Rupsha Basu

Dobbs

Dobbs University Center | Photo by Jason Oh

By Rupsha Basu
News Editor

The 59th College Council (CC) launched a platform for course syllabi catalogues and reviews of past classes this past Monday (Oct. 27) — the first day of course registration for seniors — called “Class Forum.”

The forum will be available to students to access and upload course syllabi and provide comments about past courses they have taken, as well as read other students’ comments.

The platform operates through Blackboard, the online education software Emory uses, under the “Organizations” tab. The website is accessible only to Emory College students with their personal logins. Professors and administrators do not have access to it.

According to CC President and College senior Adam Chan, CC introduced the new platform because of the need for a consolidated place for academic conversations had “not been met over the last two years.”

In the past, a class comments section run by CC existed in the email client First Class, more commonly known as LearnLink. However, when the University decided in 2012 to phase out LearnLink over the last few years, the class comments section was no longer updated.

Chan said that CC now decided to use Blackboard so that the content of the forum could be contained within the Emory community.

The launch of the platform purposely coincided with registration, according to CC Vice President of Student Affairs and College junior Sheena Desai, who added that the hope behind the launch was that registration would bring “good traffic” to the website.

Students were sent an email about Class Forum last week and the day of its launch, but Chan said CC did not want to inundate the Emory community with information or too many emails.

The Class Forum currently has around 300 course syllabi, according to CC Sophomore Legislator and College sophomore Molly Zhu, who encouraged students to upload as many syllabi as possible.

“The more people give, the more people can take from it,” Zhu said.

The class comments section, however, has not received much student traffic, according to Zhu.

Desai said the existing comments were acquired from what remained on LearnLink or taken from the website ratemyprofessor.com. She added that Class Forum is meant to cover more than just standard information about classes, such as major and minor requirements and academic scholarships.

Both Desai and Zhu agreed that their hope for the Forum is that it resembles programs like University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Course Review and Yale University’s Bluebook.

The existing syllabi on the website were compiled from CC members’ and other students’ previous courses and submitted by professors and department heads.

However, Chan noted that the development of the program involved paying close attention to professors’ intellectual property.

This involved receiving permission from professors to use their syllabi and giving them the choice of opting out. This means every syllabus submitted to the website must be cross-referenced with the list of professors who permitted their use, Chan said.

He added that the current repertoire of syllabi is still “patchy” because it encompasses some academic departments better than others. Some departments, such as Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, have many syllabi uploaded, while others, such as Classics, do not.

As CC developed the program over the summer, they devoted some time to ensuring the system would adhere to the University’s Honor Code, according to Chan.

The Committee on Academic Integrity established a subcommittee to draft a code of ethics, which requires class comments to be approved and bans the posting of exams or test questions.

Chan said CC is planning to expand the website in the future with the help of the Office of Undergraduate Education. Spring 2015’s online course evaluations may be moved online to the Class Forum, Chan said.

CC will also pursue statistics trackers on the website to ascertain traffic and student use, Zhu said.

In the future, there is also the possibility the Class Forum will not be housed in Blackboard once it is an established student resource, Chan said.

“Blackboard is a challenge,” he said. “It’s not that user friendly.”

Some CC members were also concerned that the website would crash due to excess traffic because this is the Blackboard forum with the most students. The previous record-breaker was the first-year Pre-Major Advising Connections at Emory (PACE) program.

However, Desai said she is no longer worried about the website crashing.

“Not everyone will look at it at the same time,” Desai said.

Some students have already utilized the resource for registration.

“It’s organized well, and I found syllabi for around half the classes I was considering, which was really helpful in solidifying what I wanted to take next semester,” College junior Ashley Marquardt said.

She added, however, that some departments such as Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies have very few syllabi.

Others like College senior Rohan Prabhu said they did not know about the existence of Class Forum, adding that he did not receive an email, and there could have been more social media advertisement.

Similarly, College senior Grace Ubersax, who like Prabhu just finished enrolling for the last time, said she did not know about the resource but thinks it is a great platform for Emory students.

“I think that it will make class enrollment an easier and less stressful process, because people will have a much better idea of what they’re actually signing up for,” Ubersax said.

She added that the new platform is easier to use than LearnLink’s class comments.

Ubersax said she plans to submit syllabi for the forum.

Zhu said students interested in submitting syllabi should email CCclassforum@gmail.com.

“I think, in time [CC], will be able to expand it so that the bank will be comprehensive enough,” Marquardt said.

— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

399px-Hunter_Pence_on_September_3,_2013

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

By Rupsha Basu

News Editor

Let me preface this by saying that this column is not about baseball. At least not really. It’s about fashion and, ultimately, art.

As baseball fans take to their television screens to watch the next World Series game, the sixth in a close contest between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, it is very likely most viewers will be engrossed in the stakes of the game and pay little attention to players’ sartorial decisions.

