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Africana Studies bulletin board vandalized

first_imgAn Africana Studies department bulletin board displaying quotes by political commentator Ann Coulter was defaced with red paint over Easter weekend.University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) was investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.The bulletin board, which remains outside the office on the third floor of O’Shaughnessey Hall, contains several of Coulter’s comments on issues such as race, gender and religion, displayed under the heading “Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Hate: There is a difference.” Gayle Wilson, the administrative assistant and office coordinator for the Africana Studies department, said an unknown person painted messages responding to specific pieces of the board and painting messages such as “What exactly is PC?” and “Don’t be bullied by the ‘Happy Police.’” Wilson said the board, which two student office employees made, was put up the day before Coulter’s April 10 talk. She said the defacement occurred by the time a coworker walked by the display April 21. Wilson learned of the vandalism the following day and called NDSP. In a statement to The Observer, Rev. Hugh Page, chair of the Africana Studies department, said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident. “Such action is clearly inconsistent with the values we espouse as a community of faith and learning,” he said. “I want to congratulate the students and staff whose creative energies are reflected in the board, which seeks to raise awareness. … Their work is resonant with a long and honored tradition of social engagement among Africana artists.”  Emily McConville | The Observer The Africana Studies bulletin board, which was vandalized over Easter weekend, will remain on display until the end of the year.Africana Studies Club president Alex Rice said she was disappointed with the perpetrator’s unwillingness to participate in reasoned dialogue about the issues the bulletin board raised. “I wasn’t angry, I would say. I was more disappointed than anything because the Africana Studies department really prides itself on trying to start dialogue,” Rice said. “What happened — an obvious act of vandalism — it wasn’t trying to start dialogue or hear the other side. “It was really, we don’t agree with you; we’re going to say so in a very disrespectful manner.” Alex Coccia, student body president emeritus and Africana Studies major, said the discipline is “an inherently socially and politically active experience.”“Given this reality within Africana Studies, it is unfortunate that the display was vandalized,” he said. “We have to be willing to see the world as it was, because our current environment is a product of that world. We cannot ignore these facts when we engage in discussions about rhetoric and how it utilizes historically volatile connotations.“Speaking more loudly than other voices, the verbal equivalent of painting over the Africana Studies display, does nothing to further constructive dialogue,” Coccia said. “There is nothing wrong with engaging in a heated debate, in fact, heated debates are more powerful than cold, calculated analytics, because they evoke the passions of a community. … But even in disagreement, we cannot disparage or disrespect.” Rice said the incident was a topic at this month’s Finally Friday, a monthly discussion series hosted by the Africana Studies Club.She said the group, which included students and faculty, discussed ways to improve the quality of dialogue about race and speech on campus and increase the amount of discussions with people on multiple sides of an issue. She said the consensus among the attendees was that the board should remain on display until the end of the year.  Tags: Africana Studies, Ann Coulter, Free speech, vandalismlast_img read more


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


‘Better than what we have’ – United and Liverpool fans want Chelsea man if he leaves

first_imgEngland vice captain Gary Cahill could leave Chelsea to ensure he represents England at Euro 2016.This season the defender has played 12 Premier League games as John Terry and Kurt Zouma have been prefered in defence.Cahill has been a Chelsea player since 2012 and the 30-year-old is seen as an ideal man to shore up the back lines of Liverpool and Man United by some of the club’s fans.Here, talkSPORT looks at some of the reaction online from supporters. Gary Cahill is worried he 1last_img