The Colgate Scene
January 2004

Around the college

Bulgarian Dance team members perform a regional dance at World Expo in the Hall of Presidents during Family Weekend. [Photo by Aubrey Graham]
Upstate Institute created

Colgate is launching the Upstate Institute to serve as a resource for organizations and individuals seeking regional expertise or information about upstate New York.

The institute's mission is to develop "an understanding of what educational institutions can and ought to do for their communities to promote a full understanding of the cultural, social, economic, and environmental resources of upstate New York and thereby foster sustainable development."

Jane Pinchin, vice president for academic advancement, who led the early development of the Upstate Institute and serves as its first director, said that the idea first surfaced in 2000 when members of the Colgate faculty collaborated with John Zogby to conduct the Colgate/Zogby Upstate Poll.

"That project opened our eyes to the many ways in which the work of Colgate faculty members related to upstate New York," said Pinchin. "We began thinking about how we might create an administrative structure that would promote cross-pollination of those interests to advance knowledge of our region."

During the past year, Pinchin has worked with a growing committee to inventory the interests of more than 40 members of the Colgate faculty and staff whose work relates to upstate New York, from the environment and ecology of the region to its history, arts, and economy, and from academic research to hands-on involvement, in addition to the COVE (Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education), through which students participate in service learning and volunteer activities in the region.

In addition to cataloguing and coordinating the work of professors and students, the Upstate Institute will sponsor regular conferences and exhibitions that bring together experts from on and off campus to focus on upstate issues. Pinchin is planning the first of those conferences for this spring with the working title "Upstate and the Liberal Arts: New Partnerships for the 21st Century." Also this semester, the Picker Art Gallery will mount an exhibition titled "Arts and Crafts: The Oneida Community."

In the 2004-2005 academic year, the Upstate Institute will operate from the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, with Associate Dean Jill Tiefenthaler -- a member of the organizing committee -- serving as director. "The institute will leverage the work of faculty and students as it relates to upstate issues, creating a resource on campus and in the community to advance regional understanding and development," Tiefenthaler said.

Nationally syndicated columnist and author Arianna Huffington signs copies of her recent book Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption are Undermining America after her talk on public financing of political campaigns, which was sponsored by the Colgate chapter of Democracy Matters.

President Rebecca Chopp chats with Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago Law School, before a luncheon "conversation" with faculty members in Merrill House in October. The topic of the conversation was "How can a reformed liberal arts education prepare students to be citizens of the world?" Nussbaum also delivered the annual Elias J. and Rosa Lee Nemir Audi Lecture.

The university withdrew recognition of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity and suspended three of its members in November for repeated violations of the university's policy forbidding hazing. All chapter operations were ceased and the chapter house was scheduled to be closed at the end of the fall semester.

Twice during the fall semester, the fraternity was found to have hazed new members. The first instance, which took place away from campus and was initially reported to the college by local police, violated the university policy that forbids organizations from hazing or pledging. KDR was also found responsible for serving alcohol to minors during other new member events and for submitting false new membership education plans. For those violations the university placed the fraternity on probation for two years and provided resources to help KDR take corrective measures. In addition, the National Fraternity of Kappa Delta Rho placed the Colgate chapter on probation.

Following the first sanction, the university confirmed reports that the fraternity membership had subsequently met and agreed as a group to resume hazing activities, which included restraining new members in a boiler room, forcing new members to stay up all night, intentional humiliation, and planning to drop new members at remote locations and impede their return to campus. The fraternity admitted all charges at a hearing before a campus conduct board and also admitted filing a false and misleading statement with the university and violating the terms of their probation. The hearing board comprised students and members of the faculty and administrative staff.

Dean of the College Adam Weinberg stated: "We gave KDR a second chance. We placed them on probation and made resources available to them. KDR made a conscious decision as a group to resume the hazing. This left us very little choice."

On December 2, President Rebecca Chopp met with student leaders and fraternity members after approximately 150 students gathered in the administration building to hear fraternity members and supporters express their objections to the university's decision.

In their meeting with representatives from KDR and the Student Government Association, Chopp and other university officials discussed issues such as disciplinary matters, proactive steps to support fraternities and sororities, and student input in policy formation. The group agreed to meet again to continue the dialogue.

Colgate's Policy on Hazing, provided to all students in the Student Handbook, and mailed to all Colgate students and parents in October this year, states that "Hazing is any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health, or creates substantial embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule, or involves the forced consumption of food, alcohol, or drugs in the course of initiation or continuing affiliation with an organization," and stipulates that "Groups that violate the university hazing policy will forfeit recognition." A statement that governs the relationship between the university and its fraternities and sororities also expressly forbids hazing and the other violations for which KDR was found responsible. The Student Handbook stipulates that students must also comply with the New York State Anti-Hazing Law.

Little Hall receives prestigious award

Little Hall, home to the Department of Art and Art History, has received an Award of Excellence from the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) in their 2003 national design competition. The award is the program's top honor and was one of only nine Excellence Awards presented in 2003.

The award jury cited the building for ". . . fitting beautifully into a very complex site."

