defend Buchanan

Good journalism, as I understand it, is presenting truthful information to the people. Although editorials are different and include personal opinion, people should still expect that the information presented in columns is true and factual. I am writing to correct some of Will Dean’s glaring inaccuracies in his article “College supports racism more than art,” from the April 12 issue of The Signal.

Throughout his rambling piece, Dean bemoans that the College appears to pay more for big bad Republicans and their “racist and xenophobic” speakers than poor struggling art students. Unfortunately, for him this juxtaposition is a false one. The College administration paid nothing to bring Mr. Patrick Buchanan to campus. The elected representatives of the Student Finance Board gave the College Republicans all of the funds necessary from the Student Activity Fee. If you had a problem with the funding, Mr. Dean, you should have complained to them. A simple examination of past issues of The Signal would have revealed this information.

Dean complains we are spending $15,000 for racism, sexism and homophobia in bringing Buchanan. His only proof was snippets of articles taken out of context.

After his protest of the speech last Wednesday, Dean and his comrades attempted to embarrass Buchanan with these fallacious statements and they were all given the proverbial smackdown. Instead of reading Buchanan’s entire articles and actually thinking about what he was saying, it appears to me that Dean and others seem content to simply write off any opposing views as fascist, racist, sexist, xenophobic or whatever label fits the occasion. So much for tolerance and a quest for the truth.

Dean shouldn’t worry his little liberal head off though – the College will continue to bring in busloads of communists and left-wing radicals every year, which cost hundreds more than Buchanan, and the student body will have no say about it. The College Republicans bring in one conservative speaker and we’re protested and slurred. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Matt Esposito

chair of the College Republicans

Don’t plan events on holidays

As the president of the Hillel/Jewish Student Union (JSU) at the College, I am writing on behalf of myself and my organization. JSU is an active and discernable organization on campus, causing me to be extremely surprised at some of the other campus groups’ latest decisions to have widely known, significant speakers come to the College on the first night of Passover.

I have always believed that one of the College’s greatest strengths is the way in which its cultural and religious groups have had well-heard voices on campus. I am shocked that other groups and departments have not paid attention to the recent advertising of Passover events.

Additionally, virtually every calendar available lists April 12 as the first night of Passover. I find it hard to believe that the College Republicans and the biology department were unaware that this night marks the first seder celebrating this important holiday.

I completely understand the difficulties that organizations face in their attempts to bring influential speakers to our campus. As an executive board member for JSU for the past two years, I realize that it is often extremely challenging to coordinate the schedules of an organization, the speaker and the campus itself to ensure the success of an event.

However, I also feel that the occurrence of an important holiday should be a major factor in choosing the date of a program as significant as the Buchanan lecture. While students who follow the Jewish faith may be a minority on campus, this does not excuse the fact that students must be forced to choose between observing their religion or attending an important, once-in-a-lifetime event in which we can hear some of the most influential people in the United States share their thoughts on some of today’s most pressing issues.

According to the College campus calendar, Buchanan is a “conservative author, columnist, TV commentator and former Presidential candidate.”

From the excitement of our campus community to those ubiquitous table tents advertising his speech, Buchanan seems to be an important figure to see.

In an e-mail sent to biology majors titled “EXCELLENT speaker tomorrow” (emphasis not mine) Marcia O’Connell, chair of the biology department, wrote, “(Brian) Alters was one of the six expert witnesses for the plaintiffs in the landmark trial in federal court last year that involved intelligent design, science, education, biological evolution and the U.S. Constitution. His testimony against the school district’s pro-Intelligent Design science teaching policy in Dover, Pennsylvania, has been reported world-wide, including ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Associated Press and a cover story on Rolling Stone … You may feel inundated with talks and panel discussions on this topic, but this one is probably going to be the most important one to attend. Dr. Alters is receiving literally hundreds of requests for speaking engagements. We are VERY fortunate to get him here at (the College).”

As O’Connell clearly emphasizes, Alters is a must-see for biology students. However, how can a Jewish student who is compelled both academically and religiously possibly make a decision that he or she will not regret?

I am thoroughly disappointed with the decisions of both the College Republcans and the biology department. I only hope that in the future, both of these groups, as well as every other campus group, will be more considerate and sensitive toward the campus community when planning their events.

Melanie Kaufer

president, Hillel/

Jewish Student Union