The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for February 10th, 2007

Graphic Credits for 3.3

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

Club Showcase: English Club
 
http://www.oregonconservatory.org
   
Creationist/Evolution Articles
   
Monkey:  http://www.monkey-island.demon.co.uk/
   
Magician:  http://www.cityofbeaumont.com/magician.jpg

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Submit General Letters to the Editor (Volume 3, Issue 3)

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

If you would like to submit a general letter to the editor just click the ‘comments’ link below.  Thank you for your continued readership!

Posted in Vol. 3 Archives | 27 Comments »

The Administration Seemed Paralyzed in the Cold

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

I slid through the intersection at Ironwood and Ewing sideways on Tuesday morning on the way to IUSB. I was traveling north on Ironwood and as the road dipped to the intersection I hit the brake. I was going less than 20mph but it made no difference. I slid down the hill while my anti-lock brakes chattered away. They had no effect. I was fortunate that the light was green or I would have been another casualty of that storm. In idle conversation that day I learned of three of my fellow students who had been in car accidents as a result of the weather, including SGA Justice Joe Spencer whose accident without injury.

The snow storm last week made travel difficult and dangerous. The city had completely dropped the ball on keeping the roads clear and/or salted. I saw cars that were off the road many times. A professor told me that she was too scared to drive do she took the bus and that the buss was sliding so much that it was scary. The bypass was barely passable. An 18 wheeled truck had flipped over on the bypass blocking traffic and the conditions were so bad that the truck could not be lifted and moved until late the next day. Several professors closed morning class.

I was still angry about the university being open under these conditions. SGA President Marcus Vigil said that he could not believe that they did not cancel class in these conditions. I asked myself how the administration could be so irresponsible and as if it was a minor miracle in timing I ran into an administration official who is one of the people that is tasked with advising the chancellor on whether or not to cancel classes. The conversation I had with this official was casual and happened before I realized that I would be writing a story on this issue. Since the conversation was not part of a proper interview so I cannot use this person’s name. This is how the conversation went.

Administration Official:  South Bend Schools are open aren’t they?

Answer: The students here at IUSB do not pay a six figure salary to some of our top administrators so they can shuffle off responsibility to someone in South Bend Schools who is not accountable to us. Most kids that go to South Bend Schools live close to bus routes that are plowed first. Several area school districts closed school early due to the conditions.

Administration Official: You are an adult, you can make a decision to come to class or not based on your best judgment so don’t try to make us responsible.

Answer: That is easy for you to say. You are on salary and get paid the same if you can make it in or not. You also don’t have classes where you could have missed lecture time or an exam if you could not get here. Some professors have ridiculous attendance policies so that any missed class has the potential of putting a dent in your GPA.

Administration Official: Look at all the people who made it here today, they all made it so what is the problem.

Answer: Lots of students did not make it here, several were in car accidents and several professors could not make it here, but that is not the point. If a series or tornadoes had ripped through the area like what happened in Florida this week and IUSB was still open, a majority of students and professors would still be able to make it in, but some wouldn’t and could end up dead and that IS the point.

Administration official: Once it gets passed 7:30 in the morning it is too late to close down.

Answer: It is never too late to announce that the remaining days classes are cancelled when the road conditions are so dangerous. Several area school districts closed early for this reason. Perhaps our administrators should call theirs and ask them how they amassed such courage.

Notice how each objection is an attempt to push responsibility off of themselves? Perhaps we all would have been safer if we could all have driven a massive 4-wheel drive urban assault vehicle to school such as a Hummer, a Cadillac Escalade or a Lincoln Navigator, but it takes more than money and toys to get a bureaucracy to make a wise decision. 

Is the bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe?

