R The Daily Tar Heet Thursday, October 13, 1977
Ben Cornelius, Managing Editor
Ed Rankin, Associate Editor
Lou Bilionis. Associate Editor
Laura Scism, University Editor
Elliott Potter, City Editor
Chuck Alston, State and National Editor
Sara Bullard, Features Editor
Chip Ensslin, Arts Editor
Gene Upchurch. Sport Editor
Allen Iernican, Photography Editor'
Impetus for reform needed
Five years have passed since a faculty committee appointed by the
chancellor, unanimously recommended the adoption of a four-course load.
Three years have passed since the Faculty Council approved compromised
legislation which rejected the idea of a standard four-course load but
encouraged departments to consider offering courses ranging from two to
six hours credit per semester, thus creating the possibility of a four-course
load for some students.
But the question remains the same: Why has a four-course load never
been a viable alternative for most students?
"1 think the best schools in the country are those that don't conceive of
education as the piling up of courses," said Prof. John Shutz, who headed
the Chancellor's Committee on Undergraduate Degree Requirements in
1972. We tend to agree.
However, before this committee's recommendation could be acted on, we
acquired a new chancellor. Chancellor N. Ferebee Taylor sent the four
course load proposal to the Administrative Boards of the General College
and the College of Arts and Sciences for further study. The Administrative
Boards rejected the proposal and sent their report to the Faculty Council
that said the "concept of a 'standard course' might curtail the existing
freedom of departments to devise courses of varying credit." Finally, the
Faculty Council, not one to "curtail the existing freedom of departments."
suggested the variable credit plan to each department.
The problem is that most departments have not exercised their freedom to
offer variable credit courses. Instead, most departments have continued to
offer only standard three-hour credit courses.
"There's always something artificial about course credits," said Dr.
George V. Taylor, chairman of the history department, referring to the fact
that course credits are not always indicative of the amount of time invested
in a particular course. Taylor said the variable credit course option was
discussed informally in his department but "never as a serious
When asked about the possibility of a four or five credit course, Taylor
said he supposed you could have a three hour course with one hour
discussion for four credits. Indeed, this suggestion should be given serious
consideration, as it would afford the serious student a more intensive study
of the particular areas in which he or she is interested.
A few departments have modified certain courses, however, after the
Faculty Council's suggestion. For example, the Romance Languages
department offers intensive 1-2X course for six credits for one semester,
according to Dr. Frank M. Duffy, chairman of the Romance Languages
department. He said the four hour credit given to Art 31 and Art 32 were
also responses to the Council's suggestion.
Notably, the natural science departments have many variable credit
courses. The botany department offers courses from one to five credit hours.
These courses include not only labs, but several seminars and special topics
"I don't see how anyone can be seriously engaged in five courses at one
time," said Dr. Willie Koch, director of undergraduate studies in the botany
Koch noted that while some botany majors may have a four-course load,
they still take the average number of credit hours or more. Essentially, the
variable credit courses allow the serious majors to do intensive study in their
areas of interest.
It should be noted that this academic freedom in the botany department
was not just a response to the Faculty Council's suggestion. According to
Koch, many of these variable credit courses were offered before the
Council's suggestion. In fact, he credited the undergraduate association of
his department with many improvements in academic reform.
But not every department has a viable undergraduate association which
can instigate reform. Consequently, the only way to revive the four-course
load alternative from its deep sleep is for each department chairperson to set
up a joint student-faculty committee to study the course and hour
requirements in that department, as well as the possibilities for variable
credit courses. More seminars, special topic courses and intensive-level
courses for variable credit should be considered by every department, and
the student-faculty committee could present the possibilities after close
The four-course load was not killed it simply suffers from inertia. To
provide a greater impetus for each department to broaden its scope, we
suggest that the Faculty Council require each department to form student
faculty committees to study the variable credit options. Such a requirement
would not "curtail the existing freedom of depaitments;" it would only
ensure that every possible effort is made to structure a curriculum condusive
to in-depth study.
The broader spectrum of educational possibilities which comes with the
alternative of a four-course load would be of immeasurable benefit to the
University. With a just little effort, the sleeping alternative may be
News: Tony Gunn, assistant editor; Mark Andrewi, Mike Coyne, Meredith Crewi. Shelley
Droescher, Bruce Ellis. Bety Flagler, Grant Hamill, Lou Harncd, Stephen Harris, Kathy Hurt.
