4 | Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Student Senate Humanities
Posted below are the resolutions for the most recent Student Senate Meeting. Senate holds open meetings in Denny 317 Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.; all are open to the Dickinson community. March 4, 2014 Meeting
• Carlisle Circulator Bus is now in operation with three different routes around Cumberland County. This will be free to Dickinson students.
First Agenda Item:
Report on Fall 2013 Student Conduct
• The Dean of Students gave a report to assembled students comparing the 2013-2014 conduct with previous years. • The Dean advised students to exercise caution with alcohol by setting limits on consumption and being aware of one’s surroundings.
Second Agenda Item:
Off-Campus Housing Discussion
• Discussion began due to a petition of over 600 signatures to change the off-campus housing lottery for seniors. • Frustration over housing options and procedures were aired in discussion. • Petitioners and Senate hope to continue efforts in changing and improving this process for all students.
Photo Courtesy of Carl Socolow ’77/Dickinson College
An Orientation Assistant sits with his Orientation Group during the 2013 First Year Orientation. From page 1
students with common interests.” Although orientation groups will not be based on seminar, the First-Year Seminar and Learning Communities will remain unchanged. To accommodate the modification in the structure of orientation groups, the position formerly known as Orientation Assistant has been revised to create a new, expanded position called a First-Year Mentor. The FirstYear Mentors will be upperclass students who will lead a FIG through orientation events and continue to meet with that orientation group over the course of the semester. The purpose of the FirstYear Mentor is to assist in acclimating the students to the campus and to provide them with possibilities for campus involvement that suit their interests. “The combination of relationships that start within the first-year seminar and those that start in the orientation/ interest groups maximize the opportunities for incoming students to feel ‘connected’ early in their Dickinson experience,” said Shalom Staub, Dean of First-Year Students. “Adding the first-year mentors to the ongoing first-year interest groups will create additional resources for firstyear students to learn about campus resources and find pathways to deeper engagement in campus life.” Unlike Orientation Assistants, the First-Year Mentor will be a paid position. Orientation Assistants were not paid in the past because their
job consisted of one week of work during orientation and two follow up meetings, whereas the First-Year Mentor role will continue for the duration of the year. Students who have completed at least one semester at Dickinson and have maintained a 2.75 GPA are eligible to apply to be a First-Year Mentor. The paid position requires students to attend training sessions in April and August, and to participate in all orientation events from August 27-31. The Office of Student Life has begun accepting applications, which are due Friday, March 21 at midnight. “I applied because I’m really interested in getting more involved with student life and I don’t really think there’s a better way of doing that then interacting with the incoming class,” said Hannah Thompson ’17. “It is our hope that a FirstYear Mentor will provide an opportunity for upper class students to help new students experience a positive transition to college over the course of the entire academic year, offer peer insight into academic and social life at college, as well as help introduce students to activities and events on campus,” said Kondas. The Enrollment and Student Life Committee is currently recruiting for First-Year Mentors. For more information, interested students can visit www.dickinson.edu/orientation. The deadline to apply is March 21.
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From page 1
to oversee the usage of the grant money. The DHAC consists of 11 faculty and staff members and administrators, including 2013-15 Chair Chris Francese, professor of Classical Studies and Matthew Kochis, postdoctoral fellow in Digital Humanities. There is currently a vacant student position on the DHAC, but the final decision of who will be joining the committee will come later this semester. The Mellon grant has helped to fund various projects on campus, such as the development of a database of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School resources and a project on the History of Dickinson College. The grant also funds collaborative research projects between students and faculty, and some funds have been allocated to send faculty to Digital Humanities conferences in the US and abroad. DH was already established in some academic departments before the College was awarded the Mellon Grant, and therefore had the infrastructure needed to manage the grant efficiently. Previously existing programs include History Professor Matthew Pinsker’s House Divided project, a Civil War research engine; Francese’s Dickinson College Commentaries, which publishes scholarly commentaries on classical texts; English professor Ashton Nichols’ Romantic Natural History, a survey of literary works and natural history from the mid-18th – mid-19th centuries; Russian Rooms, an archive of contemporary Russian photography, text and audio material maintained by the Russian department; and the Mixxer, a website created by Language Technology Specialist Todd Bryant that connects language learners via Skype for language exchanges. Established projects have received supplemental funding as a direct result of the Mellon Grant, and have also benefited from the creation of programs such as the Digital Bootcamp. The Digital Bootcamp is a two week online and on-campus paid training program for students and faculty to learn and practice DH skills with programs like WordPress, Photoshop, Geographic Information Systems mapping (ArchGIS) Drupal, Audacity and iMovie with sample data from current DH projects being conducted by Dickinson faculty. “During the Digital Bootcamp, I learned quite a number of programs…I have been using those skills in my position as a Dana intern on the archive’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School Project,” said Frank Vitale ’16, one of the 17 students who enrolled in the Digital Bootcamp this past summer. “I would absolutely recommend the Bootcamp to anyone interested in DH work in college and beyond.” According to faculty involved with DH research, the funds from the Mellon grant and the rise of DH at Dickinson have directly affected their curriculum and teaching methods. Ashton Nichols, professor of English and Environmental Studies, had his first experience in DH at a conference in Dublin over 10 years ago, and since then has brought web research and blogging into his classes in Environmental Studies and English. He also uses videos of lectures to bring speakers such as Jared Diamond, E.D. Wilson and Bill McKibben into the classroom, exposing students to writers and speak-
