Georgia Tech, globalization, George W. Bush, Jody Robert Shaw, global perspective, President Carter, Cuba, Christopher Gooley, Georgia, perspective, Editor Board of Student Publications, President Bush, Moeko Wallis Management, Colette Cowie, Jang Sik Language Center, U.S., ninety nine percent, information technology, Marshall McLuhan, President Saddam, Fidel Castro, Jimmy Carter, Robert Hill, Photography Robert Hill, Tech village, former President Carter, global village, local community, Board of Student Publications
page 4 OPINIONS
Technique · Friday, May 31, 2002
OUR VIEWS Consensus Opinion Health Center moving While the new facilities for the Health Center will be a definite improvement over its current, less functional building, the health service
s available to students should not be sacrificed to finance the move. Indeed, this move should correspond to an increase in the services that are available to students. Some improvements in the services area already planned in conjunction with the move. The addition of dental services to the available health care
will help freshmen and other students without access to transportation to receive the health services they need. Despite the strides forward made by the new facilities and the addition of dental care, the Health Center needs to make additional services available to students. First and foremost, the emergency services available at the Center need to be improved so that students whose needs are most urgent are treated first, whether or not they have an appointment. In the same vein, walk-in-services, the type of health care that is most useful to college students
, needs to be added to the menu of options at the Health Center. Both of these improvements would be labor intensive, meaning that they will require the hiring of new doctors. These additional costs would be well worth it, however, if the Health Center would then be able to provide students with the sense of safety and well-being they should be able to expect. While the Health Center move will certainly benefit students, it is essential that the cost of this move does not cheapen the services that the Health Center provides. Emerging Leaders redundant Although Emerging Leaders is designed to help entering freshman get involved in leadership positions at Tech, the very fact that it is a selective program undermines its stated aim: to help ensure that the leadership initiative reaches freshmen. The leadership intiative's goal is to encourage all Tech students to be involved in leadership roles. The goal of Emergent Leaders is to pick a small portion of the freshman class and single them out for leadership development that every freshman who wants to be involved should receive. Beyond the fact that the program will have difficulty accomplishing its desired goal, the program also seems to serve a purpose that many other organizations and programs already attempt to fill. The role of selective leadership development organizations for freshman is already filled by the likes of Freshman Council and FreshGA. Campus organizations already heavily recruit freshman members every year, so what is needed is not another organization for freshman to join. What is needed is a way for all freshmen to learn what is necessary to be a leader. The infrastructure to accomplish this goal is already in place: PL's, PSYC 1000, and Hall Councils, to name a few programs designed with freshman in mind. Money from Buzzfunds should be used to strengthen these programs toward their obvious goals: showing all entering freshmen the value of involvement in the Georgia Tech community. Developing a new program while other programs have not reached their full potential is foolish, especially when there is no reason to believe that a new program will succeed when others with similar purposes have not.
Quote of the week: "The world is full of ugly things that you can't change; to pretend it's not that way is my idea of faith." "Alice Childress" by Ben Folds Fiveeditorial board
Jody Shaw, Editor-in-Chief
Derek Haynes, Managing Editor
Madhu Adiga, News Editor Sara Cames, Opinions Editor Kimberly Rieck, Focus Editor Julia Trapold, Entertainment Editor Katie Neal, Sports Editor Robert Hill, Photography Editor Paul Horton, Advertising Manager Karl Guertin, Online Editor
Israeli conflict not as simple as some think
I write as a Muslim and as a proud citizen from the world's largest democracy - India. What I see therefore in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict pains me doubly. First, I agree with Dr. Block and Mr. Greene about the despicable nature of suicide bombings. Targeting of civilian population is unacceptable under any circumstances. It is against most basic of Islamic principles and has to stop immediately. Palestine leaders need to criticize the bombers forcefully and not just when the US arm-twists them in doing so. Second, I also agree with Uhlig that Arab propaganda remains virulently anti-Israeli. But the Arabs
are not one single faceless entity. That would be as ridiculous as saying that Europeans or Asians are a single entity with no plurality of values, religion, culture and nations. Third, I suspect that the present US enthusiasm about a `regime change' in Iraq stems neither from high-minded democratic principles nor from valid reasons of security. Iraq's ownership of chemical weapons and the worst repression of its own people took place in the 1980's when it was an ally of the West. While, I would still like to see President Saddam go, the timing and the violent means used to do so makes me unwilling to support it. Fourth, Arabs and Israelis will
never agree on whose side morality lies and whether the previous wars were justified or not. But, we, as humans have determined the illegality of the occupation of one nation's territory by another. History is always contentious, but it is important that it does not impede on our present and our future. Akbar Ladak [email protected]
Editor's Note: The Technique appreciates the many responses from readers it has received regarding Daniel Uhlig's editorial. However, the Technique will no longer run letters regarding this editorial.