Chuck Norton

Posted in Vol. 3 Archives | 77 Comments »

The Case for Evolution

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

Evolution is the process that explains how generations of organisms change in response to their environment.  This is also known as “natural selection,” and the main reason I believe it occurs is because I can see the proof in ancient fossils. The remains of plants and animals from the past are found to share common features with species alive today. A perfect example is the correlation between the bone structures of the “hands” in marine and terrestrial mammals. Both appendages share five “fingers,” which suggests a common origin.

Another example is the giraffe. Over millions of years the giraffe’s neck has grown longer in order for it to reach high into trees for scarce food.  Giraffes with short necks would have to find other sources of food or they would die. The offspring of giraffes that had a slight height advantage were successful in the environment and produced their own calves that also carried the gene for extra height.  The process continues over generations, resulting in the animal we see today. This supports natural selection.

You can also look at humans evolving. Consider the hair on humans. It must have once served a purpose or we would not have any hair at all.  It could be that the hair was used to protect us from the sun or to keep us warm. Or it could have been a vestige of our ancestry. Yet humans do not have the same amount as other animals. According to some evolutionary models the amount of hair on humans has lessened as time went on, perhaps as a reaction to clothing or domesticated living. One interesting hypothesis is that hair was lost in response to danger caused by mites and lice. Less hair meant less disease. Regardless of the reason, hair textures and amounts differ significantly between populations of people, but we are all human beneath that hair. 

Finally, I believe the theory of evolution is correct is because of the way my parents raised me. I was not brought up with religion so I had to find another way to explain who and why I am. Darwin’s theory of evolution offered me a way to see why we humans are on this planet, and the theory also helped explain why people are different. I am a “proof is in the pudding” kind of guy: if I can’t see it then I don’t believe it. To me it is obvious the process of evolution has occurred because of what scientists have found in the ground. Anthropologists are able to watch, in a sense, creatures that once shared an ancestor with monkeys slowly stand up and begin to walk.  These animals later grow a large brain with which to make tools and succeed in their environment. They eventually became what we are now – humans.

Soon the theory of evolution will also evolve and the truth will be known about the origin of life, and I for one cannot wait! THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING!

Max Maternowski
Guest Writer

Posted in Vol. 3 Archives | 37 Comments »

The Case for Intelligent Design

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

Why do I believe in Intelligent Design? The simple answer is of course that the Bible says so. However, for someone who does not accept the Bible as the source of absolute truth, that statement does not carry much weight.  So instead of explaining what the Bible says about creation, I will take this opportunity to share why I believe the Bible is the source of absolute truth, thus validating its statements about creation.

There are two particular reasons that I accept the Bible as God’s Word and thereby absolute truth. The first is its continuity. The Bible is the only book that was written over a 1500 year span, by over forty different writers from all walks of life, in different times and places, and in three different languages.  With all that diversity, it tells one story that all the authors agree upon. This is a phenomenon. I cannot find two people to completely agree upon a single subject, let alone forty! This is truly evidence that deserves attention.

The second is the fulfillment of prophecy. There are over 700 prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the New Testament. At least 175 of them deal with the first coming of Jesus Christ. Many prophecies would be easy for Christ fulfill Himself, as many critics have pointed out, such as praying for his enemies (Psalm 109:4) and remaining silent before his accusers (Isaiah 53:7). It is the prophecies that Christ had no control over which drive the point home, such as being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and  not having his bones broken during the crucifixion (Psalm 34:20), (a mandatory practice for those crucified).

These two examples are just two of many reasons that I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. As far as science is involved, the Bible has always been on the cutting edge of scientific fact, even before scientists made their discoveries. For example, Aristarchus (310 B.C. – 230 B.C.) is the earliest scientist believed to have theorized that the Earth had a set orbit. However, 600 years earlier, the Book of Psalms records that the Earth has been established so that it cannot be moved.  This is talking about the Earth’s orbit. It has an established orbit so it does not float into space.

It is also commonly believed that the Greeks discovered that the Earth was round.  Pythagarus, in 500 B.C. is commonly credited with this discovery. However, again, the Bible was on the scene first. In 800 B.C., the prophet Isaiah recorded that God “sits above the circle of the Earth”.  The Hebrew Bible taught this scientific fact hundreds of years before science “discovered” it.

