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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is UW Going Red?

posted by on October 29 at 22:41 PM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

I just spent most of my evening at a debate on-campus between representatives from the Young Democrats and from the College Republicans. It is no secret that being an unpaid intern at The Stranger leads directly to such red-carpet events. No one else, besides those also attending, can say that the highlight of their evening was hearing a suit-wearing College Republican debater say, in front of a lecture hall full of people, that “we have our own George Bush here in Washington and her name is Christine Gregoire.” He was not joking.

I attended the debate to get some sense of the student reaction to The Daily’s endorsement for Dino Rossi. The endorsement was not mentioned once, by either side, during a nearly two hour debate focusing on education and the budget in Washington. There were over 100 people in the audience. Somebody must have an opinion on the endorsement.

“Going to a university, it feels like it’s mostly against the general opinion,” says Patrick, a College Republican attending the debate. “It feels like they thought about it. It’s the right choice.” Another College Republican standing with Patrick said that he supported Rossi because he has younger sisters. So do I. I don’t support Rossi. Did I miss something?

Kat, an undergraduate double-majoring in Economics and Law, Societies, and Justice, says that she hadn’t heard about the endorsement. A Young Democrat, Kat explained that she “didn’t think people read The Daily for hard facts; just, you know, for sports.” Well, I’m after hard facts. So, I went to the office of The Daily to get a sense of the general feedback the paper has been experiencing after their endorsement.

“It’s been a challenging day,” says The Daily’s Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Jeglum. “It was a long decision [and] we talked about all the issues.” When asked which, if any, specific issue was focused on the most, Jeglum responded that the editorial board “tried to focus on budget issues.” The endorsement, which appeared in this morning’s edition, can be read here.

Today’s endorsement does not represent a tidal shift in campus politics. Jeglum writes in her letter from the editor:

As a newspaper, our job is to provide information that can aid informed decision-making, and like all endorsements, the editorial board’s decision was a reflection of the members of the board, not the entire Daily staff.

Jeglum emphasized during my interview that if The Daily’s editorial board “had made a decision based on majority opinion [she] would not be proud.”

It is interesting that the “majority opinion” is conventionally judged to be so palpably liberal on the University of Washington’s campus. I admit I was surprised to read this morning’s endorsement, but should I have been? After all, The Seattle Times endorsed Rossi, and they’re a newspaper too. Are the political expectations of a student newspaper on a major college campus different than large, privately run newspapers?

RSS icon Comments


Law, Society and Justice. Take better notes

Posted by boo | October 29, 2008 10:57 PM

That's Law*, Societies, and Justice

Posted by daniel | October 29, 2008 10:58 PM

Lost Societies and Justice?! That's one of the best slips I've seen in a oughta be a major.

Posted by gnossos | October 29, 2008 11:02 PM

These kids today, I tell ya. Is this the part where I tell these stupid young Republicans to get off of my lawn?

Seriously, though, I about fell out of my chair today when I saw this endorsement - I even left it on my bosses desk with a giant "WTF???!!!" post-it on it.

If these are really the kids, they way aren't all right. If you're this reactionary at 18-22, can you imagine what right-wing douchebags these folks will be at 50?

Posted by Mr. X | October 29, 2008 11:03 PM

the daily just wants attention to substitute for their writers' general inability to put together anything resembling a coherent article.

Posted by mnm | October 29, 2008 11:13 PM

@4: Bailo is not amused.

Anyhoots, this is the same paper that blasted Washington State for being too liberal for Boeing.

Posted by AJ | October 29, 2008 11:14 PM

The party line from Big City newspapers (which no one under 40 read) is all about the "youth vote".

What they don't report is that most of the youth vote in the real america is voting for Palin.

Posted by John Bailo | October 29, 2008 11:15 PM

The post has been updated to reflect Kat's actual second major. Wouldn't studying Lost Societies be fun, though? I mean, from the stand point of Justice?

Posted by Aaron Pickus | October 29, 2008 11:18 PM

I'm a UW student and I was at the debate tonight as well. I think the Dems mostly wanted to avoid it because it would have become a pissing match over a newspaper endorsement that probably won't matter much anyway. Better not to draw too much attention to it, and rather let the reactions (and rebuttals being printed in the Daily tomorrow) set the tone. I can tell you that it was the big dish of gossip around campus today from my circle of civically-engaged friends.

