Random Observations and Various Rants

Archive for the ‘College Life’ Category

ESU Lawsuit heading to Federal Court

Posted by Andrew on March 25, 2009

From the Pocono Record

The sexual harassment lawsuit filed against East Stroudsburg University, its trustees and current and former administrators is moving to federal court.

The state’s attorney general, which is defending ESU, its trustees and the administrators still working there, filed a motion on Friday asking the case to be moved to U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“There’s no way state court can deal with federal issues,” said Nils Fredrickson, a spokesman for the attorney general. “It’s a matter for federal court — or it’s not a matter at all.”

I`m so proud that I spent a lot of money on tuition. Nothing like a gigantic clusterfrak to bring out the school pride. Time to throw the ESU hoodie into the back of the closet.

Posted in College Life, News, Opinion | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Asher Roth

Posted by Andrew on March 20, 2009

Roth in a recording studio.

Roth in a recording studio.

Asher Roth is preforming at the Sherman Theater in East Stroudsburg on March 26th.

That got me thinking about Roth, because as a fan of rap music I love to hear new and upcoming artists. I hit up his myspace, listened to his tracks and went on SOHH to try and got more information on Roth. Unfortunately, he is nowhere near as nice as all his hype suggests. Roth barely has any real flow and his lyrics are boring. (Right now I`m listening to “A Millie remix”) I was thinking of something creative to say about Roth but this comment on SOHH really sums up my thoughts about him.

Go through your old CD collection and look for Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP and the Eminem Show….Listen closely and imagine someone with half the talent, charisma and creativity doing a karaoke version of all 3 albums.

You’ve officially been put on to A. Roth

I really didn`t want to bring up Eminem, but it makes sense to compare Asher with him just like I would compare Fernando Martinez with David Wright or Alex Ochoa, when I think about how he is preforming in the Minor Leagues. For all the hate Eminem gets, Em is a world class rapper. His abilities and charisma are unmatched by anybody in the rap game and I grew up listening to Nas, Biggie, Wu Tang and Big Pun, so I think I know something about great rap music and rappers in general.

Asher is not a good rapper. Asher has one default flow and a definite lack of subject matter. I look at Roth as I do Soulja Boy. They both are not worth my wasting my time in listening to them or spending money to buy their music.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, College Life, Opinion | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Video from the Protest

Posted by Andrew on February 26, 2009

Here are some videos that I shot during the day`s protests. As I mentioned earlier, the protest was very peacefully and orderly. Attendance was pretty good as well and their was a variety of people there.

Here is Dr. Nancy Van Arsdale speaking on the quad.

Here is Dr. Allan Benn

Gov. Ed Rendell speaking to the students inside the new Science and Technology building. I had a problem with my batteries so I missed a couple of seconds of him talking and the video is in 2 parts.

Click here to see the pictures of the protest that I took.

Posted in College Life, News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

College students warned about Mexico travel

Posted by Andrew on February 26, 2009

MSNBC

The U.S. State Department and universities around the country are warning college students headed for Mexico for some spring-break partying of a surge in drug-related murder and mayhem south of the border.

“We’re not necessarily telling students not to go, but we’re going to certainly alert them,” said Tom Dougan, vice president for student affairs at the University of Rhode Island. “There have been Americans kidnapped, and if you go you need to be very aware and very alert to this fact.”

Looks like Mexico`s tourism industry is gonna take a hit thanks to all the violence going on down south, while the Caribbean and Miami should see a nice little bump in business. The violence down in Mexico is very serious and I hope it doesn`t spill over into the U.S.

Posted in College Life | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

ESU Protest

Posted by Andrew on February 26, 2009

gov-rendell1

I got tons of pics and a bunch of video. Right now Youtube is going extremely slow so I`m gonna start off with the pictures and I will post the videos as soon as I am able.

Here is a link to my Flickr set.

Here are a couple of quick thoughts on the protest. This was easily, the most peaceful protest I have ever seen. Nobody did anything stupid and everything went extremely well.

It was also extremely polite for such a touchy subject. Governor Ed Rendell also did a great job in my opinion. In my humble opinion, the Governor really did not need to take time out of his busy schedule and address the student body. He really didn`t  say much, partly because of the open litigation and also because he didn`t have all the facts in hand, but he did a good job in comforting the student body. It was also nice that he addressed us first since we did interrupt his scheduled press conference.

The faculty of ESU also spoke to us and as a student it is great to see that our teachers care about this touchy subject as much as we do. Dr.  Benn did a great job addressing the students and didn`t dance around the subject. I can imagine that it would be tough, speaking out about your boss in a public environment and Doctors Van Vanarsdale and Benn as well as Prof. Nash deserve alot of credit for speaking out on our behalf.

All in all, it was a very uneventful day and hopefully, the powers that be are more forthcoming in the future and we won`t need to protest anymore alleged cover ups.

EDIT: The Pocono Record just updated their site with a story on the protest and Chancellor Cavanaugh gives his official statement.

Posted in College Life, News, Opinion | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What is ESU driving?

Posted by Andrew on February 20, 2009

To answer that very important question, I decided to do a very unscientific survey around the parking lot next to our new science building. I found that General Motors is very popular around here followed by Ford with Honda being the 3rd most popular brand.

A chart of all the cars parked at ESU.

A chart of all the cars parked at ESU.

Posted in College Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

For my fellow Spring Breakers.

Posted by Andrew on February 13, 2009

If I were you, I`d cross Cancun off my Spring Break list.

