Five years of boycotting Chick-fil-A

My third ever post on this blog (back when the .xyz top-level domain did not even exist and I was on j.mywikis.org) was entitled “Why you should boycott Chick-fil-A.”

Chick-fil-A, and more specifically, the president of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, is choosing to discriminate homosexuals. While homosexuality may not be right in your opinion, I firmly believe this is more discrimination than belief. Dan Cathy has even said that he is “guilty as charged” for his opposition to homosexuality.

He (and his family) can obviously donate to anti-homosexuality groups, but putting his large company’s profits to a very controversial topic is a bold and threatening move that will obviously deter customers away from their shops, especially in liberal areas. I believe his actions are very wrong and I must criticize him of his wrongdoings.

Please do join me in the boycotting of Chick-fil-A. This is an outrage and definitely discrimination. I hope this all goes to rest soon. Chick-fil-A needs to realize that this isn’t something that a whole company should do; it should be more like a family culture.

–Jeffrey Wang, 2012, age 12

Let’s do a few things before I proceed.

First off, 12 year old Jeffrey, “discriminate homosexuals” doesn’t make sense. It’s discriminate against homosexuals. And the more proper term would be “members of the LGBT community.” Second, the second paragraph is more of a “no duh” point. Yeah, he can donate to anti-LGBT groups, but that doesn’t mean he should. And third, unfortunately it has not gone to rest. And no, not even family cultures should be heteronormative, Jeffrey. Shame on you! (Remember this was back in 2012 and that I was raised in a conservative city in Texas.)

Five years later, I’ve changed a lot. I’ve changed schools twice, each time met with new people. Plus, I’ve met new people elsewhere, whether digitally or in-person. I’ve been many places that are different than Texas. I’ve experienced a lot. In the time between that post from 2012 and this current post, gay marriage was legalized through the Supreme Court’s ruling in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges. But there is one thing that has not changed, something that I steadfastly continue to do today: I still continue to boycott Chick-fil-A.

I’m going to elaborate on why I started my boycott, why I’m continuing it, and how I manage.



Why did I start my boycott?

Around 2011 or 2012, same-sex marriage became a contentious topic. At that time, it wasn’t legal nationwide. That means my opinion was quite unpopular back then, especially considering I lived in a quite conservative city and surrounding metropolitan area. News organizations revealed that Chick-fil-A was donating to gay conversion therapy groups (Exodus International), anti-gay hate groups (Family Research Council; considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a source of information for the FBI), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (an organization that should not belong in public schools per the principle of separation of church and state, and one that opposes gay marriage and gay bedroom activity through its pledge), and more organizations promoting heteronormative relationships and marriages. In fact, the mayor of Boston prevented Chick-fil-A from building a new location due to their homophobic attitude.

Although it appears from my limited sources of information that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to all of the above except for FCA, that won’t cut it for me. FCA’s continued promotion of heteronormative relations and unwarranted intrusion into our schools is concerning and violates the principle of separation of church and state. One of the school districts where FCA is allowed to be an official club in schools is my former district, McKinney ISD. As a Buddhist, I am concerned that FCA can have a club simply because it’s so easy to find students and a sponsoring faculty member that are Christian, yet was probably the only Buddhist in the entire school, faculty included, until I left. My former ISD forces everybody in the audience to listen to Christian prayers (and no other religion’s prayers) during graduation. In fact, they have committed so many violations that they were censured by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and finally stopped some of the intrusions of religion into classrooms. Not all have been fixed yet, including FCA still being allowed to operate as an official school club. I remember New York City kicked out all religious institutions using public property, including Buddhist organizations. I fully support their decision to do so, especially the Buddhist organizations. I am fair and impartial to the principle of the separation of church and state. I don’t discriminate against Christianity; it just so happens to be the majority, and that’s why all this anti-gay hatred has been amplified by Chick-fil-A.

Why am I continuing it?

Since Chick-fil-A has continued to donate to amplify anti-LGBT organizations while proselytizing at each of their store locations, I cannot resume monetarily supporting them. Under their current management structure, they will always send money secretly to these anti-LGBT organizations. I think it’s very simple why I’m continuing my boycott: until the company is completely changed, I can’t give them my money.

How do I manage?

Well, first off, my family didn’t really go out that often when I was 12. When we did, I made sure to suggest plenty of other delicious options in our vicinity, such as Market Street, Pei Wei, Fuzzy’s, Mooyah, and other comparable establishments. I made it clear I wasn’t going to Chick-fil-A and that I would rather starve at home than go. Whenever you crave Chick-fil-A, think of a member of the LGBT suffering because they were harassed due to their sexuality or their marriage isn’t recognized, all perpetuated by entities like CfA. Still want to go? For every cent you spend at Chick-fil-A, donate two to the Trevor Project or the ACLU or the FFRF.