ers that they would otherwise have never had the opportunity to experience. Professor of Religion Mara Donaldson was inspired to bring more technology to her 2013 fall courses after attending the annual Willoughby Fellows Institute hosted by the Waidner-Spahr Library staff. She had students in her History of Christianity: Reformation to Modernity and Environment, Culture and Values courses create podcasts as group projects on a historical figure in Christianity that was not substantially covered in the class (these would then become a resource for the next time the course was taught) or on a case study in environmental ethics. For her Care of the Soul seminar, Donaldson revamped the class to be an iPad Open Source Course. The Academic Technology department in the Media Center provided iPads for all
“During the Digital Bootcamp I learned quite a number of programs...I have been using those skills in my position as a Dana intern on the archive’s Carlisle Indian School Project.” Frank Vitale ’16
of the students, so everyone was working with exactly the same materials. This experience had a steep learning curve for both Donaldson and her students, as they had to rethink the entire course together in order to properly use the iPads as a tool to enhance student learning. One thing that Donaldson discovered that really got students engaged in what they were learning about was Wiki Races. Everyone would start from the Wikipedia page of a topic they had discussed in class and then would race to see how many pages they had to visit in order to find a connection to an entirely different person or idea. This sparked discussions and Donaldson found that this very open, game-like environment made students more likely to ask questions about subjects they did not understand when they came across the Wiki page instead of being embarrassed about not knowing something. Amy Wlodarski, associate professor of Music, had students in her Ethnomusicology course last fall produce video
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narratives about a music culture. Students created “short documentaries about local music communities and the meaning that music holds for them,” explained Wlodarski. The projects varied from a film about the Taiko Drumming Class to the Irish music sessions at a pub in Gettysburg. This exercise was to make students conduct interviews, going into the field as true ethnomusicologists, observing musical behaviors, deciding what questions to ask subjects and ethically what material to include in their films “In one of my first-year seminars, we also designed technological video-casts that were then used to educate the audience in a performance of music by John Cage. One of these was of such high quality that the New York Public Library chose to include it in their Cage Retrospective Archive,” said Wlodarski “When students create technological projects, they are designed for broadcast to an external audience. I think that this allows them to think of their research in a more professional sense; they understand that it isn’t just the professor reading their paper.” SoundCloud has become a useful tool for the Italian department. Luca Lanzilott, Italian lecturer of the French and Italian department, had his Italian 116 students use SoundCloud to record verbal summaries of short films or literary passages and then email Lanzilott with the link to the audio file “I was very pleased with how well SoundCloud worked,” said Lanzilott. “At first the students were intimidated to record their voices, but the more they used the website, the more comfortable they became with it. By the end of the course, most of my students recognized that SoundCloud helped them improve their oral skills.” The Italian department also offered a mandatory workshop for all Italian language classes, called “Online Dictionaries vs. Translators.” Students were shown practically “why using a translator is considered cheating and why they can improve their…language skills only if they learn how to use a dictionary properly,” explained Lanzilott. “DH puts students in the position to be content producers for a wider audience. They are growing the knowledge base, not just consuming someone else’s information,” said Francese.
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Set in the Los Angeles of the near future, Her follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet "Samantha," a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson), who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other. Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are; Being John Malkovich) wrote and directed Her, which also stars Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Samantha Morton. The film won the National Board of Review Best Film award, and garnered three Golden Globe nominations, as well as five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Ty Burr of the Boston Globe writes that Her “is a love story. Also a profoundly metaphysical meditation on what it means to be human. Also one of the more touchingly relevant movies to the ways we actually live and may soon live. Oh, and the year’s best film, or at least the one that may stick with you until its story line comes true." Sponsored by Dickinson College. Admission is $3 with student ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Devil’s Den. Fri. Mar. 7 @ 7:30 p.m. Sat. Mar. 8 @ 7:30 p.m. Sun. Mar. 9 @ 7:30 p.m. Wed. Mar. 12 @ 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Mar. 13 @ 7:30 p.m.