Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From the President's Desk

Jeff Yeager is the latest high-profile student at Concord to start blogging. The recently-elected SGA President started up his blog "From the President's Desk," and his first post is an introduction to himself and his Executive Board. His second post is a brief look at his history in the SGA and a few thoughts on issues he's working on.

Check it out ... http://presidentyeager.blogspot.com/

One of the things Jeff talks about in his first post is what he perceives to be a problem that has plagued the SGA in the past:

The previous administration (under which I served as Attorney General) was merely the victim of a faulty ideology that has plagued SGA over the past several years--that is, the infamous "Country Club". Instead of being an organization dedicated to helping the students, the Student Government has been mainly led by people focused on helping themselves or focused on helping a small group of people.

That term has been thrown around a lot to describe the SGA - that it has "country club" tendencies, i.e., that only certain people or groups can benefit from the SGA at the expense of others. I do think that's a big problem, as it has seemed like the same people - or same fraternity or sorority or group - has had all the top positions in the past. However, I don't think it's the biggest problem. The biggest problems are two, which are intertwined - apathy and ignorance.

Apathy and ignorance. People don't care about the Student Government Association and as a result, they don't understand it. It's not seen as something for the students. That needs to change, and hopefully Jeff and his crew will help lead that change.

He writes about his ascension to the Presidency being one example of the students being tired of the "country club" atmosphere that existed in the SGA. I agree with that. I was a strong supporter of Jeff's during his campaign. I should point out, I wasn't always a strong supporter of Jeff's. He's done a lot to win me over in the last year.

The first time I ever met Jeff actually had nothing to do with the SGA. I interviewed him and a group of other students for a feature on their new student group, ALEF. I think there were 5 students overall that I interviewed, but Jeff and another girl - I think it was Brittany Keys - did most of the talking.

A while later, I noticed that he started attending SGA meetings. As he pointed out in his blog, he was very low-key and he didn't strike me as being a leader. I could tell he was concerned about Concord and enjoyed being active in the SGA - but he didn't stand out enough for me. That's why I didn't vote for him when he ran for Attorney General.

It was a hotly-contested race between several people, and I honestly thought Jeff was the weak link in that race. He hadn't done enough to impress me at that point. My original pick for that position was Rob Elsaid. But, loopholes and other issues forced his name off the ticket at the last minute. My vote instead went to the next person on my list - Chris Matheny. He impressed me at the debate and I liked how he carried himself.

After the election and the semester ended, I wrote a blog on my old MySpace account where I looked at the incoming SGA executive branch, led by President Wes Prince. Aside from Prince himself, I pointed out what I considered to be weak links in the 2008-2009 SGA - Ashley Hicks and Jeff Yeager.

I pointed out that Ashley had been sort of "start & stop" with her SGA involvement over the years, as it seemed as though she would often get burned out on the SGA. And, with Jeff, I pointed out that he hadn't shown me any leadership skills and I was worried about how effective he could be in a high-profile position.

The 2008-2009 academic year started, and through the course of two semesters, I was the most impressed by the progression of two individuals - Ashley Hicks and Jeff Yeager. That's why I thought it was very fitting that those two wound up running against each other for SGA President.

Ashley and Jeff both showed true leadership qualities throughout the year. Ashley started out the year as Business Manager & ended it as Vice President, and showed a real dedication to the SGA and maintaining its legitimacy. Jeff did the same. He spearheaded some important committees and spoke out about several things in the SGA he didn't agree with - several of President Prince's actions and the infamous meeting that was adjourned in 5 minutes.

For those who read my old blog, we all know why I wound up choosing Jeff. They were both very competent leaders, only Ashley had made a few decisions I didn't agree with. So, my vote went with Jeff.

This was actually something I didn't address during the campaign season, but I do think it played a big part - Ashley is considered to be a part of that "country club" atmosphere that several were tired of seeing. I'm not saying she had ever done anything wrong, or would have if elected. I just think students didn't want "more of the same," and Ashley was seen as being part of the "inner circle" of previous administrations. Jeff wasn't seen that way and I think that went over well with the student body.

Jeff has made a couple big decisions recently. He discusses them briefly in his second blog. He also discusses it - along with several others - in the comments section of a couple of my previous blogs. Those two decisions are lowering SGA executive pay and helping Concord's administration fund keeping the library open later.

There was opposition to these ideas in the comments sections on my blog, and Jeff admits in his post that what he did wasn't perfect. But, the point of his blog is to be better open for student suggestion and criticism, while keeping people updated on what he's doing in office. So, if you have a criticism, let him know about it. If you want to know what's going on in the SGA, read his blog.

Two high-profile students at Concord are now blogging - Board of Governors representative Curtis Kearns and SGA President Jeff Yeager. Both of these blogs are also imported into Facebook, which seems to be the most popular social-networking medium at Concord.

This is a great step towards a more transparent government. If somebody makes a promise and doesn't fulfill it, the proof is right there in writing. If somebody disagrees with something, they can leave a comment on a post. If somebody is in favor of an action, they can do the same. These blogs help make the SGA more "student accessible," something it has not been in the past. I hope these blogs get a lot of publicity and a lot of student involvement.

Monday, May 25, 2009

CU Discord

I don't have much right now. I just wanted to inform anybody unaware about Curtis Kearn's new blog, "Discord University."

Kearns is the Concord University Board of Governors Representative & Representative to the Higher Education Policy Commission's State Advisory Council of Students. Say that 3 times fast.

Perhaps inspired by the recent debate in a couple of my blogs, Kearns has started his own Concord-related blog. It looks as though he will give students a look into his mind as a student representative and possibly host a forum for student grievances and inquiries.

Click http://cudiscord.blogspot.com/ ... to check that out

He presently has 2 posts - one explaining the formation of his blog, and another giving his thoughts on Concord's recent 3.7 percent tuition increase. Both are good reads, which you should really go out of your way to check out.

In regards to Concord, Kearns is a pretty important student. He is a member of one of Concord's highest organizational bodies, and he is a member of a pretty important state-wide body. If you are a student at Concord, you should know who Curtis Kearns is. He actually has a vote regarding whether or not tuition is increased each year, in addition to several other things.

Check out his blog from time-to-time. You may learn a thing or two about Concord.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hurt my toe! & other updates

I stubbed my toe today! I did it on the edge of a door. Click here to see what my toe looked like a couple minutes after it happened. Shit ... it hurt so bad.

In other news:

I'm getting back on a normal sleep schedule. I started the break off by waking up at 4 p.m. I then had days of waking up at 3:30, then 2, and today I woke up at noon! So, congratulations to me :)

I go see my mom & grandpa in 5 days. I'm looking forward to that.

