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USC Professor Challenges Students to Question Laws

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  • Clore Daniel C
    USC professor challenges students to question laws Updated 12:00 PM ET August 30, 2000 By Rebecca Zak Daily Trojan U. Southern California (U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES
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      USC professor challenges students to question laws

      Updated 12:00 PM ET August 30, 2000

      By Rebecca Zak
      Daily Trojan
      U. Southern California

      (U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES -- Students should question their
      motivations for obeying the law and their fear of anarchy,
      said University of Southern California philosophy professor
      Sharon Lloyd during a lecture Tuesday in the VKC courtyard.

      The intimate audience attended the event as part of the
      Student Senate Academic Lecture Series, which is designed
      to increase awareness throughout academic levels.

      Lloyd challenged students to examine their reasons for
      obeying arbitrary laws, asking questions such as, "Should
      we fear anarchists? Should we become anarchists?"

      In her lecture, entitled "Anarchists and Angels: Are We
      Morally Obligated to Obey Our Government?" Lloyd encouraged
      students to examine the practical implications of anarchist
      ideology. She questioned a California law, which states that
      a third felony is grounds for life imprisonment.

      "If, after repaying public debts by serving time, a criminal
      has exonerated himself, how can we justify the existence of
      this law?" Lloyd asked.

      She proposed that citizens might have a moral obligation to
      act against the government when the laws enforce injustice.
      For example, in the case of legalized segregation or slavery,
      Lloyd argued that citizens were required by notions of greater
      justice to either disobey the law or act within the law to
      change it.

      Lloyd's discourse was the first of six academic lectures
      giving students the opportunity to view a diverse group of
      university professors lecturing on their topics of choice.

      Lloyd was surprised to learn that the lecture series is the
      first of its kind at USC. She called it a "great idea," noting
      that it is difficult for students to know what the departments
      do. She said these short, informal lectures provide an excellent
      sampling of compelling fields and different departments and
      enable students to learn without the commitment of taking a

      Matt Weir, assistant director of academic affairs for Student
      Senate and an undeclared sophomore, lauded the event because it
      promotes the "breadth and depth" ideal in education set forward
      in the university's charter.

      "Students are given the chance to preview a more multidisciplinary
      approach to their studies through these lectures," Weir said. "It
      promotes the exploration of different disciplines."

      The Renaissance Scholarship committee, which promotes
      interdisciplinary study by offering a generous scholarship to
      seniors, helped support the series, Weir said.

      Yishaun Chen, a psychobiology major, said that "the event focuses
      mainly on undeclared students and gives them the opportunity to
      listen to the best professors the university has to offer."

      Cattleya Valencia, a freshman majoring in civil engineering, agreed.

      "I'm here to get an idea about what's available," she said. "I'm
      interested to see who the professors are."

      Richard Fliegel, executive co-director of the General Education
      department at the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, encouraged
      students to "check it out."

      "This is the perfect opportunity for students to get an idea of
      what their professors really care about," he said.

      The lecture series is co-sponsored by Senate, the Office of the
      Provost and Program Board.

      Some students already have recommendations on how to improve the
      series for next year. Brandon Guerrero, a sophomore majoring in
      philosophy, said he hopes the lectures will eventually draw a wider

      "A lot of the people here are from the Thematic Options program
      which advocates a multidisciplinary approach to an education,"
      Guerrero said. "I hope that as these lectures evolve, they'll
      become more like discussions and eventually include a more diverse
      sample of the student population."

      Dan Clore

      The Website of Lord We├┐rdgliffe:
      The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:

      "Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas
      zhiba. All Nyug bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam
      not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel Chugnyi not;
      Dharmakaya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang
      and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in
      night of Sun-chan and Yong-grub (Parinishpanna),
      &c., &c.,"
      -- The Book of Dzyan.
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