Students shafted at
RFK Jr. Speech
Last week, Student Life invited
Robert Kennedy Jr., an accomplished environmental
lawyer and activist, to speak at the Sangamon Auditorium. He
was incredible and inspiring, a speaker that the community
greatly benefited from. Unfortunately, because the event was
free and open to the public, students weren’t given the
opportunity to sit close, meet him, or
have their questions answered.
is no surprise that the Kennedy name attracted people from the
community. Not because of his message, but because of his
family. His presence here, however, was not to entertain the
community. His foremost purpose was to impart knowledge upon the
UIS community. Unfortunately, Student Life lost sight of this
when planning the event.
Students should have been given preferential seating. It is no
secret that college students are busy. We run between classes,
work, and other activities, and are lucky if we can arrive
somewhere five minutes early. The front rows of the auditorium
were filled with people from the community who arrived early.
Students would have had to arrive at least thirty minutes before
the presentation to compete for the front seats.
became clear during the question and answer period that seating
was more than an issue of viewing enjoyment. With no facilitator,
Kennedy chose on three audience members from the front rows. Not
ONE of the people who were able to ask a question was a student.
The very people he was being paid to inform were not even given
the chance to ask.
he came out into the lobby to meet the people, any glimmer of hope
one had to meet or talk to him was trampled by the relentless mob
of middle-aged women taking pictures, giving gifts, and just
trying to get a touch.
you ready for the icing on the cake? Certain faculty members and
their spouses were invited to a dinner reception with Kennedy
prior to the event. Yes, some students were invited: the SGA
president, the bio club president, etc. However, neither the
environmental studies nor the legal studies departments were asked
if they knew of students who could have particularly benefited
from such a dinner. There are such students; Student Life just
didn’t bother to ask.
and every student on this campus pays $216 a semester for activity
fees. These fees are meant to sponsor events, speakers and other
activities that benefit the student body. Why are WE paying for
the community to sit close to Robert Kennedy Jr.? Why are WE
paying for the community to get their questions answered? Why are
WE paying for the community to meet him? Why are WE paying for
faculty to eat and greet?
administration of this campus has lost its vision, its dedication
to the students. Without you and your money, they don’t have jobs.
It is time to hold those who spend your money accountable for
their actions. We are this university and we have a voice. Let’s
By Scott Shelby
For some terminally ill patients,
keeping food down is a challenge that consumes the greater part
of their day. There are medications to combat the nausea that
complicates the treatment of serious illnesses like cancer and
AIDS, but a patient’s inability to keep the medication down long
enough for it to be effective renders the drugs useless.
Patients who experience severe
nausea thus often become malnourished, weakening their ravaged
bodies still further. One of the principal drugs doctors currently
use to treat this nausea is Marinol®, generic name
dronabinol. The active ingredient in Marinol® is
synthetic delta-9-THC, which is also the active ingredient in
Cannabis sativa L, the plant commonly known as marijuana.
Severely ill patients face a
Catch-22 when Marinol® is prescribed to treat the
nausea that threatens their ability to care for themselves. The
nausea that the drug has been prescribed to treat renders them
unable to keep the drug in their systems long enough to experience
its benefit. Smoking cannabis may allow some of these patients to
escape such a tragically ironic dilemma.
Last week the House Health Care
Availability and Access Committee voted to abandon these patients
to their fate without reprieve by dismissing a measure to legalize
the medical use of marijuana in Illinois out of hand. The
legislators refused to hear any testimony on House Bill 4868, a
bill to create the Medical Cannabis Act, before banishing it to
the Rules Committee for further review.
Opponents of the bill cited fears
of increased drug abuse among children, and problems with
enforcing the law as the basis for their opposition.
Distinguishing between those permitted to possess the drug under
the proposed legislation and illegal possessors of cannabis could
raise some minor difficulties for law enforcement officials, but
there less support for the contention that medical marijuana would
make the drug available to children.
If legislators are truly concerned
about drug abuse among the nation’s youth, they have bigger
problems than marijuana. A recent series of reports broadcast on
All Things Considered, a National Public Radio news
program, examined the current spike in heroin use among young
people. One episode quoted the street price of a bag of heroin
(enough for one user to get high one time) at $10.
Heroin is more of a problem in
suburban areas than in the cities, a reversal of the demographics
of the heroin epidemic of the 1970’s. The Drug War has failed to
keep this scourge out of the hands of our children, just as it
failed to keep crack away from the children of the Nineties.
Treating every illegal drug as
equally dangerous is not only naďve, it is counter-productive. By
diverting funding and enforcement person-hours away from deadly
drugs like heroin and cocaine, the enforcement of current
marijuana legislation exacerbates the addiction rates for more
The refusal of Illinois lawmakers
to allow suffering people access to a medicine they desperately
need is not only stubborn, it is cruel. Help to end this cruelty
by urging your State Representatives to take responsible action to
end the prohibition on this vital medicine today. Representative
Larry McKeon (D-Chicago) is the sponsor of House Bill 4868 and may
be reached at (217) 782-3835. Tell him you support his bill, and
ask how you can help.
by Emelie Laursen
Supports lowering income taxes for all and
eliminating federal estate taxes. Critics like the Citizens for
Tax Justice say that more than sixty percent of Bush's proposed
tax cuts would go to the best-off 10 percent of Americans. ABC
published "Bush is asking the Republican-controlled Congress to
cut spending growth for most other programs by more than half.
