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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A ripe issue on a green lawn

This year's Classroom on the Green, formerly called Called Classroom on the Quad, centered on an issue hotter than the current heat wave spreading through Emory's campus: health care reform. The green part of the title came from its location on the quad of the School of Medicine (the "green" is on the other side of the building at left).

As its annual signature event, Student Government Association (SGA) invited prominent speakers, like Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and keynote speaker Rear Admiral Steven Solomon, the director of the Coordinating Center for Health Information and Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, four other speakers with health care-related backgrounds formed a panel that later participated in a Q&A session with those in the audience. Nursing school professor Marcia Holstad moderated the whole event.

Each of the panelists approached the issue in a non-aggressive way, encouraging those in the audience to be patient and hopeful for the future of health care. The following Q&A entertained plenty of open-ended questions about the panelists' opinions of the costs, benefits, and effects of the newly-passed bill.

Despite high temperatures and pollen-crazed bees hovering about, an audience of about 100 students and faculty made their way to the tent on the medical school quad throughout the afternoon. A definite attendance lure, SGA gave out free t-shirts to students who signed up for them. Ironically--or intentionally--the shirts were also green and on them, posed the question of being able to survive health care reform in America.

Although the event was intended to answer that question, the take-home message was this: these are the beginning stages of new legislation and the only thing to do is wait and see what will happen next.

-- Lindsey Bomnin 12C, EAA communications assistant

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