1000 items found for your search. If no results were found please broaden your search.
Kermit was right. Going green is difficult, and in the case of green schools, it’s also expensive. The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act represents Congress’s latest effort to pump money into environmental-efficiency projects.\nThe bill, passed June 4 in the House by a vote of 250-164, would set aside more than $20 billion over the next five years to help modernize existing schools and to start construction on new eco-friendly buildings. Indiana Rep. Baron Hill co-sponsored the bill, saying it would channel $111 million dollars into Hoosier schools. The money would be used to help to eliminate crumbling schools, and it would offer a healthier, more energy-efficient place for thousands of teachers and students to work and play.\nEven though the initiative seems like a win-win vote for the environment and education, Bush has threatened a veto, and we agree. \nDon’t get us wrong, we love the bill’s sentiment: making the environment a priority through productive investment that could stimulate the economy. Great. Channeling money into needy public school systems. We couldn’t agree more. But the thought of the government mandating how individual school systems should handle repairs has us shaking in our green, public-school-loving boots. \nWith caveats for Davis-Bacon “fair wages” and American steel, the bill panders to labor interests and traffics in feeble attempts to promote American companies that drive up the price of construction. In addition, by committing the federal government to supporting school maintenance into the future, the bill sets a precedent for federal involvement in local issues. By wetting its hands with public education – an issue that has historically been reserved for the states and localities – the bill makes a pronounced step toward more big government that makes us nervous.\nMoreover, we have watched as good-natured “No Child Left Behind” programs floundered under insufficient federal funding. If Congress really wants to invest in education, we say why not put that $20 billion toward the existing programs that we all agree could use it?\nCongress is right to make energy efficiency and education priorities, but we think The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act leaves much to be desired. If we are to make strides toward improving the state of our education system and environment, federal interest and investment is paramount. Yet, the key is to earmark federal funds for general causes, not to bog down bills in provisions and details that tie the hands of local officials and drive up costs.\nWe think Congress should focus on the education initiatives it has already started before diving into expensive, string-laden bills. Congress is on the right track with this act. It just needs to let go and leave the fine-tuning up to the states and the local school boards. Until then, we’re siding with Kermit.
Why did we have to spend so much time trying to find scholarships? Why did we have to go through the horror that is the Free Application For Student Aid, more commonly known as FAFSA? Why are so many of us going to end up debt-laden when we finally get out of school? Why does college cost so much?\nAlas, few students can completely ignore this question, but it now seems that some voices have emerged with something of an answer. \nRecently, Andrea Neal ran a column in the Indianapolis Star suggesting that it was nonstop construction at universities throughout Indiana that was eating up so many education dollars and thus, driving up the costs of a college degree. \nMeanwhile, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that several legislatures around the country have tightened the grip on university finances in response to the housing-market crunch and an impending fiscal crisis. However, universities seem to be continuing with their construction plans regardless. Three public universities in Arizona have actually used the housing crunch to argue for their construction plan by suggesting that such an investment could create jobs. \nThe Arizona plan involves a debt-service plan that delays payment for the construction plan well into the future and puts a great deal of the burden on the state. Such debt financing is exactly the practice that Neal attacks within Indiana.\nIt is suggested that by buying now and paying later, public universities (and the state legislature) lack an incentive to stop spending. In theory, debt financing spreads the costs out over time thus minimizing the costs to all those involved. In actuality, if too much debt piles up, the universities and the states that support them could end up with a different kind of fiscal crisis later. \nFor now, however, we don’t necessarily believe that the current campus construction plans at IU represent this kind of problem. \nTake, for instance, the new $203 million plan to construct six new major facilities on campus. Such a plan may seem expensive, and ascertaining the true value these new buildings would provide for the campus is admittedly tricky. Still, many of the projects seem well worth the effort. A new $47 million international studies building would house many of the language programs IU is known for and would help us build on our reputation as one of the most internationally focused universities in the country. A $44 million state-of-the-art music-practice facility would only enhance the prestige of the Jacobs School of music and would help it attract even more of the best students in the world. \nOf all these programs, so far only one (an $80 million project to rebuild Ashton Residence Center) would require approval by the Indiana General Assembly because of its debt financing. \nCritics like Neal, who argue that the methods of the Indiana General Assembly for appropriating funds for higher education are flawed, make plenty of good points. \nSo far, though, the excesses they fear do not seem to be occurring at IU. The projects here seem well worth the investment.
