Apr 222004
Authors: Amy Resseguie

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,”

Betsill said.

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


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