Monday Open Thread 

La Primavera by Botticelli

15 comments to Monday Open Thread 

  • ‘Tis spring, when a young man’s fancy turns… sometimes land him in traffic court.

  • Is the Democratic party dying? http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/20/democratic-party-going-extinct/

    I’ve read many similar think-pieces like this since the election, all saying that it’s over for the Dems, but I’m not convinced. They said the same thing about the Republicans after Obama’s election, but it was only a year later with Scott Brown that we started winning again. It’s very easy to start gloating after a big win and call the other party destroyed, but we need to focus on maintaining long-term success.

    • I’m inclined to worry more about the Republican party. We’re a very shaky coalition that covers a broad spectrum of sometimes highly contradictory views. And many of us are not prone to compromise on principle (a problem liberals, in general, don’t share).

  • Rufus

    Holy Snikeys!

    Go, kids, GO!!

    https://www.change.org/p/philip-hanlon-take-back-dartmouth

    (excerpts…) (…but read the whole thing!)

    We, the undersigned, feel that it is our duty to address certain issues that threaten the current and future well-being of Dartmouth College…

    First, we believe that the lack of fiscal discipline… the unchecked growth of extraneous services and unnecessary support offices, along with the mass hiring of non-faculty staff members…non-faculty staff numbered 2,408 in the year 1999 (1). By 2004, this figure had risen to 3,342 – an increase of almost 1,000 staffers in just five years. …In 2015, Dartmouth employed a total of 3,497 non-faculty staff, and it seems unlikely that the current administration has plans to change course (2).

    While the numbers themselves are sufficiently alarming, the absence of any stated justification for this increase in hiring makes it particularly difficult …

    Dartmouth continues to increase its cost of attendance. … The total cost of attendance at Dartmouth has risen 39.0% between the 2009-10 and the 2016-17 school years (5,6). The increase in the overall Consumer Price Index for the same time period will be approximately 10.3% (7). Meanwhile, … faculty members receive lower pay than their counterparts at peer institutions (9),

    Instead of making a sincere and concerted attempt to resolve the issues mentioned above, the Dartmouth administration has spent its time policing student life. Buoyed by the idea that the College should support exclusionary “safe spaces” that act as a barrier against uncomfortable ideas (11), administrators have assumed the role of paternalistic babysitters.

    … We therefore envision a College that has stripped away unnecessary deans, administrators, and support offices. We envision a College where students are granted the liberty to lead their lives as they please and enjoy a true freedom to speak their minds. We envision a College that has recommitted itself to its roots in rigorous and stimulating undergraduate education.

    … Inaction and silence, however, amounts to acceptance of the unacceptable. Dartmouth deserves better. It deserves, above all, our care.
    Sir, I know not how others may feel, but for myself, when I see my Alma Mater surrounded, like Caesar in the Senate House, by those who are reiterating stab upon stab, I would not for this right hand have her say to me, ‘Et tu quoque, mi fili!’

    Most Sincerely Yours,
    Danny Reitsch ’16 – Senior Class President
    Michael Beechert ’16 – Senior Class Treasurer
    Robert Scales ’16 – Moderator of the Palaeopitus Society
    Dari Seo ’16 – Vice President of Student Assembly
    Elisabeth Schricker ’17 – Junior Class President

    • Rufus

      I’ve often wondered why the faculty and student body don’t join together to turn back the administration at Universities. As this open letter points out, increased costs are not going to faculty; the administration is simply growing out of control.

      A dorm room with a twin bed, desk and tiny closet shouldn’t cost any more (in relative dollars) than it did 20 years ago. Nor should it cost more to feed a student. And the Calculus I learned in 1981 is the same Calculus they teach today, and the same Calculus Newton and Leibniz learned almost 400 years ago. All you need is a blackboard and some chalk to teach it and a pencil and some paper to learn it.

      Students hate the costs. The faculty hates the low pay. They have a common enemy. One they far outnumber.

      Dartmouth isn’t too far from Concord. Could this be the shot heard round the Academic world?

    • “Damn, the kids are using math instead of emotions! We’ve failed them!”

  • Scott M.

    Norway is happier than Denmark!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-39331314

    • Anyone who knows Norwegians (or Danes) laughs heartily at this picture of happy Scandinavians. Norwegians are happy when they can take a vacation in Spain.