News for the Smith College Community //January 24, 2002
Christ to Give First Campus Address
A much-anticipated first appearance by Smith's new president-elect, Carol T. Christ, will be the central feature of this year's All-College Meeting. Christ will deliver the main address at this year's convocation, which will take place on Monday, January 28, at 4:30 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall.
The annual All-College Meeting is the official opening event of the second semester.
Christ, who was appointed last July as Smith's tenth president, following the resignation of former president Ruth Simmons, will assume her new position in June. Her address at the All-College Meeting will be her first before the Smith community in its entirety.
Christ, who served as vice chancellor and executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California at Berkeley from 1994 to 2000, is spending this year fullfilling her teaching obligations at the university.
In addition to Christ's address, the All-College Meeting will include opening comments by acting president John Connolly; "welcome-back" addresses by student leaders; a performance by the Smith College Chorus, directed by Pamela Getnick; and the annual presentation of the Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award, given to a staff member selected by students for outstanding service on their behalf.
Anna Franker '02, president of the Student Government Association, will give a brief talk, as will Moliehe Pefole '02, president of the class of 2002, and Katrina Cokeng '02, alumnae class president.
Also, for the first time in four years, Smith's organ will be featured at an All-College Meeting in a performance by college organist Grant Moss. The organ, which is newly renovated, sustained extensive water and moisture damage in late 1997.
Christ, who joined the English faculty at Berkeley in 1970 after receiving her doctorate from Yale University, has since become a widely respected scholar of Victorian literature. Along the way, she has established a reputation as a champion of women's issues and of diversity. She is credited with sharpening Berkeley's intellectual focus and building top-ranked departments in the humanities and sciences.
The All-College Meeting will close,
as usual, with the collective singing of Gaudeamus Igitur, likely
the first of many opportunities for Smith's new president to
join students, faculty and staff in a long-standing college tradition.
How to Kill a Month at Smith
During Interterm, the pace around campus becomes decidedly slower and more relaxed. Class schedules are drastically reduced. Many faculty members leave the area. Campus residences become relatively empty.
But for the small percentage of Smith students who, for various reasons, stick around during January, the off month provides an opportunity to pursue some pasttimes they can't fit in during the semester. Freed for a month from their usual routine of government lectures, for example, philosophy classes and science labs, these remaining students find a range of ways to fill their time.
Some luxuriously sleep away the month. Others might exercise, attend movies and hang out with friends. Many while away their days taking noncredit courses through the Interterm Program, through which they can learn how to fix cars, cook decadent desserts, create clothing and accessories from duct tape and knit striped stockings and scarves.
However they spend the month, most January resident students enjoy seeing their time at Smith -- normally one fraught with constant stress -- in a whole new light.
"J-term lets me see Smith in a new way, Northampton in a new way and my friends in a new way," says Becky Schaeffer '02. Though Schaeffer has taken advantage of Smith's Interterm opportunities in the past (including the philosophy department's Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Hermeneutics course in India), this January has been the first she's spent on campus. "I feel like I should have done this before," she says. "It's great to be here and be with my friends and have people not be stressing and just enjoy this place. It's a little bit of vacation in your own life."
For Schaeffer, who is writing an honors thesis for her comparative literature major, J-term isn't entirely a vacation. Still, she says, the laid-back atmosphere in her house and around campus makes it "easier to be productive and relaxed, because there's not that stress culture, that social pressure to feel stressed."
"I stayed for J-term first year, and it was the best time ever," says Sarah Field '02, who spent her first Interterm on campus relaxing and hanging out with friends. This January, she's attending a bartending course at UMass and pursuing a passion through her internship with the Media Education Foundation in Northampton. The foundation, she says, "is a media literacy organization which helps people understand the power of the media and think critically of it. I love it. I really believe in the mission of the organization. It's a great internship because this is something I think is really important."
While Field misses the more relaxed schedule she had during her first Interterm at Smith, she says "this is fun in a different way, and I'm learning a lot."
Anna Graseck '05 is learning a lot over the course of her Interterm as well. She returned to campus "to experience Smith without all the classes, to be with all my friends, see a new aspect of the school," and to participate in Smith's two-year Leadership Program. As one of the program's participants, Graseck has committed to spending this Interterm and next on campus with the program, learning about problem solving, leadership styles and teamwork strategies. "I've liked it a lot so far," Graseck says of the Leadership Program. "It's a long schedule and not as relaxing as J-term could be. But I'm learning how to look at things in a totally different way, and it's fascinating that way."
