According to Stevens’ 2016 Tax Report, President Farvardin makes $1.58 million dollars a year.
Volume CXVI Issue 2
Did you know?
Stevens hosts its first TEDx: “Through Collaboration, Impact”
WE WRITE STEVENS HISTORY
Friday, September 14, 2018
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SGA dissolves Stevens Knit and Crochet Club
by MARYIA SPIRYDONAVA Editor In-Chief
With a theme of “Through Collaboration, Impact,” the Stevens TEDx took place this past Wednesday in DeBaun Auditorium. Four speakers discussed topics like green infrastructure, mental health, reimagining calculus, and civil defense. One hundred audience members, a live viewing party sponsored by the SGA, and an international live online audience meant a new platform for Stevens researchers. The event opened with an introduction by Mohammad Dehghani, the Vice Provost of Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Aaron Price, founder of Propelify and NJ Tech Meetup, was the emcee. Price added humor to the event and boosted the audience energy. Blythe Nobleman, the organizer of the event, was instrumental in not only the success of the event but also in the event coming to campus. Inspired by other universities with TEDx programs, Nobleman brought the idea to Dehghani. They thought it would be a way to place Stevens researchers on a “broad, global platform.” Nobleman said that this program is ideal and “can call upon multimedia and experiential communications to get many thousands of viewers from across the globe to engage with ‘ideas worth spreading’ and bring greater recognition to Stevens.” Even though TEDx is independently organized, there was still a very specific set of critesee TEDX · Page 5
by SARAH HOOGENBOOM Staff Writer
The outside of the current Alexander House | Photo Courtesy of Google Maps
Alexander House renovation floorplans revealed by MARYIA SPIRYDONAVA Editor-In-Chief
With the move from Jacobus to Alexander House drawing near, student organizations have been wondering what the new space will look like for them. Floor plans were presented at last week’s Student Government Association (SGA) Senate meeting by Dakota Van Deursen, Vice President of Student Interests. In addition, Dean Kenneth Nilsen has shown the plans to some student leaders. Recognized Student Organizations and
New changes to Stevens Leased Housing
see SLH · Page 2 campus news
foyer will be the location of the new Diversity Educator’s office. A locked pantry, for staff, will also be located on the first floor. The rest of the first floor will be student space. All the bathrooms in the house will be gender neutral. There will be a living room lounge,
Three members of Office of Undergradute Student Life left Stevens earlier this semester.
The future of student life looms with three recent departures. by MARK KRUPINSKI Business Manager
Over the past month, the Office of Student Life has faced three departures: Brielle Melillo, Assistant Director of Financial Advising; Jacquis Watters, Assistant Director of Diversity Education; and Kristie Damell, Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator. “It’s a natural progression,” said Sara Klein, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Klein, who oversees Student Life in her position, stated that she was sad about all the departures, but that they were not completely unexpected. However, most student leaders were surprised by the departures. Lucas Gallo, the President of the Student Government Association, did not expect
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The Alexander House
The Alexander House will be the temporary accomodation for the student organizations housed in Jacobus Hall.
Associate Dean of Students: Kristie Damell Associate Director of Student Life: Chris Shemanski Diversity Educator: Jacquis Watters Assistant Director: Malcolm McDaniel Financial Coordinator: Brielle Melillo Student Life Advisor: Danielle Maxson Senior Administrative Assistant: Jane Gilbarty Graduate Coordinator: Craig Shook Graduate Coordinator: Veronika Paprocka
Stevens’ Take Back the Night Committee spreads awareness on sezual assault.
students will now be able to anticipate what the student space in the Alexander House will contain. Students will be able to enter the foyer of the building by the terrace, either by stair or by a ramp. The installation of an elevator will ensure ADA compliance. When students walk into the foyer, they will see a full whiteboard/corkboard wall, where club event flyers will be posted. Immediately by the entrance on the right, students will be greeted by Danielle Maxson, the Student Life Advisor. On the left side of the
Staff members in the Office of Undergraduate Student Life:
by CHARLES ZWICKER Staff Writer
Due to Stevens admitting the largest freshman class in its history, changes needed to be in order to fulfill the guarantee of on-campus housing for freshman. The solution that the Office of Residence Life chose was to move all upperclassmen students out of Jonas Hall and into Stevens Leased Housing. Due to the volume of displaced students, the Office of Residence Life added several new, existing, and returning housing options to its portfolio. One returning option is the Juliana apartments, which some of the upperclassmen may be familiar with. The two new options are Courtyard at Jefferson, located at 8th Street and Madison Street, and Harlow, right above the Trader Joe’s on 14th Street and Washington Street. The Gray line has been modified to include a shuttle stop at 12th Street and Clinton Street. According to Tony Blazini, Director of Residence Life, Stevens requires all of the apartments to be modern and up to code. Regarding handling the displaced Jonas students, Trina Ballantyne, Dean of Residence Life, said that “some students were excited about the opportunity to live in Hoboken luxury apartments.” Understandably though, “some students were
Pass your time during Leadership Connect with this puzzle.
any of the departures and received notice at the same time as all of the students. “I like really wish I did [receive advanced notice of the departure] too,” said Gallo, “We would’ve been able to maybe plan in advance about what was going to happen.” According to Klein, Brielle Melillo was not expecting to leave Stevens. Melillo was always considering teaching, and she got a “random call” about an open position teaching fifth grade. It was a 24-hour decision, according to Klein. In the meantime, Melillo’s previous responsibilities will be split between Danielle Maxson and Chris Shemanski. With regard to the departure of Jacquis Watters, Klein said it was a “natural progression.” Watters received a better offer at Columbia to serve as Associate Direc-
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SGA President Lucas Gallo Interview
Senator Mark Krupinski sits down with Gallo to discuss SGA progress. opinion
· page 8
John Horgan: How Google could end war
Read Professor Horgan’s thoughts on how Google could end war.
tor of Multicultural Affairs and Social Justice Programs after working for two-and-ahalf years at Stevens. Watters’ previous role will be performed by Veronika Paprocka, Graduate Coordinator for Diversity Initiatives, in the interim. The most notable departure is Kristie Damell, who has left Stevens after working at the university for 10 years. According to Klein, Damell left for personal reasons and she is “really sad” about the departure. Klein noted they were close friends, and when asked about the reason for Kristie leaving, she attributed part of the decision to burn-out. Damell kept having more and more responsibilities added to her load. Damell’s new role at NJIT focuses on see FUTURE · Page 3
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Pharrell and Adidas Mind of a Freshman Senioritis
a multipurpose room, and a game room. The game room and the living room lounge will be a proxy for the Jacobus space. A new billiard table will be bought for the space to replace the old and worn out Jacobus pool tables. The lounge will contain a television and comfortable seating for students to relax and hang out. The multipurpose room will be available for club events. However, there will be a priority list for the room; it won’t be based on a first come, first serve system. Student Life/Student Affairs see HOUSE · Page 2
The Stevens Knit and Crochet Club was dissolved after last Sunday’s meeting of the Student Government Association (SGA) Senate on Sept. 8, 2018. The Senate planned to discuss whether the wellknown club with dwindling membership should be placed on probation or completely discontinued. Vice President of Student Interests Dakota Van Deursen explained that the discontinuation of the club was attributed to low membership and the lack of response and effort of club members after the club was placed in poor standing as a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) for not registering on DuckLink. In addition, for the first time ever in the club’s history, the Knitting Club did not attend the Freshman Flock Party to recruit new students. In the end, the discussion concluded with dissolving the club, despite interest from younger members of the club who wanted to retain RSO status. The Senate proposed to these younger members they restart the club through the New Organization Process. Described as “quirky, creative, and carefree” by an alumni member, the Knitting Club was a space for those who wanted some peace during the week. It was an escape from the stress of coursesee KNITTING· Page 3
Amnesty International graduates from New Organization Process, becomes Full-Status RSO by CHRISTIAN BONAVITA Staff Writer
Representatives from the Stevens chapter of the global organization, Amnesty International, presented their case for acquiring the title of Full-Status Registered Student Organization (RSO) to the Senate of the Student Government Association (SGA) this past Sunday. Hoping to graduate from the New Organization Process and shed the title of Probationary RSO, Amnesty International told Senate members about its campus impact and prospect for growth sought through the title of full RSO. Amnesty International was highly successful, clearly covering all bases, since its presentation was followed by zero questions from the Senate and a unanimous vote of approval. The New Organization Process (NOP), signed into SGA law in 2016 by former president Tommy Daly and rehauled last semester by the Committee on Student Interests, is the SGA mechanism of overseeing new campus clubs and organizations. It allows the SGA to monitor each organization’s constitution-drafting process, introduce budgeting, and measure interest and attendance for new clubs.
