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Sims 3 House Layouts

Mountain Bike Geezer - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 7:33pm

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Categories: Citizens

Entrevista con Charlie Mandile, director de HealthFinders

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 6:01pm
Tratamos la importancia de votar en las elecciones y tuvimos la entrevista con Charlie Mandile, director de HealthFinders como parte de la clase de Carleton de Noticias y Radio. Segmento con Lucy y Mar: Radio y Noticias de Carleton con la entrevista a Charlie Mandile:

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Mountain Bike Geezer - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 3:59pm

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Categories: Citizens

Carleton Crushes experiences dramatic 610% increase in unwholesomeness

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 3:12pm

This might be published in Bald Spot but it is not satire; I repeat: THIS IS NOT SATIRE. These are real stats we’re talking here, so buckle up and read this peer-reviewed report (reviewed by my peers, Jack Brown and Nicole Collins).

Abstract: The “Carleton Crushes” Facebook page has been a humble but beloved campus presence since its beginnings in 2015, allowing Carls to anonymously confess their unrequited pining for their favorite peer (aside: see the page’s description for a really good pine pun). This term, the page has experienced a dramatic sixfold increase in total submissions and, even more shockingly, an alarming 610% increase in the rate of unwholesome content.

Introduction: I was inspired to conduct this research after noticing a mysterious increase in the page’s unwholesome submissions, an observation which coincided with a sudden desire to procrastinate homework.

Methods: I looked at the page, which conveniently numbers their submissions to make them easy to tally (thanks guys!). I compared the term so far to the same period last fall term, cuz you gotta control for like, I dunno, the weather? I then had the dubious task of classifying each submission as unwholesome or not. Now, I want to be transparent about my methods here. “Unwholesome” means the type of stuff that the Bald Spot editors always try to publish and the editors-in-chief always shoot down. Which is inconvenient, since **I’m** the editor-in-chief. But okay basically, this stuff fell into three categories: explicit references to hooking up, descriptions of decidedly unwholesome reactions upon seeing the person in question, and submissions dedicated solely to describing someone’s posterior. But I’m not gonna lie, there were some edge cases, mostly due to the fact that some of these submissions were… weird. For example, how to judge the relative unwholesomeness of referring to someone as a “sexy armadillo” versus describing your desire to build a computer model of them? This was further complicated by the concerning fact that posts fitting squarely in the “unwholesome” category included such dubious figures as the goats and Lyman (!!).

Results:  If you checked out Carleton Crushes during the first few weeks of Fall Term last year, you would have been exposed to 55 posts, only TWO of which were unwholesome. In stark contrast, this term has seen a whopping 313 posts, including no fewer than 81, I repeat, EIGHTY-ONE unwholesome submissions (*clutches pearls*).

Discussion: What could possibly be causing this alarming effect? Well, I’ve got a few ideas:

  1. Students are starved for, uhhh, human connection in these unprecedented times.
  2. The increases correspond with Carleton Crushes setting up an Instagram page this term. Perhaps Instagram users are more lustful than Facebook users.
  3. We forgot to socialize the first-years into the status quo of Carleton Crushes as a predominantly wholesome institution. Oops!
  4. A submission early this term called for more crushes to be submitted, alluding to the fact that the St. Olaf Flirts page was more active than Carleton Crushes. In this scenario, the crushes are all fake and are driven by pure inter-school rivalry.
  5. The increase is due purely to chance. Now, I feel like this is where I’m supposed to put in a P-test, but look guys I’m a physics major and we don’t do that stuff, we do ~real~ uncertainty calculations, using, like, derivatives I think? Anyway, I feel like rejecting something today, so I’m gonna go ahead and reject the null hypothesis.

Conclusions and Further Work:  The tragic data speak for themselves (*conspicuously uses data as a plural*). A once largely-wholesome page is now riddled with cringeworthy hookup puns and references to the peach scene in Call Me By Your Name. Also, my homework still isn’t done. On that topic, I really don’t want all this hard scientific labor to go to waste, so I’ll be submitting this as my next physics lab report. 

P.S. If The Carletonian is your campus crush, please do let us know, but for the love of Schiller keep things wholesome when you’re describing how happy you are to see our attractively designed papers in Sayles. The current author is otherwise engaged and will be accepting platonic submissions only.

The post Carleton Crushes experiences dramatic 610% increase in unwholesomeness appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Carleton Puritans unveil “@CarlsRepress” Instagram account

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 3:05pm

The recently-launched @CarlsConfess Instagram page has granted Carleton students—and possibly some masquerading St. Olaf students—a pulpit from which to bare their best-kept secrets under the pretense of complete anonymity. In practice, this means that the internet now has access to a digital library of dubious collegiate sex stories set in nearly every place on campus. 

In these unprecedented and apparently sexually charged times, the Carleton Puritans, one of Carleton College’s oldest religious associations, have taken matters into their own hands with the creation of @CarlsRepress, the first Instagram page dedicated explicitly to publicly denying one’s experiences. The account is still in its fledgling stages, but it already shows promise: scrolling through its posts, each one marked with a golden cross, one gains a glimpse into exactly what Carls have apparently not been doing. 

“I did NOT, in fact, have a sex dream about a guy in one of my classes,” one post reads, “nor would I ever, EVER engage in premarital intercourse upon this campus. I hereby recant all statements I might have made on @CarlsConfess. They were not true and will never become true.”

The posts continue along these lines. “Previously, at a decidedly less holy time in my life, I insinuated to the heathen folks of Instagram that I once got drunk and almost drowned in the Cannon river. I vehemently and categorically deny that this ever happened. Rest assured, the day so much as a sip of White Claw passes my lips will be the day the devil’s Red Claw severs my head.” 

