Archive for September 2009

Planting a Liberty Tree

September 29, 2009

treeWe planted a “liberty tree” on campus today.

The tree symbolically connects Elon to the origins of the American Revolution and to the present-day commitment to the concept of individual liberty.

The first “liberty tree” was a famous elm that stood near Boston Common in the days before the American Revolution. Men calling themselves the Sons of Liberty gathered under the large elm to plot the growing resistance to the rule of England over the American colonies. In the years leading up to the war, the British made the tree an object of ridicule and, in an act of spite in 1775, cut down the tree and used it for firewood.

In battles during the American Revolution, flags bearing a representation of the “liberty tree” were a common sight. In the years that followed, almost every American town designated a “liberty tree” as a living symbol of popular support for individual liberty.

As part of “Celebrate the First Amendment” day sponsored by the School of Communications, the university let us plant a “liberty tree” on the west side of Moseley Student Center. When we arrived at the site at 4 p.m., the elm was in place with six golden shovels ready for moving the dirt. Students and faculty (that’s me in the light suit) took turns shoveling soil around the elm’s base.

The special day at Elon was made possible by a Liberty Tree Initiative grant. The day included a panel that featured the director of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and First Amendment boards set up across campus to encourage students to exercise free speech.



Celebrating the Web

September 23, 2009

Just as Americans are dependent on roads for transportation and on electricity for power, the idea behind OneWebDay is that we similarly are dependent on the World Wide Web for information.

This means it’s crucial to preserve open access to the Web for all.

At Elon, OneWebDay activities were led by the Imagining the Internet Center in the School of Communications and by students in the school’s M.A. in Interactive Media program.

During College Coffee (shown in the video above), students conducted a survey and then revealed the answers:

When was the World Wide Web first proposed?  Answer: 1990

What percent of the world’s population has internet access?  Answer: 25%

What percentage of North Carolina residents have internet access in their homes?  Answer: 61%

A Perception of Twitter

September 14, 2009
humorous visual forwarded by a friend who knows I have a Twitter account

humorous visual forwarded by a friend who knows I have a Twitter account

School Portrait, 2009

September 7, 2009

Each year, the School of Communications faculty and staff gather for an annual photo.

In the year 2000 when the School was founded, the photo contained 12 faces.

Nine years later, the School of Communications has expanded to 54 faculty and staff members. Of course, it’s hard to get everyone’s schedules to fit a group-photo time. This one shows 46 of us.

What a great group. The collegiality meter is off the chart, and students are continually praising the quality and dedication of the faculty and staff.