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On Trigger Warnings (Suck One Skidnews)

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

A trigger warning is not an invitation for evasion.

According to the Skidmore News, “trigger warnings” – essentially disclaimers in class discussions reminding us to be wary of other students in the room and the intricacies of their own backstories – are an easy ticket out of navigating the more sensitive, complex issues we might encounter. Skidnews writes, “trigger warnings lead to close-mindedness, complacency and intellectual laziness—why think about something hard, when you can think about something easy?”

This, however, is a remarkably short-sighted approach to the nature of trigger warnings. Rather than dissuading students from having frank, open discussions, these disclaimers are a way of pressing students to acknowledge the immediacy of the more fragile issues we might approach in a classroom. Professors are choosing to offer these warnings because these discussions are worth having – because in order to create an intellectual space in which these dialogues can maintain themselves it is important to remember our context. Situating ourselves in a room on a campus where a number of the more “triggering” issues have made direct impressions on the people seated on either side of us does not hinder our ability to engage in honest, insightful, contemplative conversation but rather feeds it. While of course there are students who relish trigger warnings as cop-outs – ways to avoid the necessity to formulate or verbalize opinions on tumultuous topics or to check out of class time all together – the fragment of the student body who this holds true for is a small one (I would argue, a relatively negligible one).

The perceived necessity to think and speak within the confines of extreme political-correctness certainly impacts our willingness to speak candidly on this campus. When we are chastised for our insensitive selection of adjectives it certainly doesn’t perpetuate our desire to speak openly. But this, I feel, is far more dangerous than the implications of a trigger warning. This is a way of curtailing the way we speak rather than adjusting the content of our speech. The trigger warning doesn’t encourage us to communicate in any particular way, but rather, reminds us of the immediacy of the content of our discussions. It reminds us that being distinctly aware of the campus we live on and the students it houses is crucial when it comes to establishing our own opinions on matters like sexual assault, race relations and gender equality. Trigger warnings pull our focus closer to the reality of these phenomenons, rather than censoring them out of our discussions as a whole.

An issue that triggers is generally one worthy of dialogue and as Nora Grubb claimed in an impressive tirade against the narrow mindedness of the Skidmore news (and a defense of the warnings themselves), “President Glotzbach said he is committed to ‘communicating difficult ideas’ and solving them. Instead of hiding from the former, we must acknowledge that difficult (and scary) things do happen and affect our peers.” Trigger warnings are not about censorship but rather about acknowledging that there are perspectives, vulnerable ones, that supplement our own. Well done to the Skidmore News for instigating an important, relevant discussion on campus, but this is a gleaming example of the editorial board’s obvious inability to truly engage with their own audience. Despite the new and improved web platform, the Skidmore News is hardly a voice for the student body.

A trigger warning invites us to engage in conversation with those of us who are victims of rape, assault, racism, sexism and a number of other abuses. Rather than discouraging us from having these discussions, the disclaimers allow us to acknowledge our peers who have had face-to-face contact with some of the more terrifying realms of of experience both here and far beyond the not-so-sunny little world of Saratoga Springs. We are a vulnerable, intelligent, sensitive, and sometimes jaded amalgamation of inputs when it comes to the more triggering discussions, and for that reason, we should speak with the impressive weight of those perspectives in mind.

SkidNews and Folio Co-Host Student Reading (4/2)

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

The password will be “Palomino.”

This Thursday night at 9pm, Skidmore News and Folio will be teaming up to bring you “Speakeasy,” an evening of student readings in Wilson Chapel. Is your heart heavy with forlornness over that best friend you’ve been crushing on since your “Can Literature Save the Environment?” Scribner Seminar with whom it will simply never ever be? Then sign up to read that poem you wrote about him/her and invite him/her to the reading! This is the chance you’ve been waiting for! There’s less than two months in the semester! It can be something like this really shitty movie.

Or if you’d like to sit, listen, laugh, sob, and maybe roll your eyes when appropriate, that’s great too! Real talk, this is a great opportunity. For creative writers, there’s approximately zero opportunities to read original work of any sort (we all know no one goes to Lively Lucy’s Open Mics for anything besides Bon Iver covers anyway), so there should be lots of good shit coming to the surface from your peers. Plus there will be refreshments as well!

If you’re interested in reading some original work, contact Cara Dempsey at or Nicole Smith at with your name, contact info, and a 2-3 sentence bio. They ask that all readings be under 5 minutes long, so make sure you time that shit and don’t be that guy who goes on and on. I don’t care if you’re this generation’s Toni Morrison: I’m a millennial and my attention span is the length of a fucking millipede.