I don’t even understand what the debate is about. Maybe it’s a product of having been alive to see the Hoosiers hoist a national championship trophy, but I feel that IU basketball is much more important than one man. The University should do all it can in conjunction with the NCAA to get to the bottom of the allegations against Kelvin Sampson, and unless new information comes to light to contradict the NCAA’s findings, the man should no longer be a Hoosier.\n Many of us were skeptical when he was hired due to his history at Oklahoma, but due to a love for our program coupled with our hope for the future, we gave him the benefit of the doubt. How naive would the program look if we let him stay and something like this happened again? And by the way, it will. Integrity is like being pregnant. There’s no middle ground. It used to be that even when the going got tough for IU basketball, we could hold our heads high, point to a lesser program, (we all know who they are) and say, “at least we didn’t stoop to that level.” Well, guess what. Ever since he signed his name on that dotted line, Kelvin Sampson has represented IU basketball, so we just stooped.\n The sooner we act on this the more face we will salvage, and we will be in a much better position as we search for a new coach and recruit for the future. Long live Hoosier hoops!
Dear Coach Sampson,\nFor as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go to IU. Since I was four years old my best memories are sitting on the couch with my family watching IU basketball games. When I came to IU, wins and losses weren’t what I was really concerned about. I just wanted to be part of a program that was bigger than myself, that was bigger than all of us. However, in your pathetic attempt to circumvent the rules and the restrictions placed upon yourself for your own violations you have fucked over any chance I have of experiencing what IU basketball is meant to be. I came in during your first year and was hoping I would be a part of the renaissance of IU basketball. However, I’m now relegated to being part of the biggest black eye the program has ever faced. Thanks, Kelvin. Now even though I’ll bleed crimson till I die, my sacrifices will always be tarnished by you. You truly underestimated what Indiana basketball means to people, and I wish you good luck, but never expect my admiration or respect.
Indira Dammu’s Feb. 13 “Guns blazin’” article is filled with many inaccuracies and misunderstandings. Starting with the beginning of the article, the Virginia Tech tragedy did not create “cosmetic changes” but instead led to states being required to report all mentally unstable individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This would have prevented mentally unstable individuals like Cho Seung-Hui from buying a firearm. She also goes on to claim that “assault weapons” are the weapon of choice for drug traffickers yet “assault weapons” are used in approximately 1 in 500 gun crimes. This means that even if the ban was completely effective, only .002 crimes would be prevented nationwide. However, just taking away one type of weapon would not prevent the crime; it would only cause the criminal to use a different weapon. Not much of a victory there. Now to the completely false statement concerning purchasing firearms at gun shows and over the Internet. Almost all sellers at gun shows are licensed firearm dealers and are therefore subject to federal law, which requires all licensed dealers to conduct a background check using the NICS. Also, while buying a firearm over the Internet, the firearm must be sent to a licensed dealer, who will then conduct the background search before the buyer goes to pick up the firearm. I do not have the space to refute the argument concerning the Second Amendment being a “collective right” but I suggest that Dammu do research into the writing of and the writers of the Second Amendment. One last statistic to end on: in 2004 there were 639 firearm-related deaths with a population of 6.2 million. This is a death rate of about one firearm death per 10,000 people. Pretty good for a score of 8 out of 100.
