Category Archives: Projects

Stuff I’m doing, You may be able to help!

KSUM Update 9.24.13

I have some important information regarding KSUM.

First, all materials for the table have been obtained.

For those of you expecting the tablecloth, the banner was purchased to save both time and money. The tablecloth would have taken ten days to print and cost twice as much, when all I wanted to do was make the table more noticeable. The banner has a velcro edge and came with adhesive velcro strips on the side. This means the banner can be attached to the table without issue.

I am $157.38 under budget. I plan to use the extra money for food for many KSUM meetings in the future and possibly literature, but I have not decided yet. If you are a donor, I would be happy to hear your opinion on what the money should be used for. You can review an itemization of Paypal fees and expenses in this Excel file, with links to various receipts in the first column of the second sheet of the workbook. The Excel file is hosted on MediaFire, which messes up spreadsheet formatting badly. Just click the download button at the top right of the page to grab the original file.

Next, my petition now has all the student signatures it needs to demonstrate student demand to KSU administration. Here’s a picture with names blurred to protect the anonymity of the signatories.

petition

I now need officers, so the table event will be more geared toward recruitment. I also need to finish my Constitution and follow up with my faculty adviser candidates, but those are bridges to cross later.

Next up: I sent an email (personal info removed) to the Student Life office of KSU requesting a table for 9 AM EST Friday September 27th for the first table event in front of the Commons. I am waiting to be approved. While I wait for Student Life’s response, I will continue my fight to get some level of recording rights for the event. I was recently physically stopped at the Commons for trying to record the general area to show you all what it was like. The staff had privacy concerns, and they told me to go to the KSU University Relations office for approval. The UR said that they were okay with me recording the event if the offices nearest my table were okay with it. I went over to the Social Sciences building first on a whim and left the Dean a message asking permission. The campus attorney and assistant dean got in touch and told me that I cannot record any student without their explicit, written consent. Note that I am manning a table in a public space, and cannot exactly ask for signatures that easily without setting a bad impression.

I asked the attorney to cite the policy he was referring to. I am still waiting for a response. The KSU Student Handbook and KSU Policy site do not match what he was telling me. If KSU does not actually have a policy related to this, then the next step is to check state law.

Georgia state law codified in O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62 (2)(C) states:

[It shall be unlawful for any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful to] use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are within the curtilage of the residence of the person using such device. A photograph, videotape, or record made in accordance with this subparagraph, or a copy thereof, may be disclosed by such resident to the district attorney or a law enforcement officer and shall be admissible in a judicial proceeding, without the consent of any person observed, photographed, or recorded;

There are three big questions, First, am I “out of public view”? I’d say not, given I am manning a table on a state funded university as a student enrolled in said university. Second, how inclusive is “curtilage”? Curtilage refers to the space around a property, like the street outside of a residence. Think of it as a thick “ring” around a property. Does “within the “curtilage” include the ring around the campus AND inside the ring? Third, if I keep UoT footage and pictures on my person to demonstrate that a camera is needed for my own protection, how far can “I need this camera to protect me from crazy thugs that may attend this public university” take me?

Should the conditions be right to say I need consent (which is debatable), state law does not specify that consent must be written. Given the information I have, the campus attorney looks to have just plain made that up. But I could be wrong. Time will tell.

The takeaway is that I may end up keeping the camera off to the side until someone gets nasty. If I have to pull out the camera defensively, then chances are good the footage needs to be taken. I will take a photo of the table and have my Twitter feed ready to show the event is going on, but I do not know if I will get away with just recording it flat out. We’ll see where the legal discussion goes.

Finally, I met with some student workers on KSU in a small gathering today. The men attending the event were the ones who finished signing my petition. They have been helpful and are open to my questions related to setting up a student organization, One of them actually works in the Student Life office, which is responsible for working with student organizations. I learned that since KSUM is starting as a RSO (Registered Student Organization), it will not have as much power as a CSO (Certified Student Organization). A CSO gets funding and special large space reservation privileges. A RSO gets tables and competes for space like the rest of the student body. I want KSUM to be a CSO, but this is a long-term goal that is currently far out of my reach, It is possible that I will need to trust a good set of officers to take care of that once I leave KSU.

So, we have all the materials under budget for a table event proposed for this Friday. Legal complications are muddling the mixture, but it won’t stop the wheels from turning.

Thanks for keeping up with the events, and thanks again to my supporters for making this possible.