Nowadays, I don’t remember the taste of Chick-fil-A. I’ve overcome the addiction.

And while a few dollars might not seem like much for CfA to lose, at least your conscience can rest easy at night. Plus, give your support to businesses full of real people who share the same loving attitude that supports LGBT rights. Trust me, happiness doesn’t require a Bible or a chicken sandwich. if we all pitch in our money to other businesses, eventually CfA will lose money and less money will go to homophobic hate groups.

Would I go back to Chick-fil-A if they stopped donating to homophobic hate groups, changed their management structure, and made it transparent that they were pro-LGBT? Short answer: no. Long answer: if I have nothing to eat, my weight isn’t killing me, and someone innocently bought me a CfA gift card, then I’ll reluctantly go. And hopefully then donate $100 to the ACLU and the Trevor Project for my sins.

How to email professors about finding undergraduate research

Looking for undergraduate research opportunities? Here’s a good Quora question about emailing professors. https://www.quora.com/How-do-professors-view-cold-emails-asking-for-research-opportunities
I’ll go over some of the top answers and analyze them. They all make different, meaningful points about this process.
The answer from Shaad M. Ahmad, Assistant Professor at Indiana State University is one you should especially pay attention to:
 
I cannot speak for all professors, but I will tell you how I view cold emails. I tend to receive two types of cold emails asking for research opportunities and have a very distinct response to each:
 
Emails that are obvious cut-and-paste generic messages sent out to a large number of professors on the slim hope that someone may express an interest: These, I utterly ignore. I am not interested in students or postdocs who are not interested and passionate about the research questions that my lab is investigating.
Emails sent by individuals that demonstrate that they have looked into my research interests, read my previous publications, and are actually interested in my lab’s research program: I am likely to actually respond to the senders of these emails. That is no guarantee of my necessarily accepting them into my research program, but at the very least, we will have begun a dialogue.
 
This answer is very truthful and shows how important it is to email each professor one at a time. NEVER email more than one professor at a time, whether through different emails or BCC. If they see another professor is emailed, they’ll be insulted.



 
Then there is an answer from William Beeman, Professor and Chair, University of Minnesota, which I will make comments on.
 
These emails generally are ignored. They are often bulk emails sent out to hundreds of people without regard to any individual’s personal research interests or their ongoing research.
 
Even if you do everything right, you might be ignored, for reasons such as: lab is full, you’re not suited for the lab, etc. I just talked about how you should never send a research interest email to more than one professor, so the above scenario should not apply. Below is a very good example for a PhD candidate on how to join a professor’s lab. In your case, saying that you are an undergraduate student majoring in XYZ and attaching a resume is good enough. It is best to mention the professor’s prior research and show how you can use your skills in their lab, as this demonstrates interest in their lab specifically and not others’ labs.
 
Here is a much better approach in the sample inquiry below:
 
______________________________
 
Dear Professor X (name the professor)
 
I am completing my undergraduate studies and have read your work on (X subject). It has inspired my interest in a research career in your field, particularly in the (X specialty area—named specifically). I was especially inspired by your article(s) (books) (NAME THEM SPECIFICALLY). I plan to apply for the Ph.D. program at your university, and am writing to ask about the possibility of working with you if I am admitted.
 
(Then list your research experience, your credentials, etc. and attach a curriculum vitae)
 
We then have a nicer professor who understands the struggle of finding research.
 
Jason M Pittman, Professor of Computer Security & Computer Science
 
A2A:
I’m open to cold emails as long as I can tell that the message is an honest attempt to connect and begin a dialogue.
 
I think a semi-closed door policy on cold engagements is dangerous insofar as new researchers (especially undergrads) do not always have the means to engage otherwise.
 
But some professors aren’t as nice. We then have this professor from Germany that has some pretty high standards. To be honest, professors’ personalities are also important. You two have to have a professional synergy. Personally, I would never want to work with this professor because I might accidentally offend her by breathing. That being said, she makes some good points among her contempt. I’ll comment on how you can deal with difficult professors using her answers.
 
Brigitte Mathiak
It is very hard to slip through the Spam barrier.
 
Wow, rude much? If you use your school email you should have no troubles with your emails being marked as spam. Look to fellow students for comfort and rejection support if a professor calls you a “spammer” and you were making a good-faith effort in the appropriate way.
 
Rule 1: Be very specific
 
Looking for an adviser on my Master thesis on XYZ
 
Tell them you’re an undergrad and what you’re majoring in.
 
Rule 2: Be very short
 
I will scan the subject and maybe first line of the email. Others have other email settings.
 
Yes, be concise and straight to the point. Professors don’t have much time to waste.
 
Rule 3: Tell me what you want and how much it will cost me.
 
Looking for a research project… I would assume that you are asking to be hired in some way. If I do not happen to have money, I immediately stop reading.
 
