February 26, 2009 Volume CXXV Issue 5

President sends message to students

Dr. Crouch discusses economic situation of college

An open letter to the Georgetown college student body:

Georgetown College is not exempt from the world’s challenges— including the current economic crisis. My task as President of Georgetown College is to be honest, competent, forwardlooking and inspiring in the face of this crisis. Fortunately, a president does not act in isolation. First, I am surrounded by a Board of Trustees that sets the institution’s policies and is accountable for its financial stability. In addition, I have recruited a dynamic, experienced senior staff that has a combined 137 years experience working on college campuses. They and their staffs work long, hard hours to make sure we deliver on the institution’s promises.

It is important that we remind each other what we have promised to deliver:

1. We said we would provide students with a top-notch education. This means we must recruit and retain gifted faculty, have a world class library and prepare each of you to succeed in a diverse and changing world.

2. We said our student life experience would provide you safety and support.

3. We said we would take you as students to “places” you have never been before by teaching you to live, learn and believe.

4. We said we would provide financial aid to help make the Georgetown College experience affordable and attainable.

5. We said we would demonstrate the love of God in our campus community.

We deliver on our promises, as we have for over 200 years. Look at our stellar faculty, outstanding alumni and Forbes.com ranking, for instance. You go to a great college that is getting better every year. Nonetheless, all of us in the Georgetown College community are under pressure. Students struggle to find the funds to stay in school. The salaried administrative staff are taking three furlough days without pay to help ease the pressure on the college— a sacrifice for them and their families. Our faculty are concerned for you and for this place to which they have dedicated their professional lives. The executive cabinet and I feel all of these pressures because we must construct a plan that enables us to continue to deliver what this institution promises.

As we face these challenging days, our college community must have clarity, unity and intensity. First clarity….we need to be clear that Georgetown College exists to help students obtain the skills and confidence they need to make a difference in the world. To succeed, we must have exceptional faculty, activities and facilities. And we need to provide financial assistance to students who cannot otherwise afford the quality of education we provide. This financial aid is the number one priority in our college budget each year.

Unity is essential….by this I mean unity in our student-centered purpose, not unanimous agreement on every decision. I know that unity happens when people share, support and understand each other. That is why I am visiting all the dorms this year. That is why Mr. Jim Moak, our college treasurer, recently held a forum for our entire faculty to discuss their questions and concerns. That is why we are holding a forum sponsored by the SGA on March 4 so that the college vice presidents can answer questions. I have sought to make sure every constituency has the opportunity to receive clear communications so we can stay unified in our common purpose.

Intensity is critical.… meaning we realize the difficulties of the moment but we keep our faith in this wonderful college. Our energies need to be focused on recruiting/retaining students, raising donations and challenging you every day in the classroom.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! The way to save students, staff and faculty is to demonstrate great pride in this very special place.

You can help by:

1. Actively assisting with recruiting new students for Fall 2009. (Go to the Patterson Admissions House to sign up.)

2. Picking up trash when you see it on the ground…visitors notice.

3. Studying with great purpose.

4. If you have questions, seek the information from the SGA. They will get you answers.

Every one of us needs to do something positive. I am so grateful for the 30 staff and faculty who recently gave up a night to help admissions call prospective students. That is how we work our way through these times. On the back of my business card is my calling statement. It reads: “To empower young people to reach their fullest potential.” I love this institution because I love and work for her purpose. Together, we will make it through these difficult times.

President Crouch

Porn blocked on campus

Students offer opinons on issue

By JOSH SLONE, Contributing Writer

A few weeks ago, I was studying in my dormitory when, much to my indignation, I was disturbed by numerous shouts of expletives. Seeing as my train of thought had been utterly derailed, I decided to inquire further. When I opened my door, I observed a mob marching down the hallway shouting phrases such as “liberty has died,” or “Big Brother has won!” Fearing as if the brandishing of torches and pitchforks was inevitable, I asked one of the disgruntled men what the commotion was about. He told me that the college had somehow devised a method of blocking pornographic sites, that the college was “enforcing its morality upon the students,” and “we are 18, we are legally allowed to purchase and view porn!”

