The Hypocrisy of People on this Campus

Campus Life, Conservative, CRDaily, Elections, North Carolina Politics, Politics, Student Government, Students, UNC

Honestly, what is it about some people that make them so bent on destroying another person’s moral fabric simply because of the person they voted for. In an absolutely appalling article titled “The Hypocrisy of Summers and Walker” Ishmael Bishop completely demonizes Kathryn Walker and Houston Summers because they voted for Thom Tillis in the last election.

Here’s the link, by the way: http://sbpmatters.com/2015/02/03/the-hypocrisy-of-summers-and-walker-2/

How, can YOU call yourself a Tar Heel for blatantly questioning the ideals of someone you do not know? Do you know who they are? Do you know what they’ve been through? Do you know anything about them other than the vote they cast? I don’t know about you or anyone else at this school, but I think that is a HUGE rush to judgment and an unfair and hypocritical one at that. Do you know WHY they chose to vote for Tillis? MAYBE it had nothing to do with his social views, but of course that wasn’t taken into consideration in the least bit.

As the Editor of the Carolina Review Daily, I will once again speak to the fact that I am MINORITY, FEMALE in a position of authority for a conservative/libertarian magazine. A minority, CONSERVATIVE female who voted for Tillis, BUT believes in women’s rights and FIGHTS for those rights everyday, by breaking through stereotypes like you, my friend, have. A minority, CONSERVATIVE female who is pro-choice, and surprisingly doesn’t have religious beliefs. You could make me out to be a monstrosity; you can poke fun at me or the many other people who identify as I do. OR, you could do the intelligent thing, the thing that ALL of us came to Carolina to do and that is to get to know one another; to step back from the stereotypes and the name-calling; to LEARN and understand and have an INTELLECTUAL debate with people who have different views from us.

Maybe, just maybe, before you cast your judgmental, ill-informed, horrific, appalling, opinions on the rest of the student population YOU should learn what it is to be a TAR HEEL and that is to ACCEPT everyone, regardless of their color, gender identity, ethnicity, AND their beliefs!

I’m not saying this because the paper I write for is endorsing Kathryn Walker, before someone starts to say that because: you have no idea who I’m actually going to vote for. I’m writing this because this is a pure injustice to have someone talking about another person in this way. We are ALL Tar Heels people! ACT LIKE ONE before you tarnish the name of this wonderful University for good!

Lea Palmer

Interview with Sean Haugh, Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate (Part Two)

Elections, North Carolina Politics, Politics

As the 2014 midterm elections are quickly approaching, a large amount of the nation’s attention has turned to North Carolina, a state that many consider a swing state after it flipped from blue to red between the 2008 and 2012 elections. The battle has mainly focused on Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis. There is, however, a third player in this traditionally two-party game: Libertarian Sean Haugh. The Durham pizza delivery man has gained a fair amount of attention thanks to his multiple YouTube videos, and currently has five percent of polled North Carolinians supporting him. Haugh previously ran for the US Senate in 2002 and had served as the national political director for the Libertarian National Committee.

I went to Durham to sit down with Haugh and discuss why he thinks he can win this race. In the second part of my two-part interview with him, Haugh and I talked about the problems surrounding his two opponents, the episode in Ferguson, Mo. and his main method of campaigning: YouTube.

If you have not yet read Part One of this interview, you can find it here.

File:Sean Haugh.JPG

United States Senate candidate Sean Haugh (Photo courtesy of Rachel Mills)

Alex Thomas: Let’s talk about your opponents. The race has mainly been focused on Speaker Tillis and Senator Hagan, with neither side being able to confidentially secure a majority of voters. A September 10th poll by Rasmussen has Senator Hagan up over Speaker Tillis by six points, while a month ago a similar poll by the organization had Speaker Tillis up by five points. Why do you think neither of them can get a majority of people on their side?

