They have the right, but are they right?

Students gathered on the plaza in front of University Center at noon last Thursday as they do on any sunny, spring day. Some talked to friends near the Greek benches while others smoked near the building’s entrance.

Others held fluorescent signs protesting the war in Iraq.

Diana Dundas, a junior psychology major, held a sign that said “Stop Bush’s War.” She wanted people to know she wasn’t going to “sit here and take it” even though the war had already begun.

“We don’t support the war even after it’s started,” said Andrew Guzik, a junior art major.

Both Guzik and Dundas said people had talked and argued with them and at least one other person had his own sign: “Protestors Suck.” However, Guzik said for him, protesting is more about getting people to think about the issues rather than engaging in a discussion.

Jeff Butler, chief of NKU Department of Public Safety, stood a short distance away from protestors.

“Just observing,” he said. “People have the right to express their opinions.”

Richard Watson, a senior Marketing major, agreed that people have the right to express their opinion but didn’t agree with the protestor’s methods. “I don’t mind anti-war protests, but I do mind anti-government protests,” Watson said. He referred to the protestor’s signs – which displayed profanity and personal attacks on President Bush, including calling him a terrorist – as, “out of line.”

“Bush is being a president not a terrorist,” said Susan Robards, a junior Justice Studies major. “I don’t necessarily support the fact that it needed to escalate to war,” Robards said, “but there was some precedent…he (Hussein) knew the consequences of his actions.”

Another NKU student, Ben Mattingly, a junior Fine Arts major, said the protest “was more of an emotional argument rather than information-based.” The unfortunate reality is that civilian casualties will happen in any war, Mattingly said, but “the U.S. is not over there to eradicate the Iraqi people. They are there for a regime change,” he said. “Their posters were naive, uninformed and, in a word, moronic.”

Robards added, “They (protestors) should have done a little more research before planting themselves on the plaza…they are just looking for a cause.”

While working toward their cause, the protestors should consider the negative impact their actions could have on our troops, said Nathan Lewis, a sophomore Theatre major. “Without the troops doing what they do, they (protestors) wouldn’t be able to do things like this.”