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The herald. (Geneva, N.Y.) 1942-current, April 17, 2009, Image 5

Image and text provided by Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00050001/2009-04-17/ed-1/seq-5/


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FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009 5 O p inions HWS and Geneva: What Can Be Done? The other week I meet an alumnus who lived in Geneva. She invited me into her home, chatted about the good old days at Hobart and William Smith and the relationship between the college and town. Its a popular subject When I get my hair cut at B and G barber shop in downtown Geneva my 85-year-old bald barber never M s to ask whafs going on at the Colleges. As a candidate for Student Trustee, and an involved , citizen, I’ve had countless conversations about the relationship between the Colleges and Geneva. Most people think the relationship is currently unhealthy. I agree, but I think we could do some things to make it better. Most of my childhood was spent in a small college town. I’ve witnessed many of the complex dynamics that develop between towns and schools. I lived in Durham, New Hampshire, home to The University of New Hampshire- a huge hockey and party school. Every few years tensions between the school and town would flare up. I remember being around ten years old and sitting downtown with my sister during the hockey playoffs. W h en the game ended the bars and fraternities opened their doors, students poured out, and soon people were throwing bottles, burning furniture, smashing windows and rioting. Despite bumps in the relationship people from the town knew they were dependent on the college and likewise the college knew it needed the support of the town. Here in Geneva the situation is similar, but there a few things that send a message of exclusion to the community. The fence that runs along 5 and 20 and separates us from the rest of By Tim Hollinger ’11 Opinions Editor the world is a major problem. The fence is sending the message that we don’t want people to come in. The argument that the fence is protecting us is baseless, as anyone w h o wants to steal or rape, as shown in the numerous campus-wide safety alerts can drive or walk onto campus, fence or no fence. The argument that the fence is providing aesthetic value has http://phisigmakappapsitriton.com/images/hobart_canipus.jpg some merit, but you don’t need a steel fence to spruce things up. If the brick pilings were left and the metal of the fence removed there would still be a symbolic divide, and a design element, but community members would feel welcome and students returning from late nights wouldn’t have to crawl under or over the wall. The lack of campus buildings downtown also contributes to the poor relationship. If the school were to move the Bookstore, W EOS, or some other campus building downtown students would get into town during the day and members of the town would see the activity of the college in a more direct way. This may sound like a leap to some, but partial integration into the community would be extremely beneficial for both parties. Lectures, art shows, performances and even publications should not only b e open, but also advertised to the surrounding community. HWScallsitself anintuition of higher learning, but community members are rarely present at campus events. Learning, in part, is about gaining new perspectives. W e have the opportunity to interact with the community; instead, it looks like we’ve locked ourselves in ivory towers packed with beer and blearing cable TV. W e make some efforts to advertise events, but with the largely unused resource of the radio stations- we now have both W E O S and W HW S - we could do a much better job at little additional cost. Finally, we must not judge Geneva on what we see downtown on a Saturday night, nor should w e let our weekend escapades be how Geneva sees us. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people having negative encounters in the bars with ‘townies.’ This makes sense; however, a lot of the people who haunt bars aren’t the best representatives of the town, just as you or I, on a drunken Friday night, may not be the best representatives of the Colleges. W e all know things happen, so let’s try not to make too much of mistakes. Have you explored Geneva and the surrounding area before judging it? It’s no utopia, but there’s some really cool stuff in the area. There’s a reason people spend their lives here. W e should also stop knocking graduates who stick around. They should be celebrated for giving back to where they got their education and helping to make this an even better place to live. Trayless Tuesdays In recent months a step has been made on this campus to decrease the wasteful tendencies the student body participates in. From events such as Recyclemania to going door- to-door asking for recyclable items, the Green movement has successfully been started on the Hobart and William Smith Campus. One of the most known about and most discussed is the recent creation ofTraylessTuesdays. This single event has created a flurry of discussion both for and against and unfortunately I am in the former category. Let me be clear, I do not have anythingagainsttheambitions this movement embodies; in fact, I fully support the idea behind it Unfortunately, I disagree with the means in this case. For those who remain unaware, Trayless