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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
University Bulletin Vol. 50, No. 6
Sixth Week
Fall Semester
Sept. 23, 2002


Ralph Nader to open 61st season of The Forum

Ralph Nader will open the 61st season of The Forum at UW-Eau Claire on Tuesday, Sept. 24, with a lecture titled "World Trade, Globalization and You: Bigger is Not Better."
     Beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena, Nader's formal presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception.
     Ralph Nader has devoted his life to giving people the tools they need to defend themselves against corporate negligence and government indifference, saving great numbers of lives in the process. His tireless commitment to the public interest has made him a mainstay on the lists of the most admired and influential Americans. Nader first spoke on The Forum in 1970 and is one of very few national figures who have been invited to speak on the university's lecture series three times.
     At his last Forum presentation, in May 1991, a member of the audience asked Nader why he has chosen to live his life as he has. He spoke of the example set by his Lebanese immigrant parents, who ran a small Connecticut restaurant where public affairs were always the subject of spirited debate, and of the special meaning that civic responsibility had held for him since childhood.
     "There is no greater pleasure than to tackle a community or national problem with others — to apply intelligence to it, and to get it remedied. No greater joy," Nader said.
     "The standard press description gets it right about Nader's frugal habits and bookish manner," wrote Harper's Magazine editor Lewis Lapham, "but it misses his candor, his modesty, and his wit.... He draws the strength of his convictions from his knowledge of the facts, often staying up until 5 a.m. in the company of the Congressional Record or court transcripts that would intimidate anybody less relentless about the study of public policy."
     Born in Winsted, Conn., in 1934, Nader graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1955 and from Harvard Law School in 1958. He came to the public's attention in 1965 when his best-selling book, "Unsafe at Any Speed," exposed unsafe cars such as General Motors' dangerously defective Corvair. When GM went to exceptional lengths to discredit him — including hiring private detectives to tail him — Nader sued for invasion of privacy. Forced to admit its wrongdoing and apologize when its president was called before a U.S. Senate committee, GM settled the case. Nader used the funds from the settlement to launch the modern consumer movement.
     Activists from around the country began pouring into Washington, D.C., to work with Nader. His professional associates, known as Nader's Raiders, presented scores of studies and successfully lobbied for legislation to protect consumers, workers, taxpayers and the environment, combating corporate abuse and increasing citizen access to government.
     Nader spurred the passage of such landmark laws as the Clean Air Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Working with lawmakers, he was instrumental in creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
     He has founded dozens of public interest organizations — including Public Citizen, the Center for Auto Safety, the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, and Citizen Works — to expose and remedy the dangers that threaten a free and safe society. Establishing a model for citizen action around the country — showing that citizen action is not only important, but
fun — is probably his most enduring legacy, Nader has said.
     He has written, co-authored and sponsored dozens of books, and many of his writings are collected in "The Ralph Nader Reader" (2000).
     Nader first ran for the U.S. presidency on the Green Party ticket in 1996, capturing fewer than 700,000 votes (.71 percent) nationwide. His more aggressive second campaign — detailed in his 2002 book, "Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President" — brought Nader 2.8 million votes, or 2.74 percent of the national total. His campaign focused on public financing of public elections, consumer-powered universal health care, establishment of a living wage, and renegotiation of international trade agreements to protect labor rights, environmental standards and American jobs.
     In Wisconsin, Nader received 1.31 percent of the presidential vote in 1996, and 3.62 percent in 2000.
     Nader's appearance on The Forum is cosponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.


A call for student speakers for commencement
The Commencement Committee invites all students eligible for graduation in December 2002 to apply to deliver the Reflections at commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 21.
     The Commencement Committee will select manuscripts to be given orally before a second screening committee. The oral competition will take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, in Davies Theatre.
     Manuscripts will be judged on: development of a central theme; relevance to all listeners and to the commencement occasion; originality of ideas; and appropriateness of language and style.
     When read at a normal speaking rate, the Reflections can be no longer than four minutes. Manuscripts must be clearly typed and double-spaced. Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and school should be included on the cover page only.
     Unless the committee has made recommendations for change, Reflections will be given at the commencement ceremony as written and presented to the final selection committee. Judy Sims, communication and journalism, will be available to coach speakers prior to the ceremony.
     
The deadline for submission of manuscripts is 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11. Manuscripts should be hand-delivered or mailed to Beverly Soll, Activities and Programs Office, Davies 133.
     For more information, call Soll at 836-4419.


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World of UW-EC open to all of us

Editorial by Don Huebscher
Leader-Telegram staff

(Reprinted with permission from Sept. 15, 2002, issue)
Depending on where you're from, you may or may not consider Eau Claire a lively place. But one thing for sure is that it becomes more lively in September when the 10,600 students return to campus and the surrounding residential area to begin a new school year.
     If you've lived in Eau Claire for a while, the tendency is to treat the hustle and bustle of the campus without much thought. The students are back in class … so what?
     In fact, having a campus in our community is a very big deal, something that becomes clear when you think about it. The economic impact is obvious and significant. The university employs some 1,300 people who are experts in everything from music to foreign language to nursing to politics to history to chemistry to … well, you get the idea. These people don't only teach class, but they live here, and so do their families. They enrich our community tremendously.
     But that's just part of UW-Eau Claire's impact on our community. There is a large support staff that maintains the buildings and grounds, provides the food service, counsels the students, supervises them in the dormitories and staffs the library, Davies Center and other facilities that are busy morning and night.
     The economic impact hardly stops within the boundaries of campus. A number of local businesses exist to serve students, be it many of the shops, restaurants and bars on Water Street. Others benefit more indirectly, but they benefit, and in return many provide jobs for students who in turn spend their earnings in the community. And when they graduate, many put down roots in the Chippewa Valley and help manage companies and volunteer in the community.
     But those of in the area who look at the university only for its economic benefits are really missing the boat, the cultural boat, that is. Last month the Leader-Telegram published UW-Eau Claire's 2002-03 calendar of events, and the depth and breadth of programs and opportunities open to all of us is mind-boggling.
     Where do you start? Ralph Nader on Sept. 24? Seymour Hersh on Oct. 22? The Tuesday night planetarium programs at Phillips Hall? The University Theatre? The nine events making up the Artists Series? The International Folk Fair on Oct. 27? The Hmong New Year in November? Cabaret XXX in January? Black History Month events in February? The Viennese Ball in April?
     This could go on and on. The Foster Gallery exhibits … student and faculty recitals … the award-winning jazz groups … The Innocent Men and so many other talented musicians and performers. There are the Holiday Concerts on Dec. 8, Homecoming, the UAC Cabin, the UAC film series, the McIntyre Library, and men's and women's athletics ranging from basketball at Zorn Arena to hockey at Hobbs.
     Not every event is for everybody. Besides, it would be nearly impossible to get to all of them. The thing to remember is that the next time you're sitting around looking for something to do on a free night, chances are you need go no further than our local campus to enjoy yourself and learn something all at the same time. The same goes for those in the Menomonie and River Falls areas, where those campuses are likewise jam-packed with things to do.
     Nothing going on? Fact is, there's so much going on one hardly knows where to begin.
     What a wonderful problem to have!


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Liz Wolf Green, Editor
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Updated: September 19, 2002