THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2008
I AM LEGEND. HEAR ME ROAR
Sarah Hodges is a senior psychology
major from Durham.
Logging into my MvSpace
account, it's always a gamble
to see how many of the
bulletins are chain letters from
my friends. Lately, though. I’ve
received a slew of campaign mate
rial. That’s because, next to the
show "24" and countless indie rock
bands. I’m friends with Dennis
Not only do candidates have
official Web sites, but some now
haw profiles on social network
ing sites where you can learn fun
tidbits of information, like the
fact that Kurinich’s zodiac sign is
Libra, that Hillary Clinton’s favor
ite reality TV' show is “American
Idol" or that Mike Huckabee plays
bass for a band
These tacts might seem trivial,
but a large youth following has
gained such Web sites respect from
the candidates as well as from
some major corporations.
Last week’s televised debates,
for instance, were co-sponsored by
ABC and Facebook. The two have
joined forces to create an applica
tion called U.S. Politics, which
posts news stories from ABC and
allows you to tell people which
candidates you support I followed
the debate logged into the applica
tion, w atching the immediate feed
back from other viewers.
Countless polls along the lines
of which candidate appeared
most presidential’ during the
debates satisfied the ravenous
quiz-taker. The most striking num
bers, though, are the differences
between the percentage of sup
porters each candidate has across
the two media outlets.
Barack Obama has 61 percent of
Facebook supporters over Clinton’s
18 percent, but an ABC News poll
showed voters favoring Clinton
over Obama 53 percent to 23 per
cent The situation is similar on the
Republican side with Ron Paul in
the lead on Facebook versus Rudy
Giuliani in ABC’s poll.
It seems that if the same young
adults who spend their days taking
radio button quizzes online would
muster up the energy to go to the
polls on Election Day, the results
would be very different
This might in fact be the case
this election year. There was an
enormous increase in the num
ber of 22- to 29-year-old caucus
goers in lowa this year. Three
times as many youth attended
the Democratic caucuses last
Thursday than in 2004.
There’s still a place for small
town visits and baby kissing, but
candidates are turning to technol
ogy as an additional method of
outreach, and our tech-savvy gen
eration is answering the call.
Whether it is text message
campaign announcements, social
networking profiles or simply the
oft-repeated “change" that many
voters are searching for this elec
tion year, something is luring the
young voters out of hiding.
This is a step in the right direc
tion, but we should not be satisfied
to leave it at that
Technology has given the can
didates an increasing number of
outlets through which to spout
propaganda, but finding the
right candidate should be a give
and take process. We should not
vote for someone solely based on
what information they (or Chuck
Norris) present to us or how they
choose to present it
There’s nothing wrong with
using one of the countless Web
sites that finds which candidate
you are most compatible with
as long as you don’t stop there.
Friending your favorite candidate
to learn more about their posi
tions, campaigns and favorite
comfort food is agood start, but
we need to look further than their
one-sided profiles. Research their
voting record in Congress or their
actions as governor. Watch the
debates to hear the arguments, not
just to cheer on your first choice.
Most important, vote in the May
6th N.C. primary. Then, and only
then, can you go home to de-friend
your candidates and take an online
poll about how smoothly your vot
ing experience went.
EDITORIAL CARTOON By Mason Phillips, mphilOemail.unc.edu
Relics of a Bygone Era
ROTARY VCRs WINTER IN
j TELEPHONES NORTH CAROLINA
Practice makes perfect
UNC-G’s drill should be adopted by UNC system
We’ve all heard the old
adage that hindsight
is 20/20. While pre
paredness will not necessarily
prevent a disaster, prior rehears
al sure does help matters if and
when a situation arises.
In light of the Virginia Tech
shooting last April, school
responsiveness during an
emergency e.g., a shooter
on campus should be some
thing universities across the
nation should pay attention to
more than ever.
Our very own UNC offi
cials should take notes from
the safety training exercise at
UNC-Greensboro on Monday
morning that realistically
enacted a response plan to an
attacker on school grounds.
With occurrences like those
at Virginia Tech, as well as
attack right here on campus, it
only seems prudent that UNC
should do something along the
A helping hand
New program will aid in closing achievement gap
Chapel Hill schools, like
many schools around
the nation, have a racial
achievement gap. But help
soon could be on the way.
Anew faith-based program
led by Bishop Gene Hatley of
Barbee’s Chapel Baptist Church
will target African-American
students who are underachiev
ing in an attempt to bring them
to the level of their white coun
The program is certainly a
welcome resource for those
who need a helping hand to
reach their lull potential.
The Barbees Chapel Harvest
Word Community Resource
and Enrichment Centers will
provide a litany of services for
students who are struggling in
It also is intended to focus
on more than just academic
performance, a step that is vital
to helping students succeed in
the long term.
