Letter of protest

David G. Mosby

I am writing this letter as an expression of solidarity with the “Beardshear Eight” and as an official letter of protest against the sanctions that have been leveled against those students the actions of the administration in general and President Jischke and GSB President Adam Gold in particular.

I would like to make clear that this has nothing to do with my position on the renaming of Catt Hall. The fact that I am against renaming the hall is well known by both the students who have been fighting to have the name changed and the administration.

Nevertheless, I admire the strength of these students’ convictions and respect them all for standing up for what they believe in. Further I think that lowa State, despite the tension created or perhaps because of, has benefited a great deal from the open and honest dialogue that has been created as a result of the efforts of these students and the faculty that support them.

This entire issue goes to the very heart of what a university should be and rather than being discouraged it should be encouraged.

First of all, Mr. Gold, I would like to ask you what kind of a president of the student body would side with the administration on such basic issues as a student’s right to freedom of expression and fair and open hearings?

As for the charges themselves. I have one question to ask Dean of Students Kathleen MacKay (Aren’t you supposed to be an advocate for students?) and the Office of Judicial Affairs (Thank the fates that be that “justice” is not part of the name).

If the charges were not “serious” enough to merit granting the students’ request to have the case moved to All University Judiciary, why then are they serious enough to warrant putting students on conduct probation and removing them from leadership positions?

There’s a course called Philosophy 206 taught at ISU. It deals with logic and reasoning. Take it.

That being said, it is you Dr. Jischke who is really responsible for this mess regardless of any nonsense that your spokespeople may spew about who is in charge of your kangaroo court.

Rather than being an innovative, progressive leader for ISU, you have sat and bided your time and avoided confrontation simply by avoiding the debate. You have allowed Federal laws designed to protect the rights and privacy students to be twisted and manipulated so that they may be used against their best interest and that of the university.

While many may applaud your decision to support the effort to change the name of the stadium to Jack Trice Stadium, I do not. You simply waited until there was an overwhelming sense of approval.

In other words, you have followed rather than led, which goes to the heart of the problem.

Rather than being a leader for ISU, you have chosen to be nothing more than a glorified fund-raiser and CEO of a public company. You do damage control rather than advocate. You put a public relations spin on things rather than participating in genuine, open and honest intellectual dialogue.

You came to ISU the same time I did, and since that time I have never seen you take the initiative on anything controversial that did not involve money. Rather than embracing these students for living up to the best of what it means to be a “citizen” in a participatory democracy, you have done nothing. Instead you have let mouth pieces speak for you.

In sum, you have chosen to be cowardly rather than courageous like Meron Wondwosen, Milton McGriff, Allan Nosworthy and Theresa Thomas who have been railroaded by your “courts.”

You see, Jischke, you do not have to agree with these students to hear them out. Rather than trying to muscle them with these ridiculous charges and sanctions, you should have let the reason of your argument carry the day. Instead you have allowed these students to achieve the university equivalent of martyrdom and now a legitimate question — the renaming of Catt Hall — will forever be marred and obscured by your incompetent cowardly handling of a movement — and its leaders — with which you did not agree.

Peace to all those whose consciences will let them find it.

David G. Mosby

ISU class of 1996

Former opinion editor

and Daily columnist

Paris, France