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Civil Rights Advocate to Present Lecture on Racial Injustice in Legal System

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Michelle Alexander, critically-acclaimed author and legal scholar, will be speaking Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30pm in Zankel.

Skidmore’s Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding will be sponsoring a lecture presented by legal scholar and civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander on Wednesday, Oct. 22nd in Zankel. Alexander will give a talk entitled “The New Jim Crow,” which will most likely sample some of the material covered in her first book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness–in which she claims that “”[w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” 

Published in 2010, The New Jim Crow received rave reviews and went on to win a slew of awards. Benjamin Todd Jealous of the NAACP wrote that the book “offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration, its roots to Jim Crow, our modern caste system, and what must be done to eliminate it. This book is a call to action.” Plus Cornel West called it the “secular bible for a new social movement in early twenty-first-century America,” so it doesn’t get much more badass than that.

Alexander, who currently hold a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at OSU, has spent many years in the legal system advocating for justice in cases of gender and race discrimination. She’s worked at the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU, the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford, and in both the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals.

As you can tell, this woman is pretty fucking incredible, seems like a very good speaker, and will no doubt have some very interesting things to say on an issue that has been at the focal point of the media and our cultural consciousness. Alexander writes in The New Jim Crow that “the future of the black community…may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society.”

So if you’re tired of seeing shit like this and this, then go to Alexander’s lecture on Wednesday at 7:30pm in Zankel.

Today Is Election Day,Vote or Die

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Do what Diddy says to do.

Do what Diddy says to do.

One of the best things about going to college—besides the fact that you’re surround by friends and coffee 24/7—is student government elections. It’s just like presidential elections, except without the corruption of interest groups, insane amount of campaign spending, and voter suppression. It’s politics at its cleanest and local-est.

Today marks the first round of elections:

President of Senior Class and Interclass Council Chair
Soraya Attia

Student Government Association President
Addison Bennett
Madeleine Kanazawa

Vice President of Student Life
Dorothy Parsons

Vice President for Club Affiars
Megan Schachter

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charles Tetelman

Vice President for Financial Affairs
Anya (Allison) Hein
Sam Harris

Sophomore Class President
Maddison Plummer
Thabang Mapothoane

Sophomore Class VP
Kengthsagn Louis

Sophomore Class Treasurer
Julia Elstein

Junior Class President
Prince Kwanele Tsabedze

Junior Class VP
Carmen Lin

Senior Class President
Soraya Attia

Article III, Section I, Part E of the Club Affairs Committee Policies and Procedures shall be added to read:
To ensure open membership, clubs may not deny membership to anyone based on: race; ethnicity; sex; gender expression (e.g. Female a capella groups may not deny membership to any member of the Skidmore community who identifies as female solely based on their gender expression) sexuality; religion, spirituality, or lack thereof; nationality or immigrant status; physical or mental ability; body type; language; age; veteran status; marriage status; parental status; ancestry; medical condition. Club leadership, in consultation with the Vice President for Club Affairs and the Office of Leadership Activities, may apply limitations on an individual’s club activity in the interest of avoiding a true safety hazard to club members, coaches, spectators, or any other people or animals on a strictly case-by-case basis. Anyone may initiate an appeal to such a limitation to the SGA Executive Board.

The Integrity Board shall be removed from Article VIII Section 7 and added to Article IX: All-College Committees and shall be read as:
“ Section 1. The Integrity Board (IB) The Integrity Board (IB) is an established All-College Committee. The IB adjudicates cases of academic and social violations. The IB is composed of one or two faculty drawn from a pool of six faculty members appointed by FEC to serve overlapping two-year terms, three students (drawn from a pool of 10 students appointed through the Willingness-to-Serve process), the Chair (drawn from a pool of two student IB Co-Chairs appointed through the Willingness-to-Serve process), and one other member of the college staff (Note: Members of the IB also serve on the Board of Appeals). Students who wish to sit on the IB are strongly encouraged to take the Restorative Justice class headed by the Assistant Dean of Student Life prior to engaging the Willingness-to-Serve process. Those registered in the course shall sit in on the IB meetings an observer and not a speaking/voting member. After completing the course, students can apply to sit on the IB through the Willingness-to-Serve process with or without a recommendation by the instructor of the Restorative Justice course. Students chair all IB hearings. In academic integrity cases, a hearing requires two faculty members, four students, including the chair, and one staff member, and the Dean of Student Affairs serves as Judicial Counsel. In social integrity cases, a hearing requires one faculty member, four students, including the chair, and one staff member, and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs serves as Judicial Counsel.”

