Friday, November 9, 2001
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No Easy Solutions to
Problems in Congress
TO THE EDITOR:
I am writing this letter in regards to
the editorial entided “Confederacy of
Dunces” which appeared on Nov. 7.
In the editorial, the author suggests
that the current districting system,
which is based on where an under
graduate lives, is the cause of the
“rampant” student apathy toward stu
dent elections and suggested that
changes be made to the districting
policy in order to encourage better
voter turnout. However, many of the
suggestions voiced by the editorialist
are simply not feasible.
The bulk of the editorial suggested
that Student Congress abandon the
current system of districting in favor
of a districting based on an under
graduate’s major. Student Congress
cannot base districts upon undergrad
uate majors for a myriad of reasons.
Primarily, students tend to change
their majors more often than they
change their socks. There would be
no real way of determining who is
what major and when. And what of all
The University's plan to open a Qatari campus will benefit everyone involved
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Never
reject hundreds of millions of dollars unless
some kind of illegal or immoral activity is
involved. It’s a rule that the University
should follow as it considers establishing a
satellite campus in the Middle
Eastern nation of Qatar. The
possibility of such a campus is
one that benefits both parties.
Creating a UNC-Chapel
Hill campus in Qatar could be
a financial windfall that brings the
University close to Chancellor James
Moeser’s goal of raising a billion dollars for
Qatar will receive an addition to its
growing educational area called Education
City, in its capital city of Doha. Education
City already contains satellite campuses of
Cornell Medical School and Virginia
Kenan-Flagler will represent the business
section of the city. The UNC-CH-Q cam
pus will aid in the education of a number of
... or Foreign Entanglement?
Administrators are prostituting the reputation of the University for dubious reasons
Money talks and principle walks when
foreign donors come courting the
UNC’s latest plan to increase its interna
tional prestige is a satellite campus of the
business school in the obscure
Middle Eastern emirate of
Qatar. Administrators claim
that the campus will cement
the University’s reputation as a
school of international repute.
That might be true, but it begs the ques
tion of whether establishing such a campus
is consistent with the University’s mission.
The administration will probably benefit
from higher rankings, and Qatar will cer
tainly benefit from the presence of a
respected American university -but what
about the students?
Since its inception, the University’s pri
mary mission has to been to educate the
native sons (and, eventually, daughters) of
North Carolina and prepare them to enter
those undeclared undergrads out
there? Does “undeclared” count as a
major? Secondly, there are over 100
undergraduate majors offered at
UNC. In the editorial, the author con
tends that the current 37 congression
al seats should be decreased; so then
why does he then suggest we institute
120-something as would be the case if
Congress went to a major-based dis
Another issue raised by the editori
alist was one of attendance in Student
Congress. Yes, attendance has been a
slight problem in Student Congress.
Similarly, we also have attendance
records of those who were present
and those who were absent from
Congress meetings. Our Principal
Clerk Kari Hanson monitors atten
dance, and the records are kept on file
in the Congress office.
In closing, let me state that Student
Congress earnestly wants to fill the
few empty congressional seats. We
certainly value all student input, as we
here in Congress were elected to serve
you, our constituents.
Qatari women, as the wife of Qatar’s ruling
emir has pledged that class size will consist
of 60 percent women -much like “the
ratio” here in Chapel Hill.
The UNC-Chapel Hill campus in Qatar
will remain very much an
American educational institu
tion. UNC has received
strong promises that intellec
tual freedom will be respect
ed, and professors will try to
create an atmosphere of class participation
and discussion similar to what students here
Competitive admissions standards will
also apply, as all Qatari applicants will be
judged by the same criteria as potential stu
dents at the home campus.
Furthermore, UNC has a unique oppor
tunity for international exposure in an area
of the world that has a less-than-stellar rep
utation when it comes to relations with the
West. For example, UNC faculty would be
able to teach abroad and share their knowl-
the world. Unfortunately, that mission has
been obscured in recent years by the
administration’s quest to improve its status
relative to its peers. Rankings, not students,
have become the primary concern of
University’s Qatar venture
merely confirms this.
