VOLUME 112, ISSUE 32
TAs petition for salary hike
SAY LOW GRAD STUDENT WAGES
PUTTING UNC AT DISADVANTAGE
BY GREG PARKER
A graduate student committee is con
ducting a postcard petition drive that
began last Thursday in an effort to pres
sure University administrators to increase
graduate student employee salaries.
On Thursday, Provost Robert
Shelton’s office received 150 postcards
sent through the campus mail system.
They were die first of approximately 700
that the Graduate Student Organizing
BY TRISTAN SHOOK
North Carolina’s economy
showed signs of life in March after
revenues from corporate income
taxes, giving economists and legis
lators some hope that the worst of
the state’s economic woes are over.
Corporate tax collection
jumped almost 40 percent com
pared with last year’s March total.
Estimates made before the total
was released predicted only a 4.4
“The increase was due to the
fact that in 2003, corporations
had a dramatically improved prof
it picture,” legislative economist
David Crotts said.
The $76.6 million improvement
was a reflection of changes made by
N.C. companies as they responded
to the recession, Crotts said.
Companies were forced to
become more efficient, downsize
employees and implement other
Overall this fiscal year, tax rev
enue is growing by 5.1 percent,
outpacing the 4 percent growth
estimated in the state budget.
The state has collected $112.5
million more than projected in the
fiscal year’s first nine months.
“I think it shows that we’ve been
good stewards of our resources,”
said N.C. Sen. Charlie Albertson,
Albertson said he hopes the rev
enue growth will help address
issues left unattended during the
state’s latest budget crunch. He
added that the most pertinent
issues are pay increases for state
employees and higher education
funding geared toward faculty
retention and increased enroll
But while the March numbers
came as a welcome surprise, par
ticularly in an economic milieu
defined by a bottom line that has
lingered in the red, they are little
SEE SURPLUS, PAGE 6
Town still collecting
red light camera fines
BY KATHRYN GRIM
Although Chapel Hill’s red light
cameras have been shut down,
drivers who have yet to pay for
citations earned through violations
captured on the devices can expect
the town to come collecting.
In January, the Chapel Hill
Town Council voted 5-4 to end its
three-year contract with Affiliated
Computer Services, the Texas
based company that installed the
cameras at the end of August.
The town has not yet sent ACS
any percentage of the payments
collected from the citations, Town
Traffic Engineer Kumar Neppalli
ACS collected the fees to be
placed in a town account for cita
Grand chapter meeting focuses on discussion of
Sister Sorority Week events and projects PAGE 6
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
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Shelton said that the petition was well
received and that he understood the orga
nization’s concern, but he said his office
would not make any direct response.
He said the process is underway to
increase teaching assistant salaries but
will take a long time because of limited
state budget appropriations.
Low compensation levels put UNC in
the dangerous position of not being able
to attract top graduate students, said
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Seniors Yinka Oyelaran (right) and Penelope
Lazarou wait for free ice cream Tbesday from a
truck along South Road during Senior Fund Day,
an event to promote fund raising for the Class 0f2004
Faculty Excellence Fund. Seniors are encouraged to
tions issued before the town ter
minated its contract with ACS.
Now the town is setting about col
lecting the money for the remain
ing unpaid citations.
The town cannot accept credit
card payments, so citation recipi
ents who chose this method of pay
ment over cash or checks paid
directly to ACS, Neppalli said. ACS
then was supposed to reimburse
The payments the town collect
ed were withheld from ACS as the
town waited for ACS to mail a
check for the amount it collected
from credit card payments, he said.
The town has received the
money it was owed by ACS. About
SEE RED LIGHT, PAGE 6
Melissa Bostrom, a TA and graduate stu
dent in the Department ofEnglish. These
students teach approximately 60 percent
of undergraduate courses, she said.
One goal of the petition is to get some
concrete answers from Shelton on the
issue of increasing teaching assistant
stipends and salaries. “What we would
like to see is an articulation of exactly
when and how those salary increases will
happen,” Bostrom said.
Bostrom participated on the Teaching
Assistant Advisory Task Force in 2002-
03, which was charged by the office of
the Provost with providing ideas for how
to improve compensation for TAs.
The task force submitted a report in
SENIOR FUND DAY
donate $20.04 toward the fund, which is intended to
support new courses, research and the recruitment of
top faculty. The Office of the Provost and the College
of Arts and Sciences each will match every dollar sen
iors donate to the fund. For the full story, see page 2.
KERRY COURTS STUDENTS
BYCLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.
STATE & NATIONAL EDITOR
Democratic Presidential candi
date John Kerry said that, if elect
ed, he would work to enact a
$4,000 tax cut to students in U.S.
colleges and universities.
