The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday October 7th


Look both ways: Town right to think about improving pedestrian safety but there's more to be done

The town's testing of a new pedestrian crossing system last week shows an impressive openness to innovation and a special sensitivity to safety on and near campus. After several tragic accidents involving pedestrians in the past year it's good to see the town looking for innovative ways to address this problem. While this new crossing scheme doesn't directly remedy the major cause of the accident in October (driver error) the town is still right to address the broader issue of pedestrian safety.

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Sustainability a must

UNC has made another gesture indicating its support of environmental sustainablity but it must continue to take concrete steps to illustrate this commitment. UNC has recently signed on to a resolution with a long-term goal to become a carbon-neutral campus joining 600 other colleges and universities nationwide.

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Innovative sustainability

A new Duke University initiative to encourage people to take old homes off campus is a smart move for sustainability. In preparation for the construction of new residence halls academic buildings and other offices Duke is offering financial incentive for private individuals to move old houses from the university's campus where the new facilities will be built. It's smarter environmentally to help move the homes rather than demolish them and put the remnants in local landfills.

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Run in 5k to honor Eve

Eve had a passion for all things UNC so what better way to honor her legacy than by participating in the Eve Carson Memorial 5k for Education? The race will raise money for The Eve Marie Carson Memorial Junior-Year Merit Scholarship.

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Address the dropout rate

Last Monday the Orange County Board of Education adopted a symbolic measure that would raise the minimum dropout age to 18. The N.C. General Assembly should follow suit and attempt to address our increasing dropout rate statewide. The 2006-07 dropout rate for North Carolina high schools was the highest figure in seven years. Orange County's resolution was an attempt to address the fact that more than three quarters of N.C. student dropouts were ages 16 to 18.

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Don't neglect safety: Safety renovations should not be put on hold

While the recent economic downturn has left UNC with less funding construction projects intended to improve fire safety on campus especially in dorms should not be delayed. The state budget office's decision to withhold $6.5 million for repairs and renovations will affect the University's construction projects many of which are fire safety renovations.

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Expanded Safe Ride needed

Student Body President J.J. Raynor's idea of implementing a late-night Chapel Hill-Carrboro bus route is an excellent proposal. This bus will be useful to the large number of underserved students living in the Carrboro area.

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Hate speech troubling: Racial slurs on free expression tunnel not acceptable

Racial slurs written on N.C. State University's free expression tunnel last week provided an unfortunate reminder of our dark past and have no place in our society as we look forward to the future. Despite Tuesday night's celebratory atmosphere and the message of unity by the nation's first black president-elect students awoke to the painful reminder that hate that still exists in our country.

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No rooms for rent

We're glad to see more student housing options in the downtown area. The Stonecrop apartment complex being built off West Franklin Street will offer students another viable housing option close to campus. Downtown Chapel Hill has seen considerable residential development in the last couple years but many of these are high-end condominiums that do not cater to students.

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Future ranking uncertain

Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine has just named UNC the ""best value"" among U.S. public colleges for the eighth year in a row" but we must proceed with caution and foresight as we increase tuition and enrollment. UNC indeed provides an affordable yet renowned public education. Total in-state cost is $13700 compared to $23400 at the University of California at Berkeley. Average debt at graduation at UNC is less than $150" compared to more than twice that at Iowa State.

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Obama for president

These difficult times call for a president who can both inspire us and challenge us to tackle the major problems we face. Sen. Barack Obama is the candidate who can best provide this leadership. This is a generational election and we will feel the consequences if we fail to act on long-term issues such as global climate change energy independence and the creation of a 21st-century economy.

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