Advertisements

KSU Men

ksuowl

To compete with the Gentlemen’s Club and expand NCFM’s reach, I am starting a group called KSU Men. To become a student organization, I need to have 15 signatures, student IDs, the backing of a student advisor and the approval of a board. Still wandering in the fog on this one. So far, I made a poster to advertise the group and made a few phone calls to learn about relevant policies.

May 31

I interview Paul Elam on starting a men’s group, and ask him some side questions about the MHRM as a whole.

July 8 17:15 GMT-5

Spoke to NCFM Campus Coordinator Chris Thompson for advising. He suggested targeting fraternities for signatures, and offered me the following links on the kind of backlash to expect. It documents his own harsh experiences out in the world. [1][2][3]

August 1 18:43 GMT-5

Drafted a constitution derived from Chris Thompson’s chapter bylaws and collected all needed documentation from KSU to start obtaining signatures.

August 13

I got some posters up asking for volunteers to act as officers, and wandered around “The Cubes,” a set of cubicles where student organizations work.

August 21-26th

Spent time learning more about campus policies and what I need to get this bullshit done.

August 29 15:52 GMT-5

Met with a faculty member and learned about setting up a table to promote the group. Listen to the recording here.

September 2 08:45 GMT-5

Started conversation about good use of a table on the AVFM forums.

September 16 9:34 AM GMT-5

Started fundraiser for KSU Men promo on A Voice For Men.

September 16 4:40 PM GMT-5

Fundraiser goal reached. Thank you!

September 24

All materials for table obtained.

September 28 9:00 AM GMT-5

KSUM Table promo hosted in front of the Commons on Kennesaw State University. Response was positive.

October 4

Published available officer positions on KSU Men’s blog.

The Gentlemen’s Club

ksuowl

Feb. 20, 19:00 GMT-5

Attended men-only event on Kennesaw State University called the Gentlemen’s Club hosted by a Dr. Faust and a Dr. Griggs. Flyer advertises group as follows: “What does it mean to be a man? Join us as we explore the challenges that all men must face.” Only three people were present, including myself.

I was expecting a scolding on how shameful it is to be male, but was pleasantly surprised to find that Faust seems genuinely concerned about men and boys. The meeting was recorded, and you can play the AMR file with VLC Media Player.

Key Times

6:57 – Dr. Faust shares credentials.
7:40 – Dr. Faust mentions vision of a men’s center.
9:06 – Dr. Faust shares his perspective on men.
26:09 – I talk a bit about masculinity. I only mention this to give you an idea about what I was allowed to say.
33:12 – The best thing ever.
34:55 – I tell Dr. Faust about U of T.
1:02:15 – Quote Dr. Faust:

[We will be] a group of guys who will get together and talk about real issues that we face everyday. We can’t do it out there. There’s people out there who don’t understand. They humiliate us. They talk about us. They embarrass us. That will never happen in this particular safe environment. [I want to] create an environment where people can be themselves. That’s all we’re asking for. It’s not complicated!

Faust pulls me aside after the meeting to talk more. I offered him contact info for AVFM in the event he wanted to have a platform. He invites me to meet him and Griggs the following month in a follow-up email.

It is good to hear from you and to meet you at the Gentlemen’s Club meeting on February 20th. Your interest in men’s issues is very evident and appreciated. [redacted] Griggs and I co-lead this men’s group effort in CPS at KSU. We would like to meet with you to discuss in more detail your interests in men’s issues, and in particular, your interest in forming a men’s group at KSU.

Feb 27 16:24 GMT-5

I ask MHRAs in AVFM to share questions they would like me to take to Faust and Griggs.

Mar. 11 18:00 GMT-5

I met with Faust and Griggs, and was not allowed to record that meeting. I talk about my experience with the meeting in a youtube video.

It turned out that Faust did not need help forming a new men’s group, which was suggested in the quoted email. Faust saw men as “broken” and in need of fixing. The definitions of “broken” and “fixed” were not clarified when I asked. The Gentlemen’s Club also did not allow members to discuss group topics with one another outside of the group. This is a step beyond prohibiting members from sharing group information with strangers, which would have been reasonable. Dr. Faust and Dr. Griggs wanted to supervise all intermember communication, enforceable by signed contract.

TGC turned hostile against AVFM. Faust saw it as a militant group. Ironically, Faust wanted to emulate Dr. Miles Groth, who wrote for AVFM. I suspect Faust was uncomfortable with AVFM’s tone, even though their core philosophies are similar.