“I apologize to our Lord for claiming to have defecated in the Arb as a prospective student. I would never desecrate His gorgeous creation so severely. Once again, I did not defecate in the Arb. I did not. Never. Not once. Please believe me. I would never.”

The president of the Carleton Puritans, speaking to us under condition of anonymity, expressed their pride in the growing account. “The degree of hedonism evident in these ‘confessions’ has no place on a campus of purity,” they explained. “With the introduction of @CarlsRepress, we hope to offer these unfortunate souls the chance to denounce their sins, that they might be redeemed. In fact, I will not hesitate to admit to you that I was one of the first posters on @CarlsConfess, but I have seen the light now,” they winked. “I assure you, I have never done anything on the Weitz couches besides sitting.”

If you, too, seek to deny your sins, @CarlsRepress continues to seek submissions. 

The post Carleton Puritans unveil “@CarlsRepress” Instagram account appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Sacrifice at the Altar of a Cat-God: A Bataillean Critique of “But Still, He Is Doing It: An Exegetical Look at the Garfield Comix” by Nicole Collins

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 3:04pm

My main point of contestation with Nicole is whether or not Garfield is actually doing something to make the world a more equal place, and resist Capitalism. While certainly not conventional, Garfield does represent a form of resistance. While the human characters engage in the act of production in either well defined or highly abstract occupations, Garfield sleeps and eats. He consumes without producing. 

Bataille’s theory of the ptlatch as a form of resistance is a method for inducing orgiastic states. When the ruling class, in this case John, sees the gift it throws at Garfield consumed and unreciprocated, their logic of conservation and production will be defied. This is where Bataille retreats to his ivory tower and rarely engages with ideas of how this could play out. The most realistic to me is that the ruling class would be forced to reckon with their reliance on the working class, and vampiristic position they occupy in society.

Garfield takes it a step beyond physical consumption. The response from the ruling class/state (Jon in the comics) to the proletariat rejecting their gift is one of confusion. The ruling class maintains order by participating in the Gift Economy, this is a way of looking at class relations in terms of presents given to each other. The working class gives the gift of service and labor to the ruling who in turn pays out wages and benefits. The problem here is the massive imbalance when comparing the value of labor and compliance to the value of wages. Historically what is thought to compensate that imbalance is scholarship, innovation, and ideas. Garfield rejects all of these things as well. This is well in line with Bataille’s concept of Base-Materialism which is a de facto rejection of the equivalencies drawn between material and immaterial gifts. 

Nicole seemed to ignore the fact that Marx was also an Economist, as was Bataille, two things I have not forgotten about. The accursed share is the share of economic output dedicated to luxury, non-essential consumption of requirements, and non-procreative sex. Following along with Nicole’s symbolic analysis, the accursed share is represented by Lasagna (lack is to  Lack as lasagna is to Lasagna). Garfield need not eat any Lasagna, he is a cat and he eats the whole thing. We can also discern this from the fact that even if we accept eating to be a sexual experience (something Bataille would agree with considering the orbit of the earth was a sexual experience in his eyes) Garfield is a house cat and most likely neutered. 

A key part of Bataille’s resistance strategy is to engage in the accursed share in favor of essential consumption. 

This is a strategy which aims to obscure the hierarchy of needs and their relational values. Garfield doesn’t eat cat food or have kittens, he eats Lasagna. 

By forcing the ruling class to engage in the potlatch outlined by Bataille, Garfield forces sacrifices to be made at his altar. The term sacrifice is used here because Jon gains nothing from this transaction. All foods and services are given up to Garfield the all-consuming.

The post Sacrifice at the Altar of a Cat-God: A Bataillean Critique of “But Still, He Is Doing It: An Exegetical Look at the Garfield Comix” by Nicole Collins appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Mussel memory

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 3:02pm

If you’ve ever wandered the murky banks of the Cannon River, you may have come across the shells of freshwater mussels. Now considered one of the most rapidly declining faunal groups, there are 297 recorded species native to North America, 213 of which are now endangered or extinct. Over the years, 15 species have been found in the Cannon River.

Humans are mostly to blame for the decline of the freshwater mussels. As filter-feeders, mussels are sensitive to pollution and water-quality degradation; while this makes them excellent indicator species of water quality, it also makes them vulnerable to ecological change. Agricultural runoff has added extra sediment to rivers, smothering some mussels. The construction of dams, such as the Ames Mill Dam in downtown Northfield, not only affects rates of sediment transport but can also strand mussels from the fish species they need to reproduce. Their unique method of reproduction involves female mussels luring in a fish to eject their larvae into the fish’s gills, which provide a home for the baby mussels for about a month. Fish are more efficient swimmers than mussels, and the baby mussels end up being dropped off upstream. Dams prevent the free movement of fish through the river system. Further complicating the issue, some species of freshwater mussel only use one species of fish as a host, which could get separated from the mussel population with the introduction of dams.  Beyond just ecological changes, freshwater mussels were actively hunted for use in button manufacturing from the late 1800s to World War II, when mussel-sourced mother-of-pearl was replaced by the burgeoning plastics industry. During this time period, the Cannon River went from a crystal-clear riverine paradise to being described as “stagnate and filthy” in 1913.

While today’s murky Cannon is cleaner than it has been in the past, there is still significant work to be done. River conservation efforts hope to see these “ecosystem engineers” return to their dutiful work of straining the water of plankton, bacteria, fungi, detritus, and even toxins. A single adult freshwater mussel can filter 10-20 gallons of water per day, making it an extremely efficient water-cleaning machine!

