Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Executive Council meeting held on September 4, 2012. Members present include: President Nathan Lee, Student Concerns Vice President Charis Whitnah, Outreach Vice President Pat Knecht, Finance Vice President Stanley Sigalov, and Constitutional Vice President Elliott Mamet.
Minutes of the Colorado College Student Government Association Full Council meeting held on October 18, 2012.
Mining activity in the central Andes poses a serious threat to human health due to the release of heavy metals in surface water. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, copper, and arsenic, are known to have severe detrimental effects on human health. Mining exposes large quantities of metal bearing rock, which oxidize in the presence of oxygen and water, releasing heavy metal ions into surface water. Surface water contamination in Perú as a result of mining operations is of particular concern due to a lack of regulation of large-scale mines. In order to determine the impact of mining on surface water heavy metal concentrations, water samples were collected in nine streams throughout our three watersheds in the central Peruvian Andes. Results showed [Mn] and [As] exceeded the EPA maximum allowable limits at 55% and 14% of sites, respectively. The [Mn] was significantly higher in impacted streams than non-impacted streams. The [As] was elevated in some non-impacted streams and below the EPA maximum allowable drinking water levels in some mine-impacted streams. While Mn appeared to be impacted by mining effluent, As seemed to have a natural groundwater source. This study suggests Mn and As pose a serious threat to human health in the regions of study. The [Zn], [Cu], and [Pb] seldom exceeded the EPA maximum allowable drinking water limit (5%, 3% and 5% of sites, respectively). Dry season [Zn], [Cu], and [Pb] do not appear to pose a serious threat to human health in these regions. Further research is needed to understand seasonal variations in both dissolved and particulate trace metal concentrations. Implementing a community-based water quality monitoring program in study regions may also afford local residents more autonomy and local knowledge regarding the impact of mining on heavy metal concentrations in their surface water.
The Monthly Rag, a publication of the Feminist and Gender Studies interns, is found affixed to toilet stall walls around the Colorado College campus.
A video created by Colorado College students as part of the course, FG110 Introduction to Feminist and Gender Studies, taught by Assistant Professor Heidi Lewis during FYE Block 1, 2012.
The study finds unique changes in the Creole’s relationship with the state’s African American population, and traces the development of this change over the course of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The essay is an illustration of the roll of Civil Religion in American Reconstruction history.
To this very day, debate among historians continues concerning the critical points in the relations between Russia and the Byzantine Empire and the truth of four important points in Russian history: (1) Russia’s political origins, (2) the extent of Byzantine influence on Russian society, (3) the impact of the Golden Horde on Russo-Byzantine relations, and (4) the prevalence of the “Third Rome” theory in the rise of Muscovite Russia--how this led to the Western interpretation of Russian expansionism during eighteenth- and nineteenth-century imperialism and twentieth-century communism. Understanding Russia’s Byzantine-derived cultural and religious heritage yields a clearer understanding of Russia’s place in the world today. The focus of this thesis is on the extent of the political, religious, and cultural impact of the Byzantine Empire on Medieval Russia and the rise of Moscow as the “Third Rome.” The advancement of Russian self-identification as the center of Orthodoxy after the Turkish invasion of Constantinople will also be investigated. Different historiographical perspectives ranging from the opinions of Western, Soviet, and Russian historians take into account the original documents of the Byzantine and Russian medieval Orthodox Church, the Russian Chronicles, and the testaments of Russian princes and tsars.
While central Mexico continues to be a cradle of agrobiodiversity, there have been major changes to the agricultural model since the 1960’s, characterized by an overall decrease in crop diversity and a shift from low-input subsistence farming to high-input commercial farming (Sanderson 1986). In light of this trend, this study focuses on agrobiodiversity and the specific practices associated with seed selection, cultivation, and use of diverse crops in central Mexico. Most related efforts have been made at the scale of “farm” or “nation;” the dynamics of agrobiodiversity at the scale of landscape are less well-understood. This study examines crop diversity within a specific community in central Mexico. Both quantitative measures of crop diversity and qualitative ethnographic data are interpreted through the frameworks of ethnobotany, economic botany, agroecology and human ecology. The agro-system of this community appears to be a relatively stable and sustainable form of agricultural syncretism containing high levels of agrobiodiversity. Using this community as a case study, the functional roles and implications of crop diversity on a bioregion are examined. This contextual examination is conducted with an awareness of the biosecurity threats posed by genetic erosion and the potential benefits of in situ conservation.
A political science thesis examining the impact of the 2010 Affordable Care Act on the cost of health care in the United States. The incentives of the participants in the health care market are analyzed in order to explain why health care costs continue to grow. This thesis also looks at the why the Affordable Care Act became law and provides a conclusion on the likely success of the Affordable Care Act at controlling health care cost growth.
