|FROM ||Ruben I Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Re: Gnome Conference
I'm no longer the front man on this event, and you'll need to contact Joe Grastara about any further issues.
His email address is joeg-at-nylxs.com.
Thank You for your efforts on behalf of the University community.
However, I will correct some of the responses you gave within the text of your email.
On 2003.11.12 17:48 "Joseph H. Benedict, Jr." wrote:
<<1. The Student Center [referenced by you as SUBO] has nothing to do with the network wiring. This matter was deferred to our ITS
personnel -- they are the experts on our campus [they are responsible for insuring that the network wiring in the Student Center is
operational and functional]. My staff and I barely know the difference between a token ring and Ethernet card connection [as you can
probably ascertain from the language and spelling of various computer terms.] Therefore, my staff referred you [and rightly so] to the
Regarding this, your office, through my discussions with Mitzu, and through email sent to her from Mark Gold and Steve Yates,
unecessarily made the commitment to holding this event much longer and drawn out than it needed to be. From the beginning we
had emails from Mark Gold in support of helping to over come technical obstacles as they could be, and commitments further
from NYLXS and myself that we would be able to live with any technical problems that would not be able to be solved.
Instead of accepting the commitment of the IT department to work to solve as many issues as possible, I've gotten a series of
emails which threatened to hold the rooms from the GNOME conference if the technical people didn't respond quickly enough.
Never mind that one individual in the the department is undergoing a serious health problem, and the other was on vacation
overseas, yet still taking time out to follow up by email commitments, we encountered a situation where the volunteers of
NYLXS was supposed to coordinate the multiple levels of responsibilities of Brooklyn College alone, and under specificially
spelled out conditions in which the conference would not be held.
Simply put, a more appropriate response to an event which would have given Brooklyn College students the chance to work side
by side with the most fameous computer programmers on the planet, and to learn directly from masters in the science and craft
of computer technology, would have been a cooperative discussion of the needs of the conference, and working jointly in solving
problems and finding solutions. In the end, it would have taken a MINIMUM joint effort to have held nearly the entire conference
at the Student Union Building, as it was origianlly discussed with Mitzu when I came to the University and introduced her to the
people and technologies which the University was hosting. This is because David showed that we already have the backbone of
all the networking capability which needed to be there, and only a small part of the wiring infrastructure which needs to
installed is missing. Clearly, after the conference call last week, this could have been tackled if the desire to do so was
there, and it would have been paid for by NYLXS.
Instead, I didn't know if I had rooms at all for the workshop part of the conference, and I was forced to make outside
commitments, who have no more or less certainty about how we will do the networking things will be built, but which do
understand that enough technical expertise exists in the GNOME Foundation, with NYWIRELESS, and within the participants
of the conference to assure a productive, educational and professional serives.
> 2. Mitzu Handy has spent an inordinate amount of time trying to coordinate your wishes from the very beginning -- she has devoted
countless hours [and emails] trying to get matters surrounding your event resolved.
Mitzu understands the importance of this event for the College, for the Brooklyn Communitee and for the New York City
IT community which is first recovering from the attack on New York of September 11th, 2001. Mitzu has not been the
problem in getting the commitments which have been needed. I feel completely confident that if Mitzu was in the
necessary decision making roles which where needed, that we wouldn't be having this discussion and that the full confernece
would have happened on campus. She did not have the decision making power. Not enough good things can be said about
Mitzu, the efforts she has put out and how she has responded to difficult circumstances. I would recommend promoting her.
> 4. The issue of a "certified check" prior to the event is standard procedure -- mandated by the CUNY Board of Trustees. <
This fact should have been stated in a nonthreatening manner in the early stages of the planning, not at the last minute in an email
which threatened to call off the Student Unions participation.
> I support your right to communicate with "Borough Hall in the morning and Senator Kruger's Office", however, I would appreciate it if
> you would communicate factual information, as opposed to the slanted communication that seems to be contained in your message below.
I have constant discussions and friends in all levels of the Government all the time. I founded the political policy arm of NY Fair Use,
NYLXS, and other political discussions outside of the narrow issues involving digital communications, copyright and technology. I was
mearly telling you what my schedule was today. As it worked out, I was talking to Borough Hall, White House staff, and Congressmen
Weiners office instead, and didn't have time on my single day off to get down to the college.
If you want to make contacts in these institutions of Government, let me know and I'll give you my contacts.
It has no impact on my life in any way other than satisifaction of doing good deeds for deserving people.
> The fact of the matter is, my staff and I were very excited to find that you chose the Student Center and Brooklyn College
I hope so, because we've worked extremely hard at coordinating this, and we've done so without any selfish motivations whatsoever, and
we derive exactly zero direct benifit from this. You keep calling it 'MY' event. It is not my event. It is OUR event, in that
it directly benifits Brooklyn College, the GNOME Foundation, the student community, and the City of New York.
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