|Members of the RWDSU Local 220, who were previously on strike, march down Main St. Rochester during the Labor Day Parade on September 6.
Mott’s Strike Ends
On Monday, September 13, the strike at the Mott’s plant in Williamson, N.Y., which lasted 112 days, was finally brought to an end. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 220 voted to accept the contract proposed by the parent company of Mott’s, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, by a margin of 182 to 65. The three-year contract will freeze wages as well as reduce the company’s future contributions to retirement and health benefits. Mott’s contended that the cuts are meant to bring compensation levels in line with similar industries in the Rochester area. The workers were scheduled to return to the plant floor on September 20.
Apple Releases Review Guidelines To App Developers
Faced with growing competition in the smartphone market, Apple announced that it would relax its standards for developers of applications for the iPad and iPhone. The research firm Canalys reported that, in the second quarter of this year, smartphones running Google’s Android operating system grew by 866 percent from the same quarter in 2009.
The changes included publishing detailed guidelines explaining Apple’s app approval process through its app store and allowing applications to display advertisements from sources other than Apple’s iAd service. Apple will also allow the use of third-party tools during development of applications for its iOS mobile operating system. Many veterans of the mobile application development industry have lauded the news of these changes.
Tax Benefits For College Students Set To Expire At End Of Year
The American Opportunity Credit, which was part of last year’s stimulus package, is set to expire at the end of the year. The credit provides a maximum credit of $2,500 per student. To get the full credit, students would need to spend at least $4,000 on qualified expenses, which include tuition and books.
Tea Party Candidate Wins GOP Primary in New York
Buffalo real estate developer and tea party member Carl Paladino defeated Rick Lazio in the Republican party’s primary for governor on September 15. Paladino is one of several Tea Party candidates who won big this primary season. He polled particularly well in Monroe County, garnering 79 percent of votes cast. His home county of Erie saw 30 percent of registered Republicans turn out for the election, an unusually high number in a midterm election year. Erie voters returned 94 percent of the vote for Paladino. Lazio went into the race as the party favorite and had previously lost to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2000 race for the U.S. Senate. Lazio will be on the Conservative Party’s ticket for governor.
Rochester International Airport Implements
On September 17, the Rochester International Airport began permanent operations of a “millimeter wave scanner” which generates a 3-D image of a passenger going through a security checkpoint. The controversial technology faces strong opposition due to alleged infringement on personal privacy because of the machine’s ability to generate an incredibly detailed image of the traveler’s entire body. The scanner is meant to alleviate congestion during periods of peak demand as well as provide an added degree of safety from non-metallic security threats. Passengers are not required to pass through the device but, if they opt out, must submit to additional security screening.
SG Appoints Stand-In GCCIS Senator
Student Government (SG) representatives elected Alex Shick, a fourth year game design and development major, Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences (GCCIS) Senator as a temporary replacement for Matthew Reed. Reed is currently away on an extended co-op, and will not return until the first week of November. Dave Mullaney, vice president of SG, stated, “I am confident [Shick] will be an excellent replacement.”
Semester Transition Brings Changes to General Education
Dr. Elizabeth Hane, chair of the General Education Committee and professor of biology, gave a presentation about the changes planned for the general education system. In particular, she discussed the upcoming semester conversion and its effects on the general education system.
General education, or “gen ed,” refers to the courses that a college or university requires all students to take. Gen ed courses at RIT must meet New York State Education Department (NYSED) requirements and must support each student’s major while allowing them to integrate learning from outside of their major.
Once the switch to semesters takes place in 2013, a total of 60 gen ed credits will be required to earn a Bachelor of Science degree, while a total of 30 gen ed credits will be required to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Once the new student information system is up and running, it will be clearer which classes are part of the general education curriculum.
The institute-wide change will allow classes to be submitted for review to become accepted as general education. Instead of having students feel the need to “get [their] gen ed [courses] out of the way,” said Hane, the change will allow for integrated knowledge — what students learn through general education can be applied between different courses. Efforts will be made to assure that course material is not redundant, but reinforces material previously covered in other classes. Some of the other proposed changes include the integration of First-Year Enrichment into First-Year Seminar and the opportunity for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary experiences.
The board — which is made up of one representative from each college, the assistant provost, an Academic Dean and Academic Senate representative, and the director of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment — has grouped all general education classes into five categories. All students will complete six credits of Foundation courses, which will include First-Year Seminar and a writing course. All students will also fulfill 15 credits of Perspective courses, which are still to be determined and may include Arts of Expression. Bachelor of Science students will take 12 credits of math and science courses. Finally, all students will complete a nine-credit Immersion course. All remaining credits will be filled with general education electives.
Advising for general education credits will no longer be done through the College of Liberal Arts, but under the Provost’s Office. Additional staff members and dean delegates will handle advising and provide assistance.
Review Policy Shake-Up
|Marcia Carroll from the School of Print Media shares her concerns about the current system of adding and dropping classes once the quarter has begun.
Kathleen Martin, chair of the University Policy Review and Development Project, provided an update on the project to the staff council. The project started 18 months ago in order to update the procedures for approving and publishing policies as well as the online version of the Institute Policy and Procedures Manual (IPPM).
As Martin explained, many of RIT’s policies date from years ago. Some haven’t changed in over 20 years and were created when RIT was a much smaller university. As such, the IPPM and the policies in it are being updated, with a focus on improving the consistency of the language and preventing duplication so that, if a policy is modified, it only needs to be updated once. Other new additions include an archive of former final versions of policies, a glossary of terminology for policies and procedures, and a new website.