By Sonam Vashi
Emory students overwhelmingly rejected a referendum that proposed raising the Student Activities Fee (SAF) from $89 to $110 per semester after two days of online voting. More than 4,000 students voted, making this the highest turnout of any University-wide election in history, according to Elections Board Chair and College junior Reuben Lack.
The referendum failed with 79 percent of students (3,216 students) voting against the proposed increase. This means the SAF, which is included as part of tuition for all students, will still increase in fall 2015 to just $92 as a result of the automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (CoLA) to which the SAF is subject.
The turnout of 4,068 students voting is almost 800 votes larger than the previous record for voting turnout (3,323 votes) for last year’s Student Government Association (SGA) presidential race.
The (SAF) was last raised in a referendum on Feb. 16, 2006, where students approved a $30, or 21.1 percent, increase.
“There’s no way to know for sure, but I speculate the issue at hand, as well as the fact the referendum was just one question as opposed to a long list of candidates, contributed to the high turnout,” Lack wrote in an email to the Wheel. “It is remarkable, considering that almost all SGA proposals put to the body in Emory history are approved. A 79 [percent] rejection is unheard of, if not unprecedented.”
The referendum proposed a three-part increase to the SAF. First, it included the already scheduled SAF increase for the 2015-2016 school year from $89 to $92, as per the University’s cost of living adjustment (CoLA), which accounts for the effects of inflation on prices.
Second, the referendum proposed an additional three dollar increase in order to adjust for the true projected effects of inflation based on average inflation indexes from the past few years, according to SGA President and College junior Jon Darby and SGA Vice President for Finance and College senior Patrick O’Leary, who co-authored the bill.
Finally, the referendum proposed a $15 increase to enact a number of SGA initiatives, such as “student experience equity programs … to enable full participation in academic and extracurricular activities regardless of socioeconomic status, enhanced programming and creation of a Meeting and Event Facilitation Fund,” according to the bill.
“All the benefits we advertised for using a $110 Student Activity Fee can’t happen with a $92 fee. It’s just a reality.” — SGA President Jon Darby
College sophomore Hebing Wang wrote that she voted no on the referendum because she felt that many students already have trouble affording Emory’s tuition, which increased last year by 2.3 percent.
“I feel like our school has more than enough money to fund [the SAF] instead of asking us for more,” she wrote in a message to the Wheel. “It gets millions upon millions in donation and savings. So I don’t think it needs any more money from us.”
The referendum resulted from the SGA Legislature passing Bill 48s108, which proposed the increase. In order for the bill to take effect, a majority of students must vote ‘yes’ in a referendum, and the University Board of Trustees must approve the increase.
“We may have set our sights a little bit too high,” O’Leary said of the referendum’s failure. “$110 is a pretty decent increase. We could have gone for a smaller dollar amount, and it may have survived.”
O’Leary added that the student body didn’t seem very informed about the referendum, which may also have contributed to its failure.
“Most of the sentiments I saw cropping up among the student body were things like ‘SGA doesn’t do anything for us,’” O’Leary said, noting that SGA’s budget comprises less than one percent of the SAF, and that much of the rest goes toward funding student organizations. “We really do make our best effort to fund every student organization on campus, which sometimes comes at the cost of our budget and ourselves.”
Darby said he expected the referendum to fail as time went on but was surprised by the level of turnout and the size of the failure margin.
“I think money is a touchy subject,” he said. “Tuition goes up every year, and the fees we pay go up every year. Higher education’s become more expensive, and I think the idea of paying more, even if you get a lot of value from that fee, isn’t very attractive to people.”
Darby emphasized that Emory students would receive value from an increased fee, given the activities fees for Emory’s peer institutions like Washington University at St. Louis and Vanderbilt University, both of which have fees greater than $200.
“Emory University pays one of the lowest student activity fees among universities of our kind,” Darby said. “Our fee’s very low, and, for better or for worse, I think we need to get what we pay for, definitely.”
O’Leary noted that the lack of specificity of the SGA initiatives to be funded by the $15 increase may have contributed to the referendum’s failure.
“If any increase is going to happen, then students are really going to have to see a tangible cost-benefit analysis,” O’Leary said. “Anything that’s going to be put out about it needs to be concrete and detailed, showing exactly how [the money] is going to be used.”
