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The Daily Tar Heel

Students Meet To Create Qatar Presentations

The seminar's six groups will present their platforms concerning a campus in Qatar to Chancellor James Moeser on Dec. 12.

The presentations, set to take place Dec. 12, will outline the 10-page term paper each group of students will write.

Originally, Professor Bob Adler of the business school and chemistry Professor Holden Thorp randomly placed students into six groups that would make the presentations.

But the students suggested dividing the groups into those in favor of the satellite campus, those opposing it and those undecided about the proposal.

Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber said Adler and Thorp have been open to suggestions regarding the structure of the presentations. "They are very informed on the issue, and they're open about their own positions."

While both Adler and Thorp have said they are in favor of establishing the satellite campus, Kleysteuber said they are open to dissenting opinions. "They have made a conscientious effort to invite professors who disagree," he said.

Adler said he and Thorp are excited to hear the presentations, and he said he knows Chancellor James Moeser is excited as well.

"If the quality of the presentations is even close to the questions and comments the students have been making, it will be an awesome afternoon," he said.

After the presentations, Adler said, there will be open dialogue between Moeser and the students to discuss the issues presented by the different groups.

Thorp said time has been the only constraint on the seminar. "There wasn't enough time to have all the discussion we wanted." He said there were many issues presented and that students posed numerous questions, causing the group to cut some discussions short.

But Thorp said the seminar has been a success overall. "Whether we go to Qatar or not, it's definitely been worthwhile."

Kleysteuber also said the seminars have been going well. "The students we selected are spectacular. It's a diverse mix of people."

One of these students, senior international studies major Michael Hoffman, said both sides of the issue have been presented equally rather than just the pro-Qatar opinion.

"What's been most interesting is learning about the population within Qatar," he said.

He said one concern is by allowing only Qatari citizens to attend the school, the University would be ignoring the 80 percent of the nation's residents who are not citizens. Hoffman said this goes against UNC's tradition of accepting more than just the privileged class.

Student Body President Justin Young said student feedback like Hoffman's has contributed to the success of the seminar. "It's been hard-hitting and insightful," he said.

"I don't know the end result, but the chancellor will be listening."

The University Editor can be reached at

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