Wednesday, October 7, 2009

SGA & Newspaper stuff...

I haven't written about Concord University's student newspaper, The Concordian, in a while, so I figured now would be a good time to do that.

I mentioned a while back that  I would write down some thoughts about the incident with the A&E Editor getting fired over plagiarism accusations. I never really got around to doing that because I realized that I don't have any real thoughts about it.

If you don't know what's going on with that, click here and check that out.

There have been issues of plagiarism in The Concordian in the past. Those were always handled "in-house," without much happening. Like this case, they were all examples of an inexperienced writer not realizing how to properly cite sources. But, in the past, the mistake was not exposed on a website for a lot of people to see. Relatively few people knew about the past incidents. Would they have been treated any differently if more people knew about it? Maybe. Would this incident have been treated any differently if not many people knew about it? Maybe.

I guess the big issue here is inexperienced people having positions of power that they haven't earned yet. With the way the newspaper staff at The Concordian has dwindled over the years, that's an unavoidable evil. The staff got rid of this inexperienced Editor and replaced him with another. It's just what you have to do. Hopefully the new A&E Editor won't make the same mistakes.

In other news, I now write a weekly column in the paper. Technically, I've been writing a weekly column since the semester started - it just never had a title. My column is called "Communication Breakdown." I'm not a huge fan of the name, but it's better than nothing. At least it's not a Random Rant.

I came up with a list of 9 potential column names. Some were witty puns of my name, some were journalism-related, and then I got bored and picked some song titles from my iPod that I thought would work. I showed them to the Editor-in-Chief, and "Communication Breakdown" and another one were her favorites. So, I picked my favorite of the two. I honestly don't really care what it's called - it's what I write about that's important.

So, click here to see what is technically the first edition of "Communication Breakdown," but is actually the 3rd or 4th. it's about how I've gained 30 pounds since I graduated from high school. SGA Business Manager Matt Belcher told me he liked it.

If you're not sure what "Communication Breakdown" is about, click here. It's a song and also kind of works into journalism. Or something.

The newspaper staff is churning out some quality work. Of course, there's some stuff that I don't like about how the organization is run, but you'll never be perfectly happy with anything in life. One the whole, the pros outweigh the cons. I'm enjoying my work with the staff.

Speaking of my work, click here to see my football article from this week's newspaper. I have the Q&A with Coach Kellar finished, I've just never gotten around to putting it in my blog. I'll probably do that later tonight or tomorrow.

Some other stuff to check out from this week's newspaper:

Social Science Symposium discusses Obama speech ... Liston Pennington's story about the symposium I attended a week ago. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll remember that I sent out several tweets about the event while I was there, including a couple pictures. Click here to see one of my pictures from the symposium.

Abe Lilly takes on role of Director of Readers' Services ... Wendy Holdren wrote this piece about Abe Lilly's new position on campus. I like Abe, he's a cool guy.

Why do we have a church on campus? ... A piece on the Opinions page that is also by Liston. In this piece, Liston discusses how there is a lot of confusion over the term "separation of church and state." It's a good read. Also, click here to check out his piece last week about how a World of Warcraft club on campus is a good idea.

* * *

Before we get to the report of the SGA meeting, I wanted to bring up an SGA-related conversation I had with an alum recently. Eric Proffit graduated from Concord two years ago. He served in the SGA for a few years as the Film Society representative. He took his position seriously and understood what was going on with things. He read The Concordian and kept up with the news. Basically, he was an informed student.

A couple days ago, I saw him for the first time in a few months. We got caught up and started talking about the SGA. I'll try to transcribe our conversation as best as I can remember.

Eric: So, what's goin' on with SGA?

Chris: The meeting was canceled for this Wednesday, but they had to call a special one to pass the Homecoming budget.

Eric: Budgetary hasn't met yet?

Chris: No.

Eric: But it's fuckin' October!

Chris: I know.

Eric: Hmmm... Who's the President?

Chris: Jeff Yeager.

Eric: What happened to the Vice President from when I graduated?

