Monthly Archives: February 2013

After One Semester, Mixed Reviews for Thompson Hospitality

by Andrew Stoddard ’14

Thompson Hospitality has now been a part of the Hampden Sydney community for a whole semester.

“We are very proud and excited to be the food service provider for H-SC. The community has been very receptive and welcoming. Hampden Sydney is a very dynamic campus, full of energy. It has been a pleasure being a part of this,” said Food Service Director Darryl Rudge.

“We feel like there have been a number of accomplishments with many more opportunities ahead. There will continue to be a focus on improvement and efficiencies all with an interest in better serving the community,” continued Mr. Rudge.

Many students are pleased with the transition thus far as well. “I think the dining service has done a fairly good job. Hopefully they continue to better themselves as to meal selections and such, but for a first-year contract I cannot complain,” said sophomore John Wirges.

One of the most notable improvements has been the overall attitude of the staff.  “The staff acts so polite. Mrs. Brooks is one of my favorite people. The staff and managing staff always act nice, and it is nice to see them working. Seeing the Executive Chef out there in the morning cooking omelets is nice,” said Wirges.

However not all students are satisfied with the new dining service.

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a typical meal in Panhil Commons

 

“I am less than satisfied.  The food generally does not taste good, or necessarily even have the texture or consistency that the food should have.  Generally the food is poorly cooked and prepared in such a manner that it doesn’t look appetizing.  Also, there is a serious lack of variety.  A student should not walk in and say, ‘I wonder what of four possible lunches are being served today,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous.

“Taste and variety are really the biggest problems.  The food needs to be cooked in a better manner, or new food needs to be bought and THC needs to try something new.  The burrito line every day does not seem appealing, the fries and some sub-par entrée in the ‘fast-food’ line gets old (especially when the fries aren’t good), and the other stations are usually rotating between the same couple meals that are served every week, if not multiple times a week,” continued the anonymous student.

Quality was one of the main complaints with Aramark, so when Thompson promised to improve in that area almost every student on campus rejoiced. However, some students did not see much change in the overall quality of the meals served over the past semester.

“Several improvements I can think of would be using higher quality ingredients in their meals and preparing a wide variety of meals not the same thing week to week. Also, most meals are either under or over cooked. Finally, I do not think that ice cream Sundays or French fries should be considered as a meal,” said junior Will Funk.

“The menus are always evolving. We have added a number of items to the TI menu based solely on student input. Our chefs look for feedback on food quality and variety and incorporate suggestions on our cycle menus,” said Mr. Rudge in response to several of these claims.

Some students also feel that their input and suggestions are going unnoticed or simply ignored.

“I do not believe they are listening to comments. Every comment gets a roundabout answer defending what they are doing, and nothing is changed,” said Wirges.

“I just want the granola to be added back to the cereal bar and I know I’m not alone, but they have yet to respond to any comments about it,” said sophomore Brett Roberts.

Mr. Rudge stated “We do listen to suggestions; there is a suggestion box in the dining hall. We also receive suggestions through the H-SC Dining website, Facebook and Twitter.”

On the whole most students seem to be happy with Thompson Hospitality after the first semester.  Some students still would like to see improvements made to various aspects of the dining experience, but the dining service will hopefully work out any of the kinks as time goes on and they get more experience here at Hampden Sydney.

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Why Do Some Societies Prosper, While Others Remain Stagnant and Poor?

by Alex Cartwright ’13

During one of my trips to Peru, the school, where I have been giving talks on economics, invited me to attend a conference that the school was hosting for high school students. At the beginning of the conference, the teachers showed the students a Powerpoint presentation. The first slide was a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong’s busy harbor. The second slide was of downtown Manhattan. During the third slide, the teachers asked all the students, ‘why doesn’t Peru look like that?’

