Emory Report
March 3, 2008
Volume 60, Number 22

Books benefit
More than 2,000 books were collected at the Classroom on the Quad book drive to benefit community partners who serve immigrant populations.

The book drive was sponsored by SGA and the University Senate in conjunction with Volunteer Emory, Faculty Council, Employee Council, the Office of University Community Partnerships, the Office of the Provost and the three President’s Commissions.

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March 3, 2008
Cold temps, hot topics at Classroom on the Quad

By Elizabeth Elkins

The freezing temperatures and blustery winds on campus Feb. 27 proved that the decision to move Classroom on the Quad from its traditional Quadrangle location to the Student Activity & Academics Center on the Clairmont Campus was a smart one. Immigration was the theme of this year’s event, a theme chosen by the Student Government Association due to its timeliness and its status as “much more than a blue versus red [state] issue.”

The decision to move to the SAAC may have affected early attendance, as a crowd of about 50 showed up for the Law School’s Immigration Law Society presentation and a discussion with Georgia state Sen. David Adelman. After lunch, a faculty panel discussed issues ranging from health care for immigrants and voting rights to the validity of calling the United States a melting pot.

By 2 p.m., nearly 200 people gathered for a keynote address by Janet Reno. Reno, appointed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1993, is the only woman to have served as attorney general of the United States. Her brief but poignant speech began with an anecdote about her father, who immigrated to the U.S. from Denmark when he was 12 years old. She quickly transitioned to the wealth of possibility existing at Emory.

“We have a goldmine at Emory in terms of health care, public health and problem solving,” she said. “It’s like walking into a candy shop. But I challenge the Emory community. Let us bring problem-solvers together for answers across disciplinary lines.”

Reno touched on the need to spend money on the immigrant population to prevent disease outbreaks, lower crime and improve education. She reminded the crowd that “we are a nation of immigrants” before opening the floor for questions, including ones on Elian Gonzalez and her friendship with Hillary Clinton.

Rebeca Quintana, a staff member in the Institute for Comparative and International Studies, attended much of day’s events.

“Immigration is one of the largest issues we face and will continue to face,” Quintana says. “I came here to get educated and to find out how to get involved in changing the laws being passed in Georgia and how I can help influence the national government.”