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Lafalum

Lafayette Email highlights trip to North Korea

In an email sent to alumni called "From the Hill." the college highlights an article from the Washington Post about a current UVA student detained by the North Koreans. In the article, it sites a similar trip organized by a Lafayette professor as a student trip in 2011.
This was one of the dumbest and most reckless activity  ever organized by the school. The trip was in the same year that the North Koreans shelled a South Korean island and killed several people. It was one year before the the current leader's father died causing numerous executions before assuming power. I remember Weiss citing this as a great coup for the school as we were the only school in the country that had done this.
There was a reason for the state department to warn US citizens against traveling to this country which has no US embassy and for US colleges not doing this..
Wisely and happily the trip has not been repeated. I have no idea why the college chose to highlight this in an alumni magazine email.
BPard

There is something positive to be said about being willing to go where nobody else is willing to go, to push far beyond the boundaries of conventional thinking, and shake up the status quo. I like that the College did such a thing.

College students today are extremely sheltered, and if some Lafayette students are willing to take such risks (assuming they were informed of the dangers of North Korea, which from contemporary accounts of the trip, they were), then bully for them.

I probably would not have gone on the trip, but then I chose not to enlist or seek a commission either.
Lafalum

BPard wrote:
There is something positive to be said about being willing to go where nobody else is willing to go, to push far beyond the boundaries of conventional thinking, and shake up the status quo. I like that the College did such a thing.

College students today are extremely sheltered, and if some Lafayette students are willing to take such risks (assuming they were informed of the dangers of North Korea, which from contemporary accounts of the trip, they were), then bully for them.

I probably would not have gone on the trip, but then I chose not to enlist or seek a commission either.


If they want to go on their own fine, but having the college sponsor,  and give credit (1) for the trip puts the institution, not just the students at risk and there were substantial risks. Not smart. It's one thing if we had an embassy. but the state department warned against it.
Should the college sponsor a trip to Raqqa to check out ISIS governance? Same applies.

At best it was an example of academic naiveté.
SixtyEighter

Trip to North Korea sounds like a tribute to Weiss's ambition.
BPard

There are also State Dept warnings against going to Israel and Mexico. That does not mean we should stop all trips to Israel and Mexico.

I know people who traveled to Cuba years ago despite the US not having an embassy there. I wouldn't object to a professor leading a trip to Cuba either.

Active war zones like Raqqa are a different matter. Although the US was and is hostile with NK, I don't think there was active armed conflict where the trip took place in NK.
BPard

The WaPo article talks about Lafayette then mentions Harvard and Columbia undergrads traveling to NK, with the latter as an institution sponsored research program.

We'll probably agree to disagree as to whether that inclusion is a good or not.
ed65

If a kid wants to go to North Korea and is aware of the risks, what is the problem.  The College has insurance to cover it if it gets sued.

Students are naturally adventurous and  curious.  Hopefully, when they see the misery in a country like North Korea, they will appreciate how good life is here in the U.S.
Lafalum

The student who took a poster in North Korea was just sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. I still think the sponsoring of a trip to North Korea ( for credit) was reckless and irresponsible by the previous administration. Several months previous to the trip North Korea shelled a South Korean island killing several people. There have to be adults in the room, in this case they were MIA.
Lafalum

The trip that Mckelvy house was to take to Turkey was canceled thank God. The bomb attack that occurred in Instanbul was at a shopping area one block from the hotel they were to stay at. Well done by the administration or whomever intervened. Sometimes it takes an adult.....
ed65

Having traveled to lots of third world countries and to some pretty dangerous ones, I'm glad I'm no longer on the international circuit.  The rise of Islamic extremism and suicide bombers has exacerbated my fear of terrorism.  I suspect I'm not alone in feeling that way.
Lafalum

Like you I have traveled in the third world and Russia during the change in government. In many of the places my firm paid for a body guard,especially in the middle east. It is not an area for amateurs!!
BPard

I would not (and did not) avoid NYC after 9/11 or Boston after the Marathon Bombing.

I would've felt the same away about London, Madrid, Paris, and Brussels but didn't have the need/opportunity to travel there at those times.  

The McKelvy trip to Istanbul was more misguided because it would've been one-off use of several year old "found money" than because the trip destination (which is also a McKelvy scholar's home) suffered a terrorist attack.

Teaching students to stay at home and cower in fear is not a lesson I support teaching. Especially if you feel this way about Istanbul but not the other cities listed above. IIRC, several posters here were fired up about running in the next Boston marathon after the bombing.

https://www.lafayettestudentnews....in-istanbul-cancels-mckelvy-trip/
NewXbo

So where are you going this summer and how many students are you taking with you? Are their parents required to sign off?
Lafalum

BPard wrote:
I would not (and did not) avoid NYC after 9/11 or Boston after the Marathon Bombing.

I would've felt the same away about London, Madrid, Paris, and Brussels but didn't have the need/opportunity to travel there at those times.  

The McKelvy trip to Istanbul was more misguided because it would've been one-off use of several year old "found money" than because the trip destination (which is also a McKelvy scholar's home) suffered a terrorist attack.

Teaching students to stay at home and cower in fear is not a lesson I support teaching. Especially if you feel this way about Istanbul but not the other cities listed above. IIRC, several posters here were fired up about running in the next Boston marathon after the bombing.


https://www.lafayettestudentnews....in-istanbul-cancels-mckelvy-trip/


Surely you must recognize the difference between Boston and Istanbul. The area that was bombed was one block away from where our students were going to be staying. Venice would have been a better choice. Students are not political pawns to make a statement. I have traveled the area (middle east) for business as a single traveler. In some areas I had a body guard. The area is far too volatile for an identifiable group of american students.

