On Monday night, a group of students, faculty, and staff gathered together to enjoy a birthday dinner in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life.

The event was organized by members of the President’s Advisory Council for Diversity. The head of the Center for Diversity, Dr. Luanne Tilstra, made the introductory comments. The dinner was centered on a common goal of sharing stories. “Facts explain us, but a story will save us… true stories fill the spaces that time and distance put between us,” she said. “We celebrate MLK Day because it reminds us not only how far we have come, but how far we still have left to go, and stories will fill the gaps that develop when we focus on our differences.”
During the dinner, four stories were told by members of the RHIT community.
First, Angelica Cox, a Rose-Hulman sophomore, told her story in between a recitation of Terre Haute poet Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata.” Once she decided to take advanced classes during her secondary schooling, Cox recalled “I would be lucky if I saw one or two other black people besides myself. It upset me, that difference.” Further pondering her situation, Cox ended her story by considering where she would be without the work of those like King, “I would not be here at Rose-Hulman getting an education. People would not have believed that I had a right to be here.”

CSSE professor Dr. Nadine Shillingford spoke next. Raised on the small island of Dominica, Shillingford told the story of her long road to obtaining a Ph.D. in Computer Science and the cultural barriers she had to cross. “Diversity is not limited to just race,” she said, as she talked about differences in culture and ethnicity can also place a role. She challenged everyone in the room to “take the opportunity to shatter shallow stereotypes and unleash the best in all of us.”
Thirdly, ECE professor Dr. Carlotta Berry spoke about her journey toward a Ph.D., highlighting the value she continues to find in her education. “Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” Berry said about her journey. “Create more of me, and make engineering education look like the world.”
The final story and closing remarks were given by Associate Director of Admissions and Multicultural Recruitment Dexter Jordan. He gave a trilogy of stories revealing the prevalence of racism still today. On the matter, Jordan cautioned everyone to be aware of all situations, stating that, “at the most unexpected time, racism and prejudice can rear its ugly head. He spoke about King’s work in breaking the barriers between people, quoting King when he said “I cannot be everything I can be until you can be everything you can be.”
Jordan closed the dinner, but it did not end the celebration of King and the furthering of his mission. Events to remind campus of King’s message continued throughout the week.

"[Everyone] is very protective of what Rose is... and of what makes Rose Rose." - Kristen Loyd, Assistant Dean of Student Services

Sentiments like Loyd's are pervasive among the committee of faculty, students, and staff that are currently investigating a change in student enrollment at Rose-Hulman. That committee, formed by Jim Goecker, Vice President for Enrollment Management, is investigating what a change in the Hulbert-era 2000 student cap would entail. In particular, the committee is studying the physical, the economical, and the intangible concerns that would be affected by an increase or decrease in the student enrollment at Rose-Hulman.

Whether the current 2000 student enrollment cap is lowered, increased, or stays the same, the committee wants to "lay out clearly for the [Rose] community: here's what would happen and here's what we would need," said Christine Buckley, Associate Professor of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering. That outlay will eventually take the form of a final report to the Board of Trustees, which will make the final decision. According to Goecker, the committee is currently attempting to deliver that report by May of this year; however, that date is subject to change if more time is needed.

Rose, like many engineering institutions of similar cailber, saw larger-than-average enrollment for the Class of 2016; at Rose, this has contributed to a degree of overcrowding. Loyd points out that the changes caused by this increased enrollment are not necessarily indicative of the changes that will result from a planned, strategic change in size. Likewise, Buckley notes that some of the most prominent effects of overcrowding are largely physical in nature. With strategy and planning, it is "practical and doable" to change the physical size of Rose-Hulman to accomodate a change in student enrollment. Loyd agreed, saying that "you can always overcome logistics."

"If values come from the top... [and] everyone's purpose is the same; that's what generates the family atmosphere." - Christine Buckley

A more challenging part of the committee's investigation has been the "intangibles" - the family atmosphere and culture that were highlighted by many of the student responses to a survey sent out by Kylie McCollum, Sophomore Class President and committee member. When asked about that survey, Goecker indicated that many of the survey responses heavily emphasized the importance of small class sizes, while relatively few responses directly connected student enrollment with the family atmosphere. However, some students continue to feel that the family atmosphere would be at risk if Rose were to increase enrollment.

Two particular students who felt this way, junior Chemistry major Alex Bledsoe and senior Mechanical and Electrical Engineering major Katy Dimon, decided that a broader student survey was necessary to gauge how Rose's culture would be impacted by a change in the student cap. That survey concluded last Friday with almost 1000 responses. The pair has not yet fully examined the results of the survey, but plans to aggregate and assess the responses and deliver the results of that assessment to the committee. 