Chris: Ummm... Who was it? It wasn't Ashley... Oh, Curtis. He's the Board of Governors rep now.

Eric: Oh. What's the one where you have to tell the President the rules every so often?

Chris: Parliamentarian.

Eric: Yeah. Who's that?

Chris: You don't know him. His name's Gavin.

After that, our non-SGA friends butt in and the conversation switches to another topic. I just wanted to show that there are some people who take the SGA seriously and are still interested in it after they graduate.

We mentioned that the Budgetary committee had not met. They finally did, which was the whole point of the SGA meeting this Wednesday. We'll get into that next...

* * *

The special meeting of the Student Senate was so the budget - and specifically, the Homecoming budget - could be passed. It was realized that nothing for Homecoming could be purchased until it was passed. Homecoming Week, for anybody who didn't know, is next week.

I don't know what's happening during Homecoming Week. There probably should have been a story in this week's Concordian about it. It's hard to plan several weeks in advance for stories sometimes. Read next week's Concordian to find out what's happening during Homecoming Week.

The meeting only had two reports, and then the budget was introduced:

Akeya Carter-Bozman gave the Vice President's report first ... she attended a Homecoming meeting at 11 a.m. that morning ... she needs volunteers to help run the tailgating that will be going on during the Homecoming game ... she needs about 12 people, and they must be 21 or older ... also, organizations participating in Homecoming must send 6 people to help clean up after the Homecoming parade ... this Wednesday night, she will be hanging flyers advertising the upcoming Homecoming events & also will create a Facebook group

After Akeya's report, SGA President Jeff Yeager mentioned that himself, Josh Lawson, and Chris Matheny were volunteering to help out during the tailgating. In the row of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority sisters in front of me, I heard somebody mention that Matheny wasn't 21.

Business Manager Matt Belcher noted that the Budgetary committee met Tuesday night ... last spring, Concord's "Sponsored Tutoring" asked for $8000, which was more than they have historically asked for ... he said that he looked into different avenues for them to get money and found those, so "Sponsored Tutoring" only had to request $4700 from the SGA ... Belcher gave a rundown of each group, how much they requested, and how much the committee felt they should get ... rundown is below (offer any corrections if I got my numbers wrong):

CU United asked for $1100 and received $1050.
Phi Alpha Delta requested $1500 and got a full allocation.
Campus Crusade for Christ requested $875 and got the full amount.
Pi Kappi Phi requested $400 and received a full allocation.
Gay-Straight-Alliance received their full allocation of $685.20.
Roth Walk/Run Scholarship received a full allocation of $1195.
Philosophy Club requested $1284 and only received $888.
CU Sportsmans Club received a full allocation of $1500.
Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) received a full allocation of $1000.
Chi Omega Psi requested $200 and received that.
Eco Club asked for $200 and got it.
Student United Way requested $250 and got $250.
CGC requested $935 and received $860.
Alpha Phi Omega requested $700 and received $490.
(Not included in this list originally, but before the meeting was over, a motion to give $700 to the Game Room passed.)

Homecoming was broken up into two categories:

Alumni section requested $2,396.22 for flowers, crowns, etc, and received a full allocation. The Homecoming activities for students (planned by the Vice President) requested $14,514, and received only $13,175.

Akeya Carter-Bozman questioned why she did not receive the full allocation. Matt noted that they had requested money for a dance and the committee did not feel as though it was necessary. The dance was scheduled for the night before the "Lip Synch" contest and he felt as though a lot of students would not attend the dance. Akeya countered that more than Greek students would be attending this dance, noting that a lot of people from other schools had already noted that they would be attending. Matt countered that by pointing out that he didn't want to spend Concord students' money on a dance that would have mostly students from other schools attending.

Discussion continued for a few more minutes. Long story short, Akeya got mad and huffy and Jeff Yeager motioned to give Homecoming a full allocation. It passed. The entire budget then passed.

The meeting was adjourned after that.

