Letters to the Editor

Responses to Matt Eidson’s article “Don’t vote for Owen”

Nathan Amundson

After reading the slanderous piece on David Owen written by the Dakota Student’s news editor, I was utterly shocked. As a former coworker of Dave’s, I was amazed at the lengths gone to by this man to utterly trash, in classic passive aggressive style, a man who has always stood out to me as focused, driven, and truly eager to change whatever organization he is involved with for the better. Since first meeting Dave in early 2015, he’s stood out to me as a man whose primary concerns are neither appearances or formalities, but rather effecting changes and getting to know the people he meets.

Dave and I met each other a few times over the course of 2015 due to our common involvement in a national student organization, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). At our conventions when we saw each other we would talk about our work, but I never really got to know him until 2016, when I became the YAL state chair for Minnesota and North Dakota, tasked with overseeing the chapters across the states, including the one at UND. Speaking with him weekly for work, we began to talk about things outside of YAL, bonding over our common frustrations with some of the organization’s decisions and practices. Dave gave me helpful advice for the state, helped me track down wayward leaders, and eventually became my primary point of contact for the state, culminating in his later rise to the state chair position.

As I became involved in the Minnesota Republic, our school’s second-largest paper, Dave reached out to me to help us along, gave us some best practices he’d learned during his time at the Student and gave vital criticism of our production process, layout, and staff situation. With his help, the Republic was able to switch from monthly publication to every other week, with correctly managed staff able to fill more pages and generate more content. Thanks to Dave, we were able to complete our shift from crappy conservative gossip rag to a reliable news source. He never asked for a consulting fee. He drove down to Minneapolis and didn’t ask to be reimbursed for gas. He was direct and unforgiving in his criticism, which some may be unable to handle, but he was upfront about what we were doing well and had abounding praise for our desire to improve.

I have known Dave Owen well for over a year now, and as I get to know him, my respect for him grows, not diminishes. This is a man of action, of passion, of intelligence, who has proven himself a dedicated worker, a selfless friend, and a capable coalition-builder. This deceitful, disrespectful man described in the garbage piece by your staff does not exist. David Owen is one of the greatest and most passionate people I know. Maybe you guys should get to know him too.

Nathan Amundson – U of M Twin Cities Student