Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get Your Ball Gown On

This late arrival in the virtual mailbox today came from the college president. In case you didn't read it, we post it below in its entirety with all its capitalization intact.


There have been a few requests to open the PAC for the purposes of airing the Presidential Inauguration. There is no doubt that this Inauguration is historic and expected to draw broad National attention and interest. However, establishing a formal college wide program for this purpose is not possible from a number of vantage points. The most important point is that Tuesday will continue to be a day where students are in most need of our services. I have consulted with the Executive Administrative Team, the Deans and the Academic Senate President regarding this matter. The consensus is to not host a college wide Inauguration viewing. We can do the following:

We have been told that “College Network” will be airing the Inauguration on the cafeteria televisions.

We will attempt to bring up a CNN web feed on the two flat screens in the SSC lobby.

Student clubs are encouraged to host Inauguration events.

Administrators and Classified Staff wishing to view portions of the Inauguration Program will be able to do so only at the discretion of your supervisor and when zero impact on college business is verified.

Very Respectfully,
Glenn R. Roquemore, Ph.D.
Irvine Valley College


Not surprising but still. Rebel Girl recalls all those other events of a civic nature that we and our students (and, she believes, staff and administrators) were encouraged to attend--to commemorate say, Veteran's Day or September 11th. These events are held in public areas of the college during class time. Very often faculty dismiss or cut short classes in order to participate and are greeted with smiles. Please join the IVC community, the flyers often say. Join us.

Rebel Girl remembers a sunny day when we were all told to stay home. On Wednesday April 27, 1994, the entire college district shut down for an Official Day of Mourning honoring a great American, newly dead and to be buried on that day. Surely you remember. We were the only college district in the country to close (it took a vote from the board of trustees) and deny students our services on that day. Who were we honoring?

Richard M. Nixon.

Over a year later, on October 3, 1995, Rebel Girl noticed two big televisons pushed out in front of the Student Center. What's up, she wondered. Some students and staff gathered around the sets. As as she got closer, she saw what was up. It was the O.J. Simpson trial, televised live. The jury was about to deliver their verdict. It was something Rebel Girl didn't want to see, no matter what happened. There was something creepy about the whole scene.

She never could figure whose idea it was to put the big TVs out there. What they were hoping for. Why they thought that that verdict in that trial was so important for the students to view. She wonders what those same people might say when, 14 years later, someone requests to recognize the inaugural of the nation's first African-American president in a manner that suggests President Obama is just as important as a disgraced dead president or a disgraced celebrity athelete.


Don't even get her started on how the college simply doesn't really "do" King day either. She'll talk your ear off and then you'll only have one ear.

Anyway, Rebel Girl plans to wear her version of an inaugural ball gown on Tuesday. Come find her, wherever she is and we'll party down. She's never needed anyone's permission to celebrate. She suggests you don't either.


Anonymous said...

I think there's some kind of threat implied in that zero impact verification statement of Glenn's.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean we don't 'do' King day?

Didn't Helen Lock organize a showing of Hotel Rawanda two years ago?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to Disneyland!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't buy it for a moment--and this from a college president? I bet it's from that board of yours and their lackey chancellor who renamed their meeting room in honor of a former president who, as governor of California was one of the most anti-education governors we ever had? This is politics--pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Clearly people just need to turn on their computers and watch it. Too bad that the college didn't take this opportunity to show some class and act like a college. I mean, my kids' elementary school is having the kids watch it because, damn it, it's HISTORY.

Anonymous said...

You're making that OJ thing up, aren't ya Reb?

Anonymous said...

Where do I get one of those Zero Impact Verification Forms?

Anonymous said...

Is Saddleback doing anything?

Anonymous said...

UC San Diego is broadcasting the inauguration in four different venues.

They seem to think that staff and students can make responsible decisions about how to spend their their time on that day.

They also seem to recognize a historical moment when they see one and realize their responsibilities as an institution of higher learning.

