MIIS's personal timeline, a place to collect and share things from MIIS's life.
Created by miisdmc on Nov 3, 2008
Last updated: 03/12/10 at 04:02 AM
MIIS D. has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
Did you know that rooms A200-A201-A202-A203-A204-A205 in the Morse building have been kept open from 6pm to 11pm every Sunday through Thursday since the end of last semester?
In fall 2008, Student Council received a number of complaints that there wasn’t enough room to study on campus. In response, a new policy was created: to keep [...]
Name: Eva Gross
Running for: 2nd Year T/TLM Representative
Quote: I really hope to build a better TLM community here at MIIS, we are a very special group. I am here to serve YOU. My current plans for improving the program is to hold mixers, build a Moodle TLM page, continue to offer Trados for $200 per student, as well as get [...]
By Damon Shulenberger
On Friday, April 3rd the MIIS community had the opportunity to join a “fireside chat” with US Ambassador to Angola Dan Mozena, an event coordinated by MPA student Olga Lopo and sponsored by the Afro Club, Global Majority and the Conflict Resolution Club. The well-attended talk covered topics ranging from post-conflict reconstruction, democratization, [...]
Congratulations to Rachel Christopherson:
The First Green Leadership Award Winner
Translation and Interpretation Non-Degree Coordinator Rachel Christopherson has been selected as the first Green Leadership Award Winner. The contest, sponsored by the Environmental Task Force, recognizes peer-nominated MIIS community members who go out of their way to embrace environmental responsibility in their work and personal lives. Rachel [...]
By Damon Shulenberger
Most conferences and events held at MIIS feature keywords such as “nuclear“ and “sustainability“ that make it clear which campus organization is putting them on. What then to make of the upcoming conference ”Trade and the Environment: The Value Proposition of Greening a Business“?
Considering the current merging of the business, trade and [...]
Below are the responsibilities for the positions on Student Council. Nominations will be accepted through The Foghorn from March 30 - April 10. (Yes, you can nominate yourself). Nominee speeches will take place on April 16 from 12 pm - 1 pm on April 16 at the Samson Center. The election will take place from [...]
By Damon Shulenberger
On Friday, March 22 Mary O`Brien, Trade Compliance Manager at Seagate Technology in Scotts Valley spoke at a Trade Club lunchtime discussion on the issue of export compliance.
Working currently in the private sector, O`Brien has had a long career in government. Starting in the Social Security Administration, she had minimal exposure [...]
The Foghorn Investigates
By Maureen Daniel-Fura
What would you do if you could it all again? After asking myself the same question in my chapter two, task seven in the Artists Way workbook by Julia Cameron I set out to ask some of our MIIS community the same question. Their answers are fun and inspiring and shall [...]
One Less-Una Menos
has proven itself as a Strong Human Trafficking Awareness Organization
The third event was a film screening of, “Trade,” a dramatization “inspired by Peter Landesman’s chilling NY Times Magazine story on the U.S. sex trade, “The Girls Next Door,” TRADE is a thrilling story of courage and a devastating expose of one of [...]
Fisher Graduate School of International Business Profiled by the Aspen Institute as a Top Socially Responsible MBA Program
The Fisher Graduate School of International Business has been profiled by The Aspen Institute in their recently published “Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs: 2008 – 2009.” The Fisher School is currently ranked 40th among the Global Top [...]
CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RETREAT AND TO SIGN UP. YOU MUST EMAIL AMY MCGILL TO REGISTER.
TLC (Teaching and Learning Collaborative) offers weekly workshops in Kade on Fridays… This week’s info is below
Green Awards Program launched! Do you know someone on campus who’s making an effort to go green? Then nominate him or her for a MIIS Green Award. Nominees need not be changing the world on a huge scale—we’re looking for ordinary people who are trying to incorporate elements of sustainable living into their daily [...]
First Annual MIIS International Education Day a Success
November 21, 2008
By Amy Beck
On November 21st, the Monterey Institute of International Studies launched its first annual International Education Day to commemorate International Education Week 2008 which lasts from November 17th – 21st. According to the IEW website, “International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.”
With a description like this, how could MIIS, famous for inter-cultural communication, and an international student body, not participate?
The International Education Day began at 9 in the morning. Groups of freshmen through seniors from Pacific Grove High School and Monterey High School filed into Irvine Auditorium to begin their day. The activity was optional for the students, and then their teachers had to approve their participation. The group of approximately fifty to sixty students listened to introductions by Gail Lu and Dr. Amy Sands, and then received instructions in the form of a stand-up comedy routine by Peter Shaw. After receiving his degree, Professor Shaw said he left home, England, as soon as possible in search of warm weather and flavorful food. He told the students that though the lunch later that afternoon would be multicultural, they shouldn’t worry about having to eat British food.
The students were divided into four groups, each with one or two ‘travel guides’ that led the students around campus and made sure they were always aware of the tour exits. The students participated in three of four activities, each led by MIIS students.
