North Carolina Newspapers

Thursday, November 1, 2001
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Readers' Forum
Student’s Death Not
Handled Appropriately
By Paper or University
Beneath The Daily Tar Heel title reads
“Serving the students and the University
Community since 1893.” Yet, the way the
DTH reported the death of UNC senior
Daniel Walker made the paper seem dis
tant from the students it supposedly serves.
Four articles were devoted to Walker, all
of which focused on his drug-related death.
Only 100 words out of all four articles report
ed on the kind of person he was and what he
contributed to the University community.
I spoke with City Editor Kellie Dixon,
and she insisted it was the paper’s respon
sibility to warn other students about the
dangers of drugs. I argue that perhaps if stu
dents saw how Walker was a real person -
a peer who went to class with them and
worked on Franklin Street, who loved the
outdoors and partied like any college stu
dent -then students could identify with the
story and stop and think about the chances
they may be taking with their own lives.
If the DTH really serves its students, it
could have reported on how the University
never held a memorial for Walker on cam
pus although many friends requested it.
Board Editorials
Endorsing Aldermen Candidates
Jacquelyn Gist, John Herrera and Diana McDuffee are the most qualified candidates for open seats
All six candidates for the Board of
Aldermen have similar platform goals -
increasing affordable housing, protecting the
environment and making sure residential
taxes stay low. But for the three seats, these
candidates stand out in the fall 2001 election.
Jacquelyn Gist
Jacquelyn Gist has spent the last 12 years
representing Carrboro on its Board of
Aldermen leading the town through a busy
and exciting time.
Gist, an incumbent
candidate, should con
tinue to fill a seat on
Carrboro’s Board of
Aldermen. Her focus on
active citizen decision
making and her concern
for the Carrboro com
munity adds a balance
of experience and compassion to the board.
Her proposal to establish a citizen’s
agenda committee to meet and discuss the
board’s actions is a tangible and important
The proposal’s aim to include students
and minorities is also fitting and timely for
Carrboro, whose population is roughly
one-third students and whose Hispanic
population is growing.
Gist also will continue to work for the
environment, namely protection of the
Bolin Creek Corridor by working with
county, state and nonprofit agencies to pur
chase land along the creek. She also has
suggested the creation of a Living Lab to be
used by environmentalists, scientists and
residents for both education and recreation.
Gist not only plans to preserve this area but
use it in the best interests of the Carrboro
community and the area.
She also plans to keep supporting afford
able housing and work hard for legislation to
allow the town to require developers to build
lower cost houses in each new development.
Regional transportation, an important
issue for the growing community and area, is
also supported by Gist
She plans to continue supporting alterna
tive modes of transportation and the
improvements to the bus system.
Carrboro needs to help maintain the
board’s experience level and its open ear to
the community. Gist’s re-election to the
There were four memorials for New York
but not one for UNC’s own student. A lot
of discussion about Walker’s death took
place on campus, but the DTH did not
report its student’s reactions. Everyone
knows mainstream media makes painful
situations worse for loved ones. The DTH,
as Walker’s school newspaper, could have
stood out from other papers and reported
the whole story. Instead, the DTH did what
every other newspaper did: ignored Daniel
Walker the person and painted him as the
drug abuser he was not. I guess mimicking
big-name newspapers and printing half true
stories is how the DTH won the “Pulitzer of
College Journalism.” Congratulations.
Jesse Wharton
English and Women's Studies
Senior Challenges Leader
To Come Forward and
Set the Record Straight
As I have been reading the letters to the
editor over the last week and have been over
hearing rumors about the demanding lead
ership of my senior class, I have become very
disappointed and embarrassed.
Board of Aldermen will secure that presence.
John Herrera
Diversity. Desire for community involve
ment. Concern for affordable housing and
better transportation systems. These are
some of the qualities that the DTH Editorial
Board sees and appreciates in John
Herrera, a candidate for
the Carrboro Board of
If elected, Herrera
will be the first, first
generation Latino-
Hispanic immigrant to
hold a position in
municipal government
in North Carolina.
This will prove to be a significant step
toward providing a stronger Hispanic voice
in Carrboro, whose growing Hispanic pop
ulation currently accounts for 12 percent of
the town’s residents.
Herrera expresses strongly in his plat
form a commitment to making sure that
families new to Carrboro do not lose their
homes or leave the town because of high
residential taxes and land prices.
He plans on easing residential taxes for
homeowners by promoting economic growth
in areas such as tourism and the arts.
Affordable housing is one of the most
heated topics across the board among can
didates for government positions in both
Carrboro and Chapel Hill this year.
Herrera wants to continue a partnership
with state and federal agencies to pursue
further ways not only to provide more
affordable housing but also to ensure that
the availability of affordable housing in the
area does not decline.
