Ibbotson-Sindelar: City living helps the planet

April 8, 2009
The moment was an unlikely one for the dawning realization that great cultural divides exist even between developed nations. I was sitting idly on an airplane, looking out the window as it started its decent into Frankfurt. When I fly into American cities I see a familiar pattern in the landscape below. Forest or farmland »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Mix gender for best results

April 3, 2009
Some advocates of gender-neutral housing have argued that our current housing discriminates against homosexuals, while others have argued that everyone deserves the option to live with whomever they want. These arguments seem accurate, but also trivial. Instead, we can find substantial benefits to gender-neutral housing if we stop focusing on rights and options, and start »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Fear in the way of progress

March 4, 2009
Quotas on immigration to the United States are not only xenophobic; they are pragmatically backfiring. Perhaps the strongest argument against opening our boarders is economic — but I think economics can also provide the strongest argument for opening our boarders. As we are learning from the economic downturn, our economy is a delicate mechanism of »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Yale doesn’t need my money

February 20, 2009
Yale just ended a three-week campaign to raise money for the Senior Class Gift. For seniors, this is just the beginning of a long relationship with the Development Office — and with Yale’s fundraising machine. Through student representatives and repeated e-mails, the University encouraged and cajoled us to donate. Each college set up a Senior »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: End varsity for club sports

February 5, 2009
The debate over varsity athletics has become tiresome. Some criticize athletes and the admissions office for putting athletics over academics. Athletes respond that they are no different from the many other committed Yalies who sacrifice academics for extracurricular activities like music, drama or political activism. Too often we get stuck on who deserves to be »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Grade inflation for the best

January 22, 2009
Why do students at Yale focus so much time and effort on extracurriculars while often arriving unprepared for class? That’s just the Yale culture, or so I often hear. After all, when you get here, you’re immediately bombarded by the freshman bazaar. There are so many exciting activities, and your roommate just signed up for »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: In search of better sections

December 3, 2008
Seminars and sections often fail to achieve their potential as places for engagement, passion and communication. It’s not for any lack of intelligence in the student body. Rather, our attitude toward the classroom disables us. Our search for knowledge is often overshadowed by both desire to perform well and fear of failure. To confront these »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Minors would be a foolish addition

November 19, 2008
In recent debates, academic minors have come to represent freedom and choice. Less popular departments are proclaiming that minors will let students branch out and pursue their secret passion. According to the recent Yale College Council poll, 88 percent of undergraduates are in favor of academic minors, and if minors mean more choice, then no »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: You’re as responsible as they are

November 5, 2008
We Yalies are good at thinking about what is right, pondering genocide and even going to vote, but we have trouble taking responsibility for the world immediately around us. When it comes to fixing problems we didn’t create, it is the rare Yale student who steps up to the challenge. We have plenty of excuses: »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Free speech through funding

October 22, 2008
The first Yale publication I ever read was Rumpus. It was Bulldog Days, and I was shocked that Yale would condone the distribution of a tabloid featuring nude and imbibing students on the front page, and much worse inside. Beyond shocked, I was impressed. Rumpus is a testament to Yale’s commitment to free speech — »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Escape capitalist morality

October 8, 2008
We rely on capitalism to organize nearly every facet of our social and economic lives. But despite the enormous influence of this dizzying ideology, it can be hard to know how we influence it. We can’t make sense of capitalism because the system’s complexity surpasses the comprehension of any single individual. E examples of command »

Ibbotson-Sindelar: Teaching mediocrity

September 24, 2008
We celebrate shopping period because it allows us to avoid bad teachers, but the peril of a Yale education isn’t bad teaching — it’s mediocre teaching. Yale has collected exceptionally bright minds in each discipline, and yet the majority of professors are merely acceptable teachers. We excuse their shortcomings with the adage that good researchers »