To the Daily:
Recognizing the importance of the group behind a leader
While I am thoroughly honored to have been recognized by the Daily in its “Students of the year” (03/26/2008) for my participation in Students Allied for Freedom and Equality – a diverse group of student activists organized to promote justice, human rights, liberation and self-determination for the Palestinian people – I would like to note that our success as an organization cannot be attributed to just one person. Nothing could have been achieved this year had it not been for the hard work and dedication of all SAFE’s members, especially my co-chair Hena Ashraf, Bre Arder, Faria Jabbar, Ryah Aqel and Kamal Abuarquob.
This year, SAFE was steadfast in its effort to provide the campus community with a holistic and analytical outlook at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It did this in spite of being harassed by Internet and campus watchdogs who attempted to intimidate SAFE into silence through libelous blog postings and offensive fliers, which sometimes compared the SAFE members to the Ku Klux Klan. By ignoring and properly reporting these cowardly acts of hate and discrimination, SAFE demonstrated that it is possible to engage in a civil and analytical debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As members of an institution of higher learning, we have a fundamental obligation to uphold the principles of freedom and equality. SAFE calls on people from all backgrounds and political persuasions to support peace and justice in the Middle East.
The letter writer is the co-chair of SAFE
‘Students of the year’ failed to honor worthy students
I’m perplexed by what criteria were employed by the Daily when it compiled its “Students of the year” for Wednesday’s Statement (03/26/2008) and what the Daily’s definition of making a difference is.
Common logic suggests that difference makers would be those students who have positively influenced this campus above and beyond their peers. Some folks that come to mind would be those responsible for programs like Dance Marathon and Relay For Life. Both are major hallmarks of the University calendar that raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for worthy causes and were omitted from the list. The leaders of these groups and many others are far more deserving of the Daily’s recognition than some of the people on the list.
Promoting hatred of a people and a country as well as justifying – in no uncertain terms – suicide bombings against civilian targets, as Andrew Dalack did in a viewpoint in the Daily last year (A blueprint for conversation, 04/10/2007) does not strike me as being a positive campus leader. If it’s Dalack’s prerogative to support civilian deaths, the Daily must use its place as the widest-circulation newspaper on campus to promote true leaders and not destructive ones.