It’s educational!

Some food for thought.

I have a “modest proposal” of my own in response to Will Dean’s Jonathan Swift-esque take on fixing our failing education system “Education Crisis? Kill off those unmotivated children” from the Nov. 16 edition of The Signal.

It’s called responsibility. I know that it’s six syllables, but it’s not that hard to grasp.

Yet people fail to realize that no amount of government funding can teach some of the deficient parents out there to show responsibility in their kid’s education.

Also, no amount of standardized tests can teach young kids to be responsible for their own schooling.

This is a problem that can’t be fixed by a simple piece of legislature, or by constant debate.

In order for kids to take an interest in their learning they need to see a direct benefit from it. That needs to be their motivation.

But the schools in which we see the least motivation are the ones in the inner city.

I know, because that’s where I am from, and luckily I avoided the bad schools.

Kids in these areas look up to role models like 50 Cent, Eminem, and Kanye West for guidance and motivation.

But what they get in return is a clever movie title like “Get Rich or Die Tryin” . take note of the spelling.

It’s because of “role models” like this who give children the impression that they can have a successful career as a musician by spending their youth standing on street corners rapping.

No politician in the world has as much power as these three men to change the way the youth of America view their educational responsibility, and they are squandering it.

Kanye West would much rather spend his valuable time claiming that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” than making a sincere attempt to say “Look, I got lucky. But don’t take the same risks as I did and work hard in school.”

Taking responsibility, it’s a cost-effective solution.

Tyler Flagg

?La Se?al, ella me ofende!

I believe that the “Espa?ol Phrases of the Day” in the Funstuff horoscopes in the Nov. 16, edition of The Signal was an inappropriate and offensive way of using the Spanish language. As a professional, college newspaper publication, I was disappointed at the fact that a college newspaper would publish such writing done in poor taste as “entertainment.” I do not find this humorous and neither have many others who have seen this publication.

As a student at the College and frequent reader of our newspaper, I think that many of the phrases in the newspaper were unsuitable and crudely indecent. I also thought that using Spanish in this way was unnecessary and tasteless.

I cannot say that I represent the entire readership of The Signal, but I do not think that anyone who truly appreciates any foreign languages – even have appreciation for English for that matter – would allow for such usage of a language. Whoever was responsible for this can argue for freedom of speech, however, this is an irresponsible and inconsiderate way to use the freedom to express one’s creativity and perspectives.

I hope that in future editions, the Signal staff will be more sensitive to its publication materials. As college students, I believe we should be more enlightened and progressive, demonstrating scholarly and creative pursuits to writing.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Jenny Shin

The Nov. 16, 2005 edition of The Signal made me feel very uncomfortable. The “Espa?ol Phrases of the Day” in the Funstuff horoscopes showed offensive Spanish phrases.

As a College Ambassador and Spanish native speaker I feel that the use of such phrases is not only a poor representation of our school, but also offensive to people of Spanish background like me. It amazes me to see a professional college publication’s staff deliver such dry and ignorant humor.

I believe that the use of the Spanish phrases was unnecessary and pointless. I understand that individuals have freedom of speech; however, the form in which the Spanish language was used shows lack of intellect and imagination. There is more beauty to the Spanish language than profane statements.

Perhaps in the future, the Signal staff can have more of an open mind and realize the sensitivity of such materials. It is a great idea that you want to educate and entertain the campus with foreign phrases, however the staff’s choice of phrases were rather tasteless and aimless.

It’s excellent to enlighten students with humor, but as an academic campus we must strive for academic excellence. Imagine I were giving a tour to a family and they were to read that section of The Signal, how do you think they would feel?

What image are we giving the school?

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Eliana Reyes

I got those ballot box blues .

About three weeks before Election Day, I noticed that the Student Government Association (SGA) had set up a table in Eickhoff where students could fill out applications to receive absentee ballots in the mail for the gubernatorial election. I was informed that the applications would be sent out that day.

It seems that the SGA was slack in sending in the applications, because when I received mine, I noticed that it had been postmarked Nov. 3 – five days before the election.

Not only that, but apparently the College’s mail room workers are slow in their duties as well, because the absentee ballot did not arrive in my mailbox until Nov. 12 – nine days after it was postmarked and four days after the election. Some of my other friends had the same experience.

When students at the College depend on their campus resources for help, we appreciate their assistance, but we also expect them to do their job efficiently and on time. I strongly encourage all services at the College to learn from this mistake and consciously make changes to prevent these kinds of things in the future.

David Herman

The Signal, Alibiased?

Our band, Frankenstein’s Alibi, was more than ready to play at the Goods on Saturday Nov. 12. When we got there our adrenaline was pumping and the excitement grew as we continued to play. We felt that it was one of our better shows.

