I have a conflict. I can’t go. I have a meeting. I have to be with my kids.
Read on to take the poll!
These are the various reason why students, staff, and others can not come to various worthy events at Bucknell. For example, Tuesday nights are the one day without classes at night (lol except Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). So the Bucknell Forum, as well as others, use Tuesday as the ideal night for these events. Guess what? It is also when students schedule their various clubs and organizations including the powerful Greek orgs.
At the same time, I have ahd students avoid 4-5 or 02-5 commitments because of sports practices or games/events.
Meanwhile, no one likes 8 a.m. classes.
And, most weeks there are 2-3 events which I would like to participate in but can’t because they are in the 7-9 at night window when I am with my family.
The schedule rules. It is not sexy. It is not “cool” like smart boards in classrooms, service-learning, or student-led expeditions to tag pythons for an ecology class. However, I suggest that in terms of making life better AND using current resources better (as in more attendance at more events), the schedule is the most over-looked and also most urgent area of reform.
I have imagined various STRUCTURAL changes to the schedule which might help lessen some of these inherent conflicts. Continue reading
An editorial piece in the left-leaning Independent in the UK documents a new plan for security in Baghdad that will have at least 9 of the 30 districts walled off, gated, with US-Iraqi joint forces controlling security within and between them. ID cards will be issued for each resident, and will be necessary to enter or leave. One of the possibilities within these gated communities is organizational integration of military and civiilan activities. The argument is based on a a reading of the new army Field Manual on counter-insurgency which:
While not specifically advocating the “gated communities” campaign, one of its principles is the unification of civilian and military activities, citing “civil operations and revolutionary development support teams” in South Vietnam, assistance to Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq in 1991 and the “provincial reconstruction teams” in Afghanistan –
This is a cross-fuctional integration. Why would it be a good design? If the task needs of these units or teams require the sharing of tacit infomration, if they have to jointly solve problems with uncertain or unknown solutions, if innovation is a priority. What are other reasons to pursue cross-functional structure?
Why would it be a poor design? Will the effectiveness of both be compromised by being joined? The author suggests that it is not as similar organizational designs failed for the French in Algeria and the Americans in Vietnam. I don’t know the specific history of these, but it is easy to see how the desire to be open and engage with people for civilian projects would be a t odds with the security and fighting concerns of the military.
There is a larger question, hard to divorce from our own domestic politics, of whether the larger gated community idea would work. But, it represents a kind of differentiation of civilian authority and space. Would this also decentralize decision-making for military adn police forces? For various insurgent groups?