The post Mussel memory appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

The student-athlete schism in the age of COVID-19

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:56pm

As I was applying to Carleton my senior year of high school, I knew two people already here. Let’s call them Chris and Martin. Chris, Martin and I went to high school together and worked at the same summer camp. They were good friends. During the application process, I pestered them all about Carleton: dining hall food, classes, parties etc. But the one major decision that loomed over me was whether I wanted to be a student-athlete here or just a student. Luckily for me Martin was a student-athlete and Chris wasn’t. I asked them about what Carleton was like, trying to compare and contrast their experiences. I got to asking Chris how often he and Martin saw each other—they lived in neighboring townhouses. Chris told me this: “We’re neighbors, but it’s like we’re in different worlds. I never see him.” 

There exists a schism between those of us who strive for NCAA DIII glory and those who don’t. When you’re walking around campus (or if you can harken back to when the dining halls were full), it’s incredibly obvious who’s a student-athlete and who’s not. For one, we student-athletes like to travel in packs. We also have a tendency to wear clothing denoting which group we belong to: the Carleton football sweatshirts, Carleton golf polos, tennis hats, swimming backpacks and basketball sweatpants. Of course it’s not a bad thing that student-athletes closely associate with their teammates and are proud of their team—but on a small campus, it gets very cliquey, very fast. We stick to our own team, form stereotypes, and generally close our minds to each other based on which type of ball we play with or whether we play with one at all. I remember a text Chris sent me about 4th week freshmen fall: “You have any friends off the team yet?” 

Carleton doesn’t have frats. I think many of us (except perhaps the founder of the small—but feisty—Carleton Barstool Instagram page) are proud of that. But here at Carleton our sports teams are our gateway into that frat world of petty squabbles and dick-measuring contests. Each team has its own stereotypes and a general campus consensus of what their team is all about. Each team has their well known figures, their ideas of brother and sisterhood, their stories, their customs and a laundry list of what they think of the other teams. All that’s missing are the kitschy Greek letters and the polos.

This persistent, solvable problem is right here in front of us. It doesn’t require us to have hard conversations or donate or take to the streets. We simply have to take each other for who we are as individuals—not which team we’re on. And as easy as this sounds, it requires a little bit of extra thoughtfulness that we as a campus have refused to show.

And so the schism between students and student athletes remains wide. COVID has thrown fuel on this fire. Word travels fast on campus, and rumors, founded or not, fly around about who’s gathering and how large and who’s wearing masks and who’s not. Resentment builds as we paint every individual who wears that particular team sweatshirt with the broadest of brushes—until each student-athlete is reduced to their team’s worst purported actions.

Yet we student-athletes have an undeniable responsibility to the school, and a responsibility to ourselves, not to fuel these rumors.  The school and many alumni have decided that we student athletes, blissfully playing our D3 sports in an often mediocre fashion, deserve to be supported. We owe a debt of heightened responsibility to the school which has allowed us to play out our childhood games into our 20s, and fostered some of our best memories and closest friendships. If you do party, as a team or with another team or just with a few more people from your team than the statistical mean would predict, something will come around. We saw it with the president this week. You can be an idiot, and things might work out for a while, but eventually Murphy’s law will come into play. Your team will land itself in the subject line of a Dean Livingston email paired with the words “suspended” and “legendary banger”.

One of my favorite quotes of all time, a true testament to the American ethos was given by then Ohio State backup quarterback Cardale Jones in the form of a frustrated 8 am tweet: “we ain’t come here to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS.” While many of us may sometimes sympathize with Mr. Jones’s sentiment, Carleton is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Carleton is a place, a community where we believe in the value of education above all else. Students, but student-athletes especially, are responsible to support and foster that community during these times. We need to be thoughtful and keep an open mind to each other in these times. Be responsible to each other. Be subject to each other. Because the truth is, we certainly did come here to play school. 

The post The student-athlete schism in the age of COVID-19 appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Our year of magical thinking

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:54pm

A week ago, I darted up the stairs to my room, in a rush to enclose myself in my space and my mind, away from the world that was my dad shouting incoherently at Chris Wallace through the barrier of the television. I had gone to the library curbside pickup earlier that day, and I now cracked open The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. I was depressed. We were—are—all depressed. It seemed somehow fitting that I should read a book by a grieving author while I was grieving the loss of my country as well as any normalcy I might have experienced in the early months of 2020. 

Didion describes the sudden loss of her husband, her grieving process, and how thereafter she struggled to perform actions like giving away his shoes, for if she did, this would not “allow” him to return as he would need his shoes at home. This latter idea is known as “magical thinking”—our way of trying to escape the inevitable or the truth through supposedly causal behaviors, thoughts, or rituals.

I have found myself engaging in a lot of magical thinking this year. This year, this sacrilegiously awful year of COVID. This year of songbirds falling, dead, out of the Western skies in beautifully sad attempts to escape an unregistered climate emergency. This year of Trump, of me at home when I should be at university, of America, here, now.

Nights like these are respites for me. I have not yet fallen ill with the novel coronavirus that I know of, so I lie on my bed beneath fairy lights, completing my pre-med coursework and preparing for the next day’s Zoom sessions. I am not sick and the world is dark, so the pandemic is not happening. Likewise, a few weeks ago when night finally fell on my Chicago skies, which at day were white and filled with PM 2.5 particles from California ash, the wildfires had ceased to ever be. If night falls in my time zone, I attribute a calming effect to it, believing that the night I experience causes everything else which is bad to cease, and moreover, to never have taken place.