Find out more info on the Facebook event page.

The Best Campo Incident Reports: March 15 – 21

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Looks like the knuckle-draggers at The Skidmore News have heeded my outrage and published a new set of incident reports. Not the best by any means, although it seems that people forgot how to drive over spring break. Also, the report of “solicitation” on March 19 is so vague and intriguing. Were these gentlemen drug dealers? Male prostitutes? Mafiosi? The public demands an answer!

Sunday, March 17

  • Sunday, March 17—Campus Safety Assist: A scrape reported at 6:10 p.m. on the reporting person’s vehicle’s rear bumper that was sustained when parked in Falstaff’s parking lot over the spring break. Unknown cause or perpetrator at this time. Report issued.

Monday, March 18

  • Campus Safety Assist: Officer reported a wooden bench seat broken at 3:44 a.m. outside of Starbuck Center. Unknown damage due to vandalism or weathering. Damage recorded.

Tuesday, March 19

  • Accident: Report received at 6:15 a.m. that a plow truck had hit a light pole in the Arthur Zankel Music Building parking lot. No personal injury reported. Damage recorded. Report issued.
  • Accident: Vehicle reported 11:57 a.m. off of Perimeter Road. Officer reported that a co-worker had pulled the van back onto the road. No damage to the vehicle or College property. Report issued.
  • Campus Safety Assist: Three subjects reported at 5:10 p.m. sliding on the roof of the Tang Teaching Museum disrupting cameras. Subjects requested to vacate the area and they complied.
  • Solicitation: Males reported at 6:18 p.m. soliciting at Cane Crossing. Dispatched officers located the subjects and escorted them off campus. Report issued.
(via The Skidmore News)

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.

Click to continue »

The Best Campo Incident Reports: Feb. 15 – 20

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Yet more evidence of the dickheaded morons who prowl Skidmore on the weekend. Also, bats. 

Friday, Feb. 15

  • Emergency Phone: Officer received an emergency phone activation at 2:40 a.m. with a male who stated he was drunk and going to drive. Officer dispatched to the area and canvassed it with negative results. Report issued.
  • Suspicious Activity: People reported at 3:15 a.m. knocking on doors and causing a disturbance at Whitman Way. Officer advised the subjects that they were at the wrong building location

Saturday, Feb. 16

  • College Violation: Noise complaint received at 12:37 a.m. at Howe Hall. Officer reported that a student was playing the keyboard. Subject agreed to lower the volume.

Sunday, Feb. 17

  • Reckless Endangerment: Report received at 12:48 a.m. of a green SUV driving on the walkways (possibly intoxicated) causing a hazard in the McClellan and Penfield Hall area. Officers dispatched reported a check of the area with negative results.
  • Criminal Mischief: Officer reported criminal mischief at 1:37 a.m. in Penfield Hall. Officer observed toilet paper thrown in the center stairwell and also reported damage to an open closet on the second floor. Photos taken of damage. No one in the area. Report issued.
  • Criminal Mischief: Officer reported observing a male student at 2:38 a.m. kick a hole in the wall in the northside stairwell between the first and second floors of McClellan Hall. Subject fled on foot. Photos of the damage taken. Report issued.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

  • Animals: A bat reported at 1:58 p.m. on the cork board in the elevator lobby of the seventh floor of Jonsson Tower. Officer dispatched. Bat was removed and no human contact made. Report issued.
  • Criminal Mischief: A person reported at 8 p.m. that unknown person(s) maliciously let the air out of his tire in the Barrett Center loop. Officer assisted the reporting person. Report issued.
(via The Skidmore News)

The Best Campo Incident Reports: Feb. 8 – 14

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

It’s been a while, but it looks like Skidmore’s still filled with dumb people, loud people, and assholes. 

Friday, Feb. 8

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 9:50 a.m. at Cane Crossing. Dispatched all units, maintenance and the Saratoga Springs Fire Department advised. Cause of the alarm determined to be the excessive use of aerosol. Report issued.
  • Accident: A person reported at 6:52 p.m. that his vehicle slid down Wait Hill into the North Woods construction site. Officer dispatched for assistance. No injuries reported.

Saturday, Feb. 9

  • Fireworks: The sounds of fireworks reported at 1:30 a.m. at Whitman Way. Officers dispatched reported that subjects were gone on arrival and found no other problems.
  • College Violation: Excessive noise reported at 3 a.m. at Jonsson Tower. Officers dispatched reported students from the same room playing a board game in the common area. Students complied with the officers’ request to lower the volume.
  • Emergency Phone: An activation of the emergency blue phone received at 6:58 p.m. from Dayton Drive. Officer dispatched reported that the activation was due to a vehicle hitting it. Report issued.