I watched the Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker match from WrestleMania 25. It was amazing! Possibly one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time. Track that down if you're a fan of wrestling.

I still haven't watched the "Greatest Stars of the '90s" DVD that I bought the other day. I'll do that soon. I may put up a review of it or something.

Check out the book "All the President's Pets," by Mo Rocca. Kelly bought it for me about a month ago, thinking it was a biography of presidential pets & I began reading it thinking that same thing. It's not. It's a satirical fictional account of Rocca's journey through the journalism ranks, starting with him covering George Bush's dog for MSNBC. It's hilarious. Journalist Helen Thomas plays a huge part in the book.

For anybody curious, I have not re-created my MySpace account yet. I'm still not sure if I'm going to.

I barely use my Facebook account. I may start using Facebook more for photo albums. I'll probably re-post that album showing the progression of my hair over the last 3 years. It was on MySpace, but we all know what happened to that. Click here if you don't know what happened.


I believe I have fallen in love with Twitter. For people who don't understand it, I don't think there's anything I can say to get you to do so. It's more than just a huge "status update." I like to use the term "micro-blogging" when describing Twitter. It's so simple, yet so complicated at the same time. I think you have to be really creative to use Twitter.

http://twitter.com/chris_slater ... check me out if you're bored

For anybody curious about the background I have ... You may recognize that picture from Metallica's sixth-studio album, "Load." The picture is an avant-garde piece by artist Andres Serrano. What the picture is is actually pretty gross ... it's cow blood mixed together with Serrano's semen, between two sheets of plexiglass. Yeah, pretty sick. But, interesting to look at, I think.

I have 4 really cool feature story ideas I want to pitch to the Princeton Times. Me coming back to the paper hinges on whether or not they have enough money to pay me. If they do, I'm back. If they don't, then I'm not. It's as simple as that. Hopefully they do. Of my 4 ideas, I think they'd be okay with 2 of them. None of them are what the paper usually prints, but the two that I think they'd print are interesting and would appeal to a younger audience, something I don't think the PT has. The other 2 may have some legal things I'd have to look into and could potentially be dangerous. The Princeton Times aren't known as big risk takers, so I'll pitch the "safe" 2 and build up some capital before I pitch the other 2.

In other notes, I'm looking into getting my 3rd tattoo. I've had this idea for close to 8 months or so ... the only reason I haven't gotten it yet is because it's a somewhat-complicated design and I want to get it down before I go get it done. My other 2 tattoos (click here & click here) are fairly simple, so I had the idea and then had them done. With this one, I'm doing some research and figuring out what would look the best. It will definitely be the biggest tattoo I have ... and probably the biggest one I would ever get.

That looks like all for now. Of all the blogs I wrote on my MySpace page over the years, I only had 1 saved on my computer, so I may post that one on here sometime soon. It was the blog I wrote about realizing that music I listened to as a child was now being played on the classic rock station. People liked that one, so I'll post it on here sometime.

Enjoy your summer. Let me know what you guys are doing over your break. If it's anything interesting, I may post it here in my blog for everybody to see.

I import these into Facebook & never tag anybody in my "real life" blogs. That doesn't mean you can't comment on them if you'd like. I know my life isn't very exciting, but I like to think it's at least a little bit interesting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unmotivated

Monday, April 18, was the first day of summer break for me. I celebrated by sleeping until 4 p.m. and doing nothing. That looks to be my schedule for the next few days. Hopefully not, but I'm not holding out much hope...

I did have plans this week to visit my mother & grandfather, but my mom had me reschedule ... which has messed up the next few weeks for me. Thanks, mom. More on that in a minute.

I guess I'll discuss my current living situation for anybody interested. In my old blog, I wrote last summer about how I was staying in my mom's old apartment by myself while she and her boyfriend, Tim, were having a "trial-run" of living together. Well, they decided to live together & I decided to move back into the dorms, as I didn't feel I was ready to have my own place.

So, I'm in the dorms in the fall. My mom & Tim are at his house, located about 5 minutes down the road from the apartment my mom & I lived in for the last 5 years. The month-long "Winter Break" between semesters comes and I stay at Tim's house with them. There's room for me. It's not a bad situation.

Spring Break, however, is where things get a bit awkward. My mom is bipolar and will occasionally flip out and - in the least-nice way to put it - go crazy and fuck everything up for everybody around her. That's what she did over Spring Break.

One night, she flipped out and broke up with Tim, heading back to Ripley, to live my her dad, my grandpa (aka "Pap").

So, now it's summer and I can't stay in the dorms at Concord. I don't want to live with my mom and grandpa 2 hours away. I don't have the funds available for my own apartment. Kelly likes me ... but not enough to let me live with her mom and brothers.

So, I'm staying with Tim right now. I'm living with my mom's ex-boyfriend. It's actually not that weird - he like me better than her and vice versa lol. He's a pretty cool guy. We both get along better with each other than either one of us did with my mom.

So, I'm staying here right now. While I can't live with Kelly & her mom, I can stay over there as much as humanly possible, so I'm basically splitting my time between the two houses.

My ultimate goal for this summer is to get an apartment. Somewhere. Hopefully. Kelly and I have discussed living together. We both seem to be in favor of finding a place to live and we seem to enjoy each other's company, so that looks like the plan for now.

So, that's where I'm at right now. I'll go back to that story I discussed earlier:

This is my first week off from school. I haven't seen my mom & grandfather & everybody else in a couple months, so she wanted me to drive up and visit. I asked Kelly if she wanted to come down. She enjoys the company of my grandpa and likes my "hometown," so she was up for the visit.

We were all set. Tuesday was the day. We were going up and spending a couple days in Ripley. Last time we were up, I showed Kelly the houses I grew up in. This time, we were going to live the Ripley "night life" - go to the local hole-in-the-wall, "The Roundhouse," go to the 2-screen movie theater, and we were going to explore Ravenswood a little bit more. But...

My mom calls me Monday afternoon. She wants to know if I can delay my trip until next week. She still hasn't gotten some of her prescriptions changed over from Princeton to Ripley. I think that's her way of having an excuse to come down and see me every so often... Anyway, her prescription comes in this Friday. She thinks it would be pointless to come down Tuesday, stay for a while, and then either have to get the prescription and drive back up or have her come down after just seeing me. She wants to know if I can pick up the prescription on Friday and come down that weekend.

Actual conversation:

Chris: "I work this weekend."

Mom: "Can you bring it down Monday?"

Chris: "I don't want to miss wrestling."

Mom: "What do you mean? Is wrestling more important than your family?"

Chris: "I can come down on Tuesday."

Mom: "This is ridiculous, Christopher. [sigh] Okay. I'll see you next Tuesday."

She's learned over the years to not argue with me when it comes to wrestling.