Sean Haugh: Because the majority of voters see them for what they are: people who represent corporate special interests and not the people. I found it amusing that Senator Hagan had commissioned a poll that she was touting a couple of days ago, and right there in the stuff that she was trying to point out, her negatives still outweighed her positives. But, her negatives are closer to her positives than Speaker Tillis’ are.

I hold the opinion that Speaker Tillis is completely unelectable. He has no point being in this race. He’s just out there to fly the flag of his party. He has no chance because he has lost such significant demographics. So many people have looked at his performance in the General Assembly and want to reject him.

I’m getting a lot of support simply because I’m not either of them.

AT: You are currently situated around five percent. That is according to a Civitas Institute poll, which, unlike the previously mentioned poll, did actually mention your name directly —

SH: I don’t consider a poll legitimate unless it mentions me by name. That Rasmussen poll that you mentioned is worthless because it’s “some other candidate”. It’s so bizarre to me that the political class and  a lot of media are so wrapped up in the Washington game, that they, too, have lost any sense of reality.

One thing that really amazes me about this race and the lack of legitimacy of media coverage of it is that they are all focused on control of the Senate. That seems to be the only thing that matters to them at all.

A lot of the times, they really just don’t know what to do to me. I just don’t fit into their conception of reality.

AT: Why do you suppose you don’t fit into it?

SH: Because I’m actually talking about issues that matter to people. You watch this news coverage, and there’s almost nothing about how this election is going to affect the people of North Carolina. It’s all about how it’s going to affect what happens underneath the dome in Washington, DC.

I think that is one of the reasons why more and more people are getting their news from Twitter and Facebook instead of the mainstream media. They can actually get real news. Like a lot of people who live in the 21st century, that’s how I get my news.

I talk to people who just watch cable news, and just wonder how they hardly know anything that’s going on in this world. They certainly know plenty about sharks and the Kardashians, but not much about, for example, what happened in Ferguson, Mo. a month ago.

AT: Since you mentioned Ferguson, let’s say a similar incident occurred here in North Carolina. If you were Senator, how would you address a Ferguson at home?

SH: We do have Ferguson here at home. The only difference is that we didn’t shut down the city and protest over it.

There are three cases here in Durham alone since our current police chief, Jose Lopez, took office. Situations where people died through interacting with the police, but not necessarily in confrontation. One in particular is the case of Jesus Huerta, who was shot in the back seat of a patrol car. They still maintain that he managed to sneak a gun in and shoot himself, even though he was handcuffed in the back of the police cruiser.

Overall, the police really have changed over the last few years to really be opposed to protecting and serving the people while having a good community relationship. These kind of things have happened all across the country.

One thing that really concerns me is the militarization of police. To me, that’s a sign of just how opposed to the people the police have become. Why do you need this big, mine resistant armored vehicle for local police work? It’s completely unnecessary unless you want to go to war with the people.

What happened in Ferguson is really a national problem. One thing I would like to do as a Senator is stop this 1033 Program of giving police department and local law enforcement military weapons.

But, I’m not sure how much else I could do besides being supportive of local groups who can really address their local issues. The only way to restore that relationship between the public and the police is for the public and the police to work it out themselves.

AT: So far, your campaign efforts has consisted of around 30 YouTube videos explaining your positions on a variety of issues, ranging from immigration reform to Israel. Have you found this method of campaigning to be successful in attracting support?

SH: Absolutely. It is so easy to share videos and it’s incredibly inexpensive. It costs me around $50 to make each video, and I’ve been able to get my message out to a very large number of people.

In addition, I’ve been able to establish a larger social media presence than either of my opponents because I actually use it to engage people, talk to people and listen to people. They [my opponents] don’t seem to understand Facebook and Twitter in particular. They just use it as a bullhorn to get people to listen to them.

People being able to talk to me and get to know me as a real human being really sets me apart from my two opponents. I mean, you call up Senator Hagan’s office now to try to get some help with something or ask a question or state your opinion. More often than not you’ll get a busy signal. To me, that’s an insult in 2014. Nobody needs a busy signal anymore. You can at least put up a voicemail saying, “I’m sorry we’re so busy. We can’t take your call right now, but you can leave a message or we can call you back in a little bit.”

