Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

Party With Fees: A Lighthearted Rant

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Would you like $250 $140? Right now? Free and clear? How about every quarter? Yeah, so would I. However, unlike most random hypothetical questions, I can actually deliver on this one. $250 $140 of your tuition per quarter automatically goes to special fees. However, saying as you don’t ever actively consent to this distribution of funds to various student groups, the ASSU would be in something of a legal snafu if they didn’t give you the option of taking the money back at some point. So they do. For the first two weeks of every quarter, you have the option of waiving the money you paid for special fees. It’s really that simple. You can get a refund for $250 $140 worth of special fees every quarter. The solitary attached string? The leadership of groups that get special fees are allowed to request a list of students who waived their fees and may bar those students from using their services. But that’s seriously it. Now some food for thought: what could I buy with the $750 $420 a year that I currently spend on special fees? Here’s my short list:

 – A boatload of Philz coffee

Seven Four trips skydiving

– One of those giant stuffed trees from the bookstore

– A romantic weekend in Tahoe

– My weight in marshmallows

– *Part of* The mens water polo team

– Parking for my entire Stanford career ~two years

– A flight to somewhere very far away

30 17 cases of Two Buck Chuck

– Half an Ochem textbook

– An iPhone 17

3 2+ Dance Marathon pledges

– The worlds most hipster bike

Someone to slap me when I procrastinate (could definitely use one of those right about now…)

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PAC-12 Network: Plus or Minus?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

It is my first real week of summer.  And yes, I am already bored.  My general routine for curing boredom involves 1) indulging in crappy TV 2) attempting to repair my sleep debt (impossible) and 3) keeping up with my sports teams like no one’s business.  Being that I’m not emotionally invested in basketball (read: I’ll-watch-it-but-eh), that leaves me Giant’s baseball and my football teams, the Niners and of course our Stanford football team.

Amidst my avid googling, I came across this SF Chronicle article.  It notes that our first football game of the season (at home v. San Jose State) has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 1st to the night before at 7pm.  That is right, ladies and gents, we will have a Friday season opener.  While this may not be that significant in and of itself, I think it gives us Stanford fans something to think about.

While Friday home opener is a little disappointing, the change itself is not the most significant part of the story, especially since not many students will be able to attend anyway (you can count me there).  It leaves me to question, how many more times/dates will be switched on us to satisfy the PAC-12 Network?  Looking at other team’s schedules, we aren’t the only ones to have Friday night games (which I’m not that opposed to. High school anyone?), but some teams even have Thursday games scheduled.

With late Thursday classes and sections, I wonder, if we do have a home game yanked to a Thursday, how many people will we lose?  How many season ticket holders won’t go because of work early the next morning? How many students will have a mandatory attendance section?

Our home game schedule already sucks, as noted by Kabir earlier this year (article here).  We have only three home games while school is in session.  USC happens before school starts.  Big Game was moved to… OCTOBER.  While I may be a tad (okay, REALLY) emotional about this since it will be my last football season as an undergrad, I still feel like any Stanford undergrad who attends home games probably feels like they got cheated…just a little bit.

The upswing to all of this, of course, is that every PAC-12 football game will be televised nation-wide, which is great for revenues and visibility and especially great for Stanford alums that live out of area.  This is an amazing perk and will be great for the conference and for our school.  I am personally hoping for a full season of hard-hitting football in which last year’s middling PAC-12 contenders really step up, and we give SEC fans something to think about.

Still is the weird schedule worth the perks?  I, for one, am on the fence.  Let me know what y’all think!

Do you think the PAC-12 Network brings more good than bad?

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Dr. Pepper TEN…It’s A Boys Only Club

Monday, November 7th, 2011

So I was watching the USC game last week, and a Dr. Pepper ad popped up on the television.  Advertising Dr. Pepper TEN, a new ten calorie drink made with real sugar, the ad sought to make the diet drink “macho.”  The ad is a gold mine for quotes edging on sexist, proclaiming “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”  and ending with “Dr. Pepper TEN…it’s not for women.” Accompanying the ad is a reworked Facebook page, which allows visitors to take a quiz to see if they are man enough for Dr. Pepper TEN.

Here is the ad:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

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How Stanford is Redefining Cool

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The $2.8 billion tank top? High-grossing Avatar brought Stanford's "cool cachet" to the silver screen.

Stanford has pretty impressive street cred.

I started to catch on to this when I watched Avatar for the first time.  James Cameron’s carefully-crafted CGI masterpiece may be one of the most meticulously constructed cinematic works of our generation.  Which is why I was so surprised to encounter a truly glaring instance of product placement: Sigourney Weaver‘s avatar wears a bright red Stanford tank top.

It’s easy to write this off as clever marketing (though the University was in no way involved) or simply an homage to Weaver’s alma mater.  But it’s not actually that simple.  Stanford has unquestionable purchasing power: not just as a highly-valued institution, but as a cultural symbol of an almost paradoxical confluence of brainpower and, well, coolness.

In this instance, Stanford is identified with the environmentally-conscious “good scientist,” with a confident and powerful female protagonist who is literally trying to save her world.  To those familiar with the Farm today, these are certainly resonant themes on campus which validate our claim to  “coolness.”

But Avatar is only the tip of the iceberg….  (Get it?  James Cameron directed Titanic….)

The Ubiquitous Stanford T-Shirt:

Just like Weezer, we're doin' things our own way and never giving up.

Primed by the Avatar incident, suddenly I was seeing Stanford T-shirts everywhere.  This is almost no surprise, as few universities have a T-shirt design as consistent and uniquely identifiable as ours.  But the numbers are staggering: there are 828,000 Google hits for “Stanford T-shirt” and only 269,000 for Harvard and 694,000 for Princeton.  Google doesn’t lie.

