The Arizona Desert Lamp


Posted in Uncategorized by Evan Lisull on 9 November 2009

We've Moved!

Well, it’s moving day, and time to say sayonara to these haunts. The new site is at the old URL – We’ll keep this site open for another week or so as we move over, but all the new content will be available there.

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Technical Update

Posted in Uncategorized by Evan Lisull on 11 October 2009

Dr. WeirdSo, as many of you have pointed out, has been replaced with what appears to some to be “a corporate site ” and others “some cute chick w/ vegas connections.”

Have no fear: the site was not the victim of some corporate takeover, nor was it mortgaged to pay for the Chalkers Legal Defense Fund. We’re currently having some work done on a new, supper-snazzy site, which will be making its grand appearance in the coming weeks. You’ll have to wait with bated breath to see whether it resembles a black hole, a time-space continuum, or something completely different.  

For now, though, update your links accordingly – that’s We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as the old URL is up and running.

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Dean of Students will not pursue alleged Code of Conduct violation

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 5 October 2009

In the continuing vein of the conceptual-art-project-cum-media-ethics-nightmare more commonly referred to as Chalkgate (ugh) Chalktober Fest the “chalking incident”: Dr. Veda Kowalski, Associate Dean of Students, has informed me via phone that the Dean of Students’ office will not be pursuing a Code of Conduct violation. I will, however, have the chance to speak with Dr. Kowalski on Wednesday about the incident as a whole. No word yet on Mr. Miller, but hopefully he will be receiving the same good news shortly.

Also, some more media pickups: here is the write-up from the Center for Free Speech on Campus. Here is a way-too-kind post from Renee Schafer Horton at the Citizen. Here is the “Chalk is Speech” blog (!), including a letter of support from faculty and staff. Here is the video from Fox 11*, which I will surely regret posting.

* – The video engages in a bit of visual humor, juxtaposing shots of chalk on walls and pillars with the assertions that such chalking only occured on the ground. It should be emphasized that these shots occured in the afternoon, long after the author’s detainment; and further, that neither this site nor the author supports this sort of chalking, which is illegal.

UPDATE: Here [PDF] is the letter making it official.

In the News

Posted in Uncategorized by Evan Lisull on 28 September 2009

So this has happened. For legal reasons, I can’t comment on this case as much as I would like to, but I would like to express my sincere thanks for all of the support that has come forth in such a short period of time.

UPDATE: Good news, courtesy of a UA press release:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Statement on follow-up to two incidents of chalk expressions at the University of Arizona

Contact: Paul G. Allvin – (520) 390-3520;

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona stands firmly committed to defending, celebrating and hosting free expression, a value that was tested last week when students rallied on campus to protest cuts to higher education funding.

The protest itself was part of the UA’s tradition of robust freedom of expression, but advertising of that event in the form of chalk messages that appeared on surfaces other than the ground and sidewalks resulted in one student being cited for criminal damage for defacing the sides of structures.

On Monday morning, another student was cited for criminal damage for committing a similar act on campus. Both incidents required university
funding and employee time to clean up. Throughout, UA’s interests have been twofold: ensuring students’ ability to express themselves freely, and ensuring that university property was not damaged.

UAPD was doing its job citing students for illegal behavior, but upon review of the circumstances UA President Robert N. Shelton believes
that the best course of action is to handle these incidents as possible Code of Conduct violations through the Dean of Students Office.

To that end, President Shelton has directed UAPD to avoid citing individuals for criminal damage for similar future incidents, and to refer students who appear to have committed similar acts to the Dean of Students Office. UAPD is in the process of dismissing charges against the two students who were cited, and those students have been referred to the Dean of Students Office.

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How do we know that Meredith Hay really is provost at the UA? Why won’t she show us her paystub?