The recurrent theme in much of the writing about Vampire Weekend's debut album is the debate over whether the band is merely another example of dreaded online overhype. It doesn't help that the band practically courts haters by referring to its African-influenced sound as "Upper West Side Soweto" and writing songs about the romantic travails of overeducated, over-traveled, over-sophisticated East Coast preppies.\nBut here's the problem: Vampire Weekend's debut turns out to be fun, and different, and surprisingly consistent. Sorry, folks -- as much fun as it is to pop hype bubbles, this one deserves it.\nTheir pretentiously-named sound turns out to be a combination of shifting, syncopated percussion, light organ, strings and buoyant guitars. Whether in its more laid-back or jumpy incarnations, Vampire Weekend's style breezes by, creating a feeling of relaxing on a green campus lawn under a bright blue sky, having a cool drink and watching students and faculty amiably drift past. The lyrics, meanwhile, knit together a world where guys show off their knowledge by name-dropping Indian towns, architectural features and grammatical rules, pine for posh girls from across the quad and run around the Northeast. \nIt gets a bit precious at times but is more often charming than not -- my only real complaint about these lyrics is that they could give us a bit more heart to go with the brains, although in "Campus" and "Bryn," a bit of sweetness manages to peek out from behind the veil of studied cool.\nAltogether, Vampire Weekend brings this scene to life with sheer vividness. And given that with most debut albums, bands are doing really well if they simply manage to produce 11 solid songs, the fact that Vampire Weekend pulled off such an ambitious result is absolutely shocking. It might be hard to stand being around the songs' protagonists in the real world -- at least, for those of us who forego Louis Vuitton accessories to pay for food -- but the band's soundtrack for its world makes a compelling case for trying out its lives. At least, for the duration of the album's 34-minute run.
The fervor surrounding "Cloverfield" has been building since the mysterious teaser trailer appeared with "Transformers" last summer and producer J.J. Abrams took the viral marketing to a new level with odd Web sites' mysterious posters. Slowly, bits of information reached the masses, while the biggest question was whether the film would actually be good and not just a genius marketing ploy. Thankfully, "Cloverfield" is a bit of both.\n"Cloverfield" tells the story of Rob (Stahl-David), a 20-something on his way to becoming the vice president of an unnamed company in Japan. To celebrate, Rob's brother Jason (Mike Vogel) and Jason's girlfriend Lily (Jessica Lucas) throw him a surprise party as Hud (T.J. Miller) documents it all on film. Suddenly, Manhattan is attacked by an unknown entity, leading to a military evacuation. As the creature terrorizes the city, Rob's friends follow him through the carnage to rescue the love of his life Beth (Yustman), while Hud documents the entire ordeal on camera. \nThe most hyped part of "Cloverfield" is the destruction that takes place once the monster arrives, and it doesn't disappoint. The entire film is from Hud's point of view through the handheld camera, and the shaky movements are jarring and hard to get used to. Once you do, though, it feels like you're in the midst of it all. The angles allow for the monster's look to be kept a secret throughout most of the action, which furthers the suspense. \nThe action sequences and computer graphics of the monster look good for all that is actually visible through the smoke and shakiness of the camera. The producers tried to make everything as realistic as possible, and they succeeded with the look of the monster and its mini-creatures. \nThe film's most negative aspect is its characters. Before the monster hits, we're given 15 minutes of so-called development where we learn about Beth and Rob's one-night stand via the tape in the handheld camera. But you don't go to see "Cloverfield" for its "Dawson's Creek"-esque storyline -- you go for the thrills. Once the carnage begins, the characters' lack of depth makes it difficult to care about them, especially when they're in danger and you're waiting for them to die in a cool way. \n"Cloverfield" isn't a great film, but it shouldn't be judged as a film. It's more of a thrill ride. Throughout the short 75-minute running time, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Once it's over, you'll feel like you were hung upside down and beaten with a large club. But, chances are, you'll like it.
After her first year as a law student at Southern Illinois University, Lisa Rittenhouse had a GPA of 1.948, just below the 1.95 average needed to guarantee a spot in the law school for the coming semester. She was one of six students who reapplied for admission, and the only one denied, even though she claimed to have the highest GPA of all applicants. She is now suing SIU for discrimination, claiming that her rejection was because she was white – four of those readmitted were racial minorities and because she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, type II bipolar disorder and dyslexia. \nThe issue of discrimination is complicated. On the one hand, she claims to have been the victim of discrimination, making no small mention of her ethnicity as a barrier to re-acceptance at SIU. On the other, she claims she didn’t receive enough help for her disabilities, but the law school plainly admitted it would give her no special accommodations. It seems law school admission boards just can’t win these days. Extend too much favor on the basis of diversity, and you’re a reverse-racist, but extend too little to people with disabilities, and you are backward. \nBut Rittenhouse seems to have it wrong. And to someone who no doubt struggled to make her grades, ending up two-hundreths of a point away from re-acceptance would seem a compelling reason to keep trying. But it’s not as though law school is like other institutions. It is sort of a trade school, whose end goal is to instill in its students a certain competence at understanding and working within the law. Our belief that one can achieve anything leads us to sue when we are unable to do it ourselves. Rittenhouse seems to have stumbled upon a hard truth – there are some hardships for which we cannot be compensated.\nIn grade school, extra time for testing makes sense. If one is a slow reader, the student is allowed extra time to digest the material. The idea here is to remove barriers to success that exist in the education system. Comprehension, not speed of reading, is the end goal. But law school is the real world, and no matter in which branch of law Rittenhouse aspires to work, surely she knows that neither companies nor opposing counsels will ever give extra accommodation, no matter how severe her disability.\nRittenhouse is demanding to receive treatment for her condition and that no one else be given special treatment for race. But, really, racial diversity is a strength. The idea is that different people would provide a broad resource of skills and opinions that allow us to solve problems in different ways. Sadly, ADHD and dyslexia are not strengths. They are weaknesses, and although society should not give these people any extra grief, it benefits no one to give them extra advantages. With Rittenhouse’s tenacity, surely there are other things in which she could succeed, but it seems law school is not one of them. And that is no one’s fault.