The cultural icon: The Blues Brothers shows how the Stanford T-shirt's cool power spans generations.

The unifying theme I noticed was the context in which the shirts appeared: Stanford T-shirt wearers are cool.  In the case of Sigourney Weaver, it’s a badass scientist working with state-of-the-art technology to revolutionize the way we interact with the world.  In The Blues Brothers, Mr. Stanford Shirt and his fellow concert attendees are, by and large, a bunch of young, fun-loving twenty-somethings rocking out for charity.  (Dance Marathon, anyone?)  The presence of the Stanford T-shirt in Weezer’s “Troublemaker” music video is yet another perfect distillation of Stanford’s pop culture power.  In the video, Weezer and their fans seek to break numerous world records, pushing the boundaries of the possible and having a blast while doing it – a parallel to Stanford’s prominence as a research institution.  On a more obvious level, the lyrics of “Troublemaker” can be seen as an analogy to the Stanford entrepreneurial attitude.  As the bold West Coast foil to the traditionally-grounded Ivies, we are indeed “doin’ things [our] own way and never giving up.”  You’re right, Rivers Cuomo.  “There isn’t anybody else exactly quite like [Stanford].”

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What Do You Think: Andrew Luck Returning to Finish His Degree

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Andrew Luck, Stanford quarterback/Heisman runner-up/Orange Bowl MVP, has chosen to put off the NFL for another year to stay at Stanford and finish his degree in architectural design. If he were to go, he would have been the presumptive number 1 choice, probably earning more than $50 million guaranteed right away.

What do you think?

Is Andrew Luck's Decision to Stay at Stanford the Right One?

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Our Athletes Are Better Than Yours

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Our athletes have won more Director’s Cups than any other school in the nation.  There, I said it.  Article done, right?  But I feel like that’s a cop-out – everyone knows we have the number one athletics program in NCAA Division I.  What’s actually newsworthy, what actually matters, is that our athletes are quantitatively and qualitatively the best in the nation.  Here’s why.

For Andrew Luck, luck's got nothing to do with it.

Our athletes are held to a higher academic standard than those at other schools.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said it best: “We’re looking not for student athletes but scholar-athletes. No other school can carry this banner.”

Take Andrew Luck, for example.  Our star quarterback, who by all fair comparisons was robbed of the Heisman Trophy, was his high school valedictorian and is majoring in architectural design.  There’s no doubt, as Fox Sports put it, that Andrew “has the smarts to go with the impeccable athletic skills.”  Indeed, according to teammate Doug Baldwin, “The only thing Andrew can’t do very well is sing.”  Luck‘s likely to be the #1 NFL draft pick and, according to the Mercury News, “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”  Our beloved scholar-athlete seems like a pretty stark contrast to this year’s Heisman winner Cam Newton and the NCAA controversy surrounding his dubious recruitment.

Yeah, our athletes cure diseases. No big deal.

Our athletes are changing the world.

Chemical engineer Jake Vandermeer is a busy guy.  A United States Presidential Scholar and former principal cellist for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, Jake walked on to our #1 men’s volleyball team last year.  Just this September, Jake joined the team at the White House celebration of the 2009-10 NCAA championship teams.  But what really makes Jake stand out is how he’s radically improving the lives of others.  This summer he helped develop a potential cure for Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – a crippling disease that affects about 1,200 children a year.  That’s really something to cheer about.

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TUSB Photo Contest Winners – Vote!

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Congratulations to Joshua W., the staff-selected winner of TUSB’s Procrastination Nation photo contest! Joshua is a freshman who enjoys praising God and dabbles in online shopping, late-night eating, and singing obnoxiously. His best tip for procrastination: do something active! He snapped this photo on the roof of Durand while putting off writing a PWR paper.

Because we got so many fantastic submissions, we had a little trouble deciding on a second winner. That’s where you come in. Take a look at the photos below and vote for your favorite! There’s still one last Amazon gift card at stake.

Napping on a tree branch

Aiming a water gun threateningly

Playing around with an iPhone

Which photo deserves to win?

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The Manufactured Mob Over Football Seats

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

If you’re a Stanford student, you probably received an email a few days ago and another last night about getting your ticket for the Stanford-USC football game on October 9th. And you probably even got a few confused emails over mailing lists trying to figure out what to do. Given our newfound enthusiasm for football and the lack of seating at the Wake Forest game, imagine how we might feel if told that there are ONLY 4500 tickets to be given out in first-come first-serve fashion.

You guessed it: unnecessary panic. I, apparently like many others, rolled out an hour earlier than I would normally to ensure that I got my ticket, only to be thwarted by a waiting page as the servers were unable to deal with our ferocity. Being the selfish person I am, I refreshed far more often than the 1 minute timer, likely exacerbating the problem, but netting me a ticket in less than 5 minutes, whereas other mentioned waiting for over a half-hour only to hit a message that the server was down for maintenance. And later, to discover that there wasn’t even close to a shortage allowing stragglers as late as the afternoon (and perhaps still as I write) to get tickets.

So to recap the things that went wrong, students panicked, servers went down, some think the situation is being mishandled, and getting through the gates is now more complicated. But anyways, where did you fall in this whole situation? Poll below and comments below that.

Do you have your ticket for the Stanford-USC football game?

  • Yes, but I didn't go out of my way for it. (45%, 37 Votes)
  • Woke up early just to be sure! (22%, 18 Votes)
  • No, there are no more left! (20%, 16 Votes)
  • No, and I don't want one. (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Thanks for reminding me! Just got it. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 82

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Cream Cheese or Dinosaurs?

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Choose wisely.

(Edit: For those of you reading TUSB by feed, click through to see the poll)

Cream Cheese or Dinosaurs?

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