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03/31/2017

Totem Submissions Due April 7

Totem, Caltech's literary and visual arts magazine, is receiving submissions now for the 2017 issue.

Submissions to Totem 2017 are due 11:59 pm on April 7 to totem@caltech.edu. Anyone affiliated with Caltech is welcome to participate. Information that should be included with submissions:

  • name (or anonymous)
  • title
  • medium

Works accepted include photographs, poetry, prose, etc. Photographs should be at least 300 dpi. 

For more information, please see totem.caltech.edu or www.facebook.com/CaltechTotem.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at totem@caltech.edu.

03/23/2017

Supervisors Encouraged to Lead Violence Prevention Exercises

The Caltech Crisis Management Council is urging supervisors to lead their teams in tabletop exercises this spring focusing on how to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to incidents of violence on campus. Training and information about conducting these exercises will be provided to interested supervisors on April 3 and April 10. Both sessions will be held from 2-3 p.m. in Crellin 151.

To participate in a session or learn more visit www.emergencypreparedness.caltech.edu

03/10/2017

Smoking on the Caltech Campus

In response to questions from members of our community regarding smoking on campus, Caltech is participating in an educational campaign to remind our community of the existing municipal codes around smoking in and around buildings.

All individuals on the Caltech campus, including residents, employees, and visitors are subject to adhere to the Pasadena Municipal Code, which includes specific regulations on tobacco use. The city ordinance (8.78) prohibits smoking in all enclosed workplaces, in and around multiunit housing complexes, and within 20 feet of all campus building doorways, windows, and vents. Smoking is further prohibited (ordinance 8.78.085) in all common areas of multiunit housing complexes, such as our student houses, the Catalina Apartments, and other rental properties owned by Caltech. It is important that all members of our community abide by local laws and respect those who wish to avoid secondhand smoke.

Our intent with this communication about smoking is to ensure that all Caltech community members have an appropriate environment where personal choices are not inhibited. It is incumbent upon all community members to be respectful of personal tobacco choices. Likewise, those who choose to use tobacco should attempt to minimize its impact on others, and those choosing to avoid tobacco products should take steps to ensure their own comfort.

Finally, for those who are struggling with tobacco use and would like to quit, Caltech's health care plans offer smoking cessation programs when requested. For Caltech community members who do not participate in our health care plans, alternative plans (e.g., the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking program) are available. Please use the following link to get more information on how to stop smoking: https://benefits.caltech.edu/quitsmoking

Caltech is a campus where everyone who lives, studies, and works must experience a welcoming environment. One important part of such an environment requires us to ensure the full rights of individuals within the laws of our society. 

If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact Ken Hargreaves

02/06/2017

400 Year Old Engelmann Oak Tree Notification

Since last summer Caltech Facilities has received numerous inquiries asking whether or not Caltech's landmark 400 year old Engelmann oak tree has finally died. Anyone who grew up here in Southern California or who has been on campus long enough will already guess the correct answer to that question is 'It's hard to know.' During long periods of drought it is common for native oaks to suddenly turn completely brown, drop all their leaves, and go dormant; appearing completely dead until without warning green shoots reappear in the treetops once the rains begin again. Just like the slow, measured, metabolism which results in an oak's ironlike hardwood, testing for mortality in oaks is a slow process measuring different parts of the multiple trunks, canopy, and what are known as 'buttress roots.'

During the January meeting of the Trustee's Council on Institute Sustainability [CIS] their Oak Tree Task Force reported conclusive findings that the tree no longer supports enough viable tissue to recover, and so the council has formally declared the tree to be dead. As a venerable local landmark centuries before Caltech first built on this acreage in 1910 it will be sadly missed by many of us here on campus and our alumni, by our Pasadena and San Marino neighbors, and by all those campus visitors over its most recent century who have had their pictures taken under those massive branches outside Parsons-Gates.

Readers of the Caltech Ion's October 15, 2016 announcement will already know that 'the old oak by the chemistry building,' as it was referred to by students in Caltech first 1919-20 yearbook, was badly damaged by the big windstorm a few years ago, further weakened by sustained drought, and had recently been under treatment for a fungal infection.

In the case of an oak estimated to be more than 400 years old, it will not be a simple matter of chopping the tree down and replacing it with a fresh sapling from the local nursery. Arthur Fleming, who donated the land in 1908, was a lumberman and tree expert so the original campus master plan was designed around this tree as a central feature of the site. It will take both planning and consideration of the many variables involved to adjust the landscape to this loss while making proper use of as much of the remaining tree debris as we reasonably can. Samples for scientific study have already been requested from the Division of Geology and Planetary Sciences, as well as local and regional government agencies.

