a campus often criticized for its political apathy, a sizeable
crowd of some fifteen hundred Emory students, faculty, and administrators
turned out for Classroom on the Quad March 26, an
all-University event planned in response to the war in Iraq.
U.S. and Iraq: Many Voices, the two-hour program
was neither peace protest nor war rally, but a staged opportunity
for a diverse range of views to be aired. The days twenty-five
speakers hit on topics from the importance of humantarian aid
to the political necessity of liberating the Iraqi people.
the balance tipped toward anti-war sentiment, there were a number
of arguments in favor of the conflict.
removal of the Hussein regime in Iraq will reestablish a healthy
international respect for the American military power and presence,
declared College Republican Edward Thayer. We allowed
this to rot in the 1990s and have paid a dear price for it.
veteran of the war in Vietnam, Tariq Shakoor of Career Services
earned applause when he wondered how many of those who favor
action in Iraq would also favor reinstating the draft. The
[Bush] administration has created a climate of divisiveness
based on false patriotism, led by a mindset of arrogant self-righteousness,
President William M. Chace said, We remind ourselves where
we are, at a Universitya special place reserved for thinking.
Hence I encourage you allall of you, no matter what you
believe with respect to the invasion of Iraqto think,
as hard as you have ever thought about anything, about the world
as it has changed in the last six days.
student speakers issued passionate pleas for actionany
actionon the part of their classmates. Emory is
no doubt a place of brilliance and innovation, said Meg
Rithmire of the student Foreign Policy Exchange, but face-to-face
dialogue has subsided to electronic activism.
onlooker Michael Beckley, a junior from San Francisco, appeared
heartened as he gazed out over the crowd.
is fantastic, Im really surprised, he said. This
is usually such a non-activist campus. I just hope it wont