"I'm pleased to see more students interested in a Rose-Hulman education... but you couldn't give the personal attention that we give if we were much larger." Cary Laxer, longtime faculty member and Head of the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department

The personal attention that Laxer describes has become one of the core issues the committee is discussing, according to Loyd. Some members of the Rose community, including many respondents to the student surveys, strongly believe that Rose will simply not be Rose once it passes a certain number of enrolled students; others feel that Rose has room to grow as long as maintaining the culture is foremost in mind when planning that growth. However, all involved parties seem to agree that Rose-Hulman's culture - what makes Rose Rose - is of the utmost importance to the institute.

On Monday night, a group of students, faculty, and staff gathered together to enjoy a birthday dinner in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life.

The event was organized by members of the President’s Advisory Council for Diversity. The head of the Center for Diversity, Dr. Luanne Tilstra, made the introductory comments. The dinner was centered on a common goal of sharing stories. “Facts explain us, but a story will save us… true stories fill the spaces that time and distance put between us,” she said. "We celebrate MLK Day because it reminds us not only how far we have come, but how far we still have left to go, and stories will fill the gaps that develop when we focus on our differences."

During the dinner, four stories were told by members of the RHIT community.

First, Angelica Cox, a Rose-Hulman sophomore, told her story in between a recitation of Terre Haute poet Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata.” Once she decided to take advanced classes during her secondary schooling, Cox recalled “I would be lucky if I saw one or two other black people besides myself. It upset me, that difference.” Further pondering her situation, Cox ended her story by considering where she would be without the work of those like King, “I would not be here at Rose-Hulman getting an education. People would not have believed that I had a right to be here.”

CSSE professor Dr. Nadine Shillingford spoke next. Raised on the small island of Dominica, Shillingford told the story of her long road to obtaining a Ph.D. in Computer Science and the cultural barriers she had to cross. “Diversity is not limited to just race,” she said, as she talked about differences in culture and ethnicity can also place a role. She challenged everyone in the room to “take the opportunity to shatter shallow stereotypes and unleash the best in all of us.”

Thirdly, ECE professor Dr. Carlotta Berry spoke about her journey toward a Ph.D., highlighting the value she continues to find in her education. “Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible," Berry said about her journey. "Create more of me, and make engineering education look like the world.”

The final story and closing remarks were given by Associate Director of Admissions and Multicultural Recruitment Dexter Jordan. He gave a trilogy of stories revealing the prevalence of racism still today. On the matter, Jordan cautioned everyone to be aware of all situations, stating that, “at the most unexpected time, racism and prejudice can rear its ugly head. He spoke about King’s work in breaking the barriers between people, quoting King when he said “I cannot be everything I can be until you can be everything you can be.”

Jordan closed the dinner, but it did not end the celebration of King and the furthering of his mission. Events to remind campus of King’s message continued throughout the week.

Three wounded in Texas college shooting

Though still under investigation by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, police reported that three individuals had been injured in Tuesday’s shooting at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. The shooting reportedly began following an argument between two men, at least one of whom was armed. The two men were wounded by gunfire and were being detained in a local hospital. 22-year-old Carlton Berry was identified as the shooter in the incident and has been charged with aggravated assault after also wounding a maintenance worker who remains in stable condition, with treatment, after being struck in the leg. Though not yet determined to be a direct victim of the shooting, a female student was treated in a local hospital after suffering a heart attack at or near the scene of the incident. The campus reopened Wednesday while investigation continued.

Notre Dame linebacker Te’o admits to lying about hoax

For the second time in the past week, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o has publicly admitted to lying about the hoax involving the death of his fake girlfriend. Te’o claimed in an interview on Thursday with Katie Couric that while he believed his proposed girlfriend Lennay Kekua had died as the result of leukemia complications following a car accident, he found out in early December that the real Kekua was still alive; Te’o reported he felt he had no choice but to keep the story going. Though the two had never met, Te’o was convinced Kekua was his girlfriend prior to his passing. Her death, which had originally been reported to have occurred the same day as Te’o’s grandmother, was the impetus for an inspirational story the media blew up as Notre Dame made a historic football run last year.