So Skidmore, be active. Care about your community. And vote today. You can even do it from the comfort of your window seat, or if you’re a senior, from DAs.

VOTE HERE: https://www.skidmore.edu/student/voting/


Venezuela After Chávez

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Former Venezuelan president and giant toe Hugo Chávez

Tomorrow, Model EU will be sponsoring a panel discussion on Venezuelan and regional politics in the wake of socialist President Hugo Chávez’s death in early March. The panel will include Professors Aldo Vacs (Government), Maria Fernanda Lander (Latin American Studies), Violeta Lorenzo (Foreign Languages and Literature), Mehmet Odekon (Economics), and Jordana Dym (History).

This is a veritable powerhouse team of international affairs scholars here at Skidmore, and the discussion is sure to be lively and interesting. Definitely worth checking out for those into that sort of thing.

Wednesday April 17, 8:30pm @ Gannett

Hugo Chavez Documentary Screening

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Chavez and friend

Tomorrow, United Minds and Raices will be screening the No Volverán: The Venezuelan Revolution Now! This documentary examines the tenure of populist leader Hugo Chávez and the so-called “Bolivarian Revolution.”

Chávez has ruled Venezuela for over a decade. In that time, he has presided over a hilariously mismanaged economyrampant crime, and a crippling brain drain. Earlier this month, he secured a fourth term in a contested (and sketchy) election, and he has vowed to “deepen the Revolution” in the coming years.

A discussion will follow the screening, and a representative of Hands Off Venezuela! will be in attendance. I’ve watched part of the documentary, and though it’s fairly obvious Chávista propaganda, it’ll definitely foster a good, robust debate about Latin American politics, leftism, human rights, and the future of democracy in the region.

Wednesday October 18, 7pm @ Spa

(via Facebook)

Boyers in Lapham’s Quarterly

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

English professor and editor of Salmagundi, Robert Boyers, has been published in jack-of-all-trades literary magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly. The essay–titled “Between the Lines“— is a real doozy, examining the relationship between politics and the novel.

“Politics, in novels we can admire, must always pit ideas against the world as it exists, or might conceivably exist, and allow at every turn for contradiction and irresolution. Irving Howe got it right when he spoke of “the vast respect which the great novelist is ready to offer to the whole idea of opposition, the opposition he needs to allow for in his book against his own predispositions and yearnings and fantasies.” To think of politics and the novel without bearing in mind that commitment to “opposition” is to miss more or less entirely what is central to our great and familiar subject.”

The essay is basically a summary of Boyers’ “Political Novel” class. Even if you’ve taken it, you should still read the essay, because it’s very good.

(via Lapham’s Quarterly)

Roosevelt Campus Network to Hold First Meeting, Drastically Change US Policies

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

I Am America and So Can You!

I knew this kid in high school who played a bunch of D’n’D, always won at Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, and was in Model Congress. Through an incredible display of imagination and skilled manipulation of his peers – crafts no doubt perfected during his other hobbies – he ended up drafting a bill to mandate a new safety policy in all public schools. The bill was successfully passed in the Model Congress Championship, and while that isn’t the same as D.C., he’s now at Harvard, so that must count for something.

The point is, you’re never too young to be writing the policies that affect your life. Really, look at these 10 policies written by your peers. These are actually legitimate solutions to legitimately troubling issues, and if these policies don’t end up on Capitol Hill, the kids who wrote them certainly will. How do you get in on the action? Check out the first meeting of the Roosevelt Campus Network. Lemme riff for a second:

The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a national student initiative, engages young people in a unique form of progressive activism that empowers them as leaders and promotes their ideas for change. […] students identify pressing issues facing their towns, counties and states. Taking advantage of the unique resources on their college campuses, they engage in policy research and writing and then connect the fruits of that research to the political process, delivering sound, progressive proposals to policymakers and advocacy groups.

