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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279

July 29, 2002

Carolina in the News

Continued Summer Reading Program Coverage

Colleges and High Schools to Observe 9/11
The New York Times

The 1,100 students who attend Earlham College in West Richmond, Ind., can 
expect to spend at least part of Sept. 10 in workshops that recreate what they 
were thinking and doing on that date last year — and considering, in hindsight, 
how narrow their views of the world were... At the University of North Carolina 
here, all 3,500 freshmen will be required to read excerpts from the Koran, 
unless they write an essay to request an exemption, to prepare for small two-
hour discussion groups that all are expected to attend, beginning late next month.

(Note: News Services worked with The New York Times reporter Jennifer Medina 
for several days on this story comma published in the front section with two photos 
from UNC. Besides Chancellor Moeser and Jen Daum, the reporter interviewed 
several other university officials and faculty about a wide range of issues related to 
the reading program. Additional coverage is expected Tuesday in The Christian 
Science Monitor
and next month in The Baltimore Sun. The New York Times 
requires free subscription to access articles)

Getting Religion
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Some students will do anything to get out of a reading assignment. Last week, three 
freshmen at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sued the institution over 
a book about the Koran in a required summer-reading program...
(Note: The Chronicle of Higher Education requires subscription to access articles.)

Author weighs in on Quran book 
The use of the text "Approaching The Qur’an: The Early Revelations" has touched off 
a controversy at UNC, where university officials have been criticized for requiring the 
text to be read by incoming freshmen. Written in 1999, the book is a collection of 
passages from Islam’s holy text accompanied by commentaries on each written by the 
author, Michael Sells, who holds an endowed professorship in comparative religions 
at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

Group asks judge to halt UNC reading requirement
Charlotte Observer

A Christian organization that is suing UNC Chapel Hill to force the school to stop 
requiring this fall's freshmen to read a book about Islam is now asking a federal court to 
speed up the process. The American Family Association Center for Law & Policy in 
Mississippi asked the court Friday to halt the requirement while the case is decided.

UNC and the Quran (Editorial)
Charlotte Observer

Some students have sued the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over a 
summer reading assignment for incoming freshmen. The assignment: Read and be 
prepared to discuss the book "Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations," 
translated and introduced by Michael Sells. It includes 35 passages from Islam's holy 

Faith, Knowledge (Editorial)
Fayetteville Observer

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States is quite simple and 
clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or 
prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...” Over the years, the courts have included 
public schools under that mantle, ruling that they can’t teach religious doctrine.

Society needs to diversify itself to others
Daily Collegian (Pennsylvania -- student publication)

America is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. People have 
migrated to our shores for hundreds of years -- people from every walk of life from 
everywhere... Schoolchildren are given a quick and bland education in world religion 
and then the subject is dropped entirely to avoid "offending" anyone through. For 
example, the University of North Carolina tried to educate its students about Islam, a 
religion that has suddenly come into volatile public view.

Dispute damages Christian family group's credibility 
The South End (Michigan - student publication)

Do you remember when Christian and family organizations lambasted the decision to 
erase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, on the grounds that reciting it in a 
classroom environment was not coercive?... This summer, students at the University 
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill were required to read a book on Islam and the Quran 
for their summer reading program. The book, titled "Approaching the Quran: The Early 
Revelations," contains 35 suras (chapters) from the Muslim holy book.

Exploring Quran is fine; should we add Bible? (Letter to the Editor)
Charlotte Observer

In view of what is happening in the world today, the assignment for incoming UNC 
Chapel Hill students to read a work on the Muslim Quran is appropriate ("Quran book 
is worth UNC students' time," Ken Garfield, July 20). It is a simple matter of cultural 
literacy. I do think, however, that the assumption that very many students have familiarity 
with Jewish and Christian scriptures may not hold up...

Any college is wrong to require religious study (Letter to the Editor)
Charlotte Observer

I don't think any public university or college should require any student to take a course 
concerning any religion or a book about any religion, period. If a course if offered 
as an elective, fine...

UNC-Chapel Hill’s counter-culture (Letter to the Editor)
Fayetteville Observer

The article written about the UNC-CH attempt at coercing students to study Islam is
truly disturbing. The school’s leadership has fallen for the popular theme in diversity 
via education, which is, “accept what is popular or go home.” Carl Ernst, the professor 
giving these classes, has a small degree of merit, which he has run away with. ...

Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people and 
programs cited recently in the national media:

Current National Coverage

Rule of What? 
American Journalism Review

It's been called an industry standard, the norm, an average and a rule of thumb. It's also 
been called a myth, folklore and flat-out wrong. Yet it's often cited--even if it's being 
derided--and widely known by most in the newspaper business... Despite the benchmark's 
many flaws, however, some think it's not so bad to have around. "It's a nice anchoring 
point for tracking change," says the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Philip 
. And staff size does matter.

Living her dream
The News-Times (Connecticut)

For her internship, Alexi Nunn is working with the National Conference for Community 
and Justice, which works to advance public policy goals dedicated to social justice... 
The ambitious junior at the University of North Carolina is among 20 college students 
from 430 applicants around the country chosen for a fellowship at Harvard’s Civil Rights 
Summer 2002 for emerging social justice leaders.

Rugger mugger (Editorial)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)

According to the Duke of Wellington, the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing 
fields of Eton, the famous English boys' school. The duke might not have been talking 
specifically about rugby, but he knew the value of hard, physical games in building courage, 
teamwork and character. Fortunately for the British cause, those Eton boys did not have 
anxious mothers... The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, which 
is located at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, keeps track of most high school 
sports (though not rugby). Not surprisingly, football has the highest total of serious injuries, 
but then some 1.5 million high school students play it.

Tattered Hopes
Newsday (New York)

They climbed into the bus at 4 a.m., perhaps the unlikeliest collection of revolutionaries 
ever assembled. There were two dozen on board that September morning 10 years ago:
mothers and grandmothers, homemakers and bookkeepers, Republicans and a few 
Democrats. They carried pillows, box lunches and the hopes and fears of tens of thousands 
of women just like them. They had breast cancer -- most of them, anyway -- and they 
were going to Washington, D.C., to demand the government find out why... "I've tried 
very hard to talk to the women, and to listen to them. There is just a huge difference 
between the lay perception and the scientific perception,” said Marilie Gammon, the
epidemiologist who led the project's largest study and has borne the brunt of the activists' 
(Note: Gammon is an associate professor of epidemiology at UNC.)

State and Local Coverage

Sexuality minor an idea at UNC 

Glenn Grossman, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student in epidemiology, did his undergraduate 
work at Tufts University in Boston, where he felt comfortable being gay. But last semester 
he and a friend had a different experience on Franklin Street one night, when they walked 
by some students who called them a derogatory name.
(Note: Related coverage includes a story by the Associated Press, which appeared in the 
Winston-Salem Journal

Instilling a culture of honor in academics (Question and Answer)
For the last six months, a task force led by UNC-Chapel Hill law professor Marilyn 
Yarbrough has studied ways to reform the student-run honor court at Carolina. The group 
presented its report in June and the campus will explore the recommendations when the 
fall semester begins.

Renovated UNC undergraduate library set to reopen 
A renovated, updated undergraduate library -- with wireless Internet connection, new 
facilities for group study, and advanced World Wide Web-related software -- will greet 
students arriving at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next month.
(Note: This story is a UNC News Services release

UNC professors eye housing statutes 

A group of analysts at UNC’s School of Government will spend the fall compiling a "best 
practices manual" for local governments interested in forcing developers to build more low-
cost housing.

Exercise at school helps children's health, study shows
Winston-Salem Journal 

On kickball days at Mineral Springs Middle School, it's hard to find a student standing
still for long. Children are kicking the ball, sliding into the bases and trying to tag the runners 
before they reach home plate... In many middle-school gym classes, though, the students 
are far less active, which is damaging to their health, said Dr. Robert G. McMurray, a 
professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
(Note: This study was the subject of a UNC news release

AHEC's future raises concerns
The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees reaffirmed support for the school's Area Health 
Education Centers program and promised to protect the program from being hurt by its 
pending move from Horace Williams Airport. The board on Thursday passed a resolution 
expressing its commitment to AHEC and supporting closure of the airport "as soon as Med 
Air can be satisfactorily relocated to another facility no later than Dec. 31, 2002."

Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina

ACT to Stop Flagging Scores of Disabled Students Who Need Extra Time on Test
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Following the College Board's lead, the company that administers the ACT exam announced 
Friday that it will stop flagging the scores of disabled students who received extra time to 
complete the test. ACT Inc., based in Iowa City, Iowa, now marks results on tests taken 
by disabled students who request additional time as "special" when delivering the scores
to colleges. The nonprofit company has decided it will cease flagging such scores, starting 
in the fall of 2003.

Note: If you have any questions about Carolina in the News, 
please call Cathleen Keyser or Mike McFarland at News Services, 
(919) 962-2091 or news@unc.eduor