I did not get much sleep that night since the mob continued to march through the hallways demanding “justice.” Fortunately, these demonstrations have been on the decline, but that has not stopped the random outburst at 3 a.m. or the swirl of controversy in daily conversation. Frankly, I grew tired of hearing about the situation, as it did not affect me, so I decided to speak with Dr. Gambill about the issue. When I visited Dr. Gambill, I asked him many of the questions that were forwarded to me by my colleagues. Some students argued that the only reason why pornography was blocked was because the administration was “enforcing its morality upon the students.” While my immediate reaction was to remind them that they are attending a Christian school, I did have reservations about the notion that the administration could force its morality upon the students. After all, who is to determine what is moral and immoral?

I asked Dr. Gambill if the reason why the ban was implemented because the college thought that pornographic material was immoral. Dr. Gambill said that it was in an effort to improve internet efficiency that pornography was banned, for ITS informed him that 3.1 percent of all internet activity in the last usage period was dedicated solely to pornographic sites, as opposed to .2 percent of the activity being dedicated to online video games. Yet some students may argue that this is a mask to hide the administration’s true motives, which is to impose its morality upon the students. While I can see how one could come to such a conclusion, I would argue that there is little evidence to support it.

After all, Dr. Gambill, out of consideration for the students, presented the information that ITS had given him to the SGA and sought their recommendation; obviously SGA approved of the ban. Tension between the student body and the administration is unhealthy for either party. Thus, I wish to make a few recommendations to avoid such conflicts in the future. To the administration, I would encourage that the channels of communication remain open to prevent any misconceptions about the administration’s motives. To the students, if you feel that your body can no longer sustain life without pornography, I would advise purchasing a subscription, this way you can satisfy your carnal desires and contribute to an ailing industry during these tumultuous economic times.

By AVA JORDAN, Staff Writer

Rumors have been flying all over campus for the past week: the porn is gone! This lack of inappropriate imaging has utterly bewildered many of our students and, for some, the argument of free speech and censorship has arisen. I am an English major; I do not support censorship. In fact, I fully support the reading of “banned” books because they are usually worth the effort for those who care to analyze them rather than just read the book jacket. In spite of my anti-censorship attitude, I must say that I believe the censorship argument regarding the pornography issue on campus is more than slightly ridiculous.

According to Dean Todd Gambill, the reason behind the pornography blockade is simple—it will speed up the Internet around campus. Gambill said that Information Technology Services approached the administration with some new software that would allow the school to block websites based on keywords. ITS then ran a test of internet use around campus and determined that, during the time of the test, approximately 3.1 percent of internet use on campus was related to pornography. As a comparison, only .2 percent of internet use was from online gaming. The proposal to block websites with these keywords and thereby increase internet speed was taken to the SGA and approved, then instituted.

If our fellow students (whom we elected to their positions) are the ones who agreed to this in the first place, who are we to complain? Also, and, in my opinion, most importantly, the Georgetown College Technology Ethics Policy (available on Spider) states two very important things in regards to this issue. First, “The college provides computer resources and access to all computer networks for academic and administrative purposes. Georgetown College encourages its faculty, students and staff to use its computer resources and these networks to perform their academic and professional activities. Use of these resources for other purposes should be by prior consent from the Information Technology Steering Committee.” As students, we have agreed to this policy and have therefore also agreed to use the campus internet for academic purposes only.

The second point from the GCTEP is that “Georgetown College reserves the right without notice to limit or restrict any individual user’s access and to inspect, remove or otherwise alter any data, file, or system resource that may undermine the authorized use of any college owned computing resource or access to the Internet, World Wide Web, electronic mail, or other related network service. The college also reserves the right to periodically check any system or take any other action necessary to protect its computing resources and access to these networks.” Again, we agreed to the policy; ITS has the right to restrict our access to certain things if it is deemed necessary. I am just looking at the situation practically. As students of this institution, we agreed to abide by certain policies. Some of these policies are now coming into effect in a noticeable way and we must respect them. If it gets us faster Internet access, then I’d call this one a win.

Do you agree with these opinions? Disagree? Write in to the editor and share your view.


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