ThoroughBreasts: The One That Got Away

Written by Major Qwik on September 19th, 2014

Yik Yak is no doubt a tool of the devil, but I actually learned something from it while scrolling through it this morning at 3am. Someone posed the question as to why Skidmore doesn’t have a “Skidmore Boobs” website–a place for people to submit pictures showcasing their bodies, a la WesBreasts, Westacles and Boobs@Bard (obviously NSFW). This question actually makes quite a bit of sense, since body-positivity awareness is a growing issue at Skidmore, as demonstrated by the active presence of (and consistent interest in) both BARE and HIPS (SFW).

Turns out that such a site exists, and has for a while now. Please turn your attention to ThoroughBreasts, one of the better ideas that never really got any traction on at this school (Fall Fun Day is certainly up there as well). Now, you might be hesitant to click that seemingly NSFW link, but feel free to peruse to your hearts content, because there aren’t actually any boobs on the site. In fact, the last of a mere two posts is from four years ago.

Well, that was disappointing.

Well, that’s slightly disappointing.

I’m not entirely sure what happened here. Maybe there was no interest. Maybe the site creator just forgot the password. Maybe the person realized that posting pictures of boobs actually involved sifting through endless pictures of, well, boobs. (Too much of a good thing can be bad, after all, and I suppose this could apply to nipples as well.) Either way, this was a good idea and a good thing that should be taken up again.

So I’m proposing that someone take up the mantle on this one. Believe it or not, the URL “thoroughbreasts.tumblr.com” isn’t taken yet, so this is a wide-open opportunity. This fits right in with what BARE and HIPS are all about, so it’d make sense for people in either of those crews to take this on. Or anyone who feels like seeing more of the Skidmore student body than they thought they would in their wildest dreams. Obviously some people will just see this as another way to whack it without actually worrying about porn sites appearing in their browsing history, but it seems like a good way for the student body to display, well, their student bodies.

Oh, and anyone who doesn’t jump on the chance to make a “SkidDiks” blog is missing out on the penis-positivity opportunity of a lifetime. I’d submit to that shit in a heartbeat.

 

SGA President Responds to Criticisms on Budget Handling

Written by Executive Editor on September 19th, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Even though we have no interest in becoming the middle man for any sort of back-and-forth between, well, anyone, we thought it only appropriate that we give SGA President Addison Bennett ’16 and a chance to respond to some of the points and concerns raised in a recent op-ed by a guest writer. We hope this provides more insight into the larger issue.)

On the first day of classes this semester, I sent out SGA’s Strategic Action Plan for the year, which contained our entire agenda on issues ranging from event planning to sexual assault prevention to raising the student minimum wage. It’s not wrong to say that we are one of the most powerful student governments around, and this year we are committed to taking that power and using it to work for a better Skidmore. Every single student received this agenda along with an invitation to participate with us this year, and to help us make our vision for student leadership a reality. The action agenda will remain posted on the SGA website all year (at this link: http://www.skidmore.edu/sga/senate/SGAActionAgenda.pdf). Read it and let us know what you think. This year we are making a concerted effort to reach out. We are a new group of leaders with a fresh set of priorities, and we have heard you.

In the past few months and years, we’ve taken steps to be more intentional about how we gather feedback from students. We’ve recognized that we aren’t perfect – the point of student leadership is learning on the job. Speaking for myself, I am willing to make mistakes, knowing that the work I put in for the students is worth it, even if it’s not appreciated. Along these lines, we’ve implemented a student comment box, which anyone may submit to. It’s available here: http://www.skidmore.edu/sga/. Within the next month, we’re also going to be rolling out student opinion polling and launching an inclusion task force, and each has the goal of bringing in more voices and making sure we make decisions with our constituents in mind.

SGA does more than talk. We fund SCEMS, operate over 120 clubs, host events like fun day, and work to make sure the administration is actually listening to the student voice. When you’re not looking, this work is happening all year, led by a group of dozens of committed students, your classmates, who have decided to spend their time and energy to make Skidmore as great as we know it can be.

But clearly that’s not enough. I know we work hard, and I know we are capable leaders. More than that, I know that we make a difference, both in our leadership and our power of the purse.

I want to invite you to engage with us more fully. If you’re not happy, don’t sit back. If this response does nothing else, I hope it helps you realize that we take feedback seriously. The first thing you can do is come to the State of the College Address tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 in Zankel, where we are going to be talking about how can make Skidmore better, together. If you are going to complain, that’s fine. Dissent is good, and it makes us stronger as a community. However, when you are going to challenge us, be informed. Know what we’re doing as students to help our friends have a better experience here. At the State of the College, I want you to be engaged, to ask questions, and to know what our vision is. Do more than that; challenge us and make sure we are actually following through. In addition, help us craft our vision together. The reason we care about raising the minimum wage, combatting sexual assault, or expanding opportunities to people on campus, regardless of socioeconomic status is because you do.

