Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

The McKelvy House Scholars will host a dinner discussion Sunday evening on social movements witnessed by the current generation of college students.

Dinner will begin 6 p.m. at McKelvy House, 200 High Street; RSVP by Saturday to oxholmg or x4035. Led by Geoff Oxholm ’04 (Merion Station, Pa.), a computer science major, the discussion will start at 6:30 p.m. and requires no reservations.

“Specifically, we’ll be talking about movements that are not fueled by inequity, but social frustrations: countercultures. In our parents’ generation, the Merry Pranksters, Beats, and Hippies among others were clear-cut explorations of alternate ways of living. These lifestyles are typically referred to as countercultures because of their deviance from the mainstream culture. What I want to know is: Is anything happening with our generation? Are we doing anything? What social explorations are we involved in?

“One of the key ingredients in becoming a noteworthy counterculture is being well known. This generally requires media. Time and the New York Times have been credited with providing that media and even for creating hype (as in the Hells Angels). Today we boast the extreme communication power of the Internet. Is the Internet helping us create social movements or is it destroying the power of a movement by subdividing it into particularized frustration groups? That is, is the ready-made-community nature of the Internet ending the need for such movements? Or, is the Internet simply the location of these cultures?

“ is an example of a type of culture I believe is growing: that of the liberal anti-mass-media media organization. These organizations, although mostly political, are social in their attack at the frustrations associated with mass media. Just as the Merry Pranksters were frustrated with ‘square’ culture, these organizations are frustrated with how information is received.”

Questions covered in the discussion will include:
What is a counterculture?
Where do countercultures come from?
When do they leave?
What does a former member of a counterculture think about what went down?
What countercultures exist now?
Which are we involved in?
Has the “increase of communication” helped or hindered?
What is to be gained by a counterculture?
Are countercultures hoping to change mainstream culture, or simply do what feels right?

Last semester, Oxholm led a dinner discussion on “unnecessary” crimes – those not motivated by material needs.

Since 1962, the McKelvy House Scholars program has brought together Lafayette students with a wide range of majors and interests to reside in a historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities. Weekly Sunday dinner discussions that engage the students in debate and exchange of ideas are the hallmark of the program. Most members also contribute to the annual McKelvy Papers, written on a topic of each person’s choice. McKelvy Scholars participate in activities together such as field trips to plays, concerts, and exhibits, and sponsor events for the campus as well.

Past McKelvy discussions in 2003-04:

Feb. 15 — Eternity
Feb. 8 — Bisexuality
Dec. 7 — Anger and frustration toward computers and technology
Nov. 9 — “Unnecessary” crimes
Nov. 2 — Genetic alteration
Oct. 26 — Social construction of gender
Oct. 19 — Greed as an economic force
Sept. 28 — Value

Categorized in: Academic News