My daughter was in Tanzania for nearly year and saw a dozen Lafayette students pass  through her area during that time. After she left, a group came down from Kenya and killed  ( beheaded) young children in a orphanage she and our students would have worked with. The older ones were kidnaped.
But we can agree to disagree.
BPard

Lafalum wrote:
Surely you must recognize the difference between Boston and Istanbul. The area that was bombed was one block away from where our students were going to be staying. Venice would have been a better choice. Students are not political pawns to make a statement. I have traveled the area (middle east) for business as a single traveler. In some areas I had a body guard. The area is far too volatile for an identifiable group of american students.

My daughter was in Bogomayo, Tanzania for nearly year and saw a dozen Lafayette students pass through during that time. After she left a group came down from Kenya and killed  ( beheaded) young children in a orphanage she and our students would have worked with. The older ones were kidnaped.
But we can agree to disagree.
I don't believe the trip was planned to use students to make a political statement; I do believe students chose Instanbul over Venice in part because it is the home of one of the McKelvy scholars. In either location, the trip was for their own learning, development, and enrichment. I don't think taking the trip as planned would've been making a political statement.

You also need a bodyguard and kidnapping/ransom insurance to travel to non-resort Mexico. That doesn't mean the country should be off limits to study abroad. And it also doesn't mean that today's students aren't going to be traveling to said dangerous places post-graduation for their own careers.

So agree to disagree. But yes, I do know people who avoided Boston (and other cities) immediately after their respective bombings. Today's students are the first generation to grow up entirely in a post-9/11 world.

Quote:
So where are you going this summer and how many students are you taking with you? Are their parents required to sign off?
Sorry, I don't get the summers off so no trips and no students coming with. However, I do not believe the parents of 18-22 young men and young women should be asked, let alone required, to sign off on the decisions their sons and daughters make. Their sons and daughters are adults, not children who still need a permission slip signed for the class field trip. If a grown man or woman decides to take a fully funded study abroad spring break lead by a professor instead of going on a weeklong bender somewhere tropical, that is that person's decision. Parental permission not required, in either case. Parents sign off? Please.
NewXbo

So you haven't traveled abroad at all?
BPard

NewXbo wrote:
So you haven't traveled abroad at all?
Yes, I have and recommend it to all students I interview for Lafayette. Lafayette's study abroad program is first rate and every student should take advantage of it. Especially those raised in viewpoints like yours that Mommy and Daddy need to give permission before young men and young women make decisions for themselves as adults instead of children whose parents need to sign off on permission slips.

I do not say "you should study abroad, but make sure your mommy and daddy sign off first!" like you do.
Lost Again

Quote:
I do not say "you should study abroad, but make sure your mommy and daddy sign off first!" like you do.


Maybe not.  But if I'm paying for it, I'm certainly going to sign off on it!
Lafalum

Lost Again wrote:
Quote:
I do not say "you should study abroad, but make sure your mommy and daddy sign off first!" like you do.


Maybe not.  But if I'm paying for it, I'm certainly going to sign off on it!


Yes the point is as long as Mom and Dad are paying, Janey or James are not independent adults. As long as I write checks to the college I will resist subsidizing irresponsibility.
BPard

Lost Again wrote:
Quote:
I do not say "you should study abroad, but make sure your mommy and daddy sign off first!" like you do.


Maybe not.  But if I'm paying for it, I'm certainly going to sign off on it!
This was a McKelvy funded trip. Not paid for by the Bank of Mom & Dad.

Quote:
As long as I write checks to the college I will resist subsidizing irresponsibility.
And yet...you subsidize athletics which the scoreboard/record shows as a responsible use of funds? Laughing Sorry...couldn't resist   Evil or Very Mad
Lafalum

BPard wrote:
Lost Again wrote:
Quote:
I do not say "you should study abroad, but make sure your mommy and daddy sign off first!" like you do.


Maybe not.  But if I'm paying for it, I'm certainly going to sign off on it!
This was a McKelvy funded trip. Not paid for by the Bank of Mom & Dad.

Quote:
As long as I write checks to the college I will resist subsidizing irresponsibility.
And yet...you subsidize athletics which the scoreboard/record shows as a responsible use of funds? Laughing Sorry...couldn't resist   Evil or Very Mad


And McKelvy gets their funds from where?? If we can't manage our athletic program better, I am not throwing my money down a black hole and that position is well known!!
That, by the way goes beyond athletics. My checks are not a tax payments, I do have a choice!! That has been heard at Markle by those there!!!
BPard

Lafalum wrote:
And McKelvy gets there funds from where??
That's the $40,000 question and the real story here IMO. McKelvy didn't even know they had $40,000 to spend until a bean counter asked the faculty adviser why McKelvy hadn't spent the money in that account for years. Nobody knows where the funds came from! Only in higher ed...
Lafalum

BPard wrote:
Lafalum wrote:
And McKelvy gets there funds from where??
That's the $40,000 question and the real story here IMO. McKelvy didn't even know they had $40,000 to spend until a bean counter asked the faculty adviser why McKelvy hadn't spent the money in that account for years. Nobody knows where the funds came from! Only in higher ed...


About 12 years ago they found 300,000 dollars I believe in an account at Lafayette Trust. The school newspaper opened a separate account there where all advertising money was deposited, nothing was ever drawn out while the school provided operating expenses. All the people that opened the account including the faculty advisor were gone when they discovered the money. I suppose since there was no activity it was about to be escheated to the state and the bank wondered what was up.

As to Mckelvy, we can assume the 40k comes from the college ( you,me,parents etc), probably not from bake sales!!

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