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Political Science students voice opinions on port control

rally1With the backdrop of students chanting “1-3-7, please remember 9-11” and “Racial profiling is wrong,” students in two sections of an American Government class taught by Dr. Jean Howard Hill, professor in the Political Science Department, engaged in academic open public debate to proposals to allow the United Arab Emirates’ based Dubai Ports World to take over operation of six major American ports.

“The rally showed people that young college students are capable of sharing opinions based on fact,” said Cody Disney. “We are showing people in the community we care and we can form our own opinions,” Disney said.

rally2Disney and fellow spokesperson Jennifer Warren said their section’s position in the protest was that the UAE should be denied control of United States ports because of our conflictive position with the Middle Eastern countries. “UAE is government controlled with connections to Al-Qaida, which creates the possibility of terrorist attacks in the form of nuclear and chemical weapons gaining access into American borders,” they said. “In the best interest of the safety and welfare of the people of the United States, any company who supports those with which we are at war should not be allowed control over the pathways into which international cargo may come into our country.”

rally3Speaking favor of the proposed deal was Sierra Jenkins, a freshman from Knoxville, Tennessee. "You should base your arguments on facts, not on fear."

According to Dr. Hill, there were also eight students in the classes who themselves were unable to take a position on this issue. After carefully researching both sides, the students remain undecided.

Hill said the students were circulating petitions to support their positions. She said the students were also drafting letters to be submitted to Congress.

Disney said the rally was beneficial and a learning experience. “It helped me understand how to better conduct research,” Disney said. “We can debate peacefully without violence, one of the great American rights.”

March 3, 2006

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