Amendments too radical

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Oct 312010
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Colorado’s Amendments 60, 61 and 101 are a toxic combination that threaten to bring fiscal disaster to Colorado.

We encourage readers to read today’s Collegian story for the full scoop on these amendments, but a general summary will suffice in showing why they should be defeated.

Amendment 60 would drastically cut state property taxes, which would hurt local municipalities and force the state government to provide $1.5 billion in replacement funding for K-12 schools.

This $1.5 billion is nearly equivalent to the amount Colorado currently spends on courts, prisons and human services. Trying to plug a budget hole of this size is a nearly impossible task.

Amendment 60 has another nasty side effect. It would force public enterprises that were formerly exempt from property taxes to have to pay them. This would force institutions such as CSU and the Denver International Airport to pay significant new taxes, thus raising the cost of tuition, plane tickets and other public services.

The other amendments are no better. Amendment 61 would greatly limit the ability of the state to borrow, thus making it nearly impossible to construct large infrastructure projects such as highways and water systems.

And Amendment 101 would drastically slash fees for vehicle registration and telecommunication services, thus taking away another source of state funding. The vehicle fee reductions, in particular, would take more funding away from Colorado’s already underfunded roads and bridges.

In combination, these three amendments offer a lethal potion of tax-cutting that would deliver a crushing blow to Colorado’s already tattered finances.

While several of us on the Collegian Editorial Board generally support lower tax rates, we unanimously agree that these tax cuts are too radical for Colorado, and we urge you to vote no on all three this Tuesday.

 Posted by at 1:45 pm

Lustgarten: Stewart’s rally for reasonableness

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Oct 312010
 
Authors: Samuel Lustgarten

The Roots took center stage, the backdrop of Capitol Hill framed the picturesque event and The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear began. As Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show,” had mentioned on “Larry King Live,” this rally wasn’t about politics. A sense of “reasonableness” was juxtaposed against today’s vitriolic and divisive 24-hour news cycle.

From Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) to Ozzy Osbourne, the music propagated sanity (peace) versus fear. Yusuf, who was temporarily barred in 2004 from traveling to America for being a Muslim, was a pleasant sight. His story was more telling than his performance. Decades since his original conversion to Islam, he played an important piece of the diversity puzzle.

Just a few weeks ago, Glenn Beck’s rally had invaded the Lincoln Memorial. Imbibing the religious fervor of Beck’s white-power conflation mirrored the social breadth of what was seen this Saturday.

In a powerful way, the action spoke louder than words. Tens of thousands in unison for one thing: reasonableness. They came together, looked at their differences and realized their power as one.

Despite Stewart’s pacifistic pledge to shed partisan polemics, I waited for the opportunity to hear political speak. After about two-and-a-half hours, there was nothing. Most of the time had been spent in a revue of act, play and music. By itself, a pleasant respite from politics, but it left me craving more.

Stephen Colbert’s tiring antics of “fear” were either spot-on or bothersome –– I’m still not sure which. Always chiming in to remind us of our allergies, big brother scares and war, the facade of Colbert’s TV persona never wiped away. He demanded jingoistic patriots –– not those Jon Stewart types.

This analogy of right and left dichotomies was well-timed, as people stood as one. There was no need to prove their patriotism for America. In reality, this isn’t even a question; instead, it serves as a distraction for real problems.

As Stewart took the mic for the final time, he promulgated a righteous message back to center. Fueled by the extremist talk show hosts from Fox News to MSNBC (ala O’Reilly to Olbermann), he implored us to shed these derisive tactics. His answer came in two Obama-like sentences of pragmatism. “We live in hard times, not end times” and “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”

Capitol Hill and the mainstream media lead to a fractious society. The breakup of America leads to more votes for their respective constituents. Together they’re powerful. The remedy is to read from a more diverse set of influences.

Knowledge gives us the power to understand that right and left aren’t diametrically opposed. The artificial smokescreen that is American political drama is a falsified claptrap. Vote right or left –– the differences are inflated and few.

We don’t live in communist Cuba. As an electorate, we aren’t threatened like Venezuelans by Chavez’s power grab. To exercise your choice by not voting is the ultimate idiocy. We are at war halfway around the world. But that war stretches within our borders. The media has done a wonderful job of accentuating the debate by publishing the words of extremists. This campaign has hindered our ability to think critically and effectively.

Most people don’t have the time to read extracurricular materials like newspapers. Most people don’t make it a priority either. What time they do have is effortlessly evaporated in front of the television –– watching characters verbally dual in a gladiator-like falsetto that isn’t reality.

Truth is in our everyday lives. Stewart finished with an allegory to cars going through a tunnel –– merging. We are those cars. Despite the road rages of a desperate few, cutting in to merge at the last moment, we are a resilient, strong and relatively educated populace. We make concessions to allow traffic to operate. You go. Then I’ll go.

We need pragmatists. When the masses grab their ballots and look for their future legislators, the moderates will reign supreme once again. After all, what we see on cable news isn’t a representative sampling. Vote on Tuesday. Don’t let apathy and cynicism subvert your hope for a better future.

