Although no official decisions have been made, it's good to see that the Special Committee to Consider Renaming Airport Road has finally made some substantial progress toward ending the controversy. Regardless of the merits of the town's decision to hire a facilitator, the results indicate a process that worked.
Let me be honest with you right now. As I write my last column before the election, there are a lot of things on my mind. For starters, my team, the Boston Red Sox, has just swept the World Series. I'm sure many of you will be surprised to know that I am, in fact, from New England. Liberal and a Yankee - geography-wise, that is. Crazy, I know. Inherent in the Sox winning their first series in 86 years is a lot of things. One of them being hope.
An injunction request in federal court by the Alliance Defense Fund that would temporarily reinstate Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity as an official student organization at UNC is a ridiculous affront to the spirit of free discourse that should take place in a university setting.
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen should be cautious about how it proceeds in handling opposition to constructing large buildings in the town. On Tuesday, the aldermen decided unanimously to impose a moratorium on applications for permits to build structures of more than two stories on 25 specific properties. The delay will allow a town subcommittee to plan a buffer zone between tall buildings and residential areas.
David Price is running for another term in the U.S. House against Todd Batchelor, a Republican businessman and would-be newcomer to higher office. Price's record of being committed to his constituents in the 4th District and his hard work to represent their interests translate into his being deserving of re-election. He has many students for constituents, and he has supported them by fighting for income tax deductions for student loans and for a bill that gives scholarships to aspiring teachers.
TO THE EDITOR: With Election Day right around the corner, there are many issues that are being thrown into the faces of young student voters here at UNC. One prevalent issue is whether or not the drinking age should be lowered from 21 to 18. It is not because I am an 18-year-old eager to drink legally, but because there are clearly more beneficial effects with lowering the age, that I feel the current law should be changed.
TO THE EDITOR: I've noticed that several organizations on campus have hosted debates between the College Republicans and the Young Democrats, with stand-ins representing presidential candidates George Bush and John Kerry. My question is, why? Are we really still unsure of where these candidates stand on the issues? Neither has proposed any plan for campaign finance reform, universal health care, an end to corporate welfare, a viable resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, et cetera.
North Carolinians sent Mike Easley to the governor's mansion four years ago. He became the chief executive of a state that needed major fiscal damage control. He did just that. His solid stewardship during those years has shown him to be capable of guiding the state well in terms of its budget management. The governor made tough yet reasonable calls regarding budget cuts and maintaining fiscal discipline during his first term. That's why The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board endorses him for re-election.
Voters in this state have a crucial decision to make Tuesday. The race for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by John Edwards has been identified by national media as one of this year's most importance contests. But there is a clear choice in this election. The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board endorses Erskine Bowles for U.S. Senate.
TO THE EDITOR: To all absentee voters voting in North Carolina: today is the last day to request an absentee ballot. In order to vote absentee, you must contact your local county board of elections to request a ballot. Contact information for each N.C. county's board of elections can be found at http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/about/directors.asp. To all voters registered in Orange County: Early voting at the Morehead Planetarium and Carrboro Town Hall will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Saturday.
Running a student organization on UNC's campus is a thankless job. I know firsthand, albeit 11 years ago, when I was a leader of the UNC College Republicans. During that time I served one year in UNC's Student Congress. Simply put, students should not receive reimbursement for working on student organization-related activities. Student fees should go for student activities and programming - not salaries or stipends for members of Congress who administer those funds. Period.
Continuing and expanding the practice of paying student officials will have negative consequences for our student government. It is important that you consider the following questions prior to voting on the referendum: 1. Is this how you want your money spent? The money that is used to pay the stipends comes directly from the Student Activity Fee you pay each semester. That fee is principally used to finance student events and activities. Fees helped bring speakers such as Ben Stein, Paul Krugman and Ann Coulter to campus last year.
Tuition increases always can be tough pills for students and their families to swallow. They can be even tougher to take if the extra money is not being used to create the best possible learning environment for the student body as a whole. That's why it was a strong move on the part of the Tuition Task Force to take new merit-based scholarships off its list of priorities related to potential increase scenarios.
Students are slated to vote today on whether leaders of Student Congress should receive stipends from student fees. The Student Code's Title I, also known as the Student Constitution, states that "no Student Congress member shall be entitled to a salary." But the speaker of Congress and the speaker pro tempore have received stipends in recent years, anyway. Speaker Charlie Anderson and Speaker Pro Tem Jen Orr have been offered stipends for their work this year but have declined to accept their checks.
Student Congress is set to discuss a resolution written in response to the Oct. 6 flag-burning incident in the Pit. But it's unnecessary for Congress to go into lengthy debate about the incident. It would be a complete waste of time. None of the state's laws need Congress' seal of approval. The legal system is doing pretty well on its own. Without any input from Student Congress, the law's denunciation of the burning of other people's personal property is clear enough.
Students will see a number of items on which to vote today, including choices for Homecoming representatives, special Student Congress elections and options for the senior class gift. There is also the issue of stipends for the speaker and speaker pro tempore of Student Congress. The Student Constitution holds that no member of Congress shall receive a salary - and it should stay that way.
Today, students have the opportunity to decide fairly and finally whether the Student Congress speaker and speaker pro tempore should receive compensation for their service to the student body. As far as the referendum to amend the Student Constitution, this one is simple and straightforward - at least it should be. The speaker and speaker pro tem are elected from the 40-member Congress at the outset of each session.