In other ivory towers

The Association of Amherst Students (AAS) is facing penalties from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a result of delaying its annual audit for the last two years.

“The IRS issued an audit in the Spring of 2000, in an attempt to review Amherst College’s then student finance committee (SFC). The audit was not dealt with and has been passed from SFC chair to SFC chair,” said AAS budgetary committee Chair Livia Angiolillo ’04. “There will be significant fines and penalties due to the fact that we have delayed the process for so long.”

AAS president David Bugge ’04 expressed confidence that the AAS will not delay dealing its resolution of this matter any longer. “This will be a difficult process, but the matter needs to be taken care of . . . we are going to get it done this year for sure,” said Bugge. “It will take a lot of hours to sort through all the paperwork.”

Angiolillo has already started working on the numbers and everything is expected to be in order by the end of the year, according to Samuel Haynes, assistant dean of students.

Courtesy of the Amherst Student

Middlebury students protest war on Iraq as Fleischer receives award

Middlebury College awarded White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer an Alumni Achievement award on Oct. 13. Fleischer graduated from Middlebury in 1982. During his talk, almost 900 protesters rallied outside Mead Chapel against a unilateral war on Iraq.

Carrying signs, holding candles, and singing songs, the protestors voiced strong opposition to a possible invasion of Iraq. Footage of the protest was aired on CNN.

Middlebury College alumna and town resident Virginia Snodgrass spoke for the protesters in a Oct. 13 press release. “We want to make clear that we in no way support the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein. However, it is totally without precedent and without justification to preemptively invade another country on the basis of circumstantial evidence.”

In his speech, Fleischer described the Bush administration’s commitment to end the policy of leaking information to the press. Fleischer said that he and the president believe that individuals within an organization should not turn on each other. This commitment to honesty and integrity was a hallmark message Fleischer had for the audience: “I submit to you, in anything you do in life, that when you serve, give your bosses your best, unvarnished opinions, tell them what you think, take those unvarnished opinions and make them your best and most informative judgments.”

Courtesy of the The Middlebury Campus

Cornell grad students prepared to vote on unionization

Cornell’s graduate student representation election on Oct. 23 and 24 could be a key turning point in the two-year explosion of unionization at private universities.

The vote will determine whether or not the students unionize.

With legal issues boggling down other campuses, a ‘yes’ vote in the Cornell representation election would create only the second grad union at a private university.

New York University (NYU) signed a contract in Jan. 2002 with their graduate students — the first at a private university — that boosts the minimum stipend, provides health care and offers other guarantees.

Unlike its peers, Cornell chose not to fight the gritty battle that has been waged at other campuses between university employers and their graduate students. The vote is an unprecedented step.

“We said upfront that we would [respect the results of the election],” President Hunter R. Rawlings III said.

If the NLRB alters the status quo in the Brown and Columbia cases, Cornell will re-evaluate its options.

Courtesy of the Cornell Daily Sun