The Bates Student - November 6, 1998


Smoking with taste
College Republicans argue cigar party classy, not a vulgar partisan attack
The College Republicans are a group of people that shares a common interest, just like all the other clubs on campus. Like other clubs, we sponsor events that bring students together to interact and have fun.

Last year, an idea was brought up to host a cigar party. We wanted to provide food and cigars for people while they were playing card games. We planned to invite a cigar expert from the Auburn community to join us and discuss cigar etiquette. Jazz music in the background would provide a pleasant atmosphere and anyone that would attend would provide pleasant company.

Some partisans might like to think that our motives were to talk politics and swap dirty jokes. Now a days though, that's not what cigars represent. If you've ever flipped through the pages of "Cigar Aficionado" you'll note that cigars are on the rise because they're classy, they're chic and they're popular with celebrities.

Mark Twain, John F. Kennedy, George Burns and Winston Churchill all smoked cigars. Does that detract from who they were or change our opinions of them? Because he smoked, was JFK any less a profile in courage? Because we are college students, are we mistaken in aligning ourselves with these great smokers? Are we doing it to make a scene and not because we enjoy it? Not at all.

Yet the administration feels differently. They forbid us to tell jokes at our event about the Starr Report and the cigar use mentioned therein or say anything negative about President Clinton. We find this to be an assault on our dignity. It makes us think that the administration believes us to be indiscreet, uncultivated, right-wing extremists who exist only for the purpose of defaming liberal opinions.

The sad state of our club is that we are branded as such, not only by the administration, but by the student body as well. The truth is that we embrace both ends of the political spectrum and all that falls in between as important, necessary and worthwhile in this, the greatest country yet designed.

We invite all those who feel this is not so to come to one of our meetings and hear us talk. Meetings are a time to blow off steam, listen and learn, support and be supported and join into the political process that ALL our forefathers and foremothers have fought so dearly to protect and preserve.

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Last Modified: 11/08/1998
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