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Thursday, May 13, 2004 01:45 pm

quick takes 5-13-04

STUDENT ACHIEVER NO. 1

Liz Moran, a local student activist, has been named one of three "National Raise Your Voice" fellows by the National Campus Compact, a coalition of more than 900 colleges and universities. Founded in 1985, the Compact promotes community involvement by students.

Moran, who will be senior in the University of Illinois at Springfield Capital Scholars program, will spend the summer working at the Compact's national headquarters in Providence, R.I.

Illinois Times readers will recognize Moran as one of seven Springfield peace activists profiled by contributor Ginny Lee in the March 18 edition. Moran serves on the volunteer teaching staff at Heartland Peace Academy and was part of last year's student delegation to the Oxfam American Free Trade Coffee conference in New Orleans.

STUDENT ACHIEVER NO. 2

Confused about why we're in Iraq? No wonder.

Devon Largio, a senior at the U. of I. at Urbana-Champaign, took at a hard look at all of the public statements justifying the war that were issued by the Bush administration and its supporters.

She discovered that at least 27 different rationales were given between Sept. 12, 2001, and Oct. 11, 2002. All but four came from Bush administration officials. They ranged from the familiar (stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction) to the obscure (gaining favor in the Middle East by making Iraq an example).

Political-science professor Scott Althaus calls his student's 212-page paper "the best senior thesis I have ever seen -- thoroughly documented."

He's so proud of Largio's work, the entire text is posted on the Web at www.pol.uiuc.edu/news/largio.htm.

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