FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2008
ab? Sailg Ear H??l
Senior religious studies and biology
double major from New York City.
Mosaic president; Carolina Premedical
Association public correspondent.
After serving on many exec
utive boards, committees
and two terms as presi
dent of an organization, I, like
many student leaders, have seen
more failures than successes.
In no way am I the epitome of
what a student leader should be; I
merely hope to
practice what I
preach. I implore
my fellow lead-
ers to join me in self-reflection
and critique. We must learn from
mistakes and share these lessons
with other leaders. It is with this
premise that I engage my fellow
leaders with the following:
Leaders must cultivate selfless
ness. We turn a blind eye to our
deficiencies because at the under
graduate level, many leaders are
obsessed with credentialism and
their positions as politicians.
Organizations that pride them
selves on “awareness” must keep in
mind that progress is not defined
by following the footsteps of our
predecessors. Organizations must
create an ideal normative frame
work by which they can judge
pragmatic empirical results.
“Vision and activism are both
necessary” says UNC religious stud
ies professor Omid Safi. “Activism
without vision is doomed from
the start. Vision without activism
quickly becomes irrelevant”
Holding a “leadership position”
in an organization is futile if no
goals are set forth for aiding the
humanity we collectively belong to.
Similar to Henry David
Thoreau’s definition of a philoso
pher, student leaders must “solve
some of the problems of life, not
only theoretically, but practi
cally.” We should not justify moral
repugnance, especially if it contra
dicts our organization’s mission.
Holding a “bar night” as a fund
raiser for hospitalized children or
to stop alcoholism is counterintui
tive our means must correlate to
our end. As Martin Luther King Jr.
said, we must not allow mentality
to outrun morality. Dealing with
our members’ apathy is difficult,
but great leaders are able to reach
out and inspire. Skepticism and
criticism are important for keep
ing initiatives logically sound, but
must be to a constructive end: the
protection of human rights.
Effective student leadership
exists and so does the ownership
of a humanistic ideal. I’m not opti
mistically hinging onto unachiev
able idealism. We see results from
our fellow student groups, such as
the Millennium Village Project,
Nourish International, Advocates
for Grassroots Development in
Uganda, etc. Students’ active
efforts have actually set forth a
sustainable model to protect the
sanctity of human life.
UNC alumnus Nitin Sekar, one
of the founders of Millennium
Village Project, masterfully
stated: “We want to demonstrate
that universities should not be
just institutions for learning, but
catalysts for global change.”
We must forgo undergraduate
realpolitik and expand and learn
from collaborations with human
istic organizations. We must seek
the advice of eveiyone from fellow
student leaders to devil’s advocates.
We must depart from our
respective niches and engage
in introspection. We must cease
to be defeatists and engage in a
relentless pursuit of results.
We must compete with our
individual propensities to fail and
stretch our imaginations to help
members care and take ownership.
We must try to coexist as a stu
dent community united under the
goal of preserving human dignity.
In the words of Akbar Ganji:
“intellectuals must always strive
to lessen other people’s pain, even
though they suffer on this path.”
MON., WED. 2-3 P.M.
EDITORIAL CARTOON By Don Wright, The Palm Beach Post
W ! GO GREEN!
gjfpK j DETROIT!
Let the locals help out
Resident budget committee can help reduce spending
Forming abudget commit
tee to advise the Chapel
Hill Town Council is a
good idea in the wake of the
city’s budget deficit.
The council’s plan to re
establish a resident advisory
committee to review the
town’s budget will be an effec
tive way to cut unnecessary
Allowing ordinary resi
dents to voice their opinions
on extraneous spending is an
appropriate way to solicit as
much advice as possible.
Such a committee was suc
cessful in 2005. Its members,
On the lookout
Student vigilantes ready for any vandalism attempts
As we anticipate
Saturday’s football game
against our rival school
to the southeast, we’re glad that
we have students guarding the
State’s students didn’t do too
well protecting their own cam
pus this week when Carolina
Fever members exercised their
First Amendment rights and
painted State’s Free Expression
On my way to campus
Thursday morning, I con
ducted an experiment.
As I walked from Franklin
Street to the Pit, I counted the
number of people I saw either
talking or texting on their cell
I lost count after 75.
Actually, I got distracted
when my own phone rang and
my iPod lost battery.
This is just one example of
why Mark Bauerlein, author of
“The Dumbest Generation: How
The Digital Age Stupefies Young
Americans and Jeopardizes Our
Future,” thinks today’s youths he
means us are especially vapid.
