Co-eds, Beds and Weddings Bells

isle.jpgPillow talk at Antioch: Alumni on how the college brought them together

On the one month anniversary of our wedding, my Antiochian husband (Pete Poiré-Odegard ‘03) and I are attending the Portland meeting of alumni trying to save the great school where we met, fell in love, and got the education that changed our lives in a hundred wonderful ways. One thing that crossed my mind as I contemplated Antioch and its role in our love was a number of beds we shared on campus, on co-op and in our lives as recent graduates. Sorry dear reader, this is not as titillating as it sounds.

I remember sharing a twin bed, and later upgrading to two twin mattresses on the floor in Birch. I remember sharing a bed in a sketchy hotel in the Albuquerque neighbourhood affectionately referred to by locals as “the war zone”. We had arrived to co-op without housing lined up and lived for several weeks in this hotel, which a few months later was closed due to drugs and prostitution. Our first night there we had to carve over the swastika on the head board (it became a smiley face).
We may have caused the financial decline of the school by stealing two mattresses when we graduated. Dreadful sorry everyone. I would give them back now if I could. Finally we got a real bed and real jobs and a real grown up life where we lived somewhere for more than four months at a time. And on June 22, 2007, one day after our fifth anniversary, we got married. My point in this silly anecdote is that the experiences we shared at Antioch, both on campus and off, have strengthened our relationship and reminded us that the possibilities are endless to those willing to take a chance, work hard and struggle for what they believe in. We’ve been through enough that when he says I love you in his sleep, I know he’s talking to me. We haven’t always (ever) had a lot but we’ve always had a lot of love. Reminds me of a school I went to…

Be ashamed to let it die.
Ashley Briscoe ‘03

Are you still with your Antioch sweetheart? Did you meet your soul mate in Yellow Springs? Tell your story to the Editor.

Letters – Beca and Tim on Coop in Santa Fe

Dear Antioch Community,

This is a letter to everyone from Beca and Tim. We have both recently returned from the New Mexico Co-op “Community”. Two of our classmates are being expelled for events that occurred throughout this co-op “community” experience. As we were both present throughout this entire ordeal and had a close connection with both students, we felt we should share what we witnessed, and why we feel these expulsions are unjust. Continue reading Letters – Beca and Tim on Coop in Santa Fe

Steak & Sustainability: Adventures with Steve Lawry in Berea’s Eco Village

Solar PanelBy Paige Clifton Steele

After 187 miles and four separate conversational uses of the word “keen”, Steve and I arrived at the hotel. He parked his 2006 Toyota Prius (tan, with a tastefully colored console that told us how much energy we had consumed on the drive) and we stepped out into the crisp December air. Together, we were there at Berea College of Berea, Kentucky, to investigate the limitless possibilities of sustainable energy. Continue reading Steak & Sustainability: Adventures with Steve Lawry in Berea’s Eco Village

Dude, Where’s my Speaker?

By Kim-Jenna Jurriaans and Preston Kraft

After a completely fruitless three hour trip to Heidelberg College two weeks ago, to hear a speaker who didn’t show up, because, well…. he got the email with the RIGHT date in it, these writers were ecstatic about their second bid to some off campus encounters of the scholastic kind, last Tuesday.

Our very own Hassan Nejad was approached by Clark State to monitor a discussion between students and Dan Senor, former adviser to Paul Bremmer and chief spokesman of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Oh boy, oh boy! This we had to see. Pictures of large auditoriums, filled with well schooled, dressed up youngsters, practicing the universal “I’m extremely interested?-mode, characterized by pensive frowning, appropriate nodding and the occasional hand on the chin, came into mind and inspired us to work on our very own repertoire of serious face expressions for the evening.