O’Leary added that SGA was unable to detail specific programs for the extra $15 because of a compressed timeline, where the referendum had to be held before January, when the Board of Regents would meet to approve the increase. He added that if SGA were to do this again, they would start advertising well in advance to reach more students.
Darby added that he believes students judged that the benefits SGA promised from the fee were not worth the cost of the SAF increase. He said this may in part be because students do not currently trust their elected representatives to spend money responsibly, and this is due to the nature of the way the SAF is split among the University.
The SAF is split based on the Fee Split, which allots a certain fixed percentage of the fee to each divisional council of the University. Last fall, SGA amended the Fee Split to eliminate fixed percentages of the SAF for University-wide organizations, which include the Outdoor Emory Organization (OEO), the Student Programming Council (SPC), Club Sports and the Media Council.
Darby added that these organizations receive fixed percentages of the SAF without being required to submit a budget.
“I think accountability on the front end through budgeting is really necessary moving forward,” Darby said. “I think the fee split is fundamentally flawed.”
Darby said that the SGA programs proposed by the $15 increase are not going to happen now that the referendum has failed.
“All the benefits we advertised for using a $110 Student Activity Fee can’t happen with a $92 fee; it’s just a reality,” he said. “We don’t expect we’ll be able to make anything we promised under the $110 fee happen with any fee lower than that.”
O’Leary concurred, adding that the SAF increase would have relieved financial pressure on student organizations.
“The wallet of student organizations at Emory University is pretty strained right now,” O’Leary said. “We’re having some organizations get very, very close on their accounts. We definitely need to see something happen. If it’s just the [three dollar] CoLA increase, then that’s just going to have to be it for now.”
“I feel like our school has more than enough money to fund [the SAF] instead of asking us for more.” — College sophomore Hebing Wang
Based on the results of the referendum, Darby said he and the rest of SGA will be disseminating surveys to ascertain why students voted no.
“I have my own ideas, and sometimes my ideas don’t align with the student body, as we’ve seen in this referendum, but I think I’m obligated to be responsive to student concerns, by nature of being an elected representative,” Darby said.
College senior Harlan Cutshall, who is the vice president of programming for the Emory International Relations Association (EIRA), wrote that he was disappointed in the referendum’s failure.
“We receive significant funding from College Council, but are still forced to cover a large portion of our expenses independently, including conference fees for our traveling Model UN team,” Cutshall wrote in an email to the Wheel. “We were hoping that additional funds generated by an SAF increase would help not only our organization but hundreds of others across campus to help shrink this deficit, even if to a small degree. I’m upset that the referendum failed…”
Darby said that, regardless of the outcome, he felt it was encouraging to see this level of turnout.
“In the past, our turnout has been disappointing, to say the least,” he said. “I hope that in the future, we see at least this number of people voting.”
— By Sonam Vashi, Executive Editor, and Rupsha Basu, News Editor
By Rupsha Basu
The Student Activities Fee (SAF) may increase as a result of a referendum from Thursday at 8 a.m. through Friday at 8 p.m., where the Emory student body will vote on whether to increase the SAF, which is included as a part of tuition for all students, from $89 to $110 per semester. Students are able to vote online here.
The referendum has had the highest turnout of any University-wide election in history, according to available records, Elections Board Chair and College junior Reuben Lack wrote in an email. As of Friday at 4:30 p.m., 3,924 people have voted, surpassing last year’s Student Government Association (SGA) presidential race which had 3,323 votes, according to Lack.
Bill 48s108, proposed the SAF increase and passed on Monday, Nov. 17 by the SGA Legislature, outlines three incremental increases to the SAF that add up to $21 total.
First, the bill takes into account the already scheduled SAF increase for the 2015-2016 school year from $89 to $92, as per the automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (CoLA) to which the SAF is subject.
Second, according to SGA President and College junior Jon Darby and SGA Vice President for Finance and College senior Patrick O’Leary, both of whom co-authored the bill, an additional three dollars is needed to adjust for inflation.
Darby said that average inflation projections over the last few years show that the updated SAF should be $95; however, the CoLA sets it to $92, which Darby believes is insufficient.
According to the World Bank, average inflation was 1.6 percent in 2010, 3.2 percent in 2011, 2.1 percent in 2012 and 1.5 percent in 2013.
Current projections according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014 estimates inflation to be stable at 1.7 percent.
According to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document compiled by SGA, the CoLA has historically not been sufficient to account for inflation, which is why the additional increase was proposed.
