Mary Don, Marketplace Cashier, Quietly Retired Over the Summer

September 2, 2008

Mary Don, beloved cashier in the Marketplace, retired quietly over the summer.  Her retirement was so quiet, in fact, that many people did not realize she was gone until they noticed her absence at the checkout registers.  Mary apparently wanted to keep her leaving quiet, because she knew she would get too emotional and miss the job too much if there was a big goodbye.  She felt that she had to retire though, to spend more time with her family and grandchildren.

Mary had worked at Oxy for many, many years, and was known for always being able to remember student’s names, even though hundreds of people pass by her on any given day.  A lot of people are going to miss her.

Update: Skotheim Doesn’t Necessarily Support Lowering the Drinking Age, Just Wants to Talk About It

September 1, 2008

While it is true that Robert Skotheim, President of Occidental College, has put his and Oxy’s name down as signatories for the Amethyst Initiative, a group looking to lower the drinking age to 18 across the country, he might not be quite as decided as to whether that is actually the best thing to do to help curb the drinking on college campuses.  A recent LA Times article documented several local schools’ support of the Initiative, and it says that Skotheim “signed the petition to encourage discussion, but said [he] had not decided whether the drinking age should be 18.”  It’s hard to argue with encouraging dicussion, but it’s a shame because it seems just so unlikely that anything will ever become of the Amethyst Initiative and the issues it’s addressing.

Spitz Opening Up A Second Location, Throwing Party

September 1, 2008

Spitz, everyone’s favorite local Döner kebab shop, is opening up a second location in Little Tokyo, and they’re throwing a party to celebrate.  Unfortunately, they have yet to specify when that party is, only getting as specific as “Late September”, but free food, drink, and music are promised, as is a “red carpet treatment”.  To get more info, put your name and email down on the list sitting next to the register at Spitz the next time you’re in there.

Spitz is a local restaurant, specializing in kebabs and falaffels, located on Colorado just before Target.  It was founded by two Oxy grads (class of 2005).   And, of course, Oxy students get a discount– show them your Oxy ID and you get 10% off (which is nice, but still more expensive than eating at the Marketplace).

Occidental’s President Skotheim Supports Lowering the Drinking Age

August 31, 2008

Occidental College President Robert Skotheim has signed in support of the Amethyst Initiative, a group which aims to lower the drinking age to 18 accross the country.  The group believes that, were the drinking age lowered, it would help prevent the “culture of dangerous binge drinking” on college campuses.  With Skotheim’s signature, Oxy becomes the 129th institution currently supporting the initiative.


Amethyst Initiative:

List of Signatories:

Oxy-Blog is being revived! Also: Oxy still has silly signs.

August 31, 2008

Oxy-Blog is coming back!  We know, we know, the last post to Oxy-Blog was in October of last year, and anybody who actually read it has probably long since stopped checking it.  That’s okay, hopefully we can build a reader base again.  With good content comes eyeballs, and it’s time for this blog to get rolling once again.  Look for more news worthy posts in the near future.  Trust us, we’re not kidding around this time– they’re coming.

In other news, as silly signs at Oxy somehow were something of this blog’s forte, there’s a new one at Oxy that simply can’t be overlooked.  Here it is:

This sign is located by the softball field, and it clearly warns that, if you park there, you might get hit in the head with an arrow (which, if you’re wearing a hard hat, will be safely deflected).

Who’s up for husking Prager’s corn?

October 23, 2007

First, let me apologize for the title of this post. Second, I apologize that I didn’t live up to my promise of updating with an “much more important and relevant post” tomorrow — clearly tomorrow has come and gone, but that post is still coming (obviously, this isn’t it).

But hey! This is newsworthy too! Us lucky Oxy students are being given the opportunity to try some corn, fresh from President Prager’s farm near Sacramento. This is going on on Wednesday night, October 24. Fresh Presidential corn (that could be so misinterpreted) is going to be available in the marketplace that night at dinner.

Better yet though, we get the opportunity to husk it the corn ourselves. As the hand-out puts it: “Be a part of the farm to school experience and help prep the corn for dinner!”.

Now, I know that there are many people out there who don’t feel that corn husking is not exactly up their alley — but, come on, how amusing is it going to be to see people spending their lunchtimes down in the quad husking their own corn? Many people might be surprised that there is more to food than driving to the supermarket.

This program is put on by UEPI and, obviously, President Prager as a “harvest festival”. This seems like a good way for us Oxy students to find out more about our President, and to connect with her a little bit more. Even if it is over corn.

U.S. News rankings covered by the Weekly

October 19, 2007

The cover story of the Weekly this week is about Oxy’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report, something that was blogged about here weeks ago (on September 30th). The Weekly’s article is obviously far more in-depth and knowledgeable than this blog could ever hope to be, so if you’re interested check it out here:

I think that this is a case where the paradigm between what this blog does (or hopes to do) and what the Oxy Weekly does is clearly demonstrated — the blog will give you whatever I feel the interesting tidbit of the story is, and hopefully be far more timely than the newspaper can be (in this case, it was weeks earlier), but the newspaper will eventually follow it up with deeper coverage that will give you the full story (assuming it’s something worth following up, and not stupid signs).