 During a lecture, Adam Smith explained that, “little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”[i]  Even though Smith articulated this nearly 257 years ago, there are still some countries that do not embrace what many economists, and advocates of liberty, have so well articulated. Today, the differences in prosperity between countries provide social scientists with the contrast class needed to determine which key factors contribute to prosperity; the answer is clear: prosperous countries embrace and protect individuals’ economic freedom. Specifically, some countries prosper because they have institutions that protect the three ‘P’s’ – property, prices, and profit- and have laws that don’t interfere with the three ‘I’s’ – incentives, information, and innovation.

Once well-established property rights are defined, exchange can take place. Property rights give actors an incentive to care for what is theirs and to trade for what is not. Trade incentivizes citizens to produce what is easiest for them to produce and trade for what we cannot make profitably ourselves, which simultaneously encourages a peaceful social order. Trade also gives us an incentive to pursue our comparative advantages in production: as people produce what they are good at producing, their capabilities to produce and improve, and their actions become more specialized. Division and specialization of labor allow for producers to be more productive, which encourages yet more trade. Because voluntary exchange is mutually beneficial, this process simultaneously increases the wealth of all who participate.

 As trade becomes more complex, prices arise. Though they are often only 3-4 digits, prices are incentives wrapped in an immeasurable amount of knowledge. Prices constantly signal consumer demand, along with the relative scarcity of a product’s inputs, to producers. This information allows producers to produce more of what consumers demand, allowing the trading process to generate even more wealth. As Nobel-laureate F.A. Hayek explained to us, these price signals are part of a system so dynamic that the order cannot possibly be ‘planned’ and therefore should not be tampered with. Thus, once property rights are well established, prosperous countries must permit prices to fluctuate freely in order to continue on the path to prosperity.

Freely moving prices and the increased information and trade that result from them will allow producers to earn larger profits. These profits are not just ‘spent’ in the economy, but ‘re-invested’ as producers seek to experiment with new products and research new ideas. The innovative process, permitted by the existence of profits, leads to even greater profits for producers and better products for consumers. Better products do not necessitate ‘higher quality’ since often they are simply ‘less expensive’ or some how save consumers time. Innovation allows producers to start creating wealth on an endless number of vectors, all while a country’s prosperity increases. The most prosperous countries minimize taxes on profits and restrictions on innovation since these things deter the entrepreneurial process.

One final element is key in explaining why some countries are prosperous and others are not, and that is the stability of their political institutions. Political and legal institutions that are free of corruption, just in their decisions, and principled in their actions, are an important cornerstone to a country seeking to achieve and maintain high levels of prosperity. Predictable legal institutions create a stable investing environment that encourages investment and allows contracts to be predictably enforced.

Even though ‘trade’ typically provokes a mental image of material things and professional services, free trade and its requisite institutions create more than just material prosperity. In prosperous countries citizens are typically happier, have more freedom to pursue their dreams, receive better healthcare, and ultimately have more autonomy over the direction of their lives. Economic freedom is a requisite to all of these ‘non-material’ measures of prosperity, and in fact these ‘non-material’ measures of prosperity don’t exist in countries that do not have high levels of economic freedom.

 To the high school students in Peru, why some countries were wealthy and others poor seemed like a mystery, almost a fact of nature: it isn’t.  In fact, even though we live in a highly developed country, our political debates seem to suggest that only after you have an advanced understanding of statistics and economic planning are you qualified to legislate in rules in Congress or manipulate the money supply at The Federal Reserve in such a way that will bring about wealth. Don’t let what seems to be highly intellectual public policy debates confuse you—creating a just and prosperous society is much less complicated. Well established and enforced property rights combined with unrestricted rules to determine prices and make profits, lead to the incentives, information and innovation that make prosperity possible—anywhere. 

 

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Swimming Looks to End Second Year Strong

Mason Watkins ’15

After back-to-back weather problems at meets and a winter of pool renovations, the Hampden-Sydney swimming team is gearing up for the next and final swim meet of the season.

Their first scheduled meet of 2013 was supposed to take place on January 18th against Greensboro College, but due to snowy conditions the meet was cancelled. The Tigers’ second scheduled meet was planned for a week later, January 25th, against Frostburg State, but that was also cancelled because of frosty weather. The two cancelled meets were two of only three scheduled for the 2013 season for the Tigers, leaving only one last meet against Greensboro to compete in.