When I sealed myself off from the presidential debate a week or so ago, I made the debate stop for a while. My own behaviors exhibited causality with the external world. I holed up in my suburban home and Trump stopped interrupting Biden, Chris Wallace vanished into thin air, and Biden became my president, ending the so-called “shitshow.” And the climate emergency was resolved in one fell swoop.

Yet I am not the only American to be magically thinking this year. We are most of us numb and saddened by what has occurred, and so many of us have turned into machines revolving around our day-to-day rituals and numbers. The American thinks to herself, if I recycle and compost as much as I can today and for as long as I can, then I will save the environment and things will be okay and maybe, just maybe, it will be okay for me to have children. Or else the American counts her 10,000 steps a day inside while quarantining, because as long as I get my steps in every day and maybe also take an Alive! Multivitamin I won’t get Covid and become one of those long haulers. You can’t help but notice the fabulous uptick in walkers and joggers in your neighborhood during the past six months. Is it because we’re all stuck at home and we’ve decided to get fit! or is it because we’re all just counting our numbers and ritualizing our actions because we attribute grandiose causality to them like a basket of religious zealots? You tell me.

Yet where does the line between magical thinking and real causality get placed in this time of turbulence? The link between sharing political postings on Facebook or Instagram and actually influencing a follower’s political post is weak at best, but we’re all doing it anyway, sharing away like a pack of fiends and urging each other to VOTE. We’re putting up signs in our lawns and text banking for Joe even though this, too, is unlikely to change anyone’s mind at this point and sometimes you get responses from Trump supporters such as the ever-eloquent “Eat my a**.” We all know in our heart of hearts that if we don’t post that post specifically that one, or text 100 more registered voters, then we will single-handedly lose the election for Biden.

No American wants to be the person who could’ve done more but didn’t. For Biden, about COVID, about climate change, about everything. If it helps me, if it helps us as patriotic Americans and world citizens, to try to help the world or try to help get Biden in the White House if we think magically, then so be it. Let the magical thinking continue.

Let it unfurl and proliferate in the mind of every American.

The post Our year of magical thinking appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Student organizations in the arts adapt to a hybrid environment

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:29pm

When Carleton students were abruptly sent home at the end of last Winter Term, student organizations were thrown into limbo, unsure how to continue with their members spread out across the country and world. A remote Spring Term provided insight into what could work well when facing the challenge of creating new ways to meet and uphold community in a COVID-safe fashion this term.

Among these organizations, groups associated with the arts—like the Jazz and Contemporary Dance Company (JCo), the Knightingales a capella group and Drawing Club—are getting creative in the ways they meet, since they would typically rely on group gatherings for practices and performances. 

Continuing to foster a community for those with a passion for a dance was important to the directors of JCo this term. They put careful thought into crafting ways to continue dancing together from a distance. 

“Dancers will [learn] choreography, film themselves individually, and then [edit] together a video performance for each piece,”  said Simran Kadam ’23, one of three directors of JCo. The edited video “will then be posted to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.” The video will be in lieu of a live performance “since it is not feasible to hold rehearsals or have an in-person show this term.” 

Kadam described the new format that JCo has taken. “We now interact primarily through Zoom,” said Kadam. One exception was auditions this past weekend. The auditions were held outside of the Weitz and were socially-distanced, masked and sanitized. Luckily, going virtual hasn’t taken a toll on interest in JCo. Kadam noted that the event had “a great turnout,” and remarked that “interest in the club seems to be growing.” 

There are certainly challenges to moving a traditionally contact-heavy organisation like JCo online. The biggest challenge JCo faces is the inability to use dance studios on campus. “This acts as a barrier for some individuals, because not everyone has the space or resources to fully dance,” Kadam noted. Fortunately, there are some benefits to moving online as well. Kadam sees this new format as “a really exciting opportunity for group members who are choreographing for the first time. The flexible online format allows dancers to be very creative and is less stressful than running rehearsals in person.” 

Carleton’s oldest women’s a capella group, the Knightingales, has also shifted to an online format in order to keep rehearsing and fostering their community. Maddie Damberg-Ott ’23 said, “We had to do all of the auditions on Zoom which was an interesting and difficult process.” Damberg-Ott noted that “it’s much harder to hear people sing and match pitch over a computer to begin with, let alone all the technological issues that we encountered.” 

Because of the difficulties of holding auditions over Zoom, the Knightingales opted for socially-distanced, masked outdoor callbacks. According to Damberg-Ott, this “was helpful because we could actually hear them sing better.” However, it will not be feasible for the Knightingales to continue any sort of in-person rehearsals as not all members are on campus this term. As a result, “rehearsals will be on Zoom for the whole term, and a concert learning multiple songs is pretty much out of the question.” Due to these reasons, the Knightingales have altered what and how they will rehearse over Zoom. “We will be doing more skills-based things this term, which will be good for our group,” said Damberg-Ott. As with so many other student organizations this term, adjusting has been a challenge, but the Knightingales have done their best to adapt to a new form and make the term as normal as possible.

While JCo and Knightingales have assumed a largely virtual form, Drawing Club has adjusted to continue in-person meetings. Weekly meetings are still held in-person, but they are now always outdoors, socially distanced and masked. For member Carsten Finholt ’23, these meetings are “a much-needed space to catch my breath and recenter myself in a world ever overrun with chaos.” 

To add meaning to outdoor meetings this term, there is a focus on drawing landscapes and other things that can be captured in nature. In addition, “it’s a great way to meet new people and have an aspect of your life not surrounded by schoolwork,” said Robin Rojas-Cheatham ’23, who said she is happy that Drawing Club has found a way to continue to meet in person and foster a sense of community among those interested in art.

