University of Rochester

In Review

Meliora Weekend Quotes

“You don’t have one block of jihadists. It’s a tabouleh salad—a variety of different views, different ideologies. So my first question is not what do we do to contain them, but what do we do with them?”

—Walid Phares, a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and an associate professor of Middle East studies at Florida Atlantic University, at a panel discussion on “The Middle East: Personal Perspectives.”

“These are people who don’t have a high school education being asked to fill out FEMA forms that I, with a Ph.D., couldn’t understand.”

—Anthea Butler, assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Classics, at a forum on “Hurricane Katrina: How Will We Respond Next Time?” Butler said structural poverty left many in New Orleans unable to leave the city before Hurricane Katrina and ill-prepared to recover.

“I don’t think the issue is whether we’re persuading other countries to become more like us. We’re becoming more like other countries, and that’s not a good thing.”

—Greg Nojeim ’81, chief congressional lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, during a roundtable on privacy issues moderated by Arthur Miller ’55, a law professor at Harvard and noted legal commentator.

“I don’t think people realize just how much they are compromising their rights just by going to the library.”

—author and columnist Julianne Malveaux during the privacy roundtable. Malveaux said few people recognize that provisions of the post–September 11 Patriot Act allow government access to library records without consent from patrons or from libraries.

“Americans are going to have to learn that we are no better than anyone else on this planet. They are equal to us in any way that matters. We’re going to have to get this.”

—NBC and MSNBC political commentator Chris Matthews.

“It’s disturbing to hear about young women today who think that it’s all their responsibility, when it’s not about them but about the water that they’re swimming in.”—

—author and activist Sara Paretsky, a panelist for the “Stanton/Anthony Conversations: What Would Susan Say? Wise Women Reflect on Their Lives and Women’s Progress.”

“I’m so excited to be here for Meliora Weekend, especially since we are celebrating diversity, asking how we bring everyone to the table, how we got to the table, and for some of us, how we’re still trying, trying, trying to get to the table.”

—Gail Wright Sirmans ’72, civil rights attorney and former associate counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educations Fund, who moderated the panel discussion “Guardians of the Legacy.”

“Albert [Einstein] was a great physicist, but a bad economist.”

—Alan Stockman, the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Economics, at “Asia and the Economy.” Stockman noted that in a book on nonscientific issues, Einstein wrote that he was concerned that if the population of the world kept rising, there would not be enough jobs for everyone.