I have had more fun in college than any other time in my life. Some weeks were hell because of tests I had to take and papers I had to write, but the memories I made on the weekends will last me a lifetime. As the incoming editor of WEEKEND magazine, I want this publication to showcase the things that make weekends in Bloomington so much fun for so many people, and to do that I need your help. \nOne of the things I talked about as I interviewed students to hire for my staff was collaboration. Each staff member will have a specific title but they will all be responsible for making WEEKEND a publication IU students look forward to reading every Thursday. If my designer has an idea for a story, or if my features editor has an idea for the cover of the magazine, I want to know about it. This idea of collaboration extends to the readers of WEEKEND as well. If you have found some unique way to have fun on the weekend or if you see a group of people who have started a new trend, I want to know about it. \nWEEKEND has become stereotyped by some as a magazine with stories about drinking games and reviews of indie-rock bands, but I want this publication to be more than that. Most students already know everything there is to know about drinking games, so I want to find the things you can do for fun that the majority of students don't know about. Most students have more than one genre of music on their iPods, and I want the reviews section to acknowledge that. \nI want to do these things so that when you're sitting in class on a Thursday and your professor is boring you to tears, you can pick up the latest issue of WEEKEND to find something to do that night and the music you're going to listen to while you're getting ready.
Thirty-seven countries, 17 million square miles and more than 3 million inhabitants. To borrow a line from the oft-quoted movie “Anchorman,” the continent of Asia is “kind of a big deal.”\nYet here in the United States, we tend to simplify the wide range of people hailing from this giant landmass as “Asians,” disregarding the acute cultural, economic and social differences that often exist between different regions of the continent. \nThis tendency toward demographic overgeneralization has even found its way into higher education. After years of working to bring greater ethnic and cultural diversity to their campuses, colleges across the nation consistently enroll a substantial Asian-American contingent in their freshman classes. It is undeniable that students of Asian descent no longer constitute an underrepresented minority in the U.S. university system. To take an extreme case, 43.3 percent of all undergraduate students enrolled at the University of California-Berkeley for the spring semester of 2007 were classified as Asian/Asian-American/Pacific Islander.\nStill, there are some who are now pushing to differentiate even further between different Asian racial and ethnic groups on college applications. To us, their complaint seems legitimate: There is definitely a difference between a wealthy, third-generation Chinese-American and an economically disadvantaged, first-generation child of Cambodian refugees. Thus, the general label of “Asian” is too broad and might limit the chances of certain groups to be accepted into college and obtain the financial aid necessary to do so.\nBut although it seems more fair to subdivide broad ethnic categories, if one demographic is subdivided into many different national and ethnic groups, then shouldn’t the others be as well? As long as we distinguish Chinese-Americans from Laotian-Americans, then it is only fair to distinguish Panamanian-Americans from Mexican-Americans and Scottish-Americans from Irish-Americans. You can already see where this is going – the different ethnic permutations are boundless. Think about how overwhelmed you felt writing the essays and personal statements for your college applications. Well, just think how much more overwhelming the whole process would be if you had to go through pages of check boxes of ethnic and racial potpourri in the personal information section.\nComplicated, huh? The debate over the role that ethnicity should play in college admissions has always been controversial, and making these further differentiations, while more egalitarian, is extremely impractical and might make matters worse. So instead of relying on an applicant’s national or racial heritage alone, schools need to take a serious look at his or her economic standing – because the ethnic playing field has been somewhat leveled, this might be a more accurate indicator of who is or isn’t “disadvantaged.” Because many immigrants come to the United States seeking economic opportunity, it might turn out that national heritage and economic standing line up anyway. \nThe composition of the American population is constantly in flux, and since higher education is often the gateway to a social mobility and a higher standard of living, colleges need to remain flexible, be aware of these changes and avoid generalizations. \nChinese does not equal Japanese does not equal Burmese. To open our minds, maybe we should begin by opening an atlas.