Others, like myself, have very little interest in the intricacies of the game and find themselves intrigued by the minutiae of apparel with which the players of Major League Baseball adorn themselves. What’s with the white pants? Doesn’t that seem a bit impractical? Is the reason they’re called “baseball caps” because baseball players were the first humans to don duck-beaked lids? How come baseball uniforms don’t glow-in-the-dark?

Fashion in the baseball world is not a topic that receives very much media buzz (a fact which surprises me considering how often uniforms and logos undergo changes). However, at such high-intensity games, like in the World Series, it makes sense that people have taken note of one player whose fashion choices almost rival his skills on the diamond in terms of noteworthiness.

Hunter Pence, outfielder for the Giants, regularly sports bizarre takes on classic baseball uniform staples. Without revealing my World Series allegiances or inciting controversy, Pence’s aesthetic antics, in my opinion, have rendered him deserving of the moniker “fashion icon.”

In addition to riding a scooter to work, Pence inexplicably wears his socks above his knees. While the age-old high socks versus low cuffs debate has been vivacious and ongoing for years, Pence circumvents the question entirely. Why satisfy the critics when you can reject social norms? The genius of the socks gimmick (because, let’s be honest — it’s totally a gimmick) is that it not only rejects popularized baseball sock trends, but also rejects societal expectations of sock-length. Maybe Pence is implicitly critiquing oppressive body image standards in the media. We will never know.

And that brings me to probably the greatest thing about Pence’s on-field persona: his theatrics. You may be wondering what theatrics have to do with fashion, and the answer is ‘everything.’ Fashion is a performance. Pence swings like a madman. He frequently faceplants in pursuit of the ball. His wild-eyed, tongue-wagging, bushy, ginger beard-sporting eccentricity make him a cross between a circus side-show contortionist and a genetically modified human face, at least in terms of the mesmerizing spectrum.

Pence also wears just one batting glove, like an early 1990s slugger. It’s ballsy (pun intended) and statement-making (what exactly that statement is, I’m unsure of, but that’s what makes it art). The artfulness is completely in the ambiguity. It is impossible to watch Pence without preserving a sense of irony. Doing so would be like reading out loud the poem “Jabberwocky” in a monotone.

Fascinatingly, Pence has become the subject of fans’ light-hearted ridicule, his name appearing on derisive signs like “Hunter Pence hates bacon” and “Hunter Pence can’t parallel park.” If I’m not mistaken, Hunter Pence has become the subject of a cult of personality. And he deserves it.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: we as mere mortals have little in common with professional sportsmen blessed with immeasurable athletic ability. But, Pence’s presence makes the game of baseball that much more relatable for the rest of us, especially for the casual sports fan.

— Contact Rupsha Basu at 

rupsha.basu@emory.edu

 

hospital-James-Crissman-1web

By Rupsha Basu

News Editor

The second Dallas nurse to contract the Ebola virus — and the fourth patient that has been treated at Emory University Hospital (EUH) — is now free of the virus and is scheduled to be released after recovery, according to an Emory Healthcare announcement on Friday afternoon (Oct. 23).

The nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, arrived at EUH on Oct. 15 at approximately 8:30 p.m. for treatment in the same isolation unit as Dr. Kent Brantly, Nancy Writebol and a third unidentified patient.

As reported in an Aug. 29 Wheel article, Emory’s isolation unit is physically separate from the rest of the hospital community and is run by a team highly trained in specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat Ebola patients.

“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases,” Associate Vice President of Communications Vince Dollard wrote in a July 31 all-Emory email.

The Wheel reported that Brantly and Writebol were released in late August. The third patient, unidentified for confidentiality reasons, was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 19 and posed “no public health threat,” according to an Oct. 19 University press release.

CBS News, National Public Radio (NPR) and other news media outlets reported on Friday afternoon that a statement released by Vinson’s family stated that she did not show signs of the virus before EUH had released a statement about her condition later that day.

“Officials at Emory University Hospital and the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] are no longer able to detect the virus in her body,” Vinson’s family said in the statement.

Vinson contracted the disease in Dallas while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of the virus on Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. EUH’s Friday statement only revealed that Vinson is “making good progress.”

“Emory University Hospital physicians, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are pleased to report that Amber Vinson is making good progress in her treatment for Ebola virus infection,” EUH’s statement reads. Tests no longer detect virus in her blood. She remains within Emory’s Serious Communicable Diseases Unit for continued supportive care. We do not have a discharge date at this time.”

According to Senior Communications Officer in the Office of University Media Relations Beverly Clark on behalf of the EUH Communications team, EUH does not have a statement regarding Vinson’s potential release date. Clark added that EUH will continue to care for Vinson.

These announcements coincided with the news that Nina Pham, the first nurse to contract the virus in Dallas, also showed no signs of the Ebola virus. Reports from Texas Presbyterian and health care officials indicated that Vinson and Pham contracted the virus due to lack of appropriate protective gear.