Getting back to YouTube, it is certainly a lot of fun. It really gives me the opportunity to present myself and my ideas in the exact way I want to. Since government is still kind of locked in the 20th century, it’s a lot less regulated than if I was making TV ads. If I was doing TV ads, I would have to include a lot of other language, so YouTube is very liberating.

I’m really enjoying this campaign a lot more than 2002 for exactly that reason. I can just be myself, say exactly what I want to say in exactly the way I want to say it. The technology makes it easy for me.

AT: You did not get a chance to participate in the September 3rd debate with Speaker Tillis and Senator Hagan. Do you think you will get an opportunity to debate them on a public forum?

SH: I am invited to a debate on October 9th sponsored by the League of Women Voters and WCET-TV. It’ll be down in Wilmington, and at various points all three of us had accepted that offer, but now everything is really in flux.

Once it was pointed out to my opponents that I would be there, all of a sudden they were a little bit less certain they would be there, too. They are incredibly afraid to face me at all. I really see these debates that don’t include me as them auditioning for their corporate special interest masters instead of actually trying to address the people.

There has been not only just my supporters but voters who want a real debate and don’t necessarily support me putting pressure on groups like WRAL and the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters to include me in a future debate.

Having been down this road before in 2002, I hope I’m being too cynical when I suggest that that’s the last thing either of them want. They [his opponents] are the ones controlling the process. I don’t blame debate organizers at all when I’m excluded because it’s not their call. It’s totally up to Hagan and Tillis, and they have both made it very clear that they don’t really want to face me or the people.

Things change every day. I’m still planning on going to Wilmington on October 9th, and we’ll see if either of them have the guts to show up.

AT: If there was one thing you could tell the people of North Carolina that could convince them to vote for you, what would that be?

SH: I’m the only candidate that wants to stop all war. We’ve been in the state of perpetual war for over fifteen years now. There are people in this country that are about to become a voting age that have known nothing but war. The majority of Americans and North Carolinians look at this and know that it’s untenable. We have to do something else other than just more bombing.

It’s not radical or extremist anymore to talk about libertarian issues like stopping all war or spending money that we don’t have. Everybody knows this debt we have is unsustainable, and yet my Democratic and Republican opponents promise nothing else but increasing that debt.

The main thing is if you’re voting for either the Democrat or the Republican, even though there are differences between the two, you are also voting for more war and more debt. It’s time that we send a message to the Democrats and the Republicans that we want something different.

Interview with Sean Haugh, Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate (Part One)

Elections, North Carolina Politics, Politics

As the 2014 midterm elections are quickly approaching, a large amount of the nation’s attention has turned to North Carolina, a state that many consider a swing state after it flipped from blue to red between the 2008 and 2012 elections. The battle has mainly focused on Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis. There is, however, a third player in this traditionally two-party game: Libertarian Sean Haugh. The Durham pizza delivery man has gained a fair amount of attention thanks to his multiple YouTube videos, and currently has five percent of polled North Carolinians supporting him. Haugh previously ran for the US Senate in 2002 and had served as the national political director for the Libertarian National Committee.

I went to Durham to sit down with Haugh and discuss why he thinks he can win this race. In Part One of my two-part interview with him, Haugh and I talked about his motivation for running for Senate, how he would respond to multiple issues facing the United States currently and what makes this election so unique from his previous attempt to become Senator in 2002.

File:Sean Haugh 3.JPG

United States Senate candidate Sean Haugh (Photo courtesy of Rachel Mills)

Alex Thomas: Why are you running for United States Senate?

Sean Haugh: Because I can’t count on the Democrats or Republicans to talk about stopping this state of perpetual war or spending more money than we have.

I had retired from politics in 2010, and I was very happily retired. But, as I saw this race shaping up, I thought there was a need for a really strong libertarian voice, especially now that we know my opponents are really not going to talk about much of anything besides their own kind of disassociating talking points.