The designer of the building, Chad Floyd, FAIA, of Centerbrook Architects, commented: "Little Hall was sited to fit into a hillside in a way that opens up the campus to a remarkable view of Colgate's lower campus. It also interacts closely with Paul Rudolph's Dana Art Center and the Ryan Art Studio to create a new arts and entertainment quadrangle. Its exterior materials were inspired by the detail and character of traditional Colgate buildings constructed of bluestone with cream-colored trim. Little Hall rekindles Colgate's architectural roots while creating a new tradition of a factory for the arts."

The award ceremony was held on October 17 during SARA's 47th annual convention in New York City.

University of Chicago scholar Xiaobing Tang answers student questions pertaining to his lecture about modern Chinese woodblock prints, in particular, artist Li Hua's visually arresting work "Roar, China!"
Website makeover

Colgate's public website ( has a new look and many new features. Launched in November, the site is targeted to prospective students and parents, prospective faculty and staff members, the media, and the general public. In addition to enhanced navigation and access to information, new features include a slideshow, hundreds of factoids, and profiles of faculty members and students that amplify Colgate's excellence.

Let it snow

Global warming has had a surprising impact on the Great Lakes region of the United States -- more snow, according to a team of researchers led by Associate Professor of Geography Adam Burnett. The team's comparative study of snowfall records (published in the November issue of the Journal of Climate) indicated a significant increase in snowfall in the Great Lakes region since the 1930s but no such increase in non-Great Lakes areas.

Nearby Syracuse, N.Y., one of the snowiest cities in the United States, experienced four of its largest snowfalls on record in the 1990s -- the warmest decade in the 20th century, as a result of global warming.

"Recent increases in the water temperature of the Great Lakes are consistent with global warming," Burnett explained. "This widens the gap between water temperature and air temperature -- the ideal condition for snowfall."

The team compared snowfall records from 15 weather stations within the Great Lakes region with those from 10 stations outside of the region. Records dating back to 1931 were available for eight of the lake-effect and six of the non-lake-effect areas. Records for the rest of the sample date back to 1950.

"We found a statistically significant increase in snowfall in the lake-effect region since 1931, but no such increase in the non-lake-effect area during the same period," said Burnett. "This leads us to believe that recent increases in lake-effect snowfall are not the result of changes in regional weather disturbances."

President Rebecca Chopp's office in James B. Colgate Hall is a small gallery of art and craft.

Six black-and-white etchings by American artist Richard Serra accentuate the 16-foot walls in a space built in 1890 as a library seminar room. Paul J. Schupf '58, who loaned WM-V and Weight and Measure, said: "President Chopp's office is so perfect for Serra's series that it would appear that the prints were created for the space." In fact, they are a monumental two-dimensional examination after the sculpture Weight and Measure created for the Tate Gallery in London.

A late-19th-century kilim, also from Schupf's collection, hangs on one wall of the office, opposite a 21st-century quilt by local artist Norma Lamb.

The office furniture is in the mission style, popularized in the early 20th century by L. and J.G. Stickley, whose company has been resurrected in nearby Manlius, N.Y. by Alfred '60 and Aminy Audi.

A gift from the geology department -- the state fossil of New York (a 410-million-year-old sea scorpion) -- bears the plaque: "Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another (Matthew Browne)." A small Mexican painted armadillo is a thick-skinned symbol for administrators. A large ceramic platter painted with a rural scene evokes the president's childhood in Kansas.

[Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko]
Ammerman awarded ACLS Fellowship

Albert Ammerman of the Department of Classics has been awarded a fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to write a book titled Early Rome in Profile. The book, which will provide a synthesis of the archaeological field work that Ammerman has done in Rome for the last 18 years, will focus on the major changes that were taking place in the years between 650 B.C. and 550 B.C., the critical time in the formation of the early city.

ACLS Fellowships, which provide funding for a full year of research and writing, were awarded to 72 scholars from 1,018 applicants and are affiliated with 49 institutions in the United States and one each in Canada, Egypt, and France. Ammerman, a senior research associate at Colgate since 1985, was awarded the fellowship at the level of full professor.

Over the years, Ammerman has divided his time between Colgate and Italy, where he conducts archaeological projects in Rome and Venice and has regularly been a visiting professor at the Universities of Parma, Trent, and Venice. A book that he edited, The Widening Harvest, has recently been published by the Archaeological Institute of America.

Film series sparks discussion

A new film series concentrating on lesbian and gay issues at the Hamilton Movie House has ignited discussion among students, faculty, and community members, organizers said. "Out on the Town" is the result of the combined efforts of the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Initiatives, and the LGBTQ Supporters Network.

Because of the positive response, the LGBTQ Supporters Network, which helped host the seven-week film festival, is now planning for it to become an annual event.

"For most of the films, we've gotten between 30 and 40 people, and a bunch of them always stay after the film for a discussion at the Barge (Canal Coffee Company), which is excellent," said Amanda Smith '05, a member of the LGBTQ Supporters Network.

"Generally, we are hoping to create an atmosphere in the area that is more welcoming to LGBTQ people, to create more visibility for LGBTQ people, and to provide a public forum where everyone can learn about LGBTQ issues in a safe, supportive, and informed manner," said grants assistant and LGBTQ Supporters Network member Chris Hoffman.

Films in the fall 2003 series included Big Eden, Trembling Before G-d, Aimee and Jaguar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Get Real, Fire, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and The Celluloid Closet. Bob Connelly '84, professor of queer film at American University in Washington, D.C., came to campus to introduce The Celluloid Closet and facilitate a post-film discussion.

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