This process includes four steps: the interest period, “Starting RSO,” “Training RSO,” and “Probationary RSO;” each step affords the new organization increased independence and opportunity to receive funding and create a DuckLink Portal. Designed by the Committee on Student Interests to be a relatively slow process, filled with checks, the NOP ensures that each organization has true potential. However, don’t mistake this process as a way for the SGA to impose itself negatively by slowing down the development of organizations. As Vice President of Student Interests for the SGA, Dakota Van Deursen, explained, the process should be relatively difficult so that complete RSOs can stand as official organizations, tried and true by many campus decision-makers, such as the Office of Undergraduate Student Life in Step One, the Committee on Student Interests in Step Two, and the entire SGA in Steps Three and Four. Additionally, completion of the rigorous NOP is met with immense reward and opportunity for growth. Dakota Van Deursen continued to explain that full RSOs “do not have a budget cap” and “are able to freely request budgets of any amount from see AMNESTY · Page 3
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conferences like LEADS or Orientation Training will get first priority. Second will be religious organizations for prayer space. Third will be all other organizations who will be able to reserve the room through Virtual EMS. The room will be set up with chairs that will be easily removable for events. The basement will provide storage for all clubs that currently have storage space in Jacobus and will expand to include clubs that do not currently have storage space. Some of the logistics for the storage space are still being discussed. Dean Nilsen hopes that the door to the storage room will have swipe access
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just one aspect, student life. n the event of a vacancy, Klein takes the time to evaluate the newly vacant position. With Damell’s departure, Klein has split Damell’s previous position into two separate roles: a Director of Student Life and a Director of Community Standards. The Director of Undergraduate Student Life/Associate Dean of Students role will oversee Student Life — similar to Damell’s original responsibilities. The Director of Community Standards will be a brand new position, which will serve as Title IX Coordinator, advisor to the Honor Board, and help with Policy Development and Federal Compliance. Klein is looking for someone with a strong background in student affairs or a legal background for this position. Watters’ previous position of Assistant Director of Diversity Education will be expanded to include a partnership with Human Resources, as the current position lacked connection to faculty and staff. Student Affairs’ priority is hiring a Financial Coordina-
Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 2
and not a pin combination. The room will contain some kind of lockers for clubs to utilize. The sizes and how these lockers will look are still being discussed. This Saturday, the Subcommittee Heads will be asking for an approximate cubic footage requirement from their constituent organizations. The second floor of the Alexander House will be the new location of the Student Life office. Student Life officials such as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Sara Klein, Dean of Students Kenneth Nilsen, the new Director of Student Life, and the Title IX Coordinator will have offices. Christopher Shemanski, Associate Director of Student Life, and Malcolm McDaniels, Assistant Director of Fraternity
and Sorority Life, will also find a new home there. Graduate students and the Financial Coordinator will also sit there for student leaders to be able to pick up the p-card and for any financial questions they might have. A large conference room will also be located on the second floor. Before the entrance to the conference room will sit Jane Gilbarty, Senior Administrative Assistant, forming a type of reception area for the new Student Life office. The conference room will be mostly utilized by the Student Life team during business hours; however, student organizations are allowed to book it when available even after business hours. The third floor will contain offices for WCPR, The Link,
The Stute, the SGA, and the Honor Board. There are still some hallway closet spaces that need to be assigned. A small conference room will be available for students, located on the third floor. Furniture has not been selected for the house. All of the rooms in the building will be cleaned by UG2. This is a new perk for clubs that are transitioning office spaces from Jacobus to Alexander House. Currently, Student Life administration is scheduled to move in early January. This move could potentially be set back due to the elevator installation. As for a student organization move, no official date has been announced, but the plan is to have it as close to the administration move as possible.
tor, who they plan to hire by the end of the month. As Student Affairs is attempting to fill that position as quickly as possible, student input will be limited. The other positions will take longer to fill, but the Office of Student Affairs plans to fill all of the positions by Thanksgiving. Students will be involved in the hiring process for all of the other positions. For the positions of Director of Student Life and Assistant
hired by Student Affairs. In the meantime, Klein notes that there will be a slight service reduction due to the shortage of staff in Student Life. Everyone in Student Life will be taking on increased responsibility due to the departures. The service reduction is evident. The Student Government Association has not received its operating budget from the Office of Student Life for over two weeks. Dakota
for the future. Despite the small complications in the present, student leaders are excited for the future. “I’m also excited to see the fun new people that the remaining Student Life staff picks up and how they can continue to help our campus grow vicariously through its students,” Van Deursen said. Stephen Cornwell, Chair of the Stevens Honor Board, shared similar thoughts on a different front: namely the split of Damell’s responsibilities. “[The planned] re-organization of her role into two separate roles will be one of the most beneficial changes in Student Affairs for both the Honor Board and the student community at large,” said Cornwell. With the recent departures in Student Life, Klein notes that there are no issues within Student Life, nor within any of the offices that she oversees as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Klein maintains that all of the departures were a “natural progression.” The positions of Financial Coordinator, the Director of Student Life, and the Diversity Educator have been posted, while the role of Director of Community Standards will be posted shortly.
“I think its pretty clear to see that Student Life will be even more busy than normal for awhile, so I caution organizations to be patient with requests for meetings and services”. - Dakota Van Deursen, Vice President of Student Interests
Director of Diversity, students will be invited to candidate presentations and be given an opportunity to get lunch with the candidates. Afterwards, students will give their feedback to the Office of Student Affairs. For the position of Director of Community Standards, select students will be asked to help with the hiring process — Klein specifically noted the Honor Board Chair, currently Stephen Cornwell, as one of these students. Lucas Gallo also stated that he will be involved in the hiring process for all of the individuals
Van Deursen, Vice President of Student Interests, advised students to be patient. “I think it’s pretty clear to see that Student Life will be even more busy than normal for a while,” said Van Deursen, “So I caution organizations to be patient with requests for meetings and services. Gallo also commented on the potential shortage: “I don’t think we [will have] realized just how much Kristie did until she’s gone.” Multiple student leaders may have noted that there might be temporary hiccups, but have a positive outlook
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Copyright © 2018 The Stute
disappointed because they really wanted to live on campus.” “We accommodated all student requests of who they wanted to live with. This was a priority for us.” Looking to the future, Ballantyne continued, “Until the University Center and University Towers are completed, the number of upperclass students that will be able to live on campus will continue to be reduced each year.”
Above: The Courtyard at Jefferson | Photo Courtesy of greystar. com Left: The Harlow Photo Courtesy of hmag.comn
News KNITTING Continued from front page
work and a way to alleviate the pressure of being a student at Stevens. The Knitting Club was almost like a hidden gem for those that took a chance on it, while others laughed and asked, “We actually have a knitting club?” It was known for creative posters with memes and various types of events, such as the particularly popular sushi night (an all-you-can-eat sushi event). Other events hosted by the Knitting Club included yarn dyeing night and adventuring to a yarn store in the city for new yarn and projects. The club even received wool each spring from a sheep named Snow in Pennsylvania and hosted events outside of knitting, such as pumpkin carving. Even outside of the special events, the club would welcome knitters to share their knitting knowledge and invite curious minds to try out
Friday, September 14 2018 • Page 3
or learn how to knit or crochet with yarn and needles provided by the club. What is important to note is the life and death of clubs on campus. While many RSOs are well-established in membership and host events that occur on a semesterly or yearly basis, there are some clubs that struggle to maintain interest. The fluctuating membership naturally occurs over the years and there is no direct blame on the students or the SGA or even Admissions for this, but rather just displays the interests of each class. Evolving interests and changing fads encourage us to try new things, and the Stevens Knit and Crochet Club was one of those clubs that further encouraged students to try something new. Although the club is now dissolved, the missing creative outlet for many may create the interest for a new knitting club, or something just as quirky.
Members of the student body attending the “Red Zone” event | Photo Courtesy of Audrey Dsouza
Stevens Take Back the Night committee hosts “Red Zone” event by AUDREY DSOUZA Managing Editor
The “Red Zone” took place in Babbio Atrium on Tuesday, September 11 from 10 AM to 1 PM. The event was hosted by Stevens’ Take Back the Night
committee, with the purpose of educating the student body about the “Red Zone”, the time of year when sexual assault is most prevalent on college campuses, between the start of school and Thanksgiving. At the event, students were educated on facts regarding
sexual assault, fed red colored food such as red velvet cupcakes, cookies, and watermelon, had various photo opportunities, and could learn about the different groups at Stevens that tackle the issue, such as the Take Back the Night committee and Lore-El Programs.
Those interested in advocating for women’s’ issues and reducing the stigma surrounding sexual assault are encouraged to get involved with Take Back the Night by contacting the President of the organization, Monica Razak or visiting the committee’s DuckLink page.