Posted in Campus, Culture, Politics by Evan Lisull on 14 September 2009

UA Death Panel

Look, honestly, there really does seem to be something rotten in the campus of Tucson. Perhaps we are coming close to a tipping point where the conspiratorial seed realizes that it is in the majority, and rises up publicly. Perhaps this will result in the disclosure of definitive information implicating Provost Hay and President Shelton in their alleged malfeasance. Nevertheless, it is still very hard to take seriously a group that draws a direct connection from its critiques to the barely coherent ramblings of the WorldNetDaily set. Seriously, guys – y’all need to hire a PR agent or something.

Also, be sure to check out the bonus “yo momma” joke against “Suzie” near the bottom of the post. In an inversion of internet norms, the comments section actually contains the most substantive and fair-minded debate, and is highly recommended.

* – Hey, Birffers are fun! So are imagined 16th century plays! Enjoy both – at once! – at the Kosmo.

**  – I would also like to thank Urantian Sojourn and MS Paint for artistic inspiration. But Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.

Tweeting sectaries

Posted in Media by Evan Lisull on 24 August 2009

Someone Tweeted! When I visited a friend at Harvard in the winter of 2005, he asked me if I had heard of Facebook.

“No – what is it?”

“It’s a site where you can see pictures of all your friends, have wall conversations with them, and see their photos. The guy who founded it went here – it was made for Harvard.”

“Huh.” I furrowed my brow, feeling my age. “Uh, what do you use it for?”

“Well, mostly just keeping in touch. You’ll probably get one when you’re in college. It’ll make more sense then.”

He was right about the first part, even though the site makes even less sense than it did back then. Protest groups have risen and protest groups have fallen, but the sun never sets on Facebook.

Now, there’s Twitter – which, after recent modifications, boils down to status updates without the anchor of friendships. Where Facebook’s news feed was a CNN ticker for one’s life, Twitter is – well, it’s not clear exactly. What one’s life ought to be?

At any rate, Twitterdom is inevitable for any serious media site, and we were so bowled over by the impressive Campus Rec site (“Twitter: so easy, a building could do it”) that we couldn’t resist the site’s sweet, sweet tweets. Follow us, or pay the price!

And if you can’t get enough Twitterage (Tweetage? Twitteration? ) there, you can follow both of your editors as well. It’s the like the Lamp, with more Robert Byrd jokes.

Image courtesy of Brian Lane Winfield Moore’s WWIII Propaganda. (HT: Boing Boing)

Writing Elsewhere (or, Shameless Self-Promotion)

Posted in Media, Politics by Evan Lisull on 28 July 2009

Along with some fellow AFF contestants, I’ve begun writing a column for the D.C. Writeup. It’s good, new-fashioned media fun – and it allows for a stretching of those national/international brain muscles, which have atrophied under the tyranny of Bizarroland. The first piece is on the walking, talking Hair-Plug 3000. Tweet it, Diggit, Reddit, comment on it.

The changes for this site are still in works – lot of ins, lot of outs, lot of what-have-yous. If any readers out there are interested in getting involved, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email.

A semi-belated programming note

Posted in Uncategorized by Evan Lisull on 11 May 2009

StudyingYou don’t need us to tell you that it’s finals week, and that summer is so close that you can hear it. That doesn’t mean that the Lamp is closing shop. While we won’t be updating at the same frenzied pace that we’ve maintained over the past year, we will continue to put out thoughts as the muse strikes us.

Over the next few months, you can expect to see a lot of exciting new changes in the site, in everything from design to content, so be sure to check in from time to time to see what we’re up to (although you’ll have to pardon the dust). Also, if you aren’t already, you should stay up to speed on our “Under the Sun” associates, who have been putting out great stuff (plus, be sure to welcome Vishal, who has just started his own blog).

It’s been a great ten months, folks. Good luck on your finals, and have a relaxing summer.

Image courtesy of Flickr user scult3astevo

In which the Desert Lamp infiltrates the news desk?