Doesn’t really apply; you don’t need to do a cost-benefit analysis because you’re not a PhD student.
 
Can I visit your lab?… Sounds fishy. What do you want?
 
As a general rule of thumb, just don’t ask for things you’re not entitled to. Visiting a lab will be a burden for some professors so just don’t. Let the suspense of what your future lab looks like arouse your passion for research.
 
Can we do research together?… You clearly don’t know how high-quality research works, so nope.
 
Some professors are elitist and don’t want lowly undergraduates in their labs. In that case just forget about them, Cee-Lo Green style. (jk don’t cuss at or insult them)
 
Do you offer research opportunities?… Nope. Actually, I am not clear on what that means exactly. Do you mean research job opportunities? Opportunities to do research? Topics for a thesis? Would I want to be adviser on a thesis? This is not me being confused, this is students seeming to think that this means whatever they happen to think it means.
 
Just be clear you want to join their lab. Assume they offer research opportunities and don’t ask indirect questions.
 
Rule 4: Don’t insult me. (Happens more often than you think)
 
Good example:
 
Sub: Looking for primary adviser on Master thesis
 
Dear Prof. Mathiak,
 
I am looking for a Master topic with regards Usability. I have read your paper “…” and would like to do something similar, but I am also open to other suggestions. Could we make an appointment? I am available …
 
Sincerely, …
 
Bad example:
 
Sub: REsearch oppurtunity
 
Dear Mr. Mathiak,
 
I have read all of your papers and I am very impressed with your academic prowess. I was wondering, if you could do research with me. I am sending you my c.v. I hope you can read OpenOffice, but I don’t believe in proprietary standards. If you can’t just send me an email and I will send you whatever format you prefer.
 
Many regards, …
 
attachment: cv.zip
 
Basically just don’t make it a pain in the @$$ for the professor to facilitate looking over your credentials and making a decision. At the end of the day, your email is asking for a part of their day and you should be very appreciative of the time they spend for you. So make it easy for them to accept you.

At the end of the day, you will get rejected by some professors, even if you do everything right. And it’s okay. Just keep on trying. They might not respond, or they might not have space in their lab, or they might need someone more qualified. In any case, don’t sweat it! You’ll fit in somewhere. Just keep trying.
 
Anyway, hope this commentary helps. Good luck with finding research!

One-letter abbreviations for days of the week in Romance languages

After some ramblings over the superior usage of R over Th to represent Thursday, I asked myself, how do other languages abbreviate it? Specifically, Romance languages?

In English, a Germanic language, when we use the one-letter system to denote days of the week, standard practice is to use the following:

  • M – Monday
  • T – Tuesday
  • W – Wednesday
  • R – Thursday
  • F – Friday
  • S – Saturday
  • U – Sunday

Days of the week follow a pattern among the various Romance languages. I’ll use Spanish and French as examples.

  • L – Lunes – Lundi
  • M – Martes – Mardi
  • ??? – Miércoles – Mercredi
  • J – Jueves – Jeudi
  • V – Viernes – Vendredi
  • S – Sabado – Samedi
  • D – Domingo – Dimanche

There is an ambiguity with the one-letter abbreviation of Wednesday in Romance language systems, because the words for Tuesday and Wednesday both start with the letter “M”. Since Tuesday comes first, it gets “M”. In order to maintain uniformity among the various Romance languages, I propose the following system for Romance language day of the week abbreviations, because of the lack of my knowledge in how it actually works in areas where Romance languages are used. (If this is actually how it is then I’ll be so happy for a good guess!)

  • L – Monday
  • M – Tuesday
  • C – Wednesday
  • J – Thursday
  • V – Friday
  • S – Saturday
  • D – Sunday

Hackathons: are they really worth it?

I’ve now been to several hackathons over the course of the past two years. Each time, I return home extremely tired after finishing work on a project that I never touch again. Sure, I stay up all night (or at least try to sleep), I enjoy the snacks and meals served and events and t-shirts. But I am constantly kept up trying to code, so I never get more than 6 hours of sleep, and it’s never a comfortable sleeping experience. Furthermore, I’m the kind of person that needs time to work on something to make it really great. The idea of rushing a product from an idea to a working prototype in 24 hours seems completely contrary to everything that I’ve been taught. (Except for CollegeBoard’s notion that a well-polished rhetorical analysis can be written in 40-50 minutes by millions of students worldwide, but I don’t agree with that time limit; it’s too constricting.)