I just wanted to walk into the voting booth myself in November and be able to vote for something besides more war and more debt.

AT: You did run for this Senate seat in 2002, a race which was won by Elizabeth Dole. Do you feel this election is different from that attempt? What’s your attitude towards this election compared to 2002?

SH: From their perspective, I don’t think things have changed at all.

Back in 2002, I thought it was very odd that, at the time, I had lived here less than 20 years and was a lot more connected to life in North Carolina than either of my opponents. I mean, Elizabeth Dole had to claim she was living in her mother’s house to run for this seat. This time, even though my opponents have better North Carolina credibility, they’re both still completely disconnected from how the average person lives.

For me, it’s just a completely different world compared to 2002 for two main reasons. One is that everybody knows what a libertarian is now. I don’t have to spend much time explaining to people what a libertarian is. We have a very favorable view to the point where we have a lot of people who aren’t really libertarian try to claim to be libertarian because it is cachet, so it’s nice in that aspect.

Also, one major thing that’s changed is social media. Back in 2002, we didn’t have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, that sort of thing. So, in order for me to get my message out, I would have to drive all over the state. On some occasions, I would drive three hours to talk to a dozen people, then drive home afterwards. Now, I can do most of my campaigning from home with the YouTube videos and also on Facebook and Twitter. I’m very easily accessible. People can engage me.

Before, I would go do a talk radio interview, the show would end and I would be done. Now, listeners can continue to engage me after the fact. If people have any kind of follow-up questions or didn’t get a question into the show, they can ask me on Twitter or Facebook. That’s allowed me to be able to get my message out very inexpensively.

AT: Your career experiences range from serving as an administrative assistant for the Duke University Hospital to now working as a pizza delivery man. Have you learned anything from your diverse employment history that can help you win this race?

SH: Oh, yes. One thing I love about my job delivering pizza now is that it keeps me connected with people. I deliver to about 20 families a night, and we have a very diverse city here in Durham. As a result, I’m meeting people from all walks of life every night. It really keeps me connected to what life is like for most of us who are trying to make ends meet.

My job at Duke University Hospital was also very informative to me. I worked with people on their insurance, especially with Medicaid and Medicare patients. It just gave me a real firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to try to be on government benefits. All the bureaucratic Hell they had to go through just so they could keep up with the most substandard benefits that we offer here in the United States, and I’m sure in the intervening time it has gotten worse not just for patients, but for providers, too.

One odd job I had in the past was doing telephone surveys for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) where some naïve researchers thought, “Oh, it would be a really great idea to poll doctors and see how they feel about Medicaid and Medicare and understand what they are facing. Maybe we can incorporate that into policy.” Of course, by the time that reaches the floors of Congress, it’s completely distorted from reality.

But, that experience also gave me a lot of perspective from providers on why a lot of them are getting out of taking care of Medicaid and Medicare patients, as well as why government makes it so difficult for people who need healthcare to be able to get it.

With most of the other jobs I’ve had in my life, that’s the common theme. Being out in public, being in the customer service role and really having to listen to people and get to know what their perspective is.

AT: Your campaign slogan is “Stop All War”. What exactly do you mean by “all war”?

SH: War has infected so much of our public policy. It’s not just the direct war and drone warfare that we are conducting all around the world, but it’s also how we arm everybody in the world. We really need to stop arm sales.

You look at the Middle East where everybody, friend or foe, is armed with our weapons and training. There is the possible exception of Hamas, but they can easily get our stuff second hand. The first thing we have to do in the Middle East is stop the flow of arms to the region.

But, “Stop All War” also involves the militarization of police at home as well as culture war, even though the latter isn’t really a federal issue. I don’t want the United States Senate to start ruling on matters on culture war.

