The leftovers are finished. The house has been cleaned. For the ambitious among you there might be a tree up already. If I keep going on this entry is going to turn into some kind of weird Bukowski-esque meditation on Thanksgiving so I’ll just leave it this: We’re almost there people, the semester is nearly done.
I was really happy to get some comments and private messages from the community here about the upcoming IT Conference and I hope I get to see some old friends and make new ones there. I know everyone has put in a lot of work to make this year’s conference an outstanding event for everyone and I’m excited.
I heard a few things this week that I wanted to bring up here and get some feedback from everyone. First up – I, along with a lot of other people, have been making a fuss about the SUNY language program debacle for a while now. That’s not exactly news, but I’ve heard that some language programs across CUNY have started to scale back their offerings now. Lean departments and hard decisions are to be expected after the year we had with the state assembly, but I think it’d be interesting to find a way to compile all of the cuts and sacrifices CUNY is making to do the best they can with what we got this year. A tool like the Commons is a great way to share resources and tips. It’s also a great way to make a lasting digital record that might be able to get a real sense of the totality of the cuts and what they actually look like in practice. It’s one thing to read a six line piece in the NY Daily News about ambiguous “cuts” to CUNY this year. It’d be a whole other thing to have a way to record exactly what that means for the higher education of about 400,000 New Yorkers (and our out-of-state friends of course). Think about a bit and if you’re interested in it get back to me. I’d love to try and assemble some kind of project that helps explain to our officials what exactly you lose when you cut out 60 million dollars. It’d be a great group blog – An Education on Blocks…How to Drive on Donuts. We can work on the title a little more.
Speaking of cuts, browsing around facebook to escape awkward Thanksgiving boredom I saw that Baruch students crashed a Baruch board meeting on what to do about tuition. Unfortunately it looks like some of it got violent (Sorry about that folks, I got caught up in watching the Youtube videos and didn’t notice the date on that incident – apologies), but that appears to have been the exception to an otherwise healthy protest to tuition hikes. Ultimately the tuition hike passed the board vote. Any fellow Commonsers there? I’m glad things didn’t get too out of hand (I’m looking at you England) but it looked like tensions were high. Does anyone know the adjunct who appears in the second video? Tell him to join the Commons, I’d love to hear about his experience!
On the back end of things, we’ve been hard at work getting ready to roll out an updated Commons that should happen soon. There are a few changes that you’ll notice but nothing crazy. If you are the admin of a group please join the nearly eponymous ‘The Group for Group Admins‘ so that we can update you to any changes to the group feature. Also keep an eye on the CommonsNews blog as that’ll be the place where we check in and let you know all about what we fixed and added.
I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.