Consensus editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board of the Technique, but not necessarily the opinions of individual editors.
By Matt Norris / STUDENT PUBLICATIONS
Technique · Friday, May 31, 2002 · 5
Following former President Carter through Castro's Cuba
When we signed up to take a two-week odyssey through Cuba none of us knew the trip would coincide with the journey of another Yellow Jacket through the socialist island. None of us knew that our small group of students from the Sam Nunn School would witness former President Jimmy Carter, Tech's most famous alumnus, make history in post-revolutionary Cuba. And none of us knew that Cuba would be caught in the crosshairs of the Bush administration's foreign policy
while we simultaneously studied the political and economic crossroads at which the country remains caught. My study abroad group received more than it bargained for. We went to Cuba to study an island nation caught in the whirlwinds of historical change--economic, social, and, though still limited, political change. Former President Carter recognized this unique opportunity to engage Cuba and chose to accept President Fidel Castro
's invitation to visit the island. "I have come to learn how to achieve harmonious U.S.-Cuban relations," Carter told Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party for its 11 million inhabitants. In a way Carter himself seemed to be on a sort-of study abroad; after all, no U.S. President, whether or currently in office or not, had visited the island since Castro's 1959 revolution. My studies and Carter's studies produced similar opinions about the nature of today's Cuba and of U.S. policy towards the nation. In 1993 the Cuban government instituted broad sweeping economic
"This foreign policy dilemma just requires a little Georgia Tech engineering; if only George W. Bush
were a hell of an engineer." Jody Shaw Editor-In-Chief
reforms that fundamentally changed the course of the island. It legalized the U.S. dollar as a currency, legalized a specified number of private small-businesses, and legalized tourism. Though the government legalized the dollar, it continues to pay salaries to its employees, which constitute the vast majority of Cubans, in pesos, the value of which falls far short of the dollar. These changes have economically revived the government, stimulated the entrepreneurial spirits of some Cubans, and exposed Cubans to visitors and ideas from around the world. Our group saw this economic transition in action. Indeed, as students who also acted as tourists we engaged in the phenomenon we were studying--a concept that early on I had trouble reconciling in my mind. We saw an odd class stratification emerging in what was once, in theory, an egalitarian society. We noted that our tour guide
, a young Cuban involved in the tourist economy where he receives access to dollars, no longer needs to use his ration book. We observed a Cuban family with relatives in the U.S. that owns technology that most Cubans fail to even dream about obtaining. These Cubans, the entrepreneurial Cubans
in the "dollar economy" and those with family members
in the U.S., constitute the new "upper class" of Cuba--odd winners in the socialist system design
ed to reward good revolutionaries and ensure equality. We saw this stratification up close; indeed, we encouraged it with our spending in the nation. We both monetarily supported the Castro regime by spending dollars in the economy and also undermined the regime by supporting the private capitalism in the form of in-home restaurants and street artisans. President Carter did the same; both legitimizing the regime by his criticism of the U.S. embargo and undermining the regime by openly discussing the Varella project, an internal movement by 11,000 Cubans to hold a national referendum on the government, in his nationally-televised speech at the University of Havana. Carter's speech marked the first time since 1959 that such an uncensored broadcast was made live to the Cuban people--a sign of possible political change. In the midst of so much change, it seems the only constant regarding Cuba, other than its aging leader Castro, is U.S. policy towards the island. I returned to the States just
