The Colgate Scene
July 2003

In the news
Colgate in the national and regional spotlight

Research conducted by Jill Tiefenthaler, associate dean of the faculty and associate professor of economics, was referenced in a Boston Globe article on public funding for legal services for battered women. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]
Chopp: affirmative action ruling maintains status quo

In an Associated Press article that appeared widely throughout the United States and Canada on the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on the undergraduate and law school admission plans at the University of Michigan, President Rebecca Chopp said, "We look at each student very uniquely and evaluate them qualitatively. So, certainly, race is important. But what part of the country that they come from and whether they're a cello player or a lacrosse player is important, too." She went on to express that the ruling leaves the status quo in place at Colgate and most other small, liberal arts colleges.

A war for oil

A article in July examined why, according to polling data, Americans seemed unconcerned about allegations that the Bush Administration may have manipulated intelligence concerning the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to justify going to war. Psychology professor Caroline Keating, whose research focuses on issues related to leadership and lying, contends that "An audience is softened up to believe information when they feel threatened or when they are aroused by anger or fear. Two things happen when we are under threat: We focus on peripheral, superficial clues and we don't follow complex logic -- only what we feel."

Adonal Foyle '98
Foyle speaks up for the right to do just that

In a February New York Times article, professional basketball player Adonal Foyle '98 was described as "one of the most outspoken, intelligent and interesting athletes" in the National Basketball Association. Foyle's work in founding and guiding Democracy Matters, a nationwide student organization supporting campaign finance reform, was chronicled by sports writer Harvey Araton.

How effective communications prevents leaks

In the winter issue of The Public Relations Strategist, Keating discussed the motivations behind leaking information within an organization. She claimed that people often leak information when they perceive that a situation is unfair. She also said that trying to find the source of a leak is a losing battle.

Speaking of faith

Philosophy and religion professor Omid Safi discussed the progressive side of Islam on National Public Radio in April, addressing such questions as "What does terrorism have to do with the teachings of the Qur'an? Can Islam coexist with democracy? Is Islam capable of a reformation or has it fallen into hopeless decay?"

In an article circulated in March by the Newhouse News Service, Safi shared the prayers he employed during the war in Iraq, calling on Americans to honor the sanctity of all life.

In a June Washington Post article on traditional sex laws in Muslim countries, Safi rejected the criminal-ization of women for alleged "sex crimes" and referenced the prophet Muhammad's reluctance to judge. Safi is the editor of the newly published and critically acclaimed book Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism.

Making enemies

Provost and Dean of the Faculty Jack Dovidio was quoted in a Village Voice article in July on the roundup and detention of U.S. citizens and immigrants perceived to be Arab, South Asian or Muslim. Dovidio, a psychology professor whose research addresses issues of prejudice and stereotyping, discussed the human tendency, in threatening situations, to label individuals as either "who's against me" or "who's for me."

Dovidio's keynote speech at the Ottawa Area Summit on Racism held at Michigan's Hope College was referenced in a February article in the Grand Rapids Press. Dovidio discussed "contemporary racists" and their "unconscious assumptions and reactions rooted in historical biases."

Saving lives and money

A study co-authored by associate dean and economics professor Jill Tiefenthaler was referenced in a July Boston Globe article discussing state funding for legal services for battered women. The study found that the single public policy that reduced domestic abuse in the long term was the provision of legal services to victims.

Alpha winners

The February issue of More magazine included President Rebecca Chopp in a list of "alpha winners" that included University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, Enron whistle-blower Sharon Watkins, the governors of Hawaii and Michigan, presidential advisor Karen Hughes and Hewlett Packard president Carly Fiorina. The term "alpha winners" referred to leaders within their fields of endeavor.

A watery tale of two cities

In this April article in The Register (London) on a London-based international conference comparing [the archaeology of] Venice and London as "cities of water," senior research associate Albert Ammerman argued that archaeological evidence of Venice's struggle with flooding proves the future ineffectiveness of proposed flood barriers to save the city. He suggested that researchers learn from their counterparts in London. Ammerman also discussed the issue of erecting giant floodgates to protect Venice on the German public television program Projekt Zukunft.

Resisting the urge to tap into oil spoils

In an April issue of the Chicago Daily Herald, economics professor Jay Mandle predicted that "[the U.S.] simply handing [Iraqi] oil over to a fledgling government that may not stay friendly to U.S. interests will be seen by some American leaders as too risky." During March and April, Mandle discussed the economic issues involved in the war in Iraq on several radio stations across the nation, including:

American Talk Radio Network
USA Radio Network
WVMT -- Burlington, Vt.
WAXE -- Vero Beach, Fla.
WCHB -- Detroit, Mich.
KBLL -- Helena, Mont.
WNWS -- Jackson, Tenn.
WVKZ -- Mobile, Ala.
WRVC -- Huntington, W.V.

USA Today ranked Colgate fourth in the nation in the popularity of intramural sports on campus.
Bad news triggers Vietnam nightmares

In a Philadelphia Daily News article in March, political science professor Andrew Rotter compared the tactical difficulties of waging war in Vietnam and Iraq. Specifically, he pointed to similar challenges in identifying combatants disguised as civilians.

In an April article in Newsday, Rotter differentiated the war in Iraq from the war in Vietnam by highlighting the fact that President Bush had clearly defined objectives. This was not the case in Vietnam, he said.

Iraq war creates perplexing disconnects

In an April Newhouse News Service article, peace studies director Nigel Young discussed the difference between American attitudes during World War II and the war in Iraq. In WWII, American feelings toward the Japanese were very racist, Young claimed. Today, most Americans don't hate Iraqis, but a fair number hate Saddam Hussein.

Intramurals popular

In a daily "Snapshot" in February, USA Today ranked Colgate fourth in the nation in popularity of intramural sports on campus. Clemson, U.S. Air Force Academy and St. John's University (Minn.) were listed first through third, respectively.

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