SGA Recommends Stevens joins American Talent Initiative by ANTHONY RIOS Staff Writer
The Student Government Association (SGA) Senate, with support of SGA President Lucas Gallo, has asked President Farvardin to join the American Talent Initiative by passing Proclamation P18F-001 “A Proclamation Urging President Farvardin to Join the ‘American Talent Initiative’ and Economically Diversify Our Student Body.” Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Marybeth Murphy has yet to issue a formal response to either the SGA’s proclamation nor to Senator Matthew Cunningham, the proposer of the resolution. The goal of the American Talent Initiative is both basic and flexible: it aims to
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the Senate Budget Committee.” The advantage of an increased budget and the need for growth were echoed by Penelope Halkiadakis, president of Amnesty International, and Kelly McGowan, president of Poetry Club, a full RSO. Halkiadakis mentioned that Amnesty International was seeking RSO status so that it would not
increase the total number of Pell Grants received nationally by 50,000 eligible students, and takes individualized approaches to partner with institutions’ admissions departments to create a plan to increase the number of Pell Grants they receive. Nearby institutions have more students that qualify for the Pell Grant than Stevens: 34% of New Jersey Institute of Technology students qualify, and 21% of New York University students qualify, while only 17% of Stevens students qualify. However, the Department of Undergraduate Admissions has made an effort to improve the gender balance and the general diversity of our campus. The SGA anticipates a reply from the administration in the near future.
ness students to engineers to CAL students, of all grades.” It seems in agreement that the NOP has provided the necessary structure to those seeking to establish organizations on campus. What drove Amnesty International to its success on Sunday night? Amnesty International is an international organization which seeks to educate the Stevens community in global human rights crises and defend human rights by motivating students to take part in grassroots activism. Its
Amnesty International sought full RSO Status to “solidify itself as a campus staple” and to “enable future generations of Stevens students to […] contribute to the positive impact Amnesty has worldwide.” - Penelope Halkiadakis, President of Amnesty International
have to collect membership dues, thereby becoming more accessible to all Stevens students. Surely, an increased budget would aid Amnesty International reach this goal. On the other hand, McGowan praised the NOP for allowing the newly formed Poetry Club to gauge interest for an arts club on campus and stated that becoming an official RSO “ensure(d) [Poetry Club] could reach a wide range of students, from busi-
presence on campus is felt through discussion-driven coffee chats and collaborations with other campus organizations. Last year, it received the Program of the Year for Advocacy Award for its Oxfam Hunger Banquet and the Program of the Year for Educational Impact Award for its collaborative International Women’s Day Symposium, co-hosted with Stevens Lore-El Center for Women’s Leadership. Already an
Above: Student leaders from organizations suck as Lore-El Programs and sorority Omega Phi Beta participate in Red Zone event.
Stevens receives Middle States Accreditation by TINA AHUJA Staff Writer
To ensure that our degrees here at Stevens Institute of Technology have incredible value, The Middle States Accreditation process is essential in ensuring this. In May of last year, Stevens Institute of Technology was inspected in several rigorous categories by the Middle States Accreditation Team. This team ensures that each area of interest regarding the Institution has been properly assessed and accommodated for, ensuring maximum potential in established force on campus, Halkiadakis explained that Amnesty International sought full RSO Status to “solidify itself as a campus staple” and to “enable future generations of Stevens students to […] contribute to the positive impact Amnesty has worldwide.” Considering this information, it is not difficult to believe that Amnesty International would be confirmed as a full RSO. The future of this organization includes attracting outside speakers and continuing its quest for social justice. As the New Organization Process matures, it will be interesting to see how these new organizations become part of campus club culture. Van Deursen stated, “RSOs are a living litmus test of the campus climate. As students come and go, the tastes of the student body vary. Without a process of creating new organizations, it would be nearly impossible for Stevens students to showcase their many talents, ambitions, tastes, and aspirations. The creation of new RSOs and existence of current RSOs can also help show faculty, staff, and administration that there is an active component to the student body attempting to fill the gaps in programming offered by the university.”
the school. Every 5 years this report takes place reinstating the adherence to standards and progress to certain standards concerning various aspects of the student’s experience here at Stevens. While evaluation, some things that Middle States have found include; the continuous progress in research, the idea that professors are experts in their field, the excellent employment rate from Stevens as well as the surprising percentage of only 20% of students involved on campus. Evaluations such as these are extremely beneficial as they allow Stevens students and
faculty to better understand aspects of the school that they may be able to improve in their own unique way. According to Marianna Fleming, The MSCHE (Middle States Commission on Higher Education) held various focus groups with students during the week they were here visiting. By having the opportunity to coordinate with the Middle States Commission, students were able to express their concerns and make a change in order to ensure best results at Stevens. The Student Government Association is working alongside the Middle States Commission on
Higher Education by using the data received to figure out what the students care for having here in their lives at Stevens. In regards to other concerns and topics, they promote diversity and inclusiveness on campus as well as strengthening finances in order to include services essential to students. The Student Government Association agrees with beliefs like these and although may have addressed them previously, the Middle States Accreditation Process also evaluates certain strengths and issues around campus in order to allow for the best Stevens experience.
Amnesty International at their Women’s Day event last spring.| Photo by Alexander Louderback
Hopefully, the NOP will help Stevens students not just find groups that share
their interests, but also plant the seeds to watch these organizations grow,
mature, and become lasting hallmarks of Stevens culture.
Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 4
Dr. Elizabeth Fassman-Beck by Brad Tylutki
Dr. Elizabeth FassmanBeck, the first speaker of Stevens’ first TED Talk, delivered a thought-provoking speech titled, “Looking Up the Downspout: Green Infrastructure for Roof Runoff.” Her speech focused on the problem of excess water buildup experienced during heavy rain in city settings, and a few solutions that she has been working on to combat this overly common issue. She displayed concepts to counter major flooding experienced in cities, including a garden designed to survive on the top of buildings located in the flood-prone cities. These gardens would absorb some of the excess water experienced during heavy rainfall, slowing down the rate at which the water enters the environment below it. Dr. Fassman-Beck has worked tremendously hard on turning this project from concept to reality. When asked about the amount of time and effort she devoted, she described it as taking “more time than preparing for my “Ph.D.” At 16
years old, she experienced an area of living where people did not have open access to a clean water source. This left a lasting impression on her and inspired her to pursue her career in water treatment, and led her to complete the work and research she was able to showcase. From Dr. Fassman-Beck’s perspective, she described this speech as a “life changing experience.” Although at first she admittedly felt nervous, she was able to overcome these feelings through the help and support of the audience, who she described as being “mostly familiar faces.” Even when the device used to control the slide transitions malfunctioned, she remained focused and continued on with her segment. Dr. Fassman-Beck stated she felt “exhilarated” and said she could “still hear my speech like a song stuck in your head.” Dr. Fassman-Beck has put an extreme amount of effort into the work that she has conducted and said that she has “taken a lot away from the experience” and hopes that she inspired those who listened.
Faculty and students enjoy the reception in Babbio Atrium.
Dr. Alex Wellerstein by Joe Dolan
Alex Wellerstein is Stevens Institute of Technology’s resident nuclear aficionado. An Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Letters and a David and GG Farber Fellow in the program for Science and Technology Studies, Wellerstein is entering his fifth year of employment at Stevens. He graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 2002 with a degree in History, and he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in History of Science in 2010. As a freshman at Berkeley, he took a job working in the Office for the History of Science and Technology helping to organize their scientific journals. He attributes the beginning of his love for nuclear science and history to reading through these scientific journals. In 2010, he started a blog, nuclearsecrecy.com. In 2014, he created NUKEMAP, a website that uses scientific models and Google Maps to showcase the outcome of a nuclear weapon being detonated anywhere in the world. Currently, he’s working with fellow Stevens professors and students on the Reinventing Civil Defense Project, a project dedicated to safety education in the event of a nuclear threat. In his TEDx talk titled “Reinventing Civil Defense: Duck and Cover for the New Nuclear Age,” Professor Wellerstein laid out a fascinating analysis of our nuclear past and a vision for the future. Wellerstein started off his talk with some terrifying facts: Our missile interception system isn’t as good as we’ve been led to believe it is. During his interview, he said it was one of the
biggest misconceptions the Reinventing Civil Defense project faces. “Under controlled conditions, where we know where the missile is coming from and we know what it is and it’s not trying to fake us out, we can destroy the thing maybe half the time. Under uncontrolled conditions, we have no idea.” Next, he made a sphere in the air, about the size of a soccer ball. “With a mass of nuclear fuel this big, any terrorist with the technical ability of say, a Stevens undergraduate can make a nuke,” he said, much to the chagrin of the audience. Now that the nerves of the crowd had been suitably heightened, Wellerstein continued on. Next, Wellerstein offered some good news. While some may mock the corny Duck and Cover PSAs of the 1950s, it’s not as preposterous as it may seem. Wellerstein explained, “The data shows, even at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it worked in certain circumstances.” That’s what his Reinventing Civil Defense Project is all about. The project is currently in the process of developing and securing funding for many different educational materials: video games, graphic novels, VR simulations, and more. Wellerstein predicted that the first of these projects should be publicly available over the next year. After his talk ended, I asked him what Stevens students could do in case of a nuclear attack in New York. He responded, “The easiest, smartest, and most reliable thing, especially from a single weapon, is to get inside, and don’t leave for a couple days. You might ask ‘What about food?’ Hopefully there’s a candy machine in there with you.”