The first stop for my group was sponsored by the TESOL program. The high school students picked a language to be introduced to out of: Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Japanese and Xhosa. MIIS TESOL students spent half an hour teaching basic phrases and cultural information. The Russian station played a music video; the Xhosa table listened to Mkebe and discussed traditional beadwork; the Japanese table folded origami.
Our next stop was Globetrotting 101. Peace Corps alumni and JET Programme (Japanese Exchange Teaching Programme) alumni shared personal experiences with the students. The alumni MIIS students were stationed at different tables and the students speed-dated their way through the room. The students had questionnaires to fill out with questions such as, ‘How much did you get paid for your experience with JET?’ and ‘Was it enough to live off of?’ Peace Corps alumni had worked in Mali, Namibia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, and JET alumni lived all over Japan.
Our final stop was the ESL Program sponsored activity. ESL students had created posters about their country and their experiences at MIIS. Students walked from poster to poster talking with the ESL students and learning about countries such as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Colombia, to name a few. The activity we missed was Around the World in Thirty Minutes, which featured international participants of the AFS Cultural Program and Fulbright Program sharing experiences from their home country and here in the US.
The reactions from the high school students were extremely positive. Some students were declaring an interest to pack up and leave tomorrow. Others were creating thoughtful plans and weighing new possibilities. Others asked about the practicality of these options we were showing them and the financial implications of applications, the experience, and the long run. The buzz during the lunch in front of the Holland Center had a very different feel to it than the chatter at the beginning of the day. There was a new feeling of possibility. I remember when I discovered during my sophomore year of high school that I wouldn’t have to work behind a desk; I could work anywhere in the world in a variety of different fields. All I had to do was know where to look for these unique opportunities and how to present myself in such a way as to be accepted as a participant. The realization was empowering and invigorating. I saw that same look today in kids’ faces, and I felt empowered and invigorated again.
As a travel guide and MIIS student, the experience allowed me to get to know the different cultures represented at our school, and I found myself wishing that we had more events focused on learning about each others’ cultures. The extreme diversity of backgrounds and experiences that comprise the student body is an astonishing and oft forgotten element of MIIS student life, as we focus on readings and papers and exams. While we spend hours studying documents and research studies and documentaries about world events, we forget that often times we need only to turn to our neighbor in our core and ask.
Digital Media Commons Workshop: Podcasting 101. Learn the basics about producing "Portable On Demand" content for academic and professional purposes. Tuesday, 12-1pm in the Kade Building, room K10.
A Letter From A United Nations Medical Officer: “The Suffering of People of Gaza”
Submitted by Neda Laventure
Anyone who is monitoring the quality of life in the Gaza Strip, which has been living under a tightened 18-month siege, will be shocked by the catastrophic humanitarian situation. Unemployment rate has risen to 80% and the majority of [...]
Digital Media Commons Workshop: Podcasting 101. Learn the basics about producing "Portable On Demand" content for academic and professional purposes. Tuesday, 12-1pm in the Kade Building, room K10.
November 10, 2008, 12:30 - 1:45pm, Irvine Auditorium
To: MIIS Faculty, Staff, and Students
Fr: Office of the President
Re: MIIS Reorganization Planning Meetings
Monterey Institute faculty, staff, and students are all invited to join President Designate Sunder Ramaswamy for an initial discussion about the MIIS reorganization planning process on Thursday, November 13, 2008.
The agenda of the meeting will be to share guiding principles, expected outcomes, and indicative timeline with the MIIS community, including how the community will be able to participate in and contribute to the reorganization efforts going forward. In addition, there will be a brief update provided on the current integration progress with Middlebury.
To enable more interactive, focused discussions, Dr. Ramaswamy will hold four one-hour meetings with faculty, staff, and students, one for each school. Administrative staff may join any of the four meetings of their choosing. If faculty, staff, and students cannot attend their school’s session for any reason, they are welcome to attend another school’s session. Please find the meeting schedule below:
Thursday, November 13
12:00PM GSTI Irvine Auditorium
1:00PM FGSIB Irvine Auditorium
2:00PM GSIPS Irvine Auditorium
4:00PM GSLEL Irvine Auditorium
We look forward to your attendance and contributions as we begin this exciting process in achieving an even stronger, better institution for our future global leaders.
by Daryl Sando
The Seminar covered the basic considerations needed for overseas investment. I found the discussion quite interesting and a good review of the challenges faced by international businesses, especially small ones. What was most beneficial was meeting and hearing from local small business owners about their overseas investments. There were people doing business in anywhere from Mexico to Taiwan, and from Canada to the Ukraine. I think in the past I have underestimated the substantial amount of small business owners that do work overseas. I always assumed it was mostly large corporations, but now with the invention of the internet and the ease of transportation, small to medium sized local mom and pop businesses work worldwide. What is interesting is that even though these companies do business worldwide they might not know how to do it properly, most effectively, and/or most efficiently. There seems to be a huge need for this type of specialized business knowledge. Overall the lecture was very informative and I enjoyed hearing from people who were either new to the field or had been doing it for decades.