There are many other examples that I would be happy to debate on our Weblog. I encourage both creationists and evolutionists to visit our Weblog for the free exchange of ideas.

Jarrod Brigham

Posted in Vol. 3 Archives | 85 Comments »

Student Life Budget Crunch

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

It is that time of year when attention shifts to budget issues, and in the world of the student government there are two budgets that are particularly important. The first and more far reaching of the two is the Indiana state budget.  Here is where in one small way the fate of students’ tuition will be decided. Over the past five years the state has averaged an increase of 1.7% to the IU budget. This is far below the inflation rate. At the same time, the state put a cap on tuition increases, limiting any increase to 4.9%. While many are for tuition caps, with no additional support from the state it has caused a fiscal tension in our institutes of higher education statewide.

The future could be bright, though. According to the budget presentation from the Governor’s office, he looks to be pushing forward an increase in funding of 5% which would help to bridge the gap in any project budget shortfalls for the campus over the next two years. The real question is how that 5% will be divided. Is it going to be an across the board raise, or will it go to things like the IU Life Science initiative, or to projects that more directly affect our campus, like the renovation of the Associates Building?

However the budget turns out this year, you can make a difference by actively lobbying your legislature during this year’s “Get On the Bus” trip to the statehouse, a free trip to Indy. It is a chance to play a part in the government and it is organized by the Alumni Association and the Student Government. In addition, clubs can earn money by attending the event. For more details contact the Alumni Office in Room 100 of the administration building or the SGA in Room 202 of the SAC.

The next budget in question is the Student Activity Fee budget. This fee is located on students’ bills every semester and is a slightly exceeding $50 for a full time student. Perhaps only a few students completely understand what that fee entails and how it is administered. On this issue, a member of the student government spoke to the Vision on the condition of anonymity. The source explained that this year’s budget is going to be tight. According to the source the fee has generated around $670,000 which was scaled back about $50,000 from the previous year. This money covers everything from the athletics program, free student tickets to arts events, subsidized childcare for students, funding for the publication board, and the actual funding of the SGA itself. The Senate determines how much goes into these various accounts, under the approval of the Chancellor. “Last year’s cut in the activity fee budget was extremely hard on all the departments. Some were completely cut out such as the counseling center and club counsel, while most everyone else took around a 10% hit,” the source stated.

The source added that there is no new money for this year’s budget so the financial belts will remain tight. “One of the biggest problems facing this administration is the issue that inside of this stagnant budget are many full time salaries. These salaries have mandatory increases every year and that is eating away at the actual expendable amount of money. It basically equates to less programs.” According to another source, the tightening of the budgetary belt can be seen in the reduced hours of the SAC this year. That change also came with an increase in the SAC membership fees that the facility charges faculty, staff, and alumni.

If past records are an indication, the SGA will hold its open budget hearings sometime in March. Here they allow all the departments that receive funding from the fee, plus anyone new who wishes to start receiving funding, to present their proposed budget. The SGA will then compile these budgets and vote on the lot as a whole. This approved budget is then passed up the chain till final approval is given by Chancellor Reck.

This year’s hot topic items are said to include the current SGA members stipends and whether or not they should be lowered, the creation of a health fee to support the under funded Wellness Center, and a follow up of the athletics department. The athletics department, according to a presentation by Executive Director Jeff Walker in the September 2, 2005 SGA minutes (located online), ran $44,000 over budget and made a promise to repay the money over the course of four years.

Rashida Vindic
with additional reporting by:
Jarrod Brigham

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Club Showcase: English Club

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

Language is one of our primary methods of communication. It is how we articulate and share our inner thoughts, feelings and perceptions of the world. It is how we learn to understand each other and the diversity of life and culture that exists in our world.

