Thursday, April 26, 2007

Candidate List for Student Body Pres. and VP

As it stands right now, according to Mr. Kevin Hudak, Chair of the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee:

Student Body President
Molly Bode (dropped out)
Jaromy Siporen
Carlos Mejia
Nova Robinson
Raj Koganti
Travis Green

Student Body Vice President
Nathan Bruschi
David Imamura (dropped out)
David Nachman
Ian Tapu

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

GA Minutes 24 Apr 07

Proposal to Fund and Coordinate Student Assembly Election Awareness Dinner Discussion
Sponsored by: Neil Kandler ’09, Lena Rochelle Martinez-Watts ’08, the Diversity Affairs Committee, and the Student Organizations Committee

WHEREAS many students feel apathetic and distanced from the Student Assembly elections;

WHEREAS Student Assembly elections have suffered from low turnout in the past;

WHEREAS there are currently no events that discuss the significance of elections in a neutral and unbiased way;

WHEREAS a grassroots effort to reach students will increase student interest and involvement in elections;

LET IT BE RESOLVED that Student Assembly support an SA elections dinner discussion, with the stated purpose of bringing a diverse group of campus leaders together to discuss Student Assembly’s involvement in the various facets of the Dartmouth community and foster active interest in the elections;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that this event will not endorse any candidate or policy, and will strive to show no bias;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that this dinner discussion will occur on the evening of May 6th;

LET IT BE FINALLY RESOLVED that Student Assembly allocate up to $500 toward this event for the purchase of the dinner.

Monday, April 23, 2007

News stories of the Day
Field takes shape in SA president race (The Dartmouth)
Despite delays in the formation of the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee, several candidates for Student Body President have already begun to lay plans for this May’s contest.

Travis Green ‘08, Carlos Mejia ‘08, Nova Robinson ‘08 and Jaromy Siporen ‘08 all confirmed their intentions to pursue the role of Student Body President. Molly Bode ‘09 and Leslie Shribman ‘08 each said they are considering a run for the position, though they have yet to make concrete decisions about their candidacies. Robinson is taking a leave of absence from The Dartmouth Senior Staff to pursue the presidency.

Current Student Body Vice President Jacqueline Loeb ‘08 said that she has decided not to enter the race. read more

Russian ex-president Yeltsin dies

Vanishing honeybees mystify scientists
One-third of Americans' diets depend on polination, mostly preformed by honey bees.

Canadian arrested for naked Hitler birthday event One of the more imaginative ways to celebrate 4/20

N.H. retiree aces Rock, Paper, Scissors This is going to be on ESPN; what a country!

Illegal 'bones factory' shut down

US prisoner escapes after phony fax orders his release Talk about gettin' lucky in Kentucky.

NASA killer 'had bad job review'

Naked swimmer makes splash in Trevi fountainThat's one way to impress tourists.

Teen pockets $25,000 in texting contest

The MySpace party from hell


This girl single handedly destroyed this house. Lock her up.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Best Political Ad Ever

In honor of the ongoing College Trustee election. I couldn't believe it when I saw this on television a while back.

Christy Mihos ad

(click play to watch)
The Dartmouth:
An Unsustainable Apology
By Christian Kiely ‘09, Guest Columnist

Go Figure… Skate
By Zachary Gottlieb, Staff Columnist

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Our thoughts are far away this evening...



Regarding the shootings at Virginia Tech, sent over blitz to East Wheelock residents:

Dear good friends in East Wheelock,

We, who work with the East Wheelock Community, want to express our deepest sympathies for all those affected by the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. Words cannot capture the profound sadness for the students, staff, families, and friends of all who will remember April 16th as the day their lives dramatically changed. While we seek more tangible ways to reach out to those in need, let our first step be to value and understand each other in hopes that we will be able to prevent such senseless violence in the future.

Talk to one another and never be afraid to ask for help,

Susan Brison, Judy MacNeil & John Pfister

Sewer Explosion + Unicycle Lady

Thinking about the contents of the sewer makes this situation even worse.

Storm Sewer overflow

(click play to watch)


I have trouble enough on a bicycle as it is.