“Dress up nicely,? Nejad told his flock in Islam class who were interested in attending the formal event. On the inquiry by one of these writers whether this meant No pajamas, Nejad smiled politely, but whether he really trusted our ability to present a decent fashion sense by the next Tuesday remains uncertain. After all, this is Antioch. Nicely, therefore could consist of any outfit varying from black underwear and rollerblades to multicolored knee socks and “matching? hot pants. But this lot wasn’t one to be ashamed of. One of the attending Antiochians stole the show by swapping his usual green flannel bed wear in for a nonchalantly conservative combo in beige and red, impressing many a passer by on his short stroll from Spalt to the car. Yeah, this flock was dressed and prepared to impress.

We arrived in Springfield were we were greeted by a small Star Wars convention on the ground floor of the theatre that was housing that night’s discussion on “The Iraq war and con sequences for the Middle-East?.

But what was this? Instead of the chic auditorium we were ushered into what seemed to be an empty ballet recital room on the 2nd floor, with a video projector, a white screen and four rows of folding chairs in front of it. Not feeling extremely inspired to work on our plié talents; the slightly surprised Antioch crew went straight for the catering.

Nejad, who entered the room a couple of minutes later looked somewhat startled: “where’s the speaker?? “You are the speaker?, a blond Pi Theta Kappa woman informed him. “Well, you are the speaker to lead the afterwards discussion. The real speaker will appear on that screen over there, at precisely 7.30. You did know that this was a satellite meeting, right.? The expression on the faces of the Antioch flock answered the question, even without verbal output.

“Well, at least they have cookies!? remarked Preston Krafft, who felt that since he already pulled all his charms together for the occasion, he might as well work them on the dessert buffet. At precisely 7.30 the Antioch delegation, the majority of the audience, set straight in their chairs to witness the life broadcast from Dallas, to which several colleges throughout the country were connected.

And what a broadcast it was! In perfect liberal fashion, toes started curling up about 5 minutes into the gig, as Dan, polished, groomed and showing of his impeccable dental work, glossed over centuries of historical perspective to declare the Middle- East Problem as a result of the Arab’s defeat in the race to modernity and an animosity that, according to him has been existing for thousands of years.

“Wow?, Nejad commented as soon as the broadcast went off the air, “this is a hard act to follow. But what an act it was! This guy clearly doesn’t know what he was talking about.? He was asked to lead the discussion because of his knowledge of Islam and the Muslim world and said he was appalled by what he had just seen: “At first I wasn’t really sure about this whole thing, but now I’m actually glad that you all came. You wouldn’t see anything like this at Antioch any time soon.?

One of the Antiochians, in a vain attempt at anger management, was seen leaving the room half way through the session. “There is a reason I don’t watch Fox. But this was worse?, one of the 4th years said on his way back to the car. In a discussion session, strikingly similar to our Monday and Wednesday Islam classes, Hassan did his best to iron out some of the inaccuracies that had just been fired on the audience, in what appeared to be a 45-minute propaganda video for the invasion of Iraq.

After the meeting Preston Krafft said, “That guy was definitely a Bushbot, no doubt about it. He was just overly optimistic. He was more scary than funny.? The writers of this piece, hereby also want to point out their appreciation for Hassan’s efforts to bring some Antioch enlightenment to those less fortunate regions of Ohio.

Hassan finally proposed to take out his flock for a giant scoop of ice cream at the local ice-cream parlor. “It was like after you’ve lost the big game and your coach takes you out for ice-cream?, said 4th year Kendall Canyen. “I actually didn’t really want ice cream, but since Hassan was paying for it..? Thanks Hassan!

Torture, Terror, and Hope for Resistance

By Jeremie M. Jordan

Fear and intimidation arrange a barrage of waves systematically eroding rights, freedoms, and liberties. After the events of 9/11 the world had an overwhelming outpour of sympathy for the U.S., which was promptly turned into heated condemnation over human rights abuses and torture taking place daily in the “Global War on Terror.?


Antioch community members are helping to bring some much needed attention to the atrocities being committed on our behalf with a series of informative events, including documentary showings and a live panel discussion to take place on the 5th of October.

