Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Attacking Meat Eaters

College GOP only ones laughing
Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind.
Staff Editorial
Issue date: 4/6/09 Section: Opinion

This Wednesday, ISU's College Republicans are holding a cookout featuring hot dogs and hamburgers to increase awareness of their organization and generate interest.

However, the cookout is described as an animal rights event and is officially titled "Celebrating the Right to be Delicious," calling attention to the cookout's function and creating what is apparently supposed to be a humorous alternative to the typical animal rights event, which usually promotes humane treatment, not the post-slaugther product found in grocery stores.

Just like the rest of ISU's diverse student population (of which the university is proud to boast), animal rights' activists are real people as well, who make personal decisions to support the rights of animals; particularly the way in which they interact with the food industry. The animal rights movement is far from obscure or non-existent; animal rights proponents exist both far away and right here, on ISU's campus.

Moreover, the month of April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month, as sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Animal cruelty, mistreatment and other related subjects are highlighted this month for study, education and prevention.

With this event, the College Republicans are effectively alienating not just Republicans who may be supporters of animal rights, but are also displaying an incendiary, confrontational attitude for the whole student body to see. As we move further and further from the discriminatory ways of the past and come towards a diverse, accepting future, actions like these paint their creators as insensitive, unprofessional and disreputable. Read More

Regardless of your politics, the point here is the lack of tolerance for students that would like to counter the animal rights believers on the Indiana State University campus. I highly doubt the college paper would write a scathing editorial about them handing out tofu. When the College Republicans tried to hand out hamburgers, it was being confrontational but vegetarians are just trying to educate. This double standard is unfortunate and it’s disappointing to know that this is the future of journalism in our country.

1 comment:

ISU College Republicans said...

Thanks for posting this! The Indiana Statesman refused to publish the College Republican response.

Last Monday, April 6, The Statesman published a staff editorial attacking the College Republicans and event which it no longer planned to host, a cookout with the theme “Animal Rights Day.” After the erroneous and classless editorial was published, the group attempted to have its side of the story represented in The Statesman. We submitted the following letter to the editor, to be printed in the opinions section, but the managing editor of the newspaper refused to print it because our version of events did not align with theirs. Ashamedly, we worked with the editor to produce a letter that was acceptable, striking facts and rewording phrases which might have produced an unfavorable reflection on The Statesman. We were under the impression that this censored letter would be printed Friday, April 10, but it was not. We plan to exhaust every available means to communicate The Statesman’s unacceptable course of action directed at our student organization to the ISU and Terre Haute communities.In response to Monday’s Staff Editorial, the ISU College Republicans would like to point out that the decision to change the name and the topic of Wednesday’s event was made last Thursday, in light of the passage of President Obama’s irresponsible budget, and was unrelated to the editorial.

Secondly, we hope to host such a cookout in the future, regardless of the opinion of The Statesman. It is our understanding that we have the freedom and ability to host events without prior restraint if we accept the consequences. Thus, we will not be threatened by The Statesman’s call to abolish any event we or any other student organization might organize, and are confident that our savvy student body maintains suspicion of entities which make such calls.

We expected the Animal Rights Day cookout would poke fun at the expense of a perceived radical group; after all, it seems these days that Republicans are perceived as a radical group, and perhaps we have grown too accustomed to being on the wrong end of crude political jokes. Still, our humor was well-intentioned -- we had hoped the event would raise awareness about human rights, which we happen to consider a more pressing issue than animal rights. Had The Statesman waited to publish the editorial, its staff would have been better informed as to our plans to discuss serious issues, albeit in a lighthearted or even sour way.

Finally, if The Statesman staff expects or desires a diverse, open-minded campus, it should self-reflect. The Statesman will do students a disservice by calling for the cancellation or censorship of events which might incite political dialogue. The ISU College Republicans are working hard to provide the inclusive, cultured, and sensible Republican voice that this campus deserves, and which enhances the diversity of our student body.