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Millennials Matter: Don’t Get Confused

in BiCo News/Columns/Periodicals/Humor/Opinion by

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Baby boomers decided to give the Internet a shot this week when their sixteen-year-old grandkids were able to finally explain to them that “tweets” were not just sounds that came out of a bird and that Facebook was not just the online version of Yellow Pages. Blinded by the power of posting online, retirees with too much time on their hands started the #HowToConfuseAMillennial.

Despite mass advances in education and technology, it is widely assumed that Millennials know nothing about the way the world works—an assumption that came through clearly in all the tweets by “real adults” highlighting the shortcomings of Millennials, such as our inability to read a map, use a VHS (whatever the hell that is), spell without autocorrect and navigate an encyclopedia in the library. But the truth is that these once-vital life skills have now become obsolete, replaced by new skills.

Of course, trying new things can be a little scary sometimes, but the perplexing thing about non-Millennials is that not every new thing is scary. They are very picky about the things they are and are not afraid of.  For an example, they wholeheartedly embrace caller ID so they can pick when they want to answer the phone, but they have a hard time sending a text without signing it “love grandma” because they are worried you won’t know who it is. Skyping with the grandkids seems to be no big deal, but Facetime is just “too hard.” Having all those buttons on the iPhone is just plain unnecessary, but pressing the same button three times in order to type one letter on their flip phone is totally legitimate.

Despite these quirks, we love our dear sweet grandparents and their friends. Well, at least we did until they started using the Twitter sphere to make fun of us. Maybe they thought we wouldn’t see their tweets if they tweeted before noon. Unfortunately, we did see them. And when Millennials woke up around 11:00am they made that poor anonymous granny behind her laptop screen regret the moment she hovered her mouse over the post button and thought, “Hmm, I wonder what this button does.”

While I’m sure the tweets were intended in a joking manner, the authors should have known that generation infamously known for being “too sensitive” probably wouldn’t find them too funny. Millennials lashed out with tweets criticizing the baby boomers for leaving them with a crippling economy, destroying the housing market, perhaps worst of all using social media (a concept specifically designed for millennial rants) to criticize them. Unable to cope with the pressures of social media, the hashtag has since died off and grandparents everywhere have sworn off the Internet—this time for good.

Why Science isn’t Dead: Recent Results in Physics

in Front Page/News/Science by

By Chloe Lindeman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

There’s no question that we understand our world pretty well. We can model the motions of galaxies, predict how electric charges will interact, and even describe the mechanics that govern particles on the smallest scales. But at the fundamental level, there are still many unanswered questions. So research continues, and with it new results. Here are some of the biggest developments in physics from the summer.

A promising exoplanet: What are the chances that the star closest to our sun would have an orbiting planet that could be habitable? It’s hard to say, but that seems to be the case. As National Geographic reports, in late August, astronomers announced the discovery of Proxima b, an Earth-like planet orbiting our nearest star neighbor Proxima Centauri. Of course, that the planet is rocky and in an orbit conducive to habitable temperatures hardly guarantees life has developed there, but it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless.

Gravitational waves: Okay, the initial results from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) came early last semester, not over the summer. It was then that the collaboration announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves, a result predicted by Einstein’s general relativity but not confirmed until this year. However, LIGO confirmed the observation of a second event in June, and hopes to see many more in years to come.


Jupiter flyby: After the widely-publicized Pluto flyby in 2015, pictures of Jupiter might seem like old news. But the Juno mission, which completed the first of 36 flybys of our solar system’s largest planet in late August, is seeing a new side of Jupiter. According to the NASA website, Juno will give us “the first glimpse of Jupiter’s north and south poles” along with better-resolution photos of the atmosphere.

No new particle: After rumors of CERN discovering a particle with energy around 750 GeV surfaced, representatives at the International Conference of High Energy Physics announced that any anomaly in the data was just that: an anomaly. At a facility like CERN, which receives an astounding volume of data, small bumps constantly show up and disappear as new data is counted; although the bump at 750 GeV was larger than most, it too was a fluke. On the positive side, CERN continues to set limits on what new particles could look like so scientists can hone in particular regions of interest.

Acoustical black hole: Black holes are by definition objects with a gravitational pull so strong nothing, not even light, can escape. In the 1970s, Stephen Hawking postulated that the boundaries of these objects should actually emit light, but the signal is so faint that we have not yet been able to detect it—at least, not with real black holes. In August, one researcher revealed he found Hawking-like radiation in an acoustical analog to the black hole: an “artificial” black hole that traps sound waves instead of light waves. If confirmed, the results would be strong support for the creation of Hawking radiation by true black holes.

John Coleman: Garbage Collector, Cook, President

in Front Page/Haverford/Haverford News/News by

By Charlie Lynn, Staff Writer

John R. Coleman, Haverford College’s ninth president and a leader in the effort to make the college co-educational, died on September 6th. He was 95.

