On Sunday, several bands will be performing on the Wilson Quad to “Rock for Democracy.” The title of the event is misleading. This event is in fact a concert to Rock against President George W. Bush. The concert organizers claim this event will be a platform to discuss global issues and make students aware of world issues. A more effective way to do this would be to stage a non-partisan event aimed at encouraging open dialogue, educating students about current events in a non-partisan manner and then providing them with information on how they can participate in the political process.Sunday’s event is open to students of all political affiliations, but the anti-Bush theme makes it far from inviting for non-Democrats. Students who are pro-Bush will most likely be put off, but what is even more detrimental is that students who are confused or unsure of their choices may be discouraged by such a biased event. One of the most important things that college students can do is participate in the political process, yet for many students, this election will be the first time they’ve had the opportunity to do so. Many of these students will be making this important choice by themselves, without the influence of their parents.It is important for an institution of higher learning to encourage the pursuit of education. Instead of bashing one candidate, provide non-biased information about all possible candidates, so that students can make an educated decision in November.While More Cowbell and Groove Element are rocking against Bush, there will be many students on campus who will feel left out. Who wants to go to a concert whose organizers explicitly state that they are against what you believe in? Non-partisan events don’t discriminate, ostracize or point people out for having different beliefs. They encourage all people to participate in the political process. Partisan events may be engaging for some, but are disengaging for others.The more college-aged people participating in the political process, the more candidates will engage us and address our needs and concerns. If the organizers of “Rock for Democracy” really believe that Bush is so bad, then they should have no problems providing students with unbiased facts to make the decision for themselves.Celebrating democracy is a wonderful concept. But the organizers of Sunday’s concert are not doing that. Democracy is a beautiful thing and we are lucky to be able to vote. Engaging and educating the student body should be our first priority in the weeks prior to November’s election. If we’re going to rock democracy, let’s do it and if we’re going to rock for John Kerry, let’s at least be honest about it. Gorode can be reached at email@example.com.
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