The winter brought not only snow for the swim team, but also the completion of their swimming pool renovations. Beginning around the start of winter break, the entire swimming pool went under a series of renovations. From the tiles at the bottom of the pool to the garnet and gray painting on their equipment, the renovations have given the Tigers swimming program a serious makeover. One problem that arouse with the renovations was the unfortunate time of completion. The final touches to the pool were supposed to be completed roughly two weeks before they actually were, causing a ripple effect of problems for the team. The lack of a completed facility during this time meant that the Tigers had to travel to Longwood University each week to get in their practice. The importance of every practice was even greater at the time because of the looming ODAC Championship. Senior Ke Shang mentioned that the renovation delay “definitely affected our practice.” He emphasized the fact that the final meet was so close and they had “only two weeks of practice.” When asked on her thoughts about the renovations, Head Coach Betsy Prengaman said “the pool looks great” and that she “can’t wait to host meets in our new and improved facility!”

The Hampden-Sydney swimming team has had an immense remodeling this season. A gigantic number of freshmen on the team, coupled with the extensive renovations of the facilities, only spell good fortune for the future of the team.

The ODAC Championship, which is taking place at Greensboro, will be held this Friday through Sunday, February 8th through the 10th. With their strong performances already this season, the Tigers will look to end their second season on a high note.

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Spring 2013 Code of Conduct Cases

On January 21, 2013, a student was tried for damages to College grounds.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for one semester, $100 fine, restitution for damages, and loss of motor vehicle privileges on campus.

On January 21, 2013, a student was tried for a DUI.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 and Alcohol Probation2 for three semesters, $50 fine, substance use consultation, 50 hours of community service, and loss of motor vehicle privileges on campus.

On January 22, 2013, a student was tried for possession of marijuana.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for one semester and substance use consultation.

On January 22, 2013, a student was tried for disorderly conduct.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for two semesters, substance use consultation, and 25 hours of community service.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for underage possession of alcohol and having a concealed weapon in his vehicle.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for two semesters, Alcohol Probation2 for one semester, and substance use consultation.

On February 1, 2013, four students were sanctioned for extensive damages in a fraternity house.  The students were found guilty and were sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for two semesters, $100 fine, and restitution for damages.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for underage drinking on campus.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Alcohol Probation2 for one semester, substance use consultation, and 10 hours of community service.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for providing alcohol to underage students.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for one semester, Alcohol Probation2 for one semester, and 15 hours of community service.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for underage drinking on campus.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Alcohol Probation2 for two semesters, substance use consultation, and 10 hours of community service.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for vandalism of College property and underage possession of alcohol.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for two semesters, Alcohol Probation2 for two semesters, substance use consultation, and 15 hours of community service.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for vandalism of College property and underage drinking.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with 20 hours of community service, substance use consultation, $100 fine, and restitution for damages.

On February 1, 2013, two students were tried a life safety violation.  The students were found guilty and were sanctioned with reprimand for one semester and a $250 fine.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for possession of marijuana and a vehicle infraction.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for two semesters, substance use consultation, and loss of motor vehicle privileges on campus.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for underage possession of alcohol and possession of a taser.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 one semester.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for underage drinking.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Admonition3 for one semester and substance use consultation.

On February 1, 2013, a student was tried for possession of weapons in his room.  The student was found guilty and was sanctioned with Disciplinary Probation1 for two semesters and the weapons were confiscated and stored in the campus gun locker at Campus Police.

 

 

 

1 Disciplinary Probation: A specified period during which a student’s conduct will be closely scrutinized. Certain privileges may be suspended. Violation of the terms of the probation or of the Code is likely to result in suspension or expulsion from the College.

 

2 Alcohol Probation:  A specified period during which a student may neither possess nor consume alcohol on campus, nor may he return to campus after having consumed alcohol.

