April 15, 2003
Golf Places Fourth at LeMoyne
| April 15, 2003
The golf team rapidly improved upon its mediocre play of late this past weekend, to earn a fourth place finish at the LeMoyne Invitational in Syracuse.
After finishing 15th out of 21 teams two weeks ago, Cornell leapt up in the 18-team field this weekend with a much-improved long game, helped by some fine weather and the course’s wide-open fairways.
Sophomore Kevin Scelfo tied for second individually, posting a two-day score of 150. Junior Chris Rogalski notched a 157 to tie for 13th, and freshman Andy Silva put up a 159 for a tie at 20th. Freshmen Andrew Turker (160, tied for 24th) and senior Ross LaFleur (162, tied for 33rd) rounded out the scoring for Cornell.
“Kevin Scelfo has definitely earned a spot in the Ivy League championships,” said head coach Matt Baughan. “We are still waiting to see how practice goes and how the other guys play to determine who else gets to go.”
All of the golfers will get the chance to show the coach what they can do this week and next, with plenty of good weather meaning lots of practice time, as well as a possible competition against Columbia.
“It takes a little time to get things going in the spring season,” said Baughan.
The members of the team have continued to struggle with their short games, which can likely be attributed to the limited practice they have been able to have on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. The improving weather of late has allowed the university to open the course this past weekend. Over the next couple of days, the Red will devote a great deal of practice time to chipping and putting.
“With the nice weather, we should be able to get out and practice more,” said Baughan, “The guys should be able to get out this week and get a few holes in before a possible match against Columbia.”
Although it has not been finalized, the golf team has made preliminary arrangements for the Columbia team to come up on Friday and play a practice round, and conclude the trip with a match against the Red on Saturday.
“We are starting to come into our own,” said Baughan.
Archived article by S.W. Falk
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April 16, 2003
Freshmen arrive at Cornell toting their high school straight As. Yet, if those As start to morph into letters further down the alphabet, Cornell’s colleges are quick to remind students to perform up to academic expectations. Still, in an academic atmosphere as intense as Cornell’s, academic advising officials say academic actions are relatively low. Problems with academics can be split into two categories: academic performance and academic integrity. Performance has only to do with academic standing (the grades students receive in classes and credit hour requirements), while integrity typically involves issues such as plagiarism and cheating. Neither academic performance nor academic integrity policies are fully centralized across the University. Although the Code of Academic Integrity is distributed to each of the seven colleges, it is “up to the college to decide how to implement, or even op-out of [using] the code,” said Judicial Codes Counselor Emanuel Tsourounis law. Changes in content or procedure to the code need only to be submitted to the dean of the faculty, Tsourounis said. Tsourounis is the only individual outside of the Dean of the Faculty who ever sees cases of academic integrity from all seven colleges. Conversely, there is no University document that suggests academic performance regulations. However, there are many similar trends among the colleges in terms of the minimum acceptable performance. Common across most colleges is the minimum of 12 credit hours to be taken each semester and a grade point average (GPA) of at least a 2.0. Furthermore, similar early intervention policies are in place to help students who appear to be in trouble academically. Because of the huge decentralization of academic integrity procedures, following a uniform and systematic course of action can be difficult. Tsourounis also described the Code of Academic Integrity itself to be somewhat vague. According to Tsourounis, it gives faculty members lots of “discretion and deference” in procedures, so much that there are “some findings of guilt that are, I think, completely unwarranted.” When a professor suspects a student of an academic integrity violation, the student, professor and an independent witness will meet. If following the outcome of this meeting an informal agreement cannot be reached, that student then has the opportunity to respond in a primary hearing during which the student can call on the Judicial Codes Counselor for guidance and support. After the hearing the hearing board decides based on “clear and convincing evidence”, which Tsourounis equates with a 75% belief that the accusation is valid. Although the professor can only impose a lesser grade or fail the student from that particular class, the hearing board can make a recommendation to the dean to put a notation on the transcript or to suspend a student. Tsourounis was unable to quote the exact numbers of students who were suspended based on academic integrity, but he did say that he was “surprised at the numbers of students who have been expelled or suspended for academic integrity issues.” He believes that in many of these cases the students “may not have intended to violate the code. Since it’s not centralized, no one can tell you you can’t [suspend a student].” Other