The chance to be able to run for US Senate has given me the opportunity to talk about how this war mentality has infected all of our thinking. We have been so used to being at war for so long, that now we are really turning on each other. There is just no political solution that begins with the half of the country that disagrees with you dropping dead. I’ve been able to use the campaign as an opportunity to talk about how we have to talk and listen to each other, and sometimes agree to disagree. We’re all in this America thing together, and we’ve got to develop a mutual respect for each other again if we’re going to be able to solve any of our problems and move forward as a country.

AT: Since we are talking about the Middle East, let’s start talking about your position on multiple issues by discussing the threat of ISIS. Over the past few weeks, every political leader has been talking about what the United States and its allies should do to diminish ISIS’ power in the Middle East. If you were currently Senator, what plan would you advocate for?

SH: Well, not doing the same thing over and over again that created this Islamic state in the first place.

You listen to that debate between my opponents from a couple of weeks ago [September 3rd], and, to me, the theme of it was “Well, if you loved Iraq War I and Iraq War II, then you’re going to really love Iraq War III.”

They [My opponents] don’t have any solution besides more bombing, and that’s what really created the problems to being with. We have been interfering in the affairs with the Middle East for so long, we created this blowback with these groups who, again, are armed with our weapons and our training. We’ve just become more and more virulent when we think we’ve gotten rid of one threat and then much greater threat arises in their place.

So, the first thing we have to do is just stop interfering in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries and stop that flow of arms to them.

One thing that really upsets me is seeing John McCain on TV. I can’t believe anybody takes him seriously anymore. Last year he was saying we have to arm ISIS to defeat Assad, and now he’s saying we have to help Assad defeat ISIS. People will listen to him say this stuff with a straight face.

Then you look at my Democratic opponent. Senator Hagan is now trying to say, “Oh, I’ve been trying to warn President Obama we need more bombing months ago.” All they think of is that throwing more bombs fixes the problem.

There’s no magic wand we can wave to make this problem go away, but we can undermine it by going back to what Washington and Jefferson counseled, which was free trade with all and entangling alliances with none.

AT: One of the biggest issues that faces my generation is college tuition and, more specifically, student loans. Student loan debt has accumulated to around $1 trillion, which is second in consumer debt only to mortgages. What do you think needs to be done to make that number and the amount of students in debt decreases?

SH: Well, the first thing we have to do is stop flooding the higher education system with federal dollars because it’s just basic economics. If the federal government is going to put all of this money out there for it [an education], then the universities are going to raise their prices to suck up all of that money.

I went to Tufts University in the early 1980s, and at the time tuition was about $8,000 a year. The whole college experience for four years would probably be around $50,000. Now, it’s a quarter of a million dollars. It just doesn’t make economic sense anymore to go to college and take out loans for that.

One aspect of that that really bothers me is when people get out of college and they’re in this mountain of debt. That really restricts people’s freedom. You really don’t have the freedom to be creative with what you want to do with your life. Keeping people in all this debt is a way to control people. I’m in favor for forgiving a lot of student debt.

I don’t know if you remember a few months ago, but President Obama had this happy press conference about forgiving a bunch of student loan debt, and really that plan was just more corporate welfare. It was giving a lot of banks the full value of a lot of these outstanding loans which they will probably never collect. There are so many ways we use issues to transfer wealth to big business and large corporations, and that was one of them.

So, I think it would take a little bit of time, but just cutting off that flow of money from the federal government would not only make college more affordable again, but it would make more economic sense to go to college.

Stay tuned for Part Two of my interview with Haugh, in which we discuss the problems surrounding his two opponents, the episode in Ferguson, Mo. and his main method of campaigning: YouTube.

Red 4 Ed and Bias in the Classroom

CRDaily, North Carolina Politics

The fine line between one’s professional life and one’s personal life

As the year for public schools are in full swing, some teachers in North Carolina are less worried about making sure that their students do well in their class, and more upset about North Carolina’s education funding that was passed in this year’s budget. A coalition of teachers throughout the state are fighting against the Republican passed measures that ended teacher pay boosts for those with advanced college degrees, as well as other measures that freeze current teacher pay.

