Education Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Both VOICE and FUSS support a conflict-free campus

We may disagree when it comes to a number of issues facing the university, but there is at least one thing that we both support passionately: STAND Against Genocide’s Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI).

Since STAND started the campaign in 2010, all parties and candidates running for Student Senate have supported CFCI while campaigning and once elected. We are proud to follow in their footsteps.

CFCI aims to address the ties between the electronic products Ohio University buys and invests in and the violence in the Congo. Congolese armed groups earn hundreds of millions of dollars every year by selling minerals used in electronics, and they use the money to further their campaigns of rape, murder and slavery.

Thanks to student pressure, this August Ohio University finally issued a symbolic statement acknowledging the link between its electronics and the violence in the Congo. We applaud this first important step, but recognize the urgency of following the statement with concrete procurement and investment policies for electronics.

If elected, we promise to treat this issue with the sense of urgency it requires. Whoever is elected, our first order of business will be to pass a resolution supporting the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative. We also pledge to lobby administrators to pass socially responsible procurement and investment policies throughout our term or until satisfactory policies are adopted. We actively will engage in supporting STAND’s efforts, whether through passing resolutions, circulating petitions or taking it to the streets.

It is long past time that the university take responsibility for our connection– however inadvertent– to the deadliest war since World War II. We hope our fellow Bobcats will join us and STAND in fighting for a conflict-free campus. STAND meets Mondays at 9 in Bentley 220.

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Matt Farmer is a junior studying political science and education and is running for President of Student Senate with the FUSS ticket. Nick Southall is a junior studying education and is running for President of Student Senate with the VOICE ticket.

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