Tag Archives: 9-30-2013

Sports Update

Yara Elborolosy (CE ‘14)

Cooper students are known for having their lives taken over by academics before the first month of school is over. On top of academics, most of us also have jobs, take part in clubs, and participate in sports. For the scholar athletes at Cooper, sports start the week before school starts down in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Most of our athletes go down for a week to train, learn new drills, and create a special bond with our teammates. Students who are involved in sports were not the stars of their teams in high school, and some have never even played the sport before coming to Cooper. However, watching them play after Cape Cod and just a month or two of practice, you would never be able to tell.

For the basketball and volleyball teams, practice is generally on Friday and Saturday nights. For the soccer and tennis teams, practice is usually on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The cross country team practices throughout the week, mornings or nights, depending on their schedules. Soccer, women’s volleyball and women’s tennis season have already started and the results for their first games are listed on this page. ◊

Panel on Surveillance

Tensae Andargachew (BSE ‘15)

From the moment you swipe your debit card to pay for something, to the moment you make a phone call to anyone, anywhere – you are being watched. Indeed, the ubiquitous trail of data that everyone leaves behind is being collected and possibly processed and surveyed.

Last Monday, in the Great Hall, there was a discussion held on this very issue – the issue of surveillance. The discussion, moderated by Paul Garrin (A’82), and featuring Stanley Cohen, Paul DeRienzo, James Bamford and Donna Lieberman was one that was very informative – telling the audience of the potential pitfalls of surveillance.

The first member of the panel to take the stage was Stanley Cohen. He began with a simple unrelated remark: “Lincoln was taller, but I have a better beard”. He then went on and acknowledged people who have made contributions to the discussion on privacy, rights, and surveillance: Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley Manning), Edward Snowden, and Daniel Ellsberg. After this, he stated that the underlying culture of surveillance comes from the government’s need to do all that it can to protect itself.

Following Cohen’s introduction, Paul DeRienzo gave a number of case histories concerning instances of the government agencies of America spying on the citizenry. He told a story about a homeless woman who was taken to court after stumbling upon some sensitive documents. The judicial process incurred costs this woman had to pay that DeRienzo deemed outrageous relative to her crime. According to DeRienzo, his concerns over the cost of the proceedings were ignored because the accusing party was only interested in getting a conviction. He concluded his talk with a stark reminder that someone always watches us and a suggestion that the only way to combat the FBI is to use their own tactics against them.

After Paul DeRienzo came James Bamford, who spoke on the N.S.A’s history, and his understanding of the agency. He concluded his speech by asking the audience to be listeners, and stating that he believes the opacity of the N.S.A. would be cleared away some day, and become a totally transparent agency.

Finally, before the panelists had their discussion, Donna Lieberman took the stage and told stories of people receiving arbitrary convictions as a reminder that often, there is very good reason to keep their guard up. She also spoke on the ills of collections of big data, pointing out that it not only violates liberties, but also makes searching for the ‘needle in the haystack’ harder and inefficient.

For the next hour and a half, the panelists convened on the stage in the Great Hall, discussing many things – the differences between lawful and constitutional, and the erosion of privacy. After questions from the audience were taken, the event concluded. Everyone walked out more informed and more aware, but still watched. ◊

Interview with Christopher Chamberlin, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Chae Jeong (ChE ‘16)

The Cooper Pioneer interviewed Mr. Christopher Chamberlain regarding his responsibilities as the Director of Residence Life and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, his new position.

The Cooper Pioneer: How did you hear of the Cooper Union and what brought you here?

Mr. Christopher Chamberlain: I used to work as the Director of Operational Services for a public college in New Jersey and I wanted a change. A friend of mine had previously worked at Cooper as the Director of Residence Life and he highly recommended working here and when the position opened up here, I applied. I was and remain incredibly impressed with the Cooper Union’s ideals.

TCP: How many years have you been at Cooper Union?

CC: 3

TCP: Can you explain your role as Director of Residence Life?

CC: As the Director of Residence Life, I’m responsible for the overall operation of the student residence at 29 3rd Ave. My responsibilities include ensuring that we maximize our occupancy to provide the most housing opportunities to our students as well as overall program direction. As a team with the other professional staffs in the office, David Robbins and Marilyn Whitesides, the Residence Life works to ensure that the student residence is something more than just a “dorm”. We try to engage the students through programs and social events to get them to know each other, to network personally and professionally, and finally to grow as young adults. Since we generally only provide housing to first year students, we also try to prepare the students for the realities of living on their own in New York City.

