New Policy?

Anybody have any idea what this email (sent on Monday) is about?

A message from HAROLD WASHINGTON COLLEGE

STARTING APRIL 23RD PERSONS WITHOUT VALID SCHOOL Identification MUST SURRENDER A VALID STATE OR PHOTO IDENTIFICATION TO LOBBY SECURITY

I know we’re all guessing that it has something to do with the incident at Olive Harvey (anyone know anything more about that, by the way?), but this seems like EXACTLY the kind of policy that some of us were concerned about being put in place when those stupid gates went up in the first place…a policy that will keep students out of their classes while not solving any problem–actual or potential. At least none that I can think of. Can anyone enlighten me?

And then what is the meaning of the one we got last night?

A message from HAROLD WASHINGTON COLLEGE

STARTING APRIL 23RD PERSONNEL WITHOUT VALID SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION MUST SURRENDER A VALID STATE OR PHOTO IDENTIFICATION TO LOBBY SECURITY

Is that a revision, limiting this policy to apply only to personnel? Or is it a clarification that the policy extends ALSO to personnel?

What the hell?

UPDATE: From your email:

In response to questions raised on the Harold Lounge, Harold Washington College’s Safety and Security team wanted to share information behind the change in procedure…This new policy is in direct response to feedback received from students who have reported unauthorized people entering the College. Discussions with students highlighted their concern with the policy for guests entering the building. This update is to ensure we know who is in the building and when they leave, helping to create a safe and secure campus.
I wish I could say that this kind offer clarified things for me, but it seems to raise more questions–who talked to these students? How many were there? Was SGA involved? Shouldn’t they be? How about faculty council? The Office of Instruction? And what sense is there that these students (and their concerns) are representative of the students (and admins, faculty, staff, and visitors) affected by this policy? Clearly they were taken to be, but on what basis and is it true?
(sigh)
And, of course, there is the remaining question of whether this new policy will really allow security to know who is in the building and when they leave (and, if so, whether that will do anything to create “a safe and secure campus”). The assumptions driving both of these claims are questionable, at least, I would say. Unsurprising, though.

Monday Music

Welcome back to Week 14. Be sure to “verify outside employment before the end of the day Friday. You can do so using the PeopleSoft Self Service link on the left. Returning from a big break is always a drag, but it’s better than not having one!

h/t to Amelia for this suggestion a while back.

HW Reviews on Yelp: Faculty Care or Some Light Spring Break Reading

While I’m putting some finishing touches on an Excel spreadsheet template to calculate interrater reliability for our writing placement test scorers at HWC, I decided to tool around on the Internet a little bit and find out what CCC and HWC tell students before they take the writing placement test. Before I go into what I found, let me tell you about that part of my sabbatical project.

Part of my sabbatical project is to create a guide and template for calculating interrater reliability for HWC’s writing placement test. And, I am almost finished; I submitted a proposal, yesterday, for DWFD in August, and if accepted, I hope to present and show how each campus can very easily calculate (and triangulate the three embedded tests and scores in the spreadsheet template) for their campus’s interrater reliability. Interrater reliability shows that we place students consistently in writing courses, and it sets the groundwork for longitudinal studies that can track students through their writing courses.

So, now that you’re all caught up, let me tell you what I found when I Google’d “hwc writing placement.” I found Yelp reviews of HWC. I didn’t know our college was reviewed on on Yelp, and it has been reviewed 30 times and not anonymously. There are first names and last initials with links to profiles. And our students have had a lot to say. If I were to analyze the results, which I did cursorily, I think one consistent theme throughout all the reviews is that the faculty are fantastic. And, I know spring break starts today and tomorrow for some and Saturday for others.

Here are some quotes that demonstrate how well faculty are doing (and there are some that show, well, that we aren’t), So as an extra boost for the remainder of the spring semester, please read:

I took several advanced math classes there in prep for grad. school and all three teachers I had were pretty good. They genuinely cared about teaching.

Overall the teachers do care a lot and want to help you transfer to a four year university or ear your Associates. The classes are NOT easy and are pretty challenging.

Teachers are excellent. Have had little to no issues in that area.

The instructors here are pretty good though. I’ve been to a big university where it feels like you’re not connected with the instructor at all, but  at harold washington [sic] all my profs at least make an attempt to learn everyone’s name and that means something.

The English and Math teachers I have had so far were smart and up to date on the topics in their area. I have learned a ton at Harold Washington from their teachers.

One of my professors is possibly one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I didn’t expect that at a community college, but I am pleasantly surprised. Another one of my professors also teaches at a university, so I’m basically getting that exact same education for a fraction of the price. I only planned on going to HWC for one semester, but now I am thinking of staying another semester because I am so impressed by my professors.

There are thirty reviews as of today (04.10.14), and some of the reviews are as old as 2006. It’s interesting that some of the complaints about HWC have and haven’t changed. It would be an fascinating study to categorize the reviews and correlate those findings with various CCC/HW initiatives and when those initiatives went into effect. What I find most interesting about these Yelp reviews is that they are not anonymous; students put their names with their reviews, which, I think, may suggest that they should be weighted higher than reviews on websites like RateMyProfessor dot com (but maybe not as interesting as DrawMyProfessor), which are anonymously submitted.

Nonetheless, if while over spring break, you’re in the need for some light reading after eating at the new Big Cheese Poutinerie in Wrigleyville, you might find the Yelp reviews of HWC and the poutinerie worthwhile. I was pleased as a member of the faculty to confirm what I know about my colleagues already via these Yelp reviews.

Monday Music

Xochitl Sandoval is an HWC graduate who has gone on to the University of Illinois in Champaign and is on schedule to graduate this May. She has applied and been accepted to grad school at Loyola and the University of Chicago. She’s awesome for many other reasons as well. Last week, she published an open letter to the U of I Chancellor about her experience as a student at the University of Illinois. She said I should share it with HWC since we are partly responsible for her going there. Here is a description of it.

And this is for her–Pura Fe is awesome whether singing blues or playing lap steel or doing this:

Next Up!

It’s week 13. 75% of the semester is in the books!

Monday, 4/7: Last drop day for students; Erasing the Distance Performance (12:45-2pm, Rm 103);

Tuesday, 4/8: Faculty Council Meeting (3:30pm, Rm 1046); Humanifest-OH!–Chicago Latino Film Festival Screening of “The Eternal Night of the Twelve Moons” (5:30p, Rm 323); Humanifest-OH! Field Trip: Edward Gorey Exhibit at Loyola University (5:30pm, RSVP to emccormack@ccc.edu);

Wednesday, 4/9: Les White’s Dad, Dr. Alexander White talks “Lessons from the Holocaust” (5:30-8p, Rm 1115);

Thursday, 4/10: Career Fair (10a-2p, Rm 102/103); Humanifest-OH!–Chicago Latino Film Festival Screening of “The Eternal Night of the Twelve Moons” (11a, Rm 323); Humanifest-OH! Faculty Jazz Recital (11a, Basement!);

Friday, 4/11: SGA Leadership Conference (9:00a-4p, All Over); Humanifest-OH!–Chicago Latino Film Festival Screening of “The Eternal Night of the Twelve Moons” (12:30p, Rm 1115);

Saturday, 4/12: Spring break!