Jason Houle to Discuss “Student Loan Debt and the Pursuit of the American Dream”

Written by Executive Editor on April 1st, 2015

Photo by Eli Burakian

Dartmouth College scholar and sociologist Jason Houle will present a talk entitled “A Generation Indebted: Student Loan Debt and the Pursuit of the American Dream” Thursday night, April 2nd, at 7pm in Davis Auditorium.

Organized by Assistant Professor of Sociology Andrew Lindner, Houle’s talk will discuss the causes and effects of outstanding student debt, which he writes “[currently] totals $1.3 trillion and has doubled since 2007, surpassing credit card debt.”

“Student loan debt has risen rapidly over the past several decades, and today the average young adult can expect to leave college with nearly $25,000 in debt,” Houle also says. “In this talk, I summarize the sociological literature on student loan debt among the current generation and explore the causes of the rise in student loan debt, the immediate and long-term consequences of debt, and what can be done about it.”

Houle is a sociologist interested in social disparities in mental health and well-being, processes of social stratification and mobility, and life course sociology. His work has been featured in New York magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Pacific Standard CNBC/NBC News, InsideHigherEd.com, and Al Jazeera. He received his Ph.D. in sociology and demography from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2011 to 2013. He joined the faculty at Dartmouth College as an assistant professor of sociology in July 2013. He also brews a killer Belgian IPA, apparently.


Letter from the Executive Editor

Written by Executive Editor on April 1st, 2015
Started from the bottom.

Started from the bottom.

Dear Students, Alumni, Community Members, and Readers:

We are reaching the end of an era. As I peel around the bend and into April, I’ve been thinking about my time at this school. The legacy I’ll leave as a member of this esteemed community. You don’t know who I am yet (that will change as you read on), but I’m sure you’ve thought of it. After all, this school population is only about 2,800 students, so it’s inevitable that you must have passed by me on Case walkway, eaten near me in the Spa, or perhaps bumped into me at a party or two. Perhaps you’re worried that you’d be the subject of a tweet. Perhaps you’re always on guard, never trusting even your closest friends for fear of having it broadcasted on this esteemed site into the endless ether of the Internet.

I want that to end. I’m tired of living in secret. I’m tired of huddling over my laptop in a dark corner on the third floor of the library. I will no longer be known simply as a has-been student politician or the guy who has the same name as that Islamaphobic atheist. Or the inspiration for the guy from Ratatouille. That’s no way to live in my last few weeks at this school. I’ve said some shit. I’ve blown the whistle on some of my classmates, my fellow community members. I’ve stirred the ever-boiling pot of controversy–sometimes opening wounds that many would rather just heal over.

Now it’s time to pay it forward. If this site has offended you, caused you any inconvenience, upset the equilibrium of your time at this school for any reason, I invite you to let me know. Email me. Approach me at the SGA Help Desk. Punch me in the face. Let’s start a dialogue. I can’t promise that it will make it better, but let’s at least begin the process of making reparations where we can.

I am proud to be leaving Skidmore. I am proud of my myriad of accomplishments. I am proud of all the strange, strange hats I’ve worn in my time here. And I am proud of myself for bravely throwing off the armor of anonymity.

Ever yours,

Sam Harris
Executive Editor, Skidmore Unofficial

P.S. Don’t forget to vote on Thursday!


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

Written by Executive Editor on 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 cdempsey@skidmore.edu or Nicole Smith at nsmith@skidmore.edu 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.


Bryan Stevenson to Present Speakers Bureau 2015 Keynote

Written by Executive Editor on April 1st, 2015

In other news, the Speaker’s Bureau posters have been on point this semester.

Speakers Bureau will be hosting social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson, their second keynote speaker who will be presenting a talk on restorative justice, tonight at 7pm in Gannett.

Dubbed by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu as “America’s youngest Nelson Mandela,” Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a tenured law professor at NYU School of Law, as well as one of the most acclaimed and respected lawyers in the nation. Stevenson’s work on individual cases has resulted in reversed death penalties for dozens of condemned prisoners. He is also the author of Just Mercya memoir about a young lawyer and his commitment to fighting extreme punishments and careless justice.

In addition to appearing on The Daily Show, Stevenson’s TED Talk “We need to talk about an injustice” has been named one of the five essential TED Talks by The New Yorker. Stevenson is also the recipient of numerous awards, such as the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant and the NAACP Image Award for Best Non-Fiction. The current state of things being what they are, the time has never been more appropriate for a talk on restorative justice, so be sure to swing by Gannett at 7pm and maybe even bring a question or two!


Weekend Distractions CXXXV

Written by Executive Editor on March 26th, 2015

8:00pm – Seniors Go Solo ft. BEER @ Falstaff’s
8:00pm – Carr Residency Lecture: Documentarian Jocelyn Arem ’04 @ Filene

3:00pm Jacob Perlow Event Series: Life in a Jar @ Filene
7:00pm – Life Under ISIS: Discussion w/ Abude Alasaad @ Davis
8:00pm – Skidmore Concert Band @ Filene
8:00pm – Breakbeats Final Show @ Filene

2:00pm – The Feminist Monologues @ Wilson
6:30pm – Hotel Anello (ft. Jonathan Lee-Rey) @ Falstaff’s
3:00pm – Jacob Perlow Event Series: Life in a Jar @ Filene
8:00pm – Senior Recital: Jarred Green and Max Weigel @ Zankel
8:00pm – The Feminist Monologues @ Wilson
8:30pm – Los Elk & McLovins @ Putnam Den
9:00pm – Teen Girl Scientist Monthly & Iguana Mañana @ The SPA
9:00pm – AKT & Ad-Libs Improv Comedy Mega Show @ Davis
10:30pm – TuftsMORE: Dynamics & Tufts sQ Jam @ Wilson

1:00pm – Senior Recital: Emily Burnham, Voice & Piano @ Zankel
2:00pm – The Feminist Monologues @ Wilson
7:00pm – Senior Recital: Ian Bakerman, Jazz @ Falstaff’s
8:00pm – Hotel Anello (ft. Jonathan Lee-Rey) @ Falstaff’s

Missing something? Let us know in the replies!