For whatever reasons Smith students stay on campus during January, one of the best parts of Interterm remains the experience of "Smith without all the classes," as Graseck puts it, "the chance to be with all my friends in a more relaxed atmosphere and see a new aspect of the school. I've just been hanging out. It's a lot more relaxing than normal, which is nice."
Rally Day Show Still Going Strong
In 1918, as in 2002, America was a country at war.
Members of the Smith community rallied then to show support for their country in any way they could. "The war has revealed to us that whatever concerns the rest of the world concerns us," a student writer concluded in the 27 February 1918 Smith College Weekly.
Smith students that year collected material to be used for surgical dressings and launched fundraising drives. That was also the inaugural year of Smith's Rally Day Show, a performance staged the evening of Rally Day to benefit the Smith College Relief Fund. That show featured the classes of 1918, '19 and '20 and collected more than $450.
"The audience was most appreciative of the clever work presented throughout," said the Smith College Weekly, "and the success of the Show was proved to be financial as well as dramatic."
Though Rally Day had been celebrated at Smith since 1894 (originally as a celebration of George Washington's birthday), 1918 was the first year in which the Rally Day Show was produced as part of the event. That show, again according to the Smith College Weekly, included "a clever take-off on the trials and difficulties of the SCRU [Smith College Relief Unit] in its work in France, limited as it was by its lack of funds and support," as well as "a war-time knitting dance" and "several very original and amusing stuntsgiven by members of the three classes."
Thanks to the audience's warm reception and financial outpouring that year, the show became a tradition and has been an integral element of Rally Day ever since. This year's Rally Day celebration will be no exception, and on the evening of Wednesday, February 20, the Rally Day Show will go on. The Rally Day convocation will take place at 1:30 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall (see future editions of AcaMedia for more Rally Day information).
Themes and topics for Rally Day shows have evolved over the years to reflect students' changing personal and political concerns. Of course, the shows also tend to convey and poke fun at elements of Smith life. Though the first-ever Rally Day Show was dominated by skits and songs about World War I, it also included a skit about "the would-be bravery of a group of girls facing an unknown noise," reports the Smith College Weekly, "which should serve as a warning to any self-respecting burglar who plans to visit a college house."
In 1944, the junior class performed a skit called "Malice in Wonderland or the Valley of Derision" with a scene titled "Paradise Lost or Junior Year Abroad." The Junior Year Abroad theme resurfaced last year, according to Allison Otto '02, who participated in a skit "about how excited we were to actually be at Smith," she says.
While money raised during Rally Day originally went to the Smith College Relief Unit, in recent years it's been contributed to the fund drives of the Service Organizations of Smith (S.O.S.). This year's Rally Day Show will support the S.O.S. project "Language, Culture, and Health Care: Communicating Across the Barriers," which is "trying to raise money to provide services for people who are bilingual and need health materials or translation services and other kinds of things," says Tiertza-Leah Schwartz, S.O.S. director. "The immigrant population is scattered, so spread out in the area, and we're looking to provide improved health care and make some bridges across these languages and cultural barriers."
Though America is again at war this year, Rally Day and the Rally Day Show will have less to do with patriotism and more to do with Smith students' personal strengths and their pride in their institution, attests Tamra Bates, student activities coordinator, who helps organize Rally Day and the show. When she met with student leaders late last semester to devise a theme for this year's event, "inspiration and leadership were big themes they wanted to get across," says Bates. As a result, this year's Rally Day and Rally Day Show will be a celebration of "Smith Women: Leading Inspired Lives."
After 9/11, New Light on Smith ROTC
Since September 11, Debby Cwalina '03 has found herself discussing her involvement in the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) -- and in the military in general -- more than usual. Some of her interactions have been negative, many of them positive. But Cwalina approaches each engagement with equal enthusiasm.
"Right after 9/11 most people that knew I was involved in ROTC asked if I could be sent to Afghanistan -- I can't," she says, "and some even went so far as to thank me for my decision to serve my country when I graduate. Once Operation Enduring Freedom began, I did get a dramatic increase in negative feedback. I am an outgoing person and I am always willing to talk to anyone about my decisions and my opinions about the military and anything else. I just wish people would stop assuming that people in the military love to go to war and kill people. That is absolutely not true."
