Filed under: Boston University
Bumped from the BU Roosevelt Blog:
THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY CHAPTER DIDN’T JUST HAVE A GREAT FALL SEMESTER – THEY SET NEW STANDARDS FOR A START-UP CHAPTER. IN ADDITION TO KICKING OFF A NEW SPEAKER SERIES AND HOSTING A DISCUSSION WITH BOSTON’S CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT, BU ROOSEVELTERS BUILT AN ACTIVE BLOG AND STEPPED OFF CAMPUS TO DO SOME FIRST-HAND INVESTIGATION. SENIOR ATHENA LAINES EVEN WENT AS FAR AS COPENHAGEN TO REPORT ON THE LATEST IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO HER NEXT INSTALLMENT. (Roosevelt Institute Campus Network Newsletter)
Members of Roosevelt Institute at Boston University would like to thank Hillary Doe and everyone else at Roosevelt Institute Campus Network who have helped us get started over the past semester – we certainly could not have accomplished all of this without you!
As Spring Semester kicks off with Executive Board meetings on Sundays and General meetings on Tuesdays, here are some things to look forward to from BU Roosevelt:
- 10 Ideas Submissions
- BU Roosevelt Gives Back Monthly Community Service Projects
- Spring Activities Fair
- Launch Event
- Monthly Speaker Series
- The First Edition of BU’s Policy Journal
- Additional Speakers TBD
- Spring Northeastern Region Conference
- Fun Events: Back Bay Ball, West Wing, Talking to Boston
- More members, more blogs, more policy, more fun!
Filed under: Boston University
You know you’re reading something from a previous era when it says,
The recent submission of a constitutional amendment limiting the President to two terms…
That amendment, by the way, did pass, although that was after this paper was written.
Filed under: Boston University
If a democratic regime is to work successfully it must be generally agreed that contestants for power will not shoot each other and that ballots will be counted as cast. Consensus on these propositions has been reach pretty well over the entire South except in some counties of East Tennessee, which have a high incidence of electoral irregularity and a high mortality from gunshot during political campaigns.
Leave it to the political scientists to bring on lolz!
It seems like every semester I end up having to read more books then the last.
Here’s what’s been read up to this point (not including journal articles or books that I have not had to read all the way through):
- Jacobson, The Politics of Congressional Elections
- Brady and Johnston, Capturing Campaign Effects
- Johnson-Cartee and Copeland, Inside Political Campaigns
- Iyengar and Kinder, News that Matters
- Key, Southern Politics in State and Nation
- Bishop, The Big Sort
- Ansolabhere and Snyder, The End of Inequality
Politics of Education
- Bracy, Put to the Test
- Baumgartner, et al, Lobbying and Policy Change
- Berry and Wilcox, The Interest Group Society
- Andres, Lobbying Reconsidered: Understanding Influence
Public Policy Analysis
- Hill and Hupe, Implementing Public Policy
- Weimer and Vining, Policy Analysis Concepts and Practice
- Gregory, The White Queen
- Sparks, The Last Song
Yep – that’s the list for now. Still have more to go… back to work!
Filed under: Boston University
“and now we are in Utopia and everything is perfect. The end.” – David
“I’m the caulk in this organization. I plug all the holes.” – Tarsi
“He’s only been in the office like once in the past month…it’s because he’s a Democrat.” – Matt
“Being a progressive Republican is totally compatible. Just like being a babydaddy.” – Matt
“So you hate babies…next you’re going to say that you hate puppies and kitties?” – Matt
“Actually, I don’t like puppies…” – Matt
“Things I hate: babies, puppies, Howard Dean…tuna. Otherwise I’m good with everything; everything makes me happy.” – Matt
“Under your favorite quotes there will be martin luther king jr, barack obama, and…matthew stern.” – Anna
“I was thinking about health care last night at 3 [...] hopefully their chances are much better now.” – Joe
Via the BU Daily Free Press:
Ross defends ‘No More Than Four’
Although City Council President Mike Ross said he values students as constituents, he remained unwavering on his “No More Than Four” initiative, which restricts off-campus student housing based on quality of life concerns for residents.
Ross, who represents District 8, which includes Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, and Mission Hill, discussed the different issues affecting Boston on Monday at the George Sherman Union to an audience of 30 students in a discussion organized by the Roosevelt Institute.