For example, I just went to a hackathon where the winners started work on their project halfway through the hackathon, pulled an all-nighter, presented last, and won. I don’t know if they’ll pick up on their project ever again. I mean sure, it was a good idea, and props to them for winning, but let’s be honest, the repetitive nature of hackathons means that a new idea needs to be made every single hackathon, so the ideas will get shoddy and the motivation behind getting these ideas finished decreases significantly. Meanwhile, I’m milking a lame business that took a year or two to finally start making money. This business may not be as innovative as hackathon ideas, but I find it interesting, so I continue to provide a driving force behind it. Meanwhile, many hackathon projects are ditched immediately after the hackathon ends, even if they win. The result is that people attend many hackathons, ditching their projects after they’re haphazardly made in the course of one day’s time, and they never come to fruition after the hackathon. Furthermore, there are so many ideas that are unknowingly reimplemented many times by hackathon teams worldwide.

And this might sound lame, but I lose a lot of sleep by going to a hackathon. I really don’t like working myself to death. But, if you think about it, there is no real work done if I work myself to death. I have several ideas for apps that I would like to implement at a hackathon, but I think they have real potential. That’s why I don’t want to go to a hackathon, create it, and ditch it. If I believe in a project, I want to invest a lot of time into building it and maintaining it. Hackathons give little real reasons as to why maintaining this project should occur. Many teams go to hackathons just for the fun of it. I think it’s a complete waste of time if you aren’t going to work on it any further. Why build something and never touch it again for the fun of a hackathon? Why not actually do something meaningful with it? Honestly, how many people do you know who have went to a hackathon, came out with a brilliant idea that was implemented first at a hackathon, and then continued to work on it afterwards? Not very many, and the winners of hackathons might not even go through with continuing to develop their product. Yet hackathons are supposed to be where radical new ideas are formed and incubated. I don’t think it’s doing its job very well.

In the future, if I want to do something meaningful, if I want to create something that has real potential to change the world, I will develop it from the comfort of my home. I don’t need to go to some fancy hackathon and develop it there with the aid of Red Bull. Instead, I’ll take it nice and easy, take as much time as I need to learn and develop it (SLEEP when I need to!!), polish it, and dedicate time to maintaining it. That is the only way to ensure this idea comes to fruition and can become a success. To be honest, hackathons are a good way to get a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time, but that’s about it; they are not good for new ideas because they take time to develop into something meaningful. I wish there were a hackathon that was solely for the purpose to encourage a large amount of work to be done on an existing viable project.

What I’ve learned from SwiftScore 2017

Although I did not take any AP exams this year (because I am taking college classes instead), the previous two years of AP score release were nerve-wracking and I could empathize with those who could not bear to wait a second further without spasming and relapsing into full-blown bleach chugging.

Okay, I’m kidding about the bleach. But the nervousness/anxiety is certainly relatable and I just couldn’t stand others being left in the dark due to their physical location.

So here is what I did. I used EarlyScores’ source code (written in PHP) and starting a “mirror” with a different name. This helps to reduce traffic on other score checkers (which is good, considering they get so overloaded), allowing everyone to check their scores as efficiently as possible.

On the days preceding AP Score Release 2017, I spinned up a 512MB DigitalOcean droplet and used a $15 credit I found online to reduce the costs down to nothing. The cost was only $0.007/hr, so I ended up spending less than $1.50 for a server than ran for like a week or less. I figured this would be fine. Then, I posted the details on Twitter and asked people to share. Retweets did occur before the day of score release, but there were especially a lot on score release day. A good chunk of traffic came from Twitter, followed by Reddit (advertising on r/APStudents). Direct sources were word-of-mouth spreading, which was surprisingly popular. I talked with someone from China, who said they were referred by their WeChat group.

All was ready.

On the morning of, I woke up at 6am CDT (all times from here on out will be in Central Daylight Time) to see if CollegeBoard had released the scores early. Nope. I was getting worried that they had blacklisted our IP addresses. Thankfully, that was not the case. Even though I had no news to expect, I was hoping for the best. Hopefully this would work.

Around 8am, the floodgates were opened by CollegeBoard and score checking began.

Our website immediately began timing out. For an hour, I was frantically scrambling around, trying to get it to work. The website kept timing out. I thought perhaps the code got screwed up somehow? No, that wasn’t the issue.

 

Around 9am (too late unfortunately), I deployed a secondary server and that helped get people flowing. Next time, I will be sure to deploy several servers, or better yet, use a Node.js-based solution instead to handle traffic much better and so we can have a message queue system instead of a everybody-try-at-once-and-everyone-fail-at-once system.

At 11am, I deleted the secondary server and reverted back to the first server.

Believe it or not, traffic actually peaked around 11am that day; the server had began to operate very smoothly beginning around 9:30am. This means that the primary issue with scalability does not lie in people accessing SwiftScore, but rather SwiftScore accessing CollegeBoard’s AP score checking website. Since the same server handling people’s requests also handled the score checking, this didn’t go too well in the beginning. However, as overall CollegeBoard AP score demands slowed down, SwiftScore began to function better. Hence, Node.js would’ve been better. Note that there is not much we can do about the CollegeBoard website crashing; at the end of the day, score retrieval uses a scraper and there’s simply no more efficient way to gather data.