SGA also passed an amendment to the CoLA adjustment, which previously increased at three percent every four years and has been changed to two percent every year.
Finally, the bill proposes that the last $15 increase be used to enact a number of SGA initiatives.
SGA has not specified the content of these initiatives, but the bill states that the programs will address “student experience equity programs created by the Student Legislature and Executive Board to enable full participation in academic and extracurricular activities regardless of socioeconomic status, enhanced programming and creation of a Meeting and Event Facilitation Fund.”
Darby also said the Student Programming Council (SPC) recommended the $15 increase as a level of finances that would constitute a different class of performers.
“I will be voting yes because I want to help provide more programming of high quality to our students,” College sophomore and SPC Special Activities Co-Chair and Technology Chair Ria Sabnis said.
“It’s a shame that some really amazing programming ideas cannot come to life because of a lack of funds, but this referendum would change that, allowing organizations like SPC to help improve campus life and the Emory experience.”
Darby said the $15 figure was produced because SGA evaluated the amount of money it would like to have on hand to give to student organizations.
SGA receives two percent of the SAF and allocates it to fund University-wide events and programs from student organizations.
Changes to the SAF requires a majority vote of the Legislature, a student body referendum and approval by the University Board of Trustees. In the event that all these bodies approve the increase, SGA will make an amendment to the Finance Code, according to Darby.
The document also references a “Student Experience Equity Fund,” which is described as “a pool of money dedicated to subsidizing tickets, travel, conference fees and other extra- and co-curricular expenses for students who can’t afford them.”
The additional $15 increase to the SAF would be used to enact this program.
The document also states that, if the SAF change is approved, SGA will use the additional funds to reassess current software and technology and invest in software solutions that are more functional and convenient for students, based on recommendations from the Student Organization Management and Collaboration Technologies Task Force.
Some graduate representatives on SGA voiced concerns during the meeting about financial pressure on students as well as responsible allocation of the additional money.
However, these concerns were not related to the dollar increase of the SAF; the SGA Legislature reached a consensus that the dollar value of the increase is appropriate.
Some students also share these concerns.
“I’m not sure if I would vote yes or no because of the ambiguity of where the additional money will be used,” College junior Casey Costello said.
“The potential ways SGA mentioned … to provid[e] opportunities to those who can’t afford it, are all good ideas, but since it is all up in the air, it’s hard for me to fully support the bill.”
Others, like College Council (CC) Vice President and College junior Alyssa Weinstein, see the benefit of the divisional councils having more money to fund student projects.
“From a College Council perspective, I think an increased SAF, if it were to increase the amount we had to give to students, that would help a lot of organizations better fund their events, pay for registration fees and travel for conferences and events,” Weinstein said.
“I think it would be important to know whether or not financial aid would cover the SAF for students to make sure this increase wouldn’t be a burden to students on financial aid, however.”
For the referendum to pass, a majority of the student body must vote ‘yes’ to the proposed change.
If the referendum does not pass, the SAF will increase to $92, as was regularly scheduled from the CoLA.
SGA will strive to make more specific allocation projections in January, Darby said.
He added that he hopes the new SGA programs will take effect next year.
— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor
This article was updated on Friday, Dec. 5 at 4:34 p.m. to reflect an updated number of turnout votes and to show that the turnout was now the highest in University history.
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
By Rupsha Basu
A new project will repurpose sewage water to fuel air conditioning and heating at Emory by spring 2015.
The project, called the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), is currently under construction on Peavine Creek Road near the baseball field and behind Beta Theta Pi fraternity. It will consist of an indoor greenhouse facility as well as an outdoor facility between the fraternity house and the baseball field.
WRF is the first of its kind in the nation to use hydroponic technology to treat waste water, according to Brent Zern, environmental engineer for the Division of Campus Services. Hydroponic technology is a water-based method of growing plants that uses mineral solutions rather than soil, Zern said.
WRF’s function is to conserve water and save utility water costs, Zern said. He added that this is especially necessary given that Atlanta is undergoing heavy droughts — a “water crisis.”
The project began three years ago with feasibility studies from an economic and engineering perspective, Zern said.
As soon as the Board of Trustees gave the greenlight, construction began last winter and will conclude in either January or February of 2015. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility in April, Zern said.
According to Zern, large plants in the greenhouse will have a substantial root system which undergoes a ecologically-based, biological treatment.