Delaying the trip definitely interferes with the plans of myself and Kelly. We had everything worked out - we were going to grab a Tuesday edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and look through the job listings while we were up in Ripley. When we come back later that week, we would pick up a new paper and check to see if those jobs were still available. In week 2 of summer vacation, we could call up and get some jobs.

Now, week 1 is being spent sitting around. Week 2 is now go to Ripley and week 3 is now call up people for jobs. I doubt many people would give me a job and then be okay with me saying, "Thanks for the job, I can work two days before I'm gone for a week."

Yeah, in case you're curious, I'm looking for a new job. Pizza Hut just isn't cutting it for me. It hasn't cut it for me for about 2 years now. I explained it in a previous blog, which I'd link here if it weren't for dickhead hackers. Instead, I'll offer a summarized version - I accomplished everything I could do at Pizza Hut and I'd like to move on. They offered me a manager position a couple years ago that I couldn't take at the time, and I don't want one now if offered. I'd like to get out of there and into something more professional.

So, I guess that's where we're at right now. I'm going to eventually go talk to Tammie Toler, Editor-in-Chief of the Princeton Times, about getting my job back there. I wrote for PT in the fall on a freelance basis and was removed as a cost-cutting measure. She said there was only enough money in the budget for 2 sports writers. I was the 3rd sports writer & least-tenured member of the staff, so I had to go. She told me to check back with her sometime later and see if we could work something out.

While I was with her in the fall, I wrote sports. Each week, I interviewed the coach of Princeton High School's football team about the previous game & had him look ahead to the upcoming game. I did that until the season was over and he didn't make the playoffs. For the playoffs, I would just call up a random coach throughout the state and ask for an interview.

It took three weeks of missed calls and missed interviews, but I got an interview with the head coach of the state champs in the largest division in the state. I think it's a blessing that we actually missed each other so much, b/c if everything had gone smoothly, I would have interviewed him after the first round of the playoffs - this interview was a lot better.

My roommate in the dorms, Pat, showed me this site called "ihigh.com," a place to keep people up-to-date on high school athletics from around the state. I started putting some of my articles up there. Click here to see the final story I wrote for PT, which includes the interview w/ the head coach of the state champion football team I mentioned above.

* * *

I'll probably be bored and blog a lot in the coming weeks and months. It's not like I have anything else to do. As with all my other blogs, I import these into Facebook. I never tag anybody in my "real life" blogs, because I don't think my life is interesting or that anybody cares about it. But, just because you're not tagged doesn't mean that you can't read or leave comments if you like. You can also leave anonymous comments. Just watch the racial slurs. Those aren't cool.

It looks like the debate's mostly over in my last blog about issues surrounding SGA officer pay and Concord's library. It's a very interesting subject, that doesn't look like there are any real answers. You can go there and check that out. There are comments in the two blogs (main entry & one I link in it) from SGA President Jeff Yeager, former Vice President Ashley Hicks, Current Board of Governors representative Curtis Kearns, Attorney General Jeff Yeager, Faculty Senate representative Ashley Green, SGA Judicial Branch Advisor Sean Noland, SGA Advisor Marshall Campbell ... and Pat.

That's all for now. Have a great summer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last blog's comments & more

The last blog, "Couple interesting notes," received a lot of interesting comments, and brought up some neat points. I know when blogs have a lot of comments, people tend to skim through them and not fully digest them, so I wanted to bring them up to the main body of this blog and maybe get some more student thought on them.

In the last blog, I mentioned that SGA President Jeff Yeager told me that the library hours would be extended. I also pointed out that this would cost in the neighborhood of $1500. This brought up the first comment, from former SGA Vice President Ashley Hicks:

Comment to Jeff-

You promised that the SGA could help with the funding? Exactly how much "help" does he require, or does he expect he will need? Can the $7,000 in the Special Projects fund handle this? Otherwise, this will definitely need to come before the Senate since we do not actually know how much money we will have next year.Also, does Dr. Rowe have the bodies that can actually work longer hours, because I know that this has been a problem in the past, or will he be employing more people? Have students been considered? Of course, it would unpractical to have students working longer hours during their finals, so I assume he'd have to hire another person.

I posted my questions here because I feel that Chris, as well as his readers, would probably be interested in the answers.

She's right, I was interested in the answers. Jeff was interested in giving the answers, as he responded with the following post:

We are going to pay for the library through cutting officer pay. This year, the officers made approximately $31,750 (in that ballpark). We have created a budget for officer pay that will be approximately $27,000. Here is what the officers will make:

President--$400 instead of $450
Vice President--$225 instead of $200
Business Manager--$375 instead of $425
Secretary--$225 instead of $350
Ombudsman--$325 instead of $350
Attorney General--$325 instead of $350
Public Defender--$325 instead of $350
Chief Justice--$325 instead of $425
Prime Justice--$150 instead of $200.
Parliamentarian--$0 instead of $50

This will free up all of that money in the budget to spend approximately $1500 or so on the library hours (Dr. Aloia has not gotten me a number yet, but it's going to be sent to me soon), as well as free up over $1500 for student organizations, according to our Business Manager's spreadsheet. The University will also cover half of the costs along with us. The request to fund the library will definitely come before the Senate in the fall, which should not have any difficulty passing. If it happens that Dr. Aloia needs the money over the summer, I will convene the executive to see about acting then only if we have to.

Secondly, to answer your next question, it will be students who will work past 10 PM. Considering this, parts of the library will be closed off since a member of the staff isn't here, but that's better than nothing. It will definitely go to a student who needs it through work study, just as the students who work in there now do. As far as the employing more people goes, it is still being planned by Dr. Rowe, and I will let everyone know as soon as it happens. Considering that the library will be open at least 10 more hours a week, open to midnight M-R, to 4 on F, to 6 on Saturday, and to 10 on Sunday, I'm sure that they will need more manpower.

I hope this answers all of your questions.

That answered my questions. Ashley had a follow-up:

Comment to Jeff-

I think that cutting officer pay is a fine decision; I would be more supportive of putting pay into the bylaws so that it is not an arbitrary decision year to year. However, I assume that your Business Manager's spreadsheet exists on the scale that we had this year, which will not be the same amount of money that we will have next year. In your next meetings with Dr. Aloia and Dr. Becker, you may want to find out exactly (which will honestly be a ballpark number) what our budget is for the 2009-2010 year. It would be wonderful if we continue to have $100,000, but I would appreciate you making sure that our budget isn't going to change before you set officer pay in stone. For example, if we only have $50,000 next year, $27,000 for officer pay will not pass the Senate.

Just things to consider... :)

Also, as far as students manning the extra hours, that's awesome! What will be done during finals weeks? Students who work there that do not have early finals will work the late hours? Has Dr. Aloia drafted a plan for this, or is it still in planning stages?

