The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Letters to the Editor

Protests, the draft and Internet workshops

Protests both relevant and well-intentioned

Dear Editor:

President Bush “dismissed last weekend’s mass antiwar protests as well-intentioned but irrelevant,” the press reported. Such a statement is as reckless as it is offensive, and every American ought to take notice of this latest revelation from our Chief Executive.

The voice of the people – and in this case I refer to a majority (and not a “focus group”) – is irrelevant in a democracy? In what country did our President go to school to come to believe this? (Even his misplaced analogy is off-base, by the way: What company, marketing a product through testing the waters in focus groups, would not make decisions based on those groups?)

Apparently the appropriate source of policy in our democracy lies within the Beltway alone – and then only among those chosen for their compatible beliefs. “Democracy is a beautiful thing,” the President intoned – as long as dissent is treated as irrelevant.

Eric Hoffer once said that “the strength of a democracy lies in its ability to survive in spite of poor leaders”. We are about to put that notion to a test, and perhaps to strengthen the relevance of public opinion.

Ron Wetherington
Professor of Anthropology

An amendment to the draft

Dear Editor:

After reading Clark Castle’s letter I realized something: maybe it would be a good idea to propose a bill that would only draft people who support the war. After all, if you do believe in destroying another country in order to boost American pride, then you should take part in America’s violent race to spread democracy and control oil production. The first effect you would see from this proposal is a dramatic drop in support for the war.

Think about it Mr. Castle – would you pick up an M-16 and load some people full of bullets at the risk of your own life? I don’t know you, so I can’t assume your response, but let’s think of a more general population, perhaps a Republican one – say, the SMU student population. How many SMU students would actually sign up and fly to Iraq to fight in this war?

If you’re not willing to fight IN the cause you should not claim that you support the cause. At least the anti-war protesters are out there participating in rallies, in the media and in the courts; they’re actively doing what they can to fight for what they believe in. You, Mr. Castle, and everyone else like you who only voices support rather than signing up to fight, are only putting on a show so that you can look like a good American boy.

Quit pretending; Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and your mother aren’t the issue here: Wars affect the youth of the country, and we are the people who should be most concerned about what is happening. Don’t accept a decision from Washington that you’re not willing to die for.

Jason Couture
Senior English major

SMU libraries offer Internet workshops

Dear Editor:

In response to last week’s article titled “Internet convenience may cost students their credibility,” I would like to offer the workshops and databases available at the SMU Libraries as a solution.

Teaching students to utilize and evaluate resources is a top priority for the library. We spend substantial amounts of our budget for online resources for the students. We also offer workshops for students to learn to evaluate and use these sources. Next month we will have workshops teaching students to find government documents, to use JSTOR and Lexis/Nexis, as well as tours of the library, workshops on the PONI catalog and a basic introduction to the library workshop.

These workshops are free to the students and can be invaluable. A full list of our workshops with dates and times is online at www.smu.edu/cul/ue/workshops.html. I hope students will take advantage of these opportunities.

Carrie Esch

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