Niccolo Machiavelli is a political philosopher with a coherent and complex concern for human liberty, as presented through his works The Prince and the Discourses on Livy. Machiavelli’s two works must be synthesized, possible through the examination of the mechanism of fortune in both works. Fortune situates human politics and human history, opposed only by human virtue. This concern with virtue reveals Machiavelli’s concern for the efficacy of human action in politics, which he expands to a concern for human liberty and dignity. Fortuna situates human politics, but Machiavelli retains hope that her whims may be fought by the virtuous political man with an endpoint of stability.
Each day we make many decisions about how we want to look and act in order to maintain our identity and present ourselves to society in the best possible light. Some individuals rebel against social norms while others follow them to the extreme. Our notions of self are influenced by society and how we desire to be perceived by society. This study focuses on the presentation of self in digital media, specifically on the online social network Facebook. I analyze how individuals construct their Facebook identity and why they present themselves in particular ways. Since users’ identities are known both offline and online by their audience they are unlikely to present a false-self to their “friends.” By interviewing 11 volunteers, I found that participants in this study mainly displayed information about themselves through pictures. Further, participants presented a virtual self through either carefully set privacy settings, not allowing friends to see tagged photos and consciously presenting themselves with certain viewers in mind. Given this, users are omitting information about their real selves in order to appear as their hoped-for self that they can only obtain through their virtual self. By looking at how individuals present themselves on Facebook and their choices about how they do so, we may better understand the relationship between identity and social norms and the significance of self presentation in virtual space and social interaction.
Dr. Harold Koenig, the director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at Duke University and one of the leading researchers in the field of Religion and Medicine advocates for a change in the current medical system that incorporates religion and spirituality. Koenig argues that because religion is so influential to patients’ ability to cope with illness, it must be addressed in patient care in order for the patient to have a successful recovery. In order to make his theory appear viable he tries to prove through scientific research that religion has a beneficial effect on people’s health. To this date, Koenig has published more than 35 books and over 280 articles on this topic. The aim of this thesis project was to take a close examination of Koenig’s theory of why religion should be introduced into the medical world and the method in which he takes to prove this theory. What I will argue is that although I agree that medical care needs to be changed in order to meet more than just the physical needs of patients, Koenig’s approach to do this by scientifically proving the health benefits of religion through his published books is unconvincing as well as ineffective in benefiting patients.
Reversed sexual size dimorphism (RSSD), where females within a given species are larger than their male counterparts, is a phenomena observed across a few avian taxa including hawks and eagles (Accipitriformes), falcons (Falconiformes), waders (Charadriiformes), and owls (Strigiformes). While the mechanisms driving the evolution of this phenomenon are widely discussed, the proximate effects of RSSD on development and juvenile morphology are not well understood. Life history characteristics, such as brood size, influencing avian morphology are also important in understanding long-term patterns in development. I studied development of Flammulated Owls (Otus flammeolus), an RSSD species that tends to raise offspring in broods of 2-3 owlets, to better understand these relationships. I analyzed development using two measures: mass and wing feather length. First I determined the gender of all 2011 nestlings based on genetic analysis of blood samples collected from owlets captured and bled in 2011. Gender data since 2003 were already available. Growth analysis on a total of 189 owlets revealed that females reach a higher asymptotic mass than males. Broods consisting of three owlets reached a higher asymptotic mass than broods consisting of 2 owlets, an unexpected result based on previous research. The differences in maximum juvenile mass in broods of different sizes may be biased due to divergent sex ratios within broods; 57% of owlets in broods of three were female while 38% in broods of two were female. Even so, trends remained the same when males are compared with other males and females with other females in same-sized broods. Wing size differed little between the genders and broods. Juvenile body condition ultimately informs adult viability and fitness, thus it is important to understand these and other selective factors that influence avian development.
Listing of graduate courses and programs for educators offered during the 2012 Summer Session at Colorado College.
The following research concerning Chicana/o identity formation and self-representation was conducted at The Colorado College throughout November and December of 2011, and January and February of 2012. Not only are established theories on identity and culture utilized but research case studies and other ethnographies on the subject of Chicana/o language and culture are also examined in the following project. Along with this review of existing frameworks I examine Chicana/o culture and language through the analysis of various works of Chicana/o literature. Using these assorted resources, I show how Chicana/o language, culture, and history give structure to the identities of Mexican-Americans living in the United States. Research on this specific topic is important because immigration from Mexico is on the forefront of the political arena in the United States. The prevalence of Mexican-Americans living in the United States is encouraging important changes in economic and institutional policies. In order to make these changes, there must be knowledge of the Chicana/o language, culture, and history. How these concepts shape the identities of Mexican Americans is integral in understanding the specific policies that have been, and will continue to affect Chicanas/os all over the United States. My research will help bring this information into the public and academic spheres as well as demonstrate the roles that language, culture, and history play in shaping identity and creating a representation of oneself.
