French ambassador visits GW

Jean-David Levitte, France’s ambassador to the United States, said his country would always be a U.S. ally despite its reservations about Operation Iraqi Freedom in a speech at GW Friday.

Speaking in front of a packed crowd of about 100 people in the Elliott School of International Affairs building, Levitte talked about French-American relations after the September 11 attacks, which he said left an indelible image in his mind.

“I saw the destruction of the Twin Towers from my office … this will stay in my heart for the rest of my life,” he said.

Levitte said France supports the U.S. in its attempt to internationalize the peacekeeping force in Iraq but said he is concerned that a U.S. resolution introduced in the United Nations would not give enough decision-making power to international organizations.

He maintained that U.S.-French relations are still strong despite recent policy differences.

After his 20-minute speech, Levitte opened the floor to questions.

-Rachel Weiner

Republocrats preach political tolerance

“If your aunt told you you’d never get anywhere with that smart mouth and attitude tell her to look at Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala,” said CNN’s “Crossfire” host Tucker Carlson to 70 students Thursday.

Carlson, along with co-host Begala engaged in a 45-minute dialogue with GW’s new politically tolrant student organization the Republocrats.

Carlson, a Republican, and Begala, a Democrat discussed the nature of interactions between political parties.

Despite political divisions, the hosts said they agree on importance of free speech and the pursuit of the truth.

One student asked Carlson to explain his trademark bow tie.

“It’s an anti-adultery device because you can’t commit adultery when you wear one,” Carlson said.

Student leaders said they formed the group to increase tolerance and that students need not be involved in a party to join.

The Republocrats meet Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Marvin Center. The group plans to invite speakers, conduct discussions and debates and perform political service projects such as initiating a KidsVote chapter in the D.C. area.

-Bridget Joyce

Students gather for Octoberfest

About 250 students gathered in University Yard Saturday for free food, music and political awareness at the fifth Annual Octoberfest, co-sponsored by WRGW and Common Cause.

Students spent the day socializing and playing frisbee while listening to music. Local bands the Bicycle Thieves, Sad Bastards, Alfonso Valez, A Day in Black and White and The Apes performed.

Organizers said Octoberfest was an opportunity to introduce GW students to the local music scene.

“There is no support for D.C. music in D.C.,” said junior Josh Pearl, WRGW music director.

Aside from hearing local bands, students got a lesson in political awareness from Common Cause GW, which had information tables set up at the event. This is the first year Common Cause co-sponsored the event with WRGW.

-Ari Levitus

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