These reports were followed by a website EUH launched that outlines protocols for dealing with patients infected with Ebola.

According to the most recent World Health Organization numbers, the number of people infected has exceeded 10,000, and the virus has killed over close to 5,000 people.

Transmission of the virus comes from “direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person or exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions,” according to the CDC website on Ebola.

— Contact Rupsha Basu at rupsha.basu@emory.edu

The Eagles swim against the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Wilmington in the WoodPEC for a Alumni and Family Weekend crowd. The women’s team defeated UNC-Wilmington, 152-142, while the men lost 157-131. The teams take on Birmingham-Southern College away this Saturday. | Photo Courtesy of Jason Oh

The Eagles swim against the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Wilmington in the WoodPEC for a Alumni and Family Weekend crowd. The women’s team defeated UNC-Wilmington, 152-142, while the men lost 157-131. The teams take on Birmingham-Southern College away this Saturday. | Photo Courtesy of Jason Oh

By Rupsha Basu

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in their first intercollegiate dual meet of this season against the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Wilmington with a win for the women’s team and a loss for the men’s team.

The final standings were 152-142 for the men’s team and 157-131 for the women’s team. Combined, both teams won 23 of 32 events, 15 out of 16 of which were won by the women’s team.

The women’s team locked in wins in the 200-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle by freshman Ming Ong, the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke by sophomore Claire Liu and a 200-medley relay victory by Liu, freshman Cindy Cheng and sophomores Annelise Kowalsky and Kristine Rosenberg. Liu, Ong, freshman Julia Wawer and senior Nancy Larson won the 200-yard freestyle relay race.

Senior and Co-Captain McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg won 1,000-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly. Other individual event victors included Kowalsky, junior Ellie Thompson, sophomore Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe and freshman Mara Rosenstock.

“Last year the women’s team lost to UNC-Wilmington, and we lost to them by four points,” Newsum-Schoenberg said. “That really fueled our fire.”

She added that the team proved they could prevail.

For the men’s team, junior Andrew Wilson dominated the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events as well as the 200-yard individual medley.

Like the women’s team, the men’s senior and Co-Captain Hayden Baker won the 200-yard butterfly, and his brother College sophomore Christian Baker claimed the 200 and 500-yard freestyle titles.

Other victors for the men’s team included freshmen Henry Copses and Alexander Hardwick in the 1,000 and 100-yard freestyle, respectively.

UNC-Wilmington presented a sizeable challenge as a Division I opponent, especially for the men’s team because they did not have any divers competing, according to Head Coach Jon Howell.

Because of the lack of divers, the men’s team started off with a 32-point deficit, 22 of which they were able to make up.

“It’s hard to compete without any male divers, but we put up a great fight, making up 22 points on the swimming side of things,” Baker said.

However, the team fell short 10 points despite their success in the swimming competitions.

“They had to really step up, and the men’s team did,” Newsum-Schoenberg said.

As for the women’s team, they were successful on both sides of competition.

“The women were fairly dominant in the meet,” Howell said, commenting on the fact that they only lost one event.

Additionally, the weekend brought in a large crowd due to Alumni and Family Weekend.

“It was a fun weekend across the board,” Howell said.

The atmosphere also affected the team members.

“Having family and alumni in the stands was icing on the cake,” Newsum-Schoenberg said.

The competition also marked the first meet for members of the team who are new this season.

“Our freshmen handled their first meet well,” Baker said.

While the opportunity to compete against a Division I team was good experience for Emory’s team, Howell said his main objective is preparing for the team’s national championships.

“Our objective right now is to get a little better every week and I think we definitely accomplished that from where we were a week ago,” Howell concluded.

The Emory swimming and diving teams’ next competition will be another dual meet in Birmingham, Ala. against Birmingham-Southern College on Saturday, Nov. 1.

— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) announced Monday that it will discuss and vote on a resolution at its next meeting that voices support for the University to ban the anonymous gossip app Yik Yak on its wireless network. The meeting will be an open forum for students to voice their concerns since SGA members said they anticipated vocal student responses to the announcement of the resolution.

Students began using Yik Yak last spring and continued its use this fall. The content of its posts address a wide array of topics, some expressing daily woes or amusing incidents, others mentioning students by name and some even targeting certain communities on campus, a phenomenon the resolution states are examples of “discriminatory harassment” and “anonymous hate speech.”

The resolution in question was authored by SGA Sophomore Representative and College sophomore Max Zoberman who, since the announcement of the resolution, has been the target of Yik Yak posts that both oppose and support the resolution.

SGA Speaker of the Legislature and Goizueta Business School senior Luke Bucshon, who has a non-voting position on SGA, stressed the difference between a resolution and a bill, the former simply being a statement of support.

