11 November 2003

old news.

here's professor burke's take on the diebold thingy -- posted october 28, so it's a bit outdated at this point, but still worth reading.

i am mostly impressed with burke's analysis, especially his contrast between the coalition for the digital commons (pretty rational, generally positive on coalition building within the college) and why-war. one thing that professor burke doesn't address, and something that i think is particularly important on a college campus, is the manner in which the college does what it does, says what it says. there's a reason that the administration is a convenient "straw man," as burke puts it: they have a lot of influence. they have a lot of money, they are at the head of an operation that can put out a press release, create a publication, speak to an academic audience, provide a lot of credibility. even more importantly, whether students care to admit it or not, most swatties want the approval and audience of their administrators.

i think the administration could have done quite a bit more to signal to the student population that it was on their side. it's as simple as that. when adminsitrators' responses seem grudging or more directed at their corporate opponents than at the students to whom they are ultimately responsible, those students deserve to be angry and to complain. it's no good simply to defend the administration on the grounds that they were complying with the law. fine -- comply. then tell the world your students are right and you're going to take every legal step to help them.

...and if you don't think they're right, well, that's another and larger problem. if that's the case you don't belong at swarthmore.