This coalition, Red 4 Ed NC, is a not for profit group of public school teachers that, to quote from their Facebook page, are “doing the best for our students through the demonstration of teaching.” This fact becomes a bit confusing based on the fact that half of the state budget is focused on education, and the state has passed measures  to increase the use of technology in local schools across the state. This fact isn’t mentioned on the Red4Ed’s website or on their Facebook page. Furthermore, their agenda, according to an October 3rd article by the News and Observer, is to support “a fair balance between workload, expectations and compensation for our teachers”.

In addition, the group is encouraging teachers to wear red on Wednesdays in protests of the budget until better laws are passed, bringing politics into an unnecessary battle ground of the classroom. Schools from all over the state have already posted their staff members wearing red garments on the group’s Facebook page, including these showing the fists for solidarity. These are the people teaching your children, ladies and gentlemen.

Photo: Weddington High School getting RED for Public ED.

Now, I’m not writing this to debate education funding, or talk about whether the budget signed by Governor McCrory was right or wrong. I am writing because of the sole purpose that the teachers who wear red are keeping political diversity out of the classrooms by promoting a political agenda, which could make some students feel uncomfortable.

Whether the teachers know this or not, a lot of kids are actually knowledgeable on politics. They follow the current events, and some are comfortable talking about it in school. But when a teacher promotes an atmosphere promoting one view over another, it is hard for a student who has an opposite view to feel comfortable, and it may do more harm than good to the students to talk about their differences.

Take for example an event that happened at North Rowan High School last year. A teacher, Ms. Tanya Dixon-Neely, verbally abused a conservative student for speaking ill about President Obama’s policies, and talked down to the boy about why he should not badmouth the President, as it could lead to jail time, which is false. The Rowan Salisbury School System briefly suspended Ms. Dixon-Neely, stating “The Rowan-Salisbury School System expects all students and employees to be respectful in the school environment and for all teachers to maintain their professionalism in the classroom. This incident should serve as an education for all teachers to stop and reflect on their interaction with students.”

This an obvious violation of the student’s freedom of speech, but how does it feel to not even be allowed to have  a different view in the classroom? For students like Daniel Glowacki, not too well.

On October 20th, 2010, Daniel was kicked out of his economics class by his teacher, Johnson McDowell, for not supporting homosexual marriage. A lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Law Center explained that the Howell Public School District in New Jersey allowed teachers to sell purple shirts in support of the late Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University freshman who killed himself last year after a roommate streamed an Internet video of Clementi kissing a male student. When McDowell, who was wearing one of these shirts, was asked by Daniel why it was permissible to display this viewpoint in school, he turned the question on Daniel and asked him whether he supported homosexual marriage. When Daniel replied no due to his Catholic religion, McDowell told Daniel and another student who shared Daniel’s views to leave class.

Now, while there has not been any documented cases of pro-Red 4 Ed teachers acting against students, the power of a piece of cloth is stronger than what this coalition sees it as, and it would be disgusting to have one teacher punish a student for having a different viewpoint than them on this matter. We can see with examples like Ms. Dixon-Neely and Mr. McDowell that teachers have crossed this line before, and all it takes was one person with a different view than them.

Teachers shouldn’t promote a political cause once they are in the classroom. Once they open their room door and sit behind their desk, they are no longer the political activists one may see on the streets. They are role models for children, and they help make the next generation of Americans great by promoting the  knowledge of how things work. However, they also let the students form their own opinions outside of the class using these facts. They shouldn’t attempt to create an uncomfortable atmosphere by promoting their own beliefs, and should leave politics in their personal lives.

Think of it as if an environmental science teacher only showed Gasland to their class. The film, which bashes the use of natural gas fracturing, would not provide the whole story to the students, but rather promote to leftists views of the film’s creator, Josh Fox. Students would only learn about the negatives of fracking, and none of the positive benefits it may have. Same thing if the teacher only showed Fracknation, a film that is devoted towards the positive benefits of fracking. Neither situation does not create a dialogue because only one side is being shown. Now, in this situation, the teacher could just show two films to inform their students of both sides, but that is difficult to do on the subject of showing support by wearing a t-shirt.