In all likelihood, no student
at UNC will ever set foot on
the proposed Doha campus.
Similarly, no Qatari student likely will ever
be required to visit the University, yet grad
uates of the satellite business school will
receive a diploma that reads “University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”
Thus a UNC education is transformed
into a commodity that can be bought and
sold like a pair of sneakers. How, exactly,
does this benefit students?
Administrators claim that there is noth
ing untoward about such an arrangement,
that other universities have similar pro-
Writer Didn’t Know
What String Cheese
Incident Was About
TO THE EDITOR:
In Thursday’s paper there was a
review of the homecoming concert
presented by String Cheese Incident
in Memorial Hall, “Fans Get High on
String Cheese Incident.” When I first
read this article I noticed right from
the start that staff writer Michelle
Jarboe did not truly appreciate what a
phenomenal show the band put on.
Also, if she knew what the band
was about she would have know that
they are known for their long jam ses
sions, which are unique in their own
right, not just a ripped-off style from
Phish or the Grateful Dead. Great
bands don’t have to run around the
stage to put on a great show. Great
shows are made by great bands and
crowds that respond to the show with
the energy that was in Memorial Hall
Wednesday. An energy that lasted
over three hours last night.
edge with a different culture.
The satellite campus will be part of a
Middle Eastern state that is relatively pro
gressive in its own right and is making a
concerted effort to educate all of its citizens,
male and female.
UNC should take pride in knowing that
the University will play an integral role in
the education of a historically underrepre
sented part of society - Middle Eastern
On the home front, UNC likely would
incur no out-of-pocket costs in building,
staffing or maintaining the educational
facilities in Qatar, as all expenses would be
taken care of by the Qatari monarchy. This
way, UNC students at the home campus
will not have valuable resources taken
away from them.
All of the benefits created by a campus
in Qatar far outweigh any negatives that are
attached to the project. Given these bene
fits, this project should quickly proceed to
the next stage of development.
grams in Qatar and in other countries. But
if “everybody else is doing it” is the best
defense that they can muster, the program
is truly flawed.
Beyond the question of the propriety of
pimping out the University’s reputation to
the highest bidder, there are numerous
logistical problems about locating an
American university campus in an area
steeped in Muslim fundamentalism while
U.S. forces wage war against a perverted
form of Islam. (This a week a man was
killed after he shot at a U.S.-occupied air
field in Qatar.) Faculty members have
raised valid concerns about freedom of
expression and personal safety that have
not been satisfactorily addressed.
But even if these issues did not exist, the
fact would remain that the chancellor and
other administrators have prostituted the
name and reputation of the University. But
they have taught students at least one les
son: everything truly does have a price tag.
The Daily Tar 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,
major 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:
queen and congressional representatives, much to
the chagrin of all 12 voters.
"Shoved overboard" is more-accurate.
Tar Heel Quotables
“As long'as you don’t make very negative
remarks on their religious beliefs,
intellectual freedom will be respected.”
Faculty Council Chairwoman Sue Estroff
On the Qatari hosts of a proposed UNC satellite campus.
Apparently there’s no word there for 'irony.”
“It has been great, but I just want a little
sleep and a huge gin and tonic.”
Carrboro Mayor Mike Nelson
After his victory in Tuesday's election. That’s how we like
our local politicians: lazy and drunk.
On: News You
Need to Know
Sometimes stories here at the University fall through
the cracks. I catch them for a segment that I like to
call “I Completely Ripped This Off From ‘The Daily
Clef Hanger Ticket Scandal Uncovered
Rumors are running rampant that ticket distribution for
tonight’s Clef Hanger concert is rigged. Hordes of adoring
fans were disappointed when they discovered that their
tickets were for the balcony or mezza
“This is crazy!” said an underclass
man in a tight-fitting pink halter top.