Americans are increasingly financially fragile with massive credit card debt and a mounting inability to see themselves through times of financial hardship (i.e. the loss of a job or severe illness). Researchers find that one quarter of Americans could not come up with the savings or assets to cover a financial shock of $2,000 within 30 days. This lack of savings in the United States stands in stark contrast to the thrifty values espoused in a number of European and Asian countries, where saving is a stylish and popular practice. Traditional indicators of household savings rates (i.e. the real interest rate, public debt, and growth in GDP per capita) fail to capture all of the variation observed from country to country; and therefore, innovative approaches now incorporate various cultural factors. This paper seeks to build upon previous work, utilizing a unique three stage regression analysis to examine the question, to what extent do cultural differences influence the variation in household savings rates around the world? Ultimately, this research finds that nations that place a higher value on teaching children about thrift have higher household savings rates. However, it is important to note that this cultural value for thrift is a product of various historical, political, and economic forces. This suggests that one must reconsider a linear notion of causality between culture and economics and instead reflect upon the manner in which the two constantly interact with and influence one another.
Apartheid has had long-lasting effects on the economic conditions in South Africa. It has affected the ability of the previously discriminated groups, in this case people of color, to achieve any form of upward social mobility. The white population holds majority of the wealth in a country that is predominantly black. To address issues of inequality the South African government introduced Black Economic Empowerment, a program seeking to redress poverty, especially amongst the black community. Initially the program was geared towards business management and ownership amongst the black population but changed to include human resource development and employment equity. This study uses three ordinary least squares regression models to determine the impact of black economic empowerment on the wage gap but also education and the job opportunities as they all inter-relate. The result of this study reveals there has been no consistent change over time. The wage gap is still exceptionally high between blacks and whites, with blacks remaining in an inferior position. Using examples of similar programs in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Nigeria, education is a common theme in affirmative action programs that is lacking in South Africa. Therefore in order to achieve greater success the program needs to place more emphasis on the role of education in economic advancement.
For the last ten years, the words ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’ have been used by many prominent political and economic leaders. But what is sustainability really and is it possible to accurately measure the sustainability of countries’ economies objectively? This study focuses on three sustainability models, namely the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), the Sustainability Assessment by Fuzzy Evaluation (SAFE) and the Sustainable Human Carrying Capacity (SHCC), and their evaluations on the sustainability of the Hungarian economy and environment. Furthermore, it also surveys the opinion of Hungarian undergraduate economics students on the Hungarian economy and its sustainability. The study shows that the ability of current sustainability models and measures to give accurate portrayals of countries and regions is problematic, because they use different definitions of sustainability, use different environmental and/or economic indicators, do not differentiate between the impacts of the individual indicators, and are able to be used for political purposes. This is especially true for Hungary, as the country’s economy is crumbling with increasing social unrest, yet sustainability models give it a high ranking. Also, the Hungarian students’ views on the country’s sustainability depend on what school of economics they were taught in, and what they think about Hungary’s past, current and future economic and environmental situation.
Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are often criticized for overspending on amateur draft picks. Sports business professionals and the casual baseball fan argue that awarding unproven amateur baseball players millions dollar signing bonuses is not a sound investment. However, previous studies in sports economics have found that teams are willing to sign better players to higher salaries or signing bonuses in order to increase their production or team wins. Similar to the labor market, baseball teams will attempt to create a product (team wins) by employing signing inputs (players who provide skills and services). This paper attempts to quantify or place monetary values on a single total value baseball statistic, Wins Above Replacement (WAR), to determine the Market Value of a baseball player’s production. WAR represents the additional amount of wins a player contributes to his team over a season. This paper then tests the overall performance and investment of baseball draftees from the 1996 through the 2000 Rule IV Draft. Results of this study reveal that professional baseball teams on average receive a very positive return on their investment in amateur drafts picks.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index consistently fluctuates with GDP growth. While many believe that this correlation is caused by consumer’s reactions to economic changes, this paper argues that economic changes are reacting to consumer’s attitudes in the form of GDP growth. By using both The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index and The University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, this study is able to compare and distinguish which index has better forecasting capabilities. Granger-causality regressions on a 4 year time-series showed statistical evidence that The Consumer Confidence Index was capable of determining GDP growth one and two years in advance while GDP growth does not appear to influence consumer confidence. In accordance with previous research, The Index of Consumer Sentiment does not appear to possess any forecasting power for GDP growth.