Thanks for all the information, by the way!

Jeff gave a response:

I cannot speak for Business Manager Belcher, who is already doing a fine job, but he mentioned that based on his discussions with administrators, the SGA budget is likely not to see any cuts next year, despite the fact that all of us this year wore worried that we would. As soon as Matt gets that number, either he or I will let everyone know what it is.

As far as what happens during finals week, everything is still in the planning stages at this point. The only thing we do know now is that they will be open longer, unless the President decides to back out. Considering his reputation and considering that he is a man of integrity though, I don't foresee that happening.

We have one final follow-up from Sean Noalnd, former SGA President and current Judicial Advisor:

Jeff, I must strongly disagree with your decision to cut the Prime Justice's pay by $50. Before the new community service plan was passed I would have had no objection. I believe that though the database elements of the PJ's job have been removed, the community service responsibilities are vast and represent a net increase in responsibilities.

I understand that it would seem unfair to cut everyone's pay but the PJ's, but she really never made that much money in the first place. In addition, Michelle has done a fantastic job, so based on both her job responsibilities and her diligence, I disagree with the pay cut. I propose that you leave her pay unchanged through the fall semester and see how much work is involved. If by the end of the semester you feel that her new responsibilities equal a net DECREASE, in responsibilities, then you should consider a pay cut. Until then i believe it is unfair to take this action.


I also would like to point out that your initiative represents the SGA paying for an improvement that the University should be paying for. While it is not unprecedented for the SGA to fund campus improvements, the SGA has traditionally seen this as an undesirable method of getting things done. It is however unprecedented in the respect that the SGA has never given money for improvements in a way that is binding on future SGA's It establishes a precedent that "if the SGA wants it, let them pay for it." If this becomes the mentality of the administration, then eventually the SGA will take on more and more commitments until the budget is significantly and adversely impacted. You really need to safeguard that money. What you are doing is admirable and beneficial, I am just saying be careful about the precedents you set. Especially when those precedents are binding on future SGA's

* * *

So, there's all the comments about that topic on the last blog. There are also a few about Q-sack's plan to get tailgating at baseball games. My roommate, Pat, appears to be in favor of that. Pat & Sean had a pretty big debate on my old blog about Spring Fling and the importance of the SGA. It was pretty cool, if anybody remembers that.

I guess I'll give a couple comments about what all I've seen:

I'm in favor of lowering the pay of the executive board. Jeff gave the per-month salaries in his comment. If you want to use that money for helping out the library, that's cool. No matter what the money is used for, I think it needs to be taken away from the SGA executives. Unless Jeff made a typo, the Vice President is actually getting a pay raise. Considering that's one of the smallest exec salaries, I'm okay with that. The VP does a lot more than the Secretary, that's for sure. Go look at the Secretary pay, then remember all those things I said the Secretary didn't do. Aren't you angry, too?

I'll give a response to Sean's comments:

It basically comes down to the fact that Sean thinks the Prime Justice's duties are worth $200 a month. Jeff thinks that they are only worth $150. I don't think Sean ever was Prime Justice, but he was a regular justice, the Attorney General, the SGA President (all as a student), and the Judicial Advisor (presently, as a graduate & Concord employee). So, Sean definitely knows a bit about the Judicial Branch of the SGA.

With the pay decreases, I'm going to go with a scale. If the President is now worth $400 instead of $450, the Business Manager is now worth $375 instead of $425, and so forth, I can see a reason for the Prime Justice to now not be worth as much. The same presidential duties as before are worth less per month, so I'm okay with everybody else's pay going down.

About Sean's other point - setting a bad precedent of doing things ourselves that the administration should be doing - I had never thought about that. That's something interesting to consider.

Sean points out this could create the thought among the higher-ups of "if the SGA wants it, let them pay for it." That very well could happen and it's something Jeff will need to watch carefully. Perhaps some sort of compromise could be reached on this - can the SGA put up half of the money and President Aloia puts up the other half?

I don't have any tangible solutions to this problem. I don't know if Jeff does. To be honest, I'm not sure how much of a problem it is yet. Perhaps the SGA can fully fund the library endeavor and then push harder for more administrative support in the next endeavor, whatever it may be.

As a kind-of related question, how's that "Campaign for a University Library" thing going? A lot of younger students probably don't know a lot about it, but the Marsh Library is attempting to get a third floor added to the library, in addition to a bunch of other stuff. The SGA of four of five years ago gave the library $80,000 as a donation towards this. The only thing purchased with that money so far was those hunks of shit they call "mountain lion statues" that sit in front of the library. Two years ago, I was told the project would tentatively be complete around 2010 or 2011.

* * *

So, I guess we'll take the debate from the last blog's comments section and continue it over here (if there is even a debate left...). If anybody has an answer to the "Campaign for a University Library" question, please feel free to post it. If anybody has anything else, feel free to include that as well.

Read my last blog for the disclaimer about importing these into Facebook and tagging people. The link is at the top.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Couple interesting notes

It's the last week at Concord University. The finals are here, and then - that's it! No more school until late August. I'm looking forward to the break. I'm sure a lot of other people are too.

I only have a couple things to mention here ... a couple interesting notes, if you will.

I spoke with Jeff Yeager, the SGA President. I got the news straight from him: the library hours will be extended next academic year!

It was an almost weekly point of then-SGA President Wes Prince's reports - that he had been talking with people trying to get the library hours extended. He spent about a semester-and-a-half working on this. Jeff had one meeting with President Aloia and got the hours extended.

I guess Wes warmed them up to the idea and Jeff sealed the deal lol. I'm so glad we finally have an SGA President we can be proud of. I'm going to make a bold prediction - Jeff won't get impeached. Not even once.

According to Jeff, the library will be open until midnight Monday through Thursday. He's not sure about Friday. The library will also be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday. It looks like the library will continue to be closed on Sunday.

So, that's cool. Barely a week in office and he's already getting shit done.

Jeff did say that keeping the hours extended would cost the students in the neighborhood of $1500+ for the year. In the grand scheme of things, that's not such a huge cost. I think getting the extra money will easily pass in the senate.

Jeff didn't give me many details (likely b/c there aren't many details yet) but he said something about the library trying to get a coffee shop. That seems interesting. More details as they become available.

* * *

SGA Attorney General Bill Lewis was chair of the Concord University Student Affairs committee. The CUSAC (pronounced "Q-sack") committee has worked on a lot of interesting things.

They created a new set of visitation hours for the dorms. That was a "hot-button" issue among Concord students this year. Last time I checked, that had been completed and was waiting to be signed into effect. If anybody has an update on the new Housing policy, let me know.