I decided to compete with my own men’s group, since TGC seemed harmful. I dropped contact.

Project Excavator

excavator

One of the perks of the U.S. Government is lots of publicly available data. A recent executive order is making agencies offer machine-readable data, which opens up new opportunities to collect dirt. Enter Project Excavator, a tool that digs up such dirt. I want to give journalists or activists the ability to ask for data reports to cite in various projects. Excavator will be a long running project that requires much research, and I will need assistance from web developers and designers to make the project big and strong on GitHub. If I am left to do it alone… well… I’ll get to it when I get to it. Not like I’m getting paid or anything.

Skills Needed

  • Yii Framework
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript/JSON
  • PHP
  • Sass/Compass/SMACSS
  • Git/Git Flow
  • BASH

June 22

Initialized repository according to Git Flow. See readme for project info for devs.

June 23-26

A bunch of code and bullshit. See commit log.

June 27

Implemented boilerplate theme. No real decor added yet. Just worried about content.

At this point I want to work on my first data source, but I have not yet decided on the first federal public API to target. Ideally I would gather information on the sexes, but not all APIs offer that information. It is possible that more time will be needed for Obama’s executive order to be carried out.

In the meantime, I decided that using the Google Charts API would be a good way to perform client-side presentation of data. I will just let the back end deliver it.

July 11

Fiddling with a static HTML file with Google Charts. Also finished first draft of project logo.

Map The Money

money-map

May 29th

I reported on Woman, Action, Media (WAM!) making a move towards removing what they alone deem to be hate speech on Facebook. WAM! did this by issuing an ultimatum in the form of an open letter to Facebook on May 21st. Images using rape for humorous purposes were deemed hate speech and therefore worthy of removal while similar images where men were the target were ignored. The double standard became more obvious when AVFM’s content challenging the feminist-driven zeitgeist was removed, even though it complied with community standards. The content consisted of two images [1][2].

June 1st

I requested assistance from the AVFM forums in profiling the organizations who signed of the open letter. The goal was to document how money was circulating in and around WAM!

WAM! has yet to respond to my request for a donor list or any other financial documentation. In the event they obtain tax exempt status, I can request any form 990s or 1023s they have available under IRC 6104(d) regulations. What this means is that federal law allows me to just walk up and ask for that information, and WAM! must provide it. The IRS database does not list WAM! as a tax-exempt organization, so WAM! is likely still getting most of its funding from sponsorships and individual donors as it claimed. However, I wanted to learn about the funding sources for the financial sponsors of WAM!, and those source’s sources, and so on.

The motivation of this project is simple: When someone makes claims, it helps to know who is giving them money. This can lead to new insights about potential biases and possible breaches of regulation, in the event that government funding was used somewhere in sexist campaigns like #FBrape.

WAM!’s open letter proved to be a gateway into this project given its large list of signatories, which included government funded and/or tax-exempt organizations. I asked the AVFM forums to assist me in profiling the signatories, and they delivered. Fifteen people helped me compile a large PDF document with useful information on each of the signatories.

June 3rd

Daily Dot copywriter Aja Romano accuses AVFM as an organization fighting for the right to make rape jokes, and paints me as a conspiracy theorist for starting this project.

6a00d8341bf80c53ef014e865668a8970d-500wi

June 25th

I publicly released the latest version of the PDF, which was not to be updated any longer. Since the document was being updated organically, it made more sense to move it to the AVFM wiki for further development. Before the content can be ported, a MediaWiki template is needed to make the conversion process easier. The wiki administrator has spelled out the process for me. I am now tasked with porting the MyBB forum post code into a meaningful WikiText representation.

July 16th 11:22 GMT-5

Ported much of the PDF content to the AVFM wiki. State benefits for feminist organizations (or organizations acting in feminist/misandrist interests) can now be mapped in this article.

July 26th 21:20 GMT-5

WAM! finally responded to my queries for information. They are trying to get tax-exempt status. Here’s their 1023 with attachment:

http://www.avoiceformen.com/portal/wp-co…m-1023.pdf
http://www.avoiceformen.com/portal/wp-co…m-1023.pdf

Jaclyn Friedman replied herself. Email below.

Our 990s are available on the Foundation Center’s website. Attached is our 1023. Please note that FY13 financials were projected, not actual, as the 1023 was filed a year ago.

-Jaclyn