Each of these and many other student organizations involved with the arts have successfully adapted to a COVID-friendly form that allows students to continue being involved with activities that they are passionate about. As the term goes on, much is subject to change, but one thing students in these organizations can be sure about is that they will continue to have access to them. 

The post Student organizations in the arts adapt to a hybrid environment appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Where do Carls like to study?—COVID-19 edition

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:26pm

As classes get back into full swing, students are finding and reconnecting with their studying niches on and off campus. Since access to buildings on campus is restricted, even returning students have had to get quite creative with finding their new ideal studying spots. From late nights at Sayles to corners of their room, each student has their own studying haven. Where you study ultimately plays a significant role in how you do in your classes, so take note of how you feel in your different studying spaces, and don’t be afraid to think outside the Libe!

Matin Yazdi

Brie Sloves ’24 sometimes studies under her bed. “I like to study under my bed because it helps to minimize distractions,” she said. “It helps me to feel isolated from the outside world, which in turn increases my productivity.” 

Some people prefer to study outside and take advantage of the warm (or rather, not freezing) weather while we still have it.

Elena D’Avanzo ’24 enjoys taking walks around Northfield while finishing readings for her class. When she does study indoors, she said, “Technically I fit under my desk.”

“The weirdest spot I probably studied is in the Mini Bald Spot,” said Doug Thompson ’24. I just think of it as weird because I don’t study on the grass much. It was okay. Kind of windy though.”

Students who are studying off-campus this term have had to find their studying niches at home.

Skylar Jones ’24 said, “My parents weren’t really prepared for online classes, so I had to do my reading atop my drawers right there in my room. It was uncomfortable because I had nowhere to put my legs through.”

Lev Shuster

The post Where do Carls like to study?—COVID-19 edition appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Behind the scenes: Mail Services adapts to COVID-19

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:14pm

Rather than operating out of the post office like usual, Mail Services distributed items out of the Great Hall for the first couple weeks of Fall Term. There were two reasons for this: more packages were expected this year and staff needed more space to socially distance. Mail Services has recently moved back to the post office, as the number of packages has been greatly reduced and the Great Hall is going to be used for COVID-19 testing.

Locke Perkins, the assistant director of Campus Services, discussed the benefits of working out of the Great Hall for the first two weeks of the term. “It gave us the space to space out, and we actually got more incoming parcels for students this year than any other year previously. And not by a small margin; by a lot. We just couldn’t have fit.”

During the first week of classes, Perkins said they received 3,100 parcels for students, the most he’d ever seen in his nine years of working for Mail Services at Carleton. In the second week they received 1,800 parcels, which was, according to Perkins, “still a lot. The second week was very busy.” He guessed this increase in mail was “related to people ordering more stuff and not wanting to make a Target run because of COVID.” 

Since then, there have been fewer packages, and David Entenmann, the Mail Services and OneCard coordinator, said that “things have died down a lot; it’s a lot closer to what a normal year is now, but it was definitely a sort of ramping down process.” Perkins said something similar, that the package rate has “kind of evened out or [is] at least getting back to what I consider normal levels.”

After moving back to the post office, Entemann said, “we rearranged everything to try and encourage distance [between workers],” but keeping proper social distance hasn’t been easy. This is because there were many more new student workers than there have been in previous years, and because the post office recently switched to a new package management system.

With all the new student workers, more training was required, which was difficult to do at a distance. As Entemann said, it’s “hard to train someone to use an app from six feet away.” Still, Entemann said they are “trying to encourage [distancing], but we also want to get things done. It’s really difficult to maintain that balance.”

Leo Vithoontien ’21, a student worker at the post office, said that the new setup has affected their efficiency because “now we only have one window open. Before, we had two windows open so we could help two people at a time. Now that there’s only one, it’s making the line even longer and people have to wait a little while.” 

Vithoontien said another change that has been made is that students no longer go down to the loading dock. Previously, he said, he “would go down, sign off and sort the packages into the hampers,” but this year, “David and Locke handle it so that we [the student workers] limit our contact.”

Another change that’s been made because of COVID-19 is the frequency with which faculty and staff mail is delivered. Previously, mail was delivered to faculty and staff twice a day. Now it’s delivered only once. Perkins said this is because “different offices are closed, so their mail is getting delivered elsewhere. The English department is getting delivered to two separate buildings. There are all sorts of changes like that to take into account.”

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Categories: Colleges

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Categories: Citizens

League of Women Voters hosts local candidate forums

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:06pm

Over the past two Saturdays, six candidate forums moderated over Zoom covered several of the contested races that are on the ballot for local voters. Hour-long forums separately featured candidates running for the Northfield School Board, Northfield Mayor, Northfield City Council, Rice County Commissioner, Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate.

 What is a candidate forum? It’s an event generally hosted by a community or political group in which candidates running for upcoming election are invited to discuss issues in a Q&A format. Questions come from moderators, panelists and members of the audience, and each candidate has an equal amount of time to respond to every question. The recent local forums, though entirely online, followed this typical format. They were hosted by the League of Women Voters of Northfield-Cannon Falls, a non-partisan organization that promotes political education and does not support or oppose political candidates.  The forums were also sponsored by St. Olaf’s Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) program, Carleton’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) and the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Viewers were able to email in questions to be answered by the candidates in real time.

The candidates running for City Council discussed everything from the construction of a new roundabout, to the utilization of federal coronavirus relief funding,  to  the implementation of the Northfield Climate Action Plan.

