Sunday, December 26, 2010

NAU Conservatives teach about popular revolutionary

Posted By Stephanee Freer
10/14/2010

The Lumberjack covered our 2010 No More Che Day event here.

Tea Parties catch the attention of NAU

Posted By Stephanee Freer
09/29/2010

NAU Conservatives mentioned and Travis Owen interviewed in this article in the Lumberjack:

http://jackcentral.com/news/2010/09/tea-parties-catch-the-attention-of-nau/

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NAU Electronic Attendance Monitoring: Invasion of Privacy?

By Travis Owen
5/11/2010

As President of the NAU Conservatives, I felt compelled to talk about the issue that has been pressing for us and is now hitting national headlines.

Northern Arizona University has once again wasted student dollars, invaded our privacy and trampled on our rights. I am sure most NAU students know by now that the University is implementing an electronic attendance monitoring system.

A card reader will read the students ID each time he or she enters the classroom. Similar to resident halls the cards won’t even have to be removed but will be read when within the vicinity of monitors. The University reported the card readers are estimated to cost a total of $75,000 and paid for by federal stimulus funds will be phased in.

The data will be recorded from each class and read by faculty and staff in regular reports. However the readers would only be in classes of 50 or more students.

The University said they want to encourage students to attend class more frequently, lower the drop-out rate, and increase the amount of student success. But is this really the answer?

Since news of this has broken it has been posted on azcentral.com, guardian.co.uk, nuintel.com, and huffingtonpost.com.

This is rightly so due to the fact that this violates our constitutional right to privacy. This policy is being implemented by a university that for the longest time had a designated “free speech zone.” This is the same University that is cutting salaries on professors, building a new rec-center but raising tuition.

As I pointed out in an earlier blog, “Northern Arizona University in Deep Blue Territory,” this campus holds a complete disregard to ideological differences and now privacy.

It is an extremely uncomfortable feeling, the University having data on where I am, and how often I am there. Due to the fact that nearly all students are adults and voters they are guaranteed certain rights to privacy. This privacy includes doing what one wishes within the law without being held accountable. This monitoring is Orwellian and borderline totalitarian practices being put in place by the University.

The complete disregard for constitutional rights of students is taking any and all liberty out of collegiate educational practices. It is rules and mandates like this that lead to worse things.

Sooner or later if college students across the country don’t pay attention to this it could start becoming a common practice.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SB 1070: A State of Discontent and Debate

By Travis Owen
05/04/2010

Sunday April 23rd is a day that will live in mixed feelings across the state of Arizona as Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070. What part of the controversial legislation entails is giving the state expanded power in confronting illegal immigrants.

Being a politically active member of the Northern Arizona University community, NAU Conservatives and I the president are experiencing the debate right at home. It is not every day that Arizona is the centerpiece of political conversations across the nation, minus a failed attempt at the Presidency by Senator John McCain.

So to give people a better understanding of what is going on at my home collegiate state of Arizona I have gone through the process of observing class discussions, protests, Facebook posts, and interviewed various professors and students about their thoughts on the legislation.

The overall feeling across the Northern Arizona University campus is outrage. Numerous posts, articles in the student newspaper, rants by professors and protests have all centered toward opposition of the legislation. Prominent Race Theorist and Associate professor Dr. Joel Olson here at NAU said in what he called a “Libertarian Socialist Critique” the following, “SB 1070 is a huge expansion of police power, ironically sponsored by small party republicans.” At the same time he also stated, “Most 1070 proponents are not racist, but immigrant, illegal and latino all become the same person under it. An invasion of culture of culture is what it is labeled as and becomes.” Though Libertarian socialists are few and far between, even on a campus as liberal as NAU, the same argument could be made for several liberal entrenched students who advocate for more government yet strongly oppose the bill.

Conservative and Hispanic Professor Dr. Stephen Nuno at NAU made the same point as Dr. Olson, yet disagreed on others, “The legislation expands the role of government and places suspicion on Hispanic citizens, but it is a response by Arizonan’s who have been disproportionately effected by illegal immigration.”

The common student sentiment on the bill is that it is inherently racist, as to be expected in a school as blue as NAU. But other groups in Flagstaff held strong disapproval and emphasized it in protests in front of Flagstaff City hall. One group was the Repeal Coalition who stated on their fliers, “To call other humans “illegal” is to degrade our own humanity.”

This group, student Latino groups, and similar groups are making themselves heard across the state. Advocates are often not given the chance or are currently afraid to put forth events in support of the bill. A member of my club, Emily Gorbutt said, “The overt racism being such as painting swastikas on refried beans to demonize the supporters hurts my feelings and is extremely offensive.” When talking to her she seamed to express feelings of frustration, feeling she isn’t given the chance to express her thoughts in predominantly liberal classroom discussions.