Anonymous said...

The PAC would be a perfect place to host such a viewing - what a great idea!

It's far away from classrooms and would have minimum impact on the teaching. People could come and go as they needed.

I hope Glenn reconsiders his decision.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to an Inside Higher ed articles on what other colleges and universities are planning. Many are planning joint King day and Inaugural celebrations.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think Glenn would reconsider? I hope so.

I mean, the cafeteria is not really the place for such an event. It's sort of like asking everyone to a wedding at Burger King.

Anonymous said...

Ha, I've seen admin types actually encourage staff to leave their desks in order to fill out the crowd for those other events which would otherwise be poorly attended. Remember when Mike Carona came to visit? And everyone crowded around to get their photos taken with him?

The tone of Glenn's email, especially at the end, is downright poisonous.

Reminds me of Dennis White's famous admonition to not speak of the war.

Anonymous said...

The PAC is the BEST venue for this kind of event.

And that lame excuse - "The most important point is that Tuesday will continue to be a day where students are in most need of our services" is hogwash.

The next day is Club Day where we are encouraged to let our students skip class so they can participate because if they don't participate their club can't be a club. And we have to run in and out of class and office hours to be present as advisors! It's required!

Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see the PAC used on a regular basis for this kind of event.

I mean, isn't that one of the reasons it was built?

So we could be more like other colleges and host events like this?

So people didn't have to watch such events in the cafeteria or standing around in a lobby for god's sake?

Anonymous said...

I want Glenn to put this statement at the bottom of every announcement for every college event that his office sends out from here on out:

"Administrators and Classified Staff wishing to view portions of the INSERT NAME HERE Program will be able to do so only at the discretion of your supervisor and when zero impact on college business is verified."

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

At Saddleback, there will be an inauguration celebration on Tuesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in SSC 212 and 211.

Wow - that 8.5 hours of possibily denying students of our services! oh no!

The live broadcast of the entire day’s events will be presented in room 211, while in room 212 the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address will be replayed throughout the day.

Maybe ya'll should just make the drive down to your sister school. Your parking passes work here too. Then you can stay for the board meeting.

I think Rebel Girl has the right idea - we should all wear ball gowns.

Anonymous said...

Shame indeed - TVs for OJ but not for Obama.

Anonymous said...

What about all the retirement parties and birthday parties where people spend 20-30 minutes standing around eating a cake bought at Cost Co?

Anonymous said...

Rebel Girl must be feeling better.

13 Stoploss said...

I don't have class on Tuesday--my schedule this semester is M/W. Also, my father in law is a Captain at Irvine's Fire Station 6 right down the road. I'm sure he'd frown on the number of students blocking the entry and exit ways of both the SSC and cafeteria. That certainly would not be in the best interest of safety.

As a student, I'm not in need of IVC's services on Tuesday. I have a laptop, AND a projector, AND the ability to broadcast audio outdoors. My only "need" is 3 power outlets, some sort of blessing, and a location to set up shop.

Anonymous said...

Just heard that Harvard re-scheduled their finals so that their students could watch the inauguration - I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Glenn will change his mind - all they have to do is unlock the doors and turn on the lights. It'd be easy.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing lasts only an hour and half - you'd think they'd do something classy. The cafeteria isn't really classy.

Anonymous said...

Across town, a delegation from UCI is actually at the inauguration and you can follow their adventrues on their blog:

Anonymous said...

They are also mentioned on the front page of UCI's webpage with a link to their blog.

Anonymous said...

I wish the college would recognize the broader edcuational opportunities that exist to bring people together -- it's too bad they made this knee-jerk decision and with such unfortuate langauge.

Anonymous said...

geez, even USC is hosting on-campus viewings.

Anonymous said...

