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Saint Mary’s workshop addresses sexual harassment in the workplace

first_imgFueled by the mindset that a Saint Mary’s education cultivates exceptional leaders equipped with the knowledge to pinpoint and respond to injustice, the College hosted a workshop addressing sexual harassment in the workplace in Stapleton Lounge on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Kara Kelly Chair of the department of English, Laura Haigwood, discusses sexual harassment and its impact on marginalized communities during a workshop held Tuesday in Stapleton Lounge.Chair of the English department, Laura Haigwood, who moderated a panel discussion preceding the workshop, said the College aims to prepare students to encounter harsh social realities.“This workshop is the brainchild of President Jan Cervelli, who wants to ensure all Belles have a toolkit for responding appropriately and effectively to sexual harassment, should it happen that you personally experience it,” Haigwood said.Treating men and women with equal respect in professional spaces demonstrates respect for basic human dignity, special assistant to Cervelli, Kara Kelly, said.“We are in a crucial moment in our culture, galvanized by the courageous #MeToo movement to address an issue that has, for too long, been willfully ignored — no more,” Kelly said. “Courageous women with much to lose, and many who have lost much for their resistance to this kind of abuse, have awakened us. We owe it to them, and to all who are part of our College, to root out this problem once and for all and to entrench the workplace quality that we all value.”Kelly said the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that 75 percent of female employees have experienced sexual harassment.“That’s a staggering figure that should give all of us pause,” Kelly said. “For too many women, it rings all too true. Perhaps even more telling about the workplace culture in our country, the EEOC also reports that 90 percent of those who have experienced harassment never take formal action. It’s time to change such a chilling climate.”Navigating instances of sexual harassment can be difficult when the term itself is prone to varying interpretations, Saint Mary’s Title IX coordinator, Kris Urschel, said.“The formal definition is one thing, and we keep that … front and center at all times,” Urschel said. “I think it does warrant a little bit more conversation in terms of ‘What does that truly mean?’ and ‘What does that possibly look like in the workplace?’”Sexual harassment can prevent employees from fulfilling their assigned tasks and from producing the best quality of work, as they may struggle to feel accepted and valued as a working professional, Urschel said. “[Sexual harassment] … interferes with what we refer to as creating an intimidating or hostile work environment,” she said. Professor of history Jamie Wagman said up to 30 percent of college-aged women and up to 70 percent of women in the workplace have been sexually harassed, and their experiences can result in negative self-perceptions, denial of employment opportunities and threats to their physical safety.“Some states have enforced state and local-level legal protections against sexual harassment targeted at LGBTQ people, but currently 30 states have no protection,” Wagman said. “Also, transgender people are especially prone to job discrimination and sexual harassment, and they have little to no recourse.”The field of critical race feminism may serve as a helpful lens through which to view this issue, for it emphasizes the intersectionality of various forces at play, Wagman said. “Racialized sexual harassment calls upon sexual stereotypes of minority women, and this harassment is present across a variety of institutions and is associated with great post-traumatic stress syndrome,” Wagman said. “As Anita Hill wrote in ‘Speaking Truth to Power,’ sexual harassment is underreported. Only three percent of instances culminate in formal complaints.”Unwelcome or threatening behaviors disproportionately impact marginalized populations, such as women of color and individuals of a low socioeconomic class, Haigwood said.“There’s already been lots of discussion in relation to the ‘Me Too’ movement about the situation of women in food services and hospitality services who are, for a number of reasons, more vulnerable and less able to speak out than women who are comparatively more privileged,” Haigwood said. A work environment in which conditions of employment depend on sexual favors, physical acts or verbal requests for or innuendos to such acts perpetrates sexual harassment, Wagman said. “[Sexual harassment] can be verbal or physical,” she said. “It also can be non-verbal. Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace or in a learning environment, [such as in] a school or university. It can happen in many different scenarios, including after-hours conversations, exchanges in the hallways, non-office settings of employers or peers.”S-O-S Coordinator at the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County Amelia Thomas said individuals who have experienced unwanted sexual comments or advances have the agency to decide that they were sexually harassed.“It doesn’t matter if someone means it in a joking manner,” Thomas said. “It’s up to victim to decide what is or is not okay. … Be cognizant of the fact that [sexual harassment] is not based on the person’s intent.”One major misconception surrounding sexual harassment involves the affected populations, Thomas said. “Harassment does not always have to be directed at a specific individual,” she said. “It can be something when you’re looking at groups, whether that’s gender or race or LGBTQ. … You can still make a report even if you’re not the direct victim. If you’re witnessing [behavior] that is offensive to you … you can still make a report, and that is considered sexual harassment.”Tags: EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Kris Urschel, Sexual harassment, Title IXlast_img read more


