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Letter to the editor: OUAB should stop funding partisan events with student activity fee

Letter to the editor:

As Ohio State’s College Republicans, we understand and respect that the university will bring speakers to campus whose viewpoints do not align with our own. Often those speakers are politicians, professors or other greats in their respective fields. These individuals provide an account of his or her own knowledge and create an environment of learning based on years of experience. Josh Fox is not one of these individuals.

Who is Josh Fox? He is the environmental activist and documentarian responsible for “Gasland,” a film that seeks to discredit hydraulic fracturing practices (or “fracking”) through largely anecdotal evidence. It is Oscar nominated, yes, but there is no requirement that documentaries honored in that awards ceremony be free of narrative liberties. In fact, Josh has been criticized since the release of his film for not being completely factual in his accounts.

The OUAB social media accounts state that this Thursday there will be a “political policy and federal legislational (sic) lecture” featuring Mr. Fox, with absolutely no mention of the likely partisan content therein. Not only that, but Wednesday’s “Flicks for Free” featured his second film devoted to fracking, “Gasland Pt. II.” Disguised as an informative legislative lecture, OUAB is hosting a highly controversial political activist on the students’ dime.

This is an unacceptable use of the student activity fee. OUAB has done excellent political events in the past, like 2012’s debate between Karl Rove and James Carville, but this event does nothing to heighten the level of debate or knowledge present among the student body. This brings a hyper-partisan activist to speak on a subject in a completely one-sided fashion disguised as an informative event. It does so without providing a voice on the other side to speak in opposition and it is unlikely that we ever would have seen OUAB host a premiere of Phelim McAleer’s documentary “Fracknation,” which defends hydraulic fracturing practices. And we, as students of the Ohio State University, will receive a double dose of this one-sidedness with back-to-back events taking place, each featuring Fox. 

As a political organization, we welcome dissent. We welcome bipartisanship. This year, we have worked together with the College Democrats collegially on events that benefit all students. We also have engaged in debates with other political organizations. It is worth it to the student body, when presenting a debated current issue, to provide voices from both sides and allow students to make their own informed decisions. Inviting Josh Fox to speak, while not marketing exactly who he is and what background he possesses to qualify him to speak on this topic, is a poor use of the money that students pay to the university, and we are very disappointed in OUAB for this event. 

Sam Zuidema
Chairman of College Republicans at OSU
Fourth-year in history and political science

Miranda Onnen
Communications director of College Republicans at OSU
Fourth-year in political science and economics


  1. You douches had a Republican shill running USG for two years spending student activity fees directly for his own self promotion so he could end up with a job kissing Kasich’s behind on the regular. And The Lantern was fully in his pocket then, too.

    And now you think that a film questioning fracking is specifically aimed against your conservative agenda?
    How about looking at what fracking has done in Ohio, then? Like verifiably caused multiple earthquakes. No transparency on what chemicals are being put into our groundwater. Selling off state rights for profit while the environment gets contaminated.
    Youngstown is leading the way by attempting to pass a community bill of rights against fracking to protect their drinking water.
    These are not Democratic concerns, these are concerns for ever single Ohioan (and, no, I’m not a Democrat).

    Good God, they really start the self entitled, pretend reality doesn’t exist, blame artists BS early in the Republican Party, though, don’t they?
    Go read up on the culture wars and what your party has done to the state of the arts in this country.
    I’m embarrassed that you two even attend this University.
    You’ve got zero respect for free speech and the arts.
    You want to bring your message to campus? The do it. Stop whining.
    Go to CSA and complain and put together your own event.

    See what you get, and then look at how well your message of suppression sells.
    Your party is responsible for the death of a good education for the kids of this state.
    But, I’m glad your self entitled message is now enshrined here for posterity.
    Maybe tens years from now you can look back and see just how embarrassingly wrong you are.
    Grow up, FFS. Quit selling the pyramid scheme you bought into.
    Just get your application ready for Taylor and go away.

  2. Way to go Sam and Miranda! Censor what you don’t agree with, all in the interest of fairness… Your objections are hypocritical given the speakers and activities funded on behalf of your organization.
    I shudder to think of any historical research you would be responsible for in the future! Only what you personally agree with is worthy of public discourse.
    GROW UP!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Isn’t Miranda Onnen someone who’s friends with Celia Wright and Erik Leiden? Aren’t Celia and Erik instrumental in passing a BDS resolution through USG? Talk about partisan political views…

  4. Well, they’re trying their hardest to get BDS to pass*

  5. jimmy boom confetti

    Silly Democrats trix are for kids

  6. “collegially” ? what ?

  7. Morgan Ann Johnson

    I was thinking about entertaining this with some serious commentary but I think the erroneousness of this terribly articulated argument speaks for itself.

  8. @Morgan,

    Terribly articulated arguments seems like a commonly reappearing theme from the authors lel.

