Business staff’s suspension of ‘Nazi-esque’ ads not censorship

To the Daily:

I rarely ever send a letter to the Daily but I cannot allow such hypocrisy to go unnoticed.

It outrages me to see Rick Dorfman claiming that the recent suspension of the campustruth ads was an act of “censorship” (Daily business staff’s decision to suspend ads is censorship, 03/26/03)in light of his lawsuit against various student groups for holding a campus conference on divestment from Israel. His attempt to block the conference by pushing funding bodies to withhold money, filing claims with national Jewish agencies, and even going to court is symptomatic of his desperate attempts to shut everyone else that disagrees with him. Unfortunately, he is blinded by his biases and ignorance that impede him from making rationale conclusions.

The ads are very representative of Nazi propaganda that often painted the world in good versus bad terms. In essence, the ads depict a historical conflict spanning decades, even centuries, by claiming that all Israelis are good and all Palestinians are evil by associating Israelis with Olympic athletes, candlelight vigils and more, while juxtaposing such a serene image with a heading stating that all “Palestinians support” followed by a picture of a suicide bomber, a gunmen and more.

While these are all legitimate photographs, the implicit and explicit assumptions/conclusions are Nazi-esque. Any 2-year old would say that not all Israelis are good and not all Palestinians are bad, but people like Dorfman would definitely disagree … I guess I’ll call my lawyer now in anticipation of Dorfman’s pending lawsuit against my letter to the editor.

Kenan Mossa-Basha

Business School senior

Muslim Students Association president

Campustruth ads tell it like it is; sometimes truth hurts

To the Daily:

In my four years here at the University, I have never felt so compelled to write a letter to the editor as I do right now. In regards to the article, ads spark controversy (03/24/03), I must express my extreme disappointment with the Daily’s decision to pull the ads. It’s not even an issue of free speech; it’s an issue of journalism integrity. Every single ad cites a legitimate and credible source at the bottom of the picture; no one can deny the reality behind these ads. By exposing the truth, pro-Palestinian students on this campus are upset, because they can no longer use their appeal to human rights as a way to attract supporters.

The pro-Palestinian movement likes to hide behind a facade of the poor, innocent victims who have done nothing to incite or provoke violence. Is it not the truth that Palestinian children are taught to praise suicide bombers and that Israel is excluded on many Palestinian maps? Well it’s time to open the eyes of Palestinians and non-Palestinians alike, because let’s face it… sometimes the truth hurts.

Tara Blakeslee

LSA senior

Tuition increases, cuts to federal scholarships should not go unnoticed

To the Daily:

Our University has the highest tuition in the state and it is projected to increase by double-digit figures next year. While our state faces a monumental budget crisis, the federal government has proposed multiple cuts that will make the burden students face today even heavier.

Aid programs affected include Supplemental Grants, Perkins loans, Federal Work-Study and the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership program, which offers need-based aid. Lagging behind inflation, the maximum Pell Grant award would be frozen at its 2003 amount.

If you or anyone you know receives aid from these programs, you will be directly affected by these cuts. Student interests are often underrepresented in Washington. It is therefore our obligation to communicate with Congress on our own behalf.

All students should feel comfortable contacting their representatives to state their concerns. Indeed, it is a civic responsibility that should not be taken for granted.

During discussions of diversity on campus, economic diversity is often ignored. Weakening financial aid packages will limit that type of diversity, which is just as important as racial or ethnic diversity.

Federal financial aid must be kept adequate to keep our doors open to all qualified students.

Mary Fitzpatrick

LSA sophomore

Outreach coordinator, Students for PIRGIM

Carolyn Hwang

LSA sophomore

Chair, Students for PIRGIM

More research needed about genetic modification of food

To the Daily:

In response to an increase in the commercial use of genetically modified organisms, we wish to share our opinions on the issue. As a small group of ecology students, we are concerned about the lack of regulation regarding the genetic manufacturing of fish. We worry about the potential health threats transgenic fish could pose to consumers as well as the effects the introduction of these fish may have on the environment.

There are currently no laws requiring manufacturers to indicate if a fish has been genetically altered. If no laws are implemented concerning the packaging and labeling of GMOs, then in the future any fish one eats could potentially contain genes from another organism. As a consumer, wouldn’t you like to know what you’re eating and where it came from? The effects these organisms could have on consumers are still widely unknown. Our group is currently in the middle of a letter-writing campaign in support of further research on this topic. We want to know the effects these fish might have on consumers, as well as the environment.

We believe a method of identification should be implemented if and when these fish are available to consumers. One goal of genetic engineering is to allow for greater food availability and affordability, but should this benefit come with a cost to our health and the environment? It is the responsibility of the consumers to voice their opinions. If you want your opinion heard, look for us on the Diag and sign a petition in support of further research in this field of science.

Jennifer Birch

Lewis Melfi

Rupal Shah

LSA seniors

Ashley Scheurer

LSA sophomore

Daily misses the real story concerning panel discussion

To the Daily:

I was one of the organizers of the peace forum at the School of Social Work on Monday, March 24. I am writing to let you know that I am very disappointed that the Michigan Daily would print an article without checking the facts. The article I am referring to is, Students supporting Bush stage sit-in protest (03/25/03).

The organizers from Social Welfare Action Alliance were all available for comment at the event, yet the reporter did not approach any of us. It seems that the reporter did not attend the peace forum, otherwise she would have found out that the forum we had was open and everyone was invited. Apparently she only attended the counter protest outside the forum. Had she bothered to walk 10 feet and go inside the school of social work, she could have talked with one of the many people in attendance about the true nature of the peace forum.

Allegra Baider

School of Social Work

SWAA member

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