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Op-Ed: Why It Matters That We’ve Still Heard Nothing About the Arrest of Campus Safety Officer Robert Gardner

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Campus Safety Officer Robert Gardner was arrested for sexual assault in June, and the college still hasn’t released an official statement, or anything even closely resembling one. (If this is the first you’re hearing about all this, well, Happy Wednesday, I guess.) Though there’s no official information about the arrest/conviction, (though I’ve heard from reliable Skidmore students that Gardner has been fired) I felt something of an obligation to share some thoughts that I know are shared by many Skidmore students.

Now, this didn’t happen at Skidmore. This happened off-campus, and the alleged victim is not a Skidmore student. But it’s a college issue nonetheless. Think about if a professor had his or her name attached to a sex scandal to any degree. Of course it should (and hopefully would) be addressed, because it has to do with the college and those are affiliated with it to any degree. The same applies here.

I also understand how complex, difficult, and delicate a matter it must be for the powers-that-be to address such an issue. There’s a lot at stake, especially with the academic year beginning and new students arriving, so having this in the spotlight can’t be something that the college is dying to have on their hands. I’d also imagine that the fact that this happened in the greater Saratoga area (and is presumably being handled by the Saratoga Police Department) must also complicate the relation of information for the college.

Also, I’m not trying to imply that Gardner should never have been hired in the first place (or even that he shouldn’t have remained employed by the college for 35 years), because I know nothing about him and his record as an employee. In general, I try to assume the best in people, and I really don’t have the background information to point fingers about things I know so little about. (Though, if it turns out that this isn’t the first time his name has been brought up in something like this, then I would definitely have a different opinion.)

Lastly, I do believe that me being a Skidmore student does not guarantee me the right to know everything about all things related to this campus. I saw many people get very indignant about not hearing anything about Gardner’s arrest just the day after it happened, but I was a little more hesitant to get upset. I wanted to give the administration the benefit of the doubt that they’d say something soon.

But they didn’t. And they haven’t.

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Op-Ed: What to Take Away From Today’s Open Forum with Cynthia Carroll

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

By Kelsey Nichols ’13

I was so inspired and so proud of the Skidmore community during today’s discussion after the open forum with Cynthia Carroll. For me, that was honestly the most well-spoken, intelligent, well-informed dialogue that I have been a part of during my four years at Skidmore. Enough people felt powerfully on this issue, whatever side they chose to be on, that the conversation never wavered from being educational and enlightening. We have a diversity of opinions, backgrounds and majors who have called Skidmore their home for four years (and those who have called it that for less) and that was visibly present at this discussion.

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Op-Ed: A Crisis of Humanity

Monday, April 15th, 2013

By Tye Stien ’13

For those of you who have lived the past week in blissful ignorance, Skidmore College has seen fit to invite notorious mining tycoon Cynthia Carroll to speak at the Class of 2013 commencement. An alumna of Skidmore, Carroll has cultivated a morally ambiguous reputation by serving as CEO of Anglo-American, a transnational mining corporation. The sordid, often hyperbolic debate raging over Carroll’s invitation has focused upon Anglo-American’s dubious environmental, neocolonial, and humanitarian record. While important, this focus seems to miss the greatest question of all: why Carroll? In the expansive universe of successful, articulate professional lecturers, Skidmore has chosen Carroll above all others. The problem inherent in this invitation lies not in her humanitarian record, though it should bear some scrutiny, but in the image Skidmore is choosing to project with her nomination.

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SkidNews Takes a Turn to the Right: A (Sort of) Op-Ed About Op-Eds

Monday, March 25th, 2013
"And now, with an editorial reply, a small girl!"

“And now, with an editorial reply, a small girl!”

After almost two semesters of pushing inane, sub-literate articles with the intellectual content of the shit you find at the bottom of your shower drain, The Skidmore News has published not one, not two, but THREE highly controversial, right-leaning op-eds over the past few weeks. Bravo, SkidNews! Bravo! Now maybe do some real journalism?

It all began on February 22, with the ominously titled editorial Intolerance at Skidmore.” According to the Editorial Board, conservatives on campus feel that they are a “marginalized” group, facing disparagement and persecution at the hands of the liberal majority. It’s true! There’s an entire office at the Hague dedicated to the successful capture of Skidmore’s liberal war criminals, who have ethnically cleansed and massacred the poor conservative population throughout our campus’ bloody history. The lament of the modern-day Republican! WOE IS YOU!

While there’s definitely an argument to be made for broadening the political perspective on campus, it’s straight up moronic for these guys to claim that Republicans are an oppressed minority because people were cheering for Kirsten Gillibrand (<3 u) instead of the useless GOP challenger whose name I can’t even remember, at October’s NYS Senate debate. What a bunch of fucking wimps.