“It’s important to note that, if passed by a majority of student representatives from across the University, this Resolution would simply voice the Legislature’s support for blocking Yik Yak,” Bucshon wrote in a University-wide email encouraging students to attend the meeting. “It would not immediately cause Yik Yak to be blocked, as Student Government has no control over the University’s network.”

Bucshon stated that he does not have an opinion on whether the resolution ought to pass or not.

Recently, members of the Emory community have been discussing these incidents. For example, College sophomore Jonathan Chay posted on Facebook screenshots of Yik Yak posts that targeted and stereotyped members of Emory’s Asian American community and decried the discriminatory nature of the anonymous posts.

The Yik Yak posts and resulting reactions to them have spurred a conversation on campus about the role of anonymous speech on campus, especially on a social media platform.

Zoberman said he decided to write the resolution because there has thus far been no concrete impetus for action.

“As a representative of the [sophomore] class, and as somebody who believes there should be zero-tolerance of harassment, I figured I should do something about it,” Zoberman said.

While Zoberman said it is ultimately up to the students whether the resolution ought to pass, he said he hopes that it does because it would be “a symbolic gesture and less of a functional one by which the University has the opportunity to make its approach to discriminatory harassment and hate speech consistent across all mediums.”

The response to the resolution on Yik Yak itself, however, have been largely negative and has called Zoberman out by name. Other posts have accused Zoberman as being the architect of a larger attempt on SGA’s part to limit students’ free speech.

“Pro tip to SGA: if you’re a representative government and you’re trying to do something that it’s very clear most of your electorate doesn’t want you to do, you’re fuckin’ up,” one anonymous “yak” stated.

Zoberman acknowledged these responses but explained that they misinterpret the purpose of the legislation.

“People are operating under the assumption that if it were to pass, Yik Yak would be instantly unavailable to them, and that simply isn’t true,” he said.

Zoberman emphasized that the point of the legislation is not to police students’ use of the application, but rather that the University ought to continue the commitment stated in its mission statement to upholding “the dignity and rights of all persons through fair treatment, honest dealing and respect.”

“If the University has a stance, it should be consistent across all media,” he said. “It’s all about making Emory a safer space for students and especially its underrepresented student population.”

He added that he purposely did not have other Legislators co-sponsor the resolution in anticipation of personal attacks.

However, Zoberman noted that the overall responses to the resolution have been passionate, numerous and diverse on all avenues of social media, stating that on the day of the announcement there were close to 400 responses, both negative and positive, on Twitter, Facebook, his personal email and others, including a call to his parents’ home in Florida.

College senior Eli Esakoff stated that he does not support the resolution because “it won’t solve anything.”

B-School junior Samantha Kaplan agreed.

“I think the real problem lies deeper than Yik Yak,” Kaplan said. “We need to treat one another with more respect and banning Yik Yak will only put a band-aid on the problem.”

Other students, however, have recognized the need for action.

“I think it’s a good step,” College junior Nowmee Shehab said. “I don’t think that it’s unproductive but I don’t think it gets to the root of the cause.

The responses, Zoberman said, simply demonstrate the need for a forum and open dialogue about the issues of discriminatory harassment and hate speech.

Shehab said she thinks SGA’s actions to create an open forum is a step toward making Emory safer and more welcoming for all students.

Zoberman and Bucshon both said they think it is important for the meeting to be a conversation among students.

“Even if it doesn’t pass, I think it has begun a conversation about hate speech and discrimination,” Zoberman said.

College Council has voted to fully support the resolution.

SGA’s open forum, which will be held during SGA’s regular meeting on Monday evening at Eagles Landing in the Dobbs University Center, will not be the end of the conversation, Zoberman said.

“This is a matter of principles and ethics,” he concluded. “It’s about who we choose to be as a student body. Are we going to be the kind of student body that accepts hate speech? Are we going to be the type of student body that accepts marginalizing of members of our own community?”

— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

New York Times

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

College Council (CC) reinstated the Collegiate Readership Program (CRP) this month, which previously gave students free access to The New York Times (NYT) and USA Today, after the existing two-year contracts ran out last year.

The new contract only provides the NYT to undergraduate students and reduces the number of newspaper bins around campus from five to three. There will now be newspapers in White Hall, the Dobbs University Center (DUC) and the Emory Barnes & Noble.

According to CC Vice President and College junior Alyssa Weinstein, Emory’s contract lasted two years and ran out at the end of last year. The contract cost CC $20,000. The new negotiated contract without USA Today now costs $8,500. The funding for the CRP comes from a portion of the $89 Student Activities Fee (SAF) that each undergraduate student pays as a part of tuition, according to the CC website.

“One of the benefits of our new program is that we will not be charged for papers that are not picked up, so the cost could be significantly less if readership does not reach expected levels,” Weinstein wrote in an email to the Wheel.

