Letters to the Editor

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

Sol Eagle Road

As a United State citizen who comes from a military family I have learned many lessons. One notion that continues to shape my personality is the idea of being a citizen who contributes to a globalizing world.

Be (sic) a citizen who represents the American image is to learn from mentors who hold values that provide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To understand being an American and to study other cultures with persistence is not enough. In a vastly complex international-world there is a need to be multicultural and finding ways for mutual benefits to occur in all aspects of life.

At UND I am a Chinese Study Major. I have spent time studying abroad through study abroad programs. Recently I spent time studying in Chengdu, China. UND prepared a framework for speaking Mandarin, but Sichuan provided a challenge that I didn’t imagine. Sichuan dialect has differences from the Mandarin dialect. Sichuan speakers speaker much faster Mandarin speakers and certainly much faster than foreigners. To communicate in a new culture with any success it required hours of study and betterment.

In the midst of budget cuts students should consider John Bjorklund and Dave Owen as candidates that will best represent the student experience outside of lecture. In a recent article by Matt Eidson there was discussing questioning the integrity of the Bjorklund-Owen campaign. As anyone investigates the Bjorklund-Owen facebook page there are credentials that support their political platform. There are discussions on the webpage that promote awareness to administrative costs on campus. There is also investigation of budget cuts and the impact this is having on student services. Knowing that the campaign has minds willing to investigate programs and services that impact student lives for both comfort and safety proves an inclusive campus is being cultivated.

The Dakota Student opinion post by Matt Eidson published in the March 4th, 2017 newspaper makes me questions the credentials and professionality of the student paper and Matt Eidson. For example as a public school teacher a teacher is not allowed to insult a student; even if the teacher is not working at the school and not representing the school’s image. The maltreatment of students is still unacceptable from the perspectives of community members. Hearing that Matt Eidson does not represent the Dakota Student, or any other staff while writing this opinion still brings issues to the table. He claims he will not receive payment for this article and is willing to share his timesheet with anyone requesting to view it. There is a clear conflict of interest, whether or not Matt Eidson receives payment for the article, a student cannot verify the hours worked with the articles written. Even in good faith, if Matt Eidson is not payed for his opinion he is still payed by the Dakota Student.

In China there is a concept called guanxi, in essence this idea is interpersonal relationships. This practice, guanxi, is a system of doing favors and cultivating your social networks in the best possible manner. When a newspaper publishes articles that cannot hold up to their claims, these articles look poorly on behalf of the writers, and Dakota Student as a whole. Beyond that, when coworkers are negatively competing with one another it seems that entire Dakota Student is falling into dissent. This is not reassuring on the public eye.

Returning to the Bjorklund-Owen campaign if students question what their platform is looking to accomplish in their political term, updates on current events and interests are on the page. They are also critically examining what money can be saved while fully funding all programs funded. They have found that the Student Fee Appropriation Fund (sic) can run at a budget surplus of $1.5 million a year. This justifies future savings on behalf of students and the student fees they pay. This would be an example of guanxi. Going beyond students, Bjorklund and Owen have experience travelling abroad and representing America. From military service on Bjorklund’s side and civilian travel on Owen’s end there is no question they will justly represent students.

To further develop a sense Dave Owen’s character, I have known him for two years. In my time of knowing him he has developed a sense of service. Dave has worked as a physical and occupational therapy to underprivileged communities. He has done this for hundreds of hours. This was all done as community service over the course of three years, and each consisted of hundreds of hours of service.

In Dave’s service to Libertarians I have watched him spend many hours helping guide and mentor students in their desire to better understand politics and the foundations of libertarianism. Dave has also fertilized a presentation for the National Students for Liberty Conference. This up to date has been the largest gathering of libertarian youth in the U.S.A. At this conference; in which Dave participated, he and others leading the conference helped train over 40 in the art of debate and outreach. Not only were people taught to debate, but they were taught above all to find commonality with anyone they discuss libertarian politics with. This has put a sense of building community over judgements and political affiliation. To discuss the success of Dave’s enthusiasm and advocacy the libertarian party has grown over 300% in North Dakota because of this conference and other efforts.

These are a couple of qualities that show Dave is not only a capable leader, but well qualified to be partnering with Bjorklund. There is a strong sense of service in the foundations ofer their campaign that show being a well rounded citizen is apparent in the Bjorklund-Owen campaign.

Sol Eagle Road – UND Student