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ISSUE 116 VOL 4 PUBLISHED 10/4/2002

Editorial: Apathy not the best policy

By Nicole Grunzke
Executive Editor

Friday, October 4, 2002

All you have to do is turn on the television or open a copy of a daily newspaper to see the controversy surrounding the United States’ potential war with Iraq.

While tension rises on military lines, though, back here on the Hill there’s little indication of problems at all.

Some signs of a peace movement have sprung up, and we applaud the involved students for taking action. The Global Awareness and Local Response honor house hung up Picasso’s "Guernica" two weeks ago, famous for its anti-war message. Just this week signs were hung in the cafeteria, urging "no action in Iraq" and for peace to prevail.

These examples suggest an undercurrent of a peace movement, but the slowly rippling waves seem almost ironic considering the dire consequences of the United States entering the war or deciding to continue peace.

And where is the war movement? There have to be people on campus in support of such actions, but we have yet to hear from them. Does the lack of a war movement mean that St. Olaf is officially an anti-war community? What repercussions does that have for the students who are pro-war? We understand that being pro-war in this case means an acceptance of the status quo, but shouldn’t these students still show their support?

It was only a few decades ago, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, that students across the country, even at St. Olaf, raised their voices in response to the Vietnam "Conflict." Today, however, we have chosen to become so entrenched in homework and activities on the Hill that we ignore our right, a precious right many people do not have, to express our desire for peace or war. This is irresponsible and not acceptable for us, students who have more than enough information and opportunities to act at our disposal

St. Olaf is a great place to live, work and play, and it is a valuable refuge from the troubles of the "real world." We fully advocate taking some time out .

But talk about the war. Decide what you want from our nation’s leaders. Show your support for President Bush’s plans or show your distaste, but don’t stand idly by while the fate of Iraq and our country’s future hang in the balance. Don’t look back in 20 years (or tomorrow) and regret that you played campus golf on the day we went to war.

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