Yet there are those who are standing in opposition, Vice President of the NAU Conservatives Amber Morin sent a letter to Governor Brewer in thanks for passing the legislation. Another member Robert Rose said the following in a classroom online discussion post, “people will cry foul until they see it repealed. People who are still racially biased will support it to unconstitutional extents. But rational people will realize several things. The first, that your emotions are irrelevant when sovereign US law is broken. The second is that this new law only solves the effects of the problem, not the cause which is a screwed up legal bureaucratic immigration system. The concern with this new law should not be that it is outright racist and illegal. It is that there is good room for corruption.

What is occurring across this state is something I have never experienced in my lifetime but feel both obligated yet privileged to be able to look through the inside of the veil on this issue, at least to the extent I can. Despite the outcry against it overwhelmingly on the NAU campus, 70% of Arizonans support the bill. I myself hold mixed feelings. The libertarian in me cringes at the thought of government expansion of police power. It scares me to consider this bill can entail overt racism toward some yet I am so relieved that something is finally being done. To many Arizonan’s are disproportionately effected by illegal immigration. Too many legal immigrants are mislabeled due to wrong doing’s of illegal’s, and a majority of Arizona residents have bean crying out for immigration reform prior to Janet Napolitano becoming Head of DHS. The point here is as my peer Robert pointed out political corruption will occur here, but emotions are irrelevant when laws are broken, I do not get a pass if I break a federal crime. The only question then is as much as several conservatives both support this bill whole heartedly and somewhat, is this the right way, and will this lead toward the next step of stopping the illegal immigration at the borders?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Northern Arizona University in Deep Blue Territory

By Travis Owen
05/02/2010

Students at Northern Arizona University are aware of how active the NAU Conservative Group that I am president of is during the school year. This school year, we have hosted a Berlin Wall event that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of that wall and victory of capitalism over communism.

We are constantly promoting conservatism at Northern Arizona through our protesting of a Van Jones speech, a No Che Day and a showing of documentary “Not Evil, Just Wrong”.
However, we decided to take up The Leadership Institutes Deep Blue Campus to find out the political leanings of our professors and administrators through their political donations to political parties.

We must now report and make aware to our fellow students that Northern Arizona University is in deep blue territory, as 32 administrators or professors gave a total of $20,517 to the two political parties in the previous presidential election cycles with 80 percent going to Democratic candidates.

28 people gave to a total of $16,316 to the Democrats for those parties’ presidential candidates, while 4 people gave $4,201 to the Republican candidates or 20 percent of the donations from North Arizona University faculty and staff.

The fact of the matter is that Universities are intended to be a place of academia, diversity and open mindedness. What is occurring here is a blatant neglect by the University to hold true even somewhat to the principle of diversity of opinion.

We want to thank Campus Reform and The Leadership Institute for supplying us with this idea as we are now prepared to engage students with an alternative political ideology as judging by the donations to the major two major political parties, are professors seem incapable of doing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tax Day Tea Partiers

By Richelle Morin
04/16/2010

Yesterday was April 15th also know to many Americans as tax day, and in its duration thousands of people nation wide turned out to protest three significant issues: big government, high taxes (or future increases), and how the government is spending our hard earned money.

I am proud to say that NAU Conservatives and many of our fellow Flagstaff residents took up our flags and posters at the City Hall lawn in disapproval of our government’s recent actions. The protest that took place from 4pm-6pm turned out to be a success, and many people drove by in the setting sun honking their horns and waving in agreement. While at the protest, some passersby reacted in vulgar demonstrations such as throwing the finger, yelling at us, and one person even lacked enough self-respect to drive by and moon the tea partiers.

As conservatives we value personal responsibility and respect for others, so no such actions took place in retaliation to the angry dissenters. We understand that in America it is our Constitutional right to voice our opinion and for others to do the same. We value that right and expect everyone else to do the same even if it means that we must tolerate insulting opposition. However, one annoyed opponent’s opinion that should have been encouraging all Americans to voice their concerns put our movement and its message down.

President Obama stated on Thursday, “I have been amused a little over the past couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying ‘thank you.’ That’s what you’d think.” What should we be thanking him for: the bail out of big banks and failed corporations, for introducing a healthcare bill we cannot afford, or for ignoring the concerns of countless Americans who want nothing more than for their children to inherit the country where anyone can achieve success that they grew up in? It seems the President threw his view out there to belittle and discourage the tea partiers across the country simply because we do not agree with his policies. These remarks only serve to divide our people not further bi-partisanship that Obama adamantly advocated for.

The one person who should be applauding our courageous patriot like actions should be our President, even if they are in opposition to his platform, because he is not just working for the democrats. Obama is President of the United States of America. We are a united country and he needs to acknowledge this. He should represent and advocate for everyone not just those that agree with him. Bi-partisanship begins with you Mr. President.

To all of the patriots across America that took up their flags and banners in protest on tax day, I applaud you for your courageous actions. Congress and the President will have to listen soon, even if we have to wait until November to significantly get our point across. Keep up the hard work for the cause. The future of your children, grandchildren, and the future of the United States of America are in your hands.