Once in a while something comes to light that challenges a long-standing paradigm. Upon recognition of such shattering information, many people react in the manner that neo-conservatives approach international relations: regressing into fits of adolescent temper tantrums.\nFor example, many people associate after-Thanksgiving-meal sleepiness to tryptophan, an amino-acid found in juicy, oven-roasted turkey and John Madden’s sweat.\nYummy.\nIn reality, however, our annual tradition of Thanksgiving poultry gorging and promptly going comatose has little to do with tryptophan and more to do with our general overeating and slothfulness. At least that’s what a bunch of “doctors” doing “medical research” recently reported. \nAre you upset over this information that is contrary-to-common thought? Pounding the floor while screaming? Condoleezza Rice is, but that’s her job. Cranky neo-con.\nSimilar to the tiresome-turkey conspiracy, there’s another myth out there ready for debunking. And like the tryptophan twaddle, it has everything to do with Thanksgiving gluttony. \nThe day after Thanksgiving, affectionately known as Black Friday for reasons of capitalistic quandary, has nearly become as scared as the previous day’s turkey feasting. In fact, national law mandates evening newscast dedicate 90 percent of their air time on Black Friday to wacky stories about the day’s inevitable crowded malls and huge retail sales. And every year the stores open earlier: 5 a.m., 4 a.m., some even at midnight, thus interrupting several precious hours of non-tryptophan induced sleep. \nThe perception of a Black Friday outsider such as me is that the shopping frenzy is reserved for the most desperate among us: overzealous yet well-meaning housewives.\nThis year, however, necessitated first-hand observation to test the theory. What I found shook my preconceived thought to its misguided core.\n5 a.m. – Dark and cold, the outside air gives way to the welcome site of a portly security guard unlocking the store’s large glass doors.\n5:02 a.m. – On the ground, reeling from the stampede of feet that has just given me an unwelcome back massage, I look up in time to catch a glimpse of a young child no more that 6 years old laughing and pointing. The little girl tells her mother, “Look at the funny dumb guy.” The mother responds in kind. “He’s a weakling. Go find the DVDs.”\n5:13 a.m. – Reaching for the last copy of “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Season 4,” I’m blindsided with a backhand to the face. My assailant screeches, “Back off, bitch! My girlfriend loves this show.” To my surprise, there’s not a butch lesbian standing above me but rather an obviously metrosexual male of about 30.\n5:35 a.m. – Returning home, I stitch my bleeding face using frontier medicine techniques gleaned from Dr. Quinn. \nDespite notions to the contrary, the Black Friday phenomenon is not localized to a group of ravenous adult women. There are young children and well-polished men who also become caught in the ferocious consumerism of the day. They represent all of us, a country that, on the whole, becomes more obsessed with the shop-‘til-you-drop mantra with every passing year.\nShocked? Go ahead, throw a fit. The neo-cons are right there with you.
