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United We Stand Responds to the Proposed "Anti-War Referendum"
(The text of the proposed referendum)

February 22, 2003

WALTHAM, MA--United We Stand is absolutely opposed to the proposed resolution. Our
biggest issue with the resolution is that it states that "the undergraduate student body opposes an American attack on Iraq." The resolution presumes to speak for all undergraduates; however, even if it passes with a majority vote, the resolution does not express the view of every undergraduate - it does not speak for us. Though we believe that war is evil, in the case of Iraq, it is a necessary evil that would save the lives of many more innocent people than would be harmed by it.

United We Stand also does not like the vague wording of the resolution. It states that the authors oppose war "for various reasons." War in Iraq is a serious issue and the decision to go to war or to oppose your own country when it is at war should not be made lightly. The referendum should explain why the anti-war activists oppose the war. Vague references to compromising Brandeis' principles of "justice" for only "short-term gain" are not enough. What are the principles of justice that the activists believe war in Iraq will compromise? What are the short term gains? If they think the war is only about oil, they
should say so. However, in that case, they need to explain why they are not worried about Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction, why they do not think that the fact that Iraq harbors Al Qaeda is a problem, why
they do not care that Saddam Hussein has caused the death of over a million people, and why ending the imprisonment, torture, and execution of Iraqi dissidents and their families does not constitute a worthy long-term gain.

Finally, United We Stand believes that the proposed referendum fails as even a basic polling mechanism. Its does not give students the option to vote that they support the war, or that they are undecided, or that though they are against the war, they believe that the Student Union has no business passing resolutions about international politic on behalf of the student body. The last point is something that has to be addressed; Student Union members campaign for office based on their views on club funding, Who Cash for laundry machines, etc, not on global politics. As a result, Senators have no reason to believe their political views represent that of their constituents.

In conclusion, the referendum is vague, poorly worded, and claims to represent the entire student body, when it clearly does not. United We Stand encourages all students to vote against it.

Copyright 2003--United We Stand, Brandeis University