Though she was initially reluctant to discuss her participation in ROTC with other Smith students "because Smith is such a liberal campus," she notes, "I now feel comfortable talking about it. Most Smithies react positively to ROTC and often want me to describe exactly what it is, since they have usually heard about it but don't really know about it."
ROTC is a four-year program in the United States Army, Navy and Air Force that trains college students to be officers. After graduating from college, ROTC cadets are required to serve in a military division. Jesse Leins '05 joins Cwalina as Smith's two participating ROTC members.
Cwalina was a junior in high school when she first investigated ROTC programs in the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. Like many of her peers, Cwalina wanted to attend college but had other ambitions as well. "I was interested in going into the military to serve my country while being able to pursue a college degree at the same time," Cwalina explains. Though she was offered ROTC scholarships in all three military branches, Cwalina elected to join the Army ROTC and Smith College's class of 2003.
Cwalina's ROTC involvement has piled several responsibilities onto her strenuous schedule as a biochemistry major. "I spend, sometimes, upwards of 20 hours a week, five days a week, in ROTC-related activities and commuting back and forth to UMass," where ROTC activities are held, Cwalina says. As an ROTC member, Cwalina is required to attend a weekly lecture section and leadership laboratory and to participate in physical training at least three times a week, she continues. "Each semester, there is also a required field training exercise, which provides a hands-on setting to apply the knowledge and tactics we have learned in the classroom," she adds. And during the summer between her junior and senior years, Cwalina will attend the National Advanced Leadership Camp at Fort Lewis, Washington, "where a training and evaluation setting is provided so all cadets have the same knowledge base before commissioning."
Despite its demands, Cwalina believes ROTC has been a worthwhile commitment. "There are so many benefits to ROTC," she says. "First of all, I am going to be able to serve my country. In addition, I am also getting financial aid for school, making lifelong friends and participating in adventure-type activities. There are no real significant drawbacks, other than the substantial time commitment and the time spent traveling back and forth to UMass daily."
As for the increased interactions with curious Smith students, Cwalina welcomes them as opportunities to share her experience while remaining steadfast in her resolve. "Everyone is entitled to their feelings about [the military]," she notes, "but I do want to remind those who oppose the military that the military is what in fact protects the very freedoms you enjoy. A lot of people take these freedoms for granted and never really think about what life could be like if we didn't have such a powerful military that defended our nation so well."
Four Smith Family Members Pass Away
Vernon Gotwals, professor emeritus of music, died on January 12. Gotwals taught music and was the college organist from 1952 until his retirement in 1984. A memorial service was held on January 17 in Deer Isle, Maine, where Gotwals lived since his retirement. A service, yet to be scheduled, will later be held at Smith.
Esther Carpenter, the Myra M. Sampson Professor Emerita in the Biological Sciences, died last November 21.
Rhea Cottler Levine '60, of Haddonfield, New Jersey, a recently retired Smith College trustee, died on January 18. A memorial service was held last Monday at the Platt Memorial Funeral Home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Gregory F. Perry, a Physical Plant
custodian in charge of the morning shift who had worked at the
college for 40 years, died last Sunday, January 20. A funeral
service will be held on Thursday, January 24, at Saint Mary's
Church on Elm Street in Northampton, at a time as yet unannounced.
Swimming and diving
Track and field
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Faculty and Staff
American Studies in Japan
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Community Service Fair
Sources of further information, if any, are shown in parentheses at the end of event descriptions. An asterisk following a listing indicates that the event is open to the public. Admission charges, if any, are listed when known. Items for this section must be submitted on Event Service Request Forms.
Informational session Weekly meeting for students interested in studying abroad, including a review of opportunities and procedures, and a question-and-answer period. 4 p.m., Third Floor Resource Room, Clark Hall
All-College Meeting Carol Christ, Smith College president-elect, speaker. (See story, page 1.) 4:30 p.m., John M. Greene Hall*
Service "Invitation to Silence." Take time for reflection, renewal and respite in the quiet of the chapel. Candles available. All welcome. Noon-1 p.m., Chapel*
Kickboxing class Noncredit, for students. Show up whenever you like. 7:30-8:20 p.m., Ainsworth Gym
Tuesday, January 29
Meeting Amnesty International 4:45 p.m., Chapin House
SGA Senate meeting Open forum. All students welcome. 7:15 p.m., Seelye 201
Episcopal Fellowship meets for worship, friendship and fun. Eucharist, fellowship and light lunch provided. Students, faculty, staff and friends are welcome. Noon, St. John's Episcopal Church Living Room*
Meeting Newman Association.