After the lecture I stayed for the Monterey Bay International Trade Association’s annual luncheon with Congressman Sam Farr, a former student of MIIS. It was a very interesting talk where he outlined the current state of the many south and central American free trade agreements. It was nice to hear about these agreements from a congressman and the political pressures that either facilitated or hindered the agreements success. Probably the best item he covered was the new challenges of trade agreements in general. They originally were built for economic concerns and only dealt with economic concerns. Yet now trade agreements are made as a gesture of a type of relationship or as reciprocation for something or possibly to begin creating a better relationship with a country, and must address both political and environmental concerns. As an international trade policy student I found this part particularly of interest and found it important as I continue my studies at MIIS and begin looking at my future career.
Absent: Ashley, Trevor, Luke, Lauren W. Emily, Chris
SC Advisor Report – Gail
Mentor program now recruiting for spring 2009
Executive Officers Reports
a. President: Seda Savas
i. Halloween party wrap-up
ii. Fall Event-The event will be Saturday, 23 November 2008. The Social Activities Committee will meet Thursday 6 November 2008 at the Holland Center from 1:00-2:00pm.
iii. Institutional Transformation-The Monterey Institute Board of Trustees met in October. Before the Board meeting, a group of students from the MBA program created an MBA-specific survey and submitted this survey to Board members. In addition, the MBA working group (Task Force) put together a priorities document, which was passed onto the Board members. In order to address these documents and listen to student concerns, the Board changed their schedule and convened a full meeting of the Board, allotting an hour to listen to students. One student from the survey group was invited to represent the MBA survey group and one person from the Task Force was invited to represent the MBA Task Force. SC President was at the meeting to represent the entire student body and presented degree program-specific student reactions gathered by SC representatives in addition to the results of the school-wide SC survey. At this meeting, the Board made a verbal commitment to incorporating student feedback in figuring out the details of the integration and to improving communication between the administration and the students regarding news and announcements on the integration. President Designate Sunder Ramaswamy has changed his schedule to visit campus earlier. He will be here on November 13 to hold school-specific meetings with students, faculty and staff. Students are highly encouraged to attend this meeting.
iv. November Happy Hour
v. Midnight Breakfast-Student Council members agreed to hold the breakfast the week before finals at the Holland Center. David recommended sponsors to help run the event to relieve strain on SC members. He will be in charge of finding these volunteers. Depending on the cost, SC may hold multiple events during the week before finals.
b. Vice President: Trevor
i. VP Report-No report
ii. Volunteers for Excellence in Teaching Committee-Trevor IPS, Lauren IPS, Jessica LEL, Shawn IEP, John IPS, Jenny MBA, Addi MPA, Alex ITP
MONTEREY INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FALL 2008 – SPRING 2009 STUDENT COUNCIL
Student Council Meeting
November 4, 2008 B106 12:00 - 2:00
c. Treasurer: Luke Smith
i. Budget-No report
d. Secretary: Lauren M.- No report
Program Officer Reports
a. IPS-In regards to a gift, Luniya reported no response as of yet from IPS students.
b. ITP-There will be a professor-run trip to the San Francisco port November 20, 2008.
c. ETF Co-Chair-They would like to encourage MIIS students to remember sustainability issues when planning events.
d. MBA-There was a suggestion from a student to use MBA funds for a coffee machine
e. T&I-There are some complaints from students that the are locked on weekends. Students must make a reservation at least 2 days before the would like to use a room on campus. Student Council members mentioned that during finals weeks this could be a problem as Samson and Holland are crowded. Luniya will look into the new policy.
f. MPA-Representatives are working with professors planning an MPA dinner.
h. IEP-Representatives started video interviews last week and will work to post the first ten within the upcoming weeks.
i. Social Activities Chair-No report
a.Academic Affairs-No report
d.Social Activities-David is seeking sponsors for fall event. He will check on local charities for food donations.
e.Forum/Conference Funding-Conference Funding Committee will meet every other Tuesday.
MONTEREY INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FALL 2008 – SPRING 2009 STUDENT COUNCIL
Student Council Meeting
November 4, 2008 B106 12:00 - 2:00
by Nicole Gully
Purpose of the Conference: The Green Trade Network Summit hosted by the Monterey Bay International Trade Association intended to expose west Coast business owners to the newest export technologies that offer environmentally sustainable services. The Green Trade Network Summit exhibited the works and of experts and companies from both the public and private sectors. They discussed and presented their and successes in growing the “Green Way”. The participants discussed innovative businesses methods through trade and investment.