Samuel Lustgarten is a senior psychology major. His column appears on Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:44 pm

RamTalk

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Oct 312010
 
Authors: Compiled by Alexandra Sieh
  • The cop costume: Still the scariest costume I’ve seen this weekend.
  • To the girl who just said, “My motto is there’s always going to be someone sluttier than me:” I’m pretty sure you just won.
  • The four-year graduation rate for each college can be calculated as an inverse function of its distance from the Skellar.
  • At least on Halloween I don’t have to pull any smooth moves to get girls half naked.
  • Cam 23 has some pretty big balls to fill.
  • Is it worth going to class if, as you are walking to the lecture, you get b***h-slapped by leaves the whole way there?
  • Thirsty Thursday leads to Optional Friday.
 Posted by at 1:22 pm

Live blog: Colorado State vs. New Mexico

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Oct 302010
 
Authors: Cris Tiller

 Posted by at 7:22 am

Keynote talks about tenure

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Oct 282010
 
Authors: Abel Oshevire

Eileen Schell said, though working conditions for adjunct faculty are not ideal, colleges and universities rely and benefit heavily off their labor.

“As higher education became more democratic, non tenure-track faculty were used to cover lower division courses,” said Schell, chair of the Writing Program and of the Senate Agenda Committee at Syracuse University. “With universities and colleges expanding, the hiring of non tenure-track faculty has since become a strategy.”

Eileen gave the keynote speech as part of Campus Equity Week Thursday night, addressing a large audience of CSU students and faculty, both adjunct and tenure-track.

In the speech titled, “The New Faculty Majority: The Emperor has no Clothes,” she said it was important that adjunct faculty were recognized for their hard work and dedication.

According to the 2010 CSU Fact Book, 17 percent of the university’s 6,140 employees are tenure-track, making up 1,033 faculty members. Only 3 percent, or 182 faculty members, are listed as temporary faculty.

With various budget cuts in higher education, Schell said the number of faculty was being reduced to keep up with the expenses of research and administration, which in turn lead to student fee increases.

“A solution to this could be budget transparency,” she said. “This enables appropriate wage benefits without increasing student fees.”

Jeremy Proctor, an adjunct faculty member in his fourth year in the English Department, said he earns $4,000 per course or about $32,000 a year. A tenure-track faculty earns anywhere from $90,000 to $130,000.

“The longer you are here, the more frustrating it gets. At some point, budgetary downturn meant we were paid by semester (instead of) annually,” Proctor said.

Despite the discrepancies, Proctor said the students he teaches, and his love for teaching motivates him.

“I know you have heard a lot of negatives tonight, but there are a lot of positives that go with the job,” he said.

Sue Doe, who was an adjunct faculty for about 25 years, became a tenure-track faculty in 2007.
Doe said the issue is one she pays close attention to because of her personal history as a non tenure-track faculty, and also because it is her research interest.

“With non-tenure track being insecure, tenure-track line is gone because there is no one to occupy those positions,” said Doe, an assistant professor from the English Department.

With most adjunct faculty doing the teaching in classrooms and tenure-track faculty involved in research, Schell said it was important that parents and students were aware of these working conditions.
“Students and parents are secret weapons because, after they learn about this issue, they start to see the connections between adjunct faculty and their higher education experience,” she said.

Diversity Beat Reporter Abel Oshevire can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:40 pm

Dancing, fried bread and Native American culture

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Oct 282010
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Today, the Lory Student Center Plaza plays host to two Native American traditional song and dance groups and 10-inch pieces of traditional handmade fried bread on sale for $3.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Southern Outlawz and Ram Nation ­–– both American Indian performing groups –– will showcase tribal songs and choreography. These were described as vocal, tonal and without words, with Navajo Indian vocabulary used intermittently throughout the show.

“I think it’s a chance for us to share our culture and our heritage with people in the CSU community,” said Delbert Willie, electrical engineering Ph.D. candidate and lead singer/organizer of the CSU-based group Ram Nation.

Organized by student cultural organization American Indian Science and Engineering Society, AISES, the performance and fried bread sale on the Plaza is a kickoff for Native American Heritage Month and serves as a promotional tool for CSU’s 28th Annual Pow-wow that takes place Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.

“We’ve been planning this event since school started –– our very first meeting,” said Adele Nez, AISES co-president.

The cost of today’s event comes in at $1,745, which was largely paid for by student fees managed by the Student Funding Board, or SFB –– an entity of the Associated Students of CSU.

Overall, AISES requested $19,095 for today and tomorrow’s events from SFB. But when groups request more than $10,000, ASCSU’s Senate must approve the allocation.

AISES received its funding from the legislative body earlier this month after persuading senators that its Native American Heritage Month events would be well marketed to CSU students, and thus, well attended by the campus.

According to Samantha Raso, ASCSU director of Diversity and Outreach, AISES occasions in years past have attracted large Fort Collins crowds, but few attendees were students.

Such observations made it hard for AISES to secure student fees funding for its events last year. To increase the likelihood of a majority vote in favor of allocating the funds, Raso met with the group before it made its request.