Now to the points on the advertising of the budget. Personal information is contained in the budget. It contains at least one salary, information we cannot ethically distribute, and frankly, too much information to be simply distributed without any context. However, anyone with a question about the budget is always welcome to come to Sam Harris, Kris Scully, or me to ask about specific provisions of the budget. We do this to protect student and staff information and to follow laws regulating privacy. Still, we want to be open with you, and if you have questions, reach out and we will answer everything we are legally able to.

So, read our action agenda. Send me an email. Come to SGA Senate meetings, which are open every Tuesday at 8pm in Ladd 307. Also, read our emails, since they often do contain the information you’re asking for. Your feedback is taken seriously, and I promise you that this year will be different. Above all, remember that we are all students together. There’s no Us vs. Them going on here; let us help you, and let us represent what you want. We can do that.

Addison Bennett ’16
SGA President

 

Lively Lucy’s & SEC Present: Los Elk & The Rooks

Written by Executive Editor on September 19th, 2014

It wouldn’t be the start of a new semester at Skidmore if we didn’t have a show of our very own indie darlings Los Elk. You may have enjoyed their performance at Putnam Den this past weekend, but this Saturday at 10:00pm, the four-piece outfit will be gracing the Falstaff’s stage and playing the first of what I’m sure will be many on-campus gigs this semester.

Amir and the boys

From right to left: Amir Rivera-Lieberman ’15, some dudes

I’d try to describe their sound in my own words, but their Facebook page features a pretty adequate description, in addition to some good ol’ humble-bragging.

Los Elk features a unique and precise blend of Dance and Indie-Rock to deliver their trademark electrifying and energizing performances. Composed of Amir Rivera-Lieberman, Noah Ross, Hal DeGroat, and Ryan Bondell, Los Elk had their origins in Skidmore College. Forming in the Fall of 2011, the group quickly made a name for themselves with their fun and skillful performances. Since then, Los Elk has played countless shows with more on the way. Stay tuned, because things are only getting better!

While it certainly shouldn’t be excused for a slightly gimmicky title, the band’s latest EP Part II, was a well-produced and well-executed hit among the student body, and the band’s appeal has certainly extended beyond both Skidmore and Saratoga Springs, as they’ve been incredibly active over the summer playing at a variety of venues. And rightly so, because their sound is fucking tight.

Also on the bill for the evening is the NYC-based sextet The Rooks. Branding a blend of soul, R&B, and pop and featuring delicately placed yet lush instrumentation that promises to translate incredibly well live and show what that new sound system at Falstaff’s is really capable of. Listen to and download their new single “Twister” and their 2013 EP Something You Can Take to get a sampling of their work. In the unlikely case that Los Elk doesn’t get you there, these guys certainly will.

Doors are at 9:300pm, show starts promptly at 10:00pm. Swing by and start your weekend in the most classically Skidmore way possible.

 

Weekend Distractions CXXII

Written by Executive Editor on September 18th, 2014

THURSDAY
8:00PM – ROCK THE VOTE: A Student Band Showcase @ Falstaff’s

FRIDAY:
3:30PM – AKT (Awkward Kids Talking) Auditions @ Upstairs of JKB
3:30PM – State of the College Address @ Zankel
6:00PM – AKT Auditions @ Upstairs of JKB

SATURDAY
9:00AM – Women’s Tennis vs.Union
1:00PM – Women’s Soccer vs. Plattsburgh
4:00PM – Men’s Soccer vs. Plattsburgh
8:00PM – Los Elk and The Rooks @ Falstaff’s

Missing something? Let us know in the comments!

 

Op-Ed: SGA, Come Back with My Wallet

Written by Franz on September 18th, 2014

Elections are today and tomorrow. Vote here.

(Editor’s Note: This is an op-ed by a guest writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Skidmore Unofficial or any of us who officially write for the site. One would think this would be pretty obvious, but we wanted to avoid any confusion or mislaid anger.)

Joshua Nelson, the Director of Student Activities, once told me that our SGA is one of the most independent and powerful student governments in the country. But what does SGA do? No, really, what does it do? Well, it keeps clubs waiting for exorbitant amounts of time to speak to Senate; it tells clubs how much money they can have; it plans major college events; it hosts uncontested elections; and, finally, it tells us to vote in these uncontested elections.

If we were to do an approval poll of SGA, we may see it end up with a higher approval rating than Congress, but only because no one knows what it is they should disapprove of. Well, it’s time to change that.

So what does SGA do? It spends our money—lots of our money. It spends more money than the gross domestic product of Tuvalu. Look it up.

That might be a little bit of a stretch, but, to put its budget in perspective, SGA could pay for you to go to four years of college at Skidmore and still have some money left over at the end of the year. What’s more, SGA had access to $150,000 that went untouched for years. SGA finally tapped into this money last year to fund, of all things, renovations to Falstaff’s. And where did this money come from you ask? Your tuition. Did you know that?

