MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2005
STAND YOUR GROUND
UNC should make no move to reach a compromise with Alpha lota
Omega Christian fraternity before a court-imposed deadline of Feb. 28.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Frank
Bullock Jr. did the University no favors when
he did not dismiss the case brought against
UNC by Alpha lota Omega Christian fraternity.
In encouraging the two sides to reach a compro
mise within the next week, Bullock essentially is
compelling UNC to step away from the solid bedrock
principle on which it now stands.
But even if the court rules in favor of the fraternity
in the near fiiture, the University must maintain its
position and withhold from voluntarily altering its
nondiscrimination policy for student groups.
If UNC bends to the will of the fraternity —and
that of the Alliance Defense Fund, which has pro
vided AIO with legal backing it would be doing a
grave disservice to its students.
It is integral that, if AIO is ever to be an official
student organization on this campus, its general
membership be open to any student.
The Black Student Movement holds a position
as the leading voice for black students at UNC, but
people of all races and backgrounds are eligible
to join. And although the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender-Straight Alliance primarily targets
issues key to LGBTQ-identified people, its constitu
tion allows for anyone to become a member. These
groups have followed the University policy, and it has
not detracted from their effectiveness.
Chancellor James Moeser made enough of a con
cession more than two years ago when he allowed
Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship to continue as an
official student group even though it required mem
bers to affirm a particular set of Christian tenets in
writing before they could rise to prominent posi
tions. This leadership exception must not become
the general membership rule.
It makes absolutely no sense for students to be forced
to sponsor a group that is allowed to use religious creed
as a basis for member selection and exclusion.
The government isn’t allowed to diminish most
KEEP KEGS PRIVATE
Although putting purchasers’ information on kegs might help to curb
high school drinking, possible damage to privacy would be far too great.
Underage drinking is illegal —and it’s a real
problem that N.C. legislators should address.
But putting restrictions on legal consumers of
beer isn’t an appropriate way to approach the issue.
Unfortunately, Chapel Hill Town Council mem
ber Jim Ward is pushing ahead with a proposal in
the General Assembly to require beer keg buyers to
leave their name, address and driver’s license tagged
to their kegs.
Ward maintains that such a tracking system would
cut down on teenage drinking. But there is no dem
onstrated need for a crackdown on kegs.
Kegs are not a typical choice for high school stu
dents. College students and young adults would be
the ones that get their personal lives tracked, so it’s
not a stretch to argue that the proposal is a swipe at
UNC students by town residents and officials.
If this proposal is indeed directed at stopping local
high schoolers from consuming alcohol —and not a
shot at University students —then perhaps town offi
cials should look into local distributors that are sell
ing six-packs to underage drinkers. That’s where high
school students are getting their supply of booze.
Second of all, this proposal raises questions about
the sanctity of personal privacy. The government,
whether state or local, simply has better things to
do than spy on alcohol purchasers.
Such an invasion of personal space necessitates a
good explanation other than some specious rea
soning about how keg buyers might use their legally
Furthermore, tracking kegs is simply impractical.
In order for tracking to work, there would have to
be an easy way to tag each keg in a method that is
difficult to tamper with in case the purchaser of the
keg might actually be up to no good.
And putting information about the purchaser on
EDITOR'S NOTE: The above editorials are the opinions of solely The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board, and were reached after open debate.
The board consists of seven board members, the editorial page associate editor, the editorial page editor and the DTH editor. The 2004-05
DTH editor decided not to vote on the board and not to write board editorials.
Good students and teachers
are leading to good grades
TO THE EDITOR:
UNC has prided itself on the
academic level of both the student
body and the faculty. This year,
as a freshman, I have constantly
heard how the incoming class has
higher SAT scores and higher class
ranks each year. I heard about
how exceptional the staff is and
how they desire for us to learn. Yet
when UNC students begin to get
better grades, it is because of grade
inflation? Why can it not be about
excellent professors teaching the
material extremely well? Why can
it not be about students learning
and being better students?
Today, students are not allowed
to be content with low grades.
Many of us come in to UNC unfa
miliar with grades that are consis
tently below an A level, and our
parents and others back home
expect the same results at UNC. If
we hope to get into a school within
UNC, such as the Kenan-Flagler
Business School, we have to have
a strong grade point average. If we
hope to continue our education
with a master’s degree, we have to
have a high GPA. If we want to get
that top job we want, we have to
have a strong GPA.
Students at UNC have steadily
become stronger and stronger
academically, and the pressure
of having high grades also has
Why must people believe that
forms of speech, but it has no obligation to give tan
gible support to any of them. Freedom of the press
protects published content —but it doesn’t translate
into a requirement that the government pay for pro
The University isn’t infringing on AIO members’
First Amendment right to assemble freely; it has mere
ly, and correctly, refused to allocate student money and
state resources to aid an exclusionary organization in
The privileges afforded official campus groups
including use of University facilities, funds and
Web space aren’t tied to any fundamental ability
to meet. Even without official recognition, AIO has
been able to carry out its evangelical mission, both
on and off campus.