Q-sack also looked into getting tailgating at baseball games. I don't know the finalized status of that, but I know the committee went up there and looked at how feasable it would be. Also, if anybody wants to fill me in on that, feel free to.

The coolest thing Bill & Q-sack did was work towards creating a student-funded scholarship donation fund. Basically, it's students giving money to other students. Say you get your "check change" (leftover money from scholarships & such after your bill is paid) and it's for $500. Your bill is completely paid for and you have $500 leftover. There are some students who aren't lucky enough to get their entire tuition paid for w/ scholarhips and have leftover money. The theory with Q-sack's idea is that you would be able to take some of that money and give it back. It would go into a fund and somebody or a couple people or whatever would receive it.

Bill wrote a note on Facebook outlining what he intends to do with this. Here is the note in its entirety:

The Concord University Student Affairs Committee didn't get as much done this semester as I would have like liked it to, but we did accomplish alot. I'm posting here a copy of the concepts I'm advocating in creating a student scholarship fund. I will make appointments over the summer to discuss with Kent Gambill and Patricia Harmon the details of the fund, and will make every effort to have every mechanism in place by the Spring of 2010. Please review the general outline of the program below and make any comments/suggestions.

Students Helping Students Fund

Core Concepts

The Students of Concord University, acting through the Student Government Association, and believing that quality higher education is a right, and that a well educated citizenry is the cornerstone of a healthy society, agree to manage and direct the Students Helping Students Help (SHSF) in an effort to promote everyone’s right to a thorough education.

1.) 100% of funding for the program shall be from voluntary donation

2.) Students who have unmet financial need after ALL other forms of available student aid have been applied to their account are eligible

3.) The Student Government Association shall establish an advisory board, which shall consist of the Business Manager as Chair, and four other advisory members elected from the student body by the Student Senate by plurality vote

4.) The Students Helping Students Fund (SHSF) Advisory Board shall make decisions as to who shall receive grants from the program; individual awards may vary

5.) On the financial aid award letter, which students are required to sign off on each semester, there shall be a portion of the letter dedicated to explaining the concept of the SHSF and an option listed where students or their parents may choose to donate to the fund in any amount that they choose; additionally, an explanation shall be offered, that in the event a student receives “check change” their donation to the fund can be transferred to the fund directly from their “check change”

6.) Students receiving grants from the SHSF will not receive their grant on a recurring basis; they must reapply to the program each year

7.) The Student Government Association Business Manager shall receive a report from the Business Office no later than 1 week after the beginning of each academic semester detailing the operating budget of the fund for that semester

8.) Funds received throughout any semester shall be applied to the following semester’s operating budget

9.) The SHSF Advisory Board shall review program applicants and issue grants based upon:

1.) Financial Need

2.) Community Involvement

3.) Merit

4.) Willingness to reinvest in the SHSF after graduation

So, there's Bill's note. It outlines what he wants to do with this scholarship fund. He mentions the Business Manager a couple times - that's Matt Belcher, for anybody who doesn't know. This seems like a pretty solid concept. I hope it comes to fruition. The only thing I would change is the acronym. I'd try to make it something that actually makes a word. I don't have any suggestions.

If anybody has any comments or thoughts about that, you can leave comments on Bill's Facebook account, or leave comments here - I'll make sure Bill is made aware of them. Bill, if you're reading this & want to throw out any additional information, feel free.

* * *

I guess I've got some 'splaining to do. I received a Facebook instant message earlier today which read - "I saw the hostility about your blog on norma's facebook page, lol." I didn't know what this person was talking about, so I went to former SGA Secretary Norma Acord's Facebook page. While there, I discovered two things - one, she has not accepted or denied my friend request yet. I also saw the following status update from her:

Norma Jean Acord went to the SGA meeting just for the cake! cause she's a fatass right? thanks!
May 6 at 9:10pm


What's she talking about, you ask? Well, she's more than likely talking about a Tweet I sent out over Twitter during the last SGA meeting:

SGA secretary actually showed up. Wow. Must be the cake.
4:06 PM May 6th from txt

I haven't had it confirmed, but I'm pretty sure she's talking about my Tweet. I guess I'll go ahead and explain that:

No, I was not implying that Norma Jean Acord went to the meeting just so she could eat cake. In fact, I don't think she even had any cake. I never saw her eating any.

What I actually meant was that Norma was such a horrible Student Government executive and never attended meetings or actually did any of her job duties, and the only way to get her to show up was to have a special meeting. A special meeting in this case constitutes having cake there, as there's usually none.

So, Norma isn't fat. She was just bad at her job and deserved to be fired months ago. It makes me so mad that Norma got to keep her job when she was so bad at it. She took student money - MY MONEY - for doing fucking nothing. It disgusts me.

So, that's why I was surprised to see her at the meeting. She hadn't done a lot lately and I was surprised to see her at the final meeting. From what I've heard, a lot of other people were surprised to see her there too.

For the record, I think new SGA Secretary Eric Lopez is going to do a great job. To be honest, there's not a lot he has to do ... which is why it makes me so mad that Norma did such a bad job. All Eric needs to do is take minutes at the meeting, make copies of all necessary papers, and keep the office clean.

* * *

For anybody curious, I did get my yearbook picture I talked about in a previous blog. It looks like ass, but at least it's current. If I hadn't gotten the picture taken, they were going to use the picture on my ID card. That picture was taken when I was 17. I'm embarassed by that picture. Luckily, my ID card is so old that the picture is smudged beyond recognition.

One reason my yearbook picture looks bad is due to the "mutton-stache" I'm rocking in it. Myself and my co-workers were bored at Pizza Hut Saturday night and started talking about facial hair. That got us on the subject of Civil War facial hair - they had a lot of weird styles. Somehow out of that, that turned into them giving me $5 to shave my 2-week stubble into mutton chops that connect to a mustache, or as we've dubbed it, a "mutton-stache." Click here to see it, and yes, it will be immortalized in the yearbook for all to see.

* * *

Guess that's all. Questions, comments, etc... feel free to leave them. I'm rescinding my previous request - I really don't care where you leave comments, either here or Facebook. If you do comment on Facebook, I'll probably copy it over to this blog anyway, just for people who read this & don't have a Facebook account. Just have fun.

As always, remember that I import these blogs into Facebook. A feature of doing that is the ability to "tag" people, which send them an e-mail notification about this. I typically tag people for two reasons - if I mention you by name or if I think you'll find this interesting. If I tag you and you don't want to be tagged, let me know. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be tagged, also let me know.

