9/1/2009 10:56pm

Tax for transportation: Counties should use a tax increase for transit

Orange, Durham and Wake counties should take advantage of a bill granting the authority to levy voter-approved sales tax increases for transportation projects. The bill was signed into law last week by Gov. Bev Perdue.Because of the immense amount of growth in the Triangle, transportation projects take on special importance.  The sales tax must be approved by voter referendum, so the onus is now on the counties and the electorate to actuate these plans.

9/1/2009 10:56pm

Size matters: Larger classes better than none at all

Students may find themselves complaining more this semester as budget cuts begin to trickle down and affect our daily lives. But we should think twice before complaining about class sizes.As a way to ease the $37.5 million burden facing our campus, the Office of the Registrar cut about 200 classes this year.But that number could have been larger. Instead of a total elimination of more classes, many of the seats were absorbed into bigger sections. Thus, the total number of seats is similar to last semester.

9/1/2009 10:55pm

Civil dialogue: Participants in tonight’s forum with U.S. Rep. David Price should be respectful

The First Amendment makes it absolutely clear that we have a right to free speech.Those attending U.S. Rep. David Price’s, D-N.C., town hall meeting tonight would do well to remember this.This is a free event designed to stimulate awareness and discussion about health care. Price’s accessibility is what makes these types of town hall meetings informative and productive. But this type of forum also risks disruption by protesters — whether independent or affiliated with a specific group or organization.

9/1/2009 10:54pm

If it feels good, it must be wrong — sex included

TO THE EDITOR:Sex under the influence of anything is rape. The proof is in the pudding: Sex while inebriated on various substances feels better than sober sex. We all know that anything that feels good is bad for you; therefore, inebriated sex must have some catch. And that “catch” is that the sex you have is now considered rape.

9/1/2009 10:52pm

UNC community should mourn the loss of its own

TO THE EDITOR:August has been a very tragic month for the UNC community. Two good Americans lost their lives. It seems, however, that very few students know about Pfc. Morris Walker — the first UNC alum to die in the war in Afghanistan. Pfc. Walker gave his life for our country. He was a great American. He lived and died a hero.The Daily Tar Heel has failed to pay adequate tribute to the memory of this fallen soldier and his contributions and service to UNC and to our beloved country; there has been only a brief mention of Pfc. Walker in its pages.

9/1/2009 10:52pm

Leaving two hours early shouldn’t be whined about

TO THE EDITOR:I read with some dismay your recent editorial about the “major inconvenience” that the Thursday night game against Florida State University was causing (“Major inconvenience,” Aug. 31). Is this a joke? It’s Fall Break. It’s the last two hours of a Thursday. Leave it to out of touch academia to whine about something this ridiculous.

9/1/2009 10:49pm

Employees shouldn’t have to make up the two hours

TO THE EDITOR:I write in response to the forced shortened workday Oct. 22 to accommodate the TV coverage of the Florida State football game.Coming hard on the heels of UNC-system President (Erskine) Bowles’ statement that The (Raleigh) News & Observer coverage of the extensive administrative expansion of many UNC-system schools was an embarrassment, UNC-Chapel Hill is forcing employees to reschedule two hours of their time to accommodate football game traffic!

9/1/2009 10:48pm

Lasting friendships can be made outside Greek life

TO THE EDITOR:Mike Collins truly missed the UNC college experience, not to mention the general college experience (“Column missed the point of Greek life on campus,” Aug. 31). College friendships are made on two individuals’ accord, not because a Greek system exists. I agree with Collins that the Greek system offers an opportunity to network and make contacts; however, so do many other prominent organizations on campus.

8/31/2009 11:26pm

Nutritious options sparse on campus

Even after ten years as a professor, I look forward to returning to school every autumn. The biannual ritual of buying new books, reuniting with friends after a summer away — these are the Circadian rhythms of the academic. But there is one thing that makes me less than excited about the prospect of returning to UNC: the food.

8/31/2009 11:25pm

All signs point to dirty: Mayoral candidate Cho needs to clean his highway

After adopting a stretch of a Chapel Hill highway, mayoral candidate Augustus Cho isn’t holding up his end of the bargain. Chapel Hill political candidates aren’t allowed to post campaign signs until Sept. 20. But Cho found a clever alternative to boost name recognition: Around the time he declared his candidacy, he adopted a mile of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and had his name posted under the “Adopt-a-Highway” sign. Cho certainly gets kudos for finding a convenient loophole to get his name out, especially because it involves community service.

8/31/2009 11:24pm

Cut it out: Administrative cuts at UNC-system schools are important ?nancially and organizationally

It looks like some administrators in the UNC system are going home. In fact, about 900 of them are.But these are necessary cuts.They’ve been a long time coming, according to UNC-system President Erskine Bowles. Bowles stated in an e-mail to UNC-system chancellors on Aug. 17 that universities in the North Carolina system would need to focus more on thinning the herd at the top of the ladder. Our university is indicative of the types of cuts needed.

8/31/2009 11:23pm

Get off the ?nancing fence: Chapel Hill should require candidates to use public ?nancing or scrap the program all together

Chapel Hill needs to make up its mind. The town should either have mandatory publicly financed campaigns or campaigns that rely on private fundraising. Straddling these two options simply wastes money.Chapel Hill’s Voter-Owned Elections program is the first to try publicly financed municipal campaigns in North Carolina history.But so far the program has only attracted two participants. The program isn’t mandatory — candidates can opt-in if they choose to.

8/31/2009 11:22pm

Mandated insurance for students not worth cost

TO THE EDITOR:I disagree with the Board of Governors’ decision requiring all students to purchase health coverage. The simple fact is that many students simply do not need health insurance. Rarely does a student suffer from a catastrophic injury or debilitating illness (for example, despite thousands of people who attended the riotous NCAA championship celebration last year, only a few needed medical treatment due to injury).

8/31/2009 11:21pm

Sending University staff home early makes sense

TO THE EDITOR:Seriously, you write an editorial claiming that sending staff home two hours early on the day of a Thursday night game is an inconvenience to them? (“Major inconvenience,” Aug. 31) You claim leaving early would cause problems with “families, carpools or anything with a consistent schedule.” But did you even consider the repercussions of them staying?

8/31/2009 11:19pm

Join student government to help implement change

TO THE EDITOR:Each year, student government appoints many students to important University committees that cover topics ranging from academic advising to safety. First-years have a unique opportunity to get involved with student government specifically, but not exclusively, through the student advisory committee to the chancellor. This committee consists of 12 students who work directly with Chancellor Holden Thorp on major university issues. It has previously addressed gap-year policies, international student life, safety, and academic freedom.

8/31/2009 11:17pm

Letter’s take on gender relations was distressing

TO THE EDITOR:Kudos to Jake Fraser for his creative interpretation of women’s empowerment (“Project Dinah’s definition of rape puzzling, shocking,” Aug. 31). I’m sure Betty Friedan would be thrilled to know that drunken hookups now fall under the banner of “progressive gender relations.”

8/30/2009 11:14pm

Invest in a new friend today

In Chapel Hill, the most important period of the “friend-making year” has just begun with the start of the fall semester. Everyone is riding the wave of new possibilities for connection. You should be too.