Both UCI and Cal State Fullerton are hosting events:

Associated Students of UC Irvine:ASUCI will host an inauguration viewing starting at 8 a.m. at the Anthill Pub and Grille in the UCI Student Center. The event will feature free coffee and pastries and discounts on breakfast food and drinks. This event is open to the public.

Cal State Fullerton: Free "Inaugural Insights" forum, 8:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday in the Titan Student Union, will feature a CSUF faculty members Phillip L. Gianos, Matthew G. Jarvis, Scott J. Spitzer and Stephen J. Stambough will comment on Obama and how they see his presidency will take shape, following a "State of the State" keynote address on California by veteran journalist Dan Walters. Emeritus professor of political science Keith O. Boyum will moderate the discussion. 714-278-2841 or 714-278-4722

Anonymous said...

At Columbia University:

Presidential Inauguration Viewing
from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

President Lee C. Bollinger invites the Columbia University community to join together in watching the historic Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama.

A Jumbo Tron screen will show the inauguration live on Low library Plaza.

Hot chocolate and warm cider will be served.

Anonymous said...

Shame indeed.

The easiest thing is not the best thing or the right thing. Small-minded, scared people - too bad they work in education.

Isn't there a high road where you all are?

Anonymous said...

Fullerton College:

Fullerton College is pleased to celebrate the historic inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama with a series of television viewings taking place throughout the College Center. The broadcasts will begin at 8 am on Tuesday, January 20; the official swearing-in ceremony takes place at 8:30 am. Students, faculty, staff, and community members may visit any of the following three areas to view the day�s events:

Cadena Cultural Center

Student Center

College Center Large Conference Room

No RSVP is needed and everyone is welcome to attend at any point during the day. Should you not be able to attend, the day's events will also be broadcast online at

Anonymous said...

Long Beach City College :

All are invited to watch the Inauguration of Barack Obama at either campus student center of Long Beach City College beginning at 8 a.m., Tuesday January 20th.

At 11 a.m., "Democratic Presidents, Economic Crisis and the Possibilities for Progressive Change" will be presented by LBCC Professor Julian Del Gaudio in the Liberal Arts Campus Student Center (Building E).

Sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science, Student Life and the Associated Student Body, the inauguration will air throughout the day.

For more information please call (562) 938-4254

(This is fun. I'm learning alot.)

Anonymous said...

Orange Coast College:
Have a front row seat to history in the making! If you are able, join
other members of the OCC family to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama
on Tuesday, January 20. The swearing-in is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (PT) and may be viewed on big screens in the Forum, the Faculty House, and the Student Ctr. Lounge.

Anonymous said...

UC Riverside:
Come and watch as more history is made. This is one historical moment you do not want to miss! Be with your friends, your peers and UCR Staff as we all watch it LIVE!

Commons Ballroom (302)
Swearing-in begins promptly at 9:00am

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: Commons, University Ballroom
Parking Information

Live coverage of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. The most historical Inauguration to date. You won’t want to miss it!

Anonymous said...

How nice it would be for Glenn to send out a college-wide announcement tomorrow that recognizes the historical importance of the day and suggest that folks who care to can gather in the lobby of the Student Services Center to observe the oath and the speech (estimated to take 15-20 minutes).

Jonathan K. Cohen said...

Let's put this as clearly and simply as it has been put to us. Roquemore is not a patriot. He does not love America.

Anonymous said...

Good point JKC!

How un-American can you get!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Glen will change his mind. It would be so easy!

Anonymous said...

Uh, Glenn didn't change his mind.

I like Cohen's point very much - let's put it to them as it's been put to us: they don't love America - at least not when they lose.

now Obama wants us to unclench the fist - okay, I get it - but I've been living for the last decade being called UnAmerican by the lieks of them that will forbid from watching the American president be sworn in -and in fact, threaten me if I dare to do so - dang.

I don't just want Glenn to change his mind - I want him to apologize. Or else I want to see that Zero Impct Statement on EVERY college announcement that comes from his desk from here on out.

No Will

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