academic integrity issues deal with cases where there can be no direct meeting with a professor because they occurred outside the classroom setting. Examples of this may be if a student forged an advisors signature on an add/drop form, or if a school feels that you have misrepresented it publicly. In these instances, Tsourounis said that cases go directly to a hearing board. Academic performance policies are much more structured. A worthwhile comparison can be made between the academic performance policies of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Arts and Sciences Dean Ken Gabard explains that although more lenience is given to first year students, “even for all four years it is still a fairly liberal system.” He further emphasized that the college wants to encourage exploration in class choice and therefore does not want to enforce extremely strict grade requirements. In contrast, Associate Director of Engineering Advising Kerwin-Michael Smith explained that the engineering school has a much more stringent policy towards academic slips partially because of its nature as a professional program. For example, a solid understanding of math is essential in pursuing an engineering degree and the engineering policy reflects this: if a student receives a C- or lower in any Math class, the student has one semester to improve upon the grade or they may be asked to withdraw from the college. A sample course of events for a student doing poorly in the College Arts and Sciences could be as follows. If a student falls below 12 credit hours or receives either two Ds or one F, and that student has no previous history of poor performance, then that student will receive a warning letter. After receiving a Dean’s warning the student’s record will go before the Academic records committee (ARC). The ARC can then issue a stricter warning or impose a required leave of absence from Cornell. Even in these cases, however, it is “always assumed that the student is coming back,” Gabard said. If upon return, a student “is truly just having a disastrous time at Cornell, they could be dismissed from the University. But it takes a lot,” Gabard said. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) also follows a similar system of opportunity to improve, said one CALS student who wished to remain anonymous. After a freshman year with a GPA that hovered around a 2.0, and failing one class second semester, he was placed on academic probation. After not fulfilling the requirements of the probation (which were essentially those required to remain in good standing) the student was given a leave of absence, at the end of which he returned on final term academic probation. During the time off he remained an extramural student at Cornell, taking less than 12 credits. The student’s return proved to be no more of a success and he was eventually expelled from the college, even after switching from a nutrition major to general studies, which has fewer requirements. He said is currently “fighting the system again,” and trying to regain admittance into the arts college so that the remaining 24 credits towards the degree can be completed. The student said that there was about a 50 percent chance of getting readmitted. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Admissions and Education and Chair of the Educational Policy and Academic Records Committees (ARC) for Arts and Sciences Lynne S. Abel spoke on the numbers of students who are reviewed for academic standing. “Remembering that there are about 4,000 students in the College [of Arts and Sciences], the ARC usually reviews between 120 and 160 records at the end of each term — more in the fall than in the spring, when seniors have graduated. Of these, once the committee has learned the full story, usually between 25 and 35 (i.e. less than one per cent of the student body) are required to take a leave. The ARC dismisses only a handful of students — from 2 to 9 in each of the last 8 semesters,” Abel said in an e-mail. With the exception of the math requirement, the engineering school seems to follow a similar pattern of action for its students who have yet to join a specific field. The Academic Standards, Petitions and Credits Committee (ASPAC) serves a similar function to that of arts’ ARC. Once students have entered into a field of study, however, they follow the guidelines imposed by that field. According to Smith, each field can vary, but minimum
requirements for credit hours can be increased, as well as minimum GPA. Smith also approximated that of the 2,800 Engineering students, about 10 were required to take a leave of absence in the Fall ’02 semester. For both academic integrity and academic performance students receive highly individualized programs of support or penalty. Gabard and Smith both emphasized the need for personal considerations when addressing a problem with grades. For students charged with academic integrity infractions most of the considerations are made with an individual professor, and individual circumstances are often apparent. For the students who end up struggling academically, it most often is for personal reasons. The expelled CALS student explained that now he has become a “completely sober person,” alluding problems with drug and alcohol abuse that had kept him from studying and attending class. Abel also commented on the reasons that most students seem are forced to withdraw from Cornell. “Having advised A&S students for almost 30 years, I can say that I have met only one student who has persuaded me that he was working as hard and efficiently as possible and simply couldn’t do Cornell work,” she said. Archived article by Liz Goulding
