OurOpinion

By
November 12, 2007

This semester, we at The Campanil have been working to improve the look, appeal and content of our newspaper. We have been trying our best to solicit feedback and contributions from our readers so that we can become even more of an integral part of the Mills community.

For at least the past five years, the content of the paper has been largely determined by the stories that writers have chosen to ‘pick up.’ Unfortunately, this means that we have missed covering some important news and other events because we lacked writers to cover them. To change this and maintain greater control over the content of the paper, ensuring that essential issues are covered, we have implemented a new process by which stories are assigned.

We are now working more closely than ever with the Journalism 1 class to publish their work and to help sharpen their skill set. This process of assigning stories is helping us to cover more issues that you, our readers, care about.

On a campus filled with a vast array of preferences and opinions, it is often very tricky to publish a newspaper that caters to everyone’s tastes. This is where you, the reader, come in. We want to know what you are interested in – whether it be article content, editorial opinion or upcoming events you’d like us to cover.

We want to know what you think about the content of the paper and how you believe that it can continue to improve. While positive feedback is greatly appreciated, we also want your constructive criticism. As students of journalism, we are interested in learning from mistakes and oversights that we have made, improving in those areas and continuing to forge ahead.

Recently, we received a couple of very useful suggestions from one of our fellow student-readers. The student was concerned that we missed a few important events that took place on campus. We are definitely doing our best to respond to this critique. It is important to note that this reader saw fit to comment because the reader cared about the paper, and felt a sense of ownership towards it. This reader wanted to see the paper address issues pertinent to the student body.

Mills, The Campanil is your paper. We want it to be useful to you. So, tell us, what do you want to read about? What is important to you?


OurOpinion was published on November 12, 2007 in Opinions

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OurOpinion

By
November 12, 2007

As Mills College pushes for higher enrollment and expands its graduate programs-the college has welcomed a popular program in Business Administration, and this year in Public Policy-we look forward to a vibrant future for the school. However, with the prospect of a larger student population, we wonder what will be done to preserve the many things that make this institution special.

Mills built a new Natural Sciences building, but will the administration hire enough new, quality professors to fill it? How will Mills ensure the 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a statistic used by admissions officers to lure prospective students, stays intact? Mills needs tenured-track instructors to further cultivate ties to the Mills community. Professors should consider Mills their academic home, not just a stepping-stone or a source of income.

Professors at Mills College are not just invaluable in the classroom but also in their capacity as mentors through the adviser program. Advisers guide us through our academic years and inspire us to think about our futures. The adviser program is unique among colleges, and it would be a shame to destroy the integrity of the program by overloading professors with too many students. We want our advisers to recognize us as individuals, each with different strengths. We do not want to be known as just numbers.

The College is unique for its natural beauty within an urban environment. It would be a mistake to sacrifice the lawns and trees for a concrete tangle of dorms and parking lots. This presents a dilemma-for without adequate housing or parking, the Mills community will also suffer. If the student population continues to expand, development of new buildings is inevitable.

All we ask is that the administration use good judgment in its plans and maintain its areas of the campus off-limits to architectural projects.

We welcome the opportunity to attend Mills longer through the graduate programs. We also recognize that graduate students are invaluable to the College and that their perspectives add to the rich texture that defines the community. However, we worry that because we have primarily been an undergraduate institution, changing the focus to graduate programs might force the college into a university mold that it would not fit.

Expansion is a good and necessary step for Mills as it continues to move into the twenty-first century. But equally necessary is to keep up the quality of the Mills education, where the focus is individual growth, not student population growth.

What better way to attract new students than to promise an education for the individual with enough space to progress and develop into a strong, educated woman?


OurOpinion was published on November 12, 2007 in Opinions

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OurOpinion

By
April 30, 2007

Well, Mills, another year has come and gone. The eucalyptus trees are going down, and the MBA building is going up. Professors are heading out, and a new influx of students is rushing in. It’s been one zany shuttle ride with all of you, and we here at The Weekly are glad Mills students are still picking up the paper and flipping through it.

In Fall 2007, most of you will come back and something will be different, whether it’s aesthetically, emotionally or physically. Mills College is a constantly changing institution, and without dedicated students who love Mills and want to better it, Mills as we know it could go the way of the dodo. Who knows? When you come back to Mills, maybe The Weekly won’t be quite the same as you left it.

However, one thing remains true: The Weekly staff will always be committed to giving Mills students, faculty and administrators of all races, creeds, orientations and class a fair, honest voice. We will be doing that no matter what flag we fly. So have a safe and fun summer, Mills, and we’ll see you in August.


OurOpinion was published on April 30, 2007 in Opinions

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OurOpinion

By
April 16, 2007

In the past few weeks, our campus has been abuzz with controversy and all sorts of excitement. From accounts of Public Safety harassment to silent protests and venomous letters, there are a lot of matters weighing heavily on the minds of Mills students. Largely, that’s just the point. We are students. While fighting for issues that we care about and believe in plays an integral role in our educational experience, we should keep in mind that we have classes to attend and large workloads to tackle. It’s just important to find a balance. Balance keeps us healthy. Balance keeps us sane. The Weekly wishes the best of luck to all in that regard.


OurOpinion was published on April 16, 2007 in Opinions

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OurOpinion

By
April 2, 2007

Some of you may labor under a misconception that we sit in a smoky newsroom with blinds drawn and doors closed, cackling into our hands and printing letters carefully selected to demean the College as much as possible.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. First of all, smoking is not allowed indoors. Second, we print what we receive. If what we receive are all negative letters, then so be it. Some weeks we receive no letters at all.