This institutional activism couldn’t be more timely as a bill is currently being rushed through the Senate, with bi-partisan support, which could in effect legally solidify the President’s idiom “enemy combatant? rather than “prisoner of war? in order to bypass the rules of engagement outlined in the Geneva Convention. The “Military Commissions Act of 2006? will also essentially legalize mass torture, limit Habeas Corpus (the right to be released if there is no a formal charge against you), immunize government personnel involved in acts considered cruel, inhumane, or degrading, from criminal prosecution, and also permit information gathered through torture to be used as evidence in military commissions, as the tribunals are being called.

Presently, under the Geneva Convention’s international law of armed conflict, a soldier is granted not only the right to not be tortured, but coercive interrogation is also outlined as unlawful.

In June of 2005 a nine-page memo surfaced from the White House concerning detention tactics, interrogation, and prosecution of terrorism suspects. Two top officials – acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon R. England, and Councilor of the State Department, Philip D. Zeilikow – called for a return to the minimum standards of treatment exemplified in the Geneva Convention and the eventual closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, especially for suspects to be taken out of their secret prisons cells and tried. President Bush who for three years has not applied the Geneva Conventions in the fight against terrorists is being urged in the memo to act in accordance with Common Article 3 and not just comply with the conventions minimum standards, but to also to place a ban on “humiliating and degrading treatment.?

Perhaps these recommendations came from England and Zeilikow not because they felt compelled by international law, but to acquire wider support from American allies and to make court interventions less likely. Nevertheless, the memo is bringing to light the apparent division that exists between the White House and the State Department. For example, Donald Rumsfeld, said to have been so angered that he had an assistant gather copies of the memo to be shredded.

Over the past year, the Bush cabal has garnered an ever-increasing amount of criticism both at home and abroad as more and more details come to light regarding the practices and general conduct of the war. With the shocking revelations of the abuses taking place at Abu Graib, there was conversation about the depth of the abuse throughout the military system or the prison system. Horrendous holding conditions, abuses targeting mental and spiritual “weak spots,? harassing and intimidating civilians in their homes throughout Iraq, and intimidating prisoners with the threat of their lives is growing serious questions of ethics on behalf of the United States military and of usefulness of any information that could be obtained. Furthermore, high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense who encourage coercion to obtain information need to acknowledge that the disturbing practices of the U.S. military are causing a backlash that suggests we may be doing more to encourage terrorism than to prevent it.

Unfortunately, however, it appears as though the attempts to prevent and curb the dangerous progression of these war tactics have been swiftly undermined by the wartime fervor. The president, under congressional approval during the current war conditions, has gained the ability to apprehend anyone anywhere and hold them indefinitely without ever being officially charged with a crime. Every American should be appalled by not just what is being carried out but how it being carried out.

A professor at Seton Hall recently published a study that analyzed data from the military’s tribunals 2001- 2006, excluding contended information. Using only the military’s official conclusions, he found one inconsistency after another. In regards to those who are being held at Guantanamo, Vice President Cheney claims these men were picked up on the battle field, when records clearly state only 5% of prisoners were actually picked up on the battlefield. Ninety five percent were evidently apprehended through another means. Leaflets were distributed depicting a smiling Afghan saying “Get wealth and power beyond your dreams… You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaida and Taliban murderers. This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life. Pay for livestock and doctors and schools books and housing for all your people.? According to the military data eighty-six percent of those in custody were turned over by people who received the flyers. Cheney also says that the men detained at Guantanamo are Al Qaeda fighters when ninety two percent are not demonstrated to be associated with Al Qaeda at all. For the majority of the captives, there is no evidence of them ever committing violence against the U.S. or it’s allies.

It is crucial to the preservation of civil liberty and freedom that the torture that is going on as you read these words does not go uncontested. Antioch’s involvement in a broader examination of the human rights violations in the War on Terror along with other institutions of higher learning adds weight to the chorus of dissent. Not only torture, but the entitlement of individuals apprehended in foreign countries to rights at least embodying the ideals of the American justice system is of vital importance and can not be fully addressed in one article. Look for more information in coming weeks as the resistance gains momentum.