I attended the 9 hour conference in Santa Cruz, California as an attendee. My day was spent listening to various topics of the presentations and networking afterwards with the presenters. While there, I explored the role of environmentally sensible innovations and technologies in trade relationships. The conference topic and activities relate to International Trade Policy in that actors in trade should remain concerned with changing regulation and products as well as their uses in throughout the world. I felt that the Trade summit was an example of that preparation.
By Matthew Paul
Partaking in the 2008 West Coast Green Building and Innovation Conference was not just a learning experience it was quite simply, inspiring. With over 380 exhibitors showcasing the latest in resource-efficiency, green building and intelligent design, this conference displayed the extraordinary advances being made every year. Some of the most popular exhibits included: a two story home built of reused shipping containers, a bicycle with a built in water purification and storage system intended for use in developing countries and a sports car that runs on compressed air. Complimenting the ingenuity and technological advances, were over 100 experts and visionary leaders, presenting their latest developments, insights, and inspiring thoughts. Included in this field was keynote speaker Al Gore, who spoke in length about the need for a national energy grid and the hope for renewed federal energy policy. However, the dominant theme throughout the convention was “Dare Greatly.” Mr. Gore and many others touched on this topic, encouraging each and every one of us to act now. Not to wait for federal or presidential change but rather to take a risk, be inspired and in return help inspire others. Consequently it was hard not to feel inspired, feeding off the energy, enthusiasm and people were creating; expanding the limits of what was previously thought possible.
In a time, where the media seems to dictate the somber mood and pulse of society it was refreshing to be in an “oasis” where there was such a strong undercurrent of optimism and hope. What is taking place right now, as witnessed through this conference, is nothing less than a revolution. From the bottom up, people are coming together to change the current system, to show a better way, a healthier way to live in interact in this world. And like a strong undercurrent, it eventually needs to surface, little by little at first, and then with little warning, it will erupt. Spewing an unstoppable force of innovation that will not be contained, nor corrupted by forces of the past. So it was with this optimism that I returned back to Monterey, re-energized to continue my studies and in my own way, dare greatly.
by Vinod Bhasker
The Department of Justice as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods had organized a three day training conference for all those connected with education, peace keeping and law enforcement. I was particularly interested in this program on two counts. Firstly MIIS is planning a course on this aspect of arms control. Secondly gangs are the result of any insurgency that has ended without adequate reintegration and demobilization. There are many areas in my country which are affected by gangs of ex insurgents who use violence to control the drug, arms and human trafficking ‘business’. These gang members are heavily influenced by American rap music and ‘gangsta’ culture and like to imitate them in dress and deed.
The conference was about how to tackle these threats on at various levels. The whole focus was on addressing the demand side of gun control. This has to be done in a coordinated way with the involvement of not only the police and administration but also teachers, school authorities, church and of course parents. If the motivations for joining a gang are removed, if the recruitment to the gangs is prevented, a major part of the battle is won. Simple steps can go a long way in preventing youth from getting influenced by gun and gang culture. Something as simple as turning gang graffiti into art and rerouting traffic can make a major difference in the fight against gang violence and small arms proliferation. More people have died from small arms than from bombs or nuclear weapons… Makes you think
Greetings December Graduates and Institute Community.
The December graduating students have nominated the following five students to compete for Student Commencement Speaker:
Joyce Laker- MAIPS
Danielle Barbeau - MAIPS
Jeffrey Swartz - MAIEP
Jon Axtell - MBA
Mason Roberts - MBA
The nominees will present their speech summaries at the Graduating Students Meeting on Thursday, November 6th, in MG102. The meeting begins at 12:15 and will also be streaming live for those students who cannot make it to the meeting.
To access the live stream go to: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/miis-tlc
For Microsoft Windows Users: This Photo Story Tutorial will guide you in the use of the program through hands on demonstrations and one on one assistance. What: Learn to use Microsoft Photo Story When: Thursday November 6th Where: Kade Building, second Floor Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm Other: For PC Users (Bring your laptop)
Click Here to Listen!
By Naomi Arnold, Net Impact Co-president
Last Tuesday, four MIIS students attended a CSR speaker panel at San Francisco State University. The guest speakers represented both Gap, Inc. and Starbucks Coffee Company. The event’s announcement was extended through invitation from adjunct professor Bruce Paton, who as part of the Sustainability Academy has co-taught numerous MIIS workshops including one on CSR.
The theme of the panel aligned directly with the raison d’être of Net Impact, a global network of more than 10,000 graduate students and professional members committed to using business to improve the world. As one of the many offerings of the Net Impact MIIS chapter, the SFSU event was made open to the MIIS student body with covered travel expenses. Stay tuned for upcoming podcasts from the NI National Conference, to be held at the Wharton Business School as these will also be publicly shared on The Foghorn.
Net Impact will be hosting a local MIIS alum speaker panel this Friday, November 7th, from 4-6 pm in Irvine Auditorium. An informal time of Q&A will follow at East Village, in the reserved extension room. This event has an open invitation to the MIIS community. See you there!
