Wednesday, March 19, 1 p.m., Emory Quadrangle.
That is the date, time and location (set aside prior to spring break)
for Emory’s Classroom on the Quad (COQ), the University’s
innovative plan to address a war against Iraq.
If war comes after that date, COQ can be implemented with 48 hours
notice. If there is no war, then plans for COQ will be tucked into
a file—a well-considered idea that circumstances wiped away.
“The situation has been changing on a day-to-day basis,”
said Bruce Knauft, Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology, one
of COQ’s organizers. “We have no idea when or if anything
will start. We’ll just need to make the call if something
Regardless of the date, COQ is scheduled for 1–3:30 p.m.,
with the steps of the Administration Building serving as the stage.
Attendance, while not mandatory, is encouraged, and classes will
not be canceled. Between 1,000 and 2,000 people are expected to
attend, Knauft said.
Because of COQ’s scope and the seriousness of the subject
matter, the event’s guidelines are strict. Four moderators—creative
writing’s Jim Grimsley (see
First Person), Knauft, SGA President Chris Richardson
and College Council President Purvi Patel—will keep tabs on
the speakers and the crowd as well as enforce the five-minute time
limit for presenters.
Security will be visible but not oppressive, and there will be a
focus on civility. Banners will not be allowed, and planners have
taken care to separate like-minded speakers so that, for example,
four anti-war speakers will not be grouped together.
“If you don’t like one opinion, wait a few minutes and
there will be another one,” Knauft said.
“We wanted to make it very clear that people should come to
listen, not to demonstrate,” Grimsley said.
Because of the event’s fluidity, most of the speakers are
tentative, but that doesn’t mean community members are staying
away. “There was a groundswell of interest all across the
spectrum of opinion, both for and against war,” Knauft said.
“Everybody’s been enthusiastic about participating in
“We would meet with people, then word-of-mouth would just
take over,” said Donna Wong, associate director of the Office
of Multicultural Affairs.
In addition to the four moderators, faculty from political science,
religion, anthropology and sociology are scheduled to speak, students
whose interests are relevant to the debates along with representatives
of College Republicans, Young Democrats and other organizations
will take the stage as well as staff. Chace will deliver the final
five-minute address (titled “The United States is Never Alone”),
and musician Myron McGee, also a staff member in Woodruff Library,