Camp-out for the homeless
During the week of March 24, a group of Colgate students braved brisk temperatures and mixed precipitation to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and to raise money for the Rescue Mission of Syracuse. The group called their event Intellectuals for the Homeless.
Founded by senior Dan Barnes, the group pitched tents on the quad in front of the chapel, and senior Phil Sieper slept in a cardboard box on the chapel steps. After the first night's group of ten, as many as 27 people maintained a vigil around a small fire in a metal barrel for five days and four nights, attracting the attention of passersby as well as local media. Outdoor Education and Buildings and Grounds loaned the group camping equipment and provided firewood.
Several special guests visited the campsite in the evenings, joining in discussions of related topics -- including Paul Pinet, professor of geology, Patricia Glazebrook, assistant professor of philosophy and religion (who camped out with the students for one night), and Katie Redford '90 and her husband Ka Hsaw Wa (who were on campus to give a talk on their involvement in the human rights movement in Burma and stopped by afterward).
The Intellectuals for the Homeless earned $1,425, exceeding their goal of $1000. "I was very pleased with the outcome," said Barnes, who subsisted on bread, soup and water (and left the site only to go to class and use the restroom) for the entire week. "I'd like to thank everyone who contributed. In addition to the money, we definitely succeeded in raising awareness on campus."
Six plays, written, directed, staged and acted by students, constituted this year's University Theater Spring Festival. Among the works was The Andy Warhol Factory, written by Elise Sherman '97, directed by Kieran Campion '99 and designed by Stephanie Rosenbloom '97, which featured Azurae Chambers '98, left, and Kate Bertine '97 in the midst of an all-nighter
Habitat Spring Break
In the wee hours of the morning on March 16, thirteen Colgate students piled into a maroon passenger van and departed for the fourth annual Alternative Spring Break. Instead of heading for tropical shores or just going home to veg out, this group spent their week off in Tazewell, Tennessee on a project with Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge: Spring Break '97.
The Colgate crew was joined by students from the University of New Hampshire, local volunteers and the future owners of the homes they helped to construct. Over the course of the week they worked on two sites, where they got the hang of hanging vinyl siding -- under the guidance of team leader Scott Mays '97 -- on one house and got the lowdown on foundations laying concrete block for the other home.
The group included Kristin Buckley '98, Anne Dorr '99, Heidi Erbsen '99, Matt Gahr '97, Emma Jackson '99, David Noble '99, Webster Pilcher '00, Jeff Pugsley '00, Vanessa Rath '99, Hilary Sizemore '00, Tracy Tanner '00 and team leaders Mays and Jackie Waite '98.
Senior Amy L. Allocco is among 60 U.S. college students who have won 1997-98 Watson Fellowships.
Allocco, a double concentrator in philosophy and religion and Asian studies from North Babylon, N.Y., has received a grant to study Hindu women's ritual practices in South India. Women of the Hindu religion are the keepers of domestic ritual and operate within a specific framework as they conduct elaborate rites using incense, flowers, food offerings, sacred ashes, complicated patterned chalk drawings, and other practices. Allocco became fascinated with their religious rituals, which are concerned with keeping the home sanctified as well as with longevity, puberty, marriage, conception and childbirth, in part when she participated in Colgate's India Study Group. She plans to live with a Hindu family in Madras, where she will observe and participate with the women in their daily rituals.
Since 1969, 48 Colgate students have been named Watson Fellows.
At the first-ever Service Day, founded and organized by seniors Tami Downes and Cara Jacobstein, Colgate students got a chance to spend a Saturday in April volunteering for the local community. Small armies got out their rakes and paintbrushes to help spruce up the Southern Madison County Ambulance Corps and Fire Dept, the Earlville Opera House, the dugout at Hamilton's Little League field, and the Madison Lane Apartments for the elderly. A fifth group helped bring in the hay at Heritage Farms.
Lifetime Women's Summit
Marietta Cheng, professor of music, was chosen by Lifetime Television to add her voice to its "Lifetime Women's Summit: Lifetime in the 21st Century" March 4 and 5 in Washington, D.C. Linda Ellerbee, who gave the opening speech at the summit, is creating a television special to be broadcast on Lifetime.
One hundred women who are leaders in their fields -- including such luminaries as Jane Alexander, head of the National Endowment for the Arts; film director Nora Ephron; and Linda Wilson, president of Radcliffe College -- brainstormed about women's careers in the 21st century. During the session, Cheng was one of ap-proximately ten women who were also individually interviewed for future programming on Lifetime.