* * *

Very short meeting, but it served a very important purpose. This meeting actually gave me the inspiration for a future "Communication Breakdown." I don't know if I'll write it for next week's issue or the issue 2 weeks away. Next week's paper will be out during Homecoming Week, and I'm not sure what I want to write about yet. That's historically one of the "bigger" papers, as a lot of alums are on campus and pick it up. I want to make sure I've got something good in there.

There was one thing I didn't like about the meeting. At one point during discussion of the Homecoming Budget, a guy stood up and made a point that the "Fall Break" 4-day weekend started as soon as this meeting was over and that we should just hurry up and pass the budget. It bothers me that people like that have voting rights in the SGA.

There were no walkouts this week. That's always good. In last week's "SGA Blog," I asked for anybody who walked out to offer an explanation as to why. Nobody took me up on that offer. I'm honestly not surprised. If anybody still wants to let me know why, one week later, that's cool. You can do that.

Per usual, here's my disclaimer:

I import these blogs into Facebook. That gives me the option to "tag" people, sending them an e-mail notification. I tag people for two reasons - 1) if I mention you by name & 2) if I think you will find this interesting. If you are tagged and don't want to be, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know.

There is a comment feature on this blog & I don't mind if you use it. It's cool to disagree, as long as it's kept civil. Anonymous comments are allowed, as long as it's relevant & mildly profanity free.


  1. Here's a couple pictures I put up on my Twitter account. I wanted to put them in the body of the blog, but I forgot to.

    The first was a picture of the stairs in Wooddell Hall that Curtis Kearns spoke about in his report last week. The stairs basically caved in or something. I don't know exactly. Link is below -

    The second is something I thought was kind of funny. It's a picture of the rule in the Homecoming Rulebook that states that there can be only 50 8x10 flyers. Link is below -

    The third picture is kind of cool. I just noticed this today, that the plaque for Chuck Marshall has finally been placed on the wall outside the Post Office. Link is below -

  2. The Budgetary should have met earlier for sure. Many factors though influenced its being late; the finger should not be pointed at any one person. But, the main and most important thing behind all this is that the Business Manager, although he had a later start than usual, pulled off a very successful and uncontroversial Budgetary Committee. The SGA, even with all its allocations, still has 30+ K left in the funds as well to put toward some kind of tangible use, as our library program, recycling program, and Student Scholarship Fund all came from money left over from last year. This SGA has a lot of money left to put to student programs and student initiatives; let's spend it toward something good!

    President Yeager

  3. I found out some Homecoming information. The following is from a Facebook event. The theme is "A Red Carpet Affair." -

    * * *

    Welcome to Concord University's Homecoming week 2009. Below is a list of each day of homecoming week and the activities coinciding with each day. Many people have worked very hard to provide the students of Concord University with a homecoming week, including each activity and we hope that all of you enjoy yourself. Have a great week, and don't forget to cheer really loud for the Mountain Lions on Saturday night.

    Monday, October 12 (Pajama Day)
    Casino Night at the Subway stage from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm

    Tuesday, October 13 (Represent Your Organization Day)
    "Record Your Own CD" Booth at the Subway stage from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, October 14 (Favorite Sports Team Day)
    Picnic and Inflatables in the valley starting at 4:00 pm
    Homecoming T-shirt give away at the Subway stage from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    Thursday, October 15 (Favorite Color Day)
    Homecoming Parade down Vermillion Street at 6:00 pm
    Homecoming Bonfire in the valley, starting immediately after the parade
    Homecoming Dance in the Student Center Ballroom from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am

    Friday, October 16 (Mismatch Day)
    Lip Sync in the Carter Center main gym, beginning at 9:00 pm

    Saturday, October 17 (Homecoming Game: Concord vs. Seton Hill)
    Kickoff is at 4:00 pm and tailgating is from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
    Don't forget your maroon and gray!!

  4. Jeff,

    I agree with you. As of right now, this is a relatively controversy-free Budgetary session. There was the issue with the "dance issue," but if that's the worst thing that happened, then this should definitely be considered a success.