Volume 12, Number 14
20 December 2005

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New Student Executive Board Takes Office

The Student Council's new Executive Committee took office on Wednesday, December 14. The former Executive Committee members handed over their responsibilities to their successors during a ceremony held at the Mithat Çoruh Auditorium. The newly elected committee members, headed by President Erkan Mert Yylmaz, then presented their goals and plans for the 2005-2006 academic year.

The primary objective of the Student Council Executive Committee members is to increase "Bilkentli" spirit as much as possible. They plan to work in cooperation with the university's faculties and schools as well as the student clubs to organize more events and activities that will bring all students together as part of one community. This includes organizing more volunteer projects for students to participate in.

The committee hopes to play an important role in the lives of Bilkent students by starting new activities as well as by making established ones even better. Some of the events planned are: Friendship Days, Winter Fest, Cinema and Theater Days, Sports Week, Humor Days, a commemoration of Turkish philosophers, Technology Days, outdoor parties and a Turkish night for the exchange students at our university.

Another goal is to arrange meetings that would better acquaint the business world with new Bilkent graduates. And finally, the committee intends to represent "Bilkentliler" successfully at both national and international platforms.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish the newly elected members an eventful and productive year.


Pioneers in Optoelectronics and Photonics Visit Bilkent, Speak at FOTONIK 2005

Professor David A. B. Miller and Professor James S. Harris of Stanford University visited Bilkent University on December 11-13. Drs. Miller and Harris, who are both professors of electrical engineering and applied physics at Stanford, are known worldwide for their pioneering work in optoelectronics and photonics.

The two scientists gave plenary talks at the opening of the seventh Optics, Electro-optics and Photonics Conference (FOTONYK 2005), held at Bilkent on December 12. The conference was organized by the Faculty of Science, the Nanotechnology Research Center (NANOTAM) and the Nanotechnology Student Club, and attended by more than 200 participants from academia, funding agencies and industry, including scientists, students, engineers and decision-makers working in the field of photonics across the country. (Continued)

Send a Card, Save a Life

It's almost New Year's time, and you'll be probably looking for greeting cards and little gifts for your family and friends. UNICEF offers you a variety of souvenirs and greeting cards. Better yet, the proceeds from UNICEF sales go to help children in need. If you would like to support this worthy cause, you can choose a gift or card for a friend at http://qshop.tr.net/unicef.aspx  

Remember, only 12.7 YTL can provide vitamin A to nearly 250 children to protect them from disease and prevent blindness. Or, you can help several children start their education through the "Haydi Kızlar Okula" campaign.

You can visit the UNICEF shop at the UNICEF Turkish National Committee's building on the Main Campus, near the Student Council Building.

For more information, please see their website: www.unicefturk.org  

NATO Secretary General Speaks at Bilkent

On Monday, December 19, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer came to Bilkent to speak to students of the university's Department of International Relations. His audience, which included Bilkent administrators and faculty members as well as students, plus a large contingent from the Turkish press, filled Mithat Çoruh Auditorium to capacity.

A native of the Netherlands, Mr. De Hoop Scheffer has held his current position since January 2004. He began his career in public service in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and later was elected to the House of Representatives of the the States General. He served as his country's Minister of Foreign Affairs during 2002 and 2003, and also as the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe during the Netherlands' OSCE chairmanship in 2003.

Mr. De Hoop Scheffer stated that he was particularly interested in meeting with students and young people, as the "successor generation" and the leaders of tomorrow. His talk focused on what he referred to as the "five dimensions" of the ongoing transformation of NATO: conceptualizing today's security challenges; military preparedness to meet those challenges; relationships with other global institutions such as the UN and the EU; a broadened geographic outlook; and, cutting across the other four, the strengthening of the organization's political role.

He stated that all of these items had a close bearing on Turkey, which he called a "unique actor on the world stage" and an "invaluable ally." Mr. De Hoop Scheffer also lauded Turkey's contribution to NATO missions in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and expressed his belief that Turkey's EU candidacy had the potential to help bring NATO and the EU closer together.

During a lively question and discussion period following his talk, he responded to questions and comments from students and other audience members concerning topics such as the security situation in Iraq, the relationship of the Cyprus problem to Turkey's EU admission, NATO's perception of threats, and the process of consensus within NATO.
Diane Ewart Grabowski

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