Sunday, Feb. 10

  • Campus Safety Assist: Three unknown males reported at 12:45 a.m. running from the taxi without paying for the ride. Theft of services report issued. Photos from the cab to be delivered at a later date.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

  • Campus Safety Assist: Assistance requested at 1:16 a.m. with four males who will not voluntarily leave the Scribner Library at closing. Officers dispatched reported that subjects were gone upon arrival.
(via Skidmore News)

The Best Campo Incident Reports: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Fire alarms are still useless and campus is infested with bats and unconscionable dickheads. 

Friday, Nov. 30

  • Theft of Services: Four males reported exiting a cab at 12:50 a.m. without paying the fare. Photos of the subjects to be turned over for an investigation. Report issued.
  • Suspicious Activity: Officer reported suspicious activity at 11:25 p.m. in the Jonsson Tower lot. Subjects were caught attempting to release the tire air on a patrol vehicle. Report issued.

Saturday, Dec. 1

  • Criminal Mischief: A person reported at 12:55 a.m. observing someone breaking the light bulbs between Howe Hall and the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. Officers dispatched but subjects were gone on arrival. No personal injuries resulted. Report issued.
  • Suspicious Activity: Officer observed a suspicious person at 3:15 a.m. trying to hide alcohol on his person. Subject dropped the alcohol and his coat and fled the Jonsson Tower area.

Sunday, Dec. 2

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 11:29 a.m. for the Sasselin Art Building. Dispatched officers, maintenance, and advised the Saratoga Springs Fire Department. The source of the alarm was a continual problem with the heat sensor on the third floor. Report issued.

Monday, Dec. 3

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 10:32 a.m. at the Sasselin Art Building. Officer and maintenance responding reported a continual problem with the heat sensor on the third floor. Report issued.
  • Campus Safety Assist: A physical altercation reported at 10:28 p.m. in the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. Officer dispatched reported the subjects were gone on arrival. Witnesses reported the subjects were engaged in assumed “horse-play.”

Wednesday, Dec. 5

  • Animals: A call received at 5:03 p.m. to report observing a bat in Palamountain Hall. Dispatched officers were unable to locate the bat at this time. Officers will periodically patrol the area in search of the bat.
  • Suspicious Activity: A male, not affiliated with the College, reported at 4:22 p.m. having come over to the IT Help Desk in Scribner Library over the weekend who acted obnoxiously and insisted on being served. Employees have been told to call Campus Safety if and when he returns or if he becomes confrontational.

Thursday, Dec. 6

  • A student reported at 6:14 a.m. that her roommate in Kimball Hall had just pulled an all-nighter, is very jittery, may have drunk too much coffee and requested assistance. Dispatched officers requested an ambulance to transport the student to the Saratoga Emergency Room for further evaluation.
(via Skidmore News)

The Best Campo Incident Reports: Nov. 16 – 29

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

What I take from this latest batch is that none of the fire alarms on campus work. 

Friday, Nov. 16

  • Campus Safety Assist: Officers assisted a librarian at 1:20 a.m. with removing students at the Scribner Library after closing hours.
  • Campus Safety Assist: Reports of a student leaning against a vending machine, causing the glass to shatter, given at 6:57 p.m. in the Williamson Sports Center. Dispatched officer reported no injuries. Report issued.
  • Criminal Mischief: A poster reported singed and later extinguished at 6:59 p.m. in the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. No damage to college property. Report issued.

Saturday, Nov. 17

  • Criminal Mischief: Officers observed a male subject at 12:01 a.m. kicking a stop sign and causing damage on Perimeter Road. The subject fled the area as officers approached him for questioning. Report issued.
  • Suspicious Activity: Students reported at 12:55 a.m. attempting to launch items form a catapult like device in Scribner Village. Officers dispatched and reported a sizable device similar to what was described above observed unattended. Officers disabled the catapult and no damage was observed in the area at this time. Grounds was notified in the morning for possible removal. Report issued.
  • College Violation: Suspicious activity reported at 7:35 p.m. at Penfield Hall. Officers dispatched found a pong game without alcohol consumption. Report issued.

Monday, Nov. 19

  • Campus Safety Assist: Officers warned four non-Skidmore subjects at 5:16 p.m. regarding skateboarding in the middle of the road by the Barrett Center, causing a traffic hazard.

Tuesday, Nov. 20

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 12:04 a.m. at the Sasselin Art Center. Officers, maintenance and the Saratoga Springs Fire Department advised. Officers reported the cause was a faulty heat sensor on the third floor. Report issued.

