The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Senate Beat: Share No More

Either Reedies are getting better at sharing, or they’ve lost respect for the law.

There have been five complaints from music distribution companies so far this year over students illegally sharing files, according to Tony Palomino, director of Reed’s Computer User Services. By this time last year, there was only one.

“This year is lookin’ like it’s gonna be a doozy,” he said in a presentation to Senate at last week’s meeting.

When students share files on campus, CUS receives complaints from music distributers, who can only tell that files is being shared from Reed, and not which student is responsible. In the first infringement, students lose internet access for five days. In the second instance, a letter is written to Dean of Student Services Mike Brody, and an honor case may be undertaken. If students deny infringement, college computer information that would prove or disprove whether their computer was responsible for illegal sharing becomes subject to subpoena. Six-figure fines have resulted from lawsuits in cases of people sharing only a few songs, says Palomino. Though downloading files is illegal as well, only uploaders have been pursued so far, says Palomino. Not that he’s endorsing

Reedies who illegally upload and download files off campus do not receive the same benefits. “You’re actually more protected here,” said Palomino.

In other Senate news, a food-composting program will be piloted in the RCAs and Birchwoods. The SU’s bong loft will have chalkboards to fill the recently painted-over wall space, though Senator Ari Galper said, “There’s always the option of painting over it with a mural.” The policy against keeping belongings in thesis desks will be reexamined, and the library may be getting standing desks and water fountains.

The group Truck Yeah, which proposed to buy a pickup truck rentable by students with Student Body funds, got no funding due to legal complications. Canyon Day, Brewer’s Guild, and the breakdancing competition all received all the money they requested, and Chunk got almost all they asked to fund welding education.

Erica Edmondson was appointed SIN webmaster and Larisa Owechko was appointed J-Board secretary. Applications are being solicited for Paideia Czars and for Elections Czars for a special election for The Quest. Currently, we’re publishing from a zone of ambiguous authority because we fell six votes short of quorum last semester, possibly because we were lumped in with the vanity positions.

And in Senate’s most shocking news, a motion to promote Associate Dean of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Jyl Shaffer from “sassy” to “swag” was tabled. That means she’s not officially swag. She reported receiving 21 applications for only 3 positions, but still promised to “step up my game.” That sounds pretty swag to me, so I can only assume Senate’s qualms were based in the ambiguous adjectival status of the word “swag.” I’ll say here that while I am a total prescriptivist about grammar (it’s kind of my job to be), I am officially putting my personal endorsement on “swag” being an adjective. However, the other editors object to an official editorial endorsement. “’Swag’ is the worst thing to happen to the English language,” says Editor Julia Selker.

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