“The magic happens in the root system,” Zern said.
The roots are submerged in aerobic and anaerobic chambers — or large concrete vaults — that are home to 2,000-3,000 unique microorganisms that are able to break down waste, according to an Oct. 22 post on the University’s sustainability initiatives website.
Liquid waste from one of the three underground waste lines at Emory will be recycled and circulated through these chambers and treated with the microorganisms. The water first gets circulated through the indoor chambers and then the outdoor facility, which has different, climate-specific plants.
“Waste water is moved through the chambers, and these organisms eat the waste,” Zern said. “When it comes out, it’s a very clean water product.” He added, however, that this recycled water is never meant to be drinkable.
The WRF can treat 400,000 gallons of water per day, which amounts to 146 million gallons per year, Zern said. He added that the facility will not produce to capacity at all times and will produce a projected average of 300,000 gallons of reusable water per day.
Emory currently has a chiller plant and a steam plant that converts clean water from the county to air conditioning and heating for every building. According to Zern, the WRF would do away with the need to purchase drinkable water from the county and instead use recycled waste water.
The amount of water treated will also be seasonally dependent. During hotter months, the water will be repurposed for the chiller plant, and during cooler months, it will be repurposed for the steam plant, Zern said. The Office of Sustainability Initiatives will also pursue the possibility of reusing the water for plumbing in Raoul Hall.
According to Zern, Vice President of Campus Services Matthew Early does not want to reveal the monetary specifics of how much Emory is saving by converting to this sustainable alternative.
However, Zern said that currently Emory pays a certain amount for utility plants in addition to the cost of the clean water from the county.
“Right now, we use good drinking water supplied by the county — we don’t need that quality of water,” Zern said.
This facility would eliminate the cost of the clean water, and Emory will receive the waste water at a significantly reduced price, according to Zern.
The facility will also be available as living, learning laboratories for Emory faculty and students, Zern said. Some classes, such as one taught by Eugene J. Gangarosa Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation in the Rollins School of Public Health Christine Moe have already taken samples from the greenhouse.
Originally, the greenhouse facility without the outdoor component was designed to treat 200,000 gallons per day, but Zern said Early wanted for it to process more. Therefore, the lot behind Beta Theta Pi became the second, outdoor component of the WRF.
According to Zern, other facilities like this exist in parts of Europe and China, but the ecological treatment is unique to the WRF in the United States.
“Other people might reclaim water using chemical treatment,” Zern said. He added that the WRF is a smaller-scale project and uses few chemicals.
“We’re leading the way in water conservation efforts,” Zern said.
— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor
Correction 12/03 12:06 p.m.: This article was updated to change the first sentence, which mistakenly said the project was commissioned by the Office of Sustainability Initiatives. The information attributed to a post on the University’s sustainability initiatives page also mistakenly was attributed to an Office of Sustainability Initiatives press release.
Sophomore guard Shellie Kaniut dribbles the ball for the Eagles. Kaniut scored 16 points as Emory defeated Oglethorpe University (Ga.) 80-61 in the team’s home opener. Courtesy of Emory Athletics.
By Rupsha Basu
The women’s basketball team defeated Oglethorpe University (Ga.) in the season’s home opening game, triumphing with a box score of 80-61.
This marks the second game of the season, the first also a victory against LaGrange College (Ga.). The Eagles are now 2-0.
Junior Khadijah Sayyid clocked in her second career-best performance in a row, scoring 26 points against Oglethorpe. Her previous career-best was the day before with 24 points against LaGrange.
Sayyid also performed her second career double-double within the first 20 minutes of the game.
Teammate and junior Ilene Tsao said Sayyid’s performance uplifted the spirit of the rest of the team.
“[She] motivated the rest of the team,” Tsao said.
Sophomore Shellie Kaniut also scored in the double digits, her second time this season, with 16 points, including two three-pointers.
Sophomores Fran Sweeney and Shelby Zucker and freshman Dumebi Egbuna scored seven points each.
The Eagles shot 44.3 percent from the floor, compared to 31 percent for Oglethorpe, in addition to out-rebounding them 44-34.
“It was a game we more or less controlled,” Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty said.
Despite the team being relatively young, Tsao said the team overall played well for it being the second game of the season.
“Oglethorpe is our cross-town rival,” Tsao said.
The team lost seven members after seniors graduated last May, according to Tsao.
