Jacks for Life deserve voice

Takara Hrdlicka

Takara Hrdlicka

The petition to put Referred Law 6 on the state ballot on November 7 was submitted so the people of South Dakota would have an opportunity to express their views on this issue. Essentially, the purpose of democracy is to give the people a voice. Contrary to this ideal, members of our organization have been thwarted in their efforts to participate in the democratic process regarding Referred Law 6.

First, when posters, literature and table tents created by Jacks for Life are routinely removed and vandalized, a view is silenced. We hope some these materials are removed for further examination. In fact, we encourage this because we want people to be able to make an educated decision. Yet, removing our materials in order to prevent others from reading them is undemocratic.

Second, members of the media have come to our campus to document student involvement with and views on Referred Law 6. In this way, the media has embraced the spirit of democracy. However, when members of our organization are interacting with the media and someone disrupts the conversation, it suggests that some students are either unable or unwilling to participate in a mature discussion about the issues.

Third, the spirit of Hobo Day is not politically driven; rather Hobo Day is meant to demonstrate school spirit and to unite diverse organizations in support of our institution. This year, another organization on campus requested our float be barred from entering the parade because they mistakenly believed our participation to be rooted in politics. However, their request to have us removed from Hobo Day seems to have been politically motivated.

As a campus organization, we should be able to expect an equal opportunity to have our voice heard. We understand there will always be a debate over topics such as abortion. We respect that fact and welcome it as a part of the democracy in which we live. Silencing and sabotaging one group’s efforts does not promote the tenets that shape our nation and our institution.