If teachers who take part for these events cared about creating a comfortable learning environment for their students, they wouldn’t bring their own views onto their kids. No one wants to abridge the First Amendment for anyone, but there is a time and a place for everything. Throwing politics in front of children’s faces can do more harm than good, no matter how noble the cause may come off as. This does not need to be enforce by some law, but rather common sense. It’s better to create a diversity of beliefs rather than promote an environment with a lack of one.

The Value of Liberal Arts Degrees in the Job Market

CRDaily, North Carolina Politics

From the Carolina Review, this article is a  response to Governor McCrory’s comments about the liberal arts and job training. Check out more at http://www.CarolinaReview.org 

The wide and varied applications of a “useless” degree

by: Aleigha Page

UNC prides itself for being a university offering a wide array of subjects and classes. Students are encouraged to explore topics of interest, take challenging courses that push, or simply to learn something new. The university believes that a diverse education prepares its students to be critical thinkers and knowledgeable world citizens. Liberal arts degrees have long been a tradition in the university, and knowledge for knowledge’s sake is the ideology that has driven how colleges and universities construct their course requirements.

The liberal arts have their value in the world: they teach students to think, write, communicate, and how to learn. In short, the discipline instills knowledge, producing intelligent and accomplished members of society. Humanities degrees teach students what it means to be a human by exploring subjects such as anthropology, history, sociology, government, politics, and psychology. By taking these courses, students better understand the human condition, and are better equipped to improve humanity. Liberal arts degrees construct malleable minds, and those minds are capable of evolving throughout a career. However, knowing information does not pay bills or put food on tables. The recent economy has not favored liberal arts seekers.

The world has changed drastically in the 21st century, and the value of a liberal arts degree is in question. Technology has taken the world by force and is in constant evolution. Demand for people with a serious knowledge of computers, engineering, biology, and chemistry is sharply on the rise.  Degrees in the sciences, business, or medicine are seen as being more practical and useful. Jones, a graduate student at NC State, graduated in 2012 with a degree in Microbiology. “I chose this major because it was practical, opened many doors, and is a growing field”. Jones is confident that his undergraduate degree has prepared him well for entering the work force, and will always be valued. He is currently working towards a Master’s in Microbial Biotechnology and his MBA. By pairing science with business, Jones believes that he will be afforded a wide selection of career paths and opportunities.

Chancellor Holden Thorp has worked hard to create a culture of research and innovation on UNC’s campus. As a scientist and academic, Thorp believes that scientific innovation is the key to students’ success in the future. He has established several research projects, primarily in the scientific departments, which he claims will prepare students to be sources of social change. An aspect of UNC’s mission statement is to “serve a center for research, scholarship, and creativity and to teach a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to become the next generation of leaders”. UNC wants its students to be educated, and learn to research, so they may be movers and shakers in the world. Without research skills, it is impossible to find practical sources of change in the world.

The critique against vocational training in a technical field is that training students for one track is a disservice because that track may become irrelevant or dated at some point in time due to the quick turnover in the tech world. Students are not taught to be thinkers or analysts, but simply workers, defeating the purpose of the university.

The question lingering in the minds of all liberal arts degree seeking students is “what will I do with this degree?”  When sharing their major with a new acquaintance, students face this question. As a fellow liberal arts seeker, I sympathize with everyone who has been fired this question. Professors tell us that employers want liberal arts degrees in their offices because they know we can think critically and analytically, write well, and are effective at communicating ideas. Liberal arts majors are often creative and can think “outside of the box”, offering innovative contributions to their employers. The current state of the economy is a grim reality that students must consider as majors are selected.

