The blue banner. online resource ([Asheville, N.C.]) 1984-current, February 27, 1997, Image 2
Page 2 The Banner Opinions February 27,1997 The Banner Editorial How often do good intentions, when acted upon, become disastrous turns? 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. Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor News Editor Features Editor Sports Editor Photo Editor Copy Editor Staff 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 Columnists Nate Conroy, James Hertsch, Pam Williams, Tracy Wilson Mark West, faculty advisor The Banner is the student newspaper of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. We publish each Thursday except during summer sessions, final exam weeks and holiday breaks. Our offices are located in Carmichael Hall, Room 208-A. Our telephone number is (704) 251-6586. Our campus e-mail address is email@example.com. An on-line version of The Banner is also available at http://www.unca.edu/banner/ Nothing in our editorial or opinions sections necessarily reflects the opinion of the entire Banner staff, the faculty advisor, or the university faculty, administration or staff Unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of The Banner editorial board. Letters, columns, cartoons and reviews represent only the opinions of their respective authors. The BannerwiAcomts submissions of letters and articles for publica tion. All submissions are subject to editing for clarity, content and length and are considered on the basis of interest, space, taste, and timeliness. Letters should be typed, double-spaced, and should not exceed 300 words. Letters for publication should also contain the author's signature, classification, major or other relationship with UNCA. The deadline for letters is noon on Tuesday. If you have a submis sion, you can send it to The Banner, 208A Carmichael Hall, One University Heights, Asheville NC 28804. The deadline for display ads and the FYI calendar is on Monday at noon. The deadline for classified ads is at noon on Tuesday. Michael Taylor Jennifer Thurston Renee Slaydon Brian Castle Kyle S. Phipps Del DeLorm Matthew Gibson 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 feine. 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. James Hertsch columnist 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 these sculptures. 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 around. 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 dinner party. 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 at night. 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 phone call. 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 you. 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 well-being. 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 itself On February 6th, 1997 at ap proximately 11:00 am, myself and PaiTi Williams | columnist I 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. What?! He continued his explanation. Not having your up-to-date regis tration sticker displayed is a felony, if the year showing is six months past due. 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 cence. 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 put it. 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 in jail! 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. Great country.