Coleman, who was a labor economist and the first non-Quaker to lead the college, served from 1967 to 1977. In an email to the student body, current Haverford President Kim Benston described Coleman as “one of the most beloved, influential, and storied figures in the College’s modern history.”

Born in Cooper Cliff, Ontario, Coleman received his bachelor degree in economics from the University of Toronto. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II and completed his graduate work at the University of Chicago. Prior to arriving at Haverford, he taught in the economics departments of MIT and Carnegie Mellon University.

Coleman’s concern for the separation between academia and the wider world motivated his work throughout his academic career. He created a television course called The American Economy, which was shown nationally, and hosted a program on CBS entitled Money Talks. Perhaps most noteworthy was his sabbatical from presidency at Haverford, during which he worked as a garbage collector, ditch digger, and cook. After returning to Haverford, he published a well-received book, Blue Collar Journal: A College President’s Sabbatical, detailing his experiences.

At Haverford, he presided over an era of significant transformation. Most well-known was his support for making the college co-educational. Coleman advocacy on the issue was inspired by firm belief in equality. At the time, Coleman explained that the “unique opportunities of Haverford should be available to anyone of motivation, ability, and character.” His support ultimately led to his resignation when the Board of Managers decided to only admit women as transfer students in 1977.

It was only after his resignation, and the decision three years later to admit women as freshmen at the college, that Coleman’s significant role in the college’s history was fully acknowledged. He was awarded an honorary degree in 1980.

Coleman’s leadership also had other significant impacts on the college. He disbanded the football team and ended the college’s ban on students with beards or long hair from playing on college teams. Additionally, Coleman’s tenure saw the construction of the Dining Center and the North Dorms.

Coleman helped lead the college through discussions regarding diversity and the Vietnam War, of which he was an active opponent. In May 1970, he organized for fifteen buses to bring members of the college community to Washington to protest the war.

After his tenure as president, Coleman continued his campaign for equality. He served as the president of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. There, he focused on prison reform and even went undercover again, serving as both a guard and a prisoner on multiple occasions.

Kim Benston recalled in his email to the college community, “I had the privilege of enjoying his warm friendship in recent years. From our correspondence and conversations, I grew to understand well the intensity, curiosity, and generosity that so captivated his generation of Haverfordians.”

Coleman is survived by his children, John, Steve and Nancy and seven grandchildren. Details of memorial services have not yet been announced.

Millennials Matter: Welcome to the Bi-Co

in BiCo News/Humor/Opinion by

By Editor- in- Chief Abby Hoyt

On my first day of school at Bryn Mawr three years ago, I was absolutely certain that I would be a political science and economics double major with a minor in psychology. This combination was what I believed to be the ultimate equation to my success in life. I had carefully planned every course I was going to take up until my senior year, including my potential class schedule for a year long study abroad program at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, where I hoped to spend my junior year.

I wanted nothing more than for this beautifully planned future to start as soon as possible and in order to achieve this daunting course of study I needed to be enrolled in Introduction to Political Science during the first semester of my freshman year. I strutted past my ill-prepared peers who were endlessly stressing about the courses they were going to take, thinking I had college all figured out. I went back to my dorm room after a productive first day to check my email and that’s when all hell broke loose. My introduction to political science course had been over-enrolled, there was a lottery, and I was dropped.

Devastated by this roadblock in my life plan, I marched myself next-door to the Dean’s office (which because of the small size of Bryn Mawr’s campus was quite literally next door) and swiftly demanded to talk to my Dean. I just sat there in the waiting room, fuming. When I was finally alone with my Dean I let it all out. I yelled, I cried and I begged her to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in her power to get me into that political science class.

Once I was finished my embarrassing diatribe, my Dean looked at me with a smile in her eyes and asked if I had an alternative course in mind to fill the void in my schedule. Rolling my eyes, I laid out my life plan for her once again and explained to her the vital importance of being in that particular course at that particular time. She still remained unconvinced. Instead she looked at my schedule and noticed a film class I had signed up for in order to fulfill a requirement. “This class looks like fun,” she said cheerfully. “Maybe you’ll enjoy it and want to study film instead.”

That’s when I really lost it. A FILM MAJOR?! WAS SHE SERIOUS?! She obviously wasn’t taking my life plan or me seriously so, I did what any reasonable college student does in crisis…I called my mom. I ranted and raved about the nerve of that damn Dean to even suggest that I would change my entire life plan! After a half an hour of non-stop talking my mother promptly told me to relax and hung up the phone. The next day I found an email from her in my inbox with the subject line UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Uh oh.

“Embrace what life offers, not what you had planned it to be,” she began and continued on to stress that I stop trying to plan out every little detail. “Life is meant to be lived. You can’t always live in one time, just waiting for the next one to come along.”

