It is not every day students speak out about a subject that is considered political, but over the past few weeks, the students of SIUC have shown they care about what happens not only to this country, but also to the millions of people of other countries as well.

By Gus Bode

What began as an effort to speak out against a possible war in Iraq has become a forum for students to discuss both sides of the coin. Unfortunately, there has only been one student to speak out for a possible attack, which has made the teach-ins one-sided.

It is good that students are no longer hiding behind the curtain of shame about what they believe. It is about time they made their voices heard and not worry about what others have to say.

College campuses are supposed to be the platform for protest no matter what the topic and allowing the teach-ins is a great way to allow the free speech principle to be exercised.


At a time when the news has over-saturated the airwaves and newspapers with stories about the sniper shootings and eventual capture of two suspects, the midterm elections and even closer to home, the faculty negotiations, students have shown continued interest in what is going on with the governmental administration.

President Bush has done a good job of turning the focus toward the elections with his overdrive campaigning for Republican senate hopefuls, but with all of his campaigning, he still has not diverted the attention of individuals who really care about what happens to the United States, as well as Iraq, if troops are ordered to attack.

During the first rounds of teach-ins, many complained that the entire picture was not being represented at the lectures. While there are several people who are for a war, none of them are attending the teach-ins and speaking out. There have been countless letters urging people to support the president in this time of turmoil. But at the same time, none of those people have stood in front of a crowd and made their voices heard on why they stand behind the president.

If the option of war is at hand and people want others informed about the goods of going to war, they need to step forward and participate in the free forums.

Those who have attended the discussions and voiced their concerns have shown courage to oppose the majority of those who believe in the political system and the current state of issues surrounding not only the act of war, but the effects of post-war on military personnel as well as their families.

Even though the threat of war has not been in the headlines as much as before, it is known that the president and the senate are still debating whether or not to send troops into Iraq and those students who have continued to speak out know that the threat is still there and their voice has to continue to be heard.

Kudos, students. It is always a pleasure to see students stand for something and not care what others think. Hopefully next time there is a major issue facing not only the country, but also the campus of SIU, students will be allowed a forum to voice their opinion whether they are for or against a particular issue.