From the Emory Wheel, this is Wheel Talk. A new podcast focusing on news surrounding Emory University. Tune in to hear about the pertinent stories on campus, explained by Wheel journalists.
Semester in Review
As we get ready for our third season next semester, the Wheel Talk team is breaking down a few significant stories from this semester.
February 24th marked Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, forcing Ukrainian students to support their families miles away. Far from their home country, students expressed their emotional struggles and considered efforts in helping and spreading awareness on those in need in the midst of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
On March 16th, the Board of Elections’ disqualified candidate Elizabet Ortiz (24C) from the SGA Presidential race. Ortiz called on the student body to enact change and caused a landmark election win of “no confidence.” A challenge by Emma Friese and Sruti Kumar was submitted against the SGA contesting the validity of a run-off election following “no confidence” victory.
On April 21st, President Gregory Fenves announced the renaming of campus buildings and professorships honoring Robert Yerkes and L.Q.C. Lamar, following last year’s removal of the Augustus Longstreet name from all campus honors. Fenves convened the University Committee of Naming Honors in 2020, who recommended the removal of Lamar, Yerkes and former University Presidents Atticus Haygood, George Foster Pierce and Augustus Longstreet from all honors.
We will be back in the fall with regular episodes of Wheel Talk.
The Renaming Work is Unfinished
Last year, Emory renamed Long-Street Means to Eagle Hall due to the racism shown by Augustus Longstreet and Alexander Means. This residence hall is not the only instance of a racist figure being honored at Emory. Names like Yerkes Research Center also have racist histories.
This episode, we explore the current situation of naming honors at Emory and what action the university has taken (and not taken) through the University Committee of Naming Honors. We also look outside of Emory, as the same issue persists in the broader Atlanta community.
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The Mummy Debate at the Carlos
For years, human remains have been displayed for public viewing in museums across the world. Mummies are an integral part of these displays, and Emory’s very own Carlos Museum welcomes over 70,000 visitors a year who are curious to take a peek at the crown jewel of the museum: the oldest mummy in North America. While mummies are an important part of history, whether or not they should be on display remains disputed at Emory and beyond. While some see these human remains as important educational exposure, others protest its cultural insensitivity and colonialism.
In this episode of Wheel Talk, Opinion Editor Chaya Tong explores Emory’s decision to continue displaying mummies, the history behind the display of mummies, how they first came to Emory and more of the controversy behind their display.
Read the accompanying article here: https://emorywheel.com/to-see-or-not-to-see-the-ongoing-debate-of-displaying-mummies-at-the-carlos-museum.
A Classroom Divided (pt. 2)
In this week’s episode of Wheel Talk, and the second installment of this story, we continue to examine and question the pedagogical value of using slurs in a classroom, and the moving boundaries of acceptance depending on the lived experience of Emory community members. We’re narrowing in on the events of this semester, including two professors this fall who used slurs for “pedagogical reasons.” Both rocked the law school and ensued protest and counter protest.
Don’t forget to check out the first part of our series “A Classroom Divided” where we broke down the historical usage of slurs at Emory’s Law School. This story corresponds with the cover story in the Hub, the Wheel’s recently-restored magazine.
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A Classroom Divided (pt. 1)
In late September of 2021, a professor in Emory’s Law School openly used a slur in a first year law class. The incident sparked protest and a simultaneous counter-protest by members of the community. But this isn’t an isolated incident. Over the past years, over four law professors have openly used slurs and received serious criticism. One professor, Paul Zwier, used slurs in separate incidents inside and outside the classroom and was barred from teaching mandatory courses until this semester.
In the first installment of this two part series, we speak with news reporter Madi Olivier who helped investigate the recent relationship between the history of using slurs in the classroom and the events that have led up to this semester. This story corresponds with the cover story in the Hub, the Wheel’s recently-restored magazine. We will continue telling this story on next week's episode of Wheel Talk.
A Plan for Graduate Student Housing
For years, Emory graduate student housing has been nonexistent or lackluster, leaving students to settle for off-campus options. In 2019, 37.1 million households were “housing cost burdened,” spending 30% or more of their income on housing. Cities have a lack of affordable housing and the barriers to building more units proves difficult.
Over the past six months, Emory has introduced a plan to address the absence of graduate student housing. The new building would create 1,000 on-campus beds for graduate students. According to the university, it will cost an estimated $80 million of which Emory will borrow. However, the project has not come without opposition. Some Druid Hills residents have continued to voice their concerns on possible environmental, aesthetic and traffic impacts.
In this week’s episode of Wheel Talk, Associate Editor Claire Fenton breaks down the project and community opposition.