Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Letters to the Editor / The Drawing Board

NU should honor veterans as the rest of the country does

It’s a bloody shame Northwestern didn’t mark the passing of Veterans’ Day on this campus Monday. Never mind that classes weren’t canceled, never mind that there was no university-wide commemoration — there wasn’t even a petty e-mail from the administration or a minute-long pause during classes to pay our respects to those who served the United States throughout its history.

In February, University President Henry Bienen deemed the donation of $75 million to the Feinberg School of Medicine newsworthy enough to send a university-wide e-mail. But the administration evidently sees nothing of value in the fact that 3,606 members of the university served the United States in World War I (65 died), nor the fact that 300 members of the NU community perished in World War II. Pitifully, the only event the Nov. 11 Plan-It Purple calendar listed under special events was “Flu Shots for Students.”

No mention at all, not even a moment for reflection. NU’s role as an educational institution extends beyond simply collecting our tuition and offering us classes. There is no reason why we don’t even observe a moment of silence on this campus. The administration will remind anyone who cares that it belongs among the elite academic institutions in the United States. (NU provides the No. 1 “overall academic experience” according to the Princeton Review, and is the 10th best doctoral university, according to U.S. News and World Report.)

But NU’s lack of respect for one of the most solemn and revered days of commemoration has shown it to lack common sense, values and morality.

I am not a veteran. I’m just grateful for those who are.

Leslie Lee

McCormick sophomore

NU’s failure to make Lagoon safe for wildlife is inexcusable

I’m writing to create awareness of an environmental issue on campus that is as avoidable as it is horrible. I don’t know how often students walk across the bridge to the Lakefill located near the south beach, but if you happened to peer into the water, you may have noticed a teeming mass of perhaps 100 large fish stranded between the waterfall from the Lagoon and the drainage area to Lake Michigan.

Their path from the lagoon to the drainage pit was sadly documented by the beached fish bodies impaled on the rocks leading down to the lake. Every now and then a fish would attempt an escape through the shallow water to Lake Michigan, inevitably turning back with tremendous splashing. There also was evidence that many had not survived the attempt. I wondered how long the fish would have to wait before the drainage empties, leaving them stranded on sand, or the water slowly freezes.

And to think all this could have been prevented by a simple fence between the waterfall and the Lagoon. It is inexcusable that a university of this size should not have taken the simple measure to erect a barrier while it builds and expands in its multimillion-dollar construction campaign. Against this backdrop, the “no fishing” sign is darkly ironic, at best.

Brendon Dusel

Weinberg junior

Caricatures of Republican party undermine liberals’ arguments

As a new student at Northwestern and a Republican, I’ve grown weary of the unfair and unfounded characterizations of the Republican party and its leaders by liberals on campus. Frankly, the nearly constant stream of leftist rhetoric in The Daily leaves me slightly nauseous.

Seniors like Friday columnist Sriranjani Parthasarathy should be capable of more than childish portrayals of Bush as a president who wants to destroy the environment, marginalize minorities and mangle our foreign policy. I find it difficult to imagine, but it seems that many liberals at NU actually think of the Bush-Cheney team as a band of civilian-killing warmongers who enjoy ignoring the problems of minorities and exploiting the environment for their own material well-being.

Perhaps I am too idealistic, but I have faith in these elected officials to act in the public interest. Many voters are willing to take this rather small leap, which may explain why the liberal depiction of Bush as a self-interested, evil oil man is as useless as were conservative attempts to paint Bill Clinton as a sex fiend and a liar.

The fact is that the issues are much more complex than liberals are willing to admit and that they often lose their chance to influence more moderate opinions by resorting to radical, childish, unpersuasive and emotional rhetoric.

It is easy enough for liberals to understand the motivations of a Palestinian suicide bomber, who, in acting for a cause he believes to be just, is not what we intellectuals might term “evil.” Why then can’t liberals admit that Bush might have good intentions?

Blake Oliver

Weinberg freshman

Daily criticizes ASG but does nothing to improve student life

We are writing in response to Monday’s column by Daily News Editor Adam Williams, which attacked Associated Student Government for trying to change the name of Norris University Center to Norris Student Union.

Even Williams admits that students are, by far, the most frequent users of Norris. Just because faculty, administrators and the general public use Norris as well doesn’t mean that Norris isn’t a student union.

Williams gripes that ASG should pack more events into Norris and prove that students really want Norris to be a student union. Anyone who has been to Norris lately can tell you that there are student group events in Norris every day. For instance, take Monday, when the place was booked solid — 14 campus student groups had reserved rooms for their events.

The Daily reporters, however, did do a great job last week when they reported on a proposal for an upcoming meal equivalence poll that evidently Williams didn’t bother to read. Furthermore, it’s clear that Williams has never read the ASG-sponsored HereAndNow advertising page, which on a weekly basis advertises in The Daily upwards of eight student group events, most that occur in Norris. (That failure to actually read The Daily may end up counting against Williams when ASG puts out its endorsements for the next Daily editor in chief in the spring.)

Norris already is the student union of this campus, but alumni who haven’t been on campus in 20 years don’t necessarily know this — and it is our responsibility as students to tell them. Norris Student Union will generate a lot more gifts than Norris University Center.

Rather than just complaining, it’s time for students to reclaim Norris as their own — and to take responsibility for its expansion. Furthermore, we need to show administrators that we support student life. Research buildings are important to the university, but we would like to see a similar emphasis on our student life as well as academic life.

Williams seems to like criticizing ASG’s efforts for supporting Norris and supporting Norris expansion. Well it would be nice to fire back and criticize The Daily’s efforts for supporting expansion of Norris, except that there aren’t any.

We’d like to see the almighty Daily editors do something proactive for students, rather than just complain that they don’t like what ASG is doing. If you don’t like what we are doing, get down from your ivory tower — which, by the way, takes up three-fourths of the student group space on the third floor of Norris and is larger than all of the administrative offices in Norris put together — and go out to see Norris as it truly is, a place where students congregate and can just chill. Until The Daily does that, it hasn’t earned the right to say a word.

Rachel Lopez

ASG president

Nicole Mash

ASG executive vice president

Joel Richlin

ASG campus public relations chair

Constitution can be changed to give civil rights to fetuses

In response to Stephen Crowe’s Monday letter, there is no dispute that a woman should have all rights concerning her own body. The concern, as Crowe himself puts it, is whether “46 chromosomes really constitute life?” The only authority who can make that decision is the mother — if and only if the fertilized egg is deemed to have no life.

Since Crowe has spoken on behalf of all women on their rights over their own bodies, I will speak on behalf of all aborted fetuses. My mother stood in line to have me aborted and did not follow through — not because she changed her mind but because of the mispronunciation of her name. Skin cells do not develop into human beings and thus it is unfair to analogize the two.

A facetious argument deserves a facetious response. Why stop with fetuses whom, even if there were considered alive, could be murdered legally? Why doesn’t the United States join the rest of the world and not allow citizenship to anyone born here. That way, even if a (block) were deemed alive, it would not be protected by the Constitution. They way we could kill, say, babies of illegal immigrants — or even the illegal immigrants themselves since they have no civil rights.

Slaves had no civil rights either, but the beauty of the Constitution is that it can and has changed in light of new interpretations.

The legality of abortion rests on the issue of life and that issue should not and cannot be so easily dismissed. It is unfortunate that Crowe, like so many legalists, has become obsessed with the semantics of the law while forgetting about its intent.

Sung Kim

Weinberg senior

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Letters to the Editor / The Drawing Board