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David Erin Anthony

These would be great points to quiz up Tibbs about. We need to make sure his stance on these issues are well publicized.

Bubblehead

But Boulder has a crappy football team and students that riot if they can't get enough beer when they're underage. ( http://www.ndsn.org/mayjun97/boulder.html )
Personally, I say we do the opposite of whatever Boulder does, and we'll be ahead of the game.

Idagreen

All three college towns, well sort of.

Having attended UC Boulder and lived in the Seattle area, I can say that, unfortunately, that BSU does not have the same type of influence on the community as do UCB and UW. Aside from the economic impact of the institutions, colleges can enact policies that provide leadership through example in actions on campus.

BSU is far behind the times in environmental and social justice issues that have been commonly addressed at other institution where the leadership and the students have demanded change. BSU is pretty much about Broncos and Business which doesn't leave much room for forward thinking.

Perhaps a current student or staff wold have a different perspective, but I think BSU does more to enforce the status quo than to serve as a catalyst for progressive ideas. I had hopes for Kustra, but the Taco Bell Arena deal seems to exemplify his priorities.

At least I as glad to hear Chuck Winder say he didn't think a Republican has much of a chance in the Mayoral race (Statesman website) Maybe Bieter can kick it into gear in the next term and do more than sign proclamations.

Idagreen

"Personally, I say we do the opposite of whatever Boulder does, and we'll be ahead of the game."

Boulder has strong protection and preservation of open spaces, a great bus system and a campaign for a living wage, sounds like we're already the opposite. But hey, who needs clean air, open spaces and a job that pays more than $6 hr?

Bubblehead

I'm not saying Boulder is bad environmentally -- I like their environmental policies. I just don't like the people of Boulder (growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska will do that to you). They don't show respect for the game of football, which is an unforgiveable sin in my book.

Julie in Boise

Dan Hawkins, we hardly knew ye.

Julie in Boise

Idagreen, I take your points, and I know it's a stretch to put Boise and BSU into the same category as Seattle/UW and Boulder/CU. But I feel like we're on our way there.

A few signs of hope:

The campus' and community's embrace of thinking speakers like Al Gore and Hans Blix;

The campus' and community's to the College Republicans flier;

A very strong and growing "service learning" program that sends students into the community to volunteer for various worthy projects.

According to his weekly email newsletter, just in my mailbox, Bieter was on campus twice last week, once to induct members of an honor society. He told them:

"We need you here. Do what you must to pursue your academic and career goals, but come back to Boise before too long. This extraordinary city needs extraordinary minds, talents and ideas if it's going to remain so. That's why I've made it a priority of my administration to strengthen the ties between our city and our university.

"To my way of thinking, there is no separation between 'town and gown' -- just one community with a common history and a bright future. I'm proud to be part of that important relationship."

Election year talk, sure, but I think he means it.

Idagreen

To be sure, BSU has made admirable progress in some ways. I’m probably too grumpy in the morning to write a more positive post. I’m the cloud for your silver lining. I do feel that this progress has come at a glacial pace though, having been a student, then staff in the 90’s and seeing many student initiatives met with stubborn, bureaucratic opposition.

So here are some props for the old alma mater:

BSU coordinated with Ada County to engage student volunteers to set up and test the new accessible voting machines at each precinct.

There has been a dramatic increase in the focus on and financial support of basic research in the sciences, providing greater firsthand experience for students.

But, mea culpa, Bubblehead, for though even I can appreciate the excitement of a good game of sport (like the recent Fiesta Bowl), I have little “respect” for the disproportional support of athletics over academics. What is it about football and the flatlands anyway?

I guess some of the things that I have seen first hand, and have been told by reliable sources, has left a bitter taste in my mouth for certain aspects of BSU, especially the beloved Broncos.

For example;

Student athletes escorted to class by coaches that pick up the homework from the instructor, and turn it in the next day as well.

As a student, I tutored for the Athletic Department and felt that about 95% of that group had no desire, interest or prospect for success outside of sports, but were still subsidized and offered support not available to even the most worthy student outside athletics.

Failing grades submitted by instructors for student athletes have been changed to passing grades on the final transcript.

Perhaps this is not the norm, but it is at least part of the story.

So I guess I am disappointed in the rate of progress and get really annoyed at some of the most obvious and absurd contradictions I see on campus. I mean, they sold plastic bottles of water at the Gore event, for crying out loud, and provided no containers for recycling. That’s just basic planning folks, but you have to the intention (or a clue) in the first place to make it happen.

I can’t believe somebody somewhere in the organization of that event didn’t say “Gee, we should have BFI give us recycling bins like they do at lots of other events.”, or “Gee, we could serve water in compostable paper cups and ask for a donation, which always raises more money anyway, and we won’t use any plastic bottles!”

It may not seem like much, but it’s that sot of thing that belies a lack of a strong commitment to, or even an understanding of, the potential of the institution as a whole to set the bar for something more than the number of students enrolled and the number of football games won.

Having griped quite enough for one day, I will say I also have fond memories and great respect for many of my instructors and former coworkers. There are quite a few that have given a great deal to the university to make it much more like, well, a University.

Now I’m going outside to decompress in the garden....... ah, I feel better already.

May you all enjoy what looks to be a lovely day.

Julie in Boise

I'll add one more gripe. :)

When Jesse Jackson spoke this winter, he called people up to the stage to register to vote. Only someone forgot to supply the registration forms.

Ooops!

sharon fisher

Thanks, Julie. I'd wanted to attend this but I had a class.

IdahoRocks

I beg to differ, BSU doesn't even come close to being in the same league as UW. For that matter, neither does U of I. UW has become one of the top US universities as well as being in the top 25 in the world. Furthermore, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations is pouring money into the med center in order to make it the BEST in the United States. It has become so competitive to enter as a freshman that a minimum of a +1400 SAT score and 3.75 GPA are the bottom line. BSU may be a very good school, but it is just a child compared to UW and other top US universities.

Julie in Boise

I didn't insinuate that BSU is on a par with UW.

I wrote that Boise is becoming a college town.

That said, I sure we wish we had our own version of Bill and Melinda here!

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