What Have I Been Doing? IV

Periodically, in times of blog inactivity, I like to come back and report all the things I’ve been doing while not blogging. Here’s a complete run down of the more recent:

I finished up Recruitment for my fraternity. It was basically working a part-time 20hrs/wk job for two weeks doing lots of event planning, but we ended up getting twelve fine men to join our fraternity. Well worth it!

I’ve been working with Ozzie Gooen on .impact, a distributed volunteer force working to produce really useful projects. Here’s a list of projects our group is working on and you can check our meetings log for their status. Besides helping coordinate the group as a whole, I’m also working on building a Job Board (more details here) and studying vegetarian advocacy.

I’ve been working on learning more computer programming. In addition to working on the Job Board, I’ve begun to work for a friend’s startup called Jorge’s Trading Post, doing some PHP development for them. I’ve also been learning more Ruby on Rails, Python, and JavaScript. It helps that I’m now in a Computer Science class and have to program for actual homework.

I have been blogging, some. I’ve posted around here, but I’ve also been posting non-utilitarian stuff (gasp!) on my Tumblr.

I’m still doing Senior Research. I’m researching political optimism and the influence of optimism on political behavior. We just launched our survey recently on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

I’m still debating Alonzo Fyfe. The topic is whether Alonzo Fyfe’s desirism or my two-level utilitarianism is the better theory of utilitarianism.

I’m still involved in the Denison Community Association, the umbrella organization for all volunteer service and service learning on Denison’s campus. I’m currently working to figure out how to get more people involved in service.

I’m still involved in Denison Venture Philanthropy, a grant-making organization that gives out $10K and 200 volunteer hours to one non-profit each year. This year, we’re working with the South Newark Civic Association to (1) get them a professional website, (2) do a survey-based needs analysis of the community, and (3) put together a booklet of local businesses. I’m helping work on the website – not programming, but helping them figure out how to talk to vendors.

I’m still volunteering with Animal Charity Evaluators. Recently, I helped put together some detailed organization evaluation criteria that ACE will use to evaluate organizations going forward.

I’m going to be giving a 12-minute TEDx talk on effective giving at TEDxDenisonU on the 1st of March.