Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Given that today is the last day of room draw, I thought I would point out that it appears as if there are several serious flaws with the room draw system. This post presents my humble ideas on how we might make it better. Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn't have to deal with room draw in the first place. I've presented them from least radical to most radical in terms of changes to our current system. I'll also explain why a room draw allotment on the basis of GPA wouldn't work.
- Create separate lotteries for the number of credits accumulated.
It just isn't right that people who barely become second semester sophomores get to be entered into the same room draw as people who are just barely not first semester juniors. Why not run different lotteries for each credit level? The person who just barely makes it into a higher class could get a higher room draw number than the person who was just barely denied a still higher class.
Everyone with twenty-four credits would be in one lottery, while everyone with twenty-three would be in another. Ideally, this reform would create incentives for students to take more classes during the summer or the school year. Theoretically, an auction could be created for every half credit.
- Allow people to exchange room draw numbers.
Theoretically, the students who do better (and are therefore higher in the class) could sell their spots to freshmen, if the market called for it. Claremont McKenna is supposed to be a government and economics school. Why not remove some of the randomness and insert some politicking and economizing into the mix?
- GPA marketplace has serious flaws
At the behest of several Republicans on campus, I made myself available to debate the Claremont Democrats on the topic of affirmative action/reverse racism. And well, you can read the email from Mike Whatley, the Claremont Republicans' President...
Hey Charles,I find it tragic, really, that the Democrats say that they want to promote dialogue and on the other, that they refuse to debate me. Perhaps they are afraid they would lose. In any event, I am considering debating an empty chair next semester.
Sorry about this, but I just wanted to let you know that the roster for the debate has changed. Unfortunately, none of the Democrats wanted to debate you. I guess maybe it could be considered a badge of honor that none of them want to debate you.
Sorry about this,
Adam Kokesh, former Marine, writer for The Claremont Independent, and Claremont McKenna alum ('06) is rumored to be considering a run for Congress in New Mexico. A web site, draftkokesh.com, has sprung up, with a bio of Kokesh, for those who already don't know about him.
Several alums written in to ask me how I feel about Mr. Kokesh running for Congress. I'd wager that some of them reckon I would oppose Kokesh running for Congress, but on the contrary, if Kokesh ends up running for Congress, I'd gladly make a meager donation to his campaign.
Here's why. Beyond the usual, support I throw behind most CMC alums who run for office, I think it's time that the country have a serious talk about being the world's number one miltary force. If not, there will be other Iraqs and I doubt very much that we can transform the world into a democratic, capitalist utopia with an M-16 and a U.S-drafted constitution, however beautiful the words may be.
While I thank Kokesh for his service as a Marine and wholeheartedly support the rights of him or any other member of the military to protest in the uniform of the country he served, I disagree with Kokesh on the Iraq war. Although it is clear to me that we had the wrong strategy, it appears that the security situation in Iraq has vastly improved. Nevertheless, it is clear to me, at least, that Kokesh is right on the dangers our country faces from spending too much. And the guy gives a mean speech!
Surin Pitsuwan, Claremont McKenna alum and soon to be commencement speaker, had some remarks about the disruptive protests in his native Thailand. If you haven't been following the news, Thailand has descended into violence and anti-government protests. One of the summits for ASEAN (think NAFTA for South East Asian) was disrupted and postponed indefinitely, but Pitsuwan vowed that he would continue ASEAN's mission and that they would not be otherwise disrupted. He welcomed an end to the protests in Bangkok and elsewhere.