Thomaskutty added that some members of the team recently recovered from injury, and the team, overall, will improve with more experience.
“Our freshmen are growing up quickly,” she said.
She added that the team is growing together and learning to jell with each other.
“I like where we’re at right now,” Thomaskutty said. “We’re striving for consistency.”
Thomaskutty added that as of right now, it is too early in the season to make predictions about the rest of the season or start thinking about the championship season.
“Right now we’re focusing on the next game,” she said.
Tsao echoed these sentiments.
“I think it’s definitely going to be game by game,” Tsao said. “Each game is going to get us more prepared.”
— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor
By Rupsha Basu
The seven justices of the Georgia Supreme Court heard a special session of oral arguments for two cases at the Emory School of Law on Friday morning in front of an audience of Emory students, faculty and Georgia community members.
The attorneys for the cases, regarding child cruelty and trademarks, presented their arguments to a full Tull Auditorium, where the justices of the Court sat on the stage and heard the cases.
Every year, the Court holds proceedings around the state to make the Court’s business and processes more transparent and accessible to the public.
The justices heard the cases Corvi v. The State of Georgia and India-American Cultural Association, Inc., v. iLink Professionals, Inc.
Attorneys for both cases were each allotted 20 minutes of speaking time during which the justices intervened and asked the attorneys questions.
In the case Corvi v. The State of Georgia, the Court is considering a Paulding County grand jury’s decision to charge an Uruguayan woman, Marta Sonia Corvi, with two counts of cruelty to children in the second degree and two counts of reckless conduct for the death of two young girls who were under Corvi’s care, according to a summary of the facts and issues of the cases on the Supreme Court of Georgia’s website.
The two five year-old girls, one of whom was Corvi’s granddaughter, drowned in a swimming pool while Corvi was in the basement of the house taking her diabetes medication and conducting a 45-minute phone call, according to the summary. The only other person in the house was a 13-year-old boy, who was asleep when the incident occurred, the summary stated.
Corvi’s attorney Andrew Fleischman constructed an argument that centered around the vagueness of the language of the original decision, particularly the “failure to reasonably supervise.”
Fleischman argued that Corvi’s actions leading up to the accident did not amount to child cruelty because the language is not defined in the Georgia statute, nor were her actions negligent enough to count as a “failure to reasonably supervise.”
Because Fleischman said a 45-minute phone call is not enough time to be negligent, the justices asked him a number of questions about where the line is drawn for negligence in terms of time.
The attorney for the State, District Attorney Donald Donovan, argued that Fleischman trying to prove language was too vague was not sufficient to raise a constitutional challenge.
First-year Law student Kristilee Ginther said she thought the justices should decide in favor of the State.
In India-American Cultural Association, Inc., v. iLink Professionals, Inc., the judges were asked to evaluate two companies’ rights to use the names “Miss India Georgia” and “Miss Teen India Georgia” for annual pageants, according to the summary.
The India-American Cultural Association, Inc. (IACA) had been hosting these two pageants for a number of years, but in 2011 and 2012 decided it would not host the events because they did not have the personnel for them.
iLink claimed that the IACA had agreed to let them host the pageant in 2012, but the IACA claimed that it did not indicate whether they would continue hosting the pageants after 2012, meaning iLink did not have rights to the trademarks for “Miss India Georgia” and “Miss Teen India Georgia,” according to the summary.
However, iLink had registered for the rights to the trademark and the IACA had not, the summary stated.
The attorney for the Association William Brewster argued that trademark rights are acquired through use rather than registration.
The attorney for iLink Michael Higgins argued that since iLink had held the pageants in 2012 they held the rights to the trademark and the IACA had abandoned them.
Kurtis Anderson, a first-year Law student, said he thought the Association’s argument was the more compelling.
“They didn’t give up their rights to the pageants just because they didn’t hold it one year,” Anderson said.
While most of the audience were law students, some still found the arguments in the cases familiar.
First-year Law student Amanda Schwarzenbart said she found the session helpful because first-year law students are assigned to construct an oral argument during their second semester.
Ginther said she was surprised by how many concepts she recognized during the session even as a first year law student.
The Court will release its rulings on the cases once they come to a decision in a few weeks.
— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor
Students who attended this month’s FACE meeting provided multiple suggestions regarding the Dobbs Market in the Dobbs University Center (DUC) (pictured above), including more seasoning on food, increased weekend staff and more options in the gluten-free station. Students also raised concerns about Sodexo workers’ rights. | Photo by Jason Oh /Staff
By Rupsha Basu
More than 100 students attended yesterday’s (Nov. 6) Food Advisory Committee Emory (FACE) meeting as they discussed Sodexo workers’ rights, suggestions for food improvements in Dobbs Market and Cox Hall and food sustainability efforts.
Every month, FACE invites students and Emory Dining staff to a town hall-style meeting in Winship Ballroom, where dinner is served and attendees can air concerns about anything and everything related to food at Emory.
During yesterday’s meeting, students raised a number of comments and concerns while eating a buffet arranged by Emory Catering.
The meeting lasted about 45 minutes and students were able to take leftover food home in to-go boxes.
FACE Co-Chairs College senior Karoline Porcello, College junior Molly Talman and FACE Board Members assigned to different areas of campus dining took notes of the suggestions made during the meeting.
College sophomore and FACE Cox Hall Representative Elizabeth Hibbler announced at the beginning of the meeting that the salad bar at Cox would continue pricing by ounce.
She added that Pasta John’s restaurant will now be consistently serving gluten-free pasta and will also be looking into serving macaroni and cheese.
College junior and FACE Vice President of Sustainability Hannah Dugoni introduced a joint initiative between Emory Dining and the Office of Sustainability that would allow students to request boxes of fruits and vegetables to be picked up on Tuesday’s weekly Farmers Market.
Porcello and Talman also encouraged students to write on comment cards placed in the center of their tables, particularly about Eagle Convenience and Subs, a new on-campus convenience store in the Dobbs University Center (DUC).
During the meeting, Porcello updated attendees about Emory Dining’s considerations when its 10-year Sodexo contract expires in the spring.
She said they will be receiving bids from food service providers in December and January, and the decision whether to stick with Sodexo or switch providers will be made in March.
According to USA Today, Sodexo is the 14th largest employer in the world with around 380,000 employees and provides food for 34,000 sites in 80 countries around the world.
Many students added their thoughts into the discussion surrounding the Sodexo contract.
College junior Raissa Mutuyimana said she had never had a negative experience with a Sodexo staff worker and stressed that she wanted to ensure that Sodexo provided sufficient workers’ rights. In spring 2011, members of the group Students and Workers in Solidarity (SWS) held a widely-covered protest against Sodexo at Emory for alleged mistreatment of its workers.
Resident District Manager Todd Schram, who oversees Sodexo services, agreed.
“There have been a lot of changes in the last couple of years, and change is never easy,” Schram said. “We have a very good relationship with our staff.”
He added that there are always issues when there is authority involved, but Sodexo maintains a promise of respect and fair treatment.
Mutuyimana then asked whether Sodexo workers had opportunities for advancement, which Schram also addressed.
“I would ask you to be a little open about that,” Schram said. “We’re always looking to promote within.” He added that they always look within first, but it depends on the position.
Another student asked about employment benefits for Sodexo workers.
“We’re aligned with Emory in terms of wages and benefits,” Schram responded, adding that the standard minimum wage for Sodexo workers at Emory is $11.85.
Porcello also asked the attendees what was one thing they would change about dining at Emory, eliciting several student responses.
Some were concerned about accessibility and the variety of food options on campus.
College junior Amelia Sims requested shrimp at the Cox salad bar.
Michael Sacks (‘14C) requested a slurpee machine in Cox, which many students seconded.
Many students had suggestions involving the Dobbs Market in the DUC, including more breakfast options at LateNight, more seasoning in the food, cleaner dishes and better staffing on the weekends.
College sophomore Alex Lipow, who attended the FACE meeting for the first time, said he came to voice his concerns about the gluten-free options.
He told FACE that the gluten-free station in the DUC is often empty on the weekends.
Other students had concerns about the pricing of food on campus.
College junior Andrea Gamboa asked whether the Freshens station at Cox could have lower prices, citing rice bowls, which are around $7, as an expensive example.
Porcello and Emory Dining Retail Director Andy Gaudiano responded by saying that this was not possible because the restaurants in Cox use franchise pricing, which cannot be changed specifically for the stations at Emory.
Manager of Dining Operations and Sustainability Chad Sunstein added that there is a tradeoff between prices and sustainability. For example, he said, all the chicken served on campus cannot be 100 percent organic because it would be extremely expensive.
