Sunday, February 18, 2007

Editorial: What Did You Do Today?

During a crucial point in American history, students must advance change

By Peter Holslin and illustration by Jeremy Schlangen

Last month, the Democrats in Congress hammered out a string of policies to reform Washington’s corrupt practices, increase opportunities for the poor and eliminate decadent tax-cuts for the rich. But last week, President George Bush introduced his own spending policy. He says he can eliminate the U.S. deficit in five years by slashing funding for countless federal programs.

Yet last week, he also requested billions of additional dollars to fund the war in Iraq and proposed a massive expansion of the Defense Department's budget and the overall size of the military. Over the next few months, thousands of soldiers will be redeployed deep into dangerous Iraqi neighborhoods to face increasingly vicious sectarian violence. Congress is now mired in a frustrating debate over the future of the war.

All of this will lay the groundwork for America’s future. We, as students, will carry the burden: our safety, social security, health and education are at stake.

This issue offers examples of how students can contribute to America’s future. A special spread highlights the anti-imperialist and anti-racist efforts of Mark Rudd, a former leader of the Students for a Democratic Society and the radical SDS offshoot the Weathermen. A feature showcases the work of Parsons Architecture students in a Hurricane-ravaged Mississippi town. Leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society and a conservative student organization at The New School, Republican Roots, have also contributed opinion articles.

Many of these students have made great sacrifices and dedicated weeks, if not months and years, of time to their work. But advancing change can begin with something as simple as picking up the phone and calling your Senator or Representative. What matters is that we get involved now to build an egalitarian and responsible America for the future.

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