SCOPA discusses activist debate plans

By Alan Marcus

The Student Committee on Political Action last night discussed plans to bring a debate involving liberal and conservative activists to campus in the spring.

SCOPA Chairman Tom Rainey said the committee is looking into sponsoring a debate between Phyllis Schlaffley and Jello Biafara on the issue of censorship.

“Schlaffley is a conservative who lead the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment and is currently heading an effort to send health care kits to the Nicaraguan contras,” Rainey said.

SCOPA member John Potwora said Biafara is founder of the No More Censorship Fund.

“Biafara was lead singer of the rock group The Dead Kennedys and was prosecuted for allegedly violating a New York obscenity statute. His group included a sexually explicit poster titled ‘Penis Landscape’ in one of its albums.

“Biafara was acquitted largely because the police broke into the record company illegally and confiscated copies of the poster,” Potwora said.

In other matters, the committee discussed the possibility of sponsoring an open forum on the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

ainey said, “I’d like you guys to talk this up so we can get people to talk about what they think about ROTC and share their views on what its role on campus is or ought to be.”

ainey also urged members to solidify plans for a round table discussion on student activism.

“We’ve sent letters to leaders of organizations such as FREEZE, the John Lennon Society, the Student Association, the Tenant Union, the Gay Lesbian Union, the Women’s Caucus and Amnesty International in hopes of getting representatives from as many organizations as possible,” he said.

ainey also said he hopes to get the representives “to talk about student activism, what it is and how to improve it. They could each speak for five minutes and then answer questions from the floor.”

SCOPA member Todd Kuzma also suggested the committee take steps to increase awareness about homelessness in America on campus.

“Students at the University of Pennsylvania held a sleep-out at which they were joined by some of the homeless from around the area last week.

“This would be a real good time to plan something like this because it’s very uncomfortable in the winter, and we could make more people thinking about a problem which they tend to block out because it’s so depressing,” Kuzma said.