As Americans, as North Carolinians and as college students, we all must agree that terrorism is an important issue. Iraq is an important issue. Jobs and the economy are important issues - and all of these topics deserve the weight given them. But presidential and gubernatorial candidates shouldn't lose university education in the mix. Governor Easley and state Sen. Ballantine should devote more of their campaign time to talking about how Americans can pay for college - as should President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry.
An individual has the right to burn his own U.S. flag - but freedom becomes a felony when he destroys someone else's personal property. P olitics on campus got out of hand Wednesday. The flag-burning episode in the Pit pitted two different ideologies against each other - and protester Kevin Sellers crossed the line between being civil and being disrespectful. Trying to destroy another person's property is not a productive way to demonstrate a point of view, not to mention that it's illegal.
Carolina Athletic Association ocials should be commended for their success in booking singer John Legend for the Homecoming concert. W ith the clock ticking away, though the Carolina Athletic Association is still smarting from bungled negotiations with Sister Hazel, the organization has turned UNC's Homecoming concert from a ho-hum show into an event to anticipate. Goodbye, one-hit wonder rock band Sister Hazel. Hello, in-demand session player and up-and-coming neo-soul crooner John Legend.
State governments should work hard to narrow a gap in the amount of money that high-poverty and low-poverty school districts receive. A lthough the years of the economic bubble showed promise for equality, the disparity between high-poverty and low-poverty school districts has started to grow again in recent years.
Cleaners everywhere should move to replace the dangerous chemical perchloroethylene with a "wet" method that's environmentally sound. S ome dry cleaners in the Triangle area have begun to use materials that create less pollution than before. One business has even gone so far as to adopt an entirely "wet" cleaning method that doesn't use the toxic chemicals associated with traditional dry cleaning.
A UNC chemistry professor's decision to host a Playboy photo shoot was unfortunate and could damage his relationship with students. C hemistry professor Malcolm Forbes chose to host Playboy's photo shoot for its "Girls of the ACC" issue at his home. His decision to accommodate the magazine is disappointing, to say the least. Although he might not have broken any specific University rules, he did fall well short of upholding the ethical standards necessary for a professor to maintain a proper relationship with his or her students.
A total ban on leaf blowers would be too extreme, so town officials should consider a less restrictive measure to reduce some of the noise. T he Chapel Hill Town Council heard Monday residents' comments about a proposal to rid the area of leaf blowers, which have been called noisy and which cause pollution. Council member Cam Hill has led the effort to end local use of the machines. Some of the town's residents have chimed in, expressing concerns that their sidewalk experiences have been disrupted by the noise created by blowers.
Today, Chancellor Moeser will give his remarks concerning the state of the University. To mark the occasion, in place of my regular column, I would like to present a few observations of my own on the turnover of a new academic year: -Pepsi now controls the vast share of soft drink sales on our campus, but Student Stores still sells glass bottles of Coke - and for some reason, they still taste better than any other cola product.
Class assignments rarely are scrutinized quite like this. At least, that might be what Merrill Skaggs would have to say. The Drew University professor took a creative and constructive step this semester by making a trip to the polls for the upcoming election - a requirement for her American literature class. The assignment has come under attack by members of the university's faculty. Skaggs told The New York Times that her idea was called "totalitarian." But the critics who maintain that the professor overstepped her bounds are making flawed arguments.
Voting can be a beautiful thing. It allows citizens to do their part to bring about change or to affirm their faith in the status quo. But voting isn't for everybody. Not all people will be able to go to their local polling places Nov. 2 and make informed decisions about the politicians they want as their representatives and the initiatives that they want their government to take.
The (Durham) Herald-Sun reported Friday that UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees has finalized plans to designate a professorship at the UNC-CH School of Government to UNC-system President Molly Broad. When Broad retires, she will take on the position at 60 percent of her current annual salary of $312,504. That's simply too much money to give up, regardless of prior agreements.
Last week, School of Journalism and Mass Communication officials announced that JOMC 50, "Electronic Information Sources," would no longer be a requirement for journalism majors to graduate. The reasons for this decision are sound. But the timing of it absolutely could not have been worse. If officials had any inkling before or during the summer that they might remove the course from the list of curriculum requirements, they should have worked to come to a conclusion sooner - at least a month sooner, when students had much more of an opportunity to tweak their schedules.
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are considering a bill that would require nonprofit universities like UNC to consider accepting transfer credit from for-profit educational institutions. UNC does not accept credit from for-profit schools, and Congress shouldn't force it and other universities to do so. Plainly put, for-profit schools do not stack up to nonprofit institutions. There is something fundamentally flawed with an institution that claims to educate - but only in exchange for a little something to take to the bank.
During the past three years, we have often heard that Sept. 11, 2001, was the day that everything changed. But one thing that's changed very little since the attacks is how and where we get our energy. We still depend on foreign oil and gas for much of it. U.S. Department of Energy statistics show that we have consumed more energy than we have produced since at least 1970. And government projections show the gap widening in the future, meaning that we'll be more dependent upon oil imports than ever before.
KEPT IN THE DARK Students should know more about any problems or delays related to matters that affect them, including a tuition price sensitivity study. T he announcement at Thursday's UNC Board of Trustees meeting that results of a tuition price sensitivity study would be delayed was surprising. Students might be confused as to why they weren't informed beforehand of any potential delays.
The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education officially ended Wednesday the investigation of an incident that caused many members of the University community to speak out and to question the learning environment on campus. The investigation was warranted, but OCR was right to point out UNC officials' show of responsibility in their reaction to the actions of English lecturer Elyse Crystall.
It was a relatively brief statement that came toward the end of a campuswide e-mail: "After thorough discussion, our concern for student safety and privacy in residence halls has led us to decide to maintain the current policy." But, Chancellor Moeser, that statement - which basically ends the prospect of door-to-door voter registration in campus residence halls - speaks volumes.