Often, we journalists wonder why no one takes us seriously. We wonder why we’re considered so untrustworthy. According to a CBS News/ New York Times poll, only 15 percent of people trust the media “a great deal.”\nWe often say it’s because the media just puts out the garbage that people want.\nBut here’s the truth: We suck. A lot.\nThere are few occupations as self-righteous as “journalist.” No other job so readily calls itself “courageous” and “important,” and none pats itself on the back as gleefully. It’s no wonder that the biggest target of “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” is the media, not President Bush.\nFor all that we talk about representing the people and defending a higher right to a free press, journalists seem to be doing very little with those rights. It’s easy to blame Fox News for everything, but perhaps people went to Fox because normal news blew so much. Would people read about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears if journalists hadn’t enlarged their own statures? We thumb our noses at the masses for loving Paris, but we’re the ones who made her. Did we ever consider that we’re the reason people hate us?\nLook at our track record: If news media had been doing their jobs in 2003, maybe someone would have figured out that the run-up to the Iraq War was a sham and that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rather than questioning anyone, the talking heads and pundits nodded approvingly, urging everyone onwards to war. Then, once the sham was revealed, journalists acted duped, as if they weren’t the ones who should have gotten the right information in the first place.\nNow, in the run-up to a new election, journalists are playing the same old tricks again, choosing personality over substance, and polling over issues. During the unending presidential debates, the questions are hand-picked by the networks and unsurprisingly highlight wedge issues and “gotcha” moments squeeze candidates again and again. Of all the questioners in the debates, it’s the journalist moderators who do the worst job. Consequently, the most asinine questions, like the soft-ball “diamonds or pearls?” question for Hillary Clinton, turn out to be specially selected by the networks.\nInstead of fighting for the most accurate story, news organizations scramble to get the fastest story. Instead of treating the public as people of intelligence, who can understand complex issues, we treat them with contempt. Instead of talking to “the people,” powerful journalists gravitate to the same circles. \nWe read daily about the increasing ignorance of the American public. People don’t vote, don’t know who’s running for President and don’t know who their congressional representatives are. The news media moan in anguish that people don’t care about what’s important. Yet, no guilt ever seems to fall on the journalists, whose only job it is to distribute the information and judge what’s important. \nIf journalists wonder why people loathe them so, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the show?\nA: I like to think of it as live-action "South Park." I always liked the little, round characters.
Bloomington mayoral candidates David Sabbagh and Mark Kruzan are both experienced mountain climbers – Sabbagh scaled Kilimanjaro in 2000, while Kruzan has successfully reached the summit of the largest mountain in Wales. In the same vein, both candidates’ campaign platforms for the upcoming Bloomington mayoral election are remarkably similar – expand the economy, decrease unemployment and improve social services – although the means by which they hope to address these issues is somewhat more divergent. \nFor Kruzan, the best – and most economically viable – way to maintain a culturally and intellectually enlightened city such as Bloomington is to nurture it from within, encouraging workforce development and helping local businesses, zoning to prevent urban sprawl and promoting the arts. Though he acknowledges the economic importance of keeping Bloomington up to speed with the rest of the country, he proposes to develop its workforce and overall economy by reviving downtown and, above all, by “keep(ing) Bloomington, Bloomington.” \nSabbagh, on the other hand, aims to improve the quality of life in Bloomington by bringing in outside actors, especially those involved in the information technology industry, and he focuses much less than his opponent on maintaining community character. Education, for him, is key to developing the marketable skills of Bloomington residents, and he proposes mitigating poverty through worker training programs. He cites chronic poverty as one of the most pressing issues needing to be addressed by this city. What’s more, he tends to emphasize the need to improve other social services in tandem. In fact, in one of this election year’s most striking ironies, this Republican’s consistent emphasis at times seems to be more in line with traditional Democratic values than those of his Democratic opponent. Go figure. \nBeyond poverty and unemployment, one of the foremost issues on the table in this election is the question of what role Bloomington should be playing in combatting global warming and ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy the same clean water and stunning natural scenery that have come to characterize the city for us. While both candidates have proposed ways to do so, Kruzan has a stronger record as an environmentalist, having endorsed the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and adopted smart-growth policies, and he seems to have more of a plan of action than his opponent, who has never really gone beyond stating that the problem exists and needs to be addressed. \nAnd on the touchy subject of town-gown relations, both agree on the importance of fostering a positive link between the \nUniversity and the community at large. “IU is our number-one asset,” Sabbagh said during a September debate, even though he is a Purdue graduate. We view this concession as a fine testament to this candidate’s ability to admit to his past mistakes. \nFinally, not to sound biased or anything, we at the Indiana Daily Student would like to remind our readers that Kruzan is both an IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs alum and a former IDS opinion columnist. \nObviously, he’s got a good head on his shoulders.