Architect planning to build home using 3D printer

Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars is planning to build his “Landscape House” more than slightly differently than the typical home. Amounting to a cost between $5 million and $6 million, Ruijssenaars wants to print the house using 3-D printing technology. A typical 3-D printer will of course not suffice for the task, but the D-Shape free form printer will be utilized to form sand into a marble-like material comprising the building’s structure. Despite its name, the “Landscape House” will likely not be the home for any family but is designed as a continuous loop structure which a Brazilian art owner is planning to fill with native art. 

There's a lot to be said about "Mass Effect 3" recently. It's been called the best of the series while simultaneously being blamed with one of the worst endings in gaming history. EA and Bioware are doing a lot to make up for the recent drop in marketing with higher quality DLC's, free online classes, and promises of more to come. That's what makes the "Omega Mission" DLC such a disappointment.

What EA and Bioware hoped to achieve with "The Leviathan" and "Omega Mission" was a pullback for fans that were disappointed with the original game storyline. Both focused a lot on the story of the universe, both explaining lost asked questions and putting to rest hundreds of theories. "Leviathan" did just that. "Omega Mission" just leaves more questions than answers.

You start off by contacting the exiled queen of Omega, Aria. She wants you, and only you, to help her fight her way back into the pirate capital of the galaxy. That's a hook, and it works. Believe me with all that you are that fighting side-by-side with someone the game calls a "Biotic Boss" is fun. Aria has some insanely overpowered biotics, like Flare, which fans have started calling Super Warp. Her commentary is even more amazing, probably because it's all deprecating comments from the voice of Trinity.

But that's where the fun ends.

The game depends so heavily on Aria's powers that they don't spend a great deal of time making you fall in love with the rest of the DLC. They introduce a new character, a female Turian named Nyreen, and she basically plays the role of foil to Aria. You get the feeling quickly, and frequently, that she's there just to juxtapose every decision Aria makes. No matter what you do, you are either for Aria or for Nyreen, never yourself. You're being led, but not really allowed to choose.

They introduce a few new enemies as well, but you might as well still be shooting at Banshees and Cerberus Troopers with the way they act. Honestly, this was disappointing to me, considering how I see newer and cooler enemies in the multiplayer, but for some reason, don't even make a cameo here.

"Mass Effect 3: Omega Mission" is an unfortunately disappointing DLC to an already shaky game. There has been a lot of hope, love, hate, and disappointment surrounding the trilogy ending game, but "Omega Mission" doesn't do anything more than just buffer a few hours into it. Without Aria, it would be hard to even call it a proper DLC. This is only worth a look if you're a gamer that gets into the universe to the extreme. Otherwise, it's impermeable.

Rating: 2/5 Elephants.

"Section 8" is a little known Indy Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter (MMOFPS). This is one of my personal favorite computer games and is available pretty cheaply on Steam. In "Section 8, you take the role of a futuristic space marine. The campaign is well-written and fun to play, despite being short. The game instead focuses on its well-developed and varied online game modes. The primary game mode is a series of different protect, assassinate, capture, and defend objectives that forces you to constantly adapt your strategy. The game rewards not only for kills, but also for advancing the team score through other objectives. The game suffers because of its very low player base, but AI intelligence is so well-designed that you'll never be sure if the player that just gunned you down was a computer or a human.

In this fantasy world, all soldiers are equipped with a special suit of armor. This suit, your weapons, and your tools are fairly customizable with the ability to unlock more powerful options as you rank up. Multiplayer in Section 8 has the single best spawn system I have ever seen in a videogame. You pick a spot anywhere on the map and air drop in. You can drop on an enemy's head to kill him, or you can slow your drop early to allow fine control and land on the top of a mountain to achieve that perfect sniping position. As a countermeasure, if you are capturing an enemy base, you can purchase an AA turret with money you've earned from kills to prevent the opposing team from spawning on top of you and your teammates. Jetpacks are standard, but every suit comes with an auto-targetting system you can use once a minute to remove their advantage. It's a nice helper, but doesn't last long enough for it to be a crutch. Sprinting allows you to move fast enough that enemies can't target you, and you can charge right through enemy lines. Just make sure you don't run into a wall and get stopped though, because it requires you to sheath your gun first. You earn money throughout the game which can be spent on vehicles, turrets, and other similar advantages that can give you and your team a leg up.

Overall Section 8 gets an 8/10. Pros: Very well balanced system. Amazing power suit design. Constantly changing combat field. Cons: Low player base. Sprinting can sometimes catch on invisible bumps and get you killed. Short campaign.

In summary: Section 8 is an extremely fun shooter and very cheap purchase. The biggest issue is the low player base, but once you start playing it, others will as well. 

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