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Student Responds Saying It is Unfair to Call UNC A One-Party University

This is a response to the Reader's Forum letter by Allie Perry entitled "Student Agrees with Horowitz: University is One-Party School."

I have not attended any of the teach-ins nor do I have a desire to, but I did attend the service Sept. 12th in Polk Place and the Peace Vigil sponsored by Campus Y and the student government.

I am a student, and I tend to lean toward liberal views.

I believe in nonviolence. I believe in the ideals of America, especially things like freedom of speech, tolerance, basic human rights and maybe even not so basic human rights.

While I have a tendency to be liberal, I think that part of my liberal nature is an emphasis on tolerance, and, even though I don't share conservative views, I would have no problem with conservative speakers and forums occurring on campus. It's true that there are not many of them, but I think it's an inaccurate assumption to blame that on UNC and to say that UNC is a one-party school.

I don't know anything about Mark Shields, but I know that Lesra Martin and the nonviolence advocate Arun Gandhi (no less than Mahatma Gandhi's grandson) were brought to our campus, not by UNC officials, but by students.

Student-led student organizations, such as the Campus Y (which I happen to be affiliated with); students sought out the funding and asked the speakers to come, with only a little help from the staff of the student organization, and it was hardly the whole school that showed up to hear Arun Gandhi speak, perhaps 700 out of thousands. In case my point isn't clear, a relatively small group of students worked to bring those speakers, and, if not for the few students, those speakers would not have been here at UNC.

Obviously there is a Republican student organization on campus, and, though I haven't sought out conservative student groups, I would guess that either they exist or that conservative students, if they feel so strongly about it, should form one. I would be glad to attend a lecture by Lauch Faircloth or Elizabeth Dole and would be thrilled to have the added diversity to promote sincere, careful thought on the very serious issues we all have facing us.

I would suggest that if conservative students and teachers are motivated and wish to have conservative forums and lectures, then they should work together with their coinciding student organizations and bring them.

That's how we "liberals" do it. If a conservative speaker is invited to UNC, and the school officials say that he or she cannot come and speak here, then I will not have a problem with anyone saying that UNC is unfairly a one-party school.

Philip Weeks
English and Creative Writing

The length rule was waived.

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