Among those hardest hit will be agencies that regulate
agriculture, the environment, housing and urban development,
labor, and health and human services." On Feb. 4, 2003 President
Bush proposed to Congress a $2.23-trillion budget. This increased
funding for defense and homeland security and was calling for $670
billion in income tax cuts over 10 years.
Social Services Funding: Bush
supports government funding for religious groups. On
selectsmart.com Bush is cited as saying "If a charity is helping
the needy, it should not matter if there is a rabbi on the board,
or a cross or a crescent on the wall, or a religious commitment in
the charter. The days of discriminating against religious groups
just because they are religious are coming to an end."
Bush supports school vouchers. These would allow
parents to use the government money to send their children to
better public schools or private schools. The Whitehouse says,
"The No Child Left Behind Act enables America's public schools to
receive record levels of funding from the federal government, and
creates unprecedented levels of accountability to ensure that
those funds are producing real results to help every child in
America receive a quality education." Some Republicans praise the
"No Child Left Behind Act", while critics have argued that the
funding increases that Bush pushes for aren't nearly enough to
cover the costs of the new requirements.
Bush wants to give workers credits to help buy
health coverage, have Medicare cover prescription drugs, and he is
opposed to the cloning of human for either reproduction or for
Bush is the NRA's man. He was a strong supporter
of the organization in Texas. However he did run into opposition
when he signed a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons.
The Planned Parenthood site says, "George W. Bush
is systematically working to gut reproductive freedom in the U.S.
and around the world."
Bush is strongly against gay marriages, he is
pushing for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages.
Bush established the department of Homeland Security. The mission
of this department is to prevent terrorist attacks within the
United States and decrease America's vulnerability to terrorism”
John Kerry (Democrat)
Kerry wants to reshape estate taxes so that, as he puts it, "no
family owned business is sold just to Uncle Sam." He backed
efforts to restore $31 billion in highway cuts made by Bush last
year that threatened 300,000 jobs.
Kerry is opposed to school vouchers; he says they
don't fix the problem. He believes that there is too big of gap
in between urban and suburban schools. There also needs to be a
greater ability for school administrators to dismiss teachers.
Kerry has a service-for-college plan that would offer students 4
years of public college tuition in exchange for 2 years community
service. Kerry voted "yes" on an amendment that would increase
the tax deduction for college tuition costs from $5,000 to
$12,000. Kerry’s "College Opportunity Tax Credit" will make four
years of college affordable for all Americans.
Kerry's goal is to make healthcare affordable to
everyone. He is quoted on selectsmart.com as exclaiming that "We
need a strong patient's bill of rights and we need it now, and we
will not rest until every single American has affordable health
coverage that no bureaucrat can take away." He voted not to ban
Kerry received a grade of "F" from the NRA. He has
been working to stop the NRA’s “anti-gun” list. On Kerry’s
website, johnkerry.com, he calls “The
NRA’s blacklist is the modern day equivalent of Richard Nixon’s
enemies list” and they are using the list as a political
Kerry received a 100% from Planned Parenthood. He
believes that the Constitution protects women’s right to choose
and to make their own decisions in consultation with their doctor,
their conscience, and their God.
Kerry is opposed to gay marriage, but does not want a
constitutional amendment; he believes that civil unions should be
allowed and that marriages should be up to the state to decide.
Kerry is quoted on his campaign site as saying “we need to
guarantee equal rights and civil rights and say that, here in
America,…justice belongs to everyone regardless of race or gender
or sexual orientation.”
If you are interested in keeping up to date on some of
the presidential news or would like information on how to get into
free concerts just by voting go to
Letters to the
Worst President Ever?
Many individuals claim President Bush shouldn't have started this
war in Iraq. They complain about his rational for striking. I have
heard from a friend recently that claimed Bush was the worst
president in U.S. history. I then realized the U.S. didn't start
the war on terror; It was started by terrorists on 9/11. Lets look
at some other presidents.
-FDR led the U.S. into World War II. Germany never attacked us:
Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost an average of
112,500 per year.
- Truman finished that war and started one in Korea. North Korea
never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an
average of 18,333 per year.
- John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam Conflict in 1962. Vietnam
never attacked us.
- Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000
lives were lost. That’s an average of 5,800 per year.
- Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent.
Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on
a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked
us on multiple occasions.
- In the two years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush
has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled Al-Qaida,
put nuclear inspectors in Lybia, Iran, and North Korea without
firing a shot. Not to mention he captured Saddam Hussein, a
terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. Saddam’s
capture led over 50 million people to freedom.
- We lost 600 soldiers in Iraq, an average of 300 a year.
President Bush did all this abroad while not allowing another
terrorist attack at home.
Do you think President Bush is the worst in history?