Volume 95, Issue 52

Tuesday, December 4, 2001
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UWO, staff reach tentative deal

Female student assaulted

Huron receives the "Wright" donation

Teach-in: Plenty of talk, little discussion

Support for abused women just a call away

What about the table? UWO get research chairs

Even more double cohort discussion

News Briefs

Teach-in: Plenty of talk, little discussion

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

A teach-in held last Friday in the Social Science Centre brought an old approach to new political issues, but left some students wishing there had been more room for discussion.

Justin Podur, a columnist with Z-net – an online political magazine – spoke about consequences and alternatives to critical political situations in the Middle East both before and after the attacks of Sept. 11.

Podur compared what he believed would have been humane responses to the political situations in these countries with the actual responses undertaken by the United States and supporting nations, including Canada.

The U.S. could have decided to seek out the perpetrators – even if it takes time – and punished them in accordance with international law, Podur said. This would have been a humane response, he said.

Instead, the U.S. response displayed an elite agenda of "full spectrum dominance" or world domination, he said.

Podur spoke briefly of the need for citizens to question this agenda and push for humane responses to political situations.

"There is a prerequisite to this agenda," Podur said. "Ultimately, it is our consent."

Teach-in organizer Brad MacIntosh, a member of the London Activist Network, said he plans on having similar events on-campus in the future. "Western needs to have access to alternative ideas," he said.

MacIntosh hoped the teach-in would allow attendees the chance to get all the facts before forming an opinion.

"I find [Podur] failed to address a few fundamental things – he addressed problems, but not possible solutions," said Fadr Racy, a first-year English student who hopes to see more teach-ins at Western.

Some students in attendance did not feel the term "teach-in" accurately described the event.

"It didn't seem much like a teach-in," said Sari Anderson, a masters student in behavioral neuroscience. The discussion was "preaching to the converted" rather than making an effort to reach out to the mainstream, she said.

Greg van Leeuwen, a third-year applied math student, agreed with Anderson's sentiments. "It would have been interesting to have more discussion rather than reiterating facts," he said.

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