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The Daily Tar Heel

Student Government Names Participants In Seminar on Qatar

Twenty-five students have been selected to participate in the seminar and will earn one hour of academic credit for the effort.

"The applications were excellent," said Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber. "For a while we weren't sure we'd have the turnout we hoped for."

Student Body President Justin Young was especially pleased with the wide range of applications received.

"It was really diverse group," Young said. "You could definitely feel the enthusiasm from the pages of the applications."

The selection committee, composed of Young, Kleysteuber, Student Congress Speaker Mark Townsend and Campus Y Director Virginia Carson, examined about 50 applications from graduate and undergraduate students, Young said.

Twenty-one of the 25 applicants chosen Thursday evening are undergraduates. Of those 21, seven are business majors.

Kleysteuber, Young, Townsend and two student journalists will fill the seminar's five remaining spots, Young said.

Students making up the 30-member group will attend regularly scheduled seminars led by professors Holden Thorp and Bob Adler and will receive one academic credit for their participation.

"The primary function of the group is to get an education about the proposal, the country and the opportunities that it presents for both the University and Qatar," Young said.

Topics for discussion include human rights in Qatar, Islam in the Middle East and dissenting voices on the Qatar initiative.

Young said the group's first meeting will be held at 3 p.m. today in 039 Graham Memorial Hall. Three additional meetings are scheduled before the end of the first semester.

All of the seminars are open to the public, Kleysteuber said. But as with any class at UNC, visitors -- particularly journalists -- are asked not to directly quote comments made by participants during the seminar.

The group ultimately will serve as a way for students to express their views on the Qatar initiative to Chancellor James Moeser.

Young said Moeser, who has said he will decide before the end of the year whether to pursue the school, has been supportive of the seminar's formation.

"(Moeser is) really enthusiastic about it," Young said. "He's been very welcoming to the proposal."

Officials with the Qatar Foundation began talks with UNC officials two years ago about establishing a business program for students in Qatar.

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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