A major issue with EarlyScores’ underlying scraping mechanism is that it doesn’t support “Can’t find your AP scores” issues, “Fill out your AP Profile” prompts, and “Accept the CollegeBoard Terms and Conditions” dialogs, the latter being the most common reason someone emailed me asking for manual score checking. I ended up implementing a T&C acceptance dialog in SwiftScore’s codebase and committed the code to EarlyScores’ codebase out of courtesy and gratitude.

Oh yes, and nobody cared about SwiftScore until actual score checking day. But this image below might change your mind.
Ah yes, that’s money. Holy crap, this earned a bunch of profits. I innocently ran an AdSense ad on the website, hoping for it to earn a few bucks. I didn’t imagine it’d actually generate this much money. And I didn’t spend a cent on server costs. And yes, I used the cheapest possible DigitalOcean droplet there is.

This has taught me an important lesson: monetizing the first hour requires a much more complex system (cough cough Node.js and message queuing), but after that, such a small-scale system is actually enough to process 50,000 requests spread out over a few days.

Out of gratitude for the amount of support shown to me by people from my former high school, I am pledging most of this AdSense payout to worthy causes in my former high school (except for the Living Roof Project—I’m sorry but this would only be a drop in a bucket), so if you’re from Boyd (GO BRONCOS!!!) and you have a good reason to use $50, and $50 would be significant, I’m donating this money to you. The rest is reserved for future SwiftScore costs of operation, including possible ad-free servers.

And a thank you to EarlyScores.com and my friends who have supported my efforts. I hope to help again next year!

 

SwiftScore 2017

Every year, around the beginning of July, CollegeBoard releases millions of students’ AP scores. Since there are so many scores to process, they have no choice but to segment the country into pieces and allow certain parts of the country to check scores before others. On odd-numbered years, it starts in the Northeast and ends in the Pacific states. On even-numbered years, this pattern is reversed. However, this becomes a huge annoyance and burden for those who want to check their scores as soon as possible.

During freshman year, I used a VPN. In sophomore year, I had a server hosted in California, so I just established an SSH tunnel to there and I could see my scores. Last year, I found EarlyScores.com, which was a service that allowed users to check their scores early. Since it was open source, I quickly set up another version on my California server and voilà, it worked as well. This was a great way to allow others who didn’t want to divulge their AP password but wanted to know their AP scores quickly.

However, these services can become quite inundated very quickly, preventing effective usage of them. That’s why this year, I’ve set up SwiftScore, which is free to use. Basically, I use a cloud hosting service that charges by the hour, so I only needed to set this up a couple of days in advance and I’ll cancel it immediately after everybody can start seeing their 2017 AP scores. This allows costs to be very low; so low that I’ll absorb them and provide these services for free. So far, I’ve set up one SwiftScore instance; I cannot publicly divulge its hosting information at this time.

SwiftScore is ready to be expanded and should be very versatile to replicate if needed. If demand necessitates more servers, I will create them on the fly and they will be available when needed. In fact, we will also have manual score-checking services that check scores upon release (like literally at 7am) and send them to users, all for free. VIPs will also be able to access a special, congestion-free server if needed. In case CollegeBoard blacklists our server’s IP addresses (since this service uses a web scraper to retrieve scores), we will either make new servers or switch providers to avoid any IP range blacklisting. The entire SwiftScore system is designed to be resilient, secure, and reliable.

The definition of harassment

What constitutes harassment? That is the million dollar question that we as society have yet to answer. Yet it is an issue that plagues us everyday. With the advent of cyberbullying and the recent presidential election, the issue of harassment has become more pervasive in everyday life. However, how have we dealt with harassment? Sometimes, it seems impossible to deal with harassment. Other times, this word can be overused in cases where it may not be appropriate in some eyes. Although society can universally agree that certain speech is considered “hate speech”, “slander”, etc., what else is considered harassment? As members of society, we may be different from each other, but in today’s connected world, there needs to be a uniform, unequivocal definition of harassment that can be applied to every single person equally and fairly.

Yet there isn’t. And that’s an issue.

I’ve been bullied ever since I was 5 years old. I’m particularly sensitive, so some actions that may not seem uncomfortable to others in fact disturbs me deeply. Therefore, harassment has always been an important issue to me. (And of course, my motivating reason further demonstrates the disparity between individual perceptions of ethical behavior.) I have tried to combat harassment whenever I can, so imagine my surprise when I am denied the ability to collaborate with my peers to create a tool to combat harassment. That’s like being the world’s biggest pizza lover and not being allowed to join the International Pizza Club. (Probably doesn’t exist, but if it does, don’t @ me please.)

