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ISSUE 117 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/27/2004


Campus discourse lacks civility

The following letter is a reply to another student's private correspondence, arguing for pacifism and expressing concern about the climate of political discourse on campus:

A classroom for all views

Intellectual diversity and liberalism in the classroom are hotly debated issues at St. Olaf. This clash became newsworthy when St. Olaf hosted this years Nobel Peace Prize Forum with Jimmy Carter as headliner. Students from the new student organization Counterpoint made front-page news in the Star Tribune when they held an alternative forum with Scott Johnson, a Minneapolis attorney and adjunct professor of law at the University of St. Thomas, who was denied entrance as a speaker for his lecture proposal Facts are Better Than Dreams: The Statesmanship of Winston Churchill in the 1930s.

Church, state separated; Muslims protest against French law

On Feb. 10, the French National Assembly voted 494 to 36 to adopt a law that forbids students to display conspicuous signs and dress that show religious affiliation in French public schools. The law prohibits Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses, and would go into effect in September 2004. President Jacques Chirac claims the goal of the law is to protect the principle of secularism. The French assembly claims that headscarves in governmental facilities violate the 1905 law separating the state from religion.

Bush policies disconcerting

All of our social ills are not the fault of one man. Even if he tried (and sometimes it seems like he is trying), President Bush could not dismantle the network of economic and ecological relationships that keep our communities strong. Furthermore, cogent political critique is no excuse for social inaction: change starts on the streets, not at the polls, and certainly not in D.C.

Group attacks faculty

Last week, a conservative St. Olaf student group called Counterpoint launched a coordinated smear campaign against St. Olafs professors and administration. Their intellectual diversity crusade culminated in a Feb. 21 Star Tribune article in which Counterpoint members claimed that St. Olafs classrooms are liberal indoctrination chambers where faculty members persecute students who voice conservative opinions.

Americans ridiculed

Feb. 1, 2004: a day that will live in infamy; by U.S. standards, that is. It seems that each time we turn on the TV theres some breaking news story or some major event taking place. More often than not, these stories have to do with scandal.

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