Thursday, Nov. 22

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 6:47 a.m. at the Williamson Sports Center. Officer and maintenance dispatched reported the activation was due to a continual problem with faulty heat sensors on the third floor. The Saratoga Springs Fire Department was advised. No response necessary. Report issued.

Friday, Nov. 23

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 8:15 p.m. for the Williamson Sports Center. Officers and maintenance dispatched. Maintenance reported a continuous problem with the pool boiler room. Electrician contracted for repairs. Report issued.

Saturday, Nov. 24

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 9:39 a.m. for the Sasselin Art building. Officers and maintenance dispatched and the Saratoga Springs Fire Department notified. Officers reported the cause was determined to be a faulty smoke head.
  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 7:46 p.m. at the Sasselin Art building. Officers and maintenance dispatched and the Saratoga Springs Fire Department notified. Officers reported the caused was determined to be a faulty smoke head.

Monday, Nov. 26

  • Larceny: Parts reported missing off the housekeeping van at 1:41 a.m. in North Hall lot. Officer assigned reported an investigation ongoing.

Tuesday, Nov. 27

  • Fire Alarm: Fire alarm activation received at 11:24 a.m. in the Scribner Library. Officers, maintenance and the Saratoga Springs Fire Department advised. Contractors’ wiring error is determined to be the cause of activation. Report issued.
(via The Skidmore News)

The Best Campo Incident Reports: Nov. 9 – 15

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Sunday, Nov. 11

  • Disorderly Conduct: An officer reported that while on patrol at 2:56 a.m. he observed four male subjects throwing two bikes up a tree in Keyes quad. Subject ran upon the officer’s approach. Report issued. Damaged bikes retrieved.
  • Criminal Mischief: Officer reported at 4:33 a.m. that while on patrol he observed the Wait Hall lobby television remote control had been smashed into several pieces. No one in the area at that time.
  • College Violation: Noise reported at 8:24 p.m. from an adjoining room in Wait Hall. Officers dispatched were unable to detect the “unacceptable” noise.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

  • Parking: Officer reported at 10:16 a.m. booting a vehicle in the Williamson Sports Center parking lot for an excessive number of tickets. Report issued.
  • Parking: A vehicle towing reported at 1:10 p.m. for parking in the Handicap designated area of the Case Center parking lot. Report issued.

Thursday, Nov. 15

  • Campus Safety Assist: Employee requests officer assistance at 12:56 a.m. with student removal at the ScribnerLibrary at closing time. She states she has been having difficulties with students remaining after hours. Officers assisted. Remaining person will be subjects to trespass.
(via The Skidmore News)

The Best Campo Incident Reports: Nov. 2 – 8

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Friday, Nov. 2

  • Campus Safety Assist: The sole survivor of four birds that had flown into a window at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the front of Kimball Hall was released at 8:45 a.m. outside the dorm. Officer Sanacore had taken the bird, identified as a finch, along with another bird that died overnight, to the Upstate Animal Clinic at 5 p.m. on Thursday and returned for the surviving bird, now restored to full health, the following morning.
  • Suspicious Activity: Two older males reported at 4:25 a.m. trying to gain access to the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall. Officers dispatched located and identified the subjects as CDTA bus drivers looking to buy a cup of coffee.
  • Criminal Mischief: Unknown subject reported at 10:38 p.m. having just thrown a beer bottle out of an upper floor of Jonsson Tower. Dispatched officers canvassed the Tower with negative results. No injuries sustained.

Sunday, Nov. 4

  • Disorderly Conduct: A fight in progress reported at 1 a.m. in the Spa. Officers dispatched on the scene reported the subjects involved fled the area. Investigation conducted. Report issued.

Monday, Nov. 5

  • College Violation: Officer reported warning a student at 5:10 p.m. about the hazards of skateboarding on Perimeter Road on campus.
  • Found Property: Person reported at 9:05 p.m. finding alcohol in the refrigerator on the third floor of Rounds Hall. Dispatched officers confiscated the alcohol. Owner unknown.

Tuesday, Nov. 6

  • College Violation: A loud disturbance reported at 12:04 a.m. in the common area of Wait Hall. Officers responding reported that fifteen subjects were conducting a study session. Officers requested the subjects lower the volume of use an alternative area, such as the basement. Subject complied.

Wednesday, Nov. 7

  • Campus Safety Assist: A squirrel reported at 1:53 p.m. in a car in West Lot. Dispatched officer contacted the owner. The car doors were opened and the squirrel exited the vehicle without incident.
(via Skidmore News)