in time to hear President George W. Bush pander to the Miami-based Cuban exiles by reaffirming his adherence to the 43-year old U.S. embargo of the island. Carter criticized this policy of the status quo while in Cuba; he recognizes the benefits that free-flowing American dollars, people, and, undoubtedly, ideas would have on Cuba. The Bush administration currently employs this strategy of engagement with China, another communist country with a huge population, yet it refuses to allow its own people to visit a country 90 miles away. Perhaps the reason is because China never nationalized U.S. businesses as Cuba did after its revolution. Or perhaps the reason is because the Miami-based U.S.Cuban population that is so vehemently anti-Castro and pro-embargo helped to elect President Bush
and resides in the state governed by his brother. Whatever the reason, a more sensible policy that allows free flow of American goods, people, and ideas would most certainly further the goal of undermining Castro better than the current policy of isolation. Both President Carter and the members of my study abroad group learned much about the current state of affairs in Cuba; we recognized the current opportunity for engagement with the Cuban people and government, and we took advantage. Perhaps the solution to this foreign policy dilemma just requires a little Georgia Tech engineering-- logical thought to expose the illogic inherit in the current U.S. embargo of Cuba. If only George W. Bush were a hell of an engineer.
Breaking out of the Tech bubble into the local community
As students at Georgia Tech we live in a microcosm of technology: a complex network of Internet and wireless technologies that allow us to `stay connected' to one another in ways that even our parents could not have imagined. We also live in a bubble. The same technologies that define our wired existence foster an estrangement from the very world that we are supposedly in touch with. Like in an airport with flights leaving roughly every four years, barring `delays' from high-pressure academic systems, I find myself a tourist in the city of Atlanta. It explains a lot about how our campus operates. Like an airport, the Student Center and Bookstore can mark up the price of its goods because they are well aware that once checked in, as a student, I will not venture past security as I wait for my flight. This begs the question of why is the Tech experience so cut off from the outside world? Four years is a significant slice of time after all; where is our wanderlust to explore? Pop culture and Conventional wisdom
has often portrayed the college experience as a rather insular, introspective thing, with our noses pressed into books and various other grindstones. The reality of it all is that even the most dedicated among us have countless opportunities to explore past the boundaries so thoughtfully marked out in Georgia brick and waist level chain-looped fences. Yet for the most part, very few Tech students are aware of, let alone interact with, the outside world. The issue here is not state of (or lack of) social lives of students at Georgia Tech, but rather the misconception
"There is poverty less than 5 miles from Tech, yet campus is under going an incredible spurt of construction." Robert Hill Photography Editor
that the use and consumption of technology can afford a global perspective. The stakes here are rather large: we need to realize that globalization is not limited to the Web and IM. College students love bargins but I fear it is our local perspective that is over ninety nine percent off. We have a responsibility; I would even go as far to say a moral obligation, to be aware of what transpires outside the walls of Georgia Tech. Without an understanding of the local interactions of our community, our chances of asserting an informed role of leadership in the global theater later in our lives is seriously compromised. To reach such an understanding we must comes to terms with what it means to be part of a local community, what it means to operate from a position of privilege and power, and how the local ultimately interacts with the global. Prescient of the direction and influence communication and information technology
would have on the way the world would do business, Marshall McLuhan, coined the term global village in the mid 1960's; In doing so he combined the vastness of globalization with the intimacy of the interactions within a small village. Since then we
have witnessed technological innovation