Kerry, the junior U.S. senator
from Massachusetts, said in a tele
conference with college reporters
Tuesday that he would allocate $25
billion in fiscal aid to states and
SSO billion in tax credits to stu
dents to help them pay for college.
He called the increasing costs of
college an “issue that you folks all
are living with and know well and
are struggling with” and added
that many of President Bush’s poli
cies have contributed to pricing
students out of higher education.
“The (Bush) administration has
made its own funding choice,
which is to cut taxes to the
January 2003, calling for a SSOO salary
increase per semester for the next four
years and a 3 percent cost-of-living
increase. The salary increase would
require an additional $1.9 million for TA
salaries during three years.
Shelton said the tuition increase
recently approved by the UNC Board of
Governors will allocate approximately
$650,000 next year to TAsalaiy increas
es but won’t fulfill the recommendation
completely. “What I would like to see is
$650,000 per year for each of three
years and see the state give a cost-of-liv
ing increase of 3 percent to TAs,” he said.
SEE PETITION, PAGE 6
wealthy,” Kerry said. “George
Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy are
a tuition tax increase.”
Kerry’s efforts to attract young
voters culminated in the “Change
Starts with U” 2004 campus tour.
On Monday at the University of
New Hampshire he announced a
program that would give students
additional funding for college if they
engage in some sort of community
service. “The cost of college has
increased about 48 percent, and
that’s after you take inflation into
account,” Kerry said in the telecon
ference. “That means 220,000
young people have been priced out
of higher education that year.”
The Kerry campaign has not yet
provided specifics on the program.
Kerry said his campaign also
targets increasing voter participa
tion, especially among college stu
dents and other young adults.
SHE SHOOTS. SHE SCORES
North Carolina dusts Old Dominion Tuesday, 11-7,
as Tar Heel Beth Ames scores five goals PAGE 9
roles of ASG presidency
BY CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.
STATE & NATIONAL EDITOR
Jonathan Ducote does interviews with
reporters the same way he does a lot of his work
for the UNC-system Association of Student
In his office, on his cell phone.
Ducote, the ASG president, will begin hand-
of the ASG
things, Ducote’s replacement.
That person will have to fill the shoes of a
person who says he’s had to balance the dual
roles of advocate and policy-maker.
As ASG president, Ducote serves as a
nonvoting member of the system’s Board of
Governors, an assembly of many people who
have been involved in higher education issues
since before the N.C. StatrUniversity senior
“My guess is it’s a little intimidating to be a
student on the board,” BOG Chairman Brad
“You come to the board meetings, and there’s
generational differences, and (you’re) trying to
assimilate yourself socially. I guess (it) would
be a unique challenge to the student.”
Add to that, Wilson said, the fact that
Ducote is the head of a group whose main pur
pose is to advocate for North Carolina’s uni
“Well, he’s serving two masters, so to speak,”
Wilson said. “He is the elected representative
of the student group. His responsibility is to
them, while at the same time, he has to evalu
ate the political landscape not only at the board
level, but also at the public-policy level in North
Carolina. Advocacy is one thing, governing is
At his first couple of BOG meetings, Ducote
said, he had bouts of cold feet.
“When I first got there, (BOG member) Jim
Phillips, he kind of said “What are you doing
here?’” Ducote said. “He said, You’ve never
been the student body president. Why are you
here?’ Having to explain that to Jim, having to
kind of lay out why I was there really helped me
understand.... That was the first time I under
stood just how very serious the board took its
Informal powers V
ASG insiders say Ducote’s strengt lies in his
ability to work outside the board lHoms and
away from the public eye, gathering"
tion and informally helping nd their
leaders understand what he’s gathered.
“Most of the time I see him with his cell
phone on his ear, talking to either a student
body president, an officer, Joe Student on a
campus or a reporter,” said Amanda Devore,
ASG vice president of legislative affairs.
SEE PRESIDENT, PAGE 6
That comes, he said, from getting
students excited about the political
issues that affect them every day.
“We need to make some of the
issues that matter to people voting
issues again,” he said.
Kerry said other policy propos
als his campaign came up with
were attractive to young voters. He
said his college funding plans
would not change programs such
as the Montgomery GI Bill, which
provides additional federal money
for people who serve in the mili
tary, including college funding and
“I think young people have to re
emerge as a political force in
America.... That’s why I’m doing a
campus tour now and starting to
talk with people on the campuses.”
Contact the State E? National
Editor at email@example.com.
TODAY Mostly cloudy, H 61, L 39
THURSDAY Sunny, H 66, L 45
FRIDAY Mostly sunny, H 71, L 45
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2004
ing over the reins starting
this weekend as the ASG
starts the process of elect
ing new officers.
On Saturday, the ASG
will accept nominations for
the organization’s top posts.
Two weeks later, members
will vote on, among other
“I think young
to re-emerge as
a political force
I’m doing a
JOHN KERRY, CANDIDATE