Sniper prevents Univ. students from attending peace march

Mike Furno

Concerns for student safety after the recent sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area have led to the cancellation of University participation in the peace protests there on Oct. 26. Originally two buses were to take students and faculty to and from the event, sponsored by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

According to sophomore Ryan Sims, the founder of Villanovans for Peace, “I can see where they are coming from since they have the student’s safety as a paramount concern. However, it was extremely disappointing since we were all looking forward to the protest, and it promised to be a great event,” he said.

In an effort to determine the feelings of the University community regarding military action against Iraq, the Student Government Association and The Villanovan polled 1,600 randomly selected students divided equally among class years. Out of the 457 students who responded to the poll, 23.9 percent supported immediate and, if necessary, unilateral military action against Iraq.

Students in the newly formed Villanovans for Peace have been running a petition-signing campaign and planning protests to stop the war. The group says it wants to educate the student body about the Iraq issue and to promote peace, even after the current conflict has dissolved.

Sims said, “It’s meant to be a resource for students on campus to learn about the situation as well as a means to enable students to become active.”

The group has set up included a table at the Oreo to promote their views to students and to ask them to sign a peace pledge.

Over 200 students signed the pledge, which stressed diplomacy over aggressive use of force against Iraq.

Only about 17 percent of the students polled were completely against military action against Iraq, while 59 percent were in favor of it only with the support of the international community.