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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Uberti: ASG’s Osama resolution makes a mockery of student government

The announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death Sunday night gave patriotic fratstars everywhere a reason to shoot whiskey and listen to bad country music. It also gave an ASG senator reason to propose a misguided, depraved resolution that highlights the very ridiculousness that has made ASG a non-factor on campus.

ASG senator and Weinberg sophomore Isaac Hasson proposed “ASG Stands for Freedom” Wednesday, drawing the ire of more than one senator who questioned its purpose and igniting debate on the senate floor about the celebration of death. The resolution would move to thank the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden last week for their bravery.

The fact that such a bill was proposed to capitalize on the patriotic fervor of the situation – and give ASG the semblance of actually tackling issues that matter – is bad form. Why not pass a resolution to thank American troops last week? Last month? Last year? Were they not protecting our country and giving the Middle East freedom, cheeseburgers and Facebook then?

What’s more is that such a proposal is a moral slap in the face to the memories of those killed by bin Laden.

This isn’t a game. This is a human life. And celebrating any loss of human life-from that of bin Laden to Attila the Hun to Tila Tequila-is disrespectful at best and malicious at worst. Bin Laden’s assassination should be used to revisit the memories of those lost on September 11 and in the War on Terrorism.

Luckily, Jiminy Cricket hadn’t completely left the party Wednesday. ASG senator Benjy Leibowitz, a Weinberg freshman, questioned the morality of the resolution, also citing the murky cloud of misinformation hovering over the details of the raid.

20 Navy SEALs attacked bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan between 1 and 2 a.m. Monday morning, the New York Times reported. The unit killed bin Laden and four other residents of the compound, including one woman, while taking fire once.

“I don’t like the idea of the student body rallying behind the death of a human being, no matter who it was, especially in these circumstances,” Leibowitz said.

Hasson will reintroduce the bill at next week’s meeting with changes, he said.

“I have no qualms about celebrating death of (a) mass murderer, who – as (a) result of military action – will never be able to terrorize anyone, anywhere around the world ever again,” Hasson said.

Maybe ASG should sponsor a resolution apologizing to the more than 100,000 civilians now dead because of our involvement in Iraq. Perhaps it should pass one formally thanking Donald Duck for his lovable lisp. And let’s denounce “Jersey Shore” as a crime against humanity while we’re at it.

Or better yet, how about ASG stay within its jurisdiction? The ludicrous Osama resolution will not help anybody, rather highlighting the very violent, macho We’re-going-to-eat-our-cake-and-take-yours-too American culture for which most of the world hates us. That is not progress.

While I’m sure the United States Navy would take careful note that THE Northwestern student body is grateful for its success, the fact that debate of this resolution took up time at an ASG Senate meeting is absurd.

ASG has already lost a fair amount of faith from the Northwestern community for its general lack of impact. And this resolution-this waste of time-only added to it.

There are plenty more pressing on-campus issues to address, like working for better town-gown relations, improving off-campus housing and fighting for fratboys’ drinking rights. If ASG really wants to forge a new reputation, it’ll have to start making a difference right here.

Enough with the patriotic pats on the back. ASG needs to start tackling issues that matter at home, the things that can affect NU. And, for all our sakes, hatch a plan to keep people from taking dumps in the Bobb-McCulloch showers.

If you can’t figure that one out, well, we may just have to call in the Navy SEALs.

DAILY staffer Michele Corriston contributed reporting to this story.

David Uberti is Medill sophomore and DAILY web editor. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed at twitter.com/daviduberti.

This article has been edited for clarity.

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Uberti: ASG’s Osama resolution makes a mockery of student government