Neither Norma or Wes have accepted my friend requests, so somebody do me a favor and let those two know that they're mentioned here. You can only tag your "friends" on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

SGA report, 5/6/09 - New SGA President sworn in

As I walked to the Rahall Center for the SGA meeting this week, I was stopped by Ashley Hicks who said she was warning me - "You're going to write bad things about me in your blog after today." So, here it is - BAD THINGS ABOUT ASHLEY HICKS.

I'll elaborate on what she meant later.

This was the last meeting of the Student Government Association for the 2008-2009 academic year. It was held in the newest building on Concord's campus, the Rahall Center - named after our congressman - instead of in the State Room, where it's usually held. Typically, I take a notebook and take notes on what happened. I've done that for five years - four while reporting for The Concordian and one for my blog. This time, I just took my phone and "Twittered." Bill Lewis also had his phone and "Twittered" a little bit. I'll post mine and Bill's Tweets below and expand upon them afterwards. Bill's have his name in front of them in parentheses.

From http://twitter.com/chris_slater & http://twitter.com/lewisb01 -

On my way to final SGA meeting. Not taking notes - will send out tweets during meeting.
about 8 hours ago from txt


Rahall 103 is not the best place for an SGA meeting. Not enough seats. Poor setup.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Cake here. It said ''Good Luck Jeff.'' wonder if jeff saw that b4 people ate it.
about 7 hours ago from txt

(Bill) Bout to start my last sga meeting as a non exec...in the most ridiculous meeting room ever
about 8 hours ago from txt

Myself and @lewisb01 are twittering during the meeting. Somebody tell @biff359 to also twitter.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Out of plates. I'm eating cake on a napkin. Nice.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Apparentally there has been an altercation between curtis kearns & campus police over a parking issue. More details as i get them.
about 7 hours ago from txt

SGA secretary actually showed up. Wow. Must be the cake.
about 7 hours ago from txt

@lewisb01 is the only 1 giving any reports. I'm glad somebody is still doing something.
about 7 hours ago from txt

I gave the ombudsman a complaint a week ago. She didn't mention it in her report.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Jeff yeager just got sworn in. New SGA president.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Jeff is swearing in the new officers.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Ashley hicks & carissa dengler are questioning eric lopez' appointment as faculty senate rep.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Hicks applied for the job & was in the hospital & unable to get an interview.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Ashley seemed bitter about it. Appointment for lopez passed.
about 7 hours ago from txt


(Bill) I don't think i've ever seen jeff nervous before, but its good to see him at the front of the room
about 7 hours ago from txt

@lewisb01 I second that.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Wes is giving out awards. He never said what for, though. Guess they're generic ''good job'' awards.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Kearns made it back to the meeting. Said he was ''doing something else.''
about 7 hours ago from txt

Jack grose scholarship award for leadership went to karina rahall & ashley green.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Bill skeet award went to russell christian & matt belcher.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Scholarship award was just named after john david smith. First recipient is ashley hicks.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Marshall campbell just said that we may get upgraded televisions next academic year.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Discussing senior gift ideas. SGA has $10,000 to spend.
about 7 hours ago from txt

Ashley hicks made motion to give $3000 to outfit gazebo, and $7000 for a future project fund.
about 7 hours ago from txt

After discussion & clarification- motion passed. We have a senior gift.
about 6 hours ago from txt

So, to clarify things a little bit:

Rahall 103 is not a good room to have a large meeting like this in. There weren't enough tables and it was kind of cramped. Maybe a regular meeting would be okay in there, but since this was the last one, a lot more people showed up. Yes, even the Secretary showed up. I know, I was shocked too.

I still don't know if Jeff saw the "Good Luck Jeff" cake. By the time he got in the room, a "Jeff" was gone and most of "Luck" was gone. So, Jeff saw a "Good Lu" cake. I had a slice, it was yummy. And, as I noted, they ran out of plates. So, I ate it on a napkin.

About the altercation between Curtis and the police, I found out some more information - it was just a situation blown way out of proportion. Curtis isn't in any trouble or anything.

The Secretary thing was what Ashley was referring to when she said I was going to write bad things about her. I'll give the facts, as I understand them. If any of them are incorrect, please let me know:

Four people applied for Secretary. One of them was Ashley. When Jeff was going to conduct interviews for the position, Ashley was in the hospital. So, interviews were held without her. Eric Lopez (a freshman organizational representative) was selected for the position.

When discussion of approving Eric for this position began, Ashley stood up and questioned whether or not it was right to give this position to Eric without giving her the chance to be interviewed. She was seconded in this by Carissa Dengler.

A couple people spoke in defense of Eric and the Senate decided to approve the nomination. Eric Lopez is the new SGA Secretary. I like that idea. As I've mentioned a couple times before, I think Ashley can better serve the SGA in a position with voting rights where she can advocate for the students.

The SGA Executive Branch is now:

President, Wes Prince; Vice President, Akeya Carter-Bozman; Business Manager, Matt Belcher; Ombudsman, Brittany Keys; Parliamentarian, Gavin Ward; Secretary, Eric Lopez; Attorney General Bill Lewis.

Good group on paper. Gavin Ward is relatively untested in the SGA so far. Parliamentarian basically means he makes sure the SGA follows the rules of running the meeting. As long as he understands the SGA Constitution and "Robert's Rules of Order," then he'll be okay. Will Hicks did a great job as Parliamentarian this year.

In other positions, Jeff appointed Ashley Green as Faculty Senate representative; and Russell Christian, John Dunn, and Jennifer Smith Senators.

* * *

I'll leave with a couple notes, and a question:

I attended the dedication ceremony for the 2005 SGA Senior gift - the gazebo outside the Student Center. It was a short, interesting event. The highlight was the return of former Concord President Dr. Jerry Beasley. I hadn't seen him in almost a year, so that was cool. The SGA Senior gift is to put some picnic tables in the gazebo, as right now there's nothing to do in it. You can stand in the gazebo and that's it.

Check out this week's issue of The Concordian. Their list of graduating seniors looks pretty interesting. Sports Editor Mike Stanton told me he wrote an opinions piece for the paper but it wasn't printed. He said he'd post it online. Mike, if you want to post the link to it here, feel free to do so. I'm guessing he's putting it up in his MySpace blog.

Earlier this semester, it was announced that Concord would have a hardcopy yearbook for the first time in several years. I wondered how they would be able to create a yearbook in such a short time, since I was on my high school's yearbook staff & know how they're made. The only thing I had heard announced for the yearbook was that they requested pictures of each organization on campus. What's the yearbook doing for individual pictures of students? Are they having them? I haven't heard anything about it and it doesn't look like there's enough time in the semester to organized photo shoots for the yearbook. I hope they're not using pictures from our ID cards. My picture was taken 5 years ago. I don't want that picture from 2004 to represent me in a yearbook from 2009. The only reason I don't get the picture updated is that it costs $15 to get a new card made.

