Honors Open Meeting
Monday, March 12, 2007
Law, justice, and civil rights were at the core of Dr. FitzGerald’s speech at the Honors Open Meeting on Monday, March 12. After everyone got a heaping helping of ice cream, Dr. Benton introduced Dr. FitzGerald as the speaker for the event. The uniqueness of her talk was attributed to many different factors. First, she gave her audience the choice of what she would be discussing, which was between the Bill of Rights and the Right to Privacy. By popular demand, she talked about the latter.
She started the discussion by stating that this right was not mentioned in the Constitution, but was a right granted to citizens via the Supreme Court. She also conveyed to students the limitations of this right. Sometimes the right to privacy can be violated for the benefit of the majority of the population. If cops have reason to search a person’s house, then they need to obtain a warrant to allow them to enter a person’s home for their investigation. Soldiers also have the right to go into a person’s house as long as they have a warrant. FitzeGerald also referred to the first, third, fourth, fifth, ninth, and fourteenth amendments as important in discussing the issue of privacy.
Another aspect of her speech that was outstanding was that she allowed students to interact and engage in the discussion. She asked students questions regarding certain laws and amendments and gave students the chance to ask questions. Many of the questions she asked the students served to help her make sure that students were following along with what she was talking about.
Dr. FitzGerald ended her speech with two comical anecdotes. First, she talked about a lawyer who sued a cigar company, actually winning the case, only to face being disbarred and jailed in the end. She then announced to students the case that won a Stella Award given for the most frivolous lawsuits in the US. A man who crashed his Winnebago sued the company and managed to win the lawsuit.
After Dr. FitzGerald’s presentation, the rest of the meeting was devoted to discussing what classes and events should be offered for next semester. Additionally, Honors students voted for their favorite Honors T-shirt design.