SPA: Have Peace In Mind

Last year, the SPA marched for peace in Austin.

Last year, the SPA marched for peace in Austin.

Editor’s Note: We had some issues in posting this article up in a timely fashion. This was written for before the SPA conference on the weekend of February 28.

Often, when I’m driving to or from school on I-35, I pass the time by reading bumper-stickers on the backs of cars and trucks. There was one truck in particular that I still remember to this day. Along with the usual conservative stickers (one advocating arctic drilling, another supporting the NRA, and yet another for the McCain/Palin ticket) there was one with the peace-sign logo with the caption: “Footprint of the American chicken.”

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but since when has peace been an ideological issue? As a member of the Southwestern University chapter of Student Peace Alliance, it’s natural for me to think that peace is a good thing, but why should peace be treated with a liberal/conservative divide?

It’s no secret that Southwestern is hosting the Student Peace Alliance National Conference this weekend. While Mr. Trucker might see the meeting as nothing more but a fancy hippie get-together, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The conference has speakers from a wide variety of occupations and ideologies. The first day alone will feature Colonel Jeffrey Peterson (Professor of Economics at West Point,) Ben Thomson (from Invisible Children,) and Southwestern’s own Dr. Eric Selbin (Professor of Political Science.)

It’s no coincidence that Common is performing the same weekend as the conference, part of his motivation to come was due to the conference.

An opportunity like this doesn’t come along every-day. It’s extremely gratifying to see that students who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in Student Peace Alliance are going to attend the conference. While it is bothersome to think that not everyone on campus is going to take advantage of the unique opportunity that the conference will provide, it’s encouraging to see the overall positive response from fellow students.

I sincerely hope that one truck’s bumper stickers are not an indication for the views held by a large group of people. The idea of peace is not something that should be scorned.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “There never was a good war, or a bad peace.” The idea of peace isn’t anti-American, it is fundamentally American. Perhaps being a member of the Student Peace Alliance gives me a biased outlook on the situation, but hopefully that’s a shared bias.

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