So, what's up with the yearbook? Can anybody answer that for me? As "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh famously says, "You can remain anonymous."

* * *

As I mentioned in the last blog, I import these into Facebook. With that feature, you can tag people in notes. I tag people for two reasons - if I mention you by name, or if I think you'll find this interesting I'll tag you. If I tag you & you don't want to be tagged, let me know. If you'd like to be tagged in the future, let me know.

Wes Prince didn't accept my friend request on Facebook, so I can't tag him in notes. I'm okay with that - we're not really friends. I only added him to tag him in notes. So, somebody do me a favor and let him know that I posted a new blog.

Again, questions, comments, and anything else can be left in the comment section. If you leave a comment on the Facebook page, I'll copy & paste it and put it here on Blogger. Try to leave your comments on here if you can. It makes things more uniform. But, if you're Marshall Campbell, you can comment wherever you want & I won't mind lol.

Looking at President Prince's campaign promises

Wednesday, April 6, 2009, is the final meeting of Concord's Student Government Association for the 2008-2009 academic year. It's been a year of highs and lows for the SGA. They've accomplished a lot of good things, but they've also been mired in a few controversies. SGA President Wes Prince was investigated for impeachment twice - an unprecedented "achievement." After this week's meeting, the SGA will be in the hands of recently-elected Jeff Yeager. But, before we hand off the SGA to next year's leader, I want to take a (hopefully) final look at this year's leader.

Last year's elections for SGA positions was a very interesting time. We had a three-way race for President between ousted 2006-2007 SGA President Rocky Seay, Will Hicks, and Wes Prince. I have my own theory on why Wes won. It's three-fold:

1) Wes' brother, Travis, used a lot of his political capital. Travis was highly respected as student representative to Concord University's Board of Governors. When he said something, people listened. He told people to vote for Wes. I'm not going to get into that debacle where he went berserk and acted like an idiot at the debate.

2) Rocky Seay's past & Will Hick's lack of one. Rocky had a lot of good platforms he was running on. He wanted to tailgate at every football game. He was going to donate his first paycheck to the American Cancer Society. He wanted better checks & balances in the SGA. But, he had one huge mark against him - he had been kicked out of school - and the SGA Presidency - in September 2007, for academic dishonesty. A lot of details were left out and some were distorted along the campaign trail, and it make Rocky look bad. Will Hicks just didn't have enough of a past in the SGA to be taken seriously for the position of SGA President.

3) Campaign promises. Wes spoke with student groups and created a list of 30 initiatives he would work towards if elected SGA President. Most of these didn't have much explanation, but Wes trumpeted the list at every turn.

Number 3 is what we're going to look at in this blog - Wes' list of 30 initiatives. I have a copy of the list and am going to see if Wes accomplished what he set out to do, or if he failed. Before we go any further, I will point out that there are some of these that I'm not sure of. If you know how well he did on something, or if I'm not giving him enough credit for something, let me know.

The following is from Wes' Facebook group he created during last year's elections, "Prince for President." -

The Fight for Student Respect and Responsibility on this Campus begins Now!!!!

MY PLATFORM:

My platform was overwhelming written by the students not solely by myself with my own interest in mind:

0. Obtain a 0% tuition increase
1. Fixing Carter Center
2. Wider Varitey in TV Channels
3. Longer Hours in the Cafeteria, or more food options.
4. Make SGA more open for Students
5. Fixing the campus roads, including potholes.
6. Fixing the Fine Arts building and their lead based paint holding up asbestos.
7. Installing Pencil sharpeners in the Fine Arts Building.
8. Easier access to Fine Arts Building, like early in the morning or late at night.
9. Attempt to allow Mu Xi Phi fraternity to compete in Greek Week.
10. Carter Center Open all access (24/7)
11. Make it easier to get off campus.
12. Nickolodeon and Indoor Track.
13. Better Intramurals
14. Easier on International Students
15. Fix water heater on 7th 8th and 10th floor of North Tower.
16. Keep students here on the weekends
17. Have a shuttle bus from Concord to Resort during parties.
18. Better equipment for Art and Music students.
19. Keep Grilleworks and SOuth of Sicily open later.
20. Fix the English major program.
21. Try ot get the programs and the teachers to be more cooperative with the students.
22. No application program for the education department.
23. Update the cable and internet.
24. Better cafe. food.
25. An updated version of the visitation policy that better fits todays students.
26. Better accomodations in dorms (update and renovate).
27. A complete review of the Judicial Branch.
28. More oversight of Concord University Police Department.
29. More comfortable chairs in classrooms.

I developed 6 of these initiatives, the rest were developed by fraternities and sororities. Thanks for the ideas. I am going to do my best to get all of these accomplished.

So, there's that. What I'm going to do is start my own numeric list and look at how well Wes did at each point. Refer back to his list at times. My "0" will address his "0;" my "1," his "1;" etc...

0. That didn't happen. There was no way a zero percent tuition increase could have happened. The SGA fought hard for tuition to not be increased, but trying for a zero increase would have been dumb. I'm glad those around Wes realized that and were more realistic.

1. I don't know what needed to be fixed. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was.

2. In the fall, Concord did get a wider variety in TV channels. We went from something like 30 channels to nearly 80. I think this was a victory for Housing, and not Wes, as it appears the wheels for this were set in motion long before he came into office.

3. The cafeteria closes at 6:15 now, which is 15 minutes later. Although, I remember when the cafeteria used to close at 6:30. More food options? Several different kinds of rice doesn't cut it.

4. They tried hard to do this one, but it didn't work. An "open house" event was planned for the SGA, but that wound up being scheduled the same week as one of Wes' impeachment hearings, so it got canceled.

5. Wes promised to get the roads fixed. At the debate, he said he'd go out there and fix them himself if he had to. Neither he nor anybody fixed the roads on campus.

6. Haven't heard anything about this one. If he had fixed it, I'm sure he would have said something.

7. There are pencil sharpeners in the Fine Arts building. Not in every room. I don't think any were added, but I don't think we need anymore.

8. He didn't do anything with this. People who need to get into the Fine Arts Building have a key code they can punch in. I've had the code for going on five years now. I'll admit - I've used it a handful of times this year even though I no longer need it. It's a quiet area to study.

9. This was stupid to even put on the list. Unless major rules are changed, Mu Xi Phi will not be allowed to compete in Greek Week. They're a local fraternity. Only national fraternities can compete. I don't think those rules can change.

10. That didn't happen. If he had tried, I think he would have said something about it.

11. I don't know what that means. There was some advertisements up for the bus that comes to campus to take people into Princeton. There was also a campus-wide trip into Virginia that was sometime last month. But, I think all of those were done by the Student Center, and not sponsored by the SGA.

