Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 20:41:28 -0800 (PST)
From: "Christian Duque"
Subject: Howard Zinn: Funds Urgently Sought
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Distinguished Student Leaders;
A few days ago I was quite disappointed when my good friend Peter Gruskin informed me that the upcoming Howard Zinn presentation had received substantially less (pledged) support from Accent as he and the CMC coordinators had hoped for. I was disappointed to say the least at the fact that Accent had pledged a mere $2,500 of the required $16,000 needed to bring Mr. Zinn to the University of Florida campus and its reluctance to re-consider its position.
True student leaders are few and hard to come by, but I was fortunate enough to come to know and work with several of you throughout my senate term and others now almost a year after having graduated through various activist efforts. As a former elected official I know all too well how difficult it can be to support efforts that we may not fully agree with but that are truly beneficial to the student body. Howard Zinn will more than likely never be the keynote speaker at a GOP Convention but that should not mean his presence should be hampered by student leaders that happen to be of a conservative disposition either.
The CMC coordinators have made it clear: Howard Zinn would bring out thousands of attendants, he would reach students from all walks of life (with conservatives & liberals being only the tip of the iceberg). While ACCENT has already brought several important leaders to speak before the Gator Nation, it should continue on with this tradition insofar as to benefit the student body.
This is not a letter aimed at condemning anyone, pointing the finger, or blowing the whistle. I have written this letter as a fmr. student senator and a fmr. party chairman to ask Student Body President Joe Goldberg, the Senate, and ACCENT to please look into this matter and as always, keep the students at heart when making final decisions. My efforts to bring Howard Zinn to UF do not rest solely with this letter, but I truly believe that if this presentation will truly benefit the student body that you will not deprive them of the opportunity to look at life as we know from yet another point of view and evolve to an even fuller and more developed outlook.
Fmr. Student Senator
Fmr. Chairman, VOICE Party