To the Carletonian:
Continuing our many and lengthy budget conversations as we are, I want today to pause to acknowledge with signal gratitude the way the Carleton community has responded to the difficult, perhaps uniquely difficult, set of financial challenges the College faces today. The steps we have taken and those we will need to take have required us to come together with a renewed sense of purpose, and I have rarely, in twenty years of leading educational institutions, seen joint resolve and commitment like that offered by so many in the Carleton community of late.
By Lindsey Shaughnessy, Caitlin Fleming,
and Pablo Kenney
With CSA elections in sight, it is time for MPIRG to prove to the Carleton student body that the organization deserves its yearly revenue of nearly $13,000. This money is taken directly from Carleton students through a yearly $7.50 refusable/refundable fee (RRF), and put into the coffers of MPIRG’s state-wide office. We are asking the student body to vote “NO” on the MPIRG referendum question in two weeks, in order to inspire MPIRG to greater effectiveness, productivity, and accountability at Carleton.
I write today on an issue of little interest and even less importance. No, I’m not complaining about tray-less lunches or about backpacks in the LDC; this issue is one of even greater insignificance. Today, with your leave, I wish to kvetch to you about latest mildly-irksome fad to worm its way onto Facebook. I speak, of course, of the “Fan” craze.
Over the weekend, several cases of the Swine Flu emerged in Mexico. Since that time, over a hundred have died in that country, while in the U.S. more and more cases are being reported. In Minnesota this past week, the first confirmed case of the Flu was reported, and more are expected.
Despite the rapid nature of this outbreak, authorities have stressed that there is no need for panic. Authorities in America have stressed that they are confident that the outbreak can be contained.
We would like to commend Ryan McLaughlin ’08 and Jacob Schak ’09 for their demonstrated commitment to Carleton’s economic diversity as well as their apparent engagement in substantive campus issues such as next year’s budget process, as expressed in their op-ed in April 17th’s Carletonian. The op-ed asks meaningful questions which Carleton students, staff, and faculty should consider not only in planning next year’s departmental budgets, but also when ruminating on what we want Carleton to be. That said, as the two Carleton students who sit on the College Budget Committee, we want to correct a couple of incorrect or outdated claims which McLaughlin and Schak propounded.
I am the son of a single lower income working mother and have been given the opportunity to attend Carleton almost entirely on the basis of financial aid, work study, and student loans. As an economically “diverse” student, I strongly object to the arguments about the College's commitment to diversity in last week's Viewpoint article, which I found to be deeply disconcerting in both substance and presentation.
Setting the facts straight: Carleton is presenting maximum efforts to achieve and maintain economic diversity
The Viewpoint piece “Is Carleton committed to economic diversity,” written by Ryan McLaughlin and Jacob Schak and printed by the Carletonian in its April 17th issue, is at best an embarrassment of poor research and distorted analysis, and at worst a perfect example of the “obfuscation” it so blithely accuses Carleton College of practicing with respect to its financial decisions.
On Thursday evening, I was denied entry into Burton Dining Hall. Slung around my shoulder was my reliable 6” x 10” x 2” yellow purse, completely equipped with buttons on the front flap and containing all of my most vital personal belongings. I was informed that before I could be swiped in, I would need to leave my purse behind. Needless to say, as any citizen aware of a line being crossed, I told the dining hall employee that this was a ridiculous policy and stormed away.
In a country where McDonald’s has to label their coffee cup lids “Caution: Contents may be hot” for fear of liability, I fail to understand how Carleton allows Bon Appetit to require students to relinquish their backpacks, sportsbags, waterbottles and, now, purses before entering. Not only is it an eyesore and a general inconvenience to anyone walking through the LDC, it is an affront to the tens of thousands of dollars I am obliged to pay for my board, regardless of whether I choose to dine on-campus.
A fight to increase Minnesota’s grant program for higher education: An open letter from state official Terry Morrow
For 25 years, the Minnesota State Grant program has enabled and encouraged students to choose the college that best suits their needs. By offering a hand to low- and middle-income students, Minnesota remains true to its vision of education for everyone. This critically important tuition assistance helps students and families invest in the education that ultimately serves our entire state. Economists and business leaders consistently cite Minnesota’s educated workforce as one of our state’s essential economic assets.
To maintain this attractive advantage, we must maintain the investment. Students visiting the capitol this year have stressed the importance of the State Grant program. The federal recovery act offers an opportunity to increase Minnesota’s grant program by 25%. The House Higher Education Finance bill turns this opportunity into reality. It reduces the student share on tuition and increases funding for work study, living expenses, and more.
Roughly six months ago, gas prices were at record highs. People were furious across the nation. Suddenly, it seemed like a good idea for cars to get better gas mileage. The nation’s auto industry was not making the cars that Americans now want to drive.
An open letter to the Vice President and Treasurer: Carleton’s investment policies could affect genocide
Dear Mr. Vice President and Treasurer Rogers,
After being unable to reach you via email fall term, we are again attempting to contact you with this open letter. The situation in Darfur particularly, and Sudan generally, has not improved since then. In fact, with the recent International Criminal Court warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s arrest, humanitarian aid agencies have been kicked out of Sudan and the situation is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.