The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday January 26th


Freedom defanged

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College administrators ventured into dangerous territory when they pulled the plug on an instructor's showing of "Fahrenheit 9/11" in class during the week before Nov. 2. They probably didn't know what wire they were tripping over. RCCC's administration should apologize for suspending Davis March, an instructor at the college for more than 20 years. March acted within the acceptable limits of an academic setting - he should not have been censored in his approach.

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Generalizations about sexual imagery don't clear things up

When Playboy's "Girls of the ACC" issue came out this year, people approached me about it constantly. They wanted to know why, as a feminist, I wasn't up in arms about it or, at the very least, making some kind of an issue out of it. And I'll be completely honest with you: I ducked the subject. I didn't avoid it because I didn't care. I avoided it because I wasn't sure where I stood. I think that my feelings are on par with those of a lot of women my age, and perhaps with those of most women in general.

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Language failure

Rabah Samara might feel sorry for the death of Tar Heel Sports Network reporter Stephen Gates - but Samara's regret doesn't make up for the fact that justice ultimately was not served. Samara was found not guilty of hit-and-run charges in relation to the car accident that killed Gates. The jury found that the wording of N.C. law didn't qualify the incident as a hit-and-run. The state rule must be changed so that someone is held accountable should a similar case come to court in the future.

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Foster's defense of benign act was not pointless at all

TO THE EDITOR: Last week's editorial - "What's the point?" - argued that Foster "did the University community no favors by launching an ineffective defense." However, this opinion is flawed by a misunderstanding of basic aspects of the University's honor system. Most shocking is the Editorial Board's suggestion that by attending a "preliminary meeting, (Foster) could have avoided Honor Court action in the first place." This reflects a profound lack of understanding on the part of the Editorial Board.

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Face up to the facts

Last year, the Educational Foundation wasn't able to meet its scholarship obligations for the first time in the club's history. It was hundreds of thousands of dollars short - a sure sign that the increase in the athletic scholarship budget over time has taken its toll.

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Taking a baby step

Thanks to the town's Land-Use Management Ordinance, 15 percent of units in most new residential developments must be affordable housing - defined by the Chapel Hill Town Council as any unit affordable for individuals or families whose incomes are at or below 80 percent of the area median income for a family of four. That's a rule the town should work to keep up, and recent efforts by the council to bolster the plan should be applauded.

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Short of the prize

A number of students recently have been vocal in their complaints about the ticket distribution process for UNC sporting events - and it's only right that they should be. Many students waited for several hours this Saturday, and on many other Saturdays in the past, only to receive no tickets. They're understandably unhappy about getting up early and having nothing to show for it.

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Not what we need

The Office of State Budget and Management recently told state agencies they will be hit with one-time budget cuts of 0.75 percent to help finance emergency hurricane relief. UNC-Chapel Hill's contribution will be about $2.85 million. It's really a shame, and a tough position for the UNC system, especially UNC-CH, to be in. The cuts represent almost $3 million University officials had thought would be in place this year.

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Much-needed limit

The large amount of paper that finds its way into recycling bins in campus computer labs is a clear sign that a significant change needs to take place. Even the most conservation-unconscious observer could surmise that many students aren't being very efficient in the labs. And who can blame them? The number of pages that students can print in a single sitting has no noticeable bounds. They might chalk up the wasted paper to a typo-ridden report here and an accidental reprint there, multiplied by the multitude of people who use the printing labs every day.

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Stopping just short

For last week's meeting of the UNC-system Board of Governors, member Willie Gilchrist proposed a resolution to hinder campus-based tuition increases for in-state students. Passage of the resolution would have been a step in the right direction, as it took into account the interests of students at UNC-Chapel Hill and throughout the system. Unfortunately, the BOG failed to pass it.

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Win-win situation

Although his men's basketball team was predicted to lose its exhibition game against UNC last week, Mount Olive College coach Bill Clingan had entered into a win-win situation. Sure, the final score of 100-69 in the Tar Heels' favor wasn't his ideal outcome. But the coach obviously cared more about getting his players the experience that comes with playing a major power such as UNC than with actually winning the game.

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Too many dollars

The Tuition Advisory Task Force's recommendations made up a small step of a lengthy process, but the group missed a major opportunity to send trustees a message that exploitative increases are unwanted. The task force presented three recommendations to the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, calling for an in-state tuition hike of $250 to $350 and an out-of-state tuition increase of $800 to $1200. That's simply too much. In a year following major campus-based increases, we need a tuition freeze.

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Take it from me, don't forsake your own mental well-being

Last year, I got stuck in a rut. I'm still not exactly sure why, but it royally - emphasis on royally - sucked. I lost interest in everything I enjoyed, half-heartedly completed class assignments and gave almost everyone in every capacity of my life the shaft. Every day, critical questions spun through my head like a cassette tape stuck on fast-forward. "What's your problem?" "Why don't you just snap out of it?" "What do you have to feel sorry about?" I couldn't think of anything.

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Staying in control

Members of the University community are protesting the possibility that UNC might accept money from the Raleigh-based John William Pope Foundation to fund a Western civilization program. Though guarding against the influence of outside groups on the University and protecting the spirit of academic freedom are noble goals, this funding proposal should be no cause for consternation.

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Group created shirts to call out apathy and cynicism that plague United States

TO THE EDITOR: We were happy to see Christopher Bathon's letter regarding the "Strike" shirts visible on campus last week. His response is proof that the shirts are generating conversation, which was the goal. We would like to take this opportunity to clear up Chris. We firmly believe that participation in the democratic process does not end on Election Day. We, too, were inspired by the passion demonstrated by our peers leading up to Nov. 2, and we hope to capture this momentum and to inspire people to believe in their ability to create change.

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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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