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.
When exploring the University's history, certain highlights of the past leap to the forefront. William Richardson Davie pushing a bill to create the University through the N.C. General Assembly. Frank Porter Graham guiding the University through the Great Depression, consolidation and World War II. UNC-system President Bill Friday, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor William Aycock, Student Body President Paul Dickson III and others working to repeal the Speaker Ban Law of June 1963.
Hidden amongst the glamour of presidential candidates' names and the minutiae of obscure elected offices is a proposal known as Amendment One. N.C. citizens should turn the measure down when it appears on the November ballot. Amendment One would allow local governments to issue bonds without voters' permission. As it stands now, local and municipal governments must pass referendums in order to go into debt to finance streets, schools, fire stations and other public works.
As the Duke University basketball game approaches us on Sunday, much will be written and said in the media about the great rivalry that we share on the basketball court with the pricks from Durham. Dickie V.