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Roses and thorns 10/25/09




  • Roses to Mississippi University for Women for bringing us another year of the Eudora Welty Writers'' Symposium, held at the college last week. Each October, the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy sponsors the Eudora Welty Writers'' Symposium to honor the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. 


    This year''s event brought Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey to the historic university. Other authors featured this year were Tony Earley, Pearl McHaney, Becky Gould Gibson, Jim Murphy, Bridget Smith Pieschel, Stephen Robert Pieschel, Ken Wells, Jesmyn Ward and Kendall Dunkelberg. 


    Roses also go to Andy Murray Coffey, his wife, Katherine, and son, Glenn H. Coffey, who donated a collection of 270 Welty works to the university. MUW President Dr. Claudia Limbert announced the donation during the Thursday opening of the symposium. 




  • A tentative rose to legislators for keeping Mississippi University for Women''s name change alive. We''re all together on this aren''t we, gang? But we''d like to encourage them to consider the name Reneau University, which, along with honoring a founding "mother" of the school, just has a nice ring to it. 


    Local Reps. Jeff Smith and Gary Chism and Sen. Terry Brown admit they''re not very fond (to say the least) of the proposed name, chosen after more than a year of meetings and research. Chism has said he doesn''t want a name change at all, but Smith and Brown say the name change is needed to keep the school its own entity. 


    It also is disappointing to see a 2000 "W" alum and lawmaker, Rep. Esther Harrison, choose to voice no opinion on the matter. 


    Smith said to "not merge it with any other university, a name change is essential." He also admits there''s no silver bullet to save the university from those who''d like to see it become a satellite for State or Ole Miss. A name change, he said, is just part of the solution. 


    Fortunately, making the school an arm of another college doesn''t seem to be an option for lawmakers. 


    And while we agree with Smith -- the name is just a tiny part of the elephant -- it''s a significant part that needs to be addressed immediately. 




  • A bouquet of roses to Americorps'' National Civilian Community Corps. Members of the group, comprised of college students from all over the country, have been renovating a New Hope home to be used as a home for formerly homeless boys. The group partnered with the Southern Foundation for Homeless Children to renovate the building to serve as a transition home for teenage boys.  


    The team arrived Sept. 2 to paint, caulk, put in cabinets and build an adobe shed in the front yard. The nine-bedroom house on East Cherry Street will be home to 10 boys as they continue in their education and look for jobs, until they transition into their own homes. 




  • Roses to Columbus High School and the Columbus Police Department for their efforts to prevent underage drinking . 


    Members of the school''s Sigma Beta Club and CPD visited businesses across the city this past week to place stickers on beer and other alcoholic beverages to remind adults not to provide alcohol to underage youth. 


    The stickers read: "Know the law. It is illegal to purchase or provide alcohol to people under 21."  


    Local administrators have noted underage drinking is a widespread problem, with investigations of incidents of underage drinking almost always leading back home, to parents. 


    Many juvenile felony cases heard in local courts indirectly involve alcohol use, ending with kids paying large fines, being placed on probation or serving jail time. 


    It''s good to see high school students encouraging adults to look out for them and their peers.



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