The District 5 race for The Bloomington City Council is pretty cut and dried.\nDemocratic candidate Isabel Piedmont is well-educated – she graduated from Oberlin College and received a master’s degree from Boston University. She is also well-spoken, laying out her agenda in organized, clearly thought-out responses in an online interview with the Herald-Times. She has demonstrated her experience and is clearly more than qualified for the City Council position she seeks.\nHer Republican challenger, Alicia Graves, a 25-year-old Ivy Tech Community College student, is notably less experienced and less articulate in developing a clear sense of her agenda. Graves, a self-proclaimed “advocate for safety,” throws around concerns over the well-being of Bloomington’s children but doesn’t really offer any solutions or plans to combat the failures she sees in the current Council. One of her strongest convictions seems to be that Bloomington’s sidewalks are in disrepair – true but trivial.\nDon’t get me wrong, Graves is politically inexperienced – aside from founding Ivy Tech College Republicans she’s been absent from the political arena – but Bloomington City Council would be an appropriate place for a political start, were it not for the overwhelming qualifications of her opponent.\nIf Graves loses it will have less to do with her own plans and more to do with the superiority of Peidmont’s. \nBorn and raised in Bloomington, she comes to the table brimming with goals to enhance Bloomington’s environment and economy. She is well-versed in the sustainability issues she means to address in the local community. Piedmont has a plan. Through proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase funding for green space, draw tourism, revitalize older neighborhoods with incentives for homeowners and expand recycling pick up, Piedmont knows exactly what she plans to accomplish and how. Her goals are realistic and exciting, putting forth an impressive platform. Piedmont should easily win.
Running for City Council in District 6 are Republican Marjorie Hudgins and Democrat Stephen Volan. Hudgins has a Ph.D. from IU and is a former landlord and self-described “citizen activist” with no prior experience in politics. Volan is an IU alumnus as well. He owns the Cinemat video store and screening room and teaches “Introduction to Chess” at IU. He is the incumbent, and became vice president in 2007. \nTheir plans differ widely. In the video interview offered by HeraldTimesOnline.com, Volan’s biggest concern is transportation. He said money used to subsidize downtown parking should be instead given to the bus system to expand and make it free to all riders. Furthermore, he wishes to create a “park and ride” system with bus shuttles from cheap parking locations. \nHudgins takes a strikingly different approach. Her main concern is the improvement of sidewalks and curbs and better lighting. In an odd twist, she pledges in the video to donate her salary, after taxes, to sidewalk restoration. \nBut what District 6 needs is experience and meaningful action, not the promise of charity. I endorse Stephen Volan because of his well thought-out, important plans for transportation improvement. His capacity for leadership shines through, while Hudgins just reads from a tired script. Moreover, Volan seems to be the one with plans most directly related to quality of life, and Hudgins’ fixation with sidewalk improvement and noise problems seems to be bizarre and aesthetically inclined.
Who is Carrie Underwood? \nA former winner of "American Idol," a small-town twenty something with a debut album that garnered her three Grammys, and a singer with a sophomore effort destined to be as successful. But don't expect any insight into the singer's soul with Carnival Ride, a mix of cheeky pop-country punches amidst standard countrified tales of lost love and regret.\nUnlike her rock-pop "Idol" counterpart Kelly Clarkson, who bared her soul on June's My December, Underwood hasn't broken out of the mold "American Idol" thrust her into in 2005. Whether channeling Miranda Lambert's gruff drawl ("Last Name"), Faith Hill's theatrical croon ("Just a Dream") or the string-infested stomp of the Dixie Chicks ("Flat on the Floor"), Underwood is merely interpreting songs, albeit beautifully. With its rich, sparkling tone and subtle twang, her voice floats on top of the music, somewhat detached from the lyrics. There's little indication that any of her songs have personal meaning, which makes perfect sense considering her start on "American Idol."\nWhat the album lacks in originality it makes up for with a mix of well-executed, heel-stomping anthems and sugary sweet ballads, with the best of these categories being "Flat on the Floor" and a cover of Randy Travis' "I Told You So," respectively. The one song the album could have omitted is "The More Boys I Meet," where Underwood champions (wo)man's best friend, singing, "I close my eyes and I kiss that frog / Each time finding / The more boys I meet, the more I love my dog." However, a Ride with Underwood is worth this bump in the road. \nTake into account that her first album Some Hearts went platinum six times -- a feat not achieved by a debut country artist since the monster smash Blue by Leeann Rimes in 1996 -- and it's undeniable Underwood is pop's reigning princess. Whether she'll ascend to the level of a queen like Dolly or Reba remains to be seen. She may not be much of a personality yet, but a performer? You bet.
