Carleton has welcomed many laudable additions this year, including an Upper Sayles filled with red paint and black leather couches, two new dorms for lucky younger students, and dual-boot computers that have calmed the violent Mac-vs-PC debate. Yet one newcomer towers above the rest: the gourmet cupcake. Anyone who has passed by the Snack Bar case this year and been startled by garish blobs of frosting knows what I’m talking about. They’re at once repulsive and alluring; in fact, they’re practically hypnotic.
It remains our goal and desire to reinstate Carleton’s MPIRG chapter and MPIRG fee at some point in the next few years. For the time being, we will continue to be an energetic and enthusiastic part of Carleton’s activist community, and we look forward to building new productive connections with the many students on our campus working actively towards a better world.
The 2007 Senior Survey asked students if the Writing Portfolio was useful based on a 5-point scale. Because of a coding error in the survey, the results were essentially flopped (1 represented “strongly agree” instead of “strongly disagree,” etc.). After adjusting for this error, only 27% of seniors rated the experience as useful. While this discovery may not surprise you, it is unnerving to think that evaluations of the Writing Portfolio have been influenced by faulty data. Further, this error went unnoticed for over a year.
I am not an MPIRG staff member, but a recent graduate from a small liberal arts college in greater Minnesota who has been angry at the organization before. I understand where some of these Vote No folks are coming from. I do. But instead of building something in MPIRG’s place, I give you a different challenge, if y’all are up to it: use MPIRG as a vehicle to extend your power and to coordinate with students on other campuses. It is obvious that students at Carleton are passionate organizers of issues they care about, so correct MPIRG’s problems and lead a broad-based statewide student movement. I reiterate, if something is broken, you shouldn’t throw it away... especially if other folks, the current Carleton MPIRG members, want to fix it.
“Today we know what is right, and today we know what is wrong. The slaughter of innocents is wrong. Two million people driven from their homes is wrong. Women gang raped while gathering firewood is wrong. And silence, acquiescence and paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong.”
Last week Jacob Schack took Carleton’s support of the National Merit Scholarship to task as part of an ongoing series of articles about Carleton’s budget priorities. He argues that the scholarship is a waste of money, and that it does nothing to improve the quality of students who come here because it unfairly favors privileged students who can afford expensive prep courses. I am a low-income student and the National Merit Scholarship was a major component of making Carleton affordable for me. I never took any prep courses. I scored well on the PSAT because I was the sort of person who should be going to Carleton.
The outcome of the vote broadcasts a change in the way Carleton students have chosen to tackle the issues that MPIRG represents. This is a positive move for the college. The environmental and social justice issues that MPIRG stands for will not cease to be important to the students of our campus. Carleton students have impacted local, state and national issues, both under broader organizations and under initiative entirely independent of any outside support. It is entirely possible that without the structure and support of MPIRG, Carleton students will become better acquainted with the issues.
As I assume we all are, I am extremely grateful for the education I have received thus far at Carleton. This, however, has not managed to preclude my consideration of its faults. I believe such consideration is crucial not only to the well being of any student, but also to that of the institution as a whole. The following is an attempt at what I’ve seen to be a fault; I leave it up to the reader to decide whether or not it’s imagined.
Six letters in support of the upcoming MPIRG referendum. Voices include MPIRG Board Chair Ryan Kennedy and student leaders Michelle Hesterberg, Sarah Berlin, and Christa Owens.
Three letters opposing the upcoming MPIRG referendum. Voices include former MPIRG student leader Becky Canary-King and former CSA President Caitlin Fleming.
It’s said that strength comes in numbers. I see this statement becomes no clearer than in discussions of preventing sexual assault here on campus. Sure, situations of sexual assault are often between two people and often alone. But preventing incidents of sexual assault here on campus requires a mentality of many.
CAASHA is a group of students who are trained and available to provide non-judgmental listening, support, and information about resources for anyone affected by—or with questions about—sexual assault, harassment, or relationship abuse. CAASHA Office Hours are held six days a week in five different locations. We do this because we recognize that sexual harassment and assault are already talked about all over campus, and we would like to be a more accessible resource in supporting your conversations.