Point-counterpoint: Winless or Undefeated

first_img11-7 PCPWhat’s more difficult, goingundefeated or going winless? That’s like comparing a marathon to awalk from Vilas to Humanities. Seriously, we’re debating this?Not winning a game doesn’t take anyeffort. Essentially, we are talking about the difference betweenRocky Balboa’s anal retentive workout routine and a Richard Simmons”let’s have fun” one. To go unbeaten you have to work extremelyhard, maybe even shed some blood every time out, whereas to avoidgoing winless, you have to merely go through the motions (“up,down, up down, come on now!”). Week in and week out, a team that’strying to remain perfect must come to play. There’s little room forerror. Week in and week out, you don’t even have to show up to gowinless. Tell me that that’s strenuous. To back up my argument with facts,there are very few exceptions to this rule. The 1976 Buccaneers wouldbe one. They had to try real hard to go 0-14 in their inauguralseason and 0-26 before picking up their first win. However, look at how many teams havebeen on the lip of perfection, but fall short. Any of the NFL’s topteams in recent years, particularly the Colts, are perfect examplesof this. Injuries, resting players up for the playoffs, what haveyou, great teams are still going to lose — it’s the nature of thegame. No team since the 1972 Dolphins has gone undefeated in theprofessional ranks on any of the four major sports levels.Pretty much college football andbasketball are the most likely of sources to find an undefeated team.Even in basketball, it doesn’t happen often. The last NCAA hoopsteam to go undefeated was again in 1976, when Bobby Knight’sHoosiers went 32-0. That was 31 years ago. College football isunderstandably different because although a handful of teams gounbeaten during the course of the year, a handful also doesn’t wina game.It’s pretty clear that losing iseasy. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn’t have written anything. Point: Perfection doesn’t come easy. 11-7 pcp voelkelA little more than halfway through theNFL season, two teams are on track for perfection. The undefeated Patriots and the winlessDolphins not only share a division, but also a potential date withdestiny when the two play Dec. 23. Should both maintain their currentways, that game would be the latest game in NFL history between somediametrically opposite teams.That backdrop begs the question: Is itharder to lose ’em all or win ’em all?On the surface it seems like aslam-dunk answer: Of course it is harder to win every game you play. Dig a little deeper, however, and youwill see the error in your ways. Sure, winning every week takes copiousamounts of effort, talent and luck, but so too does losing. When youwin like it’s your job, teams give you their best shot. Similarly,losing every time out gives teams a reason to more or less take agame off when they play you. Even Screech, universally recognized asprobably the biggest loser ever to grace the planet, got Lisa tosoften up a little bit and see the good in the curly-haired nerd.If being the best at losing wasn’t sucha difficult task, why would NBC focus an entire series around seeingwho could be the biggest loser? It just doesn’t make sense.Plus we’re not talking about tankinghere. Legitimately trying and losing every time out is a nearmathematical impossibility. Sooner or later, a bounce will go yourway, the opposing team will have a bad game and you will win.Plus, you’re talking about hard? Losingall the time is about as hard to handle as anything.When it comes down to it, going 1-0just doesn’t hold a candle to 0-1. Losing. Count it.last_img read more


MLB to borrow again from minor leagues with change to doubleheaders

first_imgShortened doubleheaders are a response to baseball’s growing scheduling challenges. Series this week in Miami, Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore were postponed for safety reasons after half the Marlins’ traveling party tested positive for COVID-19 following a weekend trip to Philly. One of the postponed series involves the Blue Jays, whose home park this season will be in Buffalo, N.Y., the home of their Triple-A affiliate, after they were denied permission by the Canadian government to play in Toronto.MLB will be looking to make up all of its postponements this season within a tight scheduling window (teams are scheduled to play 60 games in 66 days), which means doubleheaders will be necessary. Baseball also desires to keep players’ time in stadiums at a minimum: The Chicago-Cleveland twinbill took 6 hours, 48 minutes to complete; it began at 3:41 p.m. ET and ended at 10:29 p.m. with the conclusion of Game 2. That doesn’t include the time the teams spent at Progressive Field preparing for game.Teams and players agreed before Opening Day to two other rule tweaks that have their roots in the minors. Games that are called before they’re official will be resumed at the point of postponement rather than be made up from the beginning, and extra innings will begin with a runner on second base and no one out. MLB has one of its teams playing in a minor league park because of COVID-19. It adopted a pair of minor league rules before the season to aid in scheduling and speed up games amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now something else is being pulled from the bush leagues to get baseball through the next two months.Beginning Saturday, MLB doubleheaders this season will consist of two seven-inning games instead of two nine-inning games, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported MLB is expected to announce the change Friday. MORE: How coronavirus impacts Marlins’ seasonPassan reported that the MLB Players Association initiated the revision, with executive director Tony Clark suggesting it to MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem as the first doubleheader of the season — a makeup twinbill between the White Sox and Cleveland — was being played Tuesday. Players and teams were then surveyed about the possibility.last_img read more