I applaud efforts to combat harassment, but I always ask how it is done. If you think about it, when’s the last time you could definitively guarantee that a certain controversial remark was considered harassment by Facebook and Twitter, the two most important social media networks in the United States? You cannot. That’s why the “report” button can feel like a black hole of complaints that are never resolved. We don’t have a clue whether something is considered harassment in Facebook or Twitter’s book.

When Facebook’s content moderation guidelines were recently leaked, they were absolutely appalling to me. The inconsistencies that I saw disgusted me. Something that is even more revolting? These guidelines had to be leaked, meaning they were kept private. Why would that be the case? This is not something Facebook should be hiding. How are we supposed to know exactly what Facebook considers okay and not okay? This is even worse than going through airport security, because at least the TSA has an online tool that tells you if something is allowed in carry-on, checked baggage, or not at all. Not to mention that harassment is something the world should deal with in a transparent, honest manner.

Just like HTML, ECMAScript, ISO standards, etc. are public knowledge, so should be the definition of harassment. There should be a standardized definition that anybody can contribute ideas and can help draft. This definition should be open-source, perhaps even public domain, and should be adopted by any organization that patrols content, including Facebook and Twitter. I urge entities that try to combat harassment to actually tell us what they consider harassment. There is literally no point in keeping this a secret. This is an issue we should tackle together, and there is much to be gained by collaboration on uniform specifications of what constitutes harassment. Otherwise, it’s like ordering pizza and not knowing what will be on it. Sure, the pizza dough might be made with some special recipe, but knowing whether there will be pepperoni or buffalo chicken or vegetables on the pizza is significant and should be public knowledge. In the same way, there must be transparency and consistency when dealing with the enforcement of important social norms such as anti-harassment.

My thoughts on the post-election nightmare

I am so sick and tired of the combative, ugly rhetoric that far-left and far-right media organizations have deployed on multiple avenues of communication.

I’m sick and tired of the divisiveness, the name-calling, the propaganda-spewing, all of it.

While it’s clear that people don’t agree with each other, that doesn’t mean we have to devolve into elementary school-level pettiness in our arguments. What has happened to the voice of reason? So many legitimate issues have become de-legitimized by ad hominem attacks and propaganda. They fail to address the real issue at hand. Not one issue goes by today without being addressed by these one-sided, agenda-bearing media organizations through tirades of anger. Emotion and opinions, not facts, guide these publications.

My frustration also extends to publications that publish biased videos with facts that are cherry-picked to support the publication’s agenda. I’m not going to mention any names because I’m sure people will start arguing with me below, saying I’m wrong. I find whichever news source that doesn’t give me a heart attack is the one that I watch nowadays. But I wish that the people who use these news outlets would stop using them.

We cannot afford to add any fuel to the flame. We must return to middle ground so we can actually have a civilized discussion for the first time since the election. It’s a pipe dream right now, but hopefully we can work towards this goal.

Interesting old history about UNT

So I found a UNT faculty member who is listed as having their office in Kendall Hall. I was like “huh?” I’ve never heard of such a hall. So I did some digging. The open space east of the BLB was the site of Kendall Hall before it was demolished to make way for the BLB, or the new home of the College of Business.

Before that, the COB was based in Sage Hall, which was called the Business Administration Building. And before TAMS was in Sage Hall, it was in Marquis Hall. Marquis Hall is now home to UNT’s International Students division, which was previously based in Kendall Hall. Interesting how the BLB displaced all of these departments.

Furthermore, I found out that Mac Park/Mac Field used to be the location of the Health Clinic before the new Chestnut Hall was built. There used to be another, older Chestnut Hall where the Rec Center now stands. Life Sciences Complex B was the former home of Masters Hall, where the Department of Chemistry was based until they got their own Chemistry Building.

Also, the Department of Computer Sciences used to be part of the College of Arts and Sciences and was based in the GAB.

Anyway, there’s a ton of interesting info that might interest history geeks like me. Check it out below!

This information was gathered from this map of UNT in 1997-1998.

Map: http://catalogarchive.unt.edu/97-98/map.pdf

UNT Map 1997-1998

Map guide: http://catalogarchive.unt.edu/97-98/mapguide.html

Pictures: http://cascampus.cas.unt.edu/


 

Buildings and Major Offices Located Within:

Administration Building

  • Board of Regents
  • Chancellor and President
  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Administrative Affairs
  • Controller
  • Vice President for External Affairs
  • Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs
  • General Counsel/Attorney
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Prospective Students
  • Research and Academic Grants
  • University Marketing and Communication
  • University Planning and Institutional Research
  • Graduate Dean

Advancement Center

  • Vice President for Development
  • Alumni Association
  • UNT Foundation

Art Building

  • School of Visual Arts
  • University Art Gallery

Astronomy Observatory

  • Former Missile Base
  • North of Denton on FM 2164
  • (Locust Street)

Athletic Office Building

  • Athletic administration
  • Athletic Media Services
  • Athletic Ticket Office

Auditorium Building

  • Department of English
  • Studies in the Novel
  • Student Use of English
  • University Writing Center
  • Multipurpose auditorium

Bain Hall

Named after Dr. Wilfred C. Bain, the first head of the Music Department, 1938, and first dean of the School of Music, 1946. Dr. Bain also organized the institution’s first A Cappella choir.