CIS, tasked with long term issues of resource use and campus infrastructure, formed the Oak Tree Task Force at the beginning of Fall Term with the expectation that the process of tree removal and regeneration of the site will take roughly a year. Already they are planning to use historical, scientific, and cultural data from the tree as the basis of a series of programs for Caltech's annual Earth Week and Arbor Day events; are working with the Office of the President to plan a ceremonial 'first cut' potentially during Alumni Weekend in May; while facilities staff are negotiating with a specialty arborist to fully dissect the tree starting after commencement.

It is anticipated that many of you will want to learn more about these plans and to make comments on the future use of both the tree remains and the location, so CIS will hold a campus wide Town Hall meeting as its first program on Wednesday, February 15 at noon in the Avery Dining Hall. The Oak Tree Task Force will post updated content as it become available on the www.sustainability.caltech.edu website and will accept all comments by email at sustainability@caltech.edu.

 

John Onderdonk
on behalf of the Council on Institute Sustainability

01/19/2017

Photography: Red Door Cafe

Photography for Development and Institute Relations will take place at the Red Door Cafe between 3 and 4 p.m. on Friday, January 20. This will not affect service.

12/05/2016

Flu Shots Available While Supplies Last

Faculty and staff members, postdocs, and students can get a flu shot at the Student Health Center on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday from 8:30–10 a.m. and from 1–2:30 p.m. A Caltech ID is required. For those pregnant or breastfeeding a note from a primary care physician is also required to receive the flu vaccine.

11/21/2016

Beckman Museum Open First Friday of Each Month

The Beckman Room is a small museum devoted to the history of chemistry and to the scientific and philanthropic work of Arnold O. Beckman.

The museum is open to walk-in visitors the first Friday of every month.

1–4 p.m., Beckman Room, Beckman Institute, Room 131

11/01/2016

Annual Asbestos Notification

Annual written notice of the presence of asbestos-containing building materials is being provided to all campus Faculty, Staff, and Students as required by California Health and Safety Code Section 25915.2. Copies of this legislation are available in Environment, Health, and Safety (EH&S).

Prior to 1979 asbestos was used extensively in the building industry throughout the United States for thermal insulation, fireproofing, and in structural support materials. At Caltech, asbestos was used to insulate hot water and steam pipes as well as ventilation ducts. It may be found in some attics, mechanical rooms, and in some floor and ceiling tiles.

The mere presence of asbestos in a building does not necessarily mean that a health hazard exists. Asbestos-containing building materials are not a health threat unless asbestos fibers become airborne and are inhaled.

Exposure to airborne asbestos increases your risk of developing lung disease. Three of the major health effects associated with asbestos exposure are: 1) lung cancer; 2) mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart; and 3) asbestosis, a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs.

In areas where the asbestos is not airborne when bonded or encapsulated, such as floor tiles or painted and properly maintained insulation materials, there is little or no risk to health.

Accordingly, it is important not to disturb asbestos-containing materials. Caltech's policy restricts work on asbestos-containing materials to properly trained and equipped personnel. Moving, drilling, cutting, or otherwise disturbing such materials can pose a health risk and should not be attempted by untrained personnel. Campus Faculty, Staff, and Students should immediately notify EH&S if they observe suspected asbestos-containing materials which are not properly maintained.

The Environment, Health, and Safety Office maintains records of asbestos sampling and air monitoring results performed during the course of asbestos abatement work. These records are available for review by appointment by contacting EH&S at extension 6727.

10/06/2016

Hiring Undergraduate Work-Study Students

The Financial Aid Office and the Career Development Center are working together to expand the Federal Work-Study program. The goal is to provide students with more job opportunities and the Caltech Community with additional student staff at very low cost.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program of financial assistance for eligible students that is jointly-funded by federal and departmental contributions. It allows students to work to earn a portion of their college expenses.  The Department of Education allocates funds to Caltech to pay 75% of the wages of work-study students so hiring offices only pay the remaining 25% of the wages. Some students have been awarded Caltech Work-Study, in these cases the cost sharing breakdown is 60%-40% Institute and departmental contributions.

If you are interested in hiring a work-study student, use the link below to create an account and start posting your jobs now!  

https://caltech-csm.symplicity.com/employers

Instructions on how to post a job are available in the Supervisor Guide. Once you have hired a work-study student, please consult the Supervisor Guide for general guidelines on working with work-study students. Should you have any questions regarding the work-study program, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office at x6280.
 

Don Crewell
Director of Financial Aid

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