The fact that SGA has access to large sums of money is not a bad thing. If anything, it’s good—most student governments lack the capacity to fund student endeavors in the way ours can.

So why am I so caught up on this? Well for one thing, the reason I have to make these ridiculous comparisons about money is because SGA doesn’t publish how much money it has or what it spends that money on (at least not in any obvious spot). But we shouldn’t have to look—SGA should tell us. (Imagine if the U.S. Congress passed a budget but didn’t let anyone know what it was spent on!) We should get communications from Addison about what the budget is spent on, what initiatives SGA is passing, and how we can get involved.

In the late sixties and seventies (according to ancient Skidmore folklore), the student body revolted and campaigned hard enough against the administration that SGA—with its massive budget, its extensive constitution, and its remarkable independence from the administration—was created. As members of this community it is our obligation to live up to what our foremothers did for us.

Elections need to be contested. This first has to be done by SGA’s website actually explaining what positions do. (Similarly, Addison’s email with explanations did not seem to help too much either. I overheard some freshmen the other day saying how they were running for SGA but that they didn’t have a platform since they couldn’t figure out what people in the position did. Go onto Skids Scribner’s Facebook page and look at the campaign videos, they say nothing). SGA also needs to reduce the amount of the positions. It is more important to have every race for Senate, VP, and President contested than for everyone to get a position. (If there are fewer positions, hopefully people will actually have to run for them!) Even in contested elections, like for President, there’s not much contest when you look at the votes. Addison Bennett and Sam Harris are reminiscent of Medvedev and Putin during the short time Medvedev ruled Russia. It is like the position was simply handed down to the former president’s protégé.

However, the goal of this article is not to hate on Sam, Addison, or anyone in SGA. Most of them (especially the two named above) work hard and give up a lot of time to be on SGA, but we as a student body need to get involved and SGA needs to change in order to help us get involved. It needs to address real issues and fix them in real ways; it needs to run on meaningful platforms; and it needs to give us a voice with which to actually work with the administration. For our part, we need to use that voice once it is given.

Our SGA can be one of the best in the country; let’s make that happen.

– Thaddeus Kosciuszko

 

ROCK THE VOTE: A Student Band Showcase

Written by Major Qwik on September 17th, 2014

Tomorrow (Thursday) night at 8:00 in Falstaff’s (which apparently now has a fully functioning and soon-to-be operating bar), Lively Lucy’s will be hosting their (bi?) annual student band showcase. The showcase has become a consistent hit from Lively Lucy’s, and it’s always a great chance to check out some new and old faces in the Skidmore music scene.

Robin Adams, circa 1986

Robin Adams, circa 1986

Co-sponsored by killers of cool SGA, the showcase will feature a solid array of bands of varying styles and seniority. There will also be an opportunity to vote for SGA representatives and free Esperanto’s, which sounds like the ideal Thirsty Thursday to me. Be sure to stop by and check out what will (hopefully) be pretty short and sweet sets from the following bands:

The Salmon Of Knowledge
Big Booty Judy (now featuring Izzy Howard on vocals)
Dope Mosely
Good Neighbor
Iguana Mañana
Knights of Tundra (listed as a Dragonforce cover band, which is probably a joke, but a dude can hope, right?)
Eskimo Sister
The Melon Girls

If you’re new to Skidmore, this will be a great introduction to the music scene–one of the hidden and underrated aspects of campus life. And if you’ve been around for a while, odds are you know someone in one of these bands, so avoid getting a mass text from them at 8:05 and just show up and stay for the whole thing, because you definitely don’t have better things to do (and late night has been majorly sucking lately).

On the real, though, we lost some good bands to the real world this past year, and it’s really cool that new and old bands are stepping up and showcasing their shit, because these bands work fucking hard. So show up at 8:00pm with some friends and ready to sing to Red Hot Chili Peppers or Sublime, because you know someone will probably cover one (or both) of them.

 

“Wesley Vaughn Is Hanging On” – Episode 2

Written by Executive Editor on September 16th, 2014

Wesley Vaughn is Hanging On – Episode 2 from Eric Stumpf on Vimeo.

If you were fortunate enough to catch the first episode of “Wesley Vaughn Is Hanging On” (directed by Eric Stumpf ’13, written by Eli Cohn ’13, and starring Paul-Emile Cendron ’13) you’ve no doubt been looking forward to the second installment in the series. The first short-film, a well-produced homage to silent films and the artistic process, showcased Stumpf’s filmmaking literacy, Cohen’s smart writing, and Cendron’s dynamic acting.

