College requires students to make a lot of choices. This often means sacrificing for the sake of academic performance. Sacrificing a night at the bar, or an extra hour of sleep is a step towards responsibility and maturity. But there are some things that a student should never be put in a position to have to sacrifice.
Chief among these is religious conviction. This year, as in the past, Jewish students who want to observe Yom Kippur next week will not automatically get permission from their professors to be absent from class. Some professors chose to allow students to miss classes for the High Holiday, while others did not. We believe that a situation like this calls for a uniform university policy of cancelling class on High Holidays.
No one should be forced to choose between their religion and their education. It is perfectly acceptable to demand that students missing class complete work ahead of time or make it up afterward. It is not acceptible to lower their grades, or otherwise punish them for practicing their religion.
A significant percentage of Emory's student body is Jewish. This fact alone should sway the University to change its policy for holiday absences. A school must attempt to represent and accomidate the beliefs of its student body.
We applaud those professors who went out of their way to allow their Jewish students to miss class seamlessly. Even absent a change in University policy, we strongly encourage all other professors to consider a policy change of their own.
We want ours
Presidential debate at Emory would bring spotlight
Tuesday's presidential debate had an estimated television viewership of 90 million. Add to this the reams of press coverage and the accompanying controversies over the exclusion of minor party candidates and Ralph Nader's ejection, and you end up with a media circus to rival the Super Bowl. All that publicity can't hurt the University of Massachusets at Boston, the site of the debate.
Later this month, Washington University (Mo.) and Wake Forest University (N.C.) will also get their turns inthe spotlight when they host the second and third debates. What about Emory?
In this election, as most, Georgia is a key battleground state. Add to this Atlanta's young population, racial diversity and growing population, and you have to begin to wonder why Emory isn't one of the first locations to pop into the debate organizers' minds.
Technical problems like the size of Glenn Memorial Auditorium, and the acoustics in the Woodruff Physical Education Center are certainly legitimate excuses, but either could be overcome if the university put some of its money and brain power into the task.
We think it's worth the expenditure. Emory is a leader in the study of southern politics, and by far the best university in this part of the country. We demand that the administration take those steps necessary to procure us our rightful place in the national news.
The staff editorials represent the majority opinion of the Wheel Editorial Board.