University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann apologized for a Halloween photograph showing her standing next to a student dressed as a suicide bomber in an open letter to the university community last Sunday. The photograph, taken at the president's annual Halloween party, sparked controversy since its release on the internet and prominent coverage on blogs as well as in The New York Post. Since then, alumni, students and members of the University's Jewish community have openly criticized Gutmann's decision to pose for the photograph.
"Some have mistakenly interpreted the photograph as my support for terrorism," Guttman said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. I abhor terrorism, suicide bombers and everything they do. My record is unabashedly clear on this point."
Students at Orange Coast College recently banned the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at their student government meetings. Their action prompted a mixture of both outcry and support within the College community.
"That ['under God'] part is sort of offensive to me," student leader Jason Ball said to Reuters. "I am an atheist and a socialist, and if you know your history, you know that 'under God' was inserted during the McCarthy era and was directly designed to destroy my ideology."
In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California ruling that the forced recitation of the Pledge is unconstitutional. The nature of the decision, however, allows for the constitutionality of the Pledge to be questioned again in court.
"A Taste of Vietnam: A Night to Celebrate Vietnamese Culture," held in Collis Common Ground on Saturday, featured traditional music, student-choreographed dances, skits, a fashion show and food. The event, which was sponsored by the Vietnamese Student Association, attracted 130 students.
"It is our hope that our friends and the Dartmouth community came away from the event with a better understanding and iation of the Vietnamese culture," Diep Pham '09, one of the event organizers, said. "We also hope that many students at Dartmouth who are enrolled in classes pertaining to Vietnam had the opportunity to obtain a more in-depth look of the traditions and culture of the people they are studying."