In addition to the housing situation, trans
portation is another area of concern that
Herrera plans to address if elected. With an
increasing overall population and an
already dismal parking situation, Herrera
wants to take initiative by seeking state and
federal funding for additional transportation
systems in Carrboro.The issues at hand all
stem from a growing population in the state
and region.
As North Carolina’s most densely popu
lated town, Carrboro needs people on the
Board of Aldermen who have the ideas and
means to address the problems. John
I received an e-mail Tuesday evening
from Ursula Dimmling, now the former
senior class vice president, announcing her
resignation to the senior class listserv. This
e-mail and two recent letters to the editor
have all presented various senior officers
and/or friends of officers taking personal
stabs at one another for all the campus to
see. I am being bombarded with these
statements while at the same time I have
not been given any information that allows
me to understand the reasoning behind
such immature behavior.
I challenge an unbiased, informed per
son to please step forward and inform the
rest of the student body as to what these
attacks against one another are really
about And to the officers and leaders of the
student body who are still fulfilling their
elected roles, remember why you have the
position that you have. Your fellow seniors
chose you to represent their interests in the
decisions to be made concerning the events
that will affect and impact our last year at
UNC. In a time where the idea of democ
racy is being challenged on a broader scale,
can’t we at least try to ensure that such a
system is not corrupted here?
Lauren Morley
Herrera is one such candidate.
Diana McDuffee
In the town of Carrboro there are six
candidates vying for three openings on the
city’s Board of Alderman.
One candidate is incumbent Diana
McDuffee, who has served on the board since
1995. McDuffee brings
with her six years of
experience, and during
that time she has helped
to make Carrboro a
thriving community
amid the growing pains
of area expansion.
McDuffee’s focused
vision for Carrboro
entails a balanced mix of economic devel
opment, affordable housing, open-space
regulations and new recreation facilities for
the town. What distances McDuffee from
her opponents is her emphasis on student
participation in local government. Many
residents of Carrboro are UNC students,
and it is important that they have a voice in
dealing with community issues. Her pro
posal for an ad hoc citizen’s committee is
an excellent way for student’s to work with
other residents to make decisions on vital
issues that will benefit the town as it adapts
to the area’s fast-paced expansion.
McDuffee also recognizes the need to
improve public transportation. Her hard
work in the past has seen the institution of
fare-free busing and increased service to
more destinations throughout the county.
Her desire to extend public transit capabil
ities beyond the Emits of Carrboro is essen
tial to the area’s growth. Regional trans
portation will only help to ease traffic con :
gestion as more routes are established
throughout the county.
Diane McDuffee has proven her ability
to lead, and if re-elected she will continue
to strive for the well-being of the city and its
surrounding community.
The DTH editor, the editorial page editor,
the assistant editorial page editor and the edi
torial board endorse candidates in all races.
They base their decision on a questionnaire
and a platform submitted by the candidate.
Endorsements for Board of Education will run
Friday, for Chapel Hill Town Council on
Monday and for mayoral races Tuesday.
Senior Class President
Offers Apology, Looks
Forward to Fresh Start
I would first like to apologize for what
appears to be a charade of mass chaos
among the senior class officers. True, we
have recently been faced with many serious
challenges and obstacles.
However, I would like to assure you as
my constituents that the resignation of Vice
President Dimmling will not hinder any of
the goals that we have set for our class. It is
not necessary to rehash what led to
Dimmling’s resignation (thus perpetuating a
batde of mudslinging).
Our adviser, the marshals and myself
have not forgotten that we must fill the
offices of vice president and chief marshal.
Luckily, many of our extremely talented
marshals have already expressed interest in
stepping up.
I am confident in saying that these posi
tions will be filled by the best leaders of our
class.With that said, the marshals and I are
excited about the vast spectrum of oppor
tunity that lies before us, and we anxious
ly anticipate a fresh start.
Now we can move forward and begin
successfully fulfilling the promises I made
Touching But
Not Really: Is
It Innocent?
One of my funniest Halloween memories came fresh
man year. I was with a large group of people that
included my older sister and some friends of hers I
didn’t know.
We started off at a house on Rosemary Street. While we
were there, I noticed that one guy was especially quiet.
Every now and then he’d laugh at a joke or say a few words
to one of his friends. Other than that,
he just sat, smiling, on the couch
wearing a Superman T-shirt and
Then, about 20 minutes into our
walk down Franklin Street, a girl in a
sexed-up nurse’s uniform grabbed
him, and they started making out.
After a few minutes they went their
ways, and our group moved on.
I know that Halloween brings out
all sorts of unusual behavior in peo-
ple. The whole event is about inverting the normal order of
things. We can dress up as people we’d never dare to be
any other night and play completely different roles.