Candidates for the Northfield School Board discussed, among other issues, priorities in the face of imminent budget cuts and their (unanimous) support for the antiracism goals articulated for the coming years by Matt Hillman, the Superintendent of Northfield Public Schools.

 The two candidates for mayor talked about Northfield’s Strategic Plan, which has outlined six policy-making areas for the city to work on: economic development, infrastructure, affordable housing, operational effectiveness and climate, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion. They also discussed the value of adhering to Northfield’s Charter; for context, cities in Minnesota operate under either statutory city code or, like Northfield, a local charter.

As a first-time attendee to any sort of local candidate forum, I, a senior at Carleton, felt energized by not only this opportunity to directly pose questions to the candidates, but also the opportunity to really learn about local politics and policy from candidates’ discussions of the issues. This, to me, seemed like a small-scale example of functioning democracy. 

The congeniality of the participating candidates also presented a welcome reprieve from the animosity and incivility that abounded in last week’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“I would much rather have met all of you in public so I could shake your hand,” said Karen Jensen, a candidate for the Northfield School Board, in her closing statement.

“I am honored to sit with these engaged neighbors,” said Claudia Gonzales-George, another candidate for School Board. “I thank the other seven candidates for their willingness to serve,” said candidate Corey Butler.

School Board candidate Amy Goerwitz went one step further to advise voters in her own closing statement to vote for Gonzales-George, a Mexican-American woman who would bring some “much-needed” racial representation to the historically white school board.

In addition, all candidates clearly abided by the predetermined time limits for speaking. The forum moderator Martha Micks even had to comment, “You can finish your sentence,” to David Ludescher, one of the candidates for mayor, who stopped speaking mid-sentence when the signal for time-up flashed on the screen.

The candidates running for City Council unanimously closed on a message encouraging citizens to vote.  “Thank you for voting. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain, so go out and vote,” said David Delong. George Zuccolotto added, “Take part in your democracy. Stop the democratic backsliding that’s happening, and remember what democracy is for.”

The post League of Women Voters hosts local candidate forums appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Fall term grading returns to normal, raises questions of equity

Carletonian - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 2:02pm

In the wake of the uncertainty of last Spring Term, Carleton chose to make all classes mandatory pass/fail (S/Cr/NC). This term, however, Carleton students are receiving traditional letter grades for their courses. 

“Lower-level question”: Grading policy not addressed over summer

President of the Faculty George Shuffelton, who was responsible for organizing the final faculty vote that determined the Spring’s grading system, explained that “the measure that we passed explicitly said that this was something we were doing for Spring 2020, and so it had a kind of time limit.” 

Education and Curriculum Committee (ECC) Student-at-Large Rayna Phelps recalled that when they were talking about the grade systems for the Spring, “one of the deans of the college made it pretty explicit that this plan wouldn’t automatically apply to the Fall even if we were fully online.”

Shuffelton explained that the choice to make the mandatory “scrunch” (S/Cr/NC) policy apply to only the Spring Term “wasn’t so much because we were looking ahead to the fall, but just knowing we were under extraordinary circumstances.” Shuffelton added that “we would revisit it if necessary… but we didn’t want to try and guess what the future was going to look like.” 

Likewise, Professor of Chemistry Deborah Gross stated that “by default, we were back to normal grading unless we chose to engage with that conversation again, which did not happen, or at least didn’t happen formally.” 

The ECC minutes confirm that a grading system for the Fall was not mentioned in any of their first five meetings of Spring Term. In the last meeting of the term, Professor of Geology Sarah Titus “noted that there has not been a discussion yet about next year’s grading policy, which needs to be considered. [Co-chair of ECC Dev] Gupta thanked Titus for planting that idea for a future agenda topic.” Neither of the two ECC meetings over the summer mentioned the topic even briefly, however, so it appears that the co-chairs declined to add it to the agenda. 

Manjari Majumdar ’22 observed, “The decision to return to traditional letter grades seems to have been made for us, which is odd because there seems to have been so much contention around the matter last term. Administrators could have sent out a poll if they didn’t want to deal with another Moodle debate.”

Why was the grading policy conversation not reopened once it became clear that by Fall Term, the college would still be entrenched in a global pandemic, with many students still studying remotely? In CSA Vice President Brittany Dominguez’s words, “everyone’s situations at home or wherever they are actually are still very volatile… we are still in a pandemic.” 

Professor of English and American Studies Adriana Estill speculated, “I think the college kind of determined they were going to make things as normal as possible, and normalcy includes keeping grades the same.” 

Alé Cota ’22, one of the students who led the petition for mandatory scrunch in the spring, said, “it was kind of inevitable that Carleton would make us go back to grades because they fought us so hard in the spring. And it was only because a lot of other elite schools decided to not have grades that Carleton was like, ‘Ok, sure.’ But a lot of other schools went back to grading [this fall].” 

The ECC meetings in the spring and over the summer were largely dominated by the question of whether students would be allowed to return to campus, how the academic schedule would be amended to facilitate health and safety, and various other logistics revolving around the ultimate decision to reopen campus. 

Whereas in the spring the ECC had faced significant pressure from faculty and students to consider alternative grading schemes, Shuffelton reported that “we did not hear strong pressure from the faculty to extend the policy… There was not a strong voice of faculty saying we should extend the mandatory scrunch policy into the fall.” He recalled extensive discussion among the faculty of “what worked and didn’t work in terms of pedagogy,” but not much of an emphasis on “the grading portion of it.” 