I would like to commend the editorial staff of the IDS for its response to the Department of Education’s “crackdown” on schools failing to meet the 7 percent community service requirement. Your writing was concise and you made very good points (much better than those of us in the practice of financial aid sometimes do).\nSince the legislation is there, we have the responsibility and duty to fulfill it, and we fully intend to do so. But your editorial summed up the complexities of compliance very well. Keep up the good work.
On Oct. 10, the IU New Intellectual Salon, the Objectivist club I founded last year, stationed members across campus to read aloud from “Atlas Shrugged” to commemorate the novel’s 50th anniversary. The event was a resounding success in that we met many people with a wide array of beliefs and engaged them in philosophical discussion. We had intended to hang up our activist hats for a while afterward, but after reading Indira Dammu’s column Wednesday referencing our “Who Is John Galt?” chalking, I thought it appropriate to offer a defense of our beliefs.\nI will pose a series of questions. Is it selfish for a woman to abort a pregnancy so that she might achieve her life goals? Is it selfish for a homosexual to come out of the closet, ignoring society’s demands, and live with the partner of her choice? Is it selfish to study your passion, rather than choose a major that helps more people? The answer to all these questions is “Yes,” and by Objectivist standards, these are all perfectly moral decisions.\nThe cardinal virtue of Objectivism is rationality, and a rational person does not hold one group of people to a different moral standard than another. Why, then, are those who pursue self-interest monetarily evil, yet if money is not involved, good? Objectivists understand that wealth has to be produced, and as such, you have a right to all the wealth you produce, and only the wealth you produce.\nWith regard to politics, I will simply say that the only proper system is that which leaves people free to achieve the aforementioned virtues. The right to earn and produce freely is just as important as the rights to speak, worship and assemble freely. It is not the jurisdiction of any government to dictate whose happiness is justified and whose is “unfair.” Free market capitalism is the only system under which all people are free to produce their own happiness, both material and spiritual. And happiness, whatever its manifestation, is the moral purpose of our lives.
On Sept. 19, IU President Michael McRobbie announced the establishment of a student advisory committee called Vision of the Ideal College Environment, or VOICE, which will assist in crafting a vision of the ideal college living and learning environment for the 21st century. \nOver the next four months, the committee will be working to open a dialogue with fellow students to provide recommendations with respect to interests and expectations of the ideal college environment. By mid-spring semester, the project will culminate in a report to the president, offering insight into the future of the college experience – straight from students. \nIt has been the tradition at IU, nurtured and expanded during the tenure of Herman B Wells, for students to serve an integral role in the decision-making process at all levels of the University. From the smallest committees to the board of trustees, the voices of the students have historically been considered a vital piece in providing fair and progressive governance, something very unique in the arena of higher education. For some time now, however, this voice has been slowly eroding. It is no longer assured that students have a spot at the table; students need only look at last year’s exclusion from the search for the next IU president, though we are quite happy with the outcome. The legendary IU demonstrations of the 1960s were as much about this exclusion as anything: The elite of higher education, unwilling to open a seat at the table and hear the voices of the students it purports to serve. \nPresident McRobbie, having been inducted just a week ago, has generously offered us a unique opportunity to be a part of the current long-range planning of this University. We have important obligations to past students of IU who have cultivated the environment we now enjoy, to the students who have yet to apply and to ourselves to ensure that the voice of the students does not fade into obsolescence. \nIt is what may be referred to as our “last best chance.” If we do not rise to the occasion, providing a robust, thorough report to the president, we can consider this the end of a great Hoosier tradition and the end of our participation in the governance of the University. If, however, we are willing to invest the time, engage students from all corners of this campus and produce a substantial document articulating the interests of students and a vision of the future, we can ensure our spot at the table. \nSo, where do you see the college experience heading? How should IU evolve relative to the changes in the future? We implore you to join the conversation, get your voice heard and ensure that students continue to be a part of decision making at this institution. \nTo join the conversation, log on to voiceproject.indiana.edu or become a member by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.