You can’t get there from here…
Do you all remember a time before the internet? Where you had to actually look at maps, write things down, and even interact with strangers after leaving the house?…me neither. But I do remember when there was much less internet, and “friendster” was the main social media platform. This past week hurled us back into a pre-internet mode with all the network outages on campus. The outages technically started last week, with an email from the “Network Team” on the 14th. Who this team is exactly is a little unclear but we are imagining some sort of Avengers style mash up between here, South, and the IT guys. We were assured by the next morning that the outages were fixed. Low and behold they cropped back up again in the middle of this week. WiFi was down, all internet communications on district servers were down, it was total chaos. On Tuesday, IT stepped in and addressed the issue. An email sent on Tue the 19th said that they would be working overnight to address the issue. In a semi-exhausted sounding email, Cindy Riche the Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Info Officer for the District had this to say: “We have been working on short term and long term plans to resolve intermittent and sometimes unrelated networking issues each time they arise. I hope you can understand that the infrastructure is large, underfunded, and aging. We are doing everything we can to both redirect funds to bolster our technology and increase capacity to deal with the inherited issues in our systems.” By Wednesday the issue seemed to be primarily addressed, but the question of when the dark ages of written word and a filterless world will return remains to be seen . . .
Walk like a Seattleite…or don’t
Apparently, we are walking more or taking more public transit. Gene Balk, the “FYI Guy” at the Seattle Times ran a story today about Seattle’s propensity for both walking and taking transit to work instead of driving our cars solo for no reason. The reported 9% drop in commuters who drive alone to work in Seattle over the last 8 years will come as no shock…to ANYONE that has TRIED to drive to work in Seattle before. It’s a mess out there folks, and the traffic crunch is only getting worse. Tolling on the tunnel through downtown started on Nov 9th, and you know what that means, everyone is skipping out to take a surface road instead. Who doesn’t love a beautiful gridlock along Denny Way in the afternoon? But, we do “have the sixth-lowest percentage of drive-alone commuters among those 100 (most populous U.S). cities”, according to the data that Balk is seeing. The lowest percentage of solo drivers is in NYC, which comes as no surprise, because if you think the traffic in Seattle is bad, try trying to make it cross town on a Friday with the UN in session and a big event at Lincoln Center…I would walk also. The numbers coming out for Seattle look good, and we are well on our way to being a “greener” city than ever before, but let’s not forget that all this might be for naught if the entire public transportation infrastructure drops out from underneath us when I-976 goes into effect on Dec 5th.
Syracuse University students have had enough. And they’ve taken their demands straight to the top. A spat of racial violence on campus prompted students of color at the school to bring a list of demands for changes and resignations to their administration. Racist graffiti was found on several floors of a residence hall on campus on November 7th. In an apparent fumble, the administration failed to take the incident seriously. After more incidents of racist graffiti were discovered, students organized a sit-in on November 14th. The hashtag #NotAgainSU began to circulate. On the 15th and 16th more incidents occurred – with racial slurs being thrown at students, swastikas etched out in the snow. And still the administration seemed unwilling to act in accordance with the wishes of a large portion of the student body. The local paper on campus reported that on the 18th and 19th the manifesto of the Christchurch shooter was allegedly posted on Greek message boards and airdropped to several students on campus. These acts were all happening under the backdrop of massive protests on campus; sit-ins and sleep-ins, open mic nights and self defense classes accompanied protests and lists of demands. For the administration’s head kahuna, the time was up at 5pm on November 20th when he was requested to attend an open forum called for by the students. After the forum, according to local news outlets, thousands of students surrounded Chancellor Kent Syverud’s home and demanded his resignation. They have also demanded the resignations of Chief Bobby Maldonado, head of Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety; M. Dolan Evanovich, the Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Experience; and John Sardino, Associate Chief, Law Enforcement and Community Policing Division.
What comes next is not entirely clear, but it doesn’t appear the students, particularly students of color, are going to let their administration get away with this one.