One of the conditions that
contributes to the achieve
ment gap is poverty', which is
far more prominent in minor
ity communities. Along with
Upping the prize won’t save floundering N.C. lottery
Bought a lottery ticket
recently? Yeah, we
But hypothetically, if you were
to buy a lottery ticket, you’d have
the chance to win more money
than before —and even less of
the proceeds from your ticket
would go to education.
This unworkable attempt to
boost game sales by offering
more prizes is bound to deliver
another hit to the crumbling
Lottery director Tom Shaheen
said the “SIOO Million Cash
Spectacular’ will be the largest
game since the lottery debuted
in March 2006. Since it began,
sales have fallen below expecta
tions and officials say low prize
pay-outs are to blame.
Perhaps the main reason the
same lines to ensure its students
are as safe as they can be.
It is one thing to book-leam
how to react, but practicing a
reaction in real-time takes pre
paredness to a whole new level.
The drill, which occurred
while UNC-G students were on
Winter Break, allowed police to
react to a mock gunman on cam
pus, with more than 200 partici
pants and 150 observers.
It would not be a good idea
to stage a gunman on campus
while students are at school for
obvious reasons: A real attacker
could mask his attack as part of
the stage, or not all people would
realize that it was a drill and
would react as though it were
real. Because of that, if UNC
were to stage an attack, it would
have to be over Spring Break.
But staging the notification of
students, staff and parents in the
event of an attack is a practical
exercise that could and should
occur while school is in session.
the poverty comes an environ
ment where children are gen
erally left to be more self-suffi
cient, as parents have to spend
more time at work to make
Without parents to provide
a base of education in the early
years, those in poverty’ are more
likely to start school behind
their middle-class peers.
According to one study, by
age 3, children of professionals
had an average IQ of 117, while
kids in families on welfare had
an average IQ of merely 79.
Potentially more important
to explaining the presence of
the achievement gap is parent
ing style. Studies have found
that black and white parents
relate to and raise their chil
dren in different ways, with
white children more likely to
experience a similar environ
ment in school as at home.
One possible reason for this
is that the early education sys
tem in the United States was
set up by whites and modeled
off of the environment in which
white students learned most
new system isn’t going to work
is that $lO dollar scratch-tickets
don’t seem likely to lure the aver
age lottery-ticket buyer.
There is a chance one of those
tickets could wield a million dol
lar payout, but a million dollars
doesn’t seem like that much of
a glittering package consider
ing that other states, like South
Carolina, offer $l tickets and
multi-million dollar jackpots.
Furthermore, the expanded
share of revenue going to prizes,
now a record 73 percent, means
less money will be available for
state education which under
cuts the purpose of having a
state lottery’ in the first place.
Theoretically, if sales are
boosted because of the higher
payout, then money still goes to
education. But that only works
For instance, an official
University e-mail could tell
everyone on campus to lock
doors, silence phones and stay
out of sight, and local radio
could transmit emergency
Think of it as one of those
annoying “this is a test, this is
only a test’ routines, but this
time you’ll actually know what
they’re testing for.
While it might be a scary
thought to see how we would
actually handle the situation, it
would be brave of UNC to look
at itself in the mirror and really
critique our campus’s safety.
While the drill is a fictional
crisis, it is a live concern, and
it is always good to plan for the
Officials should just make
sure we all know it’s a test: We
don’t want any students or fac
ulty going into cardiac arrest
because they didn’t hear the
Continuity' between home
and school helps students
to pick up on concepts more
effectively and more quickly
since the mode of operation at
school needs no translation to
the frame of reference that the
student experiences at home.
Completely closing the
achievement gap is a daunting
task, and one that is unlikely
to be fully completed any
time in the near future. There
are simply too many factors
that account for the problem.
However, steps can be taken
that help mitigate its effect.
The new program at Barbees
Chapel Baptist Church will
surely help to reduce the effect
of some of the factors in the gap.
It provides a resource for stu
dents who have fallen behind
to catch up and can help to
explain the subjects a student is
learning in a way that is easier
to transfer into their cultural
frame of reference.
We hope the program finds
success and is able to expand
outside of Chapel Hill to areas
that have higher minority pop
ulations in the near future.
if sales rise enough to offset the
increase in cost, which is far
At best, the extra money allo
cated to schools will be so insig
nificant that the lottery seems
destined to be seen even more
as a public relations ploy rather
than a service to N.C. residents.
Also, claims that die increased
payouts seem to be working are
not convincing. It is true that
sales increased 13 percent in
December, but lottery sales are
likely to experience a boost dur
ing the holiday season without a
change in the number of people
who regularly buy tickets.