If the University’s policy regarding student groups
does change, either by UNC’s own volition or through
a court ruling, it would represent a severe violation
of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection
By letting AIO have its way, UNC would be facili
tating an environment in which students living under
the same conditions would be treated dissimilarly
many of them would be shut out of a campus group
because of religious affiliation alone.
In this constitutional tug-of-war, the strong equal
protection argument should rise above the untenable
First Amendment concerns.
Bullock said he doesn’t see a case dismissal at this
time. If he hasn’t thrown out AlO’s lawsuit by now,
he’s not likely to do it down the road. There’s a strong
indication that the judge will side with AIO if the
University doesn’t concede by Feb. 28 —and that
realization is alarming.
A federal court ruling in favor of the fraternity in
this case would set the precedent for harmful policy
changes on campuses nationwide. But UNC certainly
should force Bullock to make that choice by keeping
the current nondiscrimination policy in place.
a keg wouldn’t necessarily do much to reduce under
age drinking students can obtain alcohol in more
varied and subtle ways than by purchasing a keg.
Additionally, high schoolers aren’t the typical crowd
at keg parties, which tends to include the province of
UNC students living off campus feigning worry
about distribution of keg beer to high school students
is a poor facade for targeting college parties.
Police already penalize those who distribute alcohol
to minors —and in serious cases and party settings,
it’s doubtful that law enforcement officers haye.adjf-,,
ficult time determining who supplied the alcohol.
All of the above criticism is not to say that the pro
posal is not in line with the law. But Ward’s proposal
is not the most efficient way to crack down on under
age drinking, nor is it respectful of privacy rights.
While underage drinking is certainly a problem,
especially among high school students, the proposed
solution is an unnecessarily sweeping edict. State and
local officials don’t need to know who likes to have
his or her friends over for some beer and a party.
It’s unfortunate that town officials would inconve
nience legal, over-21 beer consumers in order to deal
with a problem regarding minors. It’s even more dis
turbing that the measure could mean that the govern
ment might analyze residents’ behavioral patterns.
One of the wonderful things about being a private
citizen is just that privacy. The private citizen doesn’t
have to worry about the government looking over his
shoulder at what food he eats, how often he drinks or
what kind of sneakers he likes to go walking in.
The proposed solution is simply too much to ask
for a problem that is so tangentially related.
For Ward’s proposal to have any kind of legitimacy
and support, there has to be a demonstrable need
for such a measure. Until that need is obvious, Big
Brother can stay out of people’s business.
higher grades are a result of grade
inflation instead of giving credit to
the people who are actually doing
the work the students and the
Fraternity members should
concede on discrimination
TO THE EDITOR:
The first time I came across this
Alpha lota Omega Christian frater
nity nonsense, I found myself laugh
ing on the inside. Now I find myself
horribly annoyed. Here is yet another
example of the Christian community
blowing things way out of proportion
just to gain peoples attention.
However, I cannot sit here, read
these articles in The Daily Tar
Heel every day and allow these
three guys to pretend to be grand
Defenders of the Faith, fighting for
yet another noble cause, because
that is not what they are doing.
First of all, there’s no practi
cal reason not to sign the policy. I
mean, what self-respecting atheist,
Muslim, Jew or other form of non-
Christian male suddenly decides to
join up with a Christian fraternity?
What, are they going to be walk
ing down Franklin Street one day,
see a sign for AIO and say, “Well, this
violates everything I’ve ever believed
in, but hey, there are free cookies!”
No, of course they wouldn’t. In
fact, I would be willing to bet that
most Christians wouldn’t even
be intrigued by the prospect of a
Christian fraternity. That’s what
clubs like Inter Varsity and the
Campus Crusade are for, and let’s
not forget about a little institution
known as church.
Secondly, there are no theo
logical reasons not to sign this
policy. I thought that the basis of
Christianity was love for everyone
and the spread of the faith.
Wouldn’t a Christian fraternity
then hope for outsiders in their
ranks as a means of possible con
version? That makes sense to me; I
don’t know, maybe I’m crazy.
So if there are no practical rea
sons, and no theological reasons
not to sign this policy, then these
three guys should just admit that
they got a little nuts, apologize to
everyone for taking up their time
and money and sign the policy.
College Republicans to talk
about the Fair Tax proposal
TO THE EDITOR:
Across the country, momentum
is building to give our tax system
a tuneup, and Uncle Sam’s arcane
income tax system established
in 1913 has met its potential
successor with the Fair Tax (http://
This alternative to modernize
ON THE DAY'S NEWS
One religion is as true as another.’’
ROBERT BURTON, English writer and philosopher
EDITORIAL CARTOON By Philip McFee, email@example.com
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The United States’ idea of a
national defense is offensive
Just about everything the fed
eral government does today
So you would think that when
the U.S. Constitution actually
authorized politicians to do some
thing, they would jump at the
chance to do it.