Shuffelton believed that this was largely due to “the scale of everything else that we were also thinking about for the fall, that there were so many other questions that we were answering,” and though he acknowledged that “grades are a hugely important thing for students and for faculty,” there were simply “so many logistical questions that came first.” He said it also felt like a much less urgent issue than in the spring because “once it became clear that a large number of students would be back on campus and that we would be able to solve the equity question that way, I think that pressing reason dropped back in faculty’s minds.”

Associate Professor of English Pierre Hecker agreed that “the burst of very hardcore conversation that preceded the decision in Spring Term died down a lot… I kind of felt an assumption that we had done things this way Spring Term, but ultimately the college’s goal is to return to as normal a situation as possible.” While he did remember the “grading question” coming up among the faculty, it “felt like a much lower-level question over the summer than how you keep two thousand people safe.”

A similar trend occurred among students in CSA, where Dominguez said that during their emergency summer meetings, “there wasn’t a lot of discussion about fall term grading options. I think the bigger thing we were talking about was the racial injustices that were happening… and also a lot of COVID-19 and safety relations and really trying to make sure that students were going to be safe… so we didn’t get to talking about the grading system over the summer.”

Finally, members of the administration on the ECC were not enthusiastic about mandatory scrunch in the first place and seem to have been content to let the Spring Term’s grading policy quietly lapse, according to student ECC members. 

Phelps recalled that in the Spring term ECC discussions, essentially “all the students on the committee were for mandatory scrunch and the majority of the professors were for mandatory scrunch, but it seemed like the majority of administrators were for optional scrunch,” which was a much less controversial policy option that would appear to alleviate concerns about grading equity without making nearly as substantial a change. 

While the ECC does not have final say over grading options, its purpose as an advisory committee is “to discuss academic issues that administrators have decided they want to hear the ECC’s input on,” Phelps explained. 

Phelps continued, “I imagine since it was the administrators who were generally not in favor of mandatory scrunch before, that it was likely the administrators who didn’t want to have a second term with just scrunch grades.” Accordingly, Estill noted that the debate over fall grading “got stalled before it ever got put to the faculty.”

The college administration might have had a number of reasons for this preference, but one of the most influential was likely the financial factor. An anonymous faculty member believed that the administration “thought that if they decided to go with scrunch that students would not come back… We have students on campus,” they continued, not because it is safe but “because we need room and board money.” 

Estill concurred: “Nothing’s different from the spring. There are no conditions in terms of the virus, in terms of the economic stress, that position us in a different kind of world than we were in April of 2020. In fact, arguably, by any of those factors, it is worse right now.” 

But when students were sent home in the spring, Estill continued, “we heard a lot of ‘Why am I going to be in college if I’m not there and I’m not getting graded?’ That’s got a long history, this idea that you’re giving money not for this learning that you’re doing in the classroom, not for the vital connections that you’re making with fellow students about the classes you’re taking, but that it’s an exchange for a grade, for a sign that you finished the learning. And that’s a hard symbol to let go of: the grade as this exchange. It’s a commodity.”

Cota thought along similar lines, suspecting that the Fall Term grading policy is “definitely a money thing, because a lot of students were threatening to not attend Spring Term if we have no grades, so that’s definitely a pretty big motivator for Carleton to maintain grades.”

“There are still students at home”:  contention over issues of equity

The debate over what grading system is appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic has been contentious since the beginning, and many people who were in support of mandatory scrunch in the spring, especially faculty and administration, have changed their tune with regards to the Fall Term. 

According to the March 30, 2020 ECC minutes, the committee saw the main benefits of the mandatory scrunch option as being “centered largely around the equity issues students and faculty jointly identified” in their respective Moodle forum debates, “particularly with respect to unequal home circumstances (technology, caretaking, socioeconomic concerns).” 

Likewise, Shuffelton told The Carletonian that “the single strongest reason that faculty identified for wanting to go mandatory scrunch in the spring was this real concern about equity of access.” As for the student perspective, Dominguez stated that “we really thought it was important to be on a pass/fail grading system just because of the inequities that would happen for our lowest income students, and our BIPOC students as well, in terms of having to go home [to] different living situations.”

In addition, faculty members especially were highly concerned about the lack of time to prepare for online classes in the spring, and did not want their own learning curves with online teaching to negatively affect their students’ records.

This latter point has been cited by a number of faculty and administrators as the primary reason that they did not think the Fall Term required an adjusted grading system. “Part of that thinking,” Shuffelton stated, “was that even as this term continues to be really difficult, we now at least have one term’s worth of experience of online teaching, so there was the sense that both for our students and for us we would be a little bit better at this and we could reintroduce grades without having to worry about the consequences in the same way.” 

Dean of the College Bev Nagel reported that “most of the comments I heard [in the spring] suggested that faculty saw the scrunch as providing more space for some of the experimentation that needed to happen in a way that was lower stakes [for] students.” Gross felt that “the biggest thing is lead up and preparation” that has allowed faculty to feel better equipped for the new instruction format, and Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies Stacy Beckwith agreed that “it was felt that faculty would have more practice from the spring teaching online and all of the summer and all of the workshops and all the training.”

Many students feel quite differently, however. Cota countered: “The idea that we’re more comfortable with Zoom [classes] when Zoom fatigue is still a thing… is just kind of ignoring the fact that we still have to worry about COVID-19.” They also pointed out that even for students on campus, many classes are still virtual and “they can go to these spaces to study, but at the same time [they] risk COVID.” 

Majumdar, who is studying off-campus this term “due to concern for my own safety and general moral qualms about colleges across the nation bringing back millions of students when cases are only going up,” agreed that “being completely remote remains difficult when I don’t have access to on-campus resources like computer labs and printers.”