  • Percussion rehearsals

Biology Building

  • Department of Biological Sciences

Bruce Hall

Completed in 1948 and named after Dr. William Herschel Bruce, who served as president of the North Texas State Normal College from 1906 to 1923.

  • Residence hall

Business Administration Building

  • College of Business Administration
  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Business Computer Information Systems
  • Center for Information Systems Research
  • Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Marketing
  • General Access Computer Labs

Chestnut Hall (named for street)

  • Environmental Ethics
  • Survey Research Center
  • UNT Institute for Behavioral and Learning Differences
  • University of North Texas Press

Chilton Hall

Named for Joshua Crittenden Chilton, who negotiated the contract with the City of Denton that established Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute on May 8, 1890. Served as president until 1893.

  • Adaptive Lab
  • Center for Continuing Education and Conference Management
  • Minicourse Office
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Center
  • Center for Instructional Services
  • Cooperative Education
  • School of Community Service
  • Center for Public Service
  • Institute of Anthropology
  • Department of Applied Gerontology
  • Department of Behavior Analysis
  • Department of Criminal Justice
  • Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions
  • Department of Sociology
  • School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management
  • Media Library
  • General Access Computer Labs

Clark Hall

Named for Miss Edith L. Clark, the first dean of women, 1916-1944.

  • Residence hall

Coliseum

  • Basketball games
  • Commencements
  • Drivers Education
  • Handball courts
  • Multipurpose facility

College Inn

  • Residence hall
  • The Club at College Inn Restaurant

Crumley Hall

Named for John Jackson Crumley, president from 1893 to 1894. He is known for putting the “North” in North Texas Normal College.

  • Housing and Residence Life
  • Residence hall/Conference Center
  • Director of Business Services
  • Dining Services

Curry Hall

Named for Dr. O.J. Curry, first dean of the College of Business Administration, 1946-1974.

  • Classrooms
  • Team Labs and Tutor Labs (College of Business Administration)

Eagle Student Services Center

Named after the university’s official mascot chosen by the student body in 1922.

  • Admissions
  • Advanced Learning Center (Room 255)
  • ID Systems
  • Information Campus Operator
  • Registrar
  • Class schedules
  • Records
  • Transcripts
  • Bursar
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Undergraduate Admission
  • Toulouse School of Graduate Studies

Edwards Hall (named for street)

  • Emergency Administration and Planning Institute

Engineering Technology Building

  • Department of Engineering Technology

Fouts Field

Named after Theron J. Fouts who served as football coach, dean of men and director of athletics. Became football coach in 1920 and was athletic director at the time of his death in 1954.

  • Football games
  • Track meets
  • Multipurpose outdoor facility

General Academic Building

  • Academic Core Programs
  • Institute of Applied Science
  • Copy Center
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Computer Sciences
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Journalism
  • N.T. Daily
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Microcomputer Maintenance Shop
  • University Courses

Golf Course, Radisson Hotel Denton and Eagle Point Golf Club

Health Center

  • Clinic
  • Health Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Risk Management and Environmental Services
  • Telecommunications

Highland Hall (named for street)

  • Center for Development and Grant Support
  • TRIO Center for Student Development
  • Biofeedback Research and Training Lab
  • Center for Investigation of Talented Students

Information Sciences Building

  • Computing Center
  • Academic Computing
  • Administrative Computing
  • School of Library and Information Sciences
  • Science and Technology Library
  • General Access Computer Labs

Kendall Hall

Named for Dr. Joel Sutton Kendall who, in 1901, left the position of state superintendent of public instruction to become the principal [president] of the newly created state college, North Texas State Normal College, serving until his death in 1906.

  • Copy Center
  • Division of Aerospace Studies
  • International Studies and Programs
  • Studies Abroad Center
  • Intensive English Language Institute

Kerr Hall

For S. A. Kerr of Huntsville, vice-chairman of the Board of Regents, 1949-1967.

  • Residence hall

Language Building

  • Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Library Annex, 901 Precision

  • Technical Services

Lyceum, University Union

  • Multipurpose auditorium/classroom

Maple Hall (named for street)

  • Residence hall

Marquis Hall

Named for Dr. Robert Lincoln Marquis, who served as the president of North Texas State Teachers College, 1923-1934.

