IM interview: SIUE's conservative group readying for liberal movement

By Ann Knef | Jul 13, 2005

Editor's note: In March, the Record interviewed Southern Illnois University-Edwardsville student A.J. Givens about the campus Conservative Student Organization's plans to start a newspaper. He claimed that conservative views are suppressed in SIUE's student newspaper, The Alestle. In a recent instant message interview, Givens, the group's president, said the effort to launch a newspaper is still under way.

annmadrec: Have you had any further discussions regarding launching a "conservative" campus newspaper?

alliance4235: we were in conversation with members from the college republicans down in Carbondale around May, but the talks have sort of slowed down actually
alliance4235: it's something that i would like to begin discussion again, which is in my agenda

annmadrec: what kind of reaction did you receive from the front page article in the Record months ago?

alliance4235: First, I'd like to thank you for that - it was definitely great press for us... Overall, we received good reactions from people who read it, there were many people in the community that encouraged us to pursue this endeavor and other issues that we plan to push this year. So overall, it was good. We really didnt have any negative fallout from my knowledge

annmadrec: really--who would be critical of a free press?

alliance4235: exactly, so there really wasnt any room for argument on us wanting to pursue this
alliance4235: come to think about it, i did have someone from the intelligencer seeking to do a story on it also

annmadrec: since we last talked, has the SIUE Conservative Student Org taken any more hits...censorships?

alliance4235: actually, things toned down a bit primarily because we were having to deal with the new CSO elections of officers and other end of the year issues to deal with, so we werent that public in our viewpoints which decreased the attacks. However, I do predict for them to increase this year due to the new college liberal movement that is supposed to counter organizations such as ours, so we've been preparing our agenda for the year and our overall message all summer to get ready

annmadrec: what are you hearing about the new movement?

alliance4235: today, there is a conference in D.C. for liberal student organizations to discuss new ways to counter the right on college campuses -
alliance4235: that might help to kind of explain what i mean

annmadrec: "counter" as in silence?

alliance4235: lately they've been taking more steps to become more functional and able to slow down the efforts of the right on college campuses

annmadrec: i'm looking at the article now
annmadrec: I guess throwing pies isn't winning any debate or style points

alliance4235: yea, not at all but this type of thing is going on across the country

annmadrec: groups like yours should be proud
annmadrec: arguing ideas, not slinging mud and pies

alliance4235: yea we're definitely enjoying what we do, I enjoy working with all of them because that's exactly what they do, argue with facts instead all emotion
alliance4235: not with facts, excuse me

annmadrec: gotcha
annmadrec: have you gotten any new members?

alliance4235: yes, towards the end of the year we added about 15 or so new members and there's new members that have been added at least once daily
alliance4235: many didnt know too much about us until the press started covering us more

annmadrec: that's im-press-ive

alliance4235: Im definitely excited about the upcoming year that we have... itll be my 1st year as president of the cso too

annmadrec: i promised this would be i'll just ask you one final q--can you give us an idea of what's on the agenda? in general?

alliance4235: overall, we're going to continue to raise discussion about various state and national issues that both young people are faced with and the community... we will host a number of debates with the college dems and seek to have speakers out here too.. The big event that we are planning is November 7-11th -Operation Frontline Support, which is going to be a big support the troops and honor the fallen week

annmadrec: let's catch up again in the fall...

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