Unicycle Dance

(click play to watch)

GA Minutes 17 Apr 07

Statement of Sympathy and Support for the Victims and Family of Virginia Tech Shooting
Sponsored By: David Imamura ’10, Nathan Bruschi ’10, and the Executive Board

WHEREAS Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University yesterday suffered the tragic death of 33 members of the community.

LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Student Assembly, on behalf of all of Dartmouth College, express our deepest sympathies and condolences to Virginia Tech, its students, and the friends, families, and loved ones of those lost.

LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that the Student Assembly will purchase and offer black ribbons for students who wish to take part in the nationwide showing of sympathy, and will allocate the necessary funds to achieve this end.

LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED that in keeping with President Wright’s recent letter (dated 17 April) to the community, SA will engage in discussions with Safety and Security in order to ensure constant review of emergency protocol.

Moment of Silence for VA Tech

From President Wright, over blitz:
Dear Friends,

Dartmouth College extends our deepest sympathies to the Virginia Tech University community, and to the families and friends of those who who lost their lives in the terrible tragedy there yesterday.

In solidarity with those who are grieving the deaths at Virginia Tech, the Tucker Foundation and I would like to encourage you to observe a moment of silence at 2:00 pm today, the same time that Virginia Tech will be gathering as a community. This moment will be marked by the tolling of Baker bells. In addition, Rollins Chapel is open all day for those who wish to meditate or pray.

The staff at Dartmouth are committed to maintaining a secure campus. Safety and Security has emergency protocols in place, as do specific departments, and we review these regularly. There may be lessons about campus safety that come out of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, and we, along with other colleges and universities will listen and learn.

Counseling services are available for Dartmouth students and staff. Students should call Counseling Services at Dick's House 650-1442, employees should call the Faculty/Employee Assistance Program at 646-1165. Individuals may also contact the Chaplain's Office in the Tucker Foundation at 646-3350.

Please keep the Virginia Tech community in your thoughts as they face the difficult time ahead and remember to take care of one another.

James Wright

Student Governance Task Force op-ed

by Kapil Kale
VP Communications emeritus
Chairman, Student Government Task force
(Printed in The Dartmouth)

Frustration with Dartmouth’s student government reached new heights this year. In response, Student Assembly unanimously voted to establish the Student Governance Review Task Force, an all-student committee charged with investigating and presenting solutions to longstanding issues. We began our work this spring, with the goal of improving the representation, efficiency and communication within our school’s standing organizations. Today, we hope to explain the work we are doing, how we are doing it, provide insight into the progress we have made, and invite your opinions into the process.

Our student government structure extends far beyond SA. Each student is assessed a termly student activities fee which is aggregated and given to the Undergraduate Finance Committee for allocation. The UFC is responsible for the oversight and dividing up over $800,000 each year to Programming Board, Student Assembly, Collis Governing Board, the Council on Student Organizations and the four Class Councils.

All these organizations are important components of student governance at Dartmouth. These groups provide the services students need and expect: event funding and programming, regulation of student organizations and a voice and lobbying power with the administration. However, we have found that the organizational structure of the governing bodies creates difficulty in meeting the needs of students.

We seek to identify and improve these crucial aspects of campus life, for individual students and student groups alike. Thus far, we have spoken to administrators and deans, as well as student leaders of our government organizations. We have also conducted our first focus group to solicit input from the student body at-large. Meanwhile, we are also investigating other schools’ governance systems and calling on our own creativity to discover potential solutions. In the coming weeks, we will continue to interview students, organizations, deans and advisors.

An example of a problem we’ve observed so far is that PB, SA, CGB and COSO provide funding for many of the same events, but almost never coordinate their allocations beforehand. One solution is to integrate some of these bodies to simplify the process. Another solution is for the bodies to meet on a regular basis to discuss proposals. This could take the shape of in-person meetings, online discussion boards or shared proposal forms. There are many ideas we have discussed and even more yet to be developed. Over the next weeks, as we engage the leaders of these organizations and the general campus in this discussion, conduct research across the board on the College’s systems, and critically analyze our options, the most effective solution will emerge. Moreover, there are about a dozen of these types of problems �” we plan on using the same thorough methodology for all of them.