Skidmore Extends Suspension of Student Accused of Sexual Assault

Written by Executive Editor on March 26th, 2015
Photo credit: Simon Klein.

Photo credit: Simon Klein.

Following a hearing on March 13th, the administration has denied the readmission request of a student suspended for drugging and raping another student, Reina Kiefer.

The student’s suspension has been extended for another two years—until spring of 2017—at which time he will he eligible for another hearing regarding readmission in the fall of 2017 (at which point Kiefer will have graduated).

“Although the decision feels incomplete, it is certainly a victory,” Kiefer wrote regarding the ruling.

Skidmore’s decision to extend the student’s extension follows an organized protest of more than 100 students, as well as an online petition created by a group of alumni. The petition, which as of now has over 1300 signatures, calls for a change in Skidmore’s policy that would expel students found guilty of sexual assault.


NYS Assemblywomen Carrie Woerner on “The Politics of Leadership in New York State’s House of Cards”

Written by Executive Editor on March 24th, 2015

My sources tell me this will be less about prostitutes and murder than the title would lead you to believe.

Today at 6:00pm in Davis, the Office of Leadership Activities will be hosting a talk with NYS Assembly member Carrie Woerner, who will be sharing her experiences in in the New York State local political system. Don’t know who she is?

Check out an excerpt from her bio below.

Carrie Woerner is Vice President and General Manager of MeetMax Conference Software, a division of The Wall Street Transcript. She established the software division in Saratoga Springs in 2008 and has grown it at a rate of 30% annually, creating new jobs in Saratoga County. Ms. Woerner has worked in software for nearly 30 years at firms such as Dell/Perot Systems and IBM. From 2002-2008, she served as Executive Director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation; in that role she expanded membership and donations, published a walking tour guidebook, raised funds to restore the First Baptist Church and secured a $130,000 state grant to restore historic buildings in the Beekman Street Arts District. She founded the Historic Saratoga Race Track Preservation Coalition and successfully advocated for preservation protection in the 2008 legislation related to racing in New York State.

More info on Woerner and her career in politics can be read here.

If government, business, or politics happen to be one of your interests, this very well might be of interest to you. Woerner has done some pretty cool shit in the greater Saratoga community, so stop by Davis at 6:00pm today and come with questions about the realm of business or local politics–which seems to be the only place where anything is even being accomplished nowadays. And it’s not like it’ll cost you anything.


Breakbeats Friday!!!

Written by Glotzbach's Evil Twin on March 24th, 2015

Hey, I get it!

This is the LAST Breakbeats showcase of the SEMESTER. Friday the 27th, 8pm, Filene.

BUT WAIT, there’s more! 213, Rithmos, Stompin’ Soles, Circus Club, Sonneteers, Ujima, and Pulse will also be at this event! Wow, that’s a lot of clubs… in the words of that Fuccillo car salesman dude… ITS GONNA BE HUUUUUUGE

Also according to an inside source, “It’s Hunger Games themed so get ready for Katniss braids, battles to the death, and awesome dancing.”BATTLES TO THE DEATH WHAT THATS ILLEGAL you’ll just have to go and see if they’re serious or not!

Also check out the event HERE on facebook!!!


FAN Presents: ‘The Feminist Monologues’ (3/28 & 3/29)

Written by Executive Editor on March 23rd, 2015

Poster design by Aria Goodman.

This Saturday (3/28) and Sunday (3/29) in Wilson Chapel, members of the Feminist Action Network (FAN) will be presenting The Feminist Monologues, an original production based on stories written by Skidmore students and directed by Clara Moser, Mariah Guevin, and Isabella León-Chambers.

For many years now, FAN has annually produced and sponsored a production of The Vagina Monologues– as have many colleges across the country. This year, however, they decided to do something entirely different by holding an open call for stories from Skidmore students about their experiences with “feminism, femininity, womanhood, and the female body.” From these submissions, several stories, monologues, and poems were selected, the show was cast, and you can see the final phase of the process this upcomming weekend:

This year we bring you monologues and poems, written and performed by Skidmore students themselves.
These are our own stories about feminism, sexuality, body image, womanhood, self-love, and survival.
These are our truths.
And we want you to hear them.

There will be three performances–two on Saturday at 2:00pm and 8pm, and one on Sunday at 2:00pm–in Wilson Chapel. There is a suggested $5 donation at the door, the proceeds of which will go to Wellspring (formerly known as Saratoga DVRC) and GEMS: Girls Educational & Mentoring Services. Reservations can be made in the Atrium, where members of FAN will be ticket tabling Wednesday from 11-7pm, Thursday from 2-7pm, and Friday from 2-5pm.


Alumni Create Online Petition to Change Policy on Readmission

Written by Executive Editor on March 20th, 2015
You can't ignore the post-it's.

You can’t ignore the Post-it’s.

A group of Skidmore alumni have started an online petition on Change.org to send a message to the administration that “Skidmore College must change its policy on readmittance of those found to have committed sexual assault.” They go on to say that “[w]here the College has made a finding that a student has committed sexual assault, the penalty should be expulsion.” Click to continue »