Cheng was invited to the summit after her interview as a leading women conductor on Cable News Network's "All About Women" series. The segment examined the issue of underrepresentation of women in the field of music directors of professional and semi-professional orchestras. Originally broadcast on CNN, it also aired on CNN Headline News and several CNN affiliate stations. On the same subject, Cheng wrote an op-ed piece that was published in the New York Times on April 19.
Jim Manzi '73, chairman and CEO of Nets Inc, a business-to-business Internet marketing service, spoke on the intersection of information technology and the liberal arts to a full crowd in the Helen K. Persson Auditorium on April 7.
"The days are mine now but the nights will eternally belong to Hitler," 76-year-old Auschwitz survivor Helen Sperling told 300 students.
For 15 springs Helen Sperling has come to campus to share her experience and tell her harrowing story. She grew up in a small Polish town with her middle-class parents, who discounted the possibility of Hitler actually carrying out the threats he made.
Sperling's childhood was cut short by the Nazis, who tried to enslave her. A rebellious streak, which she believes saved her, allowed her to survive and to deliver her powerful message.
Before a hushed room Helen Sperling opened a case and removed two small picture frames with photographs of her parents, who died in Auschwitz. This is her answer to those who claim the Holocaust is a myth. "Six million faces as beautiful as these were wiped out," she says.
Having shared her story, Helen Sperling asks the students for a hug. After the embrace, on his way out of the Clark Room, one student says, "We want to ask why. We want to say no. This horror is real and we want to say never again."
The two-year-old equestrian club held an open house at Triple Creek Farm in the hills near Leonardsville to let people know about the organization. The club held a show last fall and plans future events as well as its regular schedule of lessons and training sessions.
The Student Senate sponsored an open forum on race at Colgate. The discussion grew out of Skin Deep, a midwinter weekend retreat that dealt with racial issues and attitudes. Students, who packed the Clark Room, were divided into 30 small groups to cover various topics including the Harlem Renaissance Center and the eligibility of first-year students to live in that residence hall.
Despite the lack of tangible resolutions, many students felt by opening discussions a change had begun.
WinterFest looked more like Spring Party, but despite the thaw, or perhaps because of it, students carried on and enjoyed themselves. "I have never seen such enthusiasm. It was well worth the shirt, pants and shoes that were completely destroyed by the mud," says Minnie Keh '98, a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma team competing in the WinterFest relays.
Event organizers Burgie Howard, Barb Kershaw and Jeff Kniple of the Student Activities office decided to let the games begin even with February temperatures in the 60s. Mud replaced snow for human bobsled races, strict winter rules were enforced for golf and more than 100 participants discovered a green (and brown) WinterFest isn't so bad.
Cushman House alumni took top honors but everyone seemed to have a good time.
In a cruel turn of events, Spring Party Weekend turned out more the way WinterFest is supposed to, what with three cold inches of snow. Saturday's lineup of bands and a host of other events scheduled for Whitnall Field were moved to the Hall of Presidents, but it wasn't quite the same. Weekend headliners Toad the Wet Sprocket carried on in Cotterell Court, but as Toad the snow-covered Sprocket.
The football team played its spring game in the snow, but despite the conditions Colgate won. Actually, it was a pretty successful athletic weekend. Women's lacrosse won two games and the men's team thumped Bucknell. The crew club managed to host its first-ever ragatta, the Seneca Cup, on Lake Moraine and won five of the seven races. Softball, alas, was snowed out.
So for those keeping score, it's mud for WinterFest, snow on Spring Party Weekend, with Commencement coming to bat and reunion on deck.
Eugene Robinson '85, who won a 1997 Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers, was on campus to pump up the Red Raiders before the spring game. "I know you're sizing me up," said Robinson, who urged the players to use their heads. "Football is the most academic of all games."
What Does Your Colgate Education Mean to You?
Every ten years, Colgate undertakes a self-study as part of its re-accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The focus of the 1998 self-study is the curriculum. The college is interested in alumni reactions to their educational experiences at Colgate. What do you value most from your education? What have you found most useful? How has it enriched your life? What were its strengths and weaknesses? Do you view your General Education courses differently now? Your concentration? Are there courses or experiences (study groups, senior thesis, summer research, a performance, an event) that have especially influenced your thinking or impacted your life?
These are only suggested questions. The self-study team is interested in whatever you have to say, formal or informal, long or brief. Just give your name and/or class, and address your comments to Professor Margaret Maurer, English Department, or Professor Thomas Tucker, Mathematics Department, Colgate University, 13 Oak Dr., Hamilton N.Y., 13346. You can also email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. It would be most helpful to have comments by July 1.
The University Chorus and Festival Orchestra, conducted by Stan Scott, performed the Mozart Requiem, considered among the most exquisite in choral literature, on April 13.