The “No More Than Four” mandate, which prohibits more than four undergraduates from living together in a single-family unit, benefits permanent Boston residents by preventing overcrowding and poor living conditions brought on by converted units or too many students, Ross said.
While other concerns included education, the integration of college students with the community and public transportation, the “No More Than Four” policy was the main issue discussed.
Permanent residents are being driven out of the city after losing their homes due to the great influx of out-of-state students into the Boston-area universities, Ross said.
Speculating landlords increase the occupancy capacity of their properties and rent apartments to groups of students, who are willing to pay more than regular residents relative to higher on-campus prices, he said.
“People started losing their rented homes,” Ross said.
The artificially-increased property values cause higher taxes, increasing the cost of living, he said, which in turn drives permanent residents and recent graduates out of the city.
However, Ross said the “No More Than Four” ordinance benefits students as well, as the landlords of over-populated apartments do not care about students’ safety and rent out old apartments.
Ross said he does not intend to discriminate against students, who are a positive asset for communities, energizing the community and reporting crimes at hours when regular residents would not be awake.
“Students are a good influence for the city,” he said. “They are eyes for the city.”
On his blog, “The Ross Report,” Ross said he recognizes that students only want affordable housing; nevertheless, he said college students are making small neighborhoods uninhabitable due to their rowdiness.
“I’m not going to bat so you can have your keg parties,” he said when questioned on the issue. “I have no respect for people who have no respect for others.”
Ross said he commends BU for providing a great deal of on-campus housing. Unlike Northeastern University and Suffolk University, which he said respectively provide about 50 percent and 15 percent of their students with on-campus housing, BU provides housing to about 80 percent of its students.
Ross said students are part of “an inspirational generation” who have “continued to remind America when they’ve been right or wrong,” he said.
“[Society] can’t live without you,” he said.
Ross said he is concerned with Boston’s inability to retain graduates in the area.
“The population is aging in place,” he said.
Junior Amy Baral and sophomore Anna Ward, both of the College of Arts and Sciences and Roosevelt Institute co-presidents, said they invited Ross because it gave students the opportunity to hear someone talk about firsthand experience with policymaking.
“We felt student should know their representatives, have an opportunity to interact with them and bring up issues,” Baral said.
Executive Director of Student Activities John Battaglino said Ross addressed points of concern for students.
“He did a real good job,” he said. “He has students’ interests in mind and students should have the opportunity to challenge the councilor because they are part of his neighborhood.”
Jan 8th – BU vs. BC at Fenway Park
Filed under: Boston University
While the case might be that I’m just a student too, so who exactly am I to start telling people how to do their resumes and how to fill out applications, here’s some advice from someone who has seen enough resumes and applications over the past week to tell the difference between the good and the bad.
- Be yourself – form resumes are boring. Spice it up. Add a nice header for your time, put some color in if possible, write in a slightly different font. So many resumes fit the same format – it’s best to make yours mold to you. If your strongest area is the fact that you’ve done many great internships – make that the focal point.
- After your name (which should always be in the header), always put your education next (college and then high school). Put your graduation year for college, along with your major and any minors or special programs you’re in. Put your GPA, if it’s above a 3.7 because seriously, no one cares if you have 3.51, that’s not too special.
- For work experience – NEVER put something like babysitting or pet sitting. It makes you look like a middle schooler. If you started your own landscaping company, then go ahead and put that in, but don’t put just lawmowing – again, you look like a middle schooler.
- On the topic of middle school – don’t put any activities that you did in middle school or high school. You’re in college now – time to start participating in college activities. If you’ve volunteered at the hospital since you were in 7th grade and you still do, then go ahead and put that. But really, no one wants to know that you were in the drama club or on varsity soccer during high school. It’s over, move on.
- For applications – be aware of your audience. It might just be for a club, but you could also be filling out an application for a job. Going through application after application is difficult. Make yourself stand out by writing in full sentences and spelling out all of your words.
- Talk yourself up in applications but not to the point where it sounds like you’re putting other people down or making things up. If you come off too snobby in your writing, you’re not going to get the gig even if you are qualified- the people reading your application want to know that you can work well with others and not just by yourself.
- On qualities – don’t put a list of your “good” qualities on your resume. ”Works well with others” or “manages time wisely” are things to put on an application or to be said during an interview, there’s no space for them on your resume.
- On space – resumes should be one page ONLY. Do not go over a page – I don’t care if you need to make your margins super tiny, people stop reading after the first page. Squish it all in if you need to.
