCSC Protest Misunderstood

Dear Editor:

Upon reading “‘Students Against the War’ Protests Hinder Practice of Free Speech” in your paper I think that Ms. Naraghi is missing the entire point of the protest. First of all, addressing the “free speech of recruiters,” according to the News Hour, the Pentagon has a publication budget of over $40 billion. It is almost impossible to watch television, listen to the radio, drive on the highway or read a magazine without seeing an advertisement for the armed forces. Anyone in this country with a phone and access to media can join the Army.

Secondly, the Solomon Amendment is itself a tool that violates free speech. If a university such as ours decides to seriously practice policies that counter racism, sexism and homophobia, the amendment can be used to essentially blackmail our institutions. Since you cannot be openly gay in the military, then the military discriminates and is in violation of campus policy.

The most important point is the fact that we are currently involved in an unjust war that was justified by lies and has now killed over 100,000 Iraqis, according to the Lancet, a medical journal. Additionally, over 2,300 American troops have been killed.

The same institution that is sending young men and women to kill and be killed has a terrible track record of looking after their own. One-third of the homeless population in this country is made up of veterans. I have personally met many veterans of this current war who have horror stories about soldiers who are not receiving medical attention and/or benefits. Even worse, soldiers in Iraq who are suffering from mental illness or severe injuries have been sent back on the front lines.

Either you support the war or you want it to end. If you are against the war, protesting military recruiters is an effective way to do so. People can stop the drive for war by mass peaceful protest. Ever since students in Seattle protested recruiters on Inauguration Day in 2005, students all over the country, from New York to Santa Cruz, have challenged them. The potential effectiveness of the counter-recruitment movements is so great that the Pentagon keeps a close eye and labels them “credible threats.”

With 60 percent of the country now thinking the war is a mistake and 30 percent of soldiers in Iraq favoring immediate withdrawal, anyone who organizes against the war is a credible threat. So it makes sense for everyday people to do what they can to stop the war. Progress has always been made through struggle, and the protest by Students Against War (S.A.W.) and numerous organizations across the country was a good start to end this abominable war in Iraq.

—Alessandro Tinonga

UC Santa Cruz