Nancy Hartii, Chip Highsmith, Keith Hollar, Steve Huettel, Jaci Hughes, Jay Jennings, George
Jeter, Ramona Jones, Will Jones, Julie Knight. Eddie Marks. Amy McRary. Elizabeth Messick,
Beverly Mills, Beth Parsons, Chip Pcarsall, Bernie Ransbottom, Evelyn Sahr, George Shadroui,
Vanessa Siddle, Barry Smith, David Stacks. Melinda Stovall, Robert Thomason, Howard
Troxler, Mike Wade, Martha Waggoner, David Walters and Ed Williams.
News Desk: Reid Tuvim, assistant managing editor. Copy chief: Keith Hollar. Copy editors;
Richard Barron, Amy Colgan, Kathy Curry, Dinita James, Carol Lee, Michele Mecke, Lisa
Nieman, Dan Nobles, Melanie Sill. Melinda Stovall, Melanie Topp and Larry Tupler.
Sports: Lee Pace, assistant editor; Evan Appel, Dede Biles, Bill Fields, Skip Foreman. Tod
Hughes, Dinita James, Dave McNeill, Pete Mitchell, David Poole, Ken Roberts, Rick Scoppe.
Frank Snyder, Will Wilson and Isabel Worthy.
Features: Pam Belding, Jeff Brady, Zap Brueckner, Amy Colgan, David Craft, Peter Hapke. Etta
Lee, Nell Lee, Kimberly McGuire. Debbie Moose, Dan Nobles. Stuart Phillips, Ken Roberts.
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and John Tomlinson. Photographers: Fred Barbour, Sam Fulwood, Michael Sneed and Joseph
Business: Verna Taylor, business manager. Claire Bagley, assistant business manager. Michele
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85th year of editorial freedom
letters to the editor
Fall break a welcome
To the editor:
In response to Robin McWilliam's
column on the "academic value" of a
proposed fall break for 1978 ("Fall break a
time for scholarly pursuits? Oct. II). let me
begin by stating that I have just transferred
to UNC-CH from a university that does have
a fall break (UNC-G) and that I have
observed no dire academic repercussions
there due to the four-day vacation.
As a matter of fact. I feel that the extra
break is very beneficial to us "serious"
students who don't "manufacture" long
holidays in order to zip off to the mountains
or the coast. A fall break would be a welcome
respite during the long weeks between Labor
Day and Thanksgiving.
I. personally would find it very
academically rewarding to be able to take a
couple of days off from the books in order to
return with a refreshed outlook and renewed
sense of vigor for my studies.
Incase it has escaped McWilliam's notice,
the proposed fall break would be around the
middle of October which coincides with
midterm time. For those students with
midterms prior to the break, the vacation
would offer a chance to recover before being
plunged back into the academic arena. For
those with mid-term exams after the break,
the two extra days of study would most
certainly be an asset.
As for McWilliam's implication that the
four-day weekend might easily turn into a
10-day holiday, he is blowing the issue out of
proportion. At UNC-G (otherwise known as
the Suitcase Capital of the Southeast), this
was not a problem of any notable size.
Besides, if the value of classes is as high as
McWilliam indicates, then the students
skipping them are actually suffering the
In sarcastically stating that "no professor
in his 35th year of teaching could know the
benefits of two days of classes." McWilliam
implies that we are "losing" two days of
classes when, if fact, they have been duly
added to the end of the semester.
I can see no harm in offering the students a
four-day break, which they so obviously
want, in the middle of the semester in lieu of
an extra two days between semesters.
No. we may not become "better scholars
because of another holiday." But I certainly
don't believe that we'll become worse
scholars because of it. and some of us might
even be a little healthier mentally and
emotionally due to the four-day break.
13-1- Estes Park Apts.
'Bitter' about quotas
To the editor;
Ms. Lanier makes an interesting argument
in her "Is the race fair" letter (Oct. 1 1) to the
editor. By using a series of analogies, she
rather forcefully attempts to differentiate
Efficiency not strong suit
By DOUG MARKHAM
Legislative efficiency has not been a
hallmark of the North Carolina General
Assembly, and the poor quality of the 1977
legislature was no exception. Aside from
special-interest influence, one-party
dominance and many individual legislators
who should not be re-elected, the legislature
has other signif icant problems of a structural
Political scientist Alexander Heard once
wrote, "State legislature may be our most
extreme example of institutional lag."
Certainly this is true in North Carolina. A
national research group, the Citizens
Conference on State Legislatures, released a
report entitled "State Legislatures: An
Evaluation of their Effectiveness." The
report ranked our state 47th among the 50
states and suggested many needed reforms.
The most severe indictment of the North
Carolina General Assembly is the total
failure of the committee system. From
introduction to passage. North Carolina's
law-making system has serious defects.