Posted in Campus, Media by Evan Lisull on 18 February 2009

The Wildcat today features a good investigative report today:

Almost all ASUA elected officials may be guilty of Election Code violations reaching back to last March’s general election.

The code states that all Associated Students of the University of Arizona candidates must remove their campaign materials by a business week after the general elections. This includes online campaign materials, according to the 2009 ASUA Elections Code.

However, as campaigning for the current election race officially began Monday, every sitting senator, as well as ASUA President Tommy Bruce and Administrative Vice President Seema Patel, still had not taken down all of their online campaign materials from last year’s election.

Funny, though; this sounds rather familiar. In fact, it sounds like something written on this site when the Elections Code was approved back in December:

Curiously, the Senate that approved this code is in violation of its tenets: every single standing Senator still has their campaign group in existence, well after the election period. Both of Tommy Bruce’s groups are still up; Patel’s Senate site and Admin. VP site still remain. Curiously, Anderson’s is off, perhaps since she’s the only one that actually read the Code. The ultimately failed “Abolish ASUA” group still exists as well.

The Wildcat then digs back into its own archives:

It was a big deal for Rhonda Tubbs, though, who knows something about election codes specifying online campaign material.

After winning a race for executive vice president in the 2006 ASUA elections, Tubbs was disqualified from entering office. Tubbs, the Elections Commission decided, had violated an Election Code when her friend posted “Vote Rhonda Tubbs” on her America Online messenger profile, the Daily Wildcat reported in Feb. 2006.

Tubbs was also found guilty of not receiving approval to hand out cookies on the UA Mall and sending emails through a campus listserv campaigning for votes.

This was an interesting discovery — when this site made it three days ago:

I’ve commented previously on the absurdly ahistorical nature of student government; and, in a never-ending attempt to make the past present, I present to you the case of Rhonda Tubbs.

Few, if any, of the current ASUA members, or those monitoring them, remember Rhonda Tubbs. Ms. Tubbs was a candidate for executive vice president, way back in 2006. By all regards, Ms. Tubbs was a popular ASUA figure among the student body, initiating the current laptop-loan program during her tenure as a Senator. During the primary campaign, Ms. Tubbs won in the EVP category, defeating future Executive Vice President David Reece by a 34.2% to 31.89% margin.

Yet unfortunately for Ms. Tubbs, she happened to be running for an elected office within ASUA — which means that she was subject to the ASUA Elections Code. Ultimately, she was disqualified for the commission of several ‘minor’ campaign violations . . .

The Wildcat has been very good to me — it provided me the first opportunity to write publicly on a regular basis; it forced me to hone my thoughts and to consider viewpoints I’d never really engaged in prior. Many of my best friends here on campus are former Wildcat writers. The paper continues to pay dividends in the way of source articles, which provide the stepping stone for many a post on this site. By all regards, Mr. Bergan is well-meaning guy; and perhaps this is unintentional, a case of the lightning of insight striking twice on our campus. In the future, though, our simple request is that if you use our research – and please do! – you let the reader know where it came from. A simple, “According to the Arizona Desert Lamp . . .” will suffice.

Odds and Ends

Posted in Random by Evan Lisull on 5 February 2009

1. Due to an unforeseen house-related emergency, the author was unfortunately unable to attend yesterday’s Senate meeting. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if the Senate’s GarageBand-produced recording were released online, but I digress. (Besides, it does sound like at least one Senator is moving towards making this a reality — Sen. Fritze alluded to speaking with a tech figure about implementing such a system.) The author will be filling out the forms to access the meeting’s minutes, and comments from anyone who did manage to make yesterday’s meeting will be most appreciated.

2. A most erudite friend (and member of the esteemed Lamp commentariat) has pointed out that the Latin on the right-hand barrier is in error. The phrase should now be correct, but we apologize to any classicists that may have been irrevocably harmed over the past few months.

3. Speaking of corrections, we’ve also gone ahead and updated the the “About the Blog” section.

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