Absent: Addi, Shawn
SC Advisor’s Report
Ashley mentioned one student’s concern that Student Council members receive lunch at SC meetings. Seda clarified this amount is $70 bi-weekly for 23 people and SC does this because meetings take place at lunch time. Ashley added that she invited this student to come to Student Council meetings and that this is acceptable considering the amount of time SC members volunteer for Student Council.
Executive Officers Reports
a. President: Seda Savas
i. Halloween Party: There is no free beer and wine all night because of a venue breach of contract. Alcohol is free only until it runs out. Students must bring MIIS ID and State ID/Passport. Outside alcohol is not allowed.
ii. Fall Event: This yearʼs theme will be a fall theme. Seda proposed having a fun and games section with activities such as bobbing for apples, face painting, obstacle course, et cetera. There will be drinks and cold appetizers. David is seeking in-kind donations for food. Allison suggested finding volunteers with art abilities to paint faces. Jacqueline will check alcohol prices. David suggested people donate a can good for a local organization. Ashley mentioned a dunking machine and bouncy castle are approved by the institute however, people must sign a liability release. The event will be Saturday, November 22, 2008.
iii. December Graduation: This year there will be a catered garden party for graduates at Samson Center. All student council members will participate for setup and to work the event. It is not open for all students; it is strictly for graduating students and their families.
iv. Class Gift: Lauren W.: Adopt a Highway, Televisions, Jenni: credit cards for Samson Center, donation to MIIS library Bulbul: ATMs David: Televisions with newsfeed (whatʼs going on in the school), sink next to microwaves in Samson Center Jung: More drinking fountains or water filters, a paper shredder, good coffee vending machine, whiteboards and markers for every Jessica: noise guards on doors in the quiet study areas Jacqueline: motion sensor lights to address sustainability Seda: dishwasher (will compare notes with sustainability council)
b.Vice President: Trevor: He will meet with the Excellence in Teaching Committee.
c. Secretary: Lauren Messing
i. SC Contact Information List
d. Treasurer: Luke Smith
SC Program Representatives’ Reports
a. IPS Rep - Luniya Msuku
i. Global Majority Group Happy Hour Sponsorship-Non Campus group is able to help but they should contact Chris and follow all institute requirements
ii. Water Dispenser- There are concerns the machine is not serviced as often as it should. Luniya checked and it is serviced on a regular basis, every 2-4 months.
iii. Library Online Renewal-A system is very expensive and time consuming. Students may renew online but have to do it before it is due. There are plans in the future to use Middleburyʼs system.
b. ITP Rep - Lauren Wygonski
i. Happy Hour Pros and Cons- There are concerns from security guards that SC members are not checking IDs. Student Council members should make sure everyone has their hand stamped; they must also cover the front back stairs and side entrances. Chris will email volunteer signup list to groups who are sponsoring the event; SC members then fill additional volunteer spots.
c. IEP Rep - Jacqueline Gaskill
i. ETF and IEP Clothing Swap-Emily will speak with the Social Activities Committee. ii. Jacqueline will post interesting internships on a Moodle site.
b.Budget-Club allocations are finished. Student Council Conference Funds are completely gone but there are four different school budgets so students may still apply.
c.IT- The new IT Committee Chair is Devan Hankerson. She will check on MacBook wireless issues.
d.Social Activities-Jonathan suggested getting a DJ for events.
e.Forum/ Conference Funding-This group meets every week on Wednesday.
Financial Crises Panel: LISTEN AGAIN!
Did you miss the International Trade and Commercial Diplomacy Club’s, From Wall Street to Main Street, Deconstructing the Financial Crises Panel last night?
If so, you’re in luck and can listen to it from the comfort of your couch or while jogging on the treadmill using your IPOD. That’s right! With help from the Digital Media Commons, you can now download the Podcast from I-Tunes U.
You’re just a click away!
The Foghorn’s T-Shirt Giveaway
We would like to extend a big thanks to all those who subscribed to receive email updates on the Foghorn at the last happy hour. Take a look at the fun!
If you missed out you can still sign up by clicking on the link http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=2538676&loc=en_US.
Is the debate on gay marriage in California - and Monterey County - finally coming to an end?
Posted with permission from the Monterey County Weekly website: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/archives/2008/2008-Oct-16/is-the-debate-on-gay-marriage-in-california–and-monterey-county–finally-coming-to-an-end
Posted October 16, 2008 12:00 AM
By Kelley Calvert
Locals gathered at Window on the Bay in Monterey on Sept. 21 to demonstrate their opposition to Proposition 8.
Surrounded by the bright decor of rainbows and the pounding rhythm of drums, Sandy Hamm and Adrianne Jonson held their banner high: First Married Couple Monterey County. As Marshals of the Salinas Valley Pride Parade, they made their way down Main Street with spectators cheering them on… until they reached the second block.