  • Human Resources Department
  • Institute of Petroleum Accounting
  • Internal Audit Department
  • Payroll
  • Texas Academic of Math and Science TAMS
  • NT Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts

Masters Hall

Named for W. N. Masters, long-time head of the Chemistry Department for North Texas State Teachers College.

  • Department of Chemistry

Matthews Hall

Named after Dr. James Carl Matthews, who served as the first dean of the School of Education, first vice president of the teachers college, and president of the university, 1951-1968.

  • Academy for Research and Professional Development
  • Child Development Laboratory
  • College of Education
  • Department of Teacher Education and Administration
  • Department of Technology and Cognition
  • Center for Higher Education
  • Center for Parent Education
  • National Center for School-to-Work Transition
  • Center for Study of Educational Reform
  • Texas Center for Educational Technology
  • General Access Computer Labs

Matthews Annex

Named after Dr. James Carl Matthews, who served as the first dean of the School of Education, first vice president of the teachers college, and president of the university, 1951-1968.

  • Child and Family Resource Clinic
  • Maturational Assessment Clinic

McConnell Hall

For Dr. W. Joseph McConnell, president of the teachers college and the state college, 1934-1951.

  • Residence hall/Texas Academy of Math and Science (TAMS)

Men’s Gymnasium

  • Weight room
  • Intramural basketball and volleyball
  • Women’s volleyball
  • Indoor soccer

Missile Base

  • Astronomy Observatory

Music Annex

  • Opera Rehearsal Hall
  • Recording Technology

Music Building

  • College of Music

Music Practice North

Music Practice South

Oak Street Hall (named for street)

  • Stafford Art Gallery
  • School of Visual Arts ceramics and photography program

Opera Hall

  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program aerobics
  • Print Research Institute of North Texas

Physical Education Building

  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program
  • Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation
  • Recreational Sports

Physical Plant Complex

  • Main Office
  • Key Control
  • Recycle Services

Physics Building

  • Department of Physics
  • Radiation Safety Office

Power Plant

Quad 2

  • Storage facility

Radisson Hotel Denton and Eagle Point Golf Club

  • Professional Development Institute PDI
  • Conference facility
  • Golf course

Science Research Building

  • Biochemistry
  • Department of Materials Science

Scoular Hall

For Dr. Florence I. Scoular, first dean of the School of Home Economics, 1946.

  • Texas Fashion Collection
  • School of Visual Arts fashion design and fibers programs

Smith Hall

Home of Station KNTU, located in the family home of J. W. Smith, business manager of the normal college and teachers college.

  • KNTU Radio

Speech/Drama Building

  • Department of Dance and Theatre Arts
  • Theatre Arts Office
  • Ticket Box Office
  • Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • Department of Radio, Television and Film
  • NTTV

Sports Medicine/Fitness Facility

  • Varsity sports training
  • Weight training

Stovall Hall

For Dr. Floyd Stovall, who served as director of the English Department and first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1946.

  • Department of Dance and Theatre Arts
  • Dance Office
  • Department of Counseling, Development and Higher Education
  • Counseling and Human Development Center
  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program – weight room
  • Center for Play Therapy

Sullivant Visitor Center

For Carroll Sullivant of Gainesville, member of the Board of Regents, 1961-1978. (open 24 hours)

  • General university information
  • Police Department
  • Parking Office

Tennis Courts, East

Tennis Courts, West

Terrill Hall

Named for Menter B. Terrill, president of the private North Texas Normal College from 1894 until it became a state normal college in 1901.

  • Center for Study of Work Teams
  • Department of Communication Studies
  • Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies
  • Department of Psychology
  • Psychology Clinic

University Services Building

  • Central Receiving
  • Claims Accounting
  • Travel
  • Payroll
  • Printing Services
  • Property and Inventory Control
  • Purchasing
  • Office Supply

University Union

  • Center for Cultural Diversity
  • Counseling and Testing
  • Information, tickets, check cashing
  • Lyceum
  • Mail Room (Intercampus mail)
  • Placement
  • Post Office Substation
  • Student Activities and Organizations
  • Student Association
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dean of Students
  • Disability Accommodation
  • Student Employment
  • Syndicate
  • Union Arts Center/Graphics
  • UNT Bookstore
  • University Program Council

West Hall

  • Residence hall

Willis Library

For A. M. Willis of Longview, member of the Board of Regents, 1965-1983, serving as its chairman from 1969 to 1983.

  • Main Library
  • Music Library
  • Archives
  • Oral History
  • Rare Book Room
  • Government Documents
  • General Access Computer Labs

Wooten Hall

For Benjamin Harrison Wooten of Dallas, chairman of the Board of Regents, 1949-1969.

  • Faculty Senate
  • Department of Political Science
  • Center for Economic Development and Research
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of History
  • Institute of Applied Economics
  • Department of Public Administration

Historical information about building names provided by James L. Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Journalism