Pass/Fail: Students learn about genocide on trip & Quinn freezes lawmakers’ salaries

Danny Cozzi

What current events pass? Which ones fail? Here’s one of each by Perspective Editor Danny Cozzi.

Pass: Understanding genocide: Students travel to Netherlands to study atrocious crimes

Students traveled to the Hague, Netherlands, with history professor J.D. Bowers to study genocide, debatably the most infamous crime people can possibly commit. Genocide is one of those things most people often prefer not to talk about or even remember.

The group even sat in on the trials of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, two Bosnian Serb men accused of committing war crimes during the Yugoslav War.

A news release from NIU Today included quotes from the students who took part in the experience, all of which praised the trip and the university for supporting the study abroad program.

We often get caught up in the broad scope of our majors and don’t always get the chance to study a specific topic, no matter how dark that subject may seem.

NIU Today reports the students learned, “how the genocide unfolded and how it influences the character and issues of the city and country today.” This is a great example of learning the “why” behind history’s worst tragedies, rather than simply the “what.”

Fail: Gov. Quinn freezes salaries for General Assembly, demands solution to pension

Without surprise, Illinois has failed to work out a solution to the pension crisis. But now, Gov. Pat Quinn has salaries for the General Assembly on hold until they can come up with some kind of reform for the pension crisis.

The real fail here is on Governor Quinn refusing to pay the members of the General Assembly. If anything, all that accomplishes is showing us Quinn will wave his arms when he doesn’t get his way.

While it’s important to find a solution to pension reform, withholding pay for the people responsible for doing so does nothing but take away their incentive to work toward a compromise.

It’s frustrating to see the General Assembly fail to agree on a reform policy, but it’s simply embarrassing to watch Quinn pull a political stunt like this.

Quinn claims he has tried everything else, and that may be true. But nothing is more detrimental to motivating people to work than refusing to pay them to do so. His behavior will only perpetuate the pension reform further, and there lies the true irony of his actions.