- Always put related experience, honors, community service, and interests on your resume. These areas are standard – have something to write for each of them so you look well rounded and interesting.
- Don’t make anything up. You may not thing people can tell if you’re BS-ing, but then again, you never quite know who will be reading your resume.
- Be yourself. You can make yourself stand out with your resume and applications- do that!
Now, I feel like SAPP and BURI need to have one day, at least, dedicated to resume writing and interviews. I’m fearful for these people, fearful.
CDM recently lobbied for Election Day Registration (EDR) in Massachusetts. One of SAPP’s new initiatives is to get more young people at BU to register to vote. Here’s why voter registration law needs to change – to benefit young people:
I’ve written multiple times, on many different blogs, about the need for fundamental voter registration reform. Normally I make that case on behalf of the young voter/voter registration community. The most recent data from CIRCLE put young voter turnout in 2008 at 51.1% - one of the highest rates ever, yet still lower than any other portion the electorate. But we also know that upwards of 80% of all registered young votersactually make it to the polls to cast their ballot – a turnout rate not much lower than that of the rest of the electorate.
The conclusion is simple, and one that we are all familiar with: voter registration is a barrier to participation, and reforming it could well be the single most effective means of creating lasting gains in voter turnout rates, especially among young people. Such reforms are in the works, and the proposed changes usually include some form of automatic registration and/or election day registration failsafes.
One of the biggest hurdles in achieving such reform is convincing the various local Secretaries of State that such reforms are in their interest and, rather than increase their burdens, will make their jobs easier. Secretaries of State will wield enormous influence over the outcome of a voter registration reform debate. Without their support, it will be difficult to convince Senators or Congressmen to sign on to any voter reform legislation. That’s why a new report by the US PIRG Education Fund on the cost effectiveness of voter registration reform is so important: Saving Dollars, Saving Democracy – Cost Savings for Local Elections Officials Through Voter Registration Modernization (pdf).
In a survey of 100 counties, the report found that:
- Over $33,467,910.00 of public money was spent on simple registration and error-correction issues in 2008.
- That equals $86,977.00 of the elections budgets in counties with populations under 50,000.
- The average office in counties with 50,000 to 200,000 people spent $248,091.00.
- The average county elections office in jurisdictions of 200,000 to around one million people spent $1,079,610.00.
- Some of the largest counties in our survey spent far more than this average, for example St Louis County, with a population of 995,118, conservatively spent over 3 million dollars on registration implementation and issues in the 2008 cycle.
In addition to the monetary costs of the current system, the report also outlines other inefficiencies that current boards of election routinely face, and which could be overcome through sensible reform of the registration process:
- Missing Information: inaccurate, incomplete, duplicated, or illegible forms;
- Citizen Confusion: a lack of clarity for any particular registrant concerning citizenship status;
- Overtime/Staffing: there are many problems and costs associated with hiring part-time staff or paying overtime to data-entry floods of forms in time for Election Day;
- Acknowledgment Cards: some states require a card be sent to registrants to confirm registration details;
- Reaching voters in rural areas: states face challenges when reaching out to register eligible citizens across a geographically complex rural jurisdiction; and
- Provisional ballot printings, mailings, and outreach: once a registrant is not accurately entered, HAVA requires that they be allowed to cast a day-of-election provisional ballot. States must provide said ballot, and then in order for it to count, states need to follow up with the voter and state to determine their registration status.
The report makes a number of recommendations on what effective, efficient reform would look like:
- A federal mandate should be passed to require affirmative and automatic registration. Specified and privacy-protected data transfers and information sharing should occur from federal and state databases to the state voter rolls as a means of continuously updating the list. By eliminating the data entry and duplicate and error verification follow-up responsibilities of local officials, there will be large cost savings at the county level.
- Federal funding should be provided to make it possible for states to implement this mandate.
- States should also use specified private database transfers or information sharing to keep citizens on the rolls permanently at their most up-to-date address.
- States should perform same-day balloting as a catch-all for citizens.
The full report offers regional, state, and municipal data on all of the inefficiencies outlined above. At some point in the next few years, we are likely to face a fight in congress over voter registration reform. Ground zero in that fight will be convincing local Secretaries of State that they should be in favor of reform rather than the status quo. This new report(pdf) by US PIRG Education Fund is an invaluable information for those looking to construct effective arguments in favor of reform.
And an EDR bill comes up at the CT State Capitol in debate next week. Check here for updates on that.