Carlson dean indirectly supported campus Iraq vote

WBy Matt Audette and Jon Bottema we opened an e-mail from the University last week and found a shocking message from an associate dean of the Carlson School of Management, the school we attend as graduate students. The message, forwarded by the dean from the student group Students Against War, was asking us to vote regarding the war with Iraq. We have drafted this response for several reasons, which we will outline below.

We find it utterly disgusting to receive this e-mail and are sure it disgusts many others. The University’s e-mail system should not be used for political propaganda. Because it would be impossible to grant equal opportunity for everyone’s views, those with access to the “all students” distribution lists should have enough common sense to abstain from using the system this way. For instance, we all know what would happen if someone sent a letter to the dean asking him to forward to all faculty and students information about an event sponsored by a group holding a vote on something as controversial as allowing noncriminals to carry weapons to defend themselves. It would get nowhere. That is also the reason why most students cannot send mail to “all students” – our mailboxes would be overflowing with junk.

Instead, the group just relied on the left-leaning dean of its choice, and used him as the point man on their propaganda dump. The point is the dean’s office should not be used for political purposes. Either all requests to the dean should be honored, no matter the political persuasion, or none of them. We prefer the latter. Dean Michael Barnes should be ashamed of himself. If he is not, then we will be ashamed for him.

Why do we (the students and faculty of the University) need a stance on the war at all? As soon as that e-mail went out from a dean, this “vote” became quasi-University sponsored. Why do we need a vote from the students? We do not take votes on legislative bills, Supreme Court nominations or transportation issues. Why do we need one on this war?

With the biased sponsors and overseers of this vote – Students Against War, Faculty Against the War, Muslim Student Organization, Women’s Student Activist Collective, AFSCME, University of Minnesota Democrats, Students for Family Values, University of Minnesota Lawyers Guild, Queer Student Cultural Center, Black Student Union and La Raza – is it very difficult to guess what the results are going to be?

If we were one inch from a voting booth with nothing to do for the rest of our lives, we would not have participated in this vote. It is a fraudulent vote sponsored by biased organizations. Ultimately, the vote will fail to discover anything new. Fringe leftist groups and many faculty members on the University campus do not support war – even if it keeps them safe at night.

Jon Bottema is a graduate student at the Carlson School of Management and Students for Liberating Iraq Midwest region president. Matt Audette is a graduate student at the Carlson School of Management and Students Who Love America Minnesota chapter president. Send letters to the

editor to [email protected]