The love of language and the desire to facilitate and encourage communication between students and the community at large is the basis of the IU South Bend English Club.

Formed during the fall semester 2006 with only a few members, the club has grown to 31 and counting. Club events for the spring 2007 semester include a One Book, One Campus discussion at Barnes & Noble at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 6th. This is a discussion of the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.

Scheduled on Thursday, February 15th, is a Writer’s Workshop on the Wiekamp Bridge at 6:00 p.m. Writers are encouraged to attend with 1-3 samples of poetry. Also scheduled is a movie night on Thursday, February 8th from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Wiekamp Auditorium (DW 1001). This event is only open to members, but people can join at the door.

Future events may include a visit to the Lilly Library at Bloomington (they have a large rare books collection), the Shakespeare Festival in Canada, attending Notre Dame performances by the Actors of the London Stage, and a trip to Navy Pier in Chicago.

Membership in the club is open to anyone expressing interest in literature and creative writing. There are no dues to join. If you are interested, please send an email to engclub@iusb.edu. The club meets twice a month, normally on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in room 206 in the SAC. Meetings are announced on the IU South Bend bulletin board. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Tess Chandler

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Debate Continues After Judicial Ruling

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

The leading article in the first issue of the Vision this semester, covering the Judicial Council’s ruling in the case of the Student Government Association v. Erkki KochKetola, generated considerable debate. This included including disputes as to the accuracy of statements made to the press by both sides of the case.    

35 comments were made on the IUSB Vision’s Weblog from the 15th to the 19th of January. This is no record for the online discussion board, with almost three times as many comments in the article on a Roger Waters concert and which somehow came to involve topics ranging from sexuality to censorship.

However, the debates on the article Judicial Council Ruling Removes Senator were of a different tone, and included comments by former SGA President Mike Renfrow, the defendant, Erkki KochKetola, someone claiming to be a former member of the SGA, and the Vision’s SGA Analyst Rashida Vindic.

Renfrow challenged the accuracy of KochKetola, who had been quoted in the Vision as saying that his voting record in regards to Joanna Reusser, Shannon Renfrow and Kimberly Muncie indicated that his vote against Chief Justice Norton was not of the nature of political discrimination. Renfrow, who later confirmed the authenticity of the comments on the Weblog under his name, had written, “If you go back and look at what is in the SGA minutes you voted against Shannon, and abstained in the vote on Kim… Just thought I would make the point that (of) the two people I could verify, you misrepresented yourself.”

KochKetola admitted the factual error both in a response on the Weblog, and personally to the Vision. His response was that he confused his voting record with his personal estimation of the then candidates in question. “I believe that the source of my confusion was the fact that I respect both Mrs. Renfrow and Ms. Muncie highly,” said KochKetola. He added that the vote against Shannon Renfrow to her current position as a SGA Justice was made due to the inability to investigate her qualifications for the role, and the choice to abstain in the election of Kimberly Muncie was based on a disagreement with the position of Chief of Staff in its relation to the role of the President.

The accuracy of a statement from the Prosecution were also disputed, specifically with the appointment of Joseph Spencer as Acting Chief Justice. Chief Prosecutor Teresa Santos was quoted in the Vision as stating that the appointment was made by Chief Justice Norton, who had recused himself from the proceedings. This brought forward the question of a possible conflict of interest, to which SGA President Marcus Vigil weighed in. Norton, who was unavailable for comment at the time of the writing of the Vision article, later disputed the accuracy of the description of events. He stated that Spencer was the “ranking justice” and that the appointment was thus not a personal decision of the Chief Justice.

Chief Prosecutor Santos was contacted by the Vision, and said that the error was due to a “mutual understanding” with Spencer, with whom she had given a joint press interview with the IUSB Preface earlier. Spencer, in an email interview, said, “I chose the wrong wording… [Chief Justice Norton] said that an Acting Chief Justice would need to be placed and mentioned that I have the most experience on the Judicial Council. Everyone agreed at the time that I would be the Acting Chief Justice.”

