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How often do good intentions, when acted upon, become disastrous
Both The New York Times and National Public Radio covered such a
situation Wednesday when reporting the results of a study examining
the number of homosexuals discharged from the armed forces since
1993, when Bill Clinton attempted to end the military’s discrimination
of individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.
When the president wanted to end macro-level homophobia in the
military, some members of Congress, many citizens, and a few military
leaders were outraged. So he begins his habit of compromise, arguably
with little choice to do otherwise. The result: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
But it’s 1997, and in the four years since this presidential blunder,
many military personnel seem to be asking, and lots of people are telling,
as a report from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network indicates.
Now such discharges are higher than before the policy went into
efFect.The Times said discharges in the Air Force have risen 20 percent.
The issue here, however, has little to do with hotnosexuality. The real
question this report raises is how does one attempt to further a cause she
or he believes in without striking such a nerve in the opposition that the
cause beeoiiies lost?
How could Clinton have worked for the equality of homosexuals, a
population whose civil rights, not counting marriage, he says he believes
in, without stirring those who don’t share his opinion to muster up a
very powerful nation-wide counter campaign?
Perhaps we can all agree that Clinton’s effort was, in an historically
homophobic America, quite radical. Could a “conservative” approach
have proven more successful? A step-by-step “Accommodationist
approach,”rather than leap-by-leap, would be better.
Today, we know that when a president tries to force the country to
adopt an idea that a good majority of citizens obviously do not hold, the
people who suffer the most are not the people he works against. It’s the
people whom he wants to help, as the Pentagon’s report demonstrates.
By defying the differences fn opinion of many Americans in his effort
to further a less popular cause, Clinton accomplished little more than
create hostility and backlash. To “win” his moral battle he might have
been more successful had he questioned the motives of those who do not
share his opinion on homosexuals in the military.
Members of both “sides” must acquire a capacity for honestly, and
often painfully, acknowledging the reasons for their difference. Then
they may claim their own truths. Then they can argue it out, if necessary.
Serious consideration, somehow, legitimizes dissent.
By examining the whys beneath the actions of ourselves and others, we
can prevent counter actions that destroy rather than improve. We can
avoid creating astronomical problems when trying to soothe and heal
wounds that some, however unfortunately, have found ways to endure.
Rafrica Adams, Bonner Butler, Lara Barnett, Shelley Eller,
Elise Fox, Gary Gray, Robert Hardin, Kristi Howard,
Stephanie Hunter, Trish Johnson, Tracy Kelly,
Erin King, Melinda Pierson Adrien Sanders,Kristin Scobie,
Cnanse Simpson, Catharine Sutherland
Wendy McKinney Advertising Manager
Thomas Estes Circulation Manager
Nate Conroy Electronic Editor
Nate Conroy, James Hertsch, Pam Williams, Tracy Wilson
Mark West, faculty advisor
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Kyle S. Phipps
What UNCA needs is sculpture
Do you remember Lightning
Cloud Bass Note ?
No? This rather interesting sculp
ture sat at the top of Highsmith
stairs a few years ago. Mounted on
an aluminum base, this sculpture,
starting at the bottom, encompassed
a doughnut, a large diagonal line,
and a squiggle, all of them made of
(of course) aluminum.
As near as I can tell, the general
idea was for the line to be lightning,
the squiggly thing to be a cloud,
and the doughnut to be a whole
note on the bass staff ON the other
hand, when you looked from the
right angle, the entire assembly
looked much like an eighth note.
For all I know, the squiggly thing
might have been the lightning, and
something else the bass note.
Or, maybe the bass note was the
loud *BONG * it made when you
hit it on your way to class. The one
that actually made sense to me came
with the sudden realization that I
really hadn’t had enough sleep and
had been drinking too much caf
And then, there was the day that
the sculptor came by, and took
Lightning Cloud Bass Note back to
his studio, and that beautiful, er,
interesting sculpture would grace
our campus no more.
The thing is. Lightning Cloud Bass
Note had been an incomprehen
sible piece of modern abstract art,
but it had been our incomprehen
sible piece of modern abstract art.
the target of witty remarks, mock
ery, invective, and the rhetorical
slings and arrows of outraged col-
ern, the more abstract, the better.
We’ve got potential venues in front
of the cafeteria, in the Highsmith
plaza, and down in front of
Southridge, but there are absolutely
no sculptures in place.
I don’t know if they would en
hance the “liberal arts experience,”
or if they would bring students to a
higher, clearer understanding of the
arts, or anything like that. But, I do
honestly believe that works of this
nature add a certain character to a
campus—a certain character that
umni^ts. When I walk around the
campus now, it’s rather devoid of
sculpture. No Lightning Cloud Bass
Note. No Peace Cannon in front of
Zageir hall. No Icarus (actually, it
looked like the Batplane) in front
of Phillips Hall.
I’d like to see more sculptures
littering the campus—the more
incomprehensible, the more mod-
seems diminished when there aren’t
as many decorative pieces posi
tioned on the grounds.
Why do I bring this up now?
Because sculpture serves a con
crete purpose on the campus. Con
versation piece. Study nook. Beau-
tifier. And, aside from in front of
Owen Hall, there are no outdoor
sculptures on this campus (With
the exception of the front of Carol
Belk theater, but I liked
Temple better when it was there).
