The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 6th


Bad shot selection

Student Congress saved students from a ticket distribution disaster last Tuesday. But, amusingly enough, it was Congress that put them in peril in the first place. A majority of Student Congress representatives voted down Tuesday the current distribution policy for the men's basketball season, then reversed that decision and approved the policy.

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A troubling trend

It is a sad state of affairs when members of the U.S. Congress defraud the very citizens whom they are elected to represent. Politicians are supposed to be servants of their constituents, and personal gain should be a distant second to that primary duty. Frank Ballance, a former Democratic U.S. congressman from the 1st District, ignored such a principle. He pled guilty Tuesday to using a charitable foundation as a means of channeling money to his law firm, family and church.

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Duty to the public

WUNC-FM acted appropriately when it recently changed the wording in an on-air announcement of contributions by Ipas, a Chapel Hill-based international women's rights and health organization. The local National Public Radio affiliate told Ipas representatives that the words "reproductive rights" had to be modified to avoid any potential conflict involving the Federal Communications Commission.

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Some post-election actions haven't been constructive

TO THE EDITOR: I am sure by now that most of us have seen our fellow students walking around in the conspicuous "STRIKE" T-shirts. I can honestly say - as a Democrat, a college student and an American - that nothing during the past few weeks has saddened or disgusted me more than these shirts. I think that the participation, political passion and voter turnout demonstrated by the UNC student body throughout the past months and culminating Nov. 2 has been absolutely amazing.

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Students should come out to see opera performances

TO THE EDITOR: While the campus might not be aware of it from The Daily Tar Heel's coverage, Carolina's Department of Music presents a plethora of musical events designed to resonate with a variety of musical interests (most are free). Today and Saturday will be no exception as UNC Opera Theatre presents "From Page to Opera Stage" at 8 p.m. in Hill Hall auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. The one-hour performance makes a great date and could also serve as a fine introduction to opera.

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Point: must they divest?

In training and preparing the nation's future doctors, U.S. medical schools share a vital responsibility. Paramount is the directive that doctors impose on themselves before beginning their practice: "First, do no harm." But according to a recent report, some of the best medical schools in the country are choosing not to follow this command - and it's a downright blemish on their otherwise good names.

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Neither side is focusing on real issues about abortion

TO THE EDITOR: I am writing in response to Jordan Stone's letter, "Federal funding of abortion itself is an example of imposing particular views." I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in Emily Batchelder's column to which Stone was responding, but Stone does make some important points. I think it is important to point out the apparent inability of both sides to recognize the other's argument.

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Statistics show full scope of the sexual assault epidemic

One of the reasons I am so vehemently pro-choice is that I feel that bodily sovereignty is one of the most significant issues facing women today. The idea that each woman owns her own body, on her own terms, at all times, is paramount in our struggle for equality and carries over into many other areas. It is fundamental that a woman control every aspect of her sexuality, primarily whether or not she will enter into any kind of sexual engagement.

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Counterpoint: must they divest?

A hospital is a business. Its profits are measured in lives. Any deviation from completely impartial, free-market business practices threatens the viability of a business and its potential to succeed. In this case, it threatens the lives that the business supports.

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Lessons unlearned

One would think that after chaos erupted from the 2000 election officials would have made voting procedures easier and more efficient before contests reached their climax last week. But that has turned out not to be entirely the case, and some North Carolinian candidates and constituents alike are continuing to feel the consequences. It's too bad that they are having to wait so long before any final result comes along, and it seems as if more could have been done to avoid such uncertainty.

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A new zero effect

In a proposed budget going before the UNC-system Board of Governors, system President Molly Broad has recommended that there be a systemwide 0 percent tuition increase. The suggestion not to implement a systemwide increase is the best proposal for BOG members to go with. The potential to apply downward pressure on legislators' tuition policy outweighs any gains to be made by trying to outguess them.

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Smart safety step

The UNC-system Safety Task Force did well to include a recommendation for background checks in a report to be submitted to UNC-system President Molly Broad. There's little doubt that something had to be done after the murders of two UNC-Wilmington students this year - the suspects in both of those cases lied about their criminal histories. It would be an impossible investment of resources for admissions officials to try to investigate criminal records for all applicants to UNC-system schools, but an ongoing effort to flag indicators of potential violence is in order.

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Deeper questions

The University has some major decisions to make in terms of its business ties to Gildan Activewear, a blank T-shirt supplier that works with UNC licensees. But University officials must make sure not to rush into those decisions. The Fair Labor Association and the Worker Rights Consortium cited Gildan for violating its workers' rights by not allowing them to associate freely, by withholding their pay and by harassing them. The company added fuel to the fire by shutting down a factory in Honduras and effectively laying off 1,000 employees.

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Toward resolution

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.

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Hope can lead to unexpected results of life's competitions

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.

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Ideal to be upheld

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.

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Dueling concerns

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.

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Price for U.S. House

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.

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Lowering the drinking age would be healthy way to go

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.

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