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Bible study. For more information, call Andy, ext. 7348. 9 p.m., Lamont House
Welcome-back reception for students returning from studying away. 5 p.m., Seelye 207
Aerobics class Noncredit, for students. Show up whenever you like. 7:30-8:20 p.m., ESS Fitness Studio
Wednesday, January 30
Meeting Smith TV, to discuss new programming. 7 p.m., Media Services, Alumnae Gym
Meeting MassPIRG. 7 p.m., Seelye 310
Catholic Adas gathering and informal discussion/reflection. Lunch served. All welcome. Noon, Bodman Lounge, Chapel
Buddhist meditation and discussion. 7:15 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
Auditions Five College Early Music Program. Baroque chamber music, Collegium and Voces Feminae, recorder groups, historical strings and more. For more information, call 538-2079. 6-7 p.m., Room 6, Sage
Kickboxing class Noncredit, for students. Show up whenever you like. 7:30-8:20 p.m., ESS Fitness Studio
Thursday, January 31
Drop-in stress reduction and relaxation class with Hayat Nancy Abuza. Refresh body, mind and spirit. Open to all Five College students, staff and faculty. Sponsor: Office of the Chaplains. 4:30-5:30 p.m., Wright Common Room*
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship All welcome. 8-9:30 p.m., Wright Common Room
Step intervals class Noncredit, for students. Show up whenever you like. 7:30-8:20 p.m., ESS Fitness Studio
Friday, February 1
Lecture "Globalization and Community Activism." Nancy Naples, University of Connecticut. Part of the "Global Movements, Local Resistances: Community, Identity, and Social Change" conference of the Kahn Institute project "From Local to Global: Community Activism in the New Millennium." 4 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room*
Shabbat Services Dinner follows in the Kosher kitchen, Dawes. 5:30 p.m., Dewey Common Room.
Saturday, February 2
Lecture "Activism and the Academy." Linda Stout, author of Bridging the Class Divide and Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing. Part of the "Global Movements, Local Resistances: Community, Identity, and Social Change" conference of the Kahn Institute project "From Local to Global: Community Activism in the New Millennium." 2 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room*
Track and field Women's Invitational. 11 a.m., Indoor Track and Tennis facility*
Sunday, February 3
Meeting Smith African Students Association. All welcome. 4 p.m., Mwangi Basement, Lilly
Meeting Gold Key Guides. Sign up for tours and get the semester's schedule. 6:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room
Meeting Feminists of
Quaker (Friends) meeting for worship. Preceded by informal discussion at 9:30 a.m. All welcome, childcare available. 11 a.m., Bass 203, 204*
Meeting Smith Baha'i Club. 2 p.m., Dewey Common Room
Roman Catholic Mass Elizabeth Carr, Catholic chaplain. Dinner follows in Bodman Lounge. All welcome. 4:30 p.m., Chapel*
Youth Sports Day Sponsored by the athletic department. (See Notice, page 3). 12:30-4 p.m., ITT*
Campus School Open
House for prospective kindergarten-sixth-grade students and their
Professional Women's Basketball The Springfield Spirit, with WNBA stars, will play an intra-squad scrimmage. (See Notice, page 3) Admission: $6 adults; $4 children under 16. 4 p.m., Ainsworth Gym*
The Harold P. McGrath Collection: Contemporary Book Arts from the Connecticut Valley Through March. Morgan Gallery and Book Arts Gallery, Neilson Library*
A Space Odyssey 2001 An exhibition of photographic art by Anne Ross '55 featuring her newest digital images that explore the inner work of dream landscapes and surreal places. Ross creates images on a computer, using her photographs as source material. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and universities throughout the eastern United States, and she has been featured in several publications, including "The Smithsonian Guide to Historic America." Exhibit hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Extended through April 5. Alumnae House Gallery*