12. That's a weird request. The answer to both is no.

13. This is one that was accomplished ... but not by Wes. This was a result of new Intramural Director Bill Fraley. He put all the work into that, not Wes.

14. Easier on International Students? What the hell does that mean?

15. I haven't heard anything else about those, so I'm guessing they're fixed. If they're not, somebody let me know.

16. The Student Activities Committee tried to do this. It didn't work.

17. I don't know if they got a shuttle bus to take students to "The Resort," a club near campus. I'm guessing that if there was one it would have been publicized. I never saw or heard anything about this, so I'm guessing it didn't happen. I don't know - I've never been to "The Resort." It's a shame if it didn't happen, that was one of Wes' biggest points he talked a lot about.

18. I don't think Wes did anything with this one either. I don't think the Art or Music students got any new supplies this year. Again, if I'm wrong, somebody correct me. I'm not sure about this one.

19. I think Grilleworks is open later. I don't think South of Sicily is open later. I'll give him half credit for this one.

20. I don't know what was wrong with the English major program. Since I haven't heard of any changes to the major, I'm going to assume he did nothing with it.

21. I don't know what that means. Somebody elaborate on 21 for me.

22. I haven't hear anything about that. Is there still an application process to get into the education department?

23. I've explained the cable situation already. The Internet doesn't seem to be running any faster. I think I'd hear more about that if it had been done.

24. There's a different variety. I don't know if it's "better." I'll give him credit for that, since "better" is subjective.

25. This one has happened, almost. The Housing committee created a new visitation policy. That policy was modified by the Concord University Student Affairs committee. The SGA endorsed it. It's there, waiting to be signed off on.

26. This hasn't happened.

27. This one did happen. Although, it was in the works before Wes was elected. I'll still give him credit for being SGA President while President-elect Jeff Yeager oversaw the review.

28. I don't think the SGA's attempt to "police the police department" was successful. That's what that initiative sounds like to me. I hope that's not what he wanted to do.

29. I think the chairs are okay. The SGA hasn't done anything about the chairs ... in the classrooms. They did buy some for their office recently.

So, there's my take on the fabled list of initiatives. Maybe President-elect Yeager can expand on this list next year ... or throw it away and create a more competent and less ridiculous list.

If you have any thoughts on this, let me know. If I've given too much credit somewhere, not enough, or am just flat-out wrong, let me know. Opinions, comments, anything is welcome. Since this is a new platform we have going, let's try to keep things uniform. I import these blogs into Facebook and probably get most of my readers that way. With importing to Facebook, you can also leave comments on Facebook's version of the blog. So, let's try it out & see how it works - if there are any comments, try to leave them on this page and not Facebook. That way they're all in the same spot. You don't have to create a profile or anything to leave comments. All you have to do is write your name into a window. You can even leave anonymous comments. I'll allow anonymous comments, as long as they're constructive and relevant.

I'll leave my famous warning here: I import these blogs into Facebook. One of Facebook's options is the ability to tag people in these notes, sending them an e-mail alert. I tag people for two reasons - if I mention you by name I try to tag you and also if I think you will find this interesting. If you don't want to be tagged, let me know & I won't do it in the future. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be, let me know.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome to my new home

Yes, I'm on "Blogger" now. I've been blogging on MySpace since 2006, but felt it was time for a change. Well, I was kind of forced into a change. About two months ago, my e-mail password was hacked and somebody managed to delete my MySpace account. Three years of blogs were gone. It sucked, but I regrouped & recreated my account. Then, it happened again a couple weeks ago.

This time, it was a little more personal. The last time, somebody just deleted my account and that was it. This time, somebody took control of my e-mail address, Facebook account, and Twitter page. They deleted my MySpace but kept the other three up & running under my name.

I've managed to get the "fake" Twitter account fixed. I had to re-start my page but I'm back on Twitter - http://twitter.com/chris_slater ... The Facebook profile is still up there. The person doing this thought it would be funny to remove my default picture and replace it with one of a man in a KKK robe. I've been trying to get that account deleted for a couple weeks now. If anybody has any suggestions on how, let me know. I've went ahead and created a new Facebook page. You can search for that if you'd like to add me. I haven't gotten around to making a new MySpace page. Not sure if I will...

For the people who have been following me since 2006, you really don't need an introduction to what I'll be writing about. But, since this is a new area for me and I'll hopefully pick up some new readers here, I'll give an explanation of what we'll be discussing:

I'm a fifth-year college student at Concord University, located in Athens, WV. That institution is near-and-dear to my heart & I often blog about issues surrounding CU. I don't know exactly who reads my blog, but I'll assume that probably 90 percent of my readers are Concord students. I mainly talk about Concord University's Student Government Association. I was on the staff of Concord University's student-newspaper The Concordian for four years, serving as Editor-in-Chief my fourth year. I also discuss the newspaper a lot.

That's mainly all I've focused on lately at Concord. I think in the future I may broaden my horizons a little bit with my Concord-related "reporting."

I'm also a fan of professional wrestling. In the past, I blogged about wrestling on a semi-regular basis. For the most part, I now watch wrestling with my computer in front of me and sent out Tweets to my Twitter page during the show. So, that will spare most of you from reading wrestling blogs. I may still throw a few out here every now & again.

I'll also throw out a lot of random blogs. If I'm feeling bored and want to purge some thoughts from my head, I often do that. If I see a funny movie I want to see, I'll throw up a link to the trailer or something. Basically, a hodgepodge of everything will be thrown into my blog.

So, I guess we'll see where we go from here. I'm in the process of enacting some better security measure so hopefully my account won't get hacked into again. Hopefully that won't happen again. If it does, we'll regroup & pick ourselves back up. If not, then we'll be happy.

I'll leave with a few random links that I found today & think are interesting:

Click here to read about plans for the last episode of long-running sketch comedy program MADtv. I liked that show as a kid and am kind of sad to see it go. But, honestly, the MADtv I loved as a kid has been gone for several years now.

Click here to see an interesting feature from the San Francisco Chronicle about leaving comments on news stories. It talks about a guy who's left 1400 comments on news stories in the last 3 months.

Click here to see another SFChronicle article where former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was speaking to an elementary school and got questioned about torture tactics by a fourth grader. Funny stuff.

Also, check these out:

Click here to see the homepage for Concord University, my college. One day, in the distant future, I will call it my "Concord University, my alma mater." One day.

Click here to see the site for The Concordian, Concord University's student newspaper. I signed the paper up for this site during my tenure as Editor-in-Chief. Sadly, though, the hosting site didn't get through all the legalities and "bureaucracy" until after my tenure as Editor-in-Chief had ended.

Questions or comments, don't be afraid to leave them.