There, a man wearing a tuxedo and a woman in full white wedding garb stood on cinder block-like ornaments atop a faux wedding cake. Next to them, around 30 protestors held signs reading: “Praise God for Mothers and Fathers” and “Let’s not redefine marriage.”
Jonson and Hamm did the first thing that came to mind. They turned to the homophobic protesters, their banner hanging before them. Looking directly at them, the couple said in unison: “It’s OK. We love you anyway.”
The debate on Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage in California in an attempt to overturn the state Supreme Court ruling upholding its legality, is the latest salvo in the values wars.
This time, though, may be different. California may be on the verge of accepting that gay and lesbian people should have the same rights as everyone else.
“We as a society are coming to a point when we have to ask ourselves if we are a country that extends basic rights to everyone or a country that excludes certain groups from equality,” says attorney and constitutional law professor Michelle Welsh, who has been in the battle for decades. “These books are the California Constitution,” she adds, gesturing to a set of volumes on the bookshelves of her Pacific Grove office.
This document is at the core of the Prop. 8 debate: The initiative would not only eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, it would amend the state constitution through language providing “that only marriage between a man and a woman be recognized in California.’’
“I’ve seen so many changes in my lifetime,” Welsh adds. “Up until the ‘consenting adult’ statute, homosexuality itself was illegal in California.” In 1976, California overturned its sodomy laws, which had been used to criminalize thousands of gay men.
Two years later, Welsh was among those who successfully defeated the Briggs Initiative, sponsored by a right-wing Southern California legislator, which would have made it illegal for schools to hire gay and lesbian teachers.
In 2008, history has come full circle; Welsh is once again fighting another anti-gay measure. If the current mood continues– an Aug. 27 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 54 percent of registered voters oppose a constitutional ban on gay marriage while 40 percent support it– she will win again.
Down the street from Welsh’s office, Adrianne Jonson is opening the doors of Artisana Gallery, a local art cooperative. In the cozy front room, the scent of Nag Champa incense wafts past Ganesha statues, Celtic crosses and indigenous clay pottery. Across town at Peet’s in Monterey, Jonson’s spouse, Sandy Hamm, serves morning coffee.
Hamm and Jonson met a dozen years ago in the Bay Area, and loved visiting the Central Coast. When Sandy heard that Peet’s was opening a store in Monterey, she called her supervisor immediately to say: “I want that store.” Making a seemingly backward exodus from the haven of gay to the haven of gray, the pair have gained iconic stature locally as the first same-sex couple to wed in Monterey County.
When post-wedding photos of the couple outside the County Clerk’s office ran in local papers, Hamm was amazed at the positive response.
“One customer came in and told me that there was a time in his life when he would have thought that my marriage was inappropriate, but that had changed,” she says. “He congratulated us and wished us happiness.”
Away from the public eye, marriage has meant more to the couple than they’d imagined, Jonson adds. “It has deepened our commitment in a much different way than just calling someone your life partner. Marriage makes people more serious about their commitments to one another.”
Kerre Dubinsky and AnnaLisa Wood bustle about their Carmel wine shop, Southern Latitudes. Customers come and go, greeted by the couple’s beagle, Max. The response to their wedding, at Monastery Beach on July 26 was also overwhelmingly positive.
“Both of us thought that marriage wouldn’t be that different because we’ve been together for 12 years,” Wood says. “But it is different. We aren’t just a couple who share a life anymore. We are married.”
In Pacific Grove, Will Griffin, 23, starts his day at Wells Fargo. In a white button-down shirt and a tie, Griffin could be just another bank employee. But as a gay African-American in a relationship with a white man, the Prop. 8 debate holds special meaning for him.
Griffin also volunteers with the Pacific Grove DARE program, teaching dance to middle-school youths. He was elated when he heard about the state court’s decision upholding the right to gay marriage, but expressed some trepidation about the future.
“I was so excited when I first heard,” he says, “but two seconds later, I realized that there would probably be a vote on this issue, like before.”
If Prop. 8 passes, gay couples in the county– the approximately 85 gay and lesbian couples who have been issued marriage licenses here, according to the County Clerk’s office– will pay the price.
Throughout the ’90s, gays and lesbians enjoyed greater acceptance and visibility throughout American culture. Ellen DeGeneres shattered the taboo of gay characters on TV sitcoms in 1997, opening the door for TV programs like Will and Grace.
But such pop-culture advances notwithstanding, in 2000, Proposition 22 became the proverbial two steps back for gay rights activists. The initiative read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Its passage officially barred gays from marrying.
But the new millennium became a battle ground in the same-sex marriage values debate.
In his 2004 State of the Union speech, President George W. Bush outlined his support of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would make same-sex marriage illegal. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who attended the address, was outraged. Newsom called his former chief of staff, Steve Kawa, a gay man with a long-term partner and two children, to tell him enough was enough. Newsom had decided to take action.