A process of reform has no value without two things: transparency and participation. This piece is the first in a series updating the campus on our methods and progress. Additionally, tonight we present to the Student Assembly at 7 p.m. in Carson L01 the details of our initial findings. Transparency is an easy obligation to fulfill. However, we can only open up the channels for your participation to make a contribution.

We encourage you to attend the Assembly meeting. Blitz “Task Force” with your input. Join a focus group. Fill out our upcoming online survey. Make suggestions not only about what is wrong with student government at Dartmouth, but what is right with student government at Dartmouth. The first wave of suggestions from students and administrators has been valuable and appreciated. With your further participation, we are confident that our final report in May will provide the framework for positive, tangible change for Dartmouth’s governing bodies and for you, the students whom they serve.
News links today:

By Clear and Convincing Evidence (The Dartmouth)

Virginia Tech president: Shooter 'one of our students'

Japan mayor shot while campaigning

Cape resident flies 150 miles for Krystal burger - monthly

Monday, April 16, 2007

VIGIL TONIGHT


over blitz:
Please join your Dartmouth peers in a candlelight memorial for the people murdered today at Virgina Tech. We hope to join as a community in remembering the victims of this tragedy.

Candlelight Memorial Ceremony
8 PM
Collis Porch
Monday, April 16
Power outages, wind, and rain will unite to make today miserable.

News stories of the day
VA SHOOTING:

At least 33 dead in Virginia Tech shooting (CNN)

Deadly shooting at US university (BBC)

Gunfire on campus of Va. Tech kills at least 33 (LA Times)


Anna Nicole Smith's diaries fail to sell at auction
What? Is no one interested in her thoughful and profound insight to every day occurrences?
McCain To Send Self Back To Vietnamese POW Camp To Revitalize Campaign (from the Onion)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's looking like this lovely rain and snow we're experiencing with be joining us at least until Tuesday evening, possibly until Thursday. Fashion accessories this week: umbrella and boots.

News stories of the day:
Texas may require schools to carry elective on Bible
Man proposes after four minutes
US generals urge climate action


The Sunday Funnies

(click play to watch)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Distorted Images

The following videos are about the way common perceptions of beauty are distorted. The first two are serious, the last one is a joke (you need to watch the second one in order to get it). Enjoy.

Facebook Profile Picture Evolution

(click to watch)

Dove Artificial Beauty: Evolution (original)

(click to watch)

Dove Parody: Slob Evolution (I almost wet my pants when I first saw this)

(click to watch)

Dumb College Pranks

We've all seen drinkin' time (bottom), but this one gives it some serious competition.

Yellow Book Prank (Tufts)

(click to watch)

Drinkin' Time (Dartmouth)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

GA Minutes 10 Apr 07

Proposal to Fund and Support “Collis-Up-All-Night”
Sponsored by: Lawton Leung ’10, Ashley Cartagena ’10 and the Communications Committee

WHEREAS the Dartmouth Student Assembly has, in the past, held successful “Collis-Up-All-Night” events

WHEREAS the event has provided a fun and safe alternative for social interaction;

WHEREAS the event will bring together a variety of organizations and representatives of the Student Body including performance groups and programming organizations, thus fostering cooperation and community;

WHEREAS there is a lack of alcohol-free events for the student body that last for the duration of a night;

WHEREAS “Collis-Up-All-Night” will be on the night of Friday, April 13th, 2007 during the hours of 7 PM to 2 AM;

WHEREAS an event such as “Collis-Up-All-Night” will be a positive addition to the successes sponsored by the Assembly;

WHEREAS the Communications Committee has found some alternate funding by working with Programming Board and Collis Governing Board and is implanting inexpensive activities to decrease costs;

LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Student Assembly allocate up to $3,000 for the execution of this event to be divided among the following expenses:

Food: $1000
Student Performance Groups (Including Final Cut, Rockapellas, Dodecs,
Decibelles etc.): $200
Advertising: $25
Activities and games: $1475
Poker Tournament: $100
Pong paddle painting: $750
Movies and popcorn: $25
Prizes (including iPods for poker and bingo): $600

Maintenance, building fees, discretionary funds: $300


LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that student organizations including Face Aids, Habitat, and Grassroots Soccer, will have tables providing information and requesting optional donations throughout Collis during the event.

LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED that the Communications Committee will be accountable for the responsible use of allocated resources and the successful execution of the event.
Statement in Support of Syllabus Accessibility


Statement in Support of Syllabus Accessibility
Sponsored by Adam Halpern-Leistner ’10, Corey Chu ’08, and the Academic Affairs Committee

WHEREAS course syllabi provide accurate information about courses that can be beneficial to students during course selection;

WHEREAS copyright concerns prohibit the posting of syllabi on non-secure websites;

WHEREAS the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL) is working on limiting the Blackboard website so that syllabi posted there will only be available to the Dartmouth community, but with the expected release of a new version of Blackboard, this project will not be completed until after next fall;

WHEREAS using the Dartmouth Web Authentication system, academic departments can easily post course syllabi that will be viewable only by the Dartmouth community;

WHEREAS the Dean of Faculty’s office has called the process of uploading syllabi onto department websites a “trivial” task;

WHEREAS the Government Department has used this system to post past syllabi and has reported very positive feedback;

WHEREAS course syllabi provide a way to learn about a course that is more comprehensive than course listings and more objective than Course Guide reviews.

WHEREAS course syllabi provide information such as reading lists that can be useful to students not taking the class but interested in the subject;

WHEREAS the accessibility to course syllabi during course selection may decrease the adding and dropping of classes during the first two weeks of the term;

WHEREAS syllabus accessibility can assist professors in publicizing their courses;

LET IT BE STATED that the Student Assembly inform departments about the importance of making course syllabi accessible;

LET IT FURTHER BE STATED that the Student Assembly encourage departments to use the Dartmouth Web Authentication system to post syllabi online with professors’ consent.


Statement of Concern Regarding Computing Services Cable Box Distribution Plans
Sponsored by: Cory Cunningham ’10, Harshil Shah ’09, Corey Chu ’08, Neil Kandler ’08,
and the Student Services Committee


WHEREAS the Department of Computing Services at Dartmouth College administers the cable television network for students living in on-campus housing;

WHEREAS the current coaxial cable system that provides television free of charge will be deactivated at the end of the Spring 2007 term;

WHEREAS commencing with the Summer 2007 term, in order to receive cable television in on-campus housing, students must either use DarTV, which is only available on computers, or an STP cable box;

WHEREAS in order to watch television on a regular television set, students must use an STP cable box to convert cable from an Ethernet port to a coaxial cable;

WHEREAS Computing Services is currently intending on requiring that students purchase these STP cable boxes outright at a cost of approximately $300;

WHEREAS $300 is a significant sum for many Dartmouth students to be forced to pay if they wish to have television in their rooms on a traditional television set;

WHEREAS nearly all of Dartmouth’s peer academic institutions provide cable television service to students as part of their regular housing fees;

WHEREAS Computing Services intends on partnering with Evolving Vox, an organization not affiliated with the College, in order to allow students to rent cable boxes at a fee which is unnecessary;

WHEREAS given that Evolving Vox does not fall under the jurisdiction of the College, there is no guarantee that this will be a successful and fair program for ensuring the appropriate reuse of said boxes;

WHEREAS there are a variety of other methods that the Department of Computing Services can make said STP boxes available to students while still ensuring responsible use of the units;

LET IT BE STATED that the Student Assembly issue the following statement of concern regarding the Department of Computing Services plans for distributing STP cable boxes:

The Student Services Committee and Student Assembly at large are concerned that the Department of Computing Services is not considering Dartmouth students’ best interest given their current plans for the future cost and distribution methods of the STP cable boxes. There are a variety of different options available that would ensure that the units are properly handled, including, but not limited to, refundable security deposits and administrative fines, and none have been given fair consideration.