We have never claimed to represent the ideas and opinions of the entire Mills community. OurOpinion is just that: our opinion. Letters to the Editor and OpenForum are outside submissions and edited only for grammar, clarity and length.

There is no reason to fear our publication and imply that we are undemocratic or unjust. Our goal as a newspaper is to remain impartial and cover the news. Page two is for everything that’s not news; it’s for your voice. Want it heard? Then send it in and don’t be afraid to use your name. Mills is a place where no one is supposed to be afraid to have their voice heard.

The sad reality is that most people don’t want to write in about things that are going well. People don’t write happy letters about how their garbage gets picked up every week or how lovely the daffodils are this year; they write about things that make them angry or that they want to see changed.

If you are bothered by what you perceive as an outpouring of negativity on our pages, the best way to combat that is by writing your own letters and submitting them to opinions@millsweekly.com, where the appropriate editor will receive them. Please note our submission guidelines in the bottom right corner of this page for more information.


OurOpinion was published on April 2, 2007 in Opinions

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Our Opinion

By
March 5, 2007

You have 45 minutes to eat lunch in between classes, including time hauling yourself and your gear across campus.
In terms of ease and accessibility, the choice between eating at Founders Commons or the Tea Shop or Suzie’s seems clear.
But it’s not.

For students with the 12 meal plan, the cheapest option at a measly $4,240 for eight months of on-campus dining, there is no choice. It is a contingent of the 12 meal plan that you only eat at Founders Commons or the residence hall dining rooms. Yet it would be impossible to get to Founders, eat, and get to your next class on time in 45 minutes. But for students on the 12 meal plan, who are officially chained to Founder’s limited dining hours, lunch hour dining now seems either impossible or an oxymoron-can scarfing down your food in 10 minutes really be thought of as dining? And moreover, is it the best option for the student?

Lunch is only available at Founders from 11:30 to 1:30, so it is also impossible to eat lunch before or after your classes, which in essence forces you to not eat for 8 hours- from 9 a.m., when Founders breakfast ends, to 5 p.m., when Founders dinner begins – or spend more money on food when you have already given the school over $4,000 to provide food for you when needed.

While always technically not allowed to use a meal as a snack swipe as part of the 12 meal plan, it was common knowledge that sympathetic Tea Shop workers would let you get lunch on a snack swipe there instead of forcing hungry students up the hill. Only recently has HMDS made 12 meal plan swipes completely ineffective there and, with the deadline to change your meal plan weeks past, life for students with the 12 meal plan has gotten significantly more difficult.

Some might argue that there are easy ways to get around it – change your meal plan, for example, or take different classes. But this is simply not true. Any plan above the 12 is at least $200 more a semester and it is common knowledge that money is universally tight for college students. Also, a student’s schedule is a delicate balance of the classes offered that will meet her general education requirements, her major requirements, and her overall taste in classes. It is never easy to build the perfect schedule, and while food is a basic need of life, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

An editor at The Weekly works at the Tea Shop and sees every day how frustrating eating has become for students with the 12 meal plan. Whenever she has to turn a student away, it seems obvious that there’s an simple solution: give the 12 meal plan a snack swipe. It works out that a student with this plan pays $530 a month for food, and this price earns the convenience of eating in the center of campus. Even one swipe a day, like the 15 and 19 meal plans enjoy, would be incredibly appreciated.

The Weekly sincerely believes in doing what is best for all the students of Mills College. Therefore, we believe it is in the entire campus’ best interest to accommodate all residential students, no matter what meal plan they have purchased, with a snack swipe. We hope HMDS will consider our request for fair food on campus.


Our Opinion was published on March 5, 2007 in Opinions

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OurOpinion

By
January 22, 2007

The issue of safety on the Mills campus has recently risen to the top of the administration’s list of topics to address this semester. The administration has always worked hard to keep students safe, but unfortunately some of the upcoming changes arose because of the sexual assault of a student on campus.

We hope the survivor of this heinous crime is recovering, and we offer all of our support to her. We want to commend the President for addressing the entire Mills community about the incident and stressing the importance of personal safety.

We believe that the safety of students, faculty and staff is a priority for the administration. We also feel that it’s important to address the issue of taking responsibility for our own safety as well.

We get comfortable and maybe have become a little too trusting in our Mills community. In addition to the president’s suggestions in the Dec. 8, 2006 memorandum to the entire Mills campus, we would like to add the importance of safety while surfing the net.

Many people on campus are familiar with Web sites such as Myspace and Facebook. Let’s be honest, many of us have chatted with strangers on the Internet, placed personal ads or posts to sell goods and services. Whether you’re an avid user, a part time participant or just a voyeur, there are some things you should remember when chatting with people and posting personal information.

When you get to know someone over the Internet, be sure not to share information about where you live, work or go to school. In fact, if you have a personal page on any Web site, use caution in posting any residential or workplace information.
Never meet someone in person if you have just met them on the Web. After getting to know them better, it might be a good idea to get their number and speak with them several times over the phone before agreeing to meet with them. It might also be a good idea to have your number blocked by your phone or cellular provider so the number doesn’t show up on Caller ID.

For the first meeting or two, make sure to meet in a crowded place during the day and bring along a few of your friends. Your friends will give you good advice on how they feel about the person you are meeting.

Most of all, trust your instincts. Intuition protects you more often than you know. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.


OurOpinion was published on January 22, 2007 in Opinions

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