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FEBRUARY 22, 2010

Ushering in a New Assistant Dean By Jack E. Smith IV

Edward Walpin’s office in ESL has one modest bookshelf, a window facing the sun, and a tenant with infectious energy. But in just a few months, someone else will be moving in, and Mr. Walpin will be relocating to Weigle. At the end of the semester, David Carl will be returning to the classroom, and in his stead, Mr. Walpin will be stepping into the role of Assistant Dean. Mr. Walpin arrived at St. John’s from a background in political science ten years ago. “I came here and I could study all of these subjects, work with students, learn with them, not have to be the expert all of the time, but actually lead to a better education for the students. The things that have been most surprising to me were the things I were most nervous about teaching. For example, I have total math-phobia, didn’t know about the labs, and now those parts of the program are the most meaningful to me. I really love it.” Since then, Mr. Walpin’s been hard at work here. As well as teaching an Eastern Classics Seminar and Junior Math, he’s been an active member of the Instruction Committee as well as helping oversee the construction of Levan Hall. He’s taught nearly every part of the St. John’s program and was responsible for the design of the Freshman Music program together with John Cornell. Mr. Walpin’s selection as a candidate for Assistant Dean was a natural choice. “He’s very accessible,” said Dean Mora. “I think he is very open to and sensitive to different perspec-


(SJC IT: PU?, continued from Page 1) analogy, picture five hundred cars trying to navigate a one lane road at the same time, the upgrade to 100Mbps is equivalent to adding ten more lanes onto the same road. The bandwidth upgrade will occur when the current contract ends in September at the latest, but Mr. Doty mentioned the possibility of having the switch occur as soon as

tives, so he can listen to students from the appointment. He had a very young the standpoint of a faculty member daughter, and the shift in job responsiwho works well in the program, but bilities wouldn’t have allowed for such is also able to really enter the opposite a thing. “Life changes occur that make standpoint and consider that in mak- it more or less appropriate,” he said. ing his judgments. He’s someone I can This time around, the transition seems rely on, he’s a good communicator, less harsh, and the new schedule is athe’s very t r a c t i ve open, with a and he’s four and v e r y a half generyear old ous with at home. his time. Mr. WalThese pin said, are all “ Y o u qualities have your that are nights imporfree more tant for to do the job.” your own Stuthing. d e n t s Mr. Edward Walpin, the new Assistant Dean. Photo by Chez Val- Part of it and fel- entine. is spendlow tuing time tors all have confidence in Mr. Walpin’s with my daughter. The benefit is that ability to show compassion and under- my weekends will largely be free, where standing in one of the college’s most I’ve spent a lot of it here in class. It’s sensitive positions. “I’m sure I have a a good age for that.” Once a drummer slightly different style than the people and a pianist, he’ll also have the time who have done it before,” Mr. Walpin for studying music, something that he said. ‘Style’ is a keyword in conversa- hasn’t had as much time to pursue on tions concerning the appointment of his own. a new Assistant Dean. “It’s funny to The office also comes with a few use that word,” Mr. Carl said, “but the distinct drawbacks, the biggest being office has a certain style, and each As- the inability to be in the classroom. sistant Dean or Dean will bring a kind “That’s going to be the toughest part, of flavor to it.” the main thing for me, the biggest This isn’t the first opportunity Mr. drawback,” Mr. Walpin said. For three Walpin has had to accept the office. He years, he’ll have to serve a purely adwas originally given the option to serve ministrative position. It’ll be 2013 betwo years ago at the same time as the fore he’ll be serving in an academic caDean’s office was considering Mr. Carl. pacity. “I haven’t thought much about Last time around, life didn’t allow for how to compensate the loss of teach-

May 1st, because of increased bandwidth needs for upcoming IT upgrades. However, the change to the new Palo Alto system, along with the increased bandwidth is also a measure to bring the St. John’s network into compliance with the Higher Education Opportunities Act, which provides the College with federal funds. Among the key provisions that will affect student users directly is a blanket ban on “unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing and the prohibited use of the

institution’s information technology system for those activities.” While the ban does not go into effect until next January, the hardware for enabling the new restrictions has already existed for some time. The Palo Alto device is a more efficient management tool which will allow IT to shift available bandwidth to and from certain applications, and shut others, like the protocols involved in using torrents down for good, like the protocols involved in using torrents.

ing. I’ll have to make it work.” Assistant Dean Carl can sympathize, having been away from the classroom for two years during his term. “For those of us who are tutors and really like it, it’s a wonderful job. We like talking about the books, we like talking to the students, and there’s not a lot of motivation to give that up to do what’s considered to be one of the worst jobs on campus. You’re just dealing with problems. Why would you want to talk to someone about their attendance problems instead of talking to them about Plato? On the other hand, the job has to be done in order to keep the school running,” Mr. Carl said. Another rough issue is the task of maintaining discipline. The job of Assistant Dean comes with several punitive responsibilities, which no candidate for the office can look forward to. “Let me put it this way. Sometimes it’s not very pleasant to be the hard-ass, but sometimes it’s crucial, both for the college and the students. Sometimes it’s just required. I hope to bring in a level of understanding, so people don’t think I’m being ruthless for no reason. You have to do it all in a way that’s just, and also with compassion. But sometimes you have to lay down the hammer a little bit.” Mr. Walpin may be excited to enter the new position, but the change of scenery to the new, cozy office in Weigle may not be the biggest draw. “It’s in the basement!” he said. “Let’s not get carried away here.” Jack E. Smith IV is a Freshman at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He can be reached at