Posted by Husky | October 29, 2008 11:22 PM

The Daily is, and always will be, the sum of its parts. I started working at the paper in the mid '90s when it was liberal as the day is long. I finished in the late '90s when the editorial bent was libertarian/Republican.
It's an old saw, but if you don't like it, go write for your college paper!
Seriously, just stop by ol' 132 CMU and ask to take a cut at it. You may have to pay some dues, but you'll probably learn something.
And if you're smarter than the kid playing editor for the next six months, you might be that kid.
That's the best part of college journalism.

Posted by FormerDailyStaff | October 29, 2008 11:33 PM

Its gonna suck for college students when their minimum wage jobs cut their pay, and their U raises their tuition. Good Job Daily.

Posted by bubbles | October 29, 2008 11:36 PM

@11 for the win.

I was on the bus with a few UW law school students, who are going broke at $20,000 to $30,000 tuition each year, and just now realizing there won't be any jobs when they graduate this coming year.

You have to be "special" to endorse Rossi.

As in the short bus.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 29, 2008 11:49 PM

It's not their fault. It's Gregoire's. She spent most of the campaign concentrating on irrelevant fake issues like stem cell research. She lacks balls. She refuses to take positions.
Example - roads. Is she for increasing highway capacity or against it in principle and in favor of promoting alternatives. Nada on that.
Exmaple - the budget. Sure there is no defecit now, and it's only projected, but what is her strategy regarding preventing it from becoming real? Nada on that too.
It's not that she's wrong. It's that she refuses to take a stand. She should have marked out the key issues day one, laid out here positions, stuck with them and defended them.
With regard to transparency we don't ask too much of our politicians, only that every few years they try to articulate their motives, policies and philosophy. She refuses to do so.
Why should anyone vote for her?

Posted by kinaidos | October 29, 2008 11:56 PM

Libertarians are the new Marxists at big state schools. (Catch the irony?) Dumbass college kids (and large older bearded men) love simple philosophies that are extremely irresponsible and dangerous in the real world.

Posted by jrrrl | October 30, 2008 12:02 AM
Why should anyone vote for her?

WTF? Because she's the better candidate? Because she isn't a social and economic regressive? Because she won't hurt people's lives because of ridiculous religious beliefs? Gregoire's PR has sucked this campaign, but please don't vote for a candidate because of the quality of their TV commercials.

Posted by jrrrl | October 30, 2008 12:07 AM

"And if you're smarter than the kid playing editor for the next six months, you might be that kid."

As of this year, it's become a full year position.

Posted by Daily | October 30, 2008 12:08 AM

The majority of UW students are Dems. But the majority are not organized.The silent majority on campus are mainstream liberals who basically treat the UW as a commuter campus and don't read or care about the Daily.

In the absence of their public presence, or because of their apathy, the UW presents a public face of having a remarkably conservative undergrad student body. The Greek system is well organized. Though there is some diversity among the greeks, it provides safe haven and paths to on-campus power for right wing whack jobs esp. economic conservatives. The hard right on campus also tends to find safe haven in the College Republicans, whereas the College Dems are mainly nice corporate liberals who are likely to be uncomfortable with if not outright hostile to the left. The most active people out tabling on a day to day basis are christians of various denominations, followed by lyndon larouchies, and then maybe the greeks. Lefty causes take a distant third at best.

Posted by Trevor | October 30, 2008 12:20 AM

Gregoire should lose the election for the Sonics mess alone. She couldn't manage to lift one moley, cunt hair to save the team.

It's like #13 said. She refused to take any position on the issue and therefore lost the city and the state its team.

Posted by Lib dooshie | October 30, 2008 12:27 AM

I've come to kind of loathe every minute I have to spend on campus at UW. Undergrad is filled with these kinds of clowns. UW is awful.

Posted by kollege republikkans | October 30, 2008 12:34 AM

Black people are all socialist, marxist, communist, pugilist, elitist, czarist, diarist, passivist, artist, realist, sadist, and Frans Liszt. They are un-american in their un-american ways hanging with their terrorist home slices and gangbangers who weren't even born in America but in Kenya. That is why they don't like SARAH* because they know that this dumb act is just that an act and that makes them afraid!

Now you'll excuse me but this has all seriously cut into my internet porn time. I like to find ones who look like SARAH* to jerk-off to.

* trademark

Posted by John Bailo | October 30, 2008 12:51 AM

I'm starting to wonder how many John Bailos there are out there.

Oh, and...

@18: A lot of us didn't give a fuck about the Sonics. In face, a lot of us wanted them to get the fuck out for YEARS. Good riddance! Gregoire couldn't have done anything but slap a band-aid on that mess and she wisely declined to do so.