The answer to this dilemma is not to eliminate the liberal arts, but rather, to create a curriculum which integrates the classic disciplines and applicable uses of that knowledge. Liberal arts degrees are not irrelevant, but students need to learn how they can apply their hours of studying and countless papers to the professional world.  For example, imagine an art museum in construction. The museum building will be brand new, and many disciplines will be required. To begin, a budget must be established. A group of accountants, fundraisers, and other business people will convene to determine this budget. Architects and engineers will be hired to design the building and surrounding space; and construction contractors and workers will be brought on. Interior designers will create a pleasant ambiance inside the walls, and artists will fill the walls. The business team will remain and continue to maintain the budget by setting entrance prices, and how many employees the museum can afford. Janitors, curators, ticket collectors, guides, and guards will keep the museum afloat. This fictional museum is a microcosm for what the world needs: professionals from many backgrounds who are able to work together. Those with a liberal arts degree, such as art, a foreign language, or design, can apply their skills in ways that are meaningful. Students should not only be taught the core information of their courses, but how the information or skill can be applied in a professional setting.

One of the most beneficial courses I have taken at UNC was an English class and we applied for mock SURF grants and other programs. We learned how to write cover letters and resumes, and how to conduct an interview. These are skills that will be of value to us for our entire lives, whether applying for grants, graduate programs, jobs, or loans. We must know how to show the world our competence. A growing trend among professionals is to have a personal website showcasing our projects and achievements. A course that could teach liberal arts students how to construct one of these sites could prove to be invaluable.

The answer to liberal arts vs. training debate is not to chop one or the other, but to meld the two into a single track. Internships and volunteer positions offer students “real world” experience with which they can use their academic skills. Obtaining lucrative internships is the key to professional success. A student may have any major, and if they can find internships related to that major, their job opportunities increase significantly. The Communication Studies department of UNC offers stipends and scholarships so their students may take unpaid internships during the summer. The University Career Services also offers stipends and scholarships, some that are solely for arts related internships. Endowments such as these are essential for the arts majors. Students should be encouraged to accept these positions, paid or not, and then taught how to market the professional skills. UNC has some programs in place, and the majority of students do intern, but the programs can be taken to the next level by teaching students how to integrate their classroom knowledge with professional skills.

Out of Touch SBP? Sounds Right to me!

North Carolina Politics, Student Government

Elizabeth Merritt

I’m editor for CRDaily. I don’t speak for anyone on this campus except for myself. I am an average student. What if I were Student Body President?As SBP I would represent the student body (Section 3 Park H). If I wrote an editorial and signed it with my title as SBP, I would be speaking as the main representative of 29,136 of my fellow students.

On April 17, Student Body President Will Leimenstoll wrote a letter to the Editor in the Daily Tar Heel where he urged the student body to vote against Amendment One.  Personally, I am against the Amendment, but this isn’t about the Amendment. This is about the Student Body President, who represents 29,136 students.

As Student Body President, you speak for the student body. When you write a letter to the editor imploring students to vote in a certain manner on an issue, you disregard the opinions of students you claim to represent. There are students on this campus who are in favor of Amendment One, and this means that you must respect that. It is easy to claim that this is a personal belief, and that would have been fine, it if had been signed without the title “Student Body President.”

The same applies for appearing on campaign websites. It’s fine to agree with a politician on an issue, but to appear as the spokesman for the Obama campaign on student loans, means that as Student Body President, the representative of the student body, you have successfully ignored the political views of a strong minority of students.

When I met with Will Leimenstoll, he informed me that he wanted to make sure that all voices were being heard on campus, even conservatives. I find that hard to believe now. His Executive Board, full of Young Democrats and Moreheads, is obviously out of touch with any student who holds differing opinions. He needs to stop pretending to listen to those that disagree with his beliefs, and actually do so.

I sincerely hope that President Leimenstoll does not abuse his position as Student Body President further by urging us to vote for President Obama or Walter Dalton for Governor. I hope that he realizes that once he puts his title on anything that he says, he speaks for 29,136 students, not just himself. It’s a tough lesson, but it’s time to learn it.