Mr. Doty also mentioned that the St. John’s Help Desk is able to assist students interested in setting up their own private DSL lines via Qwest Broadband. Because some dorms may not have the necessary IT infrastructure to support a DSL line, the IT Office must verify each given line for compatibility. Felipe B. Motta is a January Freshman at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He can be reached at

What do Johnnies Think of the Internet Situation? ”I kind of feel like it’s unreliable and a little bit too slow, but at the same time I don’t think I need to use it much either, so I don’t really have complaints about it. – Allie Heller, ’13 “It’s good. Better than last year.” – Joseph DeLeon, ’12 “If they don’t start upping the bandwidth, I’m gonna have to take matters it into my own hands and get an SSH client.. or build a parabolic dish and start stealing from the rich hippies on the other side of the mountain.” – Anonymous, ’12 “I think the entire campus of 6 MHz with an average 290 users is a little bit insufficient.” – Cyril Cook, ’11

“It stinks, I was just in the library and I couldn’t even get into my bank account to pay my bills.” – Jennifer Lind, ’11 “It’s slow and it’s down a lot.. but at least it’s free.” – Simon Tajiri, ’10 “I don’t use it very much. But sometimes when I use it, it’s frustrating.” – Rachel Milner, ’13 “When it’s fucked up, I’m doomed.” – Jon Marc, ’12 “I think it’s good that it’s working slowly, so that I don’t spend too much time on it.” – Joan Fevretto, ’13

“It sucks, it’s horrible, it’s way too slow. Everyone complains about it.” – Seth Kursel, ’12 “It’s a little slow but it’s alright. It’s... okay.” – Caitlin Fennerty, ’10 “It’s been really shutty recently, but I can live without it.” – Olivia Robertson, ’11 “It sucks. It took me the whole night to load one YouTube page last night. But next year I’ll be leaving off-campus anyway.” – Alan Krajbich, ’11 “It sucks. Now I have to buy something better.” – John Ropoulos, ’13

How fast is an Mbps? Megabit per second is a common unit of data-transfer rate used by most internet service providers as a measure of “how fast” a given connection is. It refers to the most fundamental unit of computation, the bit, (that is a single one or zero). So, one megabit is equivalent to one million bits, or (because there are about 8 bits to a byte, depending on which techno wizard you ask), 125 kilobytes; about the size of a handful of images or documents. In other words, with a 1 Mbps connection, you can do basic surfing and email browsing, but music or video downloads, which are more data intensive, will feel very slow. Most modern home broadband connections run in the range of 1.5 to 8 Mbps, which allows for most internet activity, from browsing the web, to downloading music, to streaming video and playing online games. Qwest DSL Packages: 1.5 Mbps: $30 per month 7 Mbps: $35 per month 12 Mbps: $45 per month

Recent Student Behavior Addressed in Executive Polity Meeting

By Nareg Seferian

Officers of your Polity Student Council and its sub-committees met with the Dean, Assistant Dean, Director of Residential Life and Director of Security for their monthly executive lunch on Friday, the 5th of February. A number of issues were discussed, including the relationship between students of the Santa Fe and Annapolis campuses. Interactions among students from both are often minimal, and a suggestion was raised regarding the possibility of semester-long transfers. Unfortunately, inasmuch as the two campuses follow the same curriculum,

there are differences in both the readings and academic calendar significant enough to make semester transfers a difficulty, barring very extreme circumstances. Ideas did come out of that meeting, however, for more opportunities for interaction, such as having students participate in goings-on over breaks. In particular, Santa Fe’s summer classics programs might be of interest, or perhaps an athletic event during the one week the two campuses overlap during spring break. A virtual teleconference seminar was suggested as well. Polity officers also discussed funding issues, such as the possibility of rolling over

the Student Council’s budget year-to-year. Currently, the remainder of the budget at the end of the year is returned to Weigle Hall. It was explained that Polity’s budget functions much like the budgets of all the departments of the College, with perhaps less oversight and planning beforehand. The ad hoc Financial Review Committee is in the process of recommending guidelines for Polity’s funding practices, which will hopefully go some way in achieving greater regulation and accountability of the student body’s money. Meanwhile, if a good case could be made for the Council’s budget to roll over, the faculty and staff of

St. John’s would be ready to hear it out. Finally, the ongoing community conversation on some discouraging displays of conduct by the student body over the past few months was discussed. Whereas the specific issues were identifiable, handling them to the best ends for the students remained less than clear. A public forum or town hall meeting would probably not go very far in fostering a greater sense of community. Tightening security could prove counter-productive. The initiative of an honor code was deliberated upon, but, again, there were arguments for and against such a measure.

As always, the Student Polity Council remains open to all members of the student body, to discuss any and all issues related to the student experience at St. John’s. Feel free to attend the meetings which take place on Tuesdays, at 5:30 pm in the Junior Common Room, in order to bring up the above issues, or anything else of relevant concern. Nareg Seferian is a Junior at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He can be reached at

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