Right side of the tracks

By Marc Larocque

The Northeastern Patriot, a conservative student-run publication, was distributed throughout campus Monday, despite having no official affiliation with the University.

Since the publication is not a recognized student or media organization at the university, it may face legal trouble for using the Northeastern name as part of its title.

“This is not a recognized group or Northeastern publication, so they probably won’t be able to use that name,” said Brooke Tempesta, director of campus activities and programs. “We don’t rush these things that have to do with freedom of speech, but as far as using the Northeastern name, that is something we are going to look into.”

One article discredited Northeastern University Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Straight Alliance’s (NUBiLAGA) attempt to discourage hate crimes through the Day of Silence. Another criticized economics professor M. Shahid Alam, whose left-leaning views on terrorism and the Middle East were recently called into the spotlight on American conservative writer David Horowitz’s list of the “101 Most Dangerous College Professors.”

Dave Moberg, who was elected president of the College Republicans last Wednesday, serves as editor in chief of The Northeastern Patriot.

Financial and technical support for the publication, including a workshop on publications and strategies, was drawn from the Campus Leadership Program, a division of the Leadership Institute, which seeks to foster conservative student organizations on college campuses across the country.

Founded in 1979, the Leadership Institute “identifies, recruits, trains and places conservatives in the public policy process,” according to www.leadershipinstitute.org.

Moberg said he contributed personal funding to the publication. The College Republicans contributed financial assistance as well, he said.

“I think it’s good that they have the enthusiasm to do it, but, for my own taste, I think it is a bit too inflammatory and that’s why I’m not part of the paper,” said Curtis Bergh, former president of the College Republicans. “It’s a little extreme for my personal taste, but this is free speech and is what America’s built on.”

College Democrats President Heidi Buchanan was more blunt.

“It comes off as very sophomoric,” Buchanan said. “I think they encompass everything racist, hateful and I think that is disgusting.”

In defending the role of the publication’s target audience, Moberg acknowledges The Northeastern Patriot is “not the official voice of the College Republicans by any means.”

“There are a lot of people in the College Republicans that are involved in it, but I want to stress that it doesn’t reflect the College Republicans views or its e-board.”

Ben Bullock, chair of the University Student Media Board and former “king” of The Times New Roman, said a group of students interested in starting a conservative publication approached the board earlier this year, but failed to follow-up on it.

“I stand by them becoming a media group just as any other media group,” Bullock said. “The qualification for becoming a media group is that they serve an audience that has not been served. So they would fill that requirement. I’m all for diverse opinions in student media.”

In its mission statement, the publication outlines its mission as to “become an integral part of the ‘vast right wing conspiracy,’ winning the hearts and minds of students around the country.”

Despite his mixed first impression, Bergh said he is hopeful for the publication’s future.

“It’s a very opinionated paper, but, as it goes along in its history, hopefully it will be able to bring about news stories to balance out the opinions,” Bergh said. “We [College Republicans] want to let students, especially new freshmen, know that there is another side to the debate on campus and there are actually conservatives on campus.”

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