 

3 Admonition:  An oral or written warning that the Code of Student Conduct has been violated and that repetition of the conduct will result in additional disciplinary action. An admonition will be entered in a student’s record for determining sanctions in case of future violations.

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Spring Sports Preview

By Ned Belliveau

It’s early February here on the Hill, and that means spring sports are just around the corner.  Here is a brief sport-by-sport look at what to expect from your Tiger teams this spring:

Baseball

whitaker2

The Tiger baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the preseason ODAC poll and is hoping to exceed their original prognosis. Sophomore pitcher Zach Whitaker was named last season’s ODAC Rookie of the Year and looks to replicate his excellent freshman campaign in which he finished with a 7-4 record and a 3.38 ERA. On the offensive side, the Tigers are powered by Jeff Gray (.357 batting average, .504 slugging percentage) and Christian Hamlett (.325 batting average, .462 slugging percentage).  The team opened their season with two losses against Averett on February 2, and a 16-5 defeat against eighth-ranked Christopher Newport on February 4. The Tigers will return home on February 16 as they play host to the Stevenson Mustangs.

Lacrosse

Led by captains Ryan Martin (27 goals, 13 assists) and Cam Sheppard (32 groundballs, ten caused turnovers), the Tiger lacrosse team is primed for a breakout season. The biggest challenge the Tigers will face is the losses of offensive tandem Micah Keller (team high 37 goals) and Carter Mavromatis (team high 38 assists) to graduation, but with the emergence of sophomores Thomas Armstrong (22 points as a freshman) Corey Mavromatis (10 points, 4 starts as a freshman) plus an influx of new talent, the Tiger offense should keep humming along. On the defensive end, the Tigers will have to rebound from the loss of senior duo Nate Norbo and Andrew Pritzlaff (39 combined caused turnovers). Sheppard will help cushion the blow as will the senior leadership of converted goalie Austin Black. In the cage for the Tigers will be senior Cody Hornung, who is looking to put an exclamation point on his collegiate career.

Tennis

After a short fall season, the Tiger tennis team is looking to achieve success in the regular season. Sophomore Zach King will lead the team as its probable #1 singles player after spending his freshman campaign at the #2 spot. Houghton Flanagan will bring up the rear as the #2 seed with close competition from junior and newcomer Alex Turkovic who has been paired with Flanagan in doubles matches and has had success in his first collegiate season. Other contributors will be the freshman duo of Lawrence Bowers and David Dodson, who look to push their older counterparts and move into top spots on the team.

Golf

The golf team looks to swing into the season on the right foot after posting good results during their fall campaign, including a 1st place finish at The Manor Invitational. Junior Rick O’Connell is building towards an even better junior season after leading the Tigers at every event his sophomore year.  Second year coach Mac Main has a deep squad and hopes to make a push for the ODAC conference title. The Tigers open the season February 25 in Southern Pines, NC as they participate in the Pine Needles Invitational.

Track

The Tiger cross country team will continue on into the spring as they will travel to three meets over the course of the spring in preparation for the fall season. Coach Betsy Prengaman expects a bigger turnout for the track team, as it also includes sprinters and athletes in the field events. Junior Andrew Stoddard will attempt to achieve his cross country success on the track, a feat he was able to accomplish last season, and lead the team into the fall. Freshman William Imeson also looks to be a contributor, and Coach Prengaman is confident that the injuries the team suffered in the fall will not be a setback.

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Student Senate Enforcing Campus-Wide Cleanup on Weekends

Greg Robinson ’15

It comes as no surprise that the beauty of Hampden-Sydney is what attracts so many to ‘The Hill.’ “From students, faculty, and guests of the College, each takes notice of the tall orange and red oaks in the fall, the snow crested pines in the winter and the vibrantly blossoming flowers in the spring. It is the beauty of this campus that so many come to love upon entering these gates,” said Dean of Admissions Anita Garland.