April 16, 2003
Members of the Cornell community interested in learning more about the southern United States will have the opportunity to attend the Southern Labor Conference today in the School of Industrial Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell. The conference will take place in the Ives PepsiCo Auditorium from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the entire Cornell community. The conference is being sponsored by the Southern Organization at Cornell. According to Gage Stille ’05, president and founder, “the Southern Organization was formed because at Cornell there are a number of issues that are very important to people from the south — students from the south, and even faculty from the south.” He added that such issues “aren’t often addressed just because there are such a few number of us here.” Stille said that the Southern Organization sponsors a number of events throughout the year. “It gives a few of us here a chance to kind of rejoice thinking about home. When we do events like this conference, that’s kind of what it’s all about,” Stille said. “Even within the ILR school, I think that there are a lot of issues about Southern labor that are brought up … those issues are never really focused on.” Stille said that the organization was important because of the differences between northern and southern culture. “Southern culture is a specific one. We do things a certain way, we can identify with certain things that aren’t really present in the north,” he said. According to a statement released by the Southern Organization, “the organization will serve the Cornell community as the crux from which all students may strengthen their understanding of unique southern ideas. Discussion panels, headed by historians and specialists who are the foremost leaders in their respective fields will present unique perspectives, which will hopefully diversify the historical understanding of the audience.” The keynote speaker at the conference is Michael Thurmond, Georgia department of labor commissioner. According to the Southern Organization’s biography of Commissioner Thurmond, “Commissioner Thurmond is one of the foremost African-American politicians in the South. He is the first African-American elected commissioner of the Georgia Department of Labor. He is the first non-incumbent African-American to be elevated to a statewide office in Georgia.” Recently, Thurmond wrote a book entitled, Freedom: An African-American History of Georgia 1733-1865. Stille grew up in the same area as Thurmond, and said that he became familiar with Thurmond’s career. “He’s a guy with a lot of personality, and he’s also very caring … he has a lot to offer,” Stille said. Stille said that Thurmond’s trip to Cornell, which is being sponsored by the state of Georgia, shows “a respect for Cornell and a respect for the ILR school.” In addition to Thurmond’s speech, participants in the conference will also be able to attend a panel discussion on the “facets of the Southern Labor Picture.” Slated to speak are Dr. Vernon Briggs, Dr. Jefferson Cowie, Lance Compa, Dr. Nick Salvatore and Dr. Rita Lieberwitz. After a dinner of southern cooking, participants will be able to attend a labor debate chaired by Philip Lewis, the Harold Tanner dean of the college of arts and sciences featuring Michael Akavan ’05, president of the Cornell Democrats and Ryan Horn grad, president of the Cornell Republicans. The conference will end with a number of student organizations who will present information on a variety of related topics. Steele said that “one of the most interesting things about the conference is the student organizations are legitimately involved in an academic sense.” He added, “they’re presenting serious topics in an academic environment and it shows what I think the universal vision for a great academic university is, and that’s an environment where students and faculty can collaborate and grow together. I think that’s what this conference does.” One organization that will be participating in the conference is the ILR Student Government Association (ILR SGA). Representative Jack Cognetta ’06 and representative Jason Jandrewski ’05 will be presenting on behalf of the organization. According to Cognetta, “we will be doing a 20 minute presentation on the Memphis Sanitation Workers and the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties.” Cognetta said that the presentation will “show that the labor and civil rights movements can coexist together to achieve economic and social justice and the sanitation workers are a microcosm of the struggle to one day proclaim: I am man.” He added, “we will also be talking to people about SGA’s role at ILR and take any questions and suggestions people may have to make SGA a more effective organization.” Other organizations presenting during the breakout sessions include the Minority Industrial Labor Relations Student Organization (MILRSO), the Black Southern Students Alliance (BSSA), La Asociacion Latina (LAL), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MECHA) and the Cornell Organization for Labor Action (COLA). Stille said that he expects the event to draw a large number of students. “I think people are really excited about it,” he said.Archived article by Kate Cooper