The war in the Persian Gulf is having an impact on Southern Utah University, but student reaction could be described as quiet and introspective.
Two demonstrations were held at the SUU Student Center Wednesday, one an anti-war protest, and the other an "anti-anti-war" protest, as one poster described it. About a dozen anti-war protesters formed a silent circle in the Student Center lobby for a sit-in against the war.A slightly larger group held a rally in support of the troops and President Bush's policy in the Persian Gulf. A few gave speeches defending Bush's actions, and most in the group carried placards voicing support of U.S. armed forces fighting in the war.
Perhaps the most profound effect the war is having on students is the ripple passing through their ranks as some of them are called to active duty in the armed forces. Traditionally, a number of students at SUU have been members of the National Guard and active or inactive members of the Reserves.
Three students dropped classes during fall quarter in order to report for duty. Tuesday seven more dropped out as call-ups escalated, five of them reported to the 1457th Combat Engineers when the unit was activated. SUU's 1990 valedictorian, Lt. Scott Duncan of the Utah Highway Patrol, has also been called to duty.
With a total enrollment of about 4,200, many of the SUU students know those who have been part of the call-up. Many others have relatives serving in the armed forces.