Comments were also raised by readers as to why there was a lack of direct reporting of the trial, to which the Vision responded that there was no audio recording of the trial. Acting Chief Justice Spencer said that it due to “technical difficulties that we were not aware of until it was too late.”

Ironically, the one factual error made not by the involved parties but by the Vision reporter seemed to pass by unnoticed. The article had stated, “While the SGA is inherently a political system, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities holds political beliefs as a protected class.” In actuality, the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct in Part 1 Section B holds the following as specifically stated protected classes: “age, color, disability, ehtnicity, sex or gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status”. The inclusion of political beliefs is not in the Code, but rather the sole addition to the SGA Constitution in Article III, Section 1.

Andrew Filmer

Posted in Vol. 3 Archives | 3 Comments »

From the Presidents Pen

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

Fellow Students:
February 20th is our annual “Get on the Bus”.  This is a time for all those of IU to meet and speak with the State Legislators in Indianapolis.  Everyone one who is in the IU system is encouraged to come together and lobby for major projects, such as the renovation of the Associates building.
The day starts at starts at 9AM, as we all gather on campus before making our way to Indianapolis.  After having some coffee, we load the buses and begin our trip.  Once we arrive at the State House, we register and listen to the speakers. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Bater, and there will be presentations by HHE (Hoosiers for Higher Education) as well.  After the speakers are finished, we break into groups and speak with our Representatives.  Each group has their own Representative.  After speaking about the importance of funding to IU, the day is wrapped up and everyone goes to dinner. When the dinner festivities are wrapped up we all get together and board the buses to head home.

There are many benefits to this one-day event.  First, getting the funding we need for the projects like the Associates building is crucial. The networking, either on the bus, or in Indianapolis is beneficial to everyone involved.  Finally, just to have a great day of fun, and to be apart of the political process and getting involved in government will be personally rewarding. This will be a time of fellowship with your peers, faculty, and other IU administration.

On a side note; all of IU campuses participate in this event, and starting last year, there is a formal competition to see which campus can get the most students to attend. We are the defending champions; we must and will win again!

I will close by urging everyone to join us as we head to the State House on February 20th.  You can register by signing up at any of the tables by the Alumni Office, the SAC, and in Weikamp; or by e-mailing Jeannie Metzger at JMETZGER@IUSB.EDU.

I’ll see you there!

Marcus Vigil

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Club Showcase: English Club

Posted by iusbvision on February 10, 2007

Language is one of our primary methods of communication. It is how we articulate and share our inner thoughts, feelings and perceptions of the world. It is how we learn to understand each other and the diversity of life and culture that exists in our world.

The love of language and the desire to facilitate and encourage communication between students and the community at large is the basis of the IU South Bend English Club.

Formed during the fall semester 2006 with only a few members, the club has grown to 31 and counting. Club events for the spring 2007 semester include a One Book, One Campus discussion at Barnes & Noble at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 6th. This is a discussion of the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.

Scheduled on Thursday, February 15th, is a Writer’s Workshop on the Wiekamp Bridge at 6:00 p.m. Writers are encouraged to attend with 1-3 samples of poetry. Also scheduled is a movie night on Thursday, February 8th from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Wiekamp Auditorium (DW 1001). This event is only open to members, but people can join at the door.

Future events may include a visit to the Lilly Library at Bloomington (they have a large rare books collection), the Shakespeare Festival in Canada, attending Notre Dame performances by the Actors of the London Stage, and a trip to Navy Pier in Chicago.

Membership in the club is open to anyone expressing interest in literature and creative writing. There are no dues to join. If you are interested, please send an email to engclub@iusb.edu. The club meets twice a month, normally on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in room 206 in the SAC. Meetings are announced on the IU South Bend bulletin board. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Tess Chandler

Posted in Vol. 3 Archives | Leave a Comment »