However, recently the Senate has found that students are not playing their part in preserving these hallowed grounds. Senate Chairman Fredrick Antoine, states that the senate currently has plans to enforce campus cleanliness rules and expectations on fraternities and clubs. Although this has generated much flack among students, Mr. Antoine states that these rules should come as no surprise to students, as they are already in the Key and have been since their adoption in 2008. Under appendix G: Housing Regulations of the Key, guidelines are listed for students living in residence halls. The regulation states that “If Buildings and Grounds personnel have to clean up excessive trash and debris inside a residence hall, a minimum $50 fee will be assessed to students on the hall…” It also states that “excessive trash outside of the residence halls” could result in a minimum $50 for all students living in that residence hall.

The question that then lies is ‘what is excessive?’ Under appendix M: Implementation of the College Alcohol Policy, we find rules and regulations for clubs and fraternities. The regulation states that any club or organization is required to clean their environs immediately after a function, while a fraternity must have their house clean “no later than 10 a.m. the morning after the function.” Many members of fraternities find this 10 a.m. deadline to be excessive and believe the school administration is acting too harshly. However, it is interesting to note that the cleanliness rules under the Interfraternity Council Statutes, Article V, sound much harsher than that of the student senate. Section two of the article states that a fraternity house will be inspected on a “regular basis” to ensure that each house is “safe, clean, in good repair and reasonably attractive.” Sections three and four state that the parking lot, house, and surrounding environs of a fraternity house must be clean at all times. So while the student senate is receiving much backlash on the enforcement of the Key, it seems as if the Interfraternity Council agrees with the regulations.

Another question arises: why are the rules not enforced? It seems almost automatic that students would want to preserve our beautiful campus. Regardless, the senate does plan to enforce the regulations beginning this semester. Excessive trash around a fraternity or themed house could even result in a recommendation for eviction from the house, says Fredrick Antoine. Since 1775, Hampden-Sydney has long been enriched in the tradition of community, but can we work together to preserve our own?

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Revisiting Sandy Hook

By David Williams ’14

In 2012, the United States saw 16 mass shootings take 88 lives. The most notorious one occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Throughout December, news organizations, filled the airwaves with continuing coverage of the tragedy, the effects on the town and children, and sparked a renewed conversation on mental illness and support that had began after the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. More people in our society must understand that this type of mass media coverage grants these criminals notoriety – notoriety that often acts as an incentive for future mass shootings. The continuing coverage of tragedies, such as those in Colorado, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, maintains national attention for criminal acts that deserve nothing but our condemnation.

However, these mass shootings jumpstart conversations in our government and society that need to occur. Sadly, the knee jerk reactions to these horrors look towards gun control and violent videogames. Instead, we should look at the underlying cause of many of these attacks: damaged mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness issued report card based ratings for each state’s mental health programs and laws. Originally offered in 2009 and updated in 2011, no state managed to receive an A rating from the organization, with 27 states receiving under a C rating, and an overall grade for the US of a D. Between 2009 and 2011, states cut 1.6 billion dollars from their budgets for their state mental health agencies. Moreover, mental health issues seem to receive less media coverage and have less understanding than other health problems.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 46.4% of American adults will develop a diagnosable mental illness at some point in their life. This is compounded due to the raising rates of mental illness in younger populations with 55% of adults aged 30-44 having been diagnosed in their lifetime, as compared to 26.1% of those adults aged over 60. We have answered this increase in the rates of mental illnesses by cutting support for those who are currently suffering for mental illnesses. While only 6% of the population suffers from debilitating mental illnesses, the annual cost, both direct and indirect, has been reported at 317.6 billion dollars. Out of this cost, 193.2 billion dollars were solely loss of earnings, 100.1 billion dollars reported as health care expenditures, and 24.3 billion paid as social security income and disability insurance.

If we continue to lack education for and stigmatize mental illnesses in our society, we run the risk of exacerbating the already prevalent problem of mental illness. While only an extremely small percentage of those with mental health problems will go on to commit crimes as heinous as the 16 mass shootings that we suffered in 2012, we cannot continue to ignore the importance of mental health. If we do, we can expect to face a continued crisis with rising mental illness rates and greater social stigmatization.

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