Kidnapping, violence kill 21 in Mexico. From 2/11/09.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A drug gang kidnapped and killed six people near a town in the U.S.-Mexican border region, prompting a series of gunbattles with soldiers that left 15 others dead.

Yup thats what I wanna deal with doing my vacation. Here is some more cheery news from our neighbors down South. This time from our friends across the pond at the BBC.

Cancun killings linked to cartels.

The bodies of a retired brigadier general and two other men have been found near the Mexican resort of Cancun after a suspected drug cartel killing.

The three, who were found dead in the back of a truck, were part of a protection team for Cancun’s mayor.

Authorities say they think the men were intercepted on a road near Cancun, then taken to a remote forest, tortured, and killed with a shot to the head.

Drug-related violence claimed more than 5,000 lives in Mexico last year.

That wasn`t the first time, that the Cartels and the Military fought.

Last but not least is this nice story, that really makes me wanna head down to Mexico A.S.A.P.

Over 200 Americans killed in Mexico since 04.

More than 200 American citizens have been killed since 2004 in Mexico’s escalating wave of violence, amounting to the highest number of unnatural deaths in any foreign country outside military combat zones, according to the U.S. State Department.

For everybody looking to head someplace warm for Spring Break, may I suggest

Luquillo Beach in Puerto Rico

Playa de Luquillo in Puerto Rico

or maybe

South Beach, Miami

South Beach, Miami

and last but not least

A beach in the Dominican Republic.

A beach in the Dominican Republic.

Posted in College Life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

School just got a little more expensive.

Posted by Andrew on January 28, 2009

dollar-sign1

Everybody knows that college is very expensive. Thats practically a law of nature along with “what goes up, must come down.” There used to be a sliver lining called financial aid which helps with the very painful process of viewing ones tuition bill. Now with the economy going belly up, financial aid is a little harder to come by.

From MSNBC.

Savings held in Section 529 plans — the state-sponsored investment funds for college that are popular for their tax breaks — have been depleted by the worst bear market in decades and home equity values have plummeted. That has sapped two sources most tapped by parents to fund their children’s higher education. Colleges’ endowments have been similarly walloped.

Private student loans are especially hard hit. Last year, 60 private lenders provided $19 billion to students. Now, 39 of those have stopped lending to students and the remaining firms have made it harder to borrow, according to Finaid.org, a Web site that tracks the industry.

“The stress level is high,” said Rod Bugarin, financial aid adviser for the New York-based college consulting firm IvyWise.

Numerous revenue-short states are likely to consider cutting aid in one way or another, and public colleges and universities are expected to raise tuition — in some cases by double digit percentages — as they set rates for next year.

Scholarships from civic groups and local companies across the country also are likely to decline, Bugarin said, although it’s too early to know the extent.

In another quote from the same story.

The federal government has authorized some $95 billion in grants, loans and work-study assistance to help almost 11 million students and their families pay for college this year, and its recent commitments mean that total will all but certainly be exceeded next year.

So this leaves us with less “free” money and more albatrosses hanging around our necks. As if finding a decent job and getting good grades wasn`t hard enough. Now I gotta worry about paying interest on classes, I didn`t need because some university thought I need to take a gym class to graduate. With the economy the way it is, colleges need to work with us so that we all can thrive. I understand the need to raise tuition, but I don`t understand why I am forced to take gym classes to graduate.

As an English major, a gym class isn`t gonna help me figure out a way to write a newspaper artical or how to write a novel. I can understand the need to know a little about the Social Sciences (Economics, History) or Natural Sciences (Mathematics, Psychology) but two gym credits. How is a class on dance or music going to help me out? (Thats a part of the Arts and Letters requirement)

This financial crisis is not fun but it can be a great force for change. We can use this opportunity to eliminate wasteful habits and create something more efficient. This would be a perfect time for colleges across the nation to trim the fat thus allowing students a chance to focus more on their chose subject instead of scheduling a gym class or having to figure out where in a jazz song the alto sax came in.

Posted in College Life | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Entry 1

Posted by Andrew on January 23, 2009

On 1/15/09, the Pocono Record published a story, that said

The State System of Higher Education Board voted 11-2 to establish a new maximum fine that each university can impose, but gave schools the option of setting lower fines.

The new policy allows schools to charge as much as $50 for parking violations and a maximum $100 for moving violations, or more if state law allows.

Its a pretty reasonable policy, because I`m sure the schools are sick and tired of people parking illegally and a 15 fine is not much of a deterrent. On the other hand, I`m almost forced to park illegally if I want to get to class on time. This past Wednesday, it took me over an hour to find a spot and I tried every parking area on campus that I could think of. I know that complaining about parking is almost as bad as complaining about Jose Reyes popping up the first pitch he sees but this story ticks me off. In this case, the school decides to use money as a way to get people to change their ways, yet they have not attacked the cause of the problem. As if tuition and books wern`t expensive enough, they wanna try and squeeze more money out of me without fixing the problem.

Parking was a problem back when I was a freshmen and after 2 years away from class is still a problem. The new science building is a wonderful addition to the campus but building a multi-storied parking garage would be a thing of beauty. I`m willing to go out on a limb and say that it wouldn`t have been that difficult to build a parking garage back when they were drawing up the plans for the new science building. I understand the reasons behind the increases, but instead of applying a bandaid to the problem, the university should make it a priority to find a way to heal the wound instead.

Posted in College Life, Parking | Leave a Comment »