collapse the idea of tangible distance separating both people and information from one another. The promised potential of such technologies that drove McLuhan's global village captured the imagination of cultural theorists and economists alike. Some envisioned nothing less than the democratization of information and knowledge, the very basis of power. Sadly such idealism is yet to manifest: with recent reports estimating the total percent of the world population online being around five percent. McLuhan's village closer resembles a club. Returning to our metaphor of the airport, it is important to recognize Georgia Tech interactions and therefore our own role, within our community. We at Tech are the very embodiment of the world's privileged five percent. What are the implications that there is poverty and ghetto less than 5 miles from Tech's campus, yet on campus we are under going an incredible spurt of construction? There is hardly a simple answer, yet at the end of the day it will be from the asking of such questions, and not so much with their answering, that a true global perspective will be achieved. Such is the difficult and intractable
nature of most social issues
; the point is that we cannot even begin to address such things if we allow ourselves comfortable ignorance. Whether you are an EE, a CMPE, STAC or HTS major, the issue of how the local affects the global should lie at the very heart of your education. I fear however that our education at Georgia Tech, as well as the very technology that our education innovates and perpetuates, makes it rather easy to turn a deaf ear to things occurring in our very own backyard. Within the Tech village we are beguiled by the illusion that the global has collapsed into the convenient accessibility of the technologies that we embrace on a daily basis. We are all familiar with the Hollywood clichй of a brilliant, naive scientist that unwittingly helps in the creation of some terrible weapon; reality usually plays out in less grandiose term but the stakes are equally high. We must recognize the power that our education confers to each of us, and in what way such power should be wielded. Although the skills and knowledge that we take with us upon graduating will doubtlessly ensure our place in the socio-political clime of our generation, we must never confuse our ability to utilize technologies of globalization with a true global perspective. When I take my place upon the global stage I hope it will be with the courage to openly challenge the very precepts of privilege and opportunity that got me there. It will be struggle, yes, but it will be one done with eyes-wide open and that will make all the difference.
TECHNIQUE "The South's Liveliest College Newspaper" Established in 1911 Editor-in-Chief Jody Robert Shaw ··· Managing Editor Derek Haynes News Madhu Adiga, Editor Javier Fernandez, Andrew Howard, Jason Reeves Opinions Sara Cames, Editor Focus Kimberly Rieck, Editor Jennifer Lee, Narendhra Seshadri Entertainment Julia Trapold, Editor Bryan Basamanowicz, Senior Staff Writer Joey Katzen, Chris Webb Sports Katie Neal, Editor John Parsons, Al Przygocki Production Paul Horton, Advertising Mgr. Photography Robert Hill, Editor June Zhang, Darkroom Mgr. Christopher Gooley, Shelley Hoyal, Scott Muellners, John Rafferty, Daniel Uhlig Online Karl Guertin, Editor Board of Student Publications Dr. Carole E. Moore, Chair RoseMary Wells, Publications Mgr. Billiee Pendleton-Parker, Advisor Advertising and Accounting Nancy Bowen, Business Mgr. Marcus Kwok, Accounts Mgr. Donna Sammander, Advertising Mgr. ··· Copyright Notice Copyright © 2001, Jody Robert Shaw, Editor-in-Chief, and by the Board of Student Publications. The Technique is an official publication of the Georgia Tech Board of Student Publications. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the Editor or from the Board of Student Publications. The ideas expressed herein are those of the editor or the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board of Student Publications, the students, staff, or faculty of Georgia Tech, or the University System of Georgia. Advertising Information Information and rate cards can be found on our World Wide Web
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6 · Friday, May 31, 2002 · Technique Buzz Around the Campus
Jang Sik Language Center "Watch TV."
Moeko Wallis Management "Went to swim practice and lifeguarded about 9 hours in the pool!"
Hye Sok Industrial Design "Worked at my dad's store."
Colette Cowie Mechanical engineering
"Cleaned my new house."
Question of the week "What did you do for Memorial Day?" Feature and Photos by Robert Hill
Milnes David Mechanical Engineering "Saw `Star Wars.'"
Krit Athikulwongse ECE "Went shopping."
Nick Hasara Civil Engineering "I went rafting at the Chatahoochee."
Jamila Hinds Industrial Design "Went to the Piedmont Park Jazz Festival."
J Fernandez, R Hill, A Howard, J Lee, J Parsons