Cota is studying remotely this term, as they were in the spring. They told The Carletonian, “I don’t feel any more adept at Zoom than I did in spring. I don’t know where that’s coming from.” 

As for the issues of equity that the faculty and administrators cited as a main reason for the mandatory scrunch system in the spring, many students are quick to point out that in many ways these issues are no better—likely even worse—than they were earlier in the pandemic. “There are still students at home,” Dominguez said, and “a lot of students at home… are trying to save money, because it’s an aspect of being a low-income student.” 

Estill agreed that “it’s definitely an issue of equity,” saying she has students in her classes who have told her that  they are working 30-40 hours in addition to their studies. “How is that going to lead to equitable outcomes?” she asked. 

In the spring, Cota said, “it was very difficult because I was living at home with my parents and being at home is very hard for me both because of my gender and sexuality and also being the oldest child. I had to basically help my siblings with their homework and do all the duties that a parent does in the house because both my parents work full time, and so I was just having to be in charge of almost every single duty in the house and still go to Zoom and still do all these assignments that I normally would struggle to do if we were on campus.” 

Regarding the political and social upheaval that has distracted many students from academics since the end of Spring Term, Majumdar stated, “I’m doing my best to ground my activism in my academics, but there’s so much work to be done outside the classroom at this time, it honestly feels weird to have to worry about my grades on top of it.”

Nonetheless, some faculty and administrators justify the return to letter grading because while some inequities remain, others have been at least partially remedied. Referring to the computers and other technology support that ITS shipped out to students for the Spring and Fall Terms, Shuffelton stated, “The Spring gave us the chance to try to address some of those issues [of equity].” 

He made it clear that he understood that Carleton did not solve all these problems, but “if the single biggest reason that faculty were supporting the idea of mandatory scrunch didn’t seem like such a concern,” it felt fitting to him to return to standard grading. “And again,” he reiterated, “I’m not claiming, and no one’s claiming, that we’ve solved the problems of equity of access and equity of education, but they look a little different in the fall than they did [in the spring].” 

Nagel viewed the reopening of campus as a sufficient remedy to the varied issues of inequity that students faced in the spring, explaining, “We hope that for some of those students, they’ve been able to return to campus… That doesn’t mean that all the issues have gone away, certainly concerns about family, financial concerns, those sorts of things aren’t going to go away simply because somebody is here on campus rather than at home.” 

One argument against a mandatory scrunch policy in both the spring and the fall was that the inequities spotlighted by the global pandemic were in fact already existent and therefore did not require any special measures. In the March 30 ECC discussion of grading options for Spring Term, “Conversation turned briefly to note that students have these equity challenges during regular-term courses as well, with some expressing that we should allow the standard mechanisms we have in place, such as leaves of absence and extensions, continue to serve their purpose instead of mandatory S/Cr/NC,” as recorded in the minutes. 

Nagel told The Carletonian that “the pandemic may have exacerbated some of those issues [of equity], but things like financial stress… are always sources of inequity and always concerns.”

“There are certainly equity issues, and some of those exist always and are exacerbated now,” Nagel said. 

Additionally, while some professors are practicing “compassionate grading” or adopting alternative grading systems, others have reportedly made no changes to their pre-pandemic standards. Cota, for instance, had a professor in the spring who required A-minus work to pass the course, and has professors now who feel they have “already made the course easier, so if you’re struggling now, maybe you should have taken a term off, which is not an option when you’re first generation low-income.” 

According to the June 3, 2020 ECC minutes, one student ECC member reported that she “has heard from peers that faculty are not responding according to their needs, and that it seems faculty have total freedom to do so. She was concerned about students needing accommodations from their faculty and not receiving that support.” The student felt that it was not enough for professors to tell their students that they care about them and their wellbeing, but that “there was a need to hear steps that are more actionable,” the minutes read.

Majumdar added, “We’re continuing to trudge on through a dreadful time. It’s difficult to be a college student and it’s difficult to be a person right now. I don’t think the prospect of getting a couple P’s on a transcript during a public health crisis and a time of political upheaval should be more controversial than the fact that we’re trying to pretend that things are heading back to normal.”

The post Fall term grading returns to normal, raises questions of equity appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Ease

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 1:25pm

See that black bird on high. There, above the tallest tree, against the blue forever, well beyond the orange brown leaves that fall at your feet. His wings outstretched, he glides this way. Then that way. And back again. He works not at all. He has no place he needs to be. He has nothing […]

The post Ease appeared first on Untethered Dog.

Categories: Citizens

Raider Wrap for October 10, 2020

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 11:12am
This week on the Wrap Jimmy LeRue interviews Raiders Bowling Coach Gary Greenland, live in the studio to discuss the changes to this years fall events. Chris Morgan joins the program to discuss the Girls Swim and Dives team success as they lead up to the conference swim offs. Ned Newberg gives the weekly recap

Remember Radio – May 2, 1948

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 11:00am
This week Andrew and Rich discuss Gardening, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Lone Ranger

Eric Trump to make campaign stop in Northfield

KYMN Radio - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 8:56am
 President Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, will be making a campaign stop in Northfield, Minnesota next week, according to the campaign. Eric Trump will be visiting Felton Farms in Northfield on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. Doors open for general admission at 4:30 p.m.

Students debate cancel culture and deliver respect

St. Olaf College - Fri, 10/09/2020 - 5:11pm
A Braver Angels debate organized by the Student Associates of the Institute for Freedom and Community created a space for students to think together, listen carefully to one another, and allow themselves to be touched and perhaps changed by each other’s ideas.
Categories: Colleges
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