Letters to the editor

University Police cares about safety of students, community

I was disappointed to see today’s editorial in The Daily suggesting that the University Police and the Evanston Police Departments’ priorities have changed because we have increased patrols in the off-campus areas in response to neighbors’ complaints about the behavior of some of our students.

Let me assure you and our community members that the University Police continue to make our students’ safety our primary concern. Our efforts this past weekend did not reduce or inhibit our ability to maintain a safe environment for community members and to identify and apprehend criminals who may try to victimize our students.

Our response to problems on campus continues to be rapid and effective. Our increased visibility off campus can only help to reduce crimes of a violent nature.

The university and Evanston police departments address issues including violent crime and property offenses as well as quality of life issues affecting the tranquility of neighborhoods. Each requires various responses and deployment. The violent crime offenses in particular often require significant resources to resolve and we do not hesitate to deploy them as a top priority. We usually are unable to publicize these efforts.

We will never abandon or reduce our efforts to maintain a safe environment for our community.

Saul L. Chafin

Chief of University Police

An apology for crude behavior required before complaining

Your editorial reaction to complaints of loud and obnoxious student party behavior seems more than a little self-righteous.

If students really were urinating in bushes and keeping neighbors and young children awake until three or four o’clock in the morning, then surely the first step of any decent person is a stated apology and resolve to improve the behavior.

Only after such an admission of disregard for others’ rights does one acquire the moral privilege of complaining about the behavior of Police and adult members of the community.

Irwin Weil

Professor, Department of Slavic Studies

Community forum, not police heal student-resident relations

I am 21 but for some reason I feel like I am 16 again.

Instead of pissing off my parents, I find myself and fellow students pissing off residents of Evanston left and right.

When I was a teenager my parents attempted to control my behavior through rules, warnings, punishments and rewards. Evanston residents on the other hand, seem to lean on the Evanston Police Department and Northwestern to enforce the law and dictate punishment.

My parents always demanded I explain “Just what exactly were you thinking?”

For some reason the residents of Evanston have made no effort to talk directly to the NU student body about their “totally uncivilized behavior,” completely robbing us of a chance to explain just what exactly is going on in our heads.

My parents used to tell me “Megan, you should know better.” And as much as I would hate to admit it, I knew they were right.

Now Northwestern is saying the same thing. We should know better. But this time I don’t feel that we deserve all this finger pointing.

I want to say to NU and the residents of Evanston, “You should know better.” No matter how many complaints are made, warnings drafted, printed, redrafted and reprinted, no matter how many tickets are handed out and paid, you will never be able to completely wipeout loud parties in Evanston: the heavy drinking, the obnoxious music, the love of the game, the need to congregate.

If there is to be a solution to this blame game, it must come from within the affected community, as a whole, including NU students. The point is that the focus shouldn’t be on the wild college parties but on the lack of community in Evanston.

In Friday’s article “Rowdy partyers prompt policing”, Evanston resident Deborah Silver said in previous years she “would give (the students)a call and not the police. But this year it’s like they just don’t give a damn.” Well, I would like to say to Silver and all the other residents of Evanston, if you don’t give a damn enough to grab the reins of this monster in our midst — seen “vandalizing property, urinating in bushes, breaking bottles in front yards and verbally intimidating homeowners” — and organize a community forum in response to these complaints that could work to affect change from within the community, I say best of luck to you and I offer a pair of earplugs and a year’s supply of Trazodone.

Megan Keefe

Weinberg senior

Both popular options for Iraq result in loss of innocent lives

In Monday’s Forum, the International Studies faculty spell out the two “seriously considered” options regarding Iraq: invasion or containment (“Thinking about war in Iraq”). They raise the many pros and cons these alternatives hold for U.S. policymakers and regular Americans. They forget to mention the effect on Iraqis.

Since 1991, containment has been U.S. policy, enforced through comprehensive U.N. sanctions that only the American veto has kept in place. These sanctions, by crippling Iraq’s economy and health system and preventing it from rebuilding U.S.-destroyed civilian infrastructure, have significantly increased Iraq’s death rate and left all but the elite impoverished.

Several years ago, UNICEF estimated that the sanctions had killed 500,000 children; perhaps as many adults also have died.

Yet the pro-containment doves see this policy as a success. Saddam has not been able to threaten our “moderate” dictator friends in the region, and our control over most Middle Eastern oil remains secure.

The hawks, on the other hand, demand more. Sept. 11 dramatically reduced domestic and foreign resistance to the use of American violence, so the hawks have seized on this opportunity for re-establishing Iraq as a loyal vassal — back to the good old days of the late 1980s, when Washington met Saddam’s gassing of Iranians and massacring of Kurds with economic aid and intelligence cooperation. Our leaders seem to have a problem distinguishing democracy from obedience.

So this is our debate: Mass murder through sanctions, or mass murder through bombing and invasion?

Is oil worth another million lives? When will Americans finally demand an end to U.S. domination of other lands? Do we really need to suffer huge losses ourselves before we begin to question those who have given us this debate? 773 262 6274

Jake Werner

Weinberg ’00

former Daily columnist

Bar in Norris did in fact exist, and it was a wonderful place

Dave Holstein and Beth Petrey of nyou did a fine job uncovering some of the myths surrounding the local laws of Evanston. However, they were incorrect concerning selling liquor on campus.

As a 1987 graduate, I often retreated to the pleasure of the Norris Bar (later renamed “The Gathering Place”). Indeed, perhaps even your writers thought it was only a myththat there was a full service bar (with good food as well!), which featured live music from the likes of Koko Taylor and the late Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows on our campus.

While it may now be gone, many an undergraduate from the ’80s remember with fondness that great institution.

Alexander W. Stephens

Weinberg ’87