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Op-Ed: East Avenue Rape Updates and the Campus Response

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Ed. Note – I would assume that a headline about “rape” is probably sufficient, but I’ve been advised to include a “Trigger Warning” anyway.

Allow me to be serious for a moment.

There have been a few developments in the the ongoing scandal over the Saratoga Springs Police Department’s huge mishandling of the September 1 rape investigation. Last Friday, Lucian McCarty wrote a post on his City Desk blog at The Saratogian calling attention to comments made by Public Safety Commissioner Christian Mathiesen, the city official who—along with Police Chief Chris Cole—made the final decision to withhold virtually all information related to the rape for over a month. Mathiesen has repeatedly engaged in shameless victim-blaming in an attempt to skirt responsibility, saying (once again) that “walking alone on a street at that time of night may not be advisable for a woman who is alone.”

Now, I’m all for common sense, but the irony of the Public Safety Commissioner telling the women of Saratoga Springs to take their lives and well-beings into their own hands is just a little too much to bear. The attitude is, essentially, “we can never, ever stop rape, so the only realistic thing to do is place the full burden of responsibility on you.”

Sage wisdom, ladies. You’d better padlock your door and crawl under the bed, because the Saratoga cops are too busy beating the shit out of random strangers in bar fights on Caroline Street to do their jobs and protect you.

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Op-Ed: Questions and Lessons From Middlebury

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

A kind tipster informed us about this fascinating little incident that recently caused a tempest over at Middlebury College.

So, a brief summary starting from the beginning…on October 12, in preparation for a visit from the Dalai Lama, a group of five students from the self-proclaimed “Dalai Lama Welcoming Committee” (DLWC) authored a fake press release and sent it to hundreds of students, faculty members, and members of the local press via email. The release (titled “Middlebury College Divests from War in Honor of Dalai Lama Visit”) averred to be from the College’s “Office of Communications.”

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Moorebid: A Tremendous Pain in the Ass

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

So at this point, SGA’s plan to charge $10 for a mere 800 Moorebid tickets has pretty much made the rounds across campus, so I won’t belabor it or anything. If you’re into sweating a lot and throwing yourself into freshmen, then I guess it sucks, but alas, life goes on.

Anyway, people are getting awfully pissed off on the Facebook page, and watching the SGA people jump through hoops to assuage the backlash is both entertaining and kinda sad, like watching a guy on stilts try to put out a grease fire. As a result, a rival Facebook group appropriately titled “Occupy Moorebid – Operation Case Center” became active a few days ago.

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Ron Seyb Writes Op-Ed for Saratoga Wire

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Skidmore government professor Ron Seyb has penned a very funny op-ed for Saratoga Wire, titled “Movies and the Meaning of Life,” in response to news that construction is moving forward on the new movie theater set to replace the vacant Price Chopper. Seyb claims “the erosion of the cultural norm of ‘going to the movies’ has caused America to be on the cusp of losing a generation,” and as someone who spent more money at the 68th Street AMC Loews this summer than on food, clothing, and shelter combined, I tend to agree with him.

“My nephews are part of this incipient lost generation. They are four young men, ranging in age from 12 to 20, who are smart, responsible, and tolerant of even their uncle’s screaming, ‘Run the picket fence!’ at their basketball games. I would expect such sterling young men to have developed by now an ardent love for the movies. My nephews’ knowledge of film is, however, inferior to mine and my peers at the same age. They do watch a few films repeatedly, most of which feature either Denzel Washington or Matthew McConaughey constructing football teams out of the human equivalent of slag. But the breadth of their movie knowledge is small. It is as if they decided to go to a liberal arts college to major in Turtle Wax. I suppose that such a major would have value, provided that one wished to simonize one’s car over, and over, and over again.”

The article is full of REAL TALK, (despite a mean, unecessary shot at the critically reviled but secretly brilliant That’s My Boy), and Seyb is always hilarious. Take a break from work and check it out.

(via Saratoga Wire)

Skid News: “More Drinking on Campus Will Solve Problems”

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Eons ago in the 1980s, Falstaff’s held a bright future. Originally conceived as a campus bar to bring the students of Skidmore together, during planning and construction, the New York State drinking age was raised from 19 to 21. Rather than just enforce the new law, the Administration abandoned the bar plan and decided Falstaff’s would better serve the community as the weird, generally unappealing place it is now.

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Op-Ed: Define Activism

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The author of this op-ed piece wishes to remain anonymous

My first day at Skidmore College was the first time I’d ever identified myself as a queer individual. I had wrestled with and repressed that identity throughout most of my childhood, and my entire miserable time in high school, and was so happy to finally be out and express my gender and sexuality freely. Those first couple weeks at Skidmore have been some of the most liberating and invigorating moments of my life so far, and I’ll forever hold those moments dear as some of the biggest milestones of my life to date.

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