We can scream, party and wear scandalous clothing on
Franklin Street without really even drawing attention tq
And yet, though students in Chapel Hill seem to kiss
strangers on Halloween more than any other time, it’s cer
tainly not limited to that night.
On one hand, who’s to say it’s bad? It’s harmless. It’s
kissing, just kissing.
So many people do so much worse. And yet some peo
ple say it’s wrong. It’s cheap - just a cleaner, safer version
of sleeping around. The people who do it are “virgin sluts,”
good girls and boys trying to act bad but avoid guilt.
Besides, just in terms of germs, it’s a little gross.
Other people say it’s not wrong, exacdy, but empty - no
real potential for a relationship, no sincere closeness to the
other person, not much emotion involved.
These points sound true, but they also sound like the
reasons people give for doing it. First of all, it’s deviance
with safety. It happens in a public place. Nothing too scary
or serious can happen. If the person takes things too far,
simply walk away. If he turns out to be a jerk or just not so
interesting and good looking after all, nothing much has
been lost.
Secondly, it provides the opportunity for empty, meaning
less interaction. You don’t know the person and understand
that you most likely will never take die time to get to know
him later. Therefore, most personality flaws or incompati
bilities either have not yet surfaced or usually can be over
looked. Maybe he has an ultra-conservative mother who
would hate you and talk to her friends about the little ear
ring on the top of your left ear. No problem. He might lis
ten to Nine Inch Nails and wear dirty socks to bed. It does
n’t matter.
If he’s from western Pennsylvania and says “you’unz”
and “warsh,” you don’t even have to decide if these words
annoy you. After all, this person needs to stay attractive for
only a brief period of time - an evening, tops.
Sometimes, people who meet each other this way do call
one another, have conversations or even start to date each
other. In these cases, though, the situation takes on mean
ing and the participants become somewhat important to
each other, which turns the event into something different
entirely - either solving its cheapness and emptiness or
ruining its wildness and irrelevance, depending on how
you see it.
Different people look for different experiences. Heck,
the same people look for different experiences depending
on what’s happened to them lately.
Sure, meaningless kissing that you forget about the next
day won’t give you what you’d get from a boyfriend a girl
friend, but sometimes to some people, that probably seems
pretty desirable.
Relationships require effort and commitment but can
hurt. Then again, being completely alone can seem lonely.
“Hooking up” or “pulling” seems to meet somewhere in
the middle. Maybe it offers a temporary solution, but it also
could mean baby steps towards allowing for something
more permanent in your life.
Thinking back to the guy on Halloween, in a strange
way, it makes sense. Most of the night, he didn’t talk. If any
of the people who didn’t know him started a conversation
with him, his ears turned red.
So, if he wanted to kiss someone, the situation he picked
suited him well -a way of kissing in which people never
seem to touch one another and almost forget the next day
that they have.
Marian Crotty can be reached
to you last semester namely representing
you as students. A window of opportunity
has opened and good things are just around
the comer. For instance, the First Annual
Poplar Ball will be held next Thursday,
Nov. 8.
The Unsung Founders Memorial, our
senior gift, is in the beginning stages of
After this year’s fall Senior Week we will
continue to serve you by offering more
activities to bring our class together in an
unforgettable way.
The marshals and I welcome any com
ments or questions that you might have.
Thank you for your time.
Ben Singer
Class of 2002
This letter was co-signed by senior mar
shals Eric Berg, Josh Bosin, Andy Brauer,
Adina Dubin, Marcus Harvey, Mike Hyatt,
Tim Kincaid, Reida Lawerence, Emily
Lemons, Kelly Lucas, Chaz Lusk, Jheanne
Malit, Reginald Benitez Manning, Courtney
McCarthy, Brian Oten, Tara Pierce, Shawn
Brooks, Brook Roper, Cameron Russell,
John Scerri, Tomeka Suber, Moira
Vanderhoof, Brittany Whitesell, Bryon
Wilson, Andy Villa, Pratt Butler, Cammie
D’Alpe and Shayla Higginbotham.
Sbr Daily (Tar
The Daily Taf Heel wel
comes reader comments
and criticism. Letters to
the editor should be no
longer than 300 words
and must be typed, dou
ble-spaced, dated and
signed by no more than
two people. Students
should include their year,
ma|or and phone num
ber. Faculty and staff
should include their title,
department and phone
number. The DTH reserves
the right to edit letters
for space, clarity and vul
garity. Publication is not
guaranteed. Bring letters
to the DTH office at Suite
104, Carolina Union, mail
them to P.O. Box 3257,
Chapel Hill, NC 27515 or
e-mail forum to:

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