“I was 18th in line when tickets went
on sale in the Pit on Monday. And
now, I’m like, in the far back or
Her anger was made evident by
her standard issue 2 1/2 inch silver
hoops that smacked her face every
time she tossed her hair.
Traditionally, the Clef Hangers
reserve the first couple of rows for family and friends. This
year, row ‘R’ was the first available public seat, meaning
upward of 500 seats were reserved for the performance by
the 16-member, all-male a cappella group.
Infuriated, several female groupies lodged a complaint
with the ever-capable Student Congress, demanding the
creation of anew “Clef Code” seating policy.
Not even Ward Davis’ randy rendition of “Can’t Take
My Eyes Off of You” could stop the ladies from demanding
a bracelet system, complete with scanned UNC ONE
Cards, and a 6 a.m. line check for the next distribution of
When reached for comment, a Clef Hangers spokesman
said, “What the f*#s are you talking about?”
Chancellor Moeser Discovers Students Attend UNC
After returning from an all-expense paid trip to the
anticipated UNC campus in Doha, Qatar, Chancellor
James Moeser was shocked to learn students live and
attend classes at UNC-Chapel Hill. Walking outside of his
South Building office Tuesday to enjoy the unusually warm
November weather, Moeser noticed lots of “litde people
with bookbags.” He pointed out this interesting collection
of young people crossing the quad to a member of his
“They’re students, James,” the middle-aged white man
responded to the chancellor’s inquisitive glance.
“Oh, they’re the ones who do the research,” Moeser
exclaimed, finally connecting the research dollars he’s been
furiously raising with the people who use the funds.
“Not exactly, Jimbo. They’re here to learn.”
“Learn what?” asked Moeser, who only ventures out of
his office to raise more money.
“Whatever an undergraduate degree is supposed to
teach them,” the functionary answered.
Another member of his administrative entourage piped
up, “They’re the ones who wave the pompoms at football
Moeser, who is completely unaware that his predecessor
used to actually talk to students on campus, replied, “Oh,
right.” He then descended into his secret subterranean lair
to play his pipe organ and cackle hysterically.
Administration Screws Students, No One Notices
First came the tuition increase solely for faculty salaries,
resulting in an immense student protest in front of
Morehead Planetarium. Then came the grade inflation
report, and a handful of students attended a forum that the
Now out-of-state students are retroactively coughing up
more than S4OO dollars, and they’re too busy lining up out
side the financial aid office to complain about the increase.
The University’s latest attempt to screw over students is
its plan to restrict residential student parking to six spaces.
The Faculty Council was reportedly enthusiastic about the
long-overdue changes. Students were like, “What?”
But no one really cares about any of this - so why waste
space reporting it?
Students are already resigned to paying an extra grand
for a 2.7 grade point average handed down by an assort
ment of teaching assistants and never receiving a parking
space. They are still holding out hope, however, for a win
ning basketball season.
Rachel Hockfield will return next week with a cornucopia
of touching Thanksgiving anecdotes about giving and cran
berry sauce. Clef Hangers may send serenades to
Welcome to Florida
Computer server problems compli
cated Wednesday's campus elec
tions for Homecoming king and
Richard Vinroot dropped his bid for
U.S. Senate but said he wasn't
nudged aside by GOP leaders.
iaily (Tor Hppl
OVER MY HEAD
University officials returned from a
weekend trip to Qatar, where they
learned about its culture and histo-
ry. Unfortunately, they still can't pronounce its
UNC-system officials learned they
won't have to return as much state
money as they once feared. Now
construction will only be set back by 10 years.
“They can hide, but there are no magic
carpets in Afghanistan.”
Former National Security Adviser
On U.S. efforts to hunt down foreign terrorists. Hell, there
isn't even shag carpeting in Afghanistan.
“This University is the most stupidest place
I have ever been. That administration is
"Pit Preacher" Gary Birdsong
Apparently, proper grammar is pure evil.