Women & politics discussedA panel discussion called “Women in Politics” was held in Dewey 1-101 on March 30. The panel addressed issues ranging from why female representatives remain scarce in government to the unique challenges and expectations that women face when they are elected.Members included Director of the Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership Nora Bredes, Political Science Professors Richard Niemi and Valeria Sinclair-Chapman and Democratic Party Chair for Monroe County Molly Clifford. Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Keyser served as moderator.Clifford blamed the lack of female representation in the government on the difficulty of finding qualified women willing to run. “In our society, women still take up the bulk of child rearing,” she said. “Many feel that their first responsibility is for a child’s life, and also for business life. For many, politics is not a consideration.” On the other hand, once women overcome these inhibitions and “take the plunge” into politics, they often make better candidates, according to Clifford.As to their conduct as legislators, Sinclair-Chapman observed that “woman representatives’ actions are similar to male representatives.” Still, they may feel more motivated to advocate gender-related issues such as equal pay for women.Niemi said that, in contrast to their male counterparts, woman often exhibit “interaction, policy, office and staff differences.” Sinclair-Chapman observed that “women who take on [roles] of men in politics are often disparaged.” Niemi was optimistic that gender is becoming a moot point in politics today, although the process of change is slow. Other panelists were not so sure about Niemi’s assertion, and cautioned that old prejudices die hard.

Junior wins prestigious Truman ScholarshipJunior Jesse Bailey was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, providing him with $26,000 for graduate studies. He is one of only 77 students, from a pool of 609 candidates, nationwide to receive the highly competitive award. Established in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or other public service fields. Bailey is majoring in political science, African and African American Studies and history. Currently, he is studying abroad in London, as an intern in the House of Commons. He has been given the Eli and Mildred Sokol Prize for outstanding sophomore male leadership and the Alice DeSimone Student Life Award.Last summer, Bailey worked with government agencies and non-profit groups to increase knowledge and awareness of urban issues. Bailey will pursue a joint graduate degree in law, community and regional planning.

Senate establishes limit to speaker fundsThe Senate voted to establish a maximum of $5,000 of Students’ Association funds that can be allocated for any speaker that is not arranged through or in conjunction with the Outside Speakers Committee.The Students’ Association Appropriations Committee recommended the cap as a result of continued budget negotiations for next year. “We wanted to put some control constraints on those programs in these times of fiscal need. Because OSC has the most experience with speakers we will rely on their expertise,” SAAC Senator and freshman James Alexander said.Groups bringing a speaker costing more than $5,000 to campus will still be able to if they work in conjunction with OSC. The debate was contentious, but in the end the motion passed with eight senators supporting it, seven against it and two abstaining.Reporting by Jeff Keesing, Sandeep Madhur and Ben Heaton.

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