The Colgate Scene
November 2004

Around the college

Smoke from an adjacent grill added a bit of ambience to a performance by student band Joint Account during the annual ALANA Cultural Center Kick-Off BBQ in early September. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '06]

Koch opens new center's 2004-2005 series
The new Center for Freedom & Western Civilization welcomes former New York City mayor Ed Koch in order to stimulate thought and provide intellectual diversity.

Alumni-student conference addresses Greek issues
Faternity and sorority alumni meet with undergraduate Greek leaders in the first-ever conference of its kind.

Colgate has broken ground for a new 78,000-square-foot townhouse complex that is slated to open in the 2005-2006 academic year. Located just south of campus on Route 12B, the complex will house between 145 and 290 students, primarily juniors and seniors. Some units will house residential education staff members who will provide mentorship and support to students as they build communities in the new units.

"The size is all about providing spaces for students to build healthy communities," said Dean of the College Adam Weinberg.

"In talking with students, we've found that upperclassmen are looking for both an off-campus experience and the feel of a campus community. I think we're going to strike that balance with this new complex," said President Rebecca S. Chopp, who noted that Colgate will continue to permit 250 students to live in non-Colgate housing each year.

The complex comprises nine two-level buildings, each with 16 or 17 bedrooms. In addition to high-speed Internet and Colgate network access, the units will feature "creature comforts" such as air conditioning, kitchens with dishwashers, study areas, and large patios. "The new residence will allow us to eliminate Gate House, a modular, temporary residence near the end of its useful life, and will give us some much-needed additional housing capacity," said Mark Spiro, vice president for administrative services.

Colgate housing currently operates at about 98 percent to 99 percent capacity, which puts the university in a pinch in times of emergency. The industry standard for capacity, Spiro said, is about 94 percent to 95 percent. In addition, Gate House is targeted for demolition because the land it sits on is needed as part of the Ho Science Center construction project.

In order to be able to move forward with the project, it was necessary that Colgate request that the land -- already owned by the university -- be annexed into the village of Hamilton, which would provide access to utilities and public safety services.

The project also had to pass an intensive State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) and the land had to be rezoned for institutional use. The annexation, SEQR, and rezoning were approved Sept. 20, clearing the way for construction.

The architect of record for the project is Holt Architects, based in Ithaca, N.Y., which has previously worked on projects with Cornell, Clarkson, and Syracuse Universities, and Wells College, among others.

Udayan Das Roy '04, right, relaxes with Carlee Leraris '06 and Jeffrey Karb '05 after participating in a Morgan Stanley career information session in Persson Auditorium. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '06]

Professor Anthony Aveni has received the H.B. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies from the Moses Mesoamerican Archive at the Peabody Museum, Harvard University. Aveni, the Russell B. Colgate Professor of astronomy and anthropology and Native American studies, received the award at a ceremony at Harvard in October. While at Harvard, Aveni also delivered the Peabody Museum's annual Founder's Lecture.

David Carrasco, Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the study of Latin America at Harvard, said that Aveni's "teaching, writings, and public lectures personify the meaning of the word excellence. In bestowing this Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies to Tony Aveni, we join his name to the first recipient of this award, Eduardo Matos Moctzuma. We also join Aveni's name, career, and life to that of H.B. Nicholson in whose name the medal is given." H.B. Nicholson is a Harvard University graduate who has written the most exhaustive study of the career of the Toltec king Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl.

"Aveni's genius and ability to galvanize interest and colleagues into the work of archaeoastronomy resulted in a meeting ground for three already established inquiries into ancient astronomyastroarchaeology, the history of astronomy, and ethnoastronomy," said Carrasco.

Peter Balakian, Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the humanities, who is author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, received several honors during a recent trip to Armenia.

Balakian was inducted into the Armenian Writers' Union as an honorary member; given an honorary doctorate and made an honorary member of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences; and awarded a cultural achievement medal by His Holiness Karekin II.

During a visit to the Armenian Genocide Institute-Museum at Zizernakaberd, Balakian and his mother, Mrs. Arax Balakian, planted a tree in memory of their family members who perished in the genocide.

Comedian Mitch Hedberg amused an overflowing crowd in Memorial Chapel with his simple antics and deadpan style. His appearance was sponsored by the SGA Executive Board and the Charred Goosebeak comedy troupe. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '06] On a warm night in early September, two students sit among hundreds of others who turned out for an open-air showing of the feature film Troy on the Quad. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

After delivering an Art and Art History Series lecture, photographer Fabian Birgfeld watches from afar as students and professors browse his Picker Art Gallery exhibition, "Spaces of Allusion." [Photo by Aubrey Graham '06]

As part of this year's orientation for first-year students, a new initiative that included improvisational theater was unveiled in an effort to increase awareness and stimulate discussion of sensitive college issues.

Called Power Hour, the program was modeled after a similar approach taken at Villanova University, and involved a "hands-on" approach to topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, date rape, sexual harassment, and tolerance, among others.

During a gathering at Cotterell Court, about 70 volunteers, including members of Colgate's BACCHUS (peer education) organization, mingled with first-year students and pretended to engage in high-risk behavior.