It’s about time state officials
realize that N.C. residents are
too smart to be sold on a deal
that will empty their pockets
and benefit almost no one.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
7 should have stocked up last
CAROLINE CHOE, SOPHOMORE, ON STUDENT STORES'
DECISION TO CHARGE STUDENTS FOR TESTING MATERIALS
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
lb read the full-length versions
Post your own response to a letter; editorial or stwy online.
Homelessness plan will
address all sides of issue
TO THE EDITOR:
As chairwoman of the execu
tive team of the Orange County
Partnership to End Homelessness.
1 appreciate the DTHs most recent
story on our 10-Year Plan to End
Chronic Homelessness and related
efforts (“Homelessness initiatives
get off the ground" Jan. 8).
One point in the story, however,
needs clarification. Although it
is true, as was pointed out, that
our 10-year plan focuses on the
needs of the chronically homeless
through planning to get them into
permanent supportive housing, it
is not true that such efforts will be
made “instead of attending to the
needs of those who are transition
ally homeless or who are at risk of
Hie 10-year plan (aims) “to end
chronic homelessness, without
excluding the needs of all home
less individuals and families.’
Indeed, the 2007 Project
Homeless Connect which, as the
article points out was such a suc
cess that it is being planned again,
resulted in the delivery of needed
services to dozens of people who
were transitionally homeless or at
risk of homelessness.
Further, the Partnership to End
Homelessness applauds the suc
cess of the Inter-Faith Council in
recently landing a challenge grant
enabling it to keep Community
House, the men’s transitional
homeless shelter, open 24/7
Homelessness in Orange
County is a problem with complex
causes and many manifestations.
The goal of the 10-Year Plan to
End Chronic Homelessness is to
identify the chronically homeless
among us and move them into
permanent supportive housing
within lO years.
But the work does not stop
there. It includes stepped-up
efforts to improve the plight of
all of those who are experiencing
homelessness or are one pay
check, or one health care crisis or
one episode of domestic violence
away from losing their homes.
We welcome the University
Chapel Hill Town Council
Keeping and paying Coach
Davis is the right move
TO THE EDITOR:
In an online poll taken on the
DTH Web site (in December), an
overwhelming majority expressed
their frustration with the $291,000
raise offered to Butch Davis.
Fans didn't feel that the team's
4-8 record justified the raise. But
that’s neglecting the real rea
son Butch was given the salary
increase, to persuade a head coach
who is a proven winner to stay at
Alabama fans aren’t happy that
their new coach came with a 6-6
record in his first year (despite his
$32 million price tag), but they
know that it takes time to build a
powerhouse football program.
Have doubts? Get on your com
puter and look at the recruits that
are thinking about Carolina for
next year. You’ll like it, I promise.
So give the coach a little time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
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Student Stores shouldn't
be selling harmful plastics
TO THE EDITOR:
I went to Student Stores
(Monday) for the most menial of
tasks: 1 needed a water bottle.
Being committed to environ
mental friendliness, I’ve tried to
stop buying water by the bottle,
and use a re-usable one as much
I was completely appalled to
find that all but one style of the
water bottles available for sale
were made with plastic No. 7,
which has been scientifically prov
en to cause fertility problems and
will leak chemicals over time.
Now, perhaps I’m more aware
of the plastics situation because I
am the mother of an 18-month old.
However, at an institute of higher
learning. 1 expected better.
I don’t mind shelling out the
ridiculously high prices for things
at Student Stores because it bears
the UNC logo, but 1 find it irre
sponsible that the store would sell
something that has been proven to
cause physical harm.
I paid $2 for my simple little
water bottle, made from plastic No.
2, and left Student Stores, shaking
my head. There needs to be some
light shed on this situation.
In 10 years, students won’t care
how many fancy features their
water bottles had; they will care if
they end up not being able to have
children because of it
Student Services Assistant
Dog tethering can be used
by honest people also
TO THE EDITOR:
I am deeply disappointed that
most of the local media has been
complicit in reinforcing a com
mon misperception of the coun
ty’s dog tethering issue, namely
that it is a debate between “ani
mal rights activists' and “hunt
Tethering is a common prac
tice among ordinary people who,
for a variety of reasons, find it
necessary to tie their animals up
outside. It is not an inherently
abusive or neglectful practice.
Naturally there are going to
be exceptions, but animal con
trol ought to report, investigate
and prosecute such situations on
a case-by-case basis, rather than
a broad sweeping ordinance.
A recommendation to amend
the current ordinance is prema
ture. Such an action would set a
dangerous precedent of limiting
the liberties of the whole to curb
the transgressions of a few.
My 11-year-old husky has bro
ken out of every fence created and
now spends his days napping on
the porch or in the shade of a mul
In fact, animal control came
by recently on an anonymous
call. Finding his bed and chew
toy nearby, his food and water
full, they called him “not only
sweet, but a little spoiled.’
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