Hibbler raised concerns about steep charges at Highland Bakery for food add-ons or ingredient replacements.
She suggested a punch-card system, where a student can receive a free food item after receiving a certain number of punches on their card.
— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor
Senior Tamara Surtees runs to the finish. Surtees led the women’s team to a third-place finish at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships last Saturday. | Photo courtesy of Emory Athletics
By Rupsha Basu
The Emory men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the 28th annual University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, during which the women’s team finished third and the men’s team finished fifth.
The competition was held at Forest Park in St. Louis, Mo. and hosted by Washington University in St. Louis (Wash. U.).
Eight teams make up the UAA in which Emory competes, including Wash. U., the University of Chicago (Ill.), Case Western Reserve (Ohio), Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.), New York University, the University of Rochester (N.Y.) and Brandeis University (Mass.).
Ranked 30th nationally, the women’s team finished four spots better than last year’s finish of seventh place, with a total of 106 points. According to Head Coach John Curtin, the women’s performance “was a real step for them.”
“Seven of the 10 kids ran their fastest times ever on a day that maybe wasn’t a personal record kind of day,” Curtin said.
He added that the two teams that finished before Emory’s team, Wash. U. and the University of Chicago, are likely to be competing for the top trophies at the National Championships.
As Curtin noted, several students ran personal best times in various events. Senior Tamara Surtees clocked in a 6K time of 22:02, which placed her fifth out of 77 runners. Surtees was also the recipient of First Team All-UAA honors, which rewards the best runners among all the teams.
Junior Marissa Gogniat came in 15th in the field with a time of 22:45, the second fastest time for the women’s team.
The third Emory finisher was freshman Halle Markel at 23:08 in 26th place.
Sophomore Sophie Cemaj also clocked a personal best with 23:13, placing her at 29th, and senior Elise Viox ran her personal best of 23:21, putting her in 34th place.
Additionally, Markel’s performance rendered her eligible for the UAA’s All-Freshman Team.
The men’s team finished with a total of 119 points.
According to Curtin, six of the eight men’s UAA teams are nationally ranked.
“It’s incredibly competitive,” Curtin said.
Junior Lukas Mees finished the 8K at 25:42, which is his second-best time and earned him 12th out of 78 competitors. His performance received Second Team All-UAA honors.
“It was a privilege to earn All-Conference honors and lead the team as the first scorer,” Mees wrote in an email to the Wheel.
He added that he is capable of a better performance, and the Regional and National Championships will be an opportunity to prove that.
Senior Tyler Cooke finished with a time of 25:57 in 22nd place and sophomore Grant Murphy finished 24th with a time of 25:59.95.
Cooke commented on the competitive nature of the meet.
“We would’ve liked to get higher [than fifth place], but we ran really well together as a team,” Cooke said. “Everyone came together and had a really strong race.”
Freshman Jordan Flowers finished in 26th place with a time of 26:03 and senior Alex Fleischhacker finished 36th with a time of 26:20.
Mees noted Flowers’ and Murphy’s performances in particular.
“Both had breakthrough races,” Mees said. “Flowers earned a spot on the top-seven All-UAA Rookie Team,” which refers to the top freshmen performers in the UAA.
Curtin and Mees both noted that the men’s team is currently ranked first in the Southeast Region.
Both said they are looking forward to the rest of the championship season.
“We’ve shown that we have the fitness, we have the guts to put it all out there on race day,” Mees said. “The final piece is having the brains to run a smart race. This will be the deciding factor of whether or not our nationals bid is successful.”
Emory’s cross country teams will compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) South/Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 15.
“The real focal point of our season is … the NCAA championships,” Curtin said.
Curtin said he tells his students to break the season into the non-championship half and the championship half.
“When it’s all over the thing to remember is the championship season,” he said, adding that the UAA is just the first of such competitions.
Cooke also said the team’s performance bodes well for the rest of the championship season.
“It’s a really good sign going forward to Regionals and Nationals,” he said.
Mees added that Assistant Coach Lance Harden’s contributions have been paramount to the team’s success during his first year coaching the men’s team.
“The program will only be getting better,” Mees said. “It’s an exciting time to be a distance runner at Emory.”
— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor
Dobbs University Center | Photo by Jason Oh
By Rupsha Basu
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
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Rupsha Basu
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
By Rupsha Basu
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 email@example.com
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