Considering the fact that there’s a
new master plan up for approval
soon, and that there are plans for a
new greenway along W.T. Weaver
Boulevard in the works, and that
the Student Government Associa
tion is liable to start sowing
pawprints all over University
Heights, it really does seem like a
good time to suggest we put up
What I’m worried about is that in
the flurry to build a more solid
infrastructure at the University,
somebody’s going to forget about
what happens to the campus when
we have these conversation pieces
University planning Ts a lot like a
formal dinner: you have your plates,
your forks, your tables, and your
knives and spoons and such—the
various implements you need to eat
without looking like a caveman.
Then, there are the other touches:
a nice tablecloth. A flower arrange
ment .on each table. Lace doilies
under the plates—little touches that
add a certain amount of class when
you have your friends over for a
When freshmen arrive at UNCA,
rfhey need good plates, solid tables,
and durable silverware. But, lace
doilies and flower arrangements
don’t hurt at all.
On a different note: does anybody
else have trouble pulling into the
old service entrance behind the caf
eteria at night? Although it used to
be clearly marked, the lack of a sign
there makes it hard for me to see it
I’ve taken a liking to the cafeteria
parking lot, but the nice lot does me
no good if I can’t see my way there
when I drive up from Weaver in the
middle of the night.
The sordid tales of an alleged felon
Okay folks, before I get started on
the story about my felony, I would
like to take a brief moment to thank
Dr. Eric Pyeritz, director of stu
dent health services. After my last
article, Dr. Pyeritz called me at
home to inquire about my last visit
to the student health facility. Some
things were cleared up during our
First and foremost, if you are in
jured on campus, you do not have
to notify the safety officer before
you see the doctor. You do need to
notify the safety officer, however,
within 24 hours of your injury.
The staff of student health services
has now been told this and so have
Thank you Dr. Pyeritz and thanks
for clearing up this small matter
with your staff It’s nice to know
people are actually taking a per
sonal interest in students and their
So, on with the felony. Many of
you may find this story silly, baf
fling, or you might even get a bit
outraged, not at the fact that I have
been charged, but at the felony
On February 6th, 1997 at ap
proximately 11:00 am, myself and
a friend of mine were in my car,
leaving UNCA campus. I was driv
ing down Edgewood Road toward
Merrimon Avenue, when I was
stopped by a police officer handing
out small bright yellow flyers. I
explained to the officer that I had
already received several of these fly
ers and understood them. I told the
officer I did not need another one,
that it was a waste of paper.
He sent me on my way, but before
my window was rolled up com
pletely, I heard him say, “Pull that
car over.” Another officer, about
twenty feet away from the first
pulled me. The second officer
walked to the back of my car and
then to my window and asked me
to move my car out of the way of
traffic. I did so.
Once in my new position, the
officer asked me if my car was reg
istered and I told him it was, but
that it was expired by six days and
that I was planning on renewing
my registration later that afternoon.
He smiled and said it was not six
days late, but 12 months overdue.
12 months??? Impossible.
He told me to look for myself I
did. He was right, to an extent. The
1997 sticker I had placed on my tag
in January of last year was, in fact,
no longer there.
He asked to see my registration. I
began the search. My car was ex
tremely messy and I was unable to
produce my regTstration. The of
ficer told me to wait. He went to his
car and came back about ten min
utes later. He then proceeded to
write me a ticket. OK so far.
But, then, as he began to explain
the ticket to me, he said it was a
felony. A felony? Yes, a felony.You
see, the officer told me he was un
able to find me in the computer.
He continued his explanation.
Not having your up-to-date regis
tration sticker displayed is a felony,
if the year showing is six months
Well, it was there. I put it there
and a friend saw me do so, but that
doesn’t matter right now, because
it’s a felony and I am being forced
to go to court to prove my inno
Innocence!!! I can only think of
two ways that sticker could have
been removed from my tag: a) natu
ral forces or b) criminal forces. Con
sidering my car was vandalized two
months ago. I’m leaning toward
criminal actions being the reason
for my sticker not being where I
Shame on me for not checking
my tag everyday before I drive my
car. Okay, none of
this sounds too terrible does it?
But, if for some bizarre reason. I’m
found guilty of this felony charge,
the minimum sentence is 60 days
This is absurd! Well, by goodness,
if I can be charged with a felony for
being a victim, I think I should be
allowed to buy a license plate cover
and bill either the DMV or the
police for the cost, because as of
right now, anybody can take those
stickers off tags in mere seconds
causing you to be eligible for a
felony. Well, Pshaw!
I have a lawyer who is looking into
this for me and luckily, we’ve found
a loophole, namely the ticket itself,
which states that “the named de
fendant did unlawfully and will
fully while displaying an expired
registration plate in the vehicle
knowing the same to be expired”.
Yes, I knew it to be expired by six
days, not 12 months. There is so
much more to this and I just don’t
have the room for the rest of the
story.So, I have a mandatory court
date (March 10, 1997) while their
are other “criminals” walking
around without mandatory court
dates. I also have the possibility of
going to jail for up to 60 days foij a
crime I did not commit.