According to Bauerlein, a
professor of English at Emory
University who spoke at
Chapman Hall Wednesday night,
we are a generation of intellectual
delinquents, constantly absorbed
in digital blogospheres and social
networking sites (nine hours a
week on average) and “dwelling
in a world of puerile banter and
Bauerlein admits that while
our generation is “as smart and
motivated as ever,” we’re also
“the dumbest” because we have
more distractions and because
“screen activity trumps old-fash
ioned reading materials,” like
books (remember those?).
I attended Bauerlein’s lecture
fully prepared to defend my gen
eration from the bitter ranting of
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who were mostly entrepre
neurs and other concerned
residents, found ways to
reduce spending that alto
gether saved Chapel Hill $1.5
With tax revenues falling,
Chapel Hill needs such a com
mittee this year more than
And this year’s iteration of
such a committee should go a
step further and include UNC
Chapel Hill and the
University have an inherent,
traditional bond. Welcoming
UNC students into a dia
TXinnel Carolina blue.
In fact, there were a few N.C.
State students standing idly
by while their cherished tun
nel was spruced up with some
Vandalism to UNC’s Old
Well has occurred in the past,
most recently last February
when a revolting shade of red
paint was splashed on a col
umn of the structure.
Editorial board member from
an old curmudgeon.
Because let’s face it, older
generations have always decried
the sloth and incompetence of
the young and the corrupting
influence of technology, as far
back as the Ancient Greeks.
But that’s not how Bauerlein
came across. He came armed
with some frightening statistics:
■ 25 percent of first-year col
lege students had not read a sin
gle book the preceding summer.
■ 40 percent of students
never meet with their professors
outside of class.
■ Young people are six times
more likely to know who the lat
est American Idol is than who
the speaker of the U.S. House of
Even worse, a 2006 study
found that nearly two-thirds
of Americans aged 18 to 24
couldn’t locate Iraq on a map.
It’s hard to defend such igno
Our generation seems to care
less about retaining informa-
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
logue about town governance
would reinforce this bond and
increase student awareness of
Furthermore, UNC students
can bring a unique perspective
to the committee.
Lastly, involvement in this
committee would provide
its student members with an
opportunity to hone their eco
nomic, political and entrepre
After all, Chapel Hill is our
home too, and many of us
have ideas about how certain
services can run more effi
The iconic University mon
ument won’t suffer the same
fate this year as there will be
student vigilantes on watch
throughout the day and night.
So to any potential N.C. State
vandals out there: you’ve been
And besides, even if you
repaint the entirety of the Old
Well, we’re still going to win
tion than we do about knowing
where to find it.
I’m sure we could all locate Iraq
in less than 10 seconds on Google.
Unfortunately, having access
to knowledge, instantaneous as
it might be, is no substitute for
But Bauerlein is wrong to
denounce our entire generation
as a bunch of dummies.
If one thing is true, it’s that
we are not taking full advantage
of the vast wealth of resources
available to us.
Our generation has more
opportunities than any other
generation in history, and access
to more information than we
could ever digest in our lifetimes.
The knowledge is out there,
but we are still learning how to
harness it effectively.
Older generations have sad
dled us with significant challeng
es: a crumbling economy, a tril
lion dollar deficit, bankrupt social
security, climate change and an
energy crisis, to name a few.
It’s up to our generation to
address these problems, and this
year’s election proved that young
people are beginning to realize
their stake in society.
To succeed we’ll have to prove
Bauerlein wrong. This means
putting those cell phones down
for a few hours each day.
When all is said and done, I
think writing off our generation
will turn out to be a dumb move.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“It’s disappointing that State
students or whoever it was would
stoop that 10w .... It’s kind of
ADAM COMPTON, N.C. STATE SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT,
ON THE VANDALISM FOUND ON UNC'S CAMPUS THURSDAY
FEATURED ONLINE READER COMMENT:
“I would’ve liked to have seen an
official poll ...at least then I’dfeel
better knowing that the majority
did or did not approve of the trees.”
ON "LIBRARIES FORGO HOLIDAY DISPLAYS"
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
State responds to baby
blue in free speech tunnel
TO THE EDITOR:
The N.C. State University stu
dent body would like to thank
you for the gorgeous mural
painted Tuesday evening in our
Free Expression Tunnel.
The nauseating shade of baby
blue went perfectly with the
turning leaves outside I\irlington
and Alexander residence halls
Over the years, we have taken
quite a liking to defending our
selves from accusations, most
frequently from UNC students,
of being either rude, inappropri
ate or insensitive.