According to CC’s website, the CRP is reconsidered every four years through a student body referendum. Last semester, CC held an open meeting to discuss the CRP and sent out a survey to undergraduate students, but only received 40 responses, said CC Vice President of Communications and College sophomore Izzy Kornman.

“There was never any plan to completely eliminate the newspapers,” Weinstein wrote.

Weinstein also wrote that CC was involved in conversations about instituting the most cost-effective program over the summer.

“As it is, we made the decision that the roughly $11,500 would be better spent on other college-wide initiatives and clubs,” Kornman said.

The program was reinstated as the result of efforts from James M. Cox, Jr. Professor of Journalism Hank Klibanoff urging CC to reconsider funding it on behalf of his journalism students. Klibanoff required that students read the NYT and The Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) for his journalism classes.

Earlier this month, Klibanoff wrote an email to CC advisor Natasha Hopkins, who works in the Office of Student Leadership and Service (OSLS), urging CC to reconsider the program.

“The [NYT] has special meaning to us at Emory,” Kilbanoff wrote in the email to Hopkins.

Hopkins responded to Klibanoff’s request, stating that the readership for the CRP was sharply declining.

College senior Nathaniel Meyersohn was one of Klibanoff’s students who spearheaded the effort to reinstate the program. He said he has been picking up a copy of the NYT most every day for the past three years.

“I think it’s anathema to students to cut accessibility to information — information about the world and current events — at a University whose duty is to inform students about what’s going on in the world,” Meyersohn said.

Klibanoff also explained the Journalism Program’s relationship with the NYT and Emory’s close relationship with its journalists and editors who have come to speak on campus. The Emory Journalism Program itself was established in 1997 through Claude Sitton, a notable former editor and reporter for the NYT, and Cox Newspapers. Additionally, Klibanoff said he is working to bring the new Executive Editor of the NYT, Dean Baquet, to campus.

Meyersohn also noted this relationship.

“To cut the best newspaper in the world [is] taking away a key resource and a key tool that allows students to engage,” Meyersohn said. “The University has a long standing relationship with the paper, and to have the executive editor come and find out we cut [his] newspaper would be problematic.”

When CC President and College senior Adam Chan emailed Klibanoff announcing the reinstatement of the program, Chan wrote that CC had underwent a budget cut since last year.

“As College Council was undergoing a $130,000 cut from the previous year, we had to be steadfast that we would be able to continue to support this fine resource on our campus as well as the many other obligations to student organizations and programs on campus,” Chan wrote.

Chan added that CC negotiated with the NYT to establish a partnership with the best price possible, which includes online class subscriptions as well.

Klibanoff also explained the importance of print journalism.

“Print is a much greater measure of a news organization’s distinctive decision-making about the value and importance of news than the online edition,” he wrote. “So these newspapers are vital to us, as vital as textbooks.”

Hopkins wrote to Klibanoff that CC was in the process of reevaluating its contract with USA Today as well as exploring other options, including digital subscriptions.

Meyersohn added that there are other benefits to having paper copies of newspapers on campus, especially for incoming first-years who are just discovering what areas they are interested in.

“For a while there was one copy [of the NYT] for the entire school,” referring to the Robert W. Woodruff Library’s subscription, which is housed in the Reading Room. “If you wanted to read the print edition of the NYT, the world’s best newspaper, you had one way to do it.”

Following the Sept. 30 publication of this article, Jennifer Elder, the librarian for Journalism, Psychology and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies wrote in an email to the Wheel to clarify that, “while it is true that today’s print New York Times and the past three months of New York Times print newspapers are available in the Matheson Newspaper Room, the content of current and archival New York Times articles is also accessible through our databases, microfilm collection, and The New York Times digital Academic Pass program.”

Moreover, Meyersohn said the costs students would incur from paying for a daily subscription are not fair or affordable for many students. He added, however, that he was satisfied with the end result.

“I’m really happy CC decided to keep the program, and I have no problem with some of the cutbacks,” he said.

According to Weinstein, another reason for the cutbacks was that CC was concerned that graduate students and professors were taking newspapers that were paid for by undergraduate students.

“Luckily, our new program through The New York Times offers professors who require The New York Times in their classes the opportunity to receive a free or discounted subscription,” Weinstein wrote.

Meyersohn, however, said he didn’t have a problem with graduate students and faculty taking papers.

“The more people who read it, the better, doesn’t matter where they come from,” Meyersohn said. “If you’re going to an elite, research institution like Emory, it’s your right to be able to read the newspaper.”

The new CRP also integrates a digital platform, with 100 free spots per day for full digital access to the NYT, Weinstein said.

Both Weinstein and Kornman said CC would be reevaluating readership at the end of the year to see if there is room for improvements next year.

— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

Correction 9/30 1:36 p.m.: The article was updated to correct Nathaniel Meyersohn’s quote, which originally read “I think it’s anathema to cut accessibility to information…,” to “I think it’s anathema to students to cut accessibility to information…” at the request of Meyersohn.

Correction 10/3 12:02 p.m.: The original article was updated with a clarification from the Librarian for Journalism, Psychology and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Jennifer Elder in response to a quote made in the article. 

Emory_Quad

The 48th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) unanimously passed a bill that establishes a University Senate student caucus and enforces existing attendance policies.

College senior, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Council and University-wide Senator James Crowe authored the bill and spoke on behalf of the University Senate. The University Senate oversees anything that affects more than one division of the University, such as the Code of Conduct, and has 12 voting student members. Membership also includes faculty and staff.

The current attendance policy for the University Senate states that “If Senate members have two unexcused absences in a row or four absences in the academic year from regularly scheduled Senate meetings, they may be expelled from the Senate,” according to the text of the bill.

“People just didn’t show up,” Crowe said. “There are only eight meetings [throughout the year].”

According to Crowe, the bill calls upon the Senate Executive Committee to help enforce this policy.

The bill also stipulates that the three ex officio, non-voting SGA members that serve on the Executive Committee who fail to meet the attendance policy should be referred to the SGA Governance Committee.

Crowe said attendance is crucial because this is the only avenue by which students can directly create legislation and enact change.

“If these students aren’t showing up, they shouldn’t be representing the student body,” Crowe said.

Crowe also stated that artificial boundaries to attendance, like class meetings, for example, could be negotiated with professors of each division because instructors have a “responsibility to act in ways that are consistent with the best interest of the University.”

The second component of the bill calls for the establishment of a student caucus for the University Senate that is made up of the 12 members representing the student body.

Crowe said the purpose of a caucus is so that students have “a coherent policy agenda” during University Senate meetings.

A member of the Legislature asked whether the caucus would be formal or informal.

Crowe said it is up to the members of the Senate to determine that, but it could be very informal. He added that it simply required the caucus leader to communicate with other student members and organize an agenda and definitive and coordinated policies.

The purpose of the caucus, Crowe elaborated, is so “these members are actually trying to affect change, and the Senate hears those concerns.”

The Legislature unanimously passed the bill.

Next week, SGA will be discussing and voting on a resolution that calls for the banning of Yik Yak, an anonymous social forum application, from the University’s wireless network.

Feldman Berr

Senior forward Emily Feldman takes the ball down the field. Feldman played a crucial role in the Eagles’ victory over Centre College (Ky.) this weekend, scoring a “golden goal” with 55 seconds left in double overtime to give the Eagles a 1-0 victory. / Photo courtesy of Emory Athletics

Over the weekend, the Emory women’s soccer team won two regional away games in Kentucky against Transylvania University and Centre College, stretching their win streak to five games.

Senior forward Emily Feldman scored in the last 55 seconds of double overtime to win the game against Centre on Sunday in Danville, and the Eagles dominated Transylvania in the second half, ending with a score of 3-0 on Saturday in Lexington.

“For us that was two huge wins,” Feldman said.

The game pitted two of the leading teams in Division III against one another. Emory’s win places it among one of eight undefeated teams remaining in the division.

“The Centre game was a big statement game,” Feldman said.

Feldman’s goal was assisted by senior co-captain center midfielder Meredith Doherty, who re-entered the game in the 108th minute. This was also Doherty’s first game back after an injury, and the assist was her first of the season.

“That shows a lot of perseverance and heart from our team,” Feldman said of her teammates.

While the first overtime period was relatively uneventful, the pace picked up during double overtime.

Throughout the game, junior goalkeeper Liz Arnold persevered and saved two Centre shots in the 105th minute. This marks Arnold’s season-high of seven saves, which matches her career best against Wheaton College (Ill.) in last year’s NCAA tournament.

“It was a way action packed 10 minutes of overtime,” Feldman said. “The goal was an accumulation of all that hard work.”

The Eagles outshot Centre 16 to 14, pulling through with a victory in a near-evenly matched game.

The victory against Centre brought Emory to 6-0-2 overall.

Head Coach Sue Patberg said the game against Centre was especially difficult because the Eagles had to play both Saturday and Sunday while Centre just played on Sunday.

“It made that game that much more tiring,” Patberg said.

The game against Transylvania, on the other hand, saw a definitive win for the Eagles with a slower first half and a dominant second half.

“We were very, very dominant,” Feldman said. “We had a little trouble at the beginning, but we pulled through.”

Freshman center midfielder Melinda Altamore scored the first goal of the game and of her collegiate career in the 80th minute of play. The goal was assisted by senior forward Charlotte Butker. Within minutes, sophomore forward Cristina Ramirez scored a second goal, with Altamore assisting.

Sophomore defender Hannah Meyer scored the third goal unassisted. The team made close to 38 shots on the goal throughout the game, while Transylvania made three.