Of course, I read the email and then promptly decided that she and my Dean were wrong and that I was right. I went back to the Introduction to Political Science professor’s office hours twice, the actual class three times, and the Dean’s office once more until I finally gave up and realized I just wasn’t getting in to that course. Instead, I took Introduction to Economics, where I learned that studying economics requires Calculus; something I was not willing to subject myself to…EVER. Second semester, I took an introductory psychology course and learned the hard way that my stomach just was not strong enough to delve inside the human brain. My junior year I went abroad to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and loved every second of my time there. When I got back in the spring, I declared a minor in film and media studies. Throughout my time at Bryn Mawr I have joined the crew team, adopted a Grandparent, ran for student government, tried out for an Acapella group, performed in the “Vagina Monologues”, got certified to teach Zumba, took a class tracing the history of Pornography, traveled to Cyprus, was an extra in “How to Get Away with Murder”, volunteered my time doing income taxes for residents in Norristown, and so much more that was never a part of the life plan that I made for myself on my first day of freshman year.

So, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new students to Bryn Mawr and Haverford College and pass on my own piece of unsolicited advice: I once saw millennials described as “pragmatic idealists,” meaning that we not only have a strong desire to make a difference, but a plan with calculated steps on how exactly to go about making this “difference.” We have a plan for our lives and we firmly believe that if we follow this plan then we will succeed. I am here to tell you, and remind myself, that there is no algorithm for success. Success is not something you wait for, it is something that comes in the small victories that you achieve daily. So before you run to your Dean or call your mother in a blind rage, I beg to you to remind yourself of this valuable principle and be open to the new and exciting things headed your way. Good Luck!








Haverford Discusses Changes to Its Need-Blind Financial Aid Policy

in Front Page/Haverford/Haverford News/Uncategorized by
Photo licensed for reuse
Photo licensed for reuse
Photo licensed for reuse

By ETHAN LYNE, Editor 

Along with its outstanding academic reputation, Haverford College is also one of the better endowed colleges in the country. Nevertheless, Haverford has been facing some financial pitfalls in recent years. According to a financial model that includes facility depreciation, Haverford has been forced to run a multi-million dollar deficit.

On Thursday, April 14, President Kim Benston and members of the senior staff presented this issue to the student body. During the two-hour discussion, President Benston gave an in-depth look into the financial side of how Haverford College truly operates. He expressed the seriousness of the problem now necessitating the college to balance its budget. One of the many proposed solutions was cutting financial aid for students by having the school become partially need-aware. All proposals are not yet  finalized.

“The process is to come up with a range of options for how the college can achieve fiscal equilibrium,” Chief of Staff Jesse Lytle said. “Our mission on campus this spring is to develop those options and talk about them…and then we are going to share that information with the board and they will take it under advisement and help us figure our path going forward. (The Board of Managers) will make the decision of whether to change and if so how we should. We are going to present where we are at this point at their May meeting, it will be the first time they see this information.” 

The budgeting process begins with the “finance and business department…then they bring them to the Administrative Advisory Committee and discuss what kinds of things have changed since the previous iteration of the budget proposal. In that group, we talk about those changes and whether or not they are in line with the values of Haverford College,” contributed Brian Guggenheimer ‘16, a three and half year member of the Student Council’s Administrative Advisory Committee.

The Administrative Advisory Committee (AAC) is a critical part in the process of annual approving Haverford budget. Overall, the system is made up of a variety of staff, faculty, and student voices. The AAC also reviews salary policies, analyzes Haverford’s long-term development and oversees the maintenance of the college’s buildings and grounds, according to the official description on the Haverford website.

 Guggenheimer noted that the 2007 economic recession greatly contributed to Haverford’s budget deficit. The economic crisis resulted in a loss of nearly $100 million dollars from the college’s endowment. In recent years, the financial aid expense has increased (in part because of the recession).  Middle-class students who previously would not have qualified for financial aid now need it after their families took an economic hit.

If the proposition of changing Haverford’s admissions and financial aid policy from need-blind to need-aware is approved,“There’s a whole lot of ways to [be need-aware] and it would probably be left up to the admissions office of how they would want to be need-sensitive,” Guggenheimer said. “The point is that there would be a cap on the amount of financial aid we give out for a given year. That cap would not be lower than it is now, but we can control it if it rises. And so, it wouldn’t require a very significant change in the admissions process.”

Photo licensed for reuse
Photo licensed for reuse

In response to the question of what impact it will have on the Haverford student body, Guggenheimer continued, “I think it would have an effect because the only way to have a cap on financial aid is if at some point you are admitting a different student because of their ability to pay. It wouldn’t be a significant number of students that decision is made between. There would probably be five percent of the student body who would be slightly different than what the admissions office would have taken under need-blind admission. They would still be wonderful Haverford students but I think the makeup would be slightly different.”

Ultimately, the Board of Managers, will decide what action to take in regards to the budget deficit. Before making any decisions, this powerful group of alumni and other distinguished community members will consider the budget proposals that a variety of Haverford’s community members created this semester. Lytle emphasized that financial scenarios presented to the Board of Managers will focus on four major controllable variables: financial aid, enrollment, general operations and employee compensation. Contrary to public opinion, the decision to go need-sensitive has not been finalized. It is  one of many possible solutions for resolving Haverford’s budget deficit.

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