I am well aware that everyone has their two cents to throw in about President Obama’s recent selection as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The decision was a shock to all of us, including the president himself.It’s undeniable that Obama’s recognition for this award is quite premature. He has not been in office long enough for his bold views of diplomacy to come to fruition, for his methods to be assessed and proven right or wrong.
Citizens should be able to look up to elected officials and know that they are working as hard as they can to make our tax dollars go as far as possible. That is their job.The General Assembly has recently endorsed a no-bid contracting process for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services that accomplishes just the opposite.Under this system, North Carolina’s government would award contracts to a single private company without considering competitive offers from other firms.
Capping grade inflation at the University unilaterally would be a huge step in the right direction. But acting alone can only accomplish so much, and the University should strive for a joint-policy effort with peer institutions.Andrew Perrin, chairman of the Faculty Council’s educational policy committee, mentioned two ideas at the council meeting Friday for a joint effort to tackle grade inflation: An ACC-wide policy or some kind of collaboration with peer institutions.
TO THE EDITOR:At UNC, we don’t need to debate the existence of global warming. We get it. If temperatures rise just four degrees Fahrenheit, scientists predict that the climate of North Carolina will resemble that of Florida.Studies show that North Carolina would be among the states most severely impacted by sea level rise due to loss of agricultural lowlands and tourism.
TO THE EDITOR:I sincerely hope Simon Conrad (“Bonfires are not ‘innocent fun,’ should be banned,” Oct.8) lost a cruel bet and wrote his letter as a satirical piece. The idea of the nature of Franklin Street celebrations as a violent “mosh pit” where people shove one another into the flames is exaggerated.The fact is that students, Chapel Hill citizens and celebratory out-of-towners that do jump these bonfires do so by their own choosing and pure enthusiasm.
TO THE EDITOR:Mark Viser’s cartoon (Oct. 8) suggesting that T.J. Yates’ lack of football acumen is responsible for the Tar Heels’ offensive woes is both unfair and unethical.Yates is not solely responsible for the lack of offensive production; I would love to see Viser try and run an offense as his protection breaks down and his ground game gets stuffed time and again.
Every Tuesday, a cartoonist will draw an extra cartoon, and we want YOU to give it a humorous caption. Send your one- to two-sentence caption to email@example.com, subject line “caption.” We’ll publish the best captions the following week as the lead cartoon, and the person with the best entry will win a 2009 National Championship poster.
TO THE EDITOR: It seems that the only one ignoring reality is associate opinion editor Greg Margolis in his column “Stadium plans ignore reality,” (Oct. 7). The recession is no reason for the Rams Club not to fund stadium renovations or for the University not to support it. A private organization whose goals and purpose are primarily to provide athletic scholarships and capital improvements is using their money to do just that.
TO THE EDITOR: Meredith Engelen’s column (“Bring on the debate,” Oct. 7) did a good job highlighting the importance of debate on college campuses. While it’s true that many UNC students actively engage in valuable dialectic conversations, many do not because of fear of public speaking. Because debate is a means of “discovering truth” and a powerful tool for convincing others, public speaking is a skill all students should be interested in developing.
TO THE EDITOR:In a recent column, (“No great ‘honor’ in Carolina program,” Oct. 5) Hannah Thurman noted that Carolina’s Honors Program is neither exclusive nor set apart from the rest of the University. We’re proud of that fact; it’s the reason The Fiske Guide has praised the program as one of the nation’s best and most accessible.
TO THE EDITOR:While it is laudable that Mr. Patel seeks to encourage and defend free speech on campus, he is either incredibly naive or disingenuous when he asserts that Youth for Western Civilization is simply a misunderstood “conservative” organization (“An unlikely leader,” Oct. 8). As he points out, YWC rails against the imagined dangers of “radical multiculturalism” and demands total assimilation of immigrant populations within their notion of what proper “culture” is.
North Carolina is weighing in on the fatty cost of state employee health insurance.This month, the state notified all its employees that if they are obese or if they smoke, they will pay more for health insurance in the near future.This is a good move. Taxpayers who lead a healthy lifestyle should not be forced to pay for those state workers who do not.State employees who use tobacco or have a body mass index above a specified level and don’t quit smoking or lose weight will be placed in an insurance plan that pays 70 percent of claims.
The town of Chapel Hill does not need a civilian review board. And the NAACP should cease its demands that the town establish one in the wake of the Charles Brown incident, when a black local business owner was stopped by police, who were searching for someone else. Brown’s detainment June 1 was a mistake.But the evidence is clear that the man police were searching for — Cumun Fearrington — shares similar facial features with Brown.
The Faculty Council doesn’t seem to agree on what letter grades mean — one of the underlying problems causing grade inflation at the University. The council needs to come to a consensus and act to cap grade inflation.At Friday’s meeting, members of the council voiced their differing views on grade inflation. The council passed a resolution to further study and discuss this problem. That’s a tepid start. Every council member needs to realize that they must act to cap grade inflation when the study and conversations on the matter are finished.
President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. For me, that still isn’t enough motivation to trade positions with him. Here in Chapel Hill, we have the luxury of being able to sit and complain about the problems that Obama actually has to get up in the morning and solve. Think about that. There are people out there, President Obama included, who are charged with the task of ending global warming, famine and poverty.