Given the significant student financial outlay necessary in order to purchase a STP box, and the inadequate current plans for the eventual reuse of the units, the Student Assembly, on behalf of the student body, request that the Department of Computing Services ascertain a superior method of distributing and controlling the usage of these units without such a high cost to students.


LET IT FURTHER BE RESOLVED that the Student Services Committee and the Student Assembly at large share its concerns with the Department of Computing Services in an effort to improve the plans for purchase and distribution of the STB boxes to develop a plan that is fair and equitable to both the students and administration.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

'The Dartmouth Wiki' Controversy

On March 30, a blitz was sent out by "The Dartmouth Wiki" to all students asking them to sign-up for their website. SA had been developing a wiki of our own for a while now and didn't want people to be confused and think that this 'impostor wiki' was our doing. Later that day, we sent this blitz out to campus:

Recently, a mass blitz was sent out from "The Dartmouth Wiki" asking students to register and help build a wiki (as in Wikipedia) for "Dartmouth University" [sic]. This website (as far as we are aware) is in no way associated with the College, Student Assembly, or any of its members and is instead an outside commercial venture. The Student Assembly and the Dartmouth Computer Science Department have been working to develop our own Dartmouth Wiki and will soon make it available for student use; however, this is not it.

This group has recently launched wiki sites for other schools (including the rest of the Ivy League and numerous others) and is selling advertisement space on its pages. The website seems to operate by allowing students to ask questions which are then emailed out on compiled mailing lists, much like spam. At the time of this writing, 175 students have already signed up. We advise that all students approach this website with appropriate care and recommend that those who wish to register with it consider using an email address other than their DND account.

We will be sending out more information about the upcoming official wiki in the near future.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Student Assembly


Appearently the guys over at collegewikis.com weren't too happy with this blitz. They subsequently wrote the following letter to the editor published in The Dartmouth on April 5, which they also posted on the front page of their website:

To the Editor:

We launched the Dartmouth Wiki because several Dartmouth students e-mailed us asking for one. CollegeWikis.com is a team of current and recent students whose only intention is to provide other college students with a useful and informative resource. Our wikis have been well-received at schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. We are not profiting from the website.

The Dartmouth Wiki creates a trusted network by using a facebook.com-like system of only allowing students with a @dartmouth.edu e-mail address to register and ask questions, thus ensuring accurate, high-quality, and relevant information.

There is value in both official and unofficial information. We’ve modeled our wiki after wikipedia, an unofficial yet extremely useful resource. We should welcome the diversity of both an “official” and “unofficial” wiki, especially when the official site plans to censor postings it doesn’t approve of and is still in the “formative” stages. (from the article: “this page will be approved by the administration and the information on the site will be filtered").

The Assembly telling students not to use a website is reminiscent of a government that tries to censor its citizens, and I hope Dartmouth students won’t stand for it. CollegeWikis.com purposely allows students to post about whatever they want, not to be monitored by others who decide what information to allow.

If I were a student, I'd be disappointed that the Assembly 1) thought they could dictate what websites I should go to, and 2) told me not to use something that could be of great value when they have no viable alternative. I would be even more disappointed if my classmates followed that order.

Joe DiPasquale
Founder, CollegeWikis.com


Thankfully for Dartmouth, Joe isn't a student, although he does have a pretty good idea (but we thought of it first). This is the letter we were thinking of sending to The Dartmouth, but we deemed too harsh:

We would like to thank Mr DiPasquale for his letter in The Dartmouth yesterday and for finally recognizing that we are "Dartmouth College" and not "Dartmouth University." We are all glad to see that his commitment to "accurate, high-quality and relevant information" extends far enough to get the college's name right.

The purpose of the blitz the Student Assembly sent out a while ago was to make sure that students did not think that his wiki (which sent emails to all students asking them to sign-up under the name, "The Dartmouth Wiki") was not affiliated with the college and was not the wiki that Student Assembly has been quite publicly developing. As flattering as it for him to compare the Student Assembly to 'big government,' Dartmouth students are smart enough to know that we were looking out for their best interests and that they are free to use his website as they please. His attempts to criticize us in order to protect his own commercial interests are transparent.