President Farvardin, Provost Pierre, and Vice Provost Dehghani enjoy the reception for TEDxStevens.
Dr. Jan Cannizzo by Mark Vitenzon
Calculus. Most readers who have stepped into a math class will stop reading this article at the very first word. For them, calculus is synonymous with monotony, struggle, and discomfort. Jan Cannizzo, a faculty member of the Mathematics Department at Stevens, was the third speaker at the TedxStevensInstituteofTechnology and is a Stevens student favorite. He is an exemplary professor who strives for excellence when teaching his Calculus classes. Upon observing the missteps of his many students, Cannizzo began to realize that there is a larger issue at hand rather than the commonly accepted idea that Calculus is simply one of the most difficult and rigorous courses that a student can take. n his talk, “Reimagining Calculus Education,” Cannizzo shares a journey that led him to the beginning of revolutionizing the modern-day Calculus classroom through various technological changes, including the implementation of the online mathematics platform known as Gradarius. Cannizzo, relaxed and confident, prefaced his talk by explaining derivatives and integrals, known as the most important component of calculus, in a brief and engaging fashion. Throughout this, Cannizzo demonstrated that calculus can indeed be captivating and not
“dry, impenetrable, and terrifying,” as his students used to describe it. He then introduced a jarring statistic: a few years ago, the D.F.W (an acronym for D grade, F grade, or Withdrawn from class) rate for Calculus classes at Stevens was 35%. At the time, Calculus at Stevens was no different than it was anywhere else in America: a passive experience in which a professor simply lectures to his students with little to no interaction. To Cannizzo, this problem of a passive relationship became increasingly discernible. However, despite how obvious the issue appeared to Cannizzo, the solution to the problem was not as clear. Cannizzo says that finding the solution “was very much a trial and error process that took over a number of years.” “We looked at the education research that was out there, much of which showed that active learning methods were much more effective than traditional lectures.” Cannizzo took advantage of faculty members that “had experience with computational group theory and developing a software that might help teach calculus,” and then proceeded to revolutionize Calculus education at Stevens. He eliminated the use of an expensive textbook and opted to simply upload PDFs of the learning material online for students to access. He changed his approach to class and
Photos courtesy of Stevens.
article continued on thestute.com
Dr. Melissa Zarin
by Maryia Spirydonava
The final presenter of the night, Dr. Melissa Zarin, began her talk by having the audience close their eyes and remember to the time they were in college and different things they liked about college. She then asked them to imagine that something changed. That they started to sleep more, miss class, get anxious, not eat, stop seeing friends, only felt good with alcohol and drugs, and seriously considered suicide. Would any people you are involved with notice? Dr. Melissa Shuman Zarin earned her B.A. in Psychology and Drama from Kenyon College, her MA/Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University. She supervises the CAPS Peer Education program and is a faculty advisor for the new Active Minds Stevens chapter. Dr. Zarin worked with former Associate Dean of Student Life, Kristie Damell, on the SPEAK-UP bystander intervention program. She is constantly working with student groups, Greek life,
Jazz ensemble performing above the atrium for the reception.
resident assistants, and peer mentors on mental health workshops. Dr. Zarin became the first recipient of the New Jersey College Counseling Association Professional Recognition Award in June 2017. Dr. Zarin actually ended up replacing Kristie Damell in the event. When asked to speak, Dr. Zarin didn’t want to say no, since mental health doesn’t usually get a stage, not to mention a stage that would reach such a wide variety of people. She wanted to make “mental health proud.” Damell was originally supposed to discuss bystander intervention with regards to Title IX and sexual assault, so Zarin decided to stay with bystander intervention just with respect to mental health, especially since the two worked together to develop SPEAK-UP. “When I was asked to step in, I started where she left off and adapted the presentation to focus on mental health,” commented Zarin. Zarin is used to presenting workshops geared towards Stevens students and Stevens resources. So this talk made her contemplate mental health on a global level, related to college students, and the tools to intervene. Zarin also had to change her style
of presenting from interactive to 16 minutes of her sharing with the audience. In her talk, Dr. Zarin stressed the statistics on mental health: 75% of mental health cases are from people under the age of 24, 40% of students suffer from depression, and 11.1% contemplate suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college students. The number that Zarin cared about the most was 2/3. Two-thirds of students with depression and anxiety don’t seek help. Which means we all are bystanders to someone in distress. The problem is finding those students and getting them help. People are probably seeing clues that someone needs help — they just don’t know it. Zarin talked about creating a community of care and turning people from passive to active bystanders. She discusses three steps to becoming an active bystander. Recognize the problem, assume personal responsibility, and speak up. The misconception of assuming personal responsibility deters people from becoming active bystanders. Zarin says all that means is to merely recognize the problem and take action. Speaking up is the action. She introduced tools like the “3 Ds” — distract, delegate, and direct. Most people often forget that they can be active by delegating, since they might
not be the best person to deal with a certain situation. These tools can be applied to various circumstances. “I also think that when someone is struggling with mental health problems, it may not always be obvious and if we start to look at things a little differently and put pieces together, we might be able to better see someone when they need help. And, if someone is not sure how to help, the 3 Ds gives a person options,” explained Dr. Zarin. “I think it was amazing to have mental health be a part of the talk.” Zarin believes that mental health needs to be discussed more openly, which can be challenging, especially in STEM fields. Dr. Zarin hopes the talk will reach a new audience who would otherwise be unaware of mental health issues on college campuses. “Also, I think it gave a platform for all those watching to think about how they can better intervene in their own lives,” commented Zarin. The theme of intervening was strong in the presentation. “Don’t be afraid Speak up!” urged Dr. Zarin, hoping that people will take that message away from the night. There is always someone you can talk to and come up with a plan for either yourself or for reaching out to someone you are concerned about.
Friday, September 14 2018 • Page 5
Left to right: Aaron Price, Professor Jan Cannizzo, Professor Elizabeth Fassman-Beck, Professor Alex Wellerstein, Dr. Melissa Zarin. Left: Administrators and lucky students were given the opportunity to watch the live taping of TED x Stevens, which took plate in Debaun Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Above: Over 50 students showed up for the TEDxStevens livestream in Babbio 122.
Student poses for picture with Professor Fassman-Beck.
Continued from front page
ria and rules that needed to be followed. Nobleman applied for licenses and engaged in “rigorous negotiations” with TEDx to ensure that Stevens would hold an event that could present the breadth and depth of Stevens research with the integrity of the TEDx program. “Part of TEDx is to include ‘diversity of topics,’ so we worked very hard to find the right combination and to be inclusive,” said Nobleman. A committee in the Office of Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
worked on vetting different “ideas worth sharing,” the motto of TEDx. The key was to focus on the core idea of the research, not just the presentation. The goal of the talks was to inspire discourse and engage a range of audiences. The speakers that were selected were Alex Wellerstein, Elizabeth Fassman-Beck, Jan Cannizzo, and and Melissa Zarin. Dr. Zarin stepped in at the last minute to replace Kristie Damell. When Nobleman was asked what it was like to have a last-minute speaker cancellation and to need to find a replacement, she said, “We have no shortage of amazing researchers and administrators... Dr. Zarin was brave enough to step in and
work hard to get it done.” Besides a last-minute speaker replacement, the talk was also rescheduled twice due to snow storms in the spring 2018 semester. Nobleman admitted that the weather cancellations were a challenge, yet the team was motivated, “especially Dr. Dehghani.” The team knew they had to “just keep going.” “Persistence and grit are essential to success, which we all kept in mind as we went forward,” stated Nobleman. A reception followed the main event. There the speakers got the chance to mingle with the audience members and receive congratulations. Presentations were set up for each speaker, allowing
Many treats were available at the reception held in Babbio atrium. them to expand on their ideas. Cannizzo was seen explaining some calculus problems to some of the attendees. Many guests had only positive reviews of the event. Kelland Thomas, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, raved about the event: “I thought all of the presenters, all four speakers, were extremely polished, engaging, interesting, and they really represented the breadth that Stevens has to offer... I really liked that it was a broad-based program and they all represented Stevens marvelously. Marvelous. Fantastic.” Robert Mikesh, a student, said, “I thought [the event] was great for Stevens... to be able to show-
case our research and how we are advancing the various studies that we teach our students and now we can put it on a more global stage for people from the other side of the globe to see it.” After such a success, the question is what are the future plans for TEDx at Stevens? “We definitely foresee this as being a campus-wide endeavor with a much broader live audience, including students, of course,” commented Nobleman. For the event to become an annual program, TEDx needs to renew the license. Even though this event was limited to an audience of 100 people, there are hopes to increase the audience size. The
limitation was imposed by TEDx to provide a more intimate setting. For the next event, the plan is to include a larger audience and to expand the event. Yet, the public can view the talks even after the actual live viewing of the talk. The videos of each talk will be edited and polished, and then uploaded to the TEDx website for viewers around the world. Nobleman was very excited that the researchers will have a different platform that can be easily viewed by millions of people. TEDx at Stevens could be the start of a new method for Stevens researchers to reach new audiences.
Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 6
Roving Reporter What improvements have you seen to Stevens?
“The diversity of students on campus.” Shania Taylor
“As a Peer Leader, seeing all of the improvements to school spirit and tradition.” Parker Petroff-Rims
“There’s more fruit in Pierce.”
“The Babbio patio, despite the lack of tables.”
“There’s a lot more students on campus.”
The Alexander House
Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Jacobus 2nd floor
Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 7
Passion for Fashion
Pharrell and Adidas keep up the hype
by DANIEL KANG Sophomore Biomedical Engineering Major
Pharrell Williams keeps on expanding his footwear collection with Adidas. He released three more colorways of his shoe, the Pharrell “Solar” Pack Hu NMD in three East African-themed colors and East African phrases (red, orange, and pink) just last month in August. The shoes were detailed with tribal graphics and encouraging phrases such as “3MPOW3R,” “MOTH3R,” and “M1L3L3” (which means “forever” in Swahili) embroidered down the middle. Just this year alone, Pharrell released two colorways (pink and black) of his take on the adidas Boost BYW (Boost You Wear), a basketball shoe, in July. In addition, Pharrell released two extremely limited N.E.R.D. NMD Hu’s, one in his hometown of Virginia Beach inspired by his high school (appropriately called Homecoming) and another a cream white color only available in Japan. Considering the hip hop group N.E.R.D., composed of Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Shay Haley and formed in Virginia Beach, it held special significance for Pharrell to release a shoe
there. Pharrell’s affinity for Japan has also been welldocumented, so it’s no surprise he decided to release a shoe there. He also released updated Stan Smith-inspired low top Tennis Hu v2’s and a brand new silhouette called the Solar Glide Hu ST Boost that released in 3 colorways (multicolor, black, and white) on Sept. 8. The Tennis Hu v2’s are a more widely affordable and available alternative to his other models. The Tennis Hu v2’s retail for $130. The Solar Glides are part of the Solar Boost that Adidas premiered in 2015. The Solar Glides retail for $150. The NMDS retail for $250. All the above models were sold at select Adidas retailers or online on the Adidas website. Another NERD Hu NMD, of a green and yellow hue, was only available at BBC’s flagship store in New York City on Sept. 11 through the Frenzy app, which followed a first come, first serve pro-
cedure. There were only 200 pairs available, which of course sold out in seconds. These shoes come with the hip hop group N.E.R.D.’s branding on the back. The green and white striped laces finish the overall look for the shoe. There is news of a restock of the Solar Glide later this month, another BBC exclusive Hu NMD ‘Heart/Mind’ rumored to release next month, and another NMD Human Race Inspiration Pack will hit retailers in Nov. 2018. The Inspiration Pack will be made up of four colorways with Chinese characters that use a patterned lining like the “Solar” Pack. Although I don’t like any of Pharrell’s recent releases, I am a big fan of the original colorways of the Adidas Pharrell Hu NMD. They truly were unforgettable pieces for any sneakerhead’s collection. Regardless, expect Skateboard P and the Three Stripes to continue to make a lot of noise throughout 2018.
by KOBY GARCIA Senior Visual Arts and Technology Major
Spike Lee’s latest film BlacKkKlansman tells the story of Colorado Springs’ first African-American police officer going out of his way to start an investigation into the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. After making a phone call, Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is invited to join the KKK, but, for obvious reasons, cannot physically attend. Instead, he reaches out to a fellow police officer, Flip Zimmerman (played by Adam Driver), who stands in as Ron Stallworth to attend all of the local KKK events. The film has its own charm and humor. The humor mostly comes from the ridiculous and comedic portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan members and Tohper Grace’s performance as the KKK’s then Grand Wizard, David Duke. Its unique cinematography, character interactions, and overall concept differentiate this film from any other film I have ever come across.
After the film ends, there is a compilation of familiar, real-life news clips depicting recent tragic events intercut with some words from Donald Trump. Although showcasing this in a dark, loud theater emphasizes and draws special attention to the tragic events, this montage does not fit into the context of the film nor the concept of film nor cinemas. Hear me out — there is no need to connect the film to today’s culture since that connection has already been made simply by the film’s existence. Films, much like any other art form, are “artifacts” of their time, which essentially means that the timing of their release gives them context and from that context, some meaning can be drawn. The film, released in 2018 and including many lines of dialogue that are well-known phrases in today’s society and that are also directly connected to events that have happened in recent memory, is enough to be reflective of today’s society on its own. It does not need any help from real-life news clips in order to connect it to our modern society. Considering that this story actually happened, it already holds its own personal truth and does not need to be grounded in reality. Although this is a true story, some details were changed to improve the overall viewing experience, to give the film’s story its own originality, and to immerse the audience in its own world. By shoving the news clips in the face of the audience, Spike Lee
is shattering his own fourth wall, not allowing any room for the film to be reflective of today’s world, but instead, shoving the literal meaning of the film down the audience’s throat, which defeats the purpose of making a film that holds metaphors and immersion. If Spike Lee is trying to re-shock and alarm the audience with the inclusion of the news clips, of course he succeeds, but the film does a good enough job at doing this anyway through the aforementioned clever dialogue. This is not to say that the inclusion of the real-life news clips ruined my perception of the film. I thought the scenes with the local Black Student Union and its president, Patrice Dumas (played by Laura Harrier), were some of the most interesting, as the young students and their interest in social justice provide some hope for the future. At one point in the film, the Black Student Union hosts a speaker who discusses the death of one of his childhood friends who was unfairly tried and violently punished for a crime. While this meeting is happening, the KKK is celebrating Flip’s initiation and the two meetings are intercut with each other, creating a striking juxtaposition between the BSU’s mourning and discussion of justice with the KKK’s celebration of a sort of “birth” of a new member while discussing white power. All in all, BlacKkKlansman tells a story like no other and is worth a visit to the theater.
Pharrell Williams N.E.R.D. Hu NMD Green & Yellow Photo Courtesy of Billionaire Boys Club Instagram page
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Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 8
The Stute Editorial This may seem silly and super obvious, but it is important to make friends in your classes. Now hold on! Don’t stop reading this, hear me out. Yes, I know it might seem silly to have to talk about this. I am currently taking Structural Steel Design, historically a class third year Civil Engineering students take. I, being in the Co-op Program, am taking it in my fourth year. I keep marvel-
Classmates are a resource
ing at how the majority of the class is third years and us 4/5 and 5/5 students feel so outnumbered. Yet today I found out that most of them think the class is filled with seniors. This blew my mind. This year’s Civil Engineering graduating class is about 50 people, which isn’t that much. I am currently in a Civil Engineering GroupMe containing 63 students. I know most of the Civil Engineering majors
in my year by face or name. So the fact that this class of Civil Engineers couldn’t even recognize each other was shocking. One of the things that I value the most about my Stevens experience is the camaraderie and people working to help each other in classes. I understand that sometimes your best friends are in different majors, but that shouldn’t matter. When you start taking major-specific
classes, you will be taking classes with the same people. Chances are you will be taking multiple classes with the same people from now until you graduate. So it would probably pay off to turn to the person on your right, or your left, and ask them their name. If you make friends with even one person it will go a long way. That one person might know two people, those two people might know
another two, and so on. Then, before you know it, you will be in a GroupMe with your whole class. This can be used whether you are confused in class or about homework, or if you just need to complain about how long the homework is. Make a platform to help each other (just follow the Honor Code), even if it’s as simple as verifying when the homework is due. So don’t worry about being shy or the other person
using you, use the resources available to you and your classmates. At the very least, classes will become a little bit more bearable.
