Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Concordian, Vol. LXXVIIII, No. 7

I'll have some thoughts about the first meeting of Concord's Student Government Association in two weeks a little later. A lot of stuff happened & I need some time to process it. I'll post the tweets during the meeting below & then look at this week's issue of The Concordian, Concord's student newspaper.

The tweets are from me, Jesse Call & Sean Noland. Jesse is a former Board of Governors representative who graduated a couple years ago. Sean is a former SGA President who is now employed by Concord, and also the current Judicial Branch Advisor. Their tweets have their names in parentheses before it.

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At the @CU_SGA meeting. First meeting in 2 weeks.

I was told that the SGA President wouldn't be present at today's meeting. But, he's here. Guess his plans changed.

Received a copy of SGA election rules. It's starting up soon; although people have been planning for months now...

Senator Babich (@Babich53) is wearing his cowboy boots again. Suhweeeet.

The SGA just went into "closed session." Everybody w/o voting rights (me & 4 other people) have to leave.

The point of closed session is for "important" things to be discussed, w/o anything leaving the room.

I usually find out what happens during closed session. A controversy from 2007 was when I printed closed session talk in The Concordian.

The closed session has a time limit of 20 minutes. It's been about 4 minutes so far.

(Sean Noland) @chris_slater the issue doesn't necessarily have to be "important" the main point is to foster candid discussion.

Closed session is over. Back in the meeting.

(Jesse Call) @chris_slater They are probably violating open meetings laws by doing that.

Hmmm... RT @jessecall: @chris_slater They are probably violating open meetings laws by doing that.

SGA Advisor Charles Brichford questioned the need for "closed session" during the meeting...

To the best of my knowledge, the only thing brought up was coting for the Budgetary cmtee. I'll look into whether anything else happened...

The VP isn't here. Wonder what the results are of the Spring Fling/Haiti issue? Are they having a Fling, or giving it all to Haiti?

Correction: an earlier tweet should say "voting" and not "coting." My bad...

Curtis Kearns just announced the 4 candidates for the Vice President & Academic Dean position. More details later.


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I'll mention one thing about the SGA meeting, to sort of serve as a bridge between the SGA talk & Concordian talk. Sean was right with his tweet, the point of closed session isn't exactly to discuss "important" things. It's so people can speak openly and candidly without fear of repercussions.

One of the points of closed session is to get the "media" out of the room. That way, you can say what you really feel on a subject and what you say won't get included in the newspaper's weekly coverage of the SGA meeting.

Except, there was no media presence at the meeting. Actually, there were a couple members of The Concordian staff outside with me during the closed session, but they weren't there to cover the meeting.

That goes back into my discussion last week about how they don't cover news anymore.

I guess, technically, I'm "new media," since I take notes at the meeting and blog about them.

What happens in closed session is supposed to stay confidential, but like I tweeted earlier, I usually figure out what happened. That's the case with this meeting, as I've already had 2 people tell me what was discussed. I'll blog about that later.

* * *

I ran into Wendy Holdren, Concordian Editor-in-Chief, while on campus after the SGA meeting. We both agreed that this week's issue of the paper was possibly the strongest effort this semester. That's the truth. It really is the best issue of the paper in a while.

It follows the same outline I blogged about last week - there's not really a lot of "news" coverage, per se, but what's in there is interesting and informative. Here's a look at the best from this week's edition:

Lost World Caverns an adventure for all ages ... Samantha Ricketts' front page article about a cavern that you can go to. Not my idea of a good time, but I could see some people who would be interested in it.

Coaches Spotlight: Kevin Garret ... The first time the "Coaches Spotlight" was in the paper this semester, it was too stupid to be taken seriously. Now, they've got a perfect combination of serious and funny questions. It's has some good information, and is light-hearted enough that people who don't like sports won't mind reading it.

Grabbing Concord by the Balls ... Another good edition of Kurtis White's column, after the first ones kind of struggled to put in too much humor. This one is about Tiger Woods and his issues that he's been having lately.

Winter Running Tips ... An informative piece. The headline says all you need to know about this one.

More snow, more trash ... Another letter to the editor by Nathasha Cline, looking at the amount of trash that has been left outside lately.

Staff Debate - Do you think the media should show footage of Olympic deaths? ... An interesting debate between Liston Pennington and Wendy Holdren over subject of the Olympic athlete who died during Luge practice. Liston says yes, Wendy says no.

For what it's worth: Think before going Greek ... Amanda Lee takes an honest look back at the last four years she's spent as  member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. She talks about how she was unprepared for the financial burden being in a sorority entailed, in addition to how much of her time it took up. While she doesn't say she regrets doing it, she does let other prospective sorority and fraternity members know that they should definitely weigh the pros and cons of "going greek."

The couple of hours I was on campus, I managed to hear some "Greek" students complaining about Amanda's piece in the paper. I don't really understand why. I've never quite understood the Greek "clique" mentality that a lot of people have. That's probably one reason why I didn't join a fraternity when they offered last semester.

Amanda's article was a personal reflection, not a personal jab at the remaining members of Sigma Sigma Sigma. Some people won't agree with her opinion, but that's all it is - it's just one person's opinion. I don't think the newspaper covers enough news, but that doesn't mean that I'm against the newspaper or the people involved. That's my opinion about one aspect of that organization, and Amanda offers her opinion on a couple aspects of her organization.

Here's one course of action that I would definitely recommend taking - write a letter to the editor if you disagree with her. If you think Amanda is "trashing" the sacred Tri-Sigma name, defend it. Write 500 or so words about how she's wrong and joining a sorority is a good idea.

E-mail your letters to concordian @ concord.edu. Unless things have changed since my time on the staff, you have until late Sunday/early Monday to turn your submissions in.

* * *

That looks like just about everything I have for now. If you have any thoughts on the newspaper, you can leave them here. You can also leave comments on the newspaper's website on their stories as well.

I'll have some thoughts on the SGA meeting in a day or two. Until then, check out the new SGA Facebook profile - http://www.facebook.com/CUSGA. Now, if they could only update the twitter...

As usual, here's the 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.

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