Engineering Dean’s office refuses to hang E-Week Banner

Melissa Rios, Contributing Writer

Pterodactyls often do not have a place in publications unless the publication in question is a children’s book, an academic journal, or part of scientific musings. Yet, one pterodactyl was the subject of the Computer Science (CS) banner submitted during the annual Engineers Week (E-Week).

Students from the CS department came together the Saturday before E-Week to brainstorm, design, and complete their submission. On Feb. 23, Associate Dean of Engineering Margot Vigeant informed banner team leader Nadeem Nasimi ’17 that the submission would not be hung.

Vigeant provided a statement on behalf of the Engineering Dean’s Office.

“The banner in question referred to an incident of misconduct that violated multiple Bucknell policies. Given the nature and the circumstances of the incident to which the banner refers, its display would also constitute a violation. Additionally, the banner violated the contest’s prohibition against debasement of other individuals or majors.”

The incident in question occurred last year when a student used a pseudo-email address to send out lewd pornographic material to all students.

Vigeant clarified that the banner “references material that is clearly degrading to many members of our campus community.”

Li Li ’16, CS E-Week Team Leader, said that the decision to not hang the banner was unfair.

“It did not criticize anyone … It doesn’t really debase Bravman and it’s not offensive information. We weren’t making up something; rather, we were referencing something that has already happened. There’s a tradition to poke fun at things that [CS] students can relate to, such as last year’s banner that referenced SafeConnect,” Li said.

Last year’s banner lightheartedly displayed the frustration some students feel regarding SafeConnect, which is a security software meant to enforce rules on University users. The CS E-Week banner featured a 404 error code on a web page with a request to download SafeConnect. Shown in a Google Chrome window, SafeConnect had already been downloaded many times already. The banner received positive reactions.

“I don’t know if [Professor Vigeant] was referring to ourselves or other people in our major, but it was a lighthearted, ironic joke. [Computer Scientists] help stop those kinds of problems from happening,” Charlotte Brace ’16 said.

“It shouldn’t have been banned. It should’ve been posted. It’s a kind of censorship,” Li said.

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