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March 31, 2011

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DePauw Ubben Lecture Featuring Jimmy Wales and Nicholas Carr

Wikipedia Creator Jimmy Wales and Author of “The Shallows” Nicholas Carr were selected as the 2010-2011 Spring Ubben Lecture for a debate about the Internet and what it is doing to the younger generations.

Carr’s message was to recognize the long-term effects rather than declaring the Internet to be bad. He brought up the fact that the Internet does not allow for a healthy diet of news, and that there are extremist views and two polar sides on an issue because of the use of blogs.

Wales was passive in the debate and admitted that there is a lot less effort needed to obtain information, and the quality of information still there. There was a grumble in the crowd however when Wales mentioned that Wikipedia is inadvertently unbiased, and that the news today cannot do that. Wales countered Carr’s message about extremist views by explaining that he doesn’t follow blogs for the narrowest views, but instead to reaffirm his own personal views.

Senior Meghan Wolfgram said one thing that she found surprising was that both Carr and Wales agreed that the Internet is cutting into the younger generation’s focus on things. She also found it interesting that Carr admitted he uses the Internet. Wolfgram said the main message was about the repercussions of using the Internet and how it is affecting the culture, rather than telling people to stop using the Internet all together.

For the full lecture, visit our website at WGRE.org.

Wednesday’s Tech-Free Initiative

Wednesday’s student-led “tech free” day turned out few participants. Informal surveys of more than a dozen DePauw students show they did not take part. Student Body President Christine Walker says she and Vice President David Dietz created the day for students to consider technology’s impact on their lives.

WALKER: "We want students to think, and we want to maybe, maybe even reconsider."

The idea was inspired by that night’s Ubben Lecture debate between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”. Walker says that disconnecting in any form is a difficult task, but conversation and not participation was the goal of the day. Sophomore Kyle Gough was unable to take part but says he found meaning in the event.

GOUGH: "I think even more important and I think that’s what the message is that we may not have gotten out is that we can cut back."

Gough says he hopes similar events will take place in the future.

Power Outage at DePauw Went as Planned

DePauw University planned a power outage for last Friday, March 18. The planned power outage occurred in order to clean switchgears and test transformers. The transformers allow for more efficient electrical transfer at a higher voltage. Assistant Director of Facilities Management Jim Ruark said the power was down for 4 hours with no mishaps. The Depauw Facilities Management used infrared sensors 2 weeks prior to the planned power outage in order detect equipment malfunctions.

DePauw includes planned power outages in their operating costs. The planned power outage is historically set on the Friday before spring break due to students on vacation and a number of University employees that have work off. The planned power outage affected North and South Quad along with other principal university buildings. Fraternities and Sororities were not affected by the planned power outage.

Registration Will See No Changes

DePauw Associate Registrar June Wildman says the upcoming fall registration will be run the same as it has been in the past. Student Government presented a white paper in December proposing ways to reduce student frustrations with class scheduling. But Wildman says that no changes have been applied. Faculty and committees are looking into changes for future registrations.

WILDMAN: "I mean, they are considering changes, what we have to be careful of is if we make changes it needs to be a change that makes it better and not just different."

Wildman addressed concerns on high demand classes. She says there is a week after requests are submitted, where departments assess whether certain courses can and should be offered in additional time slots. On March 18th Wildman sent out an e-mail to current DePauw students trying to clear up confusion in the registration process. Incoming first year students will also go through the same scheduling process as in the past. Wildman says new students are encouraged to pick courses that look interesting, rather than being funneled into specific areas. Wildman says information sessions and summer staff are on duty to help incoming first-years and current students as well as well. Registration begins April 4th for the 2011 fall semester.

New Addition to Surgical Staff at Putnam County Hospital Joins DPView

Putnam County Hospital’s newest General Surgeon joined DPView this week to discuss her recent move from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago to Greencastle. Dr. Katherine Liu has been practicing in Putnam County for only a few months, but told DPView she is impressed with the level of professionalism and patient care at the Hospital. She said the community has been receptive of changes made to improve overall healthcare, and that many patients have told her about positive experiences and changed perceptions.

LIU: "He also told me the care that he received both from the staff and the medical staff was really professional and really he told me he actually recommended us to a couple of his colleagues."

Liu is still a faculty member at Rush, and travels back to Chicago frequently for lectures. She said she is interested in beginning a relationship with DePauw University and potentially mentoring students interested in the medical field.

LIU: "I have always been very interested in teaching. Actually, I have made an effort to contact somebody at DePauw to see if someone is interested in Medicine and I could help them get into the profession, or even if they are considering it."

The Hospital is currently working with Indiana University Medical Center to set up rotations for a Rural Surgery program to begin this summer. Dr. Liu said this is part of a larger movement to address the overall lack of General Surgeons desiring to practice in rural areas.

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