Many states allow prefiling of bills in
order (0 speed up the session. A few states
require prefiling. I n North Carolina, only the
Senate allows bills to be introduced before
the session. As a result, lengthy and complex
bills do not receive the careful study which
Once a bill is introduced, many of the
legislators cannot read and understand it.
On occasion this may be due to the intellect
of the legislator, but often bills are highly
technical. A statement of intent in terms a
layman can understand should accompany
each bill as a preface. At the present time the
I nstitute of Government prepares a daily bill
summary, but this summary does not
accompany the bill and is not prepared by
the author of the bill. Since many of the
legislators do not read the bills until they
arrive at the committee meeting or session at
which they must vote upon the legislation, an
accompanying summary is needed.
Otherwise, legislators will continue to be
dependent upon lobbyists and floor debate
which may be misleading.
North Carolina bills are subjected to the
whims of the leadership. The attitude of the
house speaker, who is not elected by all the
people of the state, may determine the fate of
the legislation. The presiding officer of the
chamber has complete control over which
committee will consider the bill. In contrast,
21 states have a uniform system of bill
referrals which prevents favoritism and
arbitrary bill assignments.
Not only are the duties of the committees
poorly defined, but also there are simply loo
many committees. The 1977 N .C. Senate had
32 committees; the 1977 N.C. House of
Representatives had 45. In 1975 the numbers
were 24 and 40, respectively. North Carolina
between absolute ability and the capacity to
use this ability. However, her obviously
emotional argument blinds her to some real
impacts of reverse discrimination on all of us
"insecure white males."
One cannot question the fact that Latins,
migrants, blacks and Indians have not
received all the amenities society has offered
members of the white middle class. One
could reasonably argue that even in thew.vr
"separate but equal" period, many minority
members must still "squeee an education
out of poorly funded ill-equipped schools"
with "less than top rated facilities." Evidence
of this abounds in the northern and southern
cities from which many of us hail.
However, quotas based on race, among
other things, certainly do unfairly
discriminate. To make an analogy. A is a
middle class white, having worked a job of 20
hours per week all through college while
maintaining a more-than-adequate list of
extracurricular activities and earning a very
high quality-point average. B is a minority
member receiving financial aid. having
similar extracurricular activities, but a lower
QPA. and perhaps lower test scores,
Yet the minority student gets accepted to
graduate school or the job over the white
student. Why"? To fill a quota. Who was the
absolutely best qualified with the greatest
potential? Grades certainly don't always
reflect the answer, and neither do test scores
or activity lists. What does? I really don't
know, but I somehow feel cheated, hurt and
bitter knowing that someone else may get the
position I've sweated, worked and strived
for not because they are better qualified or
have greater potential, but because of some
in 1975 had more House committees than
any other state in the Union. In fact, only
four other state houses have even as many as
In addition to the existence of too many
commutes, individual legislators serve on
too many committees. The average North
Carolina legislator serves on six committees,
more than any other state in the nation.
Most states sharply limit members' service
on committees in insure that each member
can devote adequate time to his
responsibilities. In fact one state, Maryland,
limits each legislator to only one committee.
Scheduling times for so many meetings
can be hectic. Imagine the problems of State
Sen. George Marion, who on March 31 was
expected to attend one committee meeting at
9. another at 9:30 and a third at Itfa.m.! One
North Carolina committee chairperson in
1975 gave out door prizes to committee
members to insure their attendance at the
meetings of his committee. Any committee
system which requires a reward to entice an
elected official to perform his duties is badly
in need of change. Even a brilliant committee
chairperson could not do an effective job
niaupcisuu wuu.u uu uu .... v.v.tv jv tne ieglSature. uniy a small and disciplined
with such a crowded schedule. corc 0f tne legislative leadership is aware of Doug Markham, a senior, is a pol
Although committee action has long been and in control of the activity of the final science and speech major from Goldsl
the center of activity in the legislature, only weeks, and most members of the General N.C.
You may be liable for aid given after injury
Editor's Note: This advice was prepared by ' .
the Student Legal Services which maintains T" "7
an office in Suite C of the Carolina Union. ' J 1 J
USC students have prepaid for this service ' . ' 1 1 '
... ,.k,.,! ..,... .;.;..., . Ill
and may obtain advice at no additional
Common law generally does not place
responsibilities on you to aid an injured
individual unless you yourself have caused
his or her injury. Where, however, you
choose to give aid, common law requires that
you do so carefully and responsibly.
Regardless of your good intentions, if you
negligently aggravate existing injuries or
cause new ones, you may be liable, and you
can be sued. Medical doctors are not covered
by this rule.