For example, the Constitution
gives the federal government the
power and responsibility to “pro
vide for the common defence.”
Yet amazingly, America has no
Sure, we have a military. The
federal government spends hun
dreds of billions of dollars each
year on our military. We have a
variety of weapons capable of
destroying every country in the
But a military and a national
defense 'aren’t necessarily the
same thing. In essence, the United
States has a national offense.
We could eliminate the rest of
the world if we wanted, yet we
couldn’t stop 19 amateurs with
box cutters from launching the
greatest terrorist attack in our
Then we were told that we
needed to go to war with Iraq
before we woke up one day to find
a mushroom cloud hanging over
one of our cities.
A Libertarian foreign policy
would rest on two basic prin
ciples. The first would be that we
would mind our own business and
only use our military for true pur
poses of defense. The other would
be the construction of a working
missile defense system.
In a Libertarian America,
our troops would never have to
set foot on foreign soil. As John
Quincy Adams stated, our coun
try “goes not abroad, in search of
monsters to destroy.” We wouldn’t
have troops stationed in countries
across the globe. We would follow
the tax code, in short, is a national
sales tax on new goods and ser
With the Fair Tax, “We double the
taxable base and we get a huge pick
up from the currently untaxed tril
lion-dollar underground economy.
(It) allows Americans to keep 100
percent of their paychecks (minus
any state income taxes), ends cor
porate taxes and compliance costs
hidden in the retail cost of goods
and services, and fully funds the
federal government while fulfilling
the promise of Social Security and
Medicare,” said Thomas Wright,
Fair Tax’s executive director.
Please come to 100 Hamilton
Hall at 7 p.m. today to hear the
N.C. director of the Fair Tax speak
about this revolutionary proposal.
There will be a 30 minute Q&A
session afterwards. If you have
any questions, contact College
Republican Chairman Jordan
Selleck by e-mailing selleck@email.
UNC College Republicans
Campus Y seeks Executive
TO THE EDITOR:
The Campus Y, the largest stu
dent organization at UNC, is seek
ing applications for its 2005-06
Executive Committee. The Y is
the center for social justice, phi
lanthropy and student activism at
the advice our Founding Fathers
gave us when they advised against
becoming involved in entangling
alliances with other countries.
Instead of trying to “liberate”
the rest of the world or to impose
U.S. solutions for every single
problem we look for, our military
would actually focus on protect
Ronald Reagan proposed the
idea of a missile defense system
more than 20 years ago —but
ever since he put a government
agency in charge of building it,
we still don’t have one. Politicians
routinely warn us about the threat
of weapons of mass destruction.
They say we must get involved
with countries such as North
Korea because they could use
their weapons on us.
Unfortunately, they don’t both
er actually doing anything about
this threat that we face. Instead,
politicians use the threat to hold
us hostage while they take more
of our money, more of our civil
liberties and more of our lives, all
in the name of “defense.”
That way, the politicians can
leave us vulnerable and keep jus
tifying more power for themselves
and their lobbyists.
Perhaps first we need a defense
against opportunistic politicians.
Some people would object
at first to this idea of national
defense. They might be inclined
to spout off some lame cliches
like “the best defense is a good
offense” or “we have to fight them
UNC and has almost 150 years of
service behind it.
The Executive Committee over
sees organization of the Y as a
whole and takes initiative to build
a more cohesive membership base.
We hope to fill 10 positions, each
concentrating on a specific aspect
of Campus Y leadership.
For more information and to
download an Executive Committee
application, please visit http://
are due in the Campus Y office by
5 p.m. Feb. 23.
If you have any questions, feel
free to contact us at 962-2333.
We look forward to reviewing your
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<lJif Soily sar
over there or else we’ll be fighting
them over here.”
And maybe those people would
be right about my defense ideas.
Maybe they wouldn’t keep us out
of every war, because no solution
will bring about perfection.
But at the least, if we don’t
impose our will on the rest of the
world, terrorists will have no rea
son to attack us, and they won’t be
able to get the support of rational
people that have come to hate the
There have always been terror
ists, and there always will be, but
we should be doing everything
we can to reduce the risk of being
attacked by them.
If you don’t like my defense pol
icy, remember one thing: Your way
isn’t working any better. Your way
has produced hundreds of millions
of people around the world who >
despise the U.S. government. Your
way has made the United States
less free and less secure.
That’s because this nation is
obligated to sacrifice its troops to
rid the world of “evil.” The actions
of our military are dictated by
“evildoers” like Osama bin Laden
and Saddam Hussein.
By playing the role of world
policeman, America has become
enslaved to dictators around the
Only when we build a true
national defense will the United
States be free and independent
again. Until that day comes, just
hope that they don’t bring back
the draft and that you don’t live
in a city that is being targeted by
When you rely on government
for anything, you’re sure to end up
Contact Philip Hensley at
111 years of editorialfreedom
<ll|p SaUg alar Urrl
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