Posted by John Bailo | October 30, 2008 12:57 AM


Posted by John Bailo | October 30, 2008 12:58 AM

John Bailo wins as often as the Sonics do.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 30, 2008 1:03 AM

The public records show that Ms. Sarah Jeglum has never turned in a single ballot in her life. If she wants to tell us how to vote, maybe she should learn how to fill out her own ballot first.

Or maybe we'd be better off if she forgot again...

Posted by Jason | October 30, 2008 1:36 AM

University these days is all about joining the establishment, not changing it.

Posted by ams | October 30, 2008 2:25 AM

I've never seen anyone actually read The Daily, not on the bus, not in class, never. Oh, I'm sure readers are out there but for the most part students pick it up, fill out the daily sudoku puzzle and leave the rest to get trampled.

I opened it only once to glance at the articles and saw some column in which a kid rambled on about respecting the Amurrican flag and how any dissenters should go back to whatever country they escaped from. I threw that rag out, washed thoroughly and haven't picked one up since. What a waste of resources.

Posted by Bemaha | October 30, 2008 7:54 AM

The UW Campus has been subject to some of the same problems Gregoire and crew have brought to the rest of the State. Although this is a good indicator I am not sure that the organization is really up to a progressive response - perhaps moving back more to old boy politics rather than moving past the old girl (Gregoire et al) stuff.

Perhaps more salient than asking if the UW is going red is the question as to just what role the insitution of the UW has taken in furthering the unlawful policies Gregoire has gradually foisted up the state's organizational 'environment' ever since her days as AG...

Posted by Douglas Tooley | October 30, 2008 8:28 AM

@18 - Since "saving the team" meant buying the privately-owned (by rich guys) Sonics another fancy playpen with public funds, I'm glad they're gone. Go Gregoire.

Posted by cdc | October 30, 2008 8:36 AM

Anyone who knows a couple Daily reporters, or reads the online comments to Daily articles, knows that the campus is mostly Red--or at least the majority of the really vocal ones are. There's 5 times more interest taken in slamming more liberal editorials than there is for those editorials supporting the Right.

Posted by Twinkle | October 30, 2008 9:07 AM

Having worked at the Daily during undergrad for a good few years I will admit that the editorial board can be skewed sometimes. A lot of conservatives work at the Daily and get up to higher positions. Hell, i remember 2004 one of Rossi's student organizers was working at the paper. The writers at the daily don't get to say what the editorial board if you get enough conservies on the board...

Posted by Hunter | October 30, 2008 10:19 AM

I went to Berkeley for undergrad, and I credit the College Republicans for making me a lifelong liberal. Obviously, Berkeley is quite a liberal town, but the CR fuckers are the loudest voices on campus (save for the crazy homeless preachers on Sproul Plaza). I think the CR strategy is to write a lot of letters to the editor in the campus newspaper, consistently espousing their right-wing talking points. When I moved to UW for grad school, I noticed the same pattern in the Daily. I came into college fairly apolitical, but after a few years of reading their bile, I resolved to NEVER be like them.

Posted by kebabs | October 30, 2008 10:35 AM

What Trevor said. The notion that college campuses are "dominated" by "liberals" is largely a myth perpetuated by the sorts of paranoid right-wing campus water biscuits who have always kept the College Republicans up and running.

As for The Daily, it has been, and can again be, a great paper, depending on who's running the show. What a damn shame that they've made the Daily Ed-Chief a year-long position. Sarah Jeglum should resign. There, I said it.

Posted by Jeff Stevens | October 30, 2008 10:35 AM

Ashley Todd? Paid by the CRs. 'Nuff said. The CRs don't have long to go before they're the new Laroucheys.

Posted by Huh | October 30, 2008 11:22 AM

although i do not agree with the endorsement personally, as an employee of the daily, i am proud of my co-workers for deliberating thoroughly and deciding to print something they KNEW would not be taken well on such a liberal campus, but something they truly believed in. instead of posting slanderous comments from the security of your capital hill apartment, hop on the bus, come down to the UW campus, we're in communications building, room 132. the editors are all there starting at 3:30. come and talk to them face to face. they are people and students and hard workers who are very passionate about what they do.

at least the discussion is happening. even if it was not the intent of the endorsement, it's happened.

the ultimate revenge will be available to you on nov. 4.

go vote.

Posted by colleen | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM

I think the Daily endorsed Carlson over Locke, too. Just for the sake of being controversial or because they wanted to see if things would get worse with a republican in charge.

Posted by josh | October 31, 2008 3:36 PM

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