Arnold played all 90 minutes of the game, and despite the fact that the Eagles did not score throughout the first half, they maintained a controlled pace, according to an Emory Athletics game recap.   

The weekend was reminiscent of an NCAA tournament weekend, because the Eagles have played both Transylvania and Centre in the past during the first and second rounds, respectively, Patberg said.

“But we’re not trying to get ahead of ourselves,” she said, noting that the team is only about halfway through the season.

These wins come at a crucial time for the team, as they start conference games next weekend against No. 1-ranked Division III Washington University (Mo.).

— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

A panel of doctors and experts on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa discussed treatments, health care infrastructure and challenges to treatment to an audience in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building (WHSCAB) Auditorium on Friday afternoon.

The event, entitled “Ebola at Emory: Patients to Populations,” was an installment of the Public Health Sciences Grand Rounds, a series of panels addressing the work and research of the Rollins School of Public Health and fostering collaboration across schools.

Dr. G. Marshall Lyon, associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and one of the attending physicians who treated Ebola-infected patients at Emory Hospital, was the guest speaker for the panel.

The panelists were James Curran, dean of the School of Public Health; Carlos Del Rio, Hubert professor and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health at the School of Public Health; James Hughes, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine; Dr. Barbara Knust, epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr. Rupa Narra, also an epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC and a member of the response team that went to Guinea in West Africa.

Lyon updated the guests on the current outbreak. He said cases have been taken on from Nigeria, but further cases have not been discovered outside of the originally infected areas. However, he said the outbreak in Liberia, the hardest-hit country with more than 1,700 cases, has a chance of spreading to the Ivory Coast.

As of Sept. 4, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a range of mortality rates — from 39 percent to more than 50 percent — for each African country infected. Lyon’s speech illustrated some of the challenges both American and African facilities face in

treating Ebola patients.

Lyon showed pictures of patient care facilities in Liberia and noted that the facilities lack an adequate mechanism to dispose of the four to six liters of waste produced by each Ebola patient. Another problem facing these facilities is that there is not enough staff to deal with the waste and, unfortunately, dead bodies that accumulate in these facilities, Lyon said.

Then, Lyon showed an image of Emory’s special isolation unit. It has separate rooms for doctors and containment rooms for patients with bathrooms that are low pressure so that no air from inside the containment room escapes to the doctors’ room or the hallway.

Another challenge when it comes to the Ebola virus is that its earliest symptoms — fever, headache and nausea — resemble those of other illnesses like the flu or malaria.

“There is really nothing in the first few days which distinguishes this illness from something that is not nearly as worrisome from an infection control standpoint,” Lyon said.

Lyon also emphasized that dehydration and vomiting is a huge problem. Oral rehydration fluids are scarce in Africa, and even the patients in Emory’s facilities, who had access to oral

rehydration, vomited more fluid than they were administered, according to Lyon.

“I hope that we can get more IV fluids available in West Africa if we’re really going to make a dent in the fatality rate,” Lyon said.

According to Lyon, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium levels become compromised during the illness but can easily be remedied orally. However, for more serious symptoms like kidney failure or breathing issues, American facilities have life support, blood pressure maintenance and dialysis capabilities, while West African facilities do not.

“When it comes to treating Ebola, you don’t need to be a genius,” Lyon said, which drew laughs from the audience. “But you may need to be resourceful.”

Knust provided an update about the ongoing efforts of the CDC in West Africa itself. She said approximately 90 staff members have been deployed in the affected areas. Knust explained why transmission of the disease is so easy in that part of the world. First, the outbreak occurred around a three-country border which is commonly used by citizens, Knust explained. Also, many of these countries have been ravaged by civil war, which has engendered a distrust of the government and in turn led to violence within communities.

Knust lamented the loss of eight WHO members of an awareness-raising delegation who were killed by a panic mob in Guinea. The local villagers in Guinea thought the WHO workers were there to spread the disease rather than help it.

“We need to continue to think about the safety not just from the virus itself but safety from a community that is struggling to understand the virus,” Knust said.

According to Knust, the burial customs of infected areas have also contributed to the spread of the virus because many people prepare dead bodies themselves. Knust, like Lyon, emphasized the lack of basic health care facilities in Africa.

“An individual patient room with a private bathroom is something that just largely does not exist, and it’s probably one of the easiest things that would prevent the transmission of Ebola in a health care setting,” she said.

Knust was also one of the health care professionals who met with President Barack Obama last week. She said they discussed the drawbacks of personal protection equipment (PPE), which is bulky and hot and only allows workers to treat patients for about an hour at a time.

The CDC, along with the WHO, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other responding agencies have been coordinating throughout the outbreak, according to Knust.