In February 2004, Newsom openly defied Prop. 22 by unilaterally declaring that gay marriages would be allowed in San Francisco. The first same-sex marriage license was issued to Del Martin, 83, and Phyllis Lyon, 80, a lesbian couple active in the gay rights movement who had waited 50 years for the moment.
Over Valentine’s Day weekend, hundreds of gay couples flocked to San Francisco to wed.
But the euphoria was short-lived: the marriages were swiftly overturned by decisions holding that the city acting alone could not overturn Prop. 22.
In April 2005, a San Francisco Superior Court judge concluded that California’s exclusion of same-sex couples violated the state constitution. But the ruling was overturned shortly thereafter by the Court of Appeals. In a 2-1 decision, the court said the state’s desire to “carry out the expressed wishes of a majority” was grounds to uphold the marriage ban.
Most recently, the California Supreme Court was once again asked to end the seemingly endless back-and-forth by reviewing whether the ban on same-sex marriage was constitutional.
On May 15, it announced its historic decision: “An individual’s sexual orientation– like a person’s race or gender– does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold rights.”
The wording invites comparison with California’s landmark 1948 decision allowing interracial marriage.
Griffin sees the comparison between the two decisions and hopes that society will begin to reflect the tolerance that the Supreme Court has mandated. “The racial issue has never come up for me individually,” he says. “That’s how I hope gay marriage will be a generation from now– an afterthought.”
But the battle is far from over. As California goes, so goes the nation– an that strikes fear in some quarters. The Yes on 8 campaign has raised at least $25.4 million so far, much of it from homophobic groups like James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, a Colorado-based organization that advocates reparative therapy (gay conversion camp).
The No on 8 campaign has raised more than $15.8 million. These numbers represent more than the combined total in 24 states where similar measures have gone before voters since 2004.
“All eyes are on California,” acknowledges Jennifer Kerns, spokeswoman for the Yes on 8 campaign.
From her San Francisco office, Dale Kelly Bankhead, campaign manager for “Equality for All,’’ which is fighting to defeat Prop. 8, starts work at 6am every morning, answering hundreds of e-mails and spending countless hours on the phone each day. Her commitment to defeating the measure does not come from direct self-interest: Bankhead is “straight.”
She adds that the past few months have been a source of great inspiration.
“It has brought out the romantic in me,” she says. “I have been to so many weddings and it’s like watching hundreds of love stories come true, seeing these couples finally getting the dignity and respect they deserve.”
Weddings are also the source of inspiration for one marriage equality TV ad that has aired since last October. In what begins as a typical perfume or makeup commercial, a blushing young bride looks into the mirror and adjusts her veil while a flower girl rushes by. On her father’s arm, the bride encounters obstacle after obstacle as she makes her way to the altar. She stumbles over the “Just Married” aluminum cans trailing behind a car. A low-hanging branch pulls the veil from her hair. She is tripped by a spectator’s cane as she makes her way down the aisle. The commercial, paid for by Equality California, ends with the bride’s tear-filled gaze looking at her would-be husband and the question: “What would you do if you couldn’t marry the person that you love?”
The Yes on 8 campaign takes a more literal approach in their commercial, “4 Men in Black,’’ opting for a matter-of-fact narration and simple graphics. A black shadow of California floats onscreen while a voice-over reminds viewers that 61 percent of state voters supported Prop. 22 and suggests that “activist judges’’ reversed the will of the people.
More recently, the campaign has aired a spot with a clip of a broadly smiling Gavin Newsom to suggest he is saying that Californians will have to get used to gay marriage– “whether you like it not.’’
But Bankhead says even the language of the new ballot initiative seems to suggest that gay rights’ opponents are on the wrong side of history.
The state has chosen to describe Prop. 8 as an initiative that “eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry,” despite Kerns’ contention that it really means “that marriage is best defined as being between one man and one woman.”
“We are not asking for anything that opposite sex couples don’t have,” says Wood. “We are asking to be equal and to be equally dignified and respected. We don’t want special rights, just equal rights.”
If there is one thing both sides agree on, it is that the vote will be close. Despite the change in public opinion suggested by polling, Bankhead is cautiously optimistic at best. “At the end of the day it’s going to be a dead heat,” she says, perhaps spinning to beat the expectations game. Kerns agrees: “There’s no doubt about it; it’s going to be close.”
A Sept. 25 poll of 670 likely voters by Survey USA contradicted previous results by indicating a 5 percent lead for Prop. 8; with a margin of error of 3.9 percent, the poll reflects a statistical photo finish.
According to a poll conducted Oct. 4 and 5 by Survey USA on behalf of four California television stations, support for Prop. 8 is rising. The latest figures show that 47 percent now support the initiative, with 42 percent opposed. (The last poll from the same group, released on Sept. 25 had found 44 percent for the measure and 49 percent against.)