(By the way, yes, I co-authored the story on the rankings, so in a way this post is a little bit of self-promotion. Can you really blame me though?)

Some signs that maybe should never have been put up in the first place

October 19, 2007

Okay, it’s taken me a while to get back to this blog, but I promise I will be more diligent about it in the future. This particular post is a little bit out-of-date, but it’s still worthwhile (that is, if you like stupid…). Keep an eye out tomorrow for a much more important and relevant post.

There have been a couple of signs around Oxy recently that really make you doubt the intelligence of your fellow human beings. For example, take the one above. The above sign was hung in the Cooler for Coming Out Week last week. Clearly, judging from the neatness of the sign, its creator took a whole five minutes making it. Judging from its spelling… I don’t even know what to say about that one. How do you spell “together” correctly once, but then spell it wrong the second time? Look, I don’t mean to be critical, but if your sign is important enough to hang in the Cooler, and it is therefore of enough worth for someone to take a few moments of their time and read it, you have to care about it enough and put enough effort into it to warrant that. Though this sign may have a worthwhile message, the fact that whoever created it clearly didn’t give a crap takes away any significance it might otherwise have. And the fact that nobody spell checked the sign before putting it up there for the world is just all-togher stupid.

Yes, I did say signs, plural. Here’s a different sign, from the entrance to the library, that is of a somewhat different nature:
I’m sure there was an important reason for this sign, but I didn’t see any live electrical wires anywhere. Were they talking about wires under the half-exposed carpet? If so, someone would have had to have actually gone down and worked their fingers though the seam in the carpet to get to the live wires. Do they really think that someone would do that? The other sign made us wonder how stupid its creator was; this one makes us wonder how stupid its creator thinks we are. Obviously, this sign isn’t nearly as outrageous (or high-profile) as the last one, but it definitely falls under the “too alarmist?” category.

New "Guide to Campus Safety" Has Some Interesting Statistics

October 1, 2007

This last week, in all of the our mailboxes, we got the 2007-2008 version of the “Guide to Campus Safety”. Now, it seems that most people just throw this away off hand, or just throw it in some drawer (who needs to know the school alcohol or weapons or sexual assault or gambling policies anway, right?). But, one thing that most people don’t realize is in the handbook are the crime stats for the last three years, and some of them are pretty interesting. Now, keep in mind, these are reported crimes. There is only 1 hate crime on the books from last year (and it was an off-campus hate crime at that), but hate crimes are a crime that usually goes drastically underreported. Anyways, here are some of most interesting of the numbers from last year (just a note: I’m going to look only to the numbers that pertain to on-campus activity):

  • The zeros (meaning there were none) for on campus crimes: Murder, Manslaughter, Robbery, Hate Crime
  • There were 7 reported on campus arsons
  • There was 1 forcible rape, 1 aggravated assault, 1 grand theft auto, and 9 grand theft larceny — to me, that’s a suprisingly high number of major crimes
  • There were 31 violations of the alcohol policy and 28 violations of the drug policy — meaning there were almost the same number of drug and alcohol violations
  • There were 27 false fire alarms

It’s always good to know the facts about how safe/unsafe the campus really is. Do any of these numbers suprise you? Do any seem higher or lower than you expected?

Oxy Immobile in the Rankings

September 30, 2007

Okay, first a note: I’ve been really busy over the last couple of days, and I’ve been sitting on this update and the one I will make later today for a few days now, meaning they’re not at timely as they could be. Please excuse that fact, because I believe that both contain relevant/interesting information that people may or may not have heard about. In other words, I’m posting them anyway.

Now, to the post:

The U.S. News and World Report has come out with its latest rankings, and Oxy is ranked number 36 among the liberal arts colleges. This is exactly the same as last year’s ranking, something that Oxy is very proud of. But, it begs the question: why isn’t Oxy improving in the rankings? We keep hearing about how Oxy’s star is rising, and how its reputation and prestige keeps on growing and growing. This year, they had far more applicants accept than they expected, a testament to Oxy’s allure (and also why the first-years are in such a housing crunch right now). Why don’t the college ranking reflect this then? I can think of a couple of explanations:

1. Oxy’s momentum is dying out. Maybe Oxy has reached the heights of its status and prestige, at last for now. All upward trends have to level out at some point.

2. The status, distinction, and allue of all the liberal arts schools is rising, and so while Oxy’s prestige is increasing, it is not doing so any faster than its peer institutions. In other words, all the liberal arts schools are going up, and Oxy’s rise is only equal to that of the other schools.

3. U.S. News and World Report doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing.

What do you think? (I just want to point out that you can leave comments on blog posts, without even needing to sign up or be a blogger member.)