Courtney Woolsey, AISES treasurer, said the group raised $9,745 independent from ASCSU Senate through grants, financial assistance from the Native American Culture Center and fundraisers.

To fund its Native American Heritage Month events, the organization has raised $28,840. Student fees comprise 66 percent of the total, which means each CSU student contributes roughly 83 cents to fund the 30-day celebration.

Raso said that AISES, like other student organizations requesting funding, had to detail how its granted $19,000 would be spent.

Other cultural groups have also successfully requested money from ASCSU Senate. Latino-based fraternity Sigma Lamda Beta used funding to host events for Hispanic Heritage Month from September to October.

ASCSU has not officially polled students about whether or not student money should be used to further student-organized cultural events. Information about how to support diversity centers’ on campus programs is acquired through the five assistant directors working in Raso’s department.

Raso said CSU’s focus on diversity has allowed the creation of safe spaces that allow students –– especially of minority groups –– to feel comfortable on campus.

Blanche Hughes, vice president of Student Affairs, was asked by AISES to welcome students to the Plaza performance and encourage people to attend Native American Heritage Month events.

“I think that’s one of the special things about being on a college campus,” she said of the opportunity to experience people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Staff writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:35 pm

Meow-loween at Avogadro’s Number

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Oct 282010
 
Authors: Jennifer Saylor

Cat lovers of the Fort Collins community will congregate Saturday in honor of their feline friends.

Proceeds from Meow-loween, which will be from 7 to 11 p.m. at Avogadro’s Number, go to the kitties at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue, FCCR, and help with food and medical expenses.

They come to the shelter at all different stages in their lives for a variety of reasons and their stay at FCCR is a turning point in their lives. Each one has its own unique personality and its own, sometimes heart-wrenching story, said Mary Wolf, foster program coordinator for the rescue.

Nala, for example, is a young brown tabby who was severely emaciated and carelessly thrown out of a car. A concerned witness rushed to pick her up and bring her to FCCR where she was treated for her injuries and cared for by a loving foster mom.

Nala is an affectionate special needs kitty with a big heart and a purr to match. She is still searching for a permanent home.

Meow-loween at Avogadro’s Number is a fundraising event for all ages that helps FCCR receive money for medical and food expenses that help cats like Nala.

“At any given time, there are around 25 to 35 cats in the shelter and up to 150 kittens in foster homes,” Wolf said.

Foster homes, she said, are important for socialization of the kittens in their early years to prepare them for adoption.

“My favorite part of working at Fort Collins Cat Rescue is seeing the kitties go to forever homes,” Wolf said. All of the felines that come to the shelter are spayed, neutered, dewormed and micro-chipped before finding a family.

Sarah Swanty and Anna Neubauer started FCCR in June of 2006.

Since its beginning, the shelter has adopted out 2,935 cats with the help of donations from the community and a dedicated staff of six, Wolf said.

Meow-loween, in its second year, will host a “Thriller” dance contest and a costume contest with prizes for Best Cat, Best Couple and Best Costume Overall.

“There will be a trivia contest with questions about cats and Halloween. Prizes for the contests will be gift certificates from local businesses,” said event coordinator Katy Quinn.

There will also be a photobooth where guests can get pictures with celebrity cut-outs.

Staff writer Jennifer Saylor can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Attend the event

  • Where: Avogadro’s Number
  • When: Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m.
  • Tickets beforehand: $10, call 970-484-8516
  • Tickets at door: $13
 Posted by at 5:33 pm

Community briefs for 10/29

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Oct 282010
 
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

Blood, guts and organs at CSU

Halloween is never complete without running in fear from the University Center for the Arts.
On Sunday at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. in the Organ Recital Hall Joel Bacon, organ students and special guests will perform the fifth annual Halloween Organ Extravaganza.

The event, which has become a community and campus tradition, will feature costumed performers playing music on CSU’s world renowned Casavant organ.

As in previous years Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” will be performed. The Toccata and Fugue have appeared in many areas of pop culture, including: “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Fantasia” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

Tickets are $3 for CSU students, $3 for ages 2 to 7 and $5 for adults. Advance purchase is highly recommended to avoid at-the-door ticket fees.

Big voices and big laughs in the UCA tonight

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Griffin Concert Hall the CSU Opera Theatre and University Opera Orchestra open Mozart’s “Le Nozze Di Figaro.”

Vocal and orchestral students will come together to play the famous Mozart opera.

With the opera buffa (opera comedy) style, the performance portrays comedic errors of love and trickery.

The opera, which is conducted by Wes Kenney, is presented in Italian with English super-titles. It takes place in 18th century Seville and is complete with traditional costumes and scenery.

The opera will also be performed on Sunday at 2 p.m., and Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for CSU students, $1 for ages 2 to 7 and $20 for adults.

 Posted by at 5:31 pm

Pidgeons!

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Oct 282010
 
Authors: Benjamin Gowen
 Posted by at 5:14 pm

Undeclared

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Oct 282010
 
Authors: Ian Cox
 Posted by at 5:13 pm