Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Essay contest deadline extended one final time!
The deadline for the Cornel West essay contest has been extended to Monday, May 1, at 2 p.m. No late entries will be accepted. Submit electronically to For complete rules, prizes, and other information, scroll down farther in this blog.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Deadline extended for essay contest

The deadline for essays has been extended until 2 p.m. on Monday, April 24. No late entries will be accepted!

The essay contest, open to all currently-registered SWC students, is based on Cornel West's book Democracy Matters. The essay topic is:
Cornel West identifies three dogmas that threaten our democracy. One of the dogmas he describes is escalating authoritarianism in the context of terrorism and civil liberties. What does he mean by this? Is there such a thing as an optimal balance between liberty and security? If so, how should people determine which liberties should be sacrificed for the sake of security?

Essays must be submitted electronically to no later than 2 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2006. The essay must be no more than three pages, double-spaced, with an extra page at the end giving the student's name, ID number, address, phone number, and email address. The essay must be the student's own work and will be judged on originality and clarity of expression and should creatively and intellectually address the topic.

The prizes are a hardcover copy of Democracy Matters to be signed by Dr. West, attendance at the May 11 presentation and dinner before it, introduction to Dr. West and acknowledgement of the winner prior to his speech, a $50 gift certificate to the Campus Store and $100 cash prize.

The Campus Store is offering copies of Democracy Matters at 25% discount. In addition, the Library has seven copies available for 7-day loans. Students who borrow these copies are expected to return them on time to make them available for others to read.

Questions? Call Diane Gustafson in the Library at 482-6433 or email

Monday, April 03, 2006

The first film made in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban

The Library owns two copies of "Osama", the first film produced in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. It is 82 minutes long and tells the story of a family of grandmother, mother, and daughter -- no men and therefore no way of earning a living since the Taliban forbade women to go out alone.

To save their family, the two women pretend that the young girl is a boy, "Osama", and send her out to work. But if she is found out, the Taliban will deal harshly with her, perhaps even kill her.

Instructors may borrow the film, but students must check it out from the Multimedia Desk to watch it in the Library. The call number for it is DVD TA 53.

Students, ask your instructor if you can get extra credit for viewing and reporting on the film.