Tuesdays seeks to do exactly what its title suggests, limit tray use to near (if not total) disuse of trays on every Tuesday of every week. This may seem like a good idea to many people but unfortunately, it is a bit of an annoyance. If you have ever eaten at Saga, you know that carrying two plates of food (let’s assume some people like the options at both Classics and the Veggm’ line) is a tad bit difficult at times. Couple this with getting a glass of milk or soda, and perhaps a salad, hot to mention silverware. Immediately I can recognize a minor (and largely inconsequential) problem. I do not possess four.hands and as such, it is difficult to carry these items at once. I know I could always make multiple trips but another assumption one could make is that I have enough time By Alexander MacDonald ’10 Herald Contributor to get my food and eat it then I have to rush off to class. Some people are this busy. Immediately the issue o f proper nutrition for a day of classes and work limits the choices o f what food to gather, should they wish to avoid the judging looks of the dish collectors. Further, there is the issue of what it does for the Saga staff. I http://thenextwavefutures.files.wordpress.com/2pO7/09/1178475329.jpg personally know one employee who is tasked with cleaning up after the dinner crowd once in a while. With this, that person (who shall remain nameless) has. raised the point that often students on Trayless Tuesdays do not properly dispose of their cups or plates (i.e. they leave them on the tables throughout Saga) and as a result, that personmust go through the entire cafeteria to collect these items. Is this really fair to that individual? Those who clean up the dining area after hours did hot volunteer to spend more of their tune doing this work, and again there exists the issue of getting the work for classes done versus cleaning up after the r e s t of the studentbody. • Finally, my main issue with Trayless Tuesdays comes from the issue of its effectiveness. The total amount of water that is attempted to be \saved” (there’s a total amount of water on this planet, we are not saving anything) is expected to be 12,000 Gallons (if I am not mistaken). This is roughly the same amount of water o f a small pool. Ultimately, the savings that is being sought is enough for each of 2,000 people (a rough estimate of the H W S student body) to individually save .94 Cubic Feet This roughly equals 22 liters of water per person. O n e thing I have seen on this campus is the rampant buying of bottled water. I do not fully believe everyone buys bottled water, but surely most students buy some bottled beverage, and with this I make a proposal: stop buying bottled and canned beverages. According to some estimates, the production of a single 1 liter bottle of water requires 5 liters of water. That’s right, for that 20 oz bottle of water, every person is spending 100 oz just on production, this does not even including the shipping costs! If every person on campus used a mere 5 less bottles of water (buy one and refill it, for example) the “sayings\ would be greater per person. In fact, if every studept who buys bottled beverages bought Oniy one bottle and refilled it, the “savings” would be much higher than Trayless Tuesdays could ever hope to provide. Idealistic? Perhaps, but it's a measure I am personally willing to implement Becoming a Number Jennifer Hollander ‘10 Herald Contributor I’ve been told that 98 percent of statistics are made up on the spot. I find that people who criticize statistics don’t understand how they work. Having taken a biostatistics class and now a data analysis class I can safely say that statistics are more than numbers. There is a great deal of research in figuring out the right questions- not to produce answers someone is seeking- but questions that can b e answered. * And while correlation does not always imply causation, there are correlation and regression formulas to track relationships between answers. W h ere a numerical value does not have a scalar value, there are still ways to track a range, mean, or a standard deviation.. For answers with percentages and a margin of error, the numbers have great meaning and the margin of error does not equate to a bad calculation. Rather the researcher is 95 to 99 percent positive of the actual number in that range. Yes, one can always assume people did not answer honestly, but that makes the results just as important- this is how the person or group being surveyed wishes to be perceived. I’m certain we've all had various surveys about our drug and alcohol use since middle school, but let me ask you this: did you really lie? Or did you lie because you wanted your peers to perceive you as cool for “messing with the numbers.\ Lying in the survey can only hurt yourself or other people. In comparing percentages, you will sometimes see two similar numbers and yet the data shows how different those two groups are. Or you could see the opposite: two not so similar numbers (but not too far off) where the data shows how similar the groups are. If you do the math behind all of that you yourself may realize that the researcher’s claims are true. So do the math. Take statistics or learn about it. You may learn that statistics aren’t really made up on the spot; instead, the interpretation based on this math could be made up on the spot. 105.7fm w w w . 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