TCP: What was your most memorable moment as Director of Residence Life?

CC: For the most, the memorable moment is always move-in day each year. The day that students move into the residence hall for the first time is always such an exciting time and truly marks, for most students, their official entry into our community and into adulthood.

TCP: Can you explain your role as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: As the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, I work very closely with Dean Baker in providing leadership for the department. I still oversee Residence Life, but I also manage the student health records, immunization requirements, medical leaves of absence, ADA disability accommodation requests, student counseling referrals, interface with the student government, code of conduct and student judiciary. I also work with the Center for Career Development and all the other areas within Student Affairs.

TCP: How do you feel about your new responsibilities as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: I’m really excited about this opportunity. I think that we have a strong team in place to make some really positive impacts throughout the campus. I’m really honored that Dean Baker asked me to serve in this capacity and I’m very grateful for all of the support that I’ve received from him and from the campus community in general.

TCP: What were some thoughts you had as you received this new position?

CC: I’m excited to be a part of this exciting time here at Cooper. Dean Baker has a wealth of experience and knowledge about Cooper Union that is unparalleled and really positions us to have a significant positive impact on the lives of our students. I have a strong background in both operations and student affairs and I’m excited to have an opportunity to work in a unique position that allows me to blend them both together.

TCP: What are some visions you have as you assume this new position?

CC: The offices within Student Affairs already produce great work and are staffed by extremely talented professionals. As I assume this new role, I hope to work with our staff to evaluate our current programs to higher levels. Even though we already do great things, we can always improve and raise our bar even higher. I look forward to forging a stronger partnerships with our colleagues around the campus, including Alumni and Development and all of the academic schools and programs.

TCP: How do you think that experiences from your role as Director of Residence Life will influence your role as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: My time as the Director of Residence Life really laid the framework for me to be successful in this new position. I have been able to interact with all of the key players as the Director of Residence Life and now as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. I’m able to capitalize on those established relationships and really forge collegial bonds and work on behalf of the students.

TCP: Do you have any advice for students?

CC: I would tell the students to make the most of their time at Cooper and to build strong bonds with each other and their faculty. The Office of Student Affairs has a wealth of resources and I encourage students to take full advantage of all of the services that we have to offer them. Our job is to equip our students with the necessary tools to be successful both personally and professionally, and I encourage students to hold us to our charge. ◊

Photos by Jenna Lee (ME’15)

Online Portfolio Seminar

Matthew Lee (ME ‘15)

On Tuesday September 17th, Create@Cooper hosted an Online Portfolio building seminar taught by Eric Leong. The event was sponsored by The Hackerati, a Cooper Union startup hardware and software company. Sharang Phadke opened the evening with a broad overview of Create@Cooper: “It’s not a club; it’s more of a professional organization. The goal is to give Cooper students some real opportunities. We want to connect them with startups, and make some real impact with their work. We want people to be excited to show off what they’ve done.”

Eric Leong then took over, opening up Notepad++ on the projector. He rapidly typed out a few lines of HTML markup. In a couple short seconds, he saved his files and opened a new webpage in his browser containing his name and a short bio of himself. Throughout the hour, Eric demonstrated how to add various pieces of text, use CSS to format different fonts and colors, and move text around a webpage. “Making the website is simple; you can Google any tutorial on how to write some html or CSS. The hard part is having good content.”

Eric recommended Mozilla developer network, and to a lesser extent w3schools.com, to look up various tutorials and references on how to code. Leong constantly emphasized the importance of experimenting with the building of a website by inspecting the source code of other websites. Firefox and Chrome both have an “Inspect Element” tool that lets you examine the code that is used to format already existing sites. The lesson concluded with a short explanation of how to get one’s website online.

Leong recommended using Amazon S3 to host your files, and namecheap.com to buy a domain name. Rob Marano, one of the Co-founders of The Hackerati, and an adjunct Engineering professor at Cooper, gave some closing statements.

For more information about the Hackerati: thehackerati.com/