  9. This article is an unacceptable use of the Lantern’s server space and ink.

  10. Rather than whining to a student body that clearly does not support you at all in this, why don’t you guys find a pro-fracturing documentary and submit it to OUAB for review-…OH, WAIT. You guys are at least 20 or 21 years old and you can’t handle science-movie night? This is just too sad.

    Please leave quietly and protect whatever shred of legitimacy or dignity you guys still have left find a way to delete this or just un-enroll. You’re embarrassing everyone.

  11. Jack Johnson called Sam

    He says he can’t believe you managed to do it, but you made his sound even more douchey that he does.
    Stick to working on your lame guitar riffs and pushing for conceal carry on campus, buddy.
    At least some typical Republican sorority girl will think you’re cool.

  12. According to OUAB’s mission statement they strive “to provide diverse programs and events that are educational, entertaining, and thought provoking for the students of the Columbus campus.” Use this a a thought provoking experience! Open your mind people, this world is full of different people with different views,and everyone is entitled to it. OUAB brings in a number of different events and not everyone will enjoy each one. I’m sure you have got your moneys worth by attending some of their other events, and if you haven’t then go to some of their other events. Realize that maybe you attend the Key and Peele event or one of OUAB’s concerts and enjoyed it, while others my very opposed to Key and Peele’s content or dislike the music genre they brought in. There are students who are going to enjoy this event and their experience shouldn’t be ruined by people like you.

  13. Letters like this make me feel even more distaste for my own generation than I already did. How can anyone my age, let alone a female support the republican party and their Faux News agenda??

  14. Female Republican

    How can any female not be a republican? I don’t need pity from the government to stand up for my rights, or a man (or tax dollars) to provide for me. I would rather be treated as an equal who can handle her own, rather than a weak individual who has to rely on others to get what I want.

  15. The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant… They know so much that isn’t so

  16. sometimes I enjoy the comments under these articles more than the articles themselves

  17. All of Female Republican's Credibility


  18. @Female Republican


  19. a republican with a brain

    can we please get a new communications director…..seriously lets take this to a vote next meeting. -_-

  20. Democrat (really passionate dem)

    1. Cheers to Miranda and Sam on this. I am an active democrat on campus and believe that fracking harms our state. However, they offer valid points on precisely why OUAB has failed its purpose and promise by offering this event, or rather, the way they have chosen to market this event.
    2. Secondly, instead of attacking one another for political views, gender, or both, why don’t we just respect that Republicans and Democrats have their values and beliefs? Both groups are comprised of intelligent and hardworking individuals, mostly working to improve the lives of Ohioans and Americans. Both groups also have their own idiots. Anyone who chooses partisan bashing and ignorant assaults on values is the real idiot here.

    Once again, cheers to Miranda and Sam.

  21. Yeah, tell it to OUAB! I can’t wait until the entire state is fracked! The more earthquakes, the better! I dump petrochemcials into my drinking water all the time – it nourishes me. Josh Fox is so biased for wanting to investigate the already documented and scientifically studied dangers of fracking!

  22. Response to Democrat

    “1. Cheers to Miranda and Sam on this. I am an active democrat on campus and believe that fracking harms our state. However, they offer valid points on precisely why OUAB has failed its purpose and promise by offering this event, or rather, the way they have chosen to market this event.”

    Lol. This is why I don’t vote for the republicans or democrats. Your parties are both corporate shills who defend the rich and support U.S. imperialism and militarism.

    Obama has deported more undocumented people than Bush, has not closed Guantanamo, is starting another war, and has fully gotten on board with using drone strikes to kill civilians. Not to mention he still hasn’t stopped the KXL pipeline, is completely in favor of fracking, and has continued to support Israel with money and weapons.

    I’m glad Josh Fox came to OSU. I want to live in a world where the water is drinkable.

  23. Nonpartisan science fan

    I would have honestly preferred an actual debate from two experts on the matter, rather than someone who just made a documentary about this. A lot of documentaries are notorious for only showing the data that proves their own point, regardless of how credible it is.

    I’m not saying fracking is good or bad, in my opinion there’s not yet been any legitimate correlation between fracking and environmental damage/poor water supply. Plenty of circumstantial evidence, as Gasland is happy to show, but nothing concrete.

    It just would have been better to host a debate about it, keeping political opinions out of the whole thing.

  24. Y’all are babies. Y’know how Republicans in this state (ie, Kasich) like to run away from debates? Did it occur to y’all that maybe OUAB *did* try to put together a debate on this topic but wasn’t able to find anyone competent who wanted to do it?

    If you don’t like someone, feel free to show up and try to ask them “tricky” questions to try to make them look bad during the Q&A portion. Seriously, that’d be far less of a waste of time than this terrible letter.

  25. A Republican Sorority Girl

    @Jack Johnson called Sam

    we don’t think he’s cool. even we think he sucks

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