Maryia Spirydonava Editor-in-Chief
Mind of a Freshman
The truth about following your passions
ago, they flood through our minds like the waves of the deepest ocean. The sudden smack of warmth from the sun that hit our faces as we stepped outside that morning. The image of the glistening river beneath the overgrown trees. The sky growing dark to reveal the magic of the stars. A chance to see someone beneath the blossoming tree. Only after by NATALIE TODARO we have lost the day do we Freshman desire it to be ours again. Music & Technology Major But what if the day we desire is never truly ours to A time I recall: acquire in present reality? Chilled but warm are the The romanticism of our rings of crickets. Clickity minds makes life out to be clack and hiss hiss. The skin so much more. A perfect day covering my rib cage grows or moment. A perfect person goosebumps, and my cheeks or relationship. A series of are red with heat. The sim- “what if?” questions become plistic tangy voice of Mag- our own little imaginative gie Rogers in “Color Song” reality restricted within floats through my ears into the walls of our minds. my brain: And when the desires in our “Now that the light is fading minds silver and purple at twilight don’t scenes of the day remain with us mirror bright as the fire is burning present bright.” realNow that the day is comity, we are left to mourn ing to an end, our memories the fact that our hopes did that we’ve captured and not come true. We feel the have stored away resurface. effects of the rejection that As vividly as if we had our wishes bring upon us experienced them a moment when we romanticize.
A fantasy. Through the day we went. A fascination with romanticization. What we lost never ours to gain causes us pain.
by NAMANKITA RANA Senior Engineering Management Major
There’s a popular turn of phrase I’ve been hearing a lot of lately — follow your passions. Ah, yes. Three beautiful, magical words. Follow. Your. Passions That’s bullshit. Well, for me, anyway. Here’s my truth — I stopped doing almost everything I was passionate about when I entered college. It wasn’t an accident, mind you, but a very firm, conscious decision to remove those things from my life. At the time, I saw it as a necessary sacrifice — my career and academics HAD to come first, now. This was the big leagues! I couldn’t afford to have my time or attention leak elsewhere. Every minute of my day needed to be optimized for success. So I did what I thought I needed to do in order to achieve my goals, and I didn’t hesitate once. Now, as a graduating senior, I have some regrets. Don’t get me wrong — I’m happy with
where I am as a soon-to-be professional and a student. But giving up so much of what I once loved has worn on me, too. It hollowed me out a bit, in a way I can’t fully articulate or explain. For example — prior to college, I was an avid artist. Sketching, painting, calligraphy, even installation art — I did it all. To me, my work was a rock in a stream of constant uncertainty, and it centered me like nothing else did. Friends were actually surprised to find out during my senior year of high school that no, I didn’t intend to go to art school. Not that I think I was ever meant for that — I never had the patience or creativity needed to do art professionally, and I have the utmost respect for those who do. So yes, my path diverged from that possibility a while ago. I accepted that, long before I chose to give up art entirely in college. But it still hurts. Now, I can’t even doodle for fun anymore, which is something I did a LOT of not so long ago. It’s like a part of me doesn’t want to know just how much my knowledge of human anatomy has degraded. And hey — you can’t find out if you never try, right? So I simply don’t. Oddly enough, I still hoard arts and crafts supplies like nobody’s business. I have an entire box of paper and paints and glitter that I insist on carrying with me to school, semester after semester. Here’s my dirty little secret — I haven’t ever actually
opened it to do arts or crafts. Not once. I even brought it to my apartment in New York City when I was working over the summer, thinking maybe I’d find time to do some art after work or on weekends. It didn’t happen. Not once, over 10 weeks. And not for a lack of time, either. That craft box I carry everywhere hangs on me like a dead weight — a reminder of what I want to do, but I am also absolutely terrified of returning to. It’s some deadly, bizarre cocktail of anxiety and perfectionism and crippling fear. A fear of finding out that I’m not as good as I used to be at something I once loved to do. That, by sacrificing something I was so passionate about, I might have actually lost it for good. Yikes. Now, that’s not to say everything I loved fell by the wayside when I started college. I still write, clearly. Writing was one of my first loves, and I consider it a miracle and a blessing both that I crossed paths with the folks from The Stute. But every single time I pen a column, there’s an insidious voice in my head that tells me that I used to be a better writer: more fluid, cohesive, creative. That voice tells me that my skills have deteriorated beyond repair, and that writing this column isn’t worth any of the time I put in. High school me — an unapologetic nerd who won a departmental award for English, of all things — would probably
laugh at my now-awkward sentences. At the way my brain fumbles around phrases with unease, the way it struggles to string words together in a way that’s articulate and direct, as it once used to. Silencing that voice and writing for the past four years has been an exercise in mental fortitude, to say least. How do you shut off your brain when you’re the one who has to live with it, at all times? How do you silence harmful critiques when you’re your own biggest critic? Most of all, how do you reignite your passion for something you once chose to leave behind? I don’t have all the answers. But baby steps might be just what I need. Slowly but surely, I’m realizing that I need to allow myself to do the things I used to enjoy again. That I need not worry so much about how much my skills have fallen into disarray. Because that’s not why I did them in the first place. There’s room in the world for ugly art, awkward sentences, less-than-perfect work. The beauty of creation lies in the act and the way it makes you feel — not the outcome. So this weekend, I’m cracking open that damn craft box of mine. It’s scheduled on my calendar and everything. (Gasp!) No matter what, I’m going to make something. Anything. Because even if it’s wonky or ugly or weird — I made it. I’m passionate about it. And that’s all that really matters.
How Google could help end war
by JOHN HORGAN CAL Professor
Can a war that kills the innocent be just? U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have resulted in the direct (bombs and bullets) or indirect (displacement, disease, malnutrition) deaths of more than 1.1 million people, most of them civilians, according to the Costs of War project. The U.S., which spends more on its arms and armies
than the next seven biggest spenders combined, has been at war non-stop since 2001. Most of us don’t even question our nation’s militarism any more. We have come to accept war as inevitable, a kind of permanent background noise. But in a heartening act of conscience, Google employees recently bucked this trend by protesting the tech giant’s pursuit of military contracts. The debate “has fractured Google’s work force, fueled heated staff meetings and internal exchanges, and prompted some employees to resign,” The New York Times reported last May. The debate concerned a Pentagon program called Maven, which seeks to improve the capacity of drones and other systems to identify targets by means of artificial intelligence. After Google signed a contract to work on Maven, thousands of Google employees signed a petition of pro-
test, which was made public in April. The petition states: “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war. Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.” The Pentagon has eagerly sought alliances with the tech industry, and Google is hardly the only big firm to respond. In addition to defense contractors like Lockheed-Martin, firms such as IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft have also sought contracts. Google executives defended its Maven program by pointing out that other tech companies are doing defense work, and by claiming that Google technology will not be used for lethal applications. The employees’ petition rejected these excuses. It stated: “The argument that
other firms, like Microsoft and Amazon, are also participating doesn’t make this any less risky for Google . . . Building this technology to assist the US Government in military surveillance — and potentially lethal outcomes — is not acceptable.” A group called the Tech Workers Coalition released a similar petition, which called on other tech companies “to stay out of the business of war.” The petition, which 330 workers have signed, stated: “We risk potentially catastrophic outcomes if we continue to deploy global technical systems without care, deliberation, and a clear understanding of our significant responsibility. In signing this petition, we represent a growing network of tech workers who commit to never ‘just follow orders’, but to hold ourselves, each other, and the industry accountable.”
I hope these antiwar sentiments spread from the tech industry to the rest of society. Although some companies will always seek to profit from it, war is bad for business and for our overall economic health. By the end of this year, the U.S. will have spent $5.6 trillion on its post-9/11 wars, money that could have been spent on education, health care, and transportation. U.S. wars have exacerbated Muslim militancy, the problem they were supposed to solve. Weapons research, rather than enhancing U.S. security, ultimately imperils it by triggering arms races. Except for a few sociopaths who profit from war or take pleasure in it, everyone wants peace. As I argue in my book The End of War, ending war should be a moral imperative, akin to ending slavery and giving women equal rights. We should ask not, Can we stop
war? but, How can we stop it? I am not an absolute pacifist. People have the right to defend themselves. There are times when violence is justified to prevent or stop greater violence. But here’s my justwar rule: When we weigh a warlike action, we should consider whether it is absolutely necessary — and whether it will take us closer to a world without war. None of the current U.S. wars, I believe, meets this standard. Nor does inventing “smarter” ways to kill people. In June, Google announced that it would not renew its contract for Project Maven when it expires in 2019. I hope Google’s act of moral leadership catalyzes a vigorous conversation about U.S. militarism — and about how humanity can move past militarism once and for all. Ending war won’t be easy, so the sooner we start the better.
Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 9
Is it time to turn social Freedom of speech is a principle, not an amendment media into a public utility?
by MATTHEW DOTO Junior Computer Science Major
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that the government will not censor speech in public arenas. This means that the government can’t kick you out of a public park because of what you say (with some caveats, of course). Private companies are under no such legal obligation; the NFL can ban you for kneeling during the national anthem, YouTube can pull down your channel for talking about gun rights, and Facebook and Twitter can ban you for cursing out your neighbor. But should they? This is where freedom of speech becomes a principle. Recently YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple all took action to ‘deplatform’ InfoWars, the far-right media organization helmed by crackpot Alex Jones. I want to make it abundantly clear that I harbor a strong dislike for Alex Jones. I don’t think anyone should listen to what he says, and I think that his show is harmful to the political landscape of the country. But he shouldn’t
be censored. I do want to mention that Alex Jones has legal action pending against him for defamation, and if he is found guilty my opinion would change; only then should platforms begin removing his content, and only then because his content has been proven harmful in a court of law. But not a second sooner. Until recently I was on the side of legal, but not principled, free speech — That the government absolutely shouldn’t censor speech, but I didn’t really care what the private companies did. I was initially in favor of removing Alex Jones from YouTube et al., and even though I’d heard the arguments for principled free speech before, according to my previous opinion, Alex Jones would be banned. I do believe the court will rule against him, but until that happens it’s just my opinion, and enforcing it on others just because I think it’s right, well, isn’t right. There’s an xkcd comic I used to love (xkcd. com/1357), but I’ve realized its error. The comic argues that the right to free speech is about the government, and that when private platforms prevent speech, it’s not harmful — it’s just analogous to showing someone the door when they’re being an asshole. Unfortunately, that strategy is not productive. When someone is making a bad argument, don’t shut them out, call them on their bullshit. When someone is perpetuating a false narrative, don’t kick them off the stage, tell the real story,
and back it up. To do otherwise is to open the door for those making good arguments and telling the real stories to be kicked off their platforms because what they say is unpopular. While this whole Alex Jones brouhaha was happening, something else was happening — A handful of popular atheist activist speakers were also being kicked off Twitter. No one cares because to be an atheist activist is an unpopular position in this age and it didn’t have anything to do with politics, and that’s exactly why principled free speech is important. Without it, we inevitably remove those with reasoned, accurate, and fair messages. This event is what turned me — seeing those I agree with, who I think are in the right, be deplatformed, and seeing no one care. I realized their message couldn’t get out. And it clicked. I try to be a reasonable and principled person. I think it’s important to evaluate beliefs and change them as you gain experience and hear arguments. I think it’s a requirement to hear the opposition in order to become a better person with better beliefs, no matter how vile you may find that opposition, and on any sufficiently controversial topic, you are that opposition to someone. I will leave you with a quote by Noam Chomsky: “If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”
by ALEX MURTAGH Junior Civil Engineering Major
The evidence that conservatives have been silenced and shut down on multiple social media platforms is overwhelming. On one hand, there are people who get shut down for saying what they truly believe, but because they express rightof-center viewpoints they get shut down. On the other hand, there have been people who use vulgar language that violates the user agreement policies on these platforms, but they are not shut down simply because they’re liberals or part of the “resistance” against Donald Trump. What could possibly be the reason that people on the right are consistently shut down, while people on the left simply have their posts overlooked? The liberal bias of social media companies. Now, these companies claim to simply make their decisions on whether or not to censor someone based on their user agreement policies, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. The people who set policy at companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are overwhelmingly liberal. Based the percentage of Demo-
cratic campaigns they donate to compared to Republican ones, and many public statements made by company leadership that clearly showcase liberal viewpoints, the bias is obvious. There have been many who have publicly called for the rapes and murders of members of the first family, including young Barron Trump. None of them were shut down. On the other hand, Candace Owens, Director of Communications for Turning Point USA, was banned for copying, pasting, and changing one word from past tweets from Sarah Jeong, a new member of the Editorial Board of The New York Times, who was not banned. So what did she change? She altered the word “white” to “black.” The original tweets were clearly racist, so why did Twitter choose to only apply its rules to Owens? Another example of the liberal bias is on YouTube. Many conservative channels like Louder with Crowder and Prager U, and even classical liberals like Dave Rubin, have all been demonetized. What that means is that their videos no longer make any money when an advertisement is played before or during the video. Essentially, YouTube is withholding money from their content creators because they express conservative viewpoints. The best example of this is Dave Rubin posting two videos, one calling socialism good and the other calling socialism evil. Guess which one was demonetized? In addition to this, conservative videos rarely come up on the “trending” section of YouTube, although liberal viewpoints like The Young Turks regularly come up even though they have fewer views
than the conservative videos. But let’s not forget about the wild cases like that of famous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. He has been removed from most social media platforms for his viewpoints. Although I also disagree with Jones on a wide variety of issues, that doesn’t mean that he deserved to be banned. Even though this happened quite a while ago, Twitter never said exactly what Jones did that got him banned other than violating community guidelines for bullying, which is very vague. If his opinions are as crazy as they seem, the public has a right to know. As history has shown, simply banning someone or something does not make their ideas go away. If anything, it gives them more power. Twitter should have just let Alex Jones and his conspiracy theories die on their own. Okay, so the evidence is clearly there, but what are the solutions to this problem? So do I really believe that we need to turn social media into a public utility to allow for strict guidelines to be followed? No. But I do believe that it is time for those who set these crazy policies to understand that they do not have the right to silence people simply because they disagree with them on politics. They need to hold themselves accountable and look at what is said from an objective point of view. Was the tweet actually racist? Was the Facebook post actually blatant sexism? What was said in that YouTube video against FCC regulations? It’s time for these companies to be honest and for more conservative media outlets like CRTV and The Daily Wire to step up and take down the competition.
A sit down with Lucas Gallo
by MARK KRUPINSKI Junior Computational Science Major
Welcome back to a new semester! To start off the semester with a bang, I did something unprecedented: I sat down with President Lucas Gallo and asked him some tough, pertinent questions. Let’s see what he had to say: Portions of this interview have been removed or condensed for space. The interview started with questions regarding Dean Kristie Damell’s departure. Gallo’s answers will be featured in the article “Three recent departures loom over the future of Student Life.” Mark: How do you see [the departure of Kristie Damell] affecting the SGA and your roles as a whole? Lucas: More than ever we need to step up our game. I think we’re at a pivotal point where I don’t want to have to email Chris to email Sara to email Mary Beth. I’m just going to email Mary Beth even though that was the bureaucracy I had to go through.
