Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Confusing announcements 

Our campus has an email announcement list for use of faculty and staff to "serve as a resource for SCSU faculty, staff and administrators to communicate announcements that reflect the professional nature of their work environments." One is not allowed by state law to post things that are "for the purpose of personal profitability". (Here's the state statute and its coverage under the state employee handbook.)

These rules are routinely circumvented. For example, I can't post that my car is for sale, but I can ask a colleague to post it. For another, we had the woman posting poetry, which requires a rather elastic definition of "reflecting the professional nature of their work environment" to meet the criteria for use of the announce list.

A week or so ago a military recruiter on our campus sent on the list announcements of two events that were to support Operation Interdependence, one of many means people have used to send supplies and reminders of home to U.S. troops stationed abroad. Does this reflect our professional nature? It strikes me as borderline, but given the laxity with which the announce list policy is enforced -- it is unmoderated and self-policing -- it certainly didn't strike me as far out of bounds. Nevertheless, and as you'd expect around here, discussion breaks out over whether this was an acceptable post.

This morning another staff member gets it in her head to "announce" the Downing Street Memo. Her call includes this statement:

Downing Street Memo.com also has a link for people to sign the letter John Conyers and 89 members of Congress have addressed to George Bush. Conyers will present the letter when there are 500,000 signatures and they're close to having that number.

Please go to the above site and start contacting the media they list and sign the petition and if you are so inclined send a request out to your like minded friends.

And I'm sure she sent this because on this campus, all she thinks there are, are "like-minded friends." Amazingly, there has been silence over this, except for one brave professor:
To me, announcing the availability of the web sites alone is dubious. That is, what is the connection between the Downing Street Memo's content and our campus activities? However, to include instructions, "...sign the petition," is way beyond an "announcement." Once more, we see proof that our "rules" are bent to accommodate the leftist agenda espoused by many on this campus.

I expect the administration will soon send around once again the "rules" of the announce list, which will be ignored for the 49th time.