The ambitious second episode of “Wesley Vaughn” does an excellent job of riffing on the filmic and thematic elements established in the first episode while covering new territory. It clocks in at twice the length of the first, and it features approximately 16 actors (the vast majority of whom are Skidmore alum) as opposed to the two actors of Episode 1. The film features a particularly well-done scene in which Cendron, Julia Hansen ’13 and Alex Orthwein ’13 engage in some very entertaining slapstick shenanigans.

What makes the film so wonderful is the way in which it balances its identity as a very homage to the silent films and slapstick comedy, yet Stump and Cohen have somehow given it a modern aesthetic that provides us a way into the piece. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you’ve probably seen a handful of these people at parties, in line at Burgess, and letting it all show in the Naked Run.

All in all, Stumpf and company have outdone themselves with the second installment of “Wesley Vaughn,” which is an entertaining and self-aware celebration of the legacy of the silent era, as well as Skidmore talent in the post-grad arena. You’ll definitely wanted to stay tuned for more work from Stumpf, including the next installment of what is shaping up to be a wonderful series.

(It’s also well worth noting that Cendron was recently featured in The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, which premiered  at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival and is set for an October 10th release.)

 

REMINDER: Community Dialogue is Still a Buzzword

Written by Franz on September 15th, 2014

In approximately two hours, Rochelle Calhoun will kick off a week of events hosted by the administration designed to make you (yes, you) feel more informed and involved in this little community we call Pleasantville Skidmore. All joking aside, the campus Advisory Council is hosting the first of three dialogues on the revised Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct policy today in Davis at 4pm.  Click here to read the new policy and peruse the rest of the Sexual Misconduct site, which the administration unveiled in light of the Robert Gardner arrest.

If you can’t make the dialogue this afternoon there will be a second open forum on Wednesday Oct. 8th at 12:00pm in Gannett. If you can’t make that one, then there will be another held on Tuesday, November 4th at 7:30pm in Davis. So your excuses for not attending are dwindling pretty quickly.

In addition to these dialogues, FDR-wannabe Phil Glotzbach is opening up his office to the community this Wednesday Sept. 17 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm. Even if you have nothing to complain about, stop by and say wassup to your esteemed President.  Of course, this is assuming you can find his office on the fourth floor of Palamountain.

Finally, this Friday the 19th at 3:30pm in Zankel, Pg and SGA President Addison Bennett will be presenting the State of the College Address, which I didn’t know was a thing.  If it’s anything like the State of the Union address, it’s sure to be filled with lies and disappointment.

And don’t forget, SGA elections are Thursday and Friday this week. Vote or die!!!

 

 

WSPN Big Meeting – 9/14 @ 8pm in Gannett

Written by Major Qwik on September 13th, 2014
Did someone say vinyl raffle?

Did someone say vinyl raffle?

Want to become a part of what The Princeton Review has consistently called the one of the best college radio stations* in the country? Do you think that the radio sucks and want to instill some sense of taste into our culture? Do you want to impress that one cool girl in your Scribner Seminar by landing a sweet radio show and then inviting her to join you in the studio to provide you company while you surf the lonely airwaves at 5am?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then go to WSPN‘s “Big Meeting” tomorrow (9/14) at 8:00pm in Gannett Auditorium. You’ll be able to hear more about the radio station and how to apply for a show, and this is the only opportunity you have to receive an application for fall semester season. There will also be a vinyl raffle. But you’ll have to buy your own record player, because we fucking know you don’t actually own one.

*While we at Skidmore Unofficial (like most level-headed people) don’t actually buy into any of the shit that “publications” like The Princeton Review peddles, it’s worth noting that WSPN produces fucking awesome work, and they actually got something right with this one.

 

Audition for ‘Rey & Lemay LIVE’ House Band & Writer’s Room (9/13)

Written by Executive Editor on September 12th, 2014

Jonathan Lee-Rey ’15 and Jon Lemay ’15 have created what they describe as “a monthly late night live comedy variety hour,” and are looking for people for both the house band and “writer’s room” for the show.

There's a lot going on in this poster.

There’s a lot going on in this poster.

Rey and Lemay LIVE is a monthly night time comedy variety show starring Jonathan Lee-Rey ’15 and Jonathan Lemay ’15 that tackles any and all topics YOU want to talk about. Come bring your friends or we’ll be forced to have the heart to heart we’ve been meaning (and needing) to have with each other for a long time.

Auditions for the house band will be held on Saturday, 9/13 between 3:35 and 5:35 in the band trailer (right next to Falstaff’s; it’s exactly what it sounds like). For auditions, they ask that you bring your own instrument, in addition to a 30 second to 1 minute piece that showcases your musical ability.

Auditions for the “writer’s room” will be held Saturday, 9/13 at 5:40 in the upstairs of the JKB Theater. Writers are merely asked to bring your “FUNKY SELF.”

Rey and Lemay have also released a webisode/promo for the upcoming season. You can watch it below.