It’s stupid. It’s stupid, I know. I think now its better than ever that I can now just go right to Mary Beth because I know Chris is managing thousands of other things. I think it’s a really good time for the student government. How come you couldn’t have taken the approach beforehand? Because there is a lot of bureaucracy that you have to go through. How come you decided to say screw the bureaucracy? Was it just with this upheaval in Student Life? I think it’s just that I was afraid. It’s definitely getting used to the position; you have to play the rules a little bit in the beginning. You have to make sure that you’re meeting people for the first time and getting those introductions. But after that, you get to make the role what you want it to be. I reflected over the summer, that even at the end of the last semester, I felt we were being more proactive and bold and being able to do exactly what we wanted to be doing. We accomplished every single goal that we set out at the beginning of the semester. What were your primary goals then that you accomplished? I think it was different than what we originally stated, but I think that’s good. If you only are looking at what you want to get accomplished and not listening to the student body and what their concerns are you’re not
doing your job. When we were running we were talking about art on campus and things like that, but then the conversation on campus switched to mental and physical health. And by the end of the semester, we did some really good things that I’m very proud of. And even if it helps one person, saves one life, it’s 1000% better. How much do you think the SGA did on the mental and physical health problem versus administration recognizing there is a problem? I think that we humanized the problem. I think we gave a student perspective to it, which was very valuable for them taking bolder steps to address the problem. But if you hear it through the grapevine and not from an actual student, it doesn’t really hit home. The urgency isn’t there, but when you go into the cabinet meeting and say, “my friends are dying, like, my friends are dying. I had two of my best friends die last semester,” I think that speaks to them. I really believe we did so much. So one of your goals is that you want to have more undergraduates or the SGA Cabinet meet with the young alumni on the Board of Trustees. How come you have developed that goal? It’s nice to have students’, that are currently here, perspectives on different issues. We want to have a really close relationship with them and one thing we are pushing for is for them to release their agendas so we can give our
feedback on agendas. You can’t go for it all at once. You have to go in steps. Just based off the agendas? Hopefully, I don’t know what the agendas consist of. They’re private and I’m not on the Board of Trustees. You have other organizations, namely Khoda, which lists in its bylaws that one of their responsibilities is to meet with the young alumni on the Board of Trustees, both before and after their meetings. Do you think the SGA is trying to take this responsibility from them? Do they have a place on campus if you were to usurp this responsibility from them? I don’t know. I’m not in Khoda. I think it’s important that the students know who the voice is coming from. I’m all about transparency too, and if they have the whole Board who is telling the young alumni things, I’d love to know who that is. So I’m happy that the student government would have something more formalized so that the students know that their voices are at least being heard by someone that they elected and not by a person that got like accepted into a club. I think it’s important that someone who is elected by the student body is meeting with them. And I don’t know why that hasn’t been done in the past, but I’m excited that we’re hopefully going to be doing that. The responsibility of being accredited by Middle States mainly falls on administra-
tion. Right now, you want to push more student involvement because that was recommended by Middle States. How come you decided to take this response and not just leave it to administration? I think we are trying to push a lot of the responsibility on the administration. But, you can only push responsibility if you get involved yourself first. I’m trying to get them to have their own surveys at every student checkpoint so that they’re the ones collecting the data and that it doesn’t fall on the students where we have to backtrack every single person that maybe went to CAPS to try to get feedback but then when we go to administration that feedback is not necessarily accepted because it’s not in their survey. [But it should be accepted if] they’re the ones in charge of their own feedback with student oversight. So I want someone in student government to have access to those things. They at least know that the survey questions are exactly how they want it worded. I mean obviously we’re going to have input on what the survey is. They can’t question individual wording about certain things. They can’t question the number of responses they’re getting. They can’t question student feedback that we’re getting. Is Stevens Student-Centric? I’d say that Stevens is trying to become student-centric, and that mission was set out seven years ago when President Farvardin came here, and we’ve only been getting more and more access to
Lucas Gallo at his inauguration. Photo Courtesy of Misha Yun
becoming student-centric. I don’t think you can say whether Stevens is student-centric or not because you can be doing more to make it more student-centric. It’s not a yes or no question. Are we student-centric? We’re trying our best, but we can only do better. I think the student government is a big part of making sure that we are making it as student-centric as possible. So my answer to that is not a yes or no, but we’re doing our best. You can always make it better. That question concluded my interview with Gallo. Overall, I was pleased with Gallo’s responses to my questions. I think his renewed approach in dealing with administration is great and I hope that it succeeds. However, I was disappointed with his answer about student-centricity. Though he said that he is done putting up with administration earlier in the column, his answer to the question felt like he was trying to appease both students and administration. Stay tuned next time for some more exciting content. It only gets more presidential from here.
Friday, September 14, 2018 • Page 10
Aversano’s insurance goal lifts No. 15 Men’s Soccer over Springfield
ON DECK IN SPORTS
Saturday MEN’S GOLF VS Empire 8 Championship 10 a.m. Phoenix, NY
VS The Sage Colleges 11 a.m.
Stevens Sports Information
SSI - Senior Daniel Aversano scored a valuable insurance goal in the 69th minute as No. 15 Stevens Institute of Technology men’s soccer built a two-goal lead and then hung on to defeat Springfield College 2-1 Sunday in a non-conference fixture at Brock-Affleck Field. The reigning Empire 8 Conference Player of the Week collected a loose ball on the right side of the box and struck a hard ball past Stewart Frank for his fourth goal of the season. Aversano recorded five goals last season and set a career high with seven in 2016. Stephen Johnson also
scored for the Ducks, who won their second straight to improve to 4-1, matching the team’s record through five games in 2017. The victory evened the all-time series at one win apiece after Springfield claimed the inaugural meeting between the programs in Hoboken last season. Junior Mitko Bozinov made a pair of saves in to earn the victory in his season debut. Stewart Frank allowed one goal over 59:07 to suffer the loss. The Pride fell to 3-2 on the year and have alternated wins and losses over its last three contests. Mateusz Dziemian had the
lone Springfield marker on the evening. The Pride recorded the last two shots of the match in an attempt to tie the score, but a tightening Stevens defense forced both shots away from the net. Pivotal Point Johnson opened the day’s scoring in the 43rd minute. The Oceanport, New Jersey native collected an Adam Silva pass and sent a shot towards the net that ricocheted off a Springfield defender and into the left side of the net for his second goal of the year. Inside the Numbers Both sides fired 11 shots
in the match with three registering on net. An evenly-matched contest, both sides also earned five corner kicks. Aversano led all players with three shots. The contest marked Springfield’s home opener. Freshman Adam Silva assisted on Johnson’s goal. The Wayne, New Jersey native has recorded a point in each of the four matches in which he’s appeared. From the Sidelines “We had to work hard for our win today.” “Springfield made life very difficult for us during this game. We battled hard
and it was not our best soccer display this season. I was very proud of the effort.” “We look forward to hosting Haverford on Wednesday.” Up Next The Ducks welcome Haverford College to the DeBaun Athletic Complex for a Wednesday evening fixture. The Fords topped the Ducks 1-0 in Pennsylvania last season. Haverford was ranked eighth in the country at the time of the match. Stevens is 8-26-3 in the all-time series. Live stats and video links are available at StevensDucks.com
Field Hockey falls to No. 9 Montclair State SSI - Amber Haslett’s first half goal proved to be the different as the Stevens Institute of Technology field hockey team fell to No. 9 Montclair State University 2-0 Wednesday night at the DeBaun Athletic Complex. Alex Constantine added a goal in 62nd minute for the Red Hawks, who extended their season-opening winning streak to five. Freshman goalkeeper Emily Franco made four saves for the Ducks, who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end. Turning Point Montclair State earned six penalty corners in the first half, but record the first goal of the game on its third corner attempt. Kelly Watson took the penalty corner and quickly fed Cimilluca. Cimil-
luca drew her defender closer before pushing the ball to Haslett, who unleashed a right-handed blast from just inside the top of the circle. The shot flew past everyone inside the arc before striking the back of the cage for her second goal of the year. Inside the Numbers On a wet night in Hoboken, Montclair State held a 16-5 edge in shots, including a 5-3 edge in shots on goal. The Red Hawks outearned Stevens in penalty corners 10-5. Three of Franco’s four saves came on a spectacular sequence in the 65th minute. Three Red Hawks took turns from point-blank range, but the West Chester, Pennsylvania stood tall in net, using her pads to keep the shots from finding their mark.
@ Houghton College 2 p.m. Houghton, NY
@ Washington and Jefferson College 12 p.m. Washington, PA
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY VS Bill Fritz Invitational 12 p.m. Logan Township, NJ
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
VS Rowan University 12:45 p.m. Logan Township, NJ
MEN’S SOCCER @ St. John Fisher College 1 p.m. Rochester, NY
Stevens Sports Information
Sophomore Brynn Froehlich led Stevens with two shots. Haslett had a game-high three to lead Montclair. From the Sidelines “I continue to be impressed with the way the team is coming together and we are definitely working on continuing to do the little things each game in order
for us to be successful. The team brought really good energy tonight and played well against a very good Montclair State team. We got to a lot of 50-50 balls, were able to be aggressive in spots and created chances. I look forward to opening our conference schedule this weekend against Washington & Jefferson.”
Up Next The Ducks open up Empire 8 Conference play Saturday at Washington and Jefferson College. Stevens fell to the Presidents last season but hold a 12-5 record in the all-time series. Live stats and video links are available at StevensDucks.com
@ Clarkson University 5 p.m. Potsdam, NY
@ The College at Brockport 5 p.m. Potsdam, NY
Duck Country Scoreboard Date 9/8 9/8 9/8 9/8 9/8 9/8 9/8 9/8 9/9 9/9 9/9 9/12 9/12 9/12
Men's Soccer Women's Volleyball Women's Tennis Field Hockey Women's Volleyball Men's Cross Country Women's Cross Country Men's Golf Men's Soccer Women's Soccer Men's Golf Field Hockey
@ Vassar College VS Swarthmore College VS Utica College @ Mount Holyoke College VS Plattsburgh State VS Ron Stonitsch Invitational VS Ron Stonitsch Invitational VS St John Fisher Invitational @ Springfield College VS Vassar College
3-1 3-2 9-0 1-0 3-0 72 82
W W W W W 3rd 3rd 4th
Women's Volleyball Men's Soccer
VS St John Fisher Invitational VS Montclair State @ SUNY New Paltz Haverford College
644 2-1 1-2 968 0-2 3-1 3-1
W L 4th L W W
Stevens Sports Information
FOR MORE INFORMATION, HEAD TO: STEVENSDUCKS.COM STEVENSREC.COM