The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

Long Time, No Post: Catching Up

with 5 comments

I haven’t written a post in quite awhile. I was travelling earlier in the month and I’ve been preoccupied with other matters since then. I thought I’d write a catch-all post commenting on a few of the things I missed.

City Council 9/6/11:  Nothing much happened at this one. The micro-distillery ordinance was a good idea and I’m glad it passed. Still no action on the refuse and recycling rates, but it’s back on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

Murder on Brush Street: Another murder in Carbondale, and it looks like this one was committed with a gun stolen from the chief of police. There was an armed robbery on the same block on the Saturday before the shooting. I wonder if the two events might be connected. Either way, I think I’ll stay away from the 400 block of North Brush St.

Brush Towers Riot: The administration swung into action trying to spin this one, and the Southern Illinoisan helped carry the water. Check out the pictures on the Daily Egyptian’s site. It looks like a rowdy party until you get to the photos of the beating in progress and the victim on the ground with blood coming from his nose. Not a riot, huh? I’m sure the spin must have fooled someone. I’m glad the administration has decided to investigate the incident. The people responsible for the beatings should be expelled and prosecuted.

SIU Enrollment Drops: Here’s another example of administration spin. Most of what I’d say has already been said on Deo Volente. I will say that I didn’t expect enrollment to turn around overnight. Cheng has been in office for just over a year and that isn’t enough time to turn everything around. But I’m put off by the spin.

Strikes at SIUC: Four SIUC unions are planning to take strike votes later this month. I think a strike is likely to fail, and I think the administration knows it. The union leaders must think otherwise. I guess we’ll see who’s right soon enough. But if I belonged to a union that had substantially fewer than half the represented employees as members, I’d be very reluctant to vote for a strike.

City Council: Meets tonight, and there is a lot on the agenda. The main things are proposed reforms to the primary election system, the District 95 summer reading and math program, the recycling and refuse fees, and the chicken ordinance. I’ll be watching on channel 16.

Comments are welcome.

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Written by The Carbondale Observer

September 20, 2011 at 7:45 am

5 Responses

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  1. I never lived in Brush Towers, never in SIUC dorms actually… got out of that requirement from military service. My recollection from things I heard when I went to high school in Carbondale (late 90s) was that Brush Towers was mildly fun, or rather that it was like any other typical college dorm. People partied, but it never got out of hand.

    So I was surprised to hear a few years ago when I asked a student living in the Towers what it was like, and was told that it was horrible. Kids involved in the Chicago gangs were moving in there, friends of theirs that were not students were coming over to party and were staying over night, and each floor was like its own little gang with rivalries with other floors. The student talked about how scary it was to walk down the halls, people getting robbed and things constantly stolen from the dorm rooms.

    Coming out of the military, I would have lost my mind if I had to have lived there my first year of college.

    The only presumption I can draw from this is that I know SIUCs enrollment has been falling each year, so to curb it I guess the bar has been lowered enough to allow kids who never took an education seriously to begin with an opportunity to get one. That’s good and bad, and I think this is an example of the bad, or rather: perhaps there are other places that would be more appropriate. I fear this kind of atmosphere will continue to rub off on the good students, and greatly reduce the reputation for SIUC.

    As I understand it, enrollment is down at all schools in Illinois, with the exception of UIUC. Students are going out of state to Indiana and Iowa because the tuition and financial aid packages are better — according to a report I read in 2007 about the state of higher education in Illinois (Sorry, hate paraphrasing without an attribution but I cannot remember the name).

    I read through the Facebook comments attached to the DE article. Those kids think that its all in good fun just speaks about what they consider to be a good time. I don’t think those kids speak for everyone, but it certainly gives a barometer to measure the attitude of things. I think SIUC needs to do some house cleaning.

    Ace

    September 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

    • SIUE has been going up, up, up! Costs several thousand less than SIUC. (Yeah, yeah, it’s not a research institution but SIUC needs paying undergrads — badly!).

      Jonathan Bean

      September 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm

  2. Re strikes failing. A strike here would indeed be vastly different from one at a K-12 institution where all teachers belong to the union and the school must absolutely shut down. If 40% of the tenure-track and tenured faculty go on strike (more or less where membership is now), and they are joined by substantial numbers of GAs and non-tenure track faculty, there will be a great deal of chaos on campus. I’d of course admit that the unions would be stronger with more members (a perennial problem, as all faculty get the benefits gained by union contracts without paying dues, so why bother?). But a strike that cancels hundreds of classes with thousands of students could in some ways be more disruptive than one that shuts the place down completely. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

    Dave Johnson

    September 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

  3. See my reasons why faculty ought to vote “No” to a strike:

    http://freesiu.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-i-will-vote-no-to-strike-part-ii.html

    Jonathan Bean

    September 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm

  4. Local solution in this faraway place for city workers, one year, zero raise contract. Meet again next year to see if the crystal ball on the future is clearer.

    This blog is boring. Bartender, serve me up another post.

    PtG

    October 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm


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