Earlier this week, we sat in separate cars, facing bumper to bumper to traffic for almost an hour, to travel less than five miles to the Northfield Middle School. Why take nearly three hours out of a busy night? In order to participate in Super Tuesday’s Minnesota Democratic caucus.
The freshman experience at Carleton is unquestionably an important aspect of the climate on our campus.
When I was a freshman, I went on a Pre-Frosh Trip. It made such an impact on my transition to Carleton that the next year I applied and lead a Pre-Frosh backpacking trip, eager to give the class of 2010 the kind of experience that I had had the year before. The next year, I had the great fortune to be able to coordinate all of the backpacking trips; it was a great summer not just for myself, but because I was able to ensure that 64 freshmen would have that experience that I know is so, so valuable to the Carleton first-year experience.
Music sounds better when you lie on your back on the floor, just like an apple tastes better when you cut it up into wedges. It’s as if when you change how you experience the world, the world becomes more poignant. But it’s still the same world: the same apple and the same music.
Voter turnout is undoubtedly an intricate topic which analysts have focused upon for years. I’m definitely not in a position to try to specifically analyze why we as a nation rank very low among many other countries in voter turnout, and the arguments for many factors are already well-established and debated. But if you just think about it, the movement to get people to get out and vote (consider the organization Rock the Vote)—a movement that is highly intensive and plays a large part in political campaigns—is something quite extraordinary.
During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, in the speech that is credited with propelling him into the national political spotlight, Barack Obama condemned “those who are preparing to divide us … who embrace the politics of “anything goes.” He went on to declare, “We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.” Unfortunately, Carleton students who participated in Tuesday’s caucuses failed to heed the Illinois Senator’s advice.
As I opened my college email account this past Monday, I was surprised to find two emails in my inbox regarding last week’s column.
On Saturday, January 26 I was working the register at the Snack Bar while the Bat Mitzvah Sayles dance was in full swing. The usual crowd of the drunk and the drunker paraded through, as they are wont to do during Sayles dances, and they made me a little uncomfortable, as they are also wont to do what with their inhibited ability to order and to locate their Onecards. However, no matter how uncomfortable these influenced individuals have made me in the past, I have never felt threatened by any of them. I have never been afraid of someone here at Carleton, that is, until last Saturday.
Duda angrily denounces a plan to build more dormitories in the style of old dormitories as “anachronism.” Were he to walk two miles down the street to St. Olaf, he would see an “oppressive image of homogeneity” that would likely melt out his eyeballs.
As a Carl, I know how hard it can be to take ten minutes out of your busy schedule. As an Obama supporter, I know that Senator Obama has the right policies, the right experience, and judgment to usher in a new American era.
The presence of the mass media has undeniably affected the way that this country relates to politics. Candidates live and die by the power of “media spin.” One scandal, one misstep has the potential to derail a seemingly solid bid for office. It is the unfortunate truth that the personal lives of politicians can draw more attention than the details of a political career.