Prop. 8’s supporters and opponents, however, caution that such polls are extremely volatile, and that right now the race is just too close to call.
Wood and Dubinsky considered going to Canada or Massachusetts to marry before the state Supreme Court’s ruling but decided against it.
“I was born and raised in California,” Wood says. “I should be able to marry in my own state where I have my life and family. I want my own state to accept me.”
Recently, she came face to face with the opposition in her own neighborhood.
On Sept. 11, members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Prosperity lined the corner of San Carlos and Ocean in Carmel. Wearing red cloaks, the protestors held banners reading, “Californians support traditional marriage” (though the group reportedly consisted entirely of Pennsylvanians). Wood approached the protest, which took place a few blocks from her store, but her arguments fell on deaf ears.
“I tried to talk to one of them, but he cringed and pulled away,” she says.
After a similar encounter with anti-gay demonstrators during Pride, Hamm and Jonson reacted the only way they knew how: with love.
“Over the years, I’ve even gotten my nose broken simply based on how I look– and I grew up in the Bay Area,” Hamm says. “I’ve found that we can accomplish more through conscious love than through hate.”
Ocean Conservation: The Global Challenge.
Stop by Samson Center this Friday (October 16) before and during the happy hour, sign-up for The Foghorn’s email subscription and
Get a FREE T-SHIRT YOU GET TO DESIGN!
First 100 people only
And free cupcakes!
See you there! ~ The Foghorn
Notes from AACSB Conference Call
October 9, 2008
Attendees: Laura Burian, Steve Landry (for Fredric Kropp, Faculty Senate), Sunder Ramaswamy, Ernie Scalberg, Amy Sands, Clara Yu, with Jerry Trapnell of AACSB
Purpose and Context of Call:
A call was arranged by President Yu with the attendees above to discuss the changes underway at the Institute and to the reporting requirements for AACSB’s accreditation process. This action was prompted by persistent concerns expressed by students, alumni, and others about the impact of the impending structural reorganization on the AACSB accreditation of the Institute’s MBA program. Mr. Trapnell is the Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer of AACSB.
During the first part of the call, Jerry Trapnell provided us with a clear and comprehensive review of what AACSB looks for in evaluating business programs. He predicated his remarks on the assumption that we would like to see the MBA program continue to be accredited by AACSB. Next, he pointed out that AACSB is not overly prescriptive with institutions – the organizational structure is up to the individual institution. AACSB’s main concern is that, regardless of structure, a business program maintains AACSB standards and improves its quality. He outlined several items that AACSB would expect to see in our business program as we move forward. Specifically, he mentioned the following items:
an organizational structure or structures to and define the boundaries of the business program (school, college, faculty, department(s)), so that they know what to look at;
a primary contact who leads the business program, but may also lead other departments/programs;
a clearly articulated mission, and documentation of the program’s high quality and feedback mechanism for assessing its progress;
appropriate admissions criteria for students;
a sufficient number of appropriately qualified, strong faculty, who have active research agendae;
a curriculum that meets AACSB standards;
sufficient staff to provide service to students in academic advising, retention, and career management;
dedicated human and financial resources.
The last part of our conversation discussed the boundaries of expectations of the AACSB standards. AACSB expects that the integration with Middlebury, and the internal reorganization at MIIS that will integrate the business and policy programs into one school, will not only retain the MBA program, but strengthen it. One of the reasons for this call was that Dean Scalberg had talked with two individuals with expertise in AACSB accreditation, who reportedly expressed some concerns about our new structure. Jerry Trapnell reiterated what he as the main concern of AACSB: the delivery of quality business programs. Although he noted that ninety percent of the time, it is easier to have a school of business, other structures are OK, too. Mr. Trapnell mentioned that he was Dean at a school where he oversaw a large range of disciplines, both in & out of business field.
Towards the end of our call with Jerry, he explained what he saw as possible scenarios as we move forward with our substantive change process. First, he reviewed the timeline: we have to submit a Substantive Change Report to the AACSB’s Maintenance of Accreditation Committee by November 1st so they can evaluate it during its December meeting. Specifically, he saw the following possible outcomes:
1)The committee may decide that it needs to accelerate our normal review and plan an earlier visit;
Dance Move of the Week: Check it out!
Wish you were going to Munich for Oktoberfest? It’s coming to Monterey instead!
Where: Santa Lucia Café
When: Oct 24th, 6:00pm to close
Why: To enjoy an all-you-can-eat/drink and enjoy the polka band
How: By contacting the restaurant and making a reservation at 831-333-1111
$35 covers everything and I’m told by some who are already planning on going that there [...]
Spotlight on President-Designate Sunder Ramaswamy
by Amy Beck
As a five year old in Madras, India, Sunder Ramaswamy wanted to be a steam engine locomotive driver. Years later, he finds himself sitting in a temporary office in the Segal building preparing for his next challenge: Monterey Institute’s next president. He is a surprisingly optimistic man with a [...]