Some of the more recent efforts to deal with the crisis have been improving contact tracing and case finding strategies, instituting exit screening procedures for airplanes with temperature checks and expanding on infection control training, Knust said. Starting in a couple weeks, a FEMA pilot training facility in Alabama will be training 45 health care workers per week in infection control.

Narra, who worked in a remote village in Guinea with the CDC, elaborated on the day-to-day activities of being in the field in West Africa. This entailed data management, contact tracing and enforcing infection control measures.

Narra also addressed the resistance of local citizens to white involvement in the crisis.

“People don’t realize what this resistance from these communities means,” Narra said. “[It] causes these patients to come in very late in their course, which in turn causes them to have a much worse outcome.”

Curran discussed the similarities of the public health response of Ebola and AIDS in Africa. He said the response to AIDS was not as robust as the response to Ebola because AIDS was less common.

Del Rio spoke about the growing disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots” and the importance of a global response. He said this epidemic is about health care equipment, staff and systems.

“Hopefully, this Ebola epidemic is going to be a wakeup call to the global health care community that we need to strengthen health care systems,” Del Rio said.

Hughes expanded on how this Ebola outbreak is different than ones from previous years.

He said a big difference is that intense transmission has occurred in urban settings, whereas earlier outbreaks have been in rural settings.

Lyon ended the discussion with a note on the importance of learning the clinical history of a patient.

“You can’t underestimate what a good history is worth,” he said. He added that laboratory tests are key.

At the end of the event, the panelists agreed that research is instrumental in tackling this epidemic.

“We know nothing,” Del Rio said. “We don’t know the history. We don’t know the pathogenesis.” He also commented on the necessity for a vaccine.

After the event, Lyon said he was not able to disclose information about the third Ebola patient at Emory. However, he did say that efforts to get experimental drugs to Africa are already underway with companies working with the WHO and the federal government to streamline the approval process for new drugs.

Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson attended the event along with students and faculty from many of the schools within the University.

College senior Andrew Navia said he was at the event because he had worked with Lyon previously.

“This is such a cool topic with Emory being so prominent in this Ebola outbreak and being ambitious with trying to treat people,” Navia said. “I thought it was a good response, and I wanted to hear about it.”

— By Rupsha Basu

emory

The 48th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) passed their first legislation of the school year. SGA unanimously passed a resolution to support Student Programming Council (SPC) utilizing EmoryCard technology to compile anonymized data at large events and unanimously appointed College junior Reuben Lack as the Elections Board Chair.

SGA President and College junior Jon Darby, who is also a member of SPC, spoke on behalf of SPC. He said the goal of the resolution was for SPC to gather demographic information about attendees in order to adapt programming to cater to under-served populations of the University.

According to Darby, SPC currently does not have the technology to ascertain event attendance demographics. The proposed resolution would allow SPC to use the ID numbers processed from the EmoryCard to compile data on division of enrollment, class year, whether a student lives on or off campus, ethnicity and gender. After the data is compiled, the ID numbers would be deleted and the demographic information would be sent back to SPC for their use.

The resolution states that anonymized data will only be compiled in events of 500 or more attendees.

Some members of the Legislature voiced their concerns about what SPC will do with this information and whether it will be used to effectively change programming.

Specifically, SGA School of Law Representative third-year law student JJ Gonzales asked why SPC wanted information about ethnicity and gender.

Darby responded that under-served populations of the University can be anyone, and the purpose of the data is to determine what those populations are.

Due to legislators’ concerns about students not wanting their information compiled, SGA added an amendment to the resolution where students have the option to opt out. The amendment was approved unanimously.

The resolution also stipulates that the data is published no later than three weeks after the event.

However, some members of the Legislature, like SGA Junior Representative and College junior Cam Williamson, were concerned that the language was not specific enough to ensure the data would be published. As a result, the Legislature also voted to amend the resolution to include that SPC must include the data they collected in their annual budget cycle report.

The Legislature also unanimously voted to amend the resolution to include all types of EmoryCard readers, including proximity readers (“tap-in” system) and magnetic strips (sliding system).

Some legislators also noted that SPC should be held accountable to ensure that the information is used productively to change programming.

Director of the Center for Student Leadership and Community Engagement and SGA Faculty Advisor Matt Garrett answered that expecting SPC to respond immediately to collected data is infeasible because events are planned many months in advance.

Thus, the third amendment of the resolution also stipulates that along with a report of the data in their budget report, SPC must also publish a narrative explaining how they intend to the responsive to the data in future events.

The third amendment was approved unanimously.

The Legislature unanimously approved the resolution to allow SPC to compile anonymized data at large events for future programming.
SGA also discussed Lack’s confirmation as the Elections Board Chief.

The Elections Board is a student advisory board that presides over University elections.

Lack said he has been serving as the Interim Elections Board Chair since May, and he has also served as the College Council (CC) Budget Chair and a CC Legislator in the past.

He was confirmed as Elections Board Chair unanimously.​

—By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

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