Archive for September, 2008

New Home Page Features

In case you haven’t paid attention, the W&L home page has a slightly new look today. It might not qualify as a total face lift, but there have been some strategic nips and tucks that are well worth looking at. For instance, users can now choose to look at five different student profiles at the top of the page without having to refresh to see who pops up next. The weekly slide show, Scene on Campus, has a cool new look on the page where you can see the week’s images before you click through to go to the show. The news and events feature has moved to the left hand side of the page, and you can expect to see more stories there throughout the week. There is also a spot on the home page for important messages that may not rise to the level of emergency communications but that can alert the community to information that all members ought to have — for instance, a power outage or a chance in the University’s schedule for some reason. Let us know what you think about the page as it continues to get tweaked from time to time.

Dr. Phil and Professor Hoover

Scott Hoover, W&L associate professor of business administration, got Ralph Nader’s support in his campaign against the Virginia Lottery during a segment of the Dr. Phil show Friday. Hoover, who filed suit at the lottery, was featured in one segment of the show that dealt with how people had fought the system. Some of the transcripts are on the Dr. Phil site.

Hoover reiterated his claim about the lottery:

“There is no doubt in my mind that I was cheated by the Virginia Lottery,” Scott says. “In the Beginner’s Luck game, the grand prize was $75,000. The data I looked at said it was a good investment. There’s something very wrong when the lottery’s Web site says there are six grand prizes remaining when there were actually zero. The odds of winning the grand prize in the Beginner’s Luck game were one in 367,000. When I was buying tickets, the grand prize that I was after was not available. What I’d like to get from the lawsuit is a change in the lottery so that it’s fair to everyone who plays it.”

And Nader agreed that state lotteries have engaged in the kinds of practices that Hoover identified:

“About half the states that sell state lotteries are doing this. They’ve already had the top prizes claimed, and people are still buying these tickets, thinking the top prizes are still there. That’s about as clear of a deceptive practice that you can have.”

If you missed the show, you can take a look at Scott’s segment on Tuesday, September 30, at 9:55 a.m. and again at 12:05 a.m. in Huntley 230.

A Sensational Scene on Campus

If you haven’t yet had a look at the Scene on Campus for this week, you’ve missed some great images by Kevin Remington and Patrick Hinely. I can’t decide whether my favorite is the one below from the field hockey or one of the shots from last Saturday’s football win over Southern Virginia or the young Central Elementary School student in mid-bob for an orange. Be sure to check this feature out every week.

“Lexington Principles” Aired on Area Public Radio

The Lexington Principles Project, created in fall 2007 as an outgrowth of the 2007 Institute for Honor Symposium on “Moral Responsibility and the Modern American Presidency,” has issued “the Lexington Principles on the Rights of Detainees.” You can read the full report on the Lexington Principles Web site. In addition, a segment on the Lexington Principles is airing as part of With Good Reason, which is produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and airs on public radio programs around the country. The With Good Reason site has information on the segment, which features an interview with alumnus Brooke Lewis, the project chair, and visiting law professor David Alan Jordan, who drafted the principles.

Law Dean Smolla Examines Constitutionality of Bailout Bill for Slate

Rod Smolla, dean of Washington and Lee’s School of Law, has written a piece for Slate in which he examines the constitutionality of the proposed Wall Street bailout bill. In his piece, Smolla compares the bill as proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson with the alternative sponsored by Sen. Christopher Dodd. He also points to an interesting legal parallel between what’s happening in Washington today and laws established in response to the Great Depression:

“Many of the early laws passed at the behest of the Roosevelt administration during the New Deal were struck down by the Supreme Court precisely because they violated norms of checks and balances. While we have come to caricature those Supreme Court decisions as the shortsighted backlash of nine old curmudgeons who reflexively opposed the socialistic tendencies of the New Deal, perhaps it is worth remembering that the constitutional principles they invoked were grounded in the elemental balance struck by the framers.”

Read Smolla’s article on line at Slate.

Scott Hoover on Dr. Phil Friday

Scott Hoover, W&L associate professor of business administration, will discuss his claim against the Virginia Lottery on Friday’s edition of the Dr. Phil Show, which airs at 4 p.m. locally on the NBC affiliate, WSET (Channel 9 on Comcast cable). The entire show is devoted to stories about people who fought the system, and Scott, currently on leave and at the University of Miami, will be discussing his suit against the Virginia Lottery in which he alleges that the lottery has collected tens of millions of dollars in revenue from people who bought scratch-off tickets that had no chance of winning the top prize. You can read the Washington Post story about the suit from this past June. The segments were taped in Los Angeles. A description of the show is on Dr. Phil’s Web site, scroll down to the Sept. 26 entry. The Web site will also have transcripts from the show next week.