However, it’s apparent that you
all have acquiesced on this issue
considerably. And while we would
have a time denouncing all of the
ill-constructed, dull witted insults
plastered on the tunnel, we have
some particle physics work to fin
ish up at the reactor.
See you guys Saturday.
Thomas Mckee Anderson
'Gayble' is not exclusive,
responses were troubling
TO THE EDITOR:
The article about the “gay table”
(“A seat at the table,” Nov. 13) and
its subsequent responses left me
puzzled for several reasons.
I was taken aback when sev
eral members of the gay com
munity both here and at other
schools began confronting me
with their unfounded criticism
of the “institution” that the “gay
table” had become.
I explained that it was just a
small area of a few tables that
hosted a variety of individuals in
a pleasant environment through
out each weekday, the main
components being gay men and
their friends. There was never
an “invitation-only” policy to
the “gay table,” and anyone who
regularly sat there could tell you
literally everyone was welcome.
The fact that so much fuss has
been made about such a trivial
matter frankly frightens me.
Kyle Lemaire Doty
Fellow Carolina fans were
rude, should stay home
TO THE EDITOR:
As an avid Carolina Fever
member it has been ingrained
in my head that all fans should
stand at UNC sporting events to
This is the offense my girlfriend
and I committed against the bel
ligerent fans sitting behind us at
Tuesday’s basketball game in sec
tion 209. The abuse began early
in the first half, and escalated in
the second half to the point where
each and every time we stood up
following a time out, countless
explicative’s, moans and boos
were thrown our way.
If a student is lucky enough to
get tickets to a game, they need
to either support our team to the
best of their ability or not come
at all. I was appalled that our
students instead chose to sit and
curse at fellow Tar Heels.
Peace, War, and Defense
Please type: Handwritten
letters wl not be accepted
► Sign and date: No more than
two people should sign letters.
► Students: Include your year,
major and phone number.
► Faculty Jstatf : Indude your
EDITOR'S NOTE: Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily represent the opinions
of The Daily Tar Heel or its staff. Editorials reflect the opinions of The Daily Tar Heel edito
rial board. The board consists of seven board members, the associate opinion editor, the
opinion editor and the editor.
®lje laiUj &tr Heel
v.l (Yiddish) to complain
Dear bricks: Next time you
make me fall in front of a cute
boy I will come at you with a
jackhammer. (PS: don't invite
any of your friends here, we're
starting to look like State).
INFORMATIONAL: I don’t
want to participate in your
To the girl doing sit-ups on
the floor of Davis Library
on a Sunday afternoon:
To the shyest boy in the world:
how much more overt do I
need to be? Talk to me.
Dear UNC: would it kill you
to re-pave a few roads?
The streets on this campus
have more holes than John
McCain's tax plan.
A letter about a letter
complaining about other
letters: now THAT'S news!
To the guy I saw wearing
UGGs: shame on you
Dear UNC landscaping:
Perhaps we should re-evaluate
the unnecessary quad
vacuuming ... there are still
leaves on the trees.
What is this, stereotype
Why all the recent fuss over
Silent Sam? Everyone knows
he's just there to alert us
when a virgin crosses his
path. So let him concentrate,
Okay, we are all excited that
the election has added 'vetted'
to your dictionaries. Please
stop overusing it now.
To all UNC athletes: Please
drink lots of milk and take
your vitamins. I do not like
this roller coaster of injuries!
Thanks in advance.
e-mail? WHERE a full upper
denture? You just instilled
so much confidence in your
Hey roommate, no matter how
many times you try, you can't
beat me in Mario Kart. Face it,
Yoshi is better.
Since when did the Kvetching
board become Juicy Campus?
Art history majors: Stop wast
ing my oxygen, and choose a
major that has some benefit
A big heartfelt 'humbug!'
to the grinches who made
sure that there will be NO
Christmas decorations in Davis
Library this year.
Snow? What snow? Must've
been that bubble ...
To the freshman who showed
up 15 minutes into the first
half the basketball game with
Phase 1 tickets: I hate you.
Since when did throwing on a
blue scarf qualify as Carolina
To a certain P2P: you've had
your run, but now it's time to
retire. There are lots of
dignified options out there
for you: high school shuttling,
prisoner transport or motor
Send your one-to-two
sentence entries to
subject line 'kvetch.'
department and phone number.
> Edit: The DTH etfits far space,
clarity, accuracy and vulgarity,
limit letters to 250 words
> Drop-off: at our office at Strife
2409 in the Student Union.
> E-mail: to etfitdeskUunc.edu
> Send: to P.O. Box 3257, Chapel
H*. N.C. 27515