Mr. DiPasquale ends his treatise on the proper role of government by saying that it was wrong of the Assembly to ask students to "approach this website with appropriate care" when there is "no viable alternative." He is wrong here because there is a good alternative to his website: it's called bored@baker.

The Student Assembly Executive Board



Comments?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Explanation of the New Attendance System

(from the GA Minutes of 3 April 2007)

Nathan L. Bruschi, Secretary, explained the new attendance and voting system for the Student Assembly. The following notes were written on the chalkboard:

1. If you are a member, you should have a card on the front table (in black ink, with the SA logo). If you are not a member, please fill out one of the blank cards (with the red marker provided).

2. To vote or get your name on the Speakers’ List, please raise your card so that we can read your name. We will know who has voting rights by the color of the card.

3. When you leave, put your card in the bins near the doors. We will collect these cards from these bins and use them note which members were present.

4. If you won “kudos” you will be presented with a sticker to put on the back of you card so that you can keep track of your achievements.

GA Minutes 03 Apr 07

Proposal to Fund Ivy Council’s Spring 2007 Conference
Sponsored by Joe DeBonis ’10 and the Executive Committee

WHEREAS Ivy Council acts as a useful networking and information sharing body among the Ivy League schools;

WHEREAS Dartmouth’s Ivy Council serves as Student Assembly’s representative to the Ivy Council;

WHEREAS there are bi-annual conferences in the Fall and Spring, which provide a forum for Ivy League schools to discuss various issues that arise in their respective student governments;

WHEREAS issues from each school are discussed at the conferences;

WHEREAS past issues discussed at the conferences have included the Committee on Standards (or its equivalent), campus security, course evaluation systems, and ROTC and the LGTBQA community;

WHEREAS the spring 2007 conference will be held at Brown University on April 13, 14, and 15;

WHEREAS possible issues that will be covered at the conference this year include (but are not limited to) environmental sustainability on campus, recruitment and retention of student government, gender-neutral housing, and academic and departmental advising;

WHEREAS the information gathered at the conference will be relevant to many issues and projects that exist in Student Assembly;

WHEREAS discussion of these issues can lead to new and useful ideas for projects and policy;

LET IT BE RESOLVED that Student Assembly allocate up to $600 to finance Ivy Council’s dues, transportation, and other expenses necessary to attend the Spring 2007 Ivy Council Conference.



Proposal to Endorse Ivy Council’s Ivy-Wide Climate Neutrality Resolution
Sponsored by Joe DeBonis ’10 and the Executive Committee

WHEREAS Dartmouth is an active and contributing member to Ivy Council;

WHEREAS environmental issues such as sustainability and climate neutrality are important issues for the student body and administration of Dartmouth;

WHEREAS Dartmouth is at the forefront of campus sustainability;

WHEREAS an Ivy-wide resolution of campus neutrality would be in accordance with the environmental goals and ideals of the College;

WHEREAS such a resolution will be passed by Ivy Council at the spring 2007 conference, contingent upon the support of each school’s student government;

WHEREAS, as the Resolution states, “Embracing environmental sustainability and clean energy is in concert with universities’ existing goals and values, including service to society, realization of social justice, the training of future leaders, and technological advancement”;

WHEREAS, as the Resolution states, “Ivy League universities are in a unique position in society to demonstrate leadership in addressing global climate change and have the academic and financial resources to be global leaders on this issue”;

WHEREAS the student group Sustainable Dartmouth was part of an inter-Ivy coalition that drafted and ratified this resolution;

WHEREAS the Resolution calls for each signatory to adopt the goal of individual and collective climate neutrality through a combination of increased energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and the purchase of carbon offsets;

LET IT BE RESOLVED that Student Assembly endorse Ivy Council’s Ivy-wide Climate Neutrality Resolution and become a signatory thereof. (See following)

The content in Student Assemblog does not represent the official positions of the Student Assembly or Dartmouth College; all views and opinions expressed herein are solely of the author. As any reasonable person can only assume, no tacit endorsement is given to the content of any of the links or videos. That would be ridiculous.