In other words, you learn how to make your pet political issues stand a chance against the big, bad, old white men of the current political system. Dope. See that part about “taking advantage of the unique resources on college campuses”? That’s the moneyshot.

Don’t despair kiddies!

Thursday 10/6 @ Ladd 206

Bitch at your Congressperson (with class)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

The EAC writes…

Hey, folks. Great news…Obama’s headed for the White House. But voting last week was just the democratic bare minimum. Now is the time tell those newly elected politicians what to do.

The EAC wants to make it easy for you to call up your politicians. Go here to find your new representatives in Congress. Let them know what policies you want to see enacted in the next few months. You, the constituent, get to tell them what the most important issues are to you. Stop by Case Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to make your voice heard. We can help you find contact info for your new (or incumbent) representative, and then it’s up to you to decide what important issues you want to talk about. Don’t worry, we’ll have a few talking point on issues such as the economy, environment, energy, and education prepared in case you need a little push towards inspiration. Time to call your public servant to task.

One Day ‘Til Judgement Day

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

People have never cared so much about the color of a state, nor the political endeavors of hockey moms as they do now. We’ve all heard way too much about this election, and I for one am ready to see a picture other than Obama or McCain on the cover of the Times. But, complacency is no longer an option. Many of us have gotten so invested in the potential outcome that the idea of an opponent winning will determine the extent to which we drink whiskey on a daily basis.

This is too important to let slip by. Don’t let what happened to the Georgians happen to you. If you believe you’re a registered voter here in Saratoga Springs, and are turned away at the polls (@ the ICC in Case Center), you have options:

  1. Request a Court Order by calling the Saratoga County Board of Elections @ 518-885-2249 and asking for Bill Frucci. A judge will be on-call so they can make an executive (that is, judicial) decision on the validity of your voter status.
  2. Fill out an affidavit (paper) ballot available on the site of the polls.
  3. If you’re not registered, locate one of the election inspectors at the polling place and ask them what to do next.

I’m tired of hearing about all of this voting business. Skidmore Unofficial is tired of posting about it. So, with one last plea, VOTE!

After you vote you can head over to Case Center where the people who brought you that series of Debate watching parties (Skidmore Dems) will be hosting an Election results party. (fbook).

SYRA: Rich Lowry for Skidmore

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Following such memorable speakers as Harvey Mansfield, who spoke about “Manliness,” and John Ashcroft, the only person on campus to ever confuse Barack Obama for Osama bin Laden, the Skidmore Young Republican Assembly (yeah…they’re a thing) will present this year’s first speaker, Richard Lowry, this Wednesday.

Don’t know Dick? Well, he has been the editor of “America’s most widely read and influential magazine and web site for Republican/conservative news, commentary, and opinion,” the National Review, since 1997. As a frequent guest on Fox News, as well as author of an Anti-Clinton book Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years, it should be no surprise when Lowry states his endorsement of McCain, nevermind his support for waterboarding. Keep in mind, this guy is famous. No big deal, but he is currently ranked as Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World.”

Show up prepared to hear some genuine, “out-of-the-box” conservative agenda that your socially liberal mind hasn’t been exposed to since you’ve arrived back in our 900-acre “Obama bubble.” Rich Lowry will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 29, in Gannett Auditorium @ 8:30pm.

A (long) letter from the EAC

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Dear Readers,

I cannot tell you how psyched I am that the first three conversations I overheard in the D-hall Friday morning were about the VP debate Thursday. In fact, I felt that heady elation that I usually only associate with snow days and good sex. I feel we are at a watershed moment, that America, and our age group in particular, are reengaging in a national dialogue, are sitting up and taking notice, are investing themselves in candidates and in issues. And come November 4th, I get the sneaking suspicion that young peoples, that students, will buck the stereotypes of apathy and malaise sometimes assigned to ua and vote.

So vote. Please vote. Vote til your ballot-checking fingers bleed. Vote like its going out of style. For our nation’s highest offices, for members of legislatures large and small, for your town planning board, for the next open seat in SGA, VOTE. Vote like its American Fuckin’ Idol.
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