This Week in the News…

Posted: September 27, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Saturday, Sept. 21, Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)

A Pageant of Personalities in Atlantic City

“The world will be watching tonight as Miss America 2003 is chosen in Atlantic City. But who are these 51 young women who aspire to the crown? Who are their role models? What are their career aspirations?… Just what the world needs–more lawyers. But at least 10 of the 51 candidates said they would like to pursue a legal career. Miss Illinois Erika Harold is heading to Harvard University’s law school this fall, and Miss Virginia Jennifer Pitts is completing her final year of law school at George Mason University. Other future lawyers of America said they wish to practice everything from Internet copyright law to international law.”

Monday, Sept. 23, U.S. News & World Report

The Students Keep on Coming

“Yet for all the effort spent on raising private dollars, universities still retain their public obligations. ‘We are the supplier of last resort,’ says Alan Merten, the president of George Mason University. ‘We educate people at all ages from 17 to 77; we are to provide the economic basis for jobs; we are to provide the facilities for local events. We have assumed and been assigned multiple responsibilities without recognition that each one takes time, and each one potentially changes our mission.’… The choice between access and quality is one many state universities will have to make. George Mason, which over the past few years has been aggressively expanding in Northern Virginia, put on the brakes last spring, rejecting 17 percent more students than it did the year before. Most of the denied applicants were Virginia residents. Next year, predicts dean of admissions Andrew Flagel, ‘we are going to deny a significant number of students who are well qualified.'”

Monday, Sept. 23, Time

Voting and the States: Can Anyone Here Count?

“Since 9/11, congressional attention, like everyone else’s, has snapped away from domestic policy and toward the war on terror. There are domestic issues on the table… but they are evergreen, high profile bills, like Medicare reform and bankruptcy protection measures. Issues, in other words, that directly affect this administration, says Susan Tolchin, professor of public policy and an expert on elections at George Mason University. ‘This is not an issue that has hurt Republicans so far,’ says Tolchin. ‘Look at what happened in Florida last week–the White House couldn’t care less which Democrat runs against Jeb Bush. So there’s no reason for the President to get involved. He didn’t campaign on this issue, and it’s simply not a priority for him.’ The thorny mess of election reform, ironically, seems to inflame voters less than questions of personal health or economic security. ‘If election reform doesn’t pass in time to affect 2004,’ says Tolchin, ‘the vast majority of the public will just scratch their heads and move on. There’s just no critical mass pushing for election reform.'”

Wednesday, Sept. 25, National Public Radio, Talk of the Nation

History of Desegregation in America and a New Trend Toward Resegregation in Public Schools

David Armor, a professor of public policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and the author of Forced Justice: School Desegregation and the Law: “I think that had there been a lot of good evidence on educational benefits, that, for example, minority students in integrated schools had dramatically or substantially increased their achievement levels as a result of segregation or racial balance, we might have made a case for public policy. We might even meet the Supreme Court standard. You can use race for making decisions provided it has a compelling government purpose. But we can’t make that case. In school districts like Charlotte and Mecklenburg and Wilmington, Delaware, that were some of the most racially integrated schools in the country for decades, the achievement gap between black and white students is just as high as it was when we started and as it is nationally.”

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