Some volunteers acted inebriated, several dealt plastic baggies of fake drugs to fellow actors or pretended they were high, and some made loud sexist, racist, or homophobic remarks.

The interactive portion of Power Hour ended when one of the actors pretended to pass out from consuming too much alcohol. Campus Safety arrived to tend to the "victim," and the event organizers revealed the ruse. Links and resident assistants then gathered up smaller groups of first-years to talk about what had happened.

Coordinators said one of the main goals of the event was to get first-year students talking and thinking well ahead of time about how they would react in some of the situations represented, so that they would never get caught off-guard if one of the events actually occurred.

"If this went well, we made everyone feel uncomfortable," said Trisha Hutchins, a junior astrogeophysics major and member of BACCHUS who portrayed a pot dealer during the program. "And that, I think, will make [the first-year students] discuss the issues a little bit more with their Links and friends."

Jamie-Lynn DiScala, the actress who plays Meadow on the HBO hit TV series, The Sopranos, spoke in September about conquering her eating disorder. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '06]

Jamie-Lynn DiScala, best known for her role as Meadow on HBO's The Sopranos, provided students with an intimate account of her battle with exercise bulimia during an appearance on campus in early September. Her visit was sponsored by Colgate Advocates of Responsible Eating Styles, Colgate Activities Board, Body Image Network, and Men Advocating Change.

In August, the 23-year-old actress released her first book, Wise Girl: What I've Learned about Life, Loss and Love. The memoir details her struggle with the eating disorder during the late 1990s and the steps she took to control it. During her lecture, DiScala said the problem began at age 16, when a sudden breakup with her first boyfriend made her vow to lose five pounds. But five pounds eventually became 45 pounds.

"I couldn't believe that I let it get that far," DiScala said. "Recovery was very difficult." DiScala's down-to-earth persona resonated with many of the students who filled Memorial Chapel.

"She was so humble, so down to earth, and so approachable. She talked about something everyone had or has issues with: self image," said Sabah Rabbi '05.

Even Sopranos fans walked away feeling touched by DiScala's personal account. "I called my parents and told them, `Meadow is coming!'" said Alix Quinn '05. "But I know it's a disease that affects so many women and girls. Someone who's been there, someone very high profile and someone really admired, was definitely good for the Colgate audience."

Student admission tour guides shared the most bizarre questions they've ever been asked in a summer 2004 survey by Dean of Admission Gary Ross.

  1. I saw a man in a truck with a goat downtown last night. Would you say that is typical?
  2. Do you have a goat?
  3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how funky is the Colgate campus?
  4. Does Colgate have Civil War reenactments on campus, and if so, what infantry is deployed?
  5. Does anyone know how many squirrels there are on campus?
  6. Is there a separate tour to describe the different trees on the Colgate campus?
  7. Does the school store only sell Colgate toothpaste?
  8. Is there somewhere in Hamilton where I can get my eyebrows waxed?

In August, Rabbi Garson Herzfeld joined the chaplain's office as Jewish chaplain for the 2004-2005 academic year.

A graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Rabbi Herzfeld brings extensive experience both in university rabbinical work and as a congregational rabbi. His rabbinic thesis was "Changing Attitudes of American Reform Judaism with Respect to the Zionist Idea." He has taken doctoral-level courses in education, counseling, and human development. Hebrew Union College awarded Rabbi Herzfeld the Doctor of Divinity Degree in March 2004.

During Street Fest in downtown Hamilton, Colgate students (above) wonder whether or not they would be allowed to keep the free kittens being offered in campus housing. The second annual Street Fest, sponsored by the Hamilton Merchants Association, the Partnership for Community Development, the Hamilton Initiative, and Colgate, featured live bands, street performers, sidewalk sales, outdoor seating, food from local restaurants — and impromptu rollerblade basketball. [Photos by Aubrey Graham '06]

"I would like to see college sports structured in such a way that athletes could be assured of a well-rounded academic education as well as an athletic experience. Colgate is a member of the Patriot League, and the presidents run that league. We talk a lot about how we can support and model change to make sure athletes have it all — that they can play football and also be in a theater production if they choose."

— President Rebecca Chopp, in Erik Brady's 8/27/04 USA Today article
"The more things change in sports, do things stay the same?"

"Well, my wife and I went and done it. We dropped off Mary Beth at Colgate. They don't prepare you for moments like that in the Parents Handbook. (You know, the handbook they give all new parents when the kid is born.) I must say that Colgate does about as good a job in moving the frosh in as possible . . . Amazingly efficient. Cool activities, ice-cream socials, first-day mentoring . . . and then it's time to go . . . This is the way life works -- you raise your kid so she can get along without you. That makes it a lot easier to handle. So does the realization that I'm sending my child off to an opportunity of a lifetime at a great university. Imagine the parents who are sending their children off to Iraq and Afghanistan. I mean, how do they stand it? How do they take it? My hat is off to each of them for an incredible sacrifice."

— Peter King, Sports Illustrated columnist and father of Mary Beth '08, 8/31/04

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