Statutory law in NorthCarolina limits this
broad rule. If you are giving aid to a person
injured in an automobile accident on a street
or highway, you will not be liable for further
injury resulting from your acts unless they
constitute "wanton conduct" or intentional
wrongdoing. Note, however, that this statute
does not cover any situations except those
following motor-vehicle accidents or
occurring on private property.
ADVICE FOR THE DAY: I) In an
emergency, seek trained medical help as
soon as possible. 2) If you are in an accident,
do those things you feel are reasonable to
help the injured.
cure for mid -
quota to compensate lor society's past
As Ms. Lanier asked so succinctly, "Is the
race really lair?"
William F. Fairbanks
E-6 Kingswood Apts.
Treating the symptoms
To the editor:
I feel that Roger Lancaster erred in his
analysis of the Bakke case ("Bakke victory
would be loss for all minorities," Oct.7). I do
not see how a policy of applying the same
criteria to all university applicants can be
labeled racism. Non-discrimination is not
racism. To say otherwise is a contradiction in
terms. Actually, the term "reverse
discrimination" is a misnomer. It is in reality
simple discrimination, no more, no less.
"Affirmative action" is a euphemism for a
return to the discriminatory policies of the
past. The only thing that has changed is the
identity of the privileged class.
Mr. Lancaster correctly states that special
consideration has been employed in the
favor of those with wealth and power. This is
wrong and will not be corrected by creating a
new privileged group. We should strive to
eliminate all special considerations, goals or
quotas; not create new ones.
He also correctly states that it is not the
student black minority that discriminates
against minority admissions. But white
students have no control while, the
government holds the withdrawal of federal
funds over their heads.
of General Assem bly
within the last year have Senate committees
been allowed to take roll-call votes.
Committee roll-call votes are not published,
and neither are the proceedings of committee
meetings and hearings. Rules for committees
are uniform in 37 states, but not in North
Carolina. As a result, committee
chairpersons have great power to shuffle
agendas and either rush or delay legislation.
The procedures of committees and
hearings reflect the poor organization of the
N.C. legislature. Hearings are poorly
advertised to the public and rarely do
committee leaders solicit testimony from
those likely to be concerned or affected by
the legislation. In fact, hearings in the N.C.
General Assembly are relatively hasty.
Usually two days notice is given. California,
which was ranked first in the national study,
requires four days notice in each chamber.
The ineffective committee system is
compounded by a lack of professional staff
for research. Moreover, little effort is made
to move legislation along by a schedule. As a
result, much of a session's legislation is either
ramrodded or sidetracked by hysterical
committee action in the rushed final weeks of
the legislature. Only a small and disciplined
i 1 $ " oust aw mmm
"T-P7 y THERE. CAWC V 1 ,
to nW -rL
lst r . rT. .v II 1 1 1
The unequal opportunities that Mr.
Lancaster refers to never will be erased
through continued dwelling on the race
question. They will only disappear when race
becomes no more a consideration in the
affairs of our lives than the color of our eyes.
The disadvantages that most black students
operate under could be abolished through
improved education programs. Then maybe
fewer blacks would be turned away from
medical school without the lowering of
standards, and we all would benefit.
I would be the first to concede to Jenny
Lanier that the foot race to which she refers
in the Oct. 1 1 "Is the race fair" letter is unfair.
But let's continue her analogy to its logical
conclusion. Let us say that under our
program of affirmative action we declare our
disadvantaged runner the winner even
though he lost. He then proceeds on to a
more demanding race that in our analogy
will correspond to medical school. Shall we
let him slide titrough that one also? Of course
not. He should be taught how to run well.
Then let him compete on an equal basis with
Here lies the crux of the problem.
Programs of affirmative action and artificial
integration only treat the symptons of the
disease and not its cause. Let us treat each
other equally and stop worrying over
The Bakke case is a continuation of the
equality movement. His victory may be a
loss for some individuals, but would be a
victory for the cause of equality for all.
Assembly accept their directives blindly.
Shouldn't the people of North Carolina be
benefitting from the proper input of aA our
If a bill survives the disorganized
committee process, the proposal is subject to
floor debate and vote. North Carolina is one
of only 14 states which fail to require at least
one roll-call vote on each item of legislation.
The crucial vote on a bill may never be
recorded. This is especially true in the closing
weeks of the General Assembly when
adjournment fever sweeps through the
Procedural reform in our legislature is
badly needed to assure accountability and
efficiency in future sessions of the N;C.
General Assembly. Replacement of many
members and leaders would also he an
improvement, for the 1977 legislature failed
The product is only as good as the
craftsmen and their method. North Carolina
deserves new legislative methods and
craftsmen in 1979.
Doug Markham, a senior, is a political
science and speech major from Goldsboro,
...WEMftE ...I'M -ffllNKNG.-