Iran: Iranian citizens in US believe votes went uncounted many Iranians living in America don’t believe their ballot was counted. Over 50 people turned out to support the cause, including many nonIranian protesters. Ed Spencer, Director of Student Affairs, also stood with the demonstrators. “I think we want to be supportive of the Iranian cause here at Virginia Tech,” Spencer said. He said the 82 percent voter turnout in the election was impressive for any country. Iranian citizens in other countries may still vote in the elections. While Yousefi said the current leader was not completely bad for his home country, he said most voters, especially those in America, wanted a new president. “To my mind, the vast majority of Iranians living in the U.S. have very little sympathy with Ahmadinejad,” Yousefi said. “The remains of that sympathy are eroding because of this recent sham.”
ON THE WEB See a video report and photo gallery capturing the sights and sounds of Tuesday’s protest. Yousefi cites suppression of human rights as another flaw of the current government. “The fact remains that during his four years, civil liberties have been significantly limited,” Yousefi said. “Many reformists have been put under arrest.”
The future of Iran
A Hokie protester fights for humane treatment of demonstrators in Iran. He also opposes Ahmadinejad’s handling of the conflict in Israel. “He’s caused unnecessary crisis for Iran in his encounters with the outside world,” Yousefi said. “His call for wiping Israel off the map was not a wise move.” Physics major Matt Raum, a supporter not from Iran, said he has kept up with the country’s election through close Iranian friends here at Tech, and felt concern for their cause. “I just support democracy, and fair elections,” Raum said. Yousefi said even supporters of Ahmadinejad were surprised by his victory because of the projected voting numbers. He said the election numbers for
Ahmadinejad nearly doubled from the projections. “Upping that by 100 percent was the biggest lie of this century,” Yousefi said. Most protesters were Iranian citizens who voted in the recent elections. Iranian citizens at Tech contacted their embassy and asked for a box of ballots to be sent to campus. Cranwell International Center served as a polling place for voters in the university community. There are about 120 students of Iranian origin at Tech. Originally, the group planned a march from College Avenue to Burruss Hall with candles, but changed its plans Monday.
In their nation’s worst political crisis since 1979, the people of Iran are in a violent dispute over the legitimacy of the June 2009 presidential election, which declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the president. Protesters hit the streets after Ahmadinejad’s victory, which resulted in the detainment and even death of some Iranians. On June 22, an investigation by an election panel in Iran showed that in 50 cities the numbers of votes cast exceeded the number of voters. On Wednesday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded to protestors by declaring that there would be no re-election, reported the British Broadcasting Company. A group called the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran totaled the number of detained people at 240, including 29 who were detained and then released, as well as 102 political figures, 23 journalists, 79 university students, and 7 university faculty who are still in detention. Steve Clemons, an American writer and blogger on foreign policy, said that scattered protests will continue to an extent but “there will be an ongoing struggle whether the violence continues.”
“I think that the only thing that can happen now is to see how much time passes and to see if Ahmadinejad can consolidate power over those that have been challenging them,” Clemons said. One issue for Ahmadinejad is the fact that even with a true win, there is at least 33 percent of the population that voted for his opponent Mir-Hossein Mousavi, and considers Ahmadinejad’s victory faulty. “Ahmadinejad will come on top but will be significantly weaker,” Clemons said. “Oftentimes when countries are divided, leaders try to gin up trouble abroad to unify the nation around national security measures,” Clemons said. “So that’s one thing they’ll try and do.” Iranian protesters have communicated the situation through the Internet, although not all reports can be confirmed. Videos and Twitter accounts have relayed information worldwide, most prominently the videos showing the death of one young protestor identified as Neda. “Iran and its nuclear program are among the highest in the strategic program of the Obama administration,” Clemons said. “I think this is unexpected, dramatic, and a nation that we’re intrigued with.”
from page one
Housing working with tight numbers early July. An admissions oﬃcial said the goal was 5,025 freshmen, which would be signiﬁcantly lower than the 5,601 freshmen that enrolled last year. Perhaps there was a shortage of occupants as opposed to rooms, however, students whose original request for release from the contract was denied have been contacted with a diﬀerent message. An email sent to one student who requested release from their contract in May oﬀered the following: “According to our records, you contacted our oﬃce earlier this year seeking release from your 2009-2010 housing and dining contract. At that time, you pursued the Contract Release
Request process per the normal procedures and your request was denied. Subsequent to your request, we have received a higher number of inquiries from transfer students requesting housing than is normal. If you are still interested in termination of your contract, we may have an opportunity to negate your contract in favor of helping additional students who desire on-campus housing.” The email continued on, saying the requests would be taken on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-serve basis and only a small number could be granted. It appears that although on campus rooms are being ﬁlled, housing is walking a thin line right now. Check back for more on this story, including Housing’s input on the situation. Zc
The CollegiateTimes News Blog is now online. Read the entire blog entry, and others, at www.collegiatetimes.com/blogs.
collegiatetimes.com june 25, 2009
On campus housing has been a scarce commodity in previous years, but this year has seen a diﬀerent set of circumstances. Last year, returning students were oﬀered a buy out to give up their on campus housing for incoming students. Still, many freshmen were in temporary housing during fall semester. This year, some students who applied for release from their housing contract as early as May were denied. Admissions is aiming for a lower total of freshmen than last year, and the number of transfer students is below the totals from recent years. Final numbers have not yet been released, but admissions is hoping to have them by
Thursday, June 25, 2009 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times