However, when we opened up The Signal the next Wednesday and read the article about the event, “Students’ music and readings rule the Rat” by John Fialk, we could not find a single sentence about our performance. Both of us looked carefully through the article, no “Frankenstein” and no “Alibi.” Then we looked at the name of the author and, to our surprise, it was someone who used to be in our band.

We found it very unprofessional that he had cut us from the list of entertainers. It was obvious that he choose to not include us in the article and that it was not simply that we were overlooked by mistake, we saw him write down the names of the performers that they had on the list in front of the Rat. Whatever personal prejudice a writer has should be put aside so that the public can truthfully find out what went on. We also felt that our shot at publicity was ruined. Usually when a band plays a show, they would appreciate some sort of recognition, even if it was just a sentence in an article in a school paper.

Maybe next time you should get someone who will actually go up and talk to the acts rather then being anti-social and in his own world. We enjoy talking to people. Hopefully next time we’ll be able to.

Jenn Harris and Caryn Feder

Frankenstein’s Alibi

“Insidergate:” Kevin Kelly responds

Let me begin by thanking The Signal for recognizing the significance of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) role as the premier student advocacy group on campus. It is important that students understand and are informed about how they are being represented in the College’s governance structure.

I would like to respond to your coverage and editorializing of “Insidergate,” which I believe is slightly misleading.

As a journalism minor who, like most on the Signal staff, has studied under the legendary Bob Cole, I have a profound understanding and appreciation for the protection of unpopular speech and expression.

I will never marginalize or dismiss any student who presents a legitimate criticism of SGA, nor would I ever do anything to undermine that student’s right to present such criticism.

In his Weblog, Dan Beckelman both grossly misrepresented and blatantly lied about events that occurred in SGA, particularly events in my Legal and Governmental Affairs Committee.

This is hardly conduct becoming of an individual with any journalistic integrity who seeks to provide the “real story” about what goes on inside SGA.

It is important to mention that Dan knowingly and willfully made categorically untrue accusations against me in his blog. Among these, Dan charges that I regularly cancel committee meetings for “personal pleasure.”

I have only canceled one meeting since my tenure in office began – that was because of my attendance of the Wynton Marsalis concert.

In place of that meeting, our constitutional review chairman held his subcommittee meeting. His was the only business we had to discuss that week anyway.

Dan also suggested that a meeting I rescheduled earlier in October qualifies as a “cancelation.” I was unable to hold a meeting at our usual Tuesday night timeslot that week, so I rescheduled the meeting for Monday night.

Dan did not attend this meeting. He must have overlooked the e-mail that I sent to the entire Senate.

Additionally, Dan mentioned in his blog that I tried to remove Tom Sales from the position I appointed him to in September – a claim that is completely baseless, as I greatly value the work that Tom has provided to his committee. At no time have I ever entertained the thought of removing him from his position.

Further factual inaccuracies in Dan’s blog include his contention that I failed to perform a voter registration drive and that I somehow botched the absentee ballot drive.

Not only did I perform both of these drives, both were also highly successful. I additionally worked with a member of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group to bring a “Get Out the Vote” effort on campus for Election Day.

This blog was, as you mentioned in your editorial column, a major distraction that attracted unnecessary attention. Rather than advocating for positive development in SGA, Dan used his blog as a forum to launch personal ad hominem attacks that served to divide and distract SGA.

At no time did I ever threaten Dan with a lawsuit, as you indicate in your editorial. Because of the positively false statements published in Dan’s blog, I did investigate legal recourse, as I am quoted as saying in Scott’s article. You are correct in saying that I am a public figure inside the walls of the school.

I now fully understand this and accept that I am subject to receive critical commentary raised against me. I am certainly willing to accept responsibility for my faults, and I can accept personal attacks based on opinion.

What I have difficulty with is Dan publishing lies or half-truths and masquerading them as fact.

SGA, as well as my committee within SGA, has holistically made significant accomplishments this year. I am regretful that Dan has felt the need to denigrate the importance of those accomplishments and the competence of those who achieved them.

Rather than pursue a reasonable channel for advancing the improvement of SGA operations, Dan chose an adversarial model that encouraged coarse emotional responses from our organization’s members.

Of course we’re always willing to receive criticism and better ourselves based off of it, but it is my belief that Dan’s approach did more to tear us apart than elicit any positive improvement.

How could any of the people that Dan baselessly attacked in that blog possibly work cohesively with him?

While we are, in a sense, public servants, we are also all peers. We are attending this school to learn and to advance ourselves and our characters. It is completely unnecessary to humiliate one another.

Kevin J. Kelly

Vice President of Legal and Governmental Affairs