As news from Iraq continues to flow into Fort Collins, some CSU
students have noticed decreasing interest in the daily war
The seemingly constant stream of updates and information about
continued fighting has caused some students to lose interest in a
situation they see as not ever changing.
Kristen Tkatchov, a freshman technical journalism student, said
the majority of her friends care about the war in Iraq but are
tired of hearing about it every day.
“We’re kind of desensitized to the issue,” she said.
Other students, like Tim Phillips, feel so inundated with Iraq
information that they avoid discussion about it as much as
“I avoid the Plaza at all costs these days just to avoid that
talk,” said Phillips, a sophomore consumer and family studies
student. “It’s just getting old – nothing groundbreaking or new is
going on. It’s just the same debate.”
Phillips also said there has not been much discussion about the
war in Iraq or the more recent hostage situations in any of his
Tkatchov said her government class discusses Iraq regularly but
that it is rarely mentioned in her other courses. She said she
thinks students do not want to talk about it anymore.
“I think the overall feeling is pretty much that people want to
know about the issue, but most people want to hear that something
is being done,” Tkatchov said. “When it’s just the same everyday
stuff with nothing extravagant happening, no one wants to hear that
all the time.”
Some students, however, spend the majority of their class time
discussing and debating the policies and actions surrounding
Michele Betsill, a political science assistant professor,
teaches PO433, International Organization, a course dedicated to
understanding the roles and responsibilities of the United Nations
and other international political organizations.
Betsill said her class is discussion-based.
Every day we come in and (the news) has got them thinking about
something new,” she said.
Betsill said her students are mostly political science students
and are probably more interested in the details of the war than
other people might be. However, she said the opinions in her class
are spread fairly evenly across the spectrum.
“I think students are struggling with those issues and I
definitely don’t detect one predominant view in my classes,”
However, outside of the classroom, “I haven’t notice a lot of
engaged activity across campus,” she said. “I haven’t seen
publicity about discussions.”
Other students have also noticed a general lack of discussion
about Iraq and feel it is a result of apathy, rather than
CSU College Republicans Chairman Chuck Fogland sees this kind of
apathy as part of the reason more students are not becoming
informed or politically involved with the war.
“Some individuals are tired of being bombarded with (news from
Iraq), and others simply don’t care – they’re busy being American
college students,” said Fogland, a junior political science
Fogland said he wants more students to pay attention to the
latest news from the Middle East and get involved somehow.
“It’s disheartening … I would rather see someone out there
holding up a sign ‘Mr. Bush, you’re a liar,’ than nobody saying
anything at all,” he said.
Ashleigh McBeth, president of CSU Young Democrats, agreed that
there is student apathy regarding Iraq but thinks it is because the
war is a complex issue.
“(Students) don’t want to learn all about it,” she said. “It
almost deters people from getting into politics … it’s a he
said/she said blame game.”
McBeth, a junior political science major, has also noticed a
lack of discussion in her classes.
“We might address the basics, but there’s never any discussion
of how people feel about it or what could be done differently,” she
Overall, McBeth thinks people are feeling overwhelmed with the
constant news updates from the Middle East.
“It’s a never-ending story that everyone wants to end,” she