Letters to the Editor

Ron Paul rocks The Rock

Students for Ron Paul and Associated Student Government have worked with the administration since November to come up with a reasonable and fair policy regarding student political activity on campus. The current policy praises student political activity in the abstract, but then effectively prohibits students from engaging in organized political activity. This regrettable situation for all students received attention in a Daily editorial (“What’s The Rock,” Feb. 4) and has duly received attention in The Daily in recent weeks.

Unfortunately, Monday’s editorial missed the mark with inaccuracies that miscast the ongoing efforts of students to secure greater political access on campus. While there is still work to be done, the negotiations are active and progress has been made. It was announced last week in ASG that there has been some success, but we are far from putting this issue to rest. The current policy has not yet been changed, and this is completely unacceptable.

All that has been accomplished to this point is a compromise. Students for Ron Paul and ASG have been lobbying to allow students – regardless of stated political affiliation – to rally at the rock for political candidates in order to influence the crucial Feb. 5 Illinois primary. We were disappointed when the General Counsel explained to us that it would take several months to actually revise the policy. We asked if there was anything that could be done to allow a rally at The Rock by Feb. 5, and they agreed to compromise by interpreting the current policy differently to allow ASG-recognized groups to rally at The Rock.

While Students for Ron Paul held and administered the rally, the NU Administration still only allows ASG-recognized groups to reserve The Rock. That is why Students for Saving Social Security, an ASG-recognized group, agreed to reserve the Rock for Students for Ron Paul. The new ruling allows this to happen, which is a victory in the short run, but still leaves an undefined long-term solution to this problem.

After incorrectly framing the current issue, The Daily decided to take an incomplete and inaccurate look at the Internal Revenue Service policy on political activity. It even asks an open-ended question insinuating that there is still uncertainty as to the legality of student groups using buildings for political activity. A simple phone call to the IRS confirms that student groups are not prohibited from officially supporting candidates, even if they use space provided by a nonprofit.

We believe that a little research would have clarified this matter. It seems strange to us that The Daily criticizes the one of the few times in recent history that ASG passed a resolution that actually led to real, tangible change advocated by students at the grassroots level. Even if the change, at least at the current moment, is fairly small, this has been a very successful endeavor.

With continued student calls for a revised policy, this promises to be even more successful in the future. It is even more unreasonable that The Daily tries to place blame on “rambunctious students” instead of an ineffective administration. The Daily needs to wake-up and start helping the fight for student political rights instead of criticizing their effective efforts at real change to the political culture at NU.

– Andrew ThompsonWeinberg juniorFounder and Leader, Northwestern Students for Ron Paul

– James D’angeloCommunication juniorASG Clerk

The obvious sober choice

Monday’s Drawing Board was a cartoon of a mock mathematical equation. It equated consuming large amounts of alcohol and smoking marijuana to voting for presidential candidate Ron Paul. I am saddened to see that The Daily chose to publish it the day before Super Tuesday. But the artist is entitled to his opinion and is constitutionally guaranteed the right to express it. It is funny that the artist should bash Ron Paul, because out of all the candidates, he is the one that has fought the hardest for Nick Teddy’s ability to express his beliefs.

Paul believes firmly in the powers of the Constitution – such as the guaranteed right of freedom of expression. He is the only candidate to have voted against the unconstitutional infringements on freedom of speech in the Patriot Act and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. It is Paul’s support of the Constitution that leads him to criticize the current undeclared war in Iraq, the overspending that has crushed the dollar, and the all-out attacks on our civil liberties. I am supporting the only candidate the founding fathers would have voted for – and you don’t have to be drunk or high to see why that’s a good decision.

– Eddie SiegelWeinberg freshmanMember, Northwestern Students for Ron Paul