Saint Mary’s hosts 10th annual DSLC

first_imgKeri O’Mara The Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB) celebrated its 10th annual Diverse Student Leadership Conference (DSLC) Monday with workshops, keynote speakers and panel discussions.SDB secretary, junior Angela Bukur said the speakers and workshop presenters offer powerful and insightful advice to women in leadership.“We are so fortunate to have them on campus to share their stories with us and open up conversations about topics that need to be changed within the world,” Bukur said.Bukur said the aim of the conference is to inspire students.“I hope the students take away a new outlook on diversity and confidence to go out into the world,” she said.As part of the conference, three Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) professors presented a panel discussion titled “Gender and Women’s Studies and Diversity at Saint Mary’s College: Past, Present and Future.”It is important to address the contrasts between social justice and multiculturalism and ideas of race, class differences and sexual orientation, assistant professor of history and GWS Jamie Wagman said.Her Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies course discusses the positive side of feminism, Wagman said, but the class also discusses criticism of feminism as a “segregated sisterhood.”Wagman said it is important to talk about how sometimes early feminists movements were flawed. She said white feminists and black feminists both protested the Miss America pageant in 1968.“They were working for the same cause, but they weren’t working together; they weren’t talking to each other,” Wagman said.In an introductory course to GWS, understanding the achievements of feminism is just as important as understanding the downfalls of early feminist methods, Wagman said.“Gender and Women’s Studies is a large and very much growing discipline,” she said. “We talk about the way the movement wasn’t unified in working for the rights of all women.”Building empathy for the experiences of marginalized groups is a large part of the Intro to GWS course, Wagman said. The course includes an experiential learning component, which requires students to complete 15 hours of service at a local nonprofit, she said. Nonprofits at which students have worked include Hannah’s House and St. Margaret’s House, she said.Stacy Davis, associate professor of religious studies and chair of the GWS department, said the first women’s studies class was taught in 1972 and titled Psychology of Women. The class promoted understanding of women and diversity, she said.“There is a connection between GWS long before diversity was a code word on campus,” she said.The department began on a soccer field, Davis said, when female professors at the College began a faculty team and began to talk with one another about women’s issues.“In addition to being excellent soccer players, they got to know each other and eventually worked with Sr. Eva Hooker to get a grant for course development,” she said.A 14-credit minor in GWS was approved in March 1985 by the College, Davis said. This year marks the 30-year anniversary of GWS, she said.In 1994, Davis said the Introduction to GWS course was taught for the first time by volunteer faculty. Davis said she believes this fact indicates the dedication of the interdisciplinary GWS faculty to what the GWS department represents.In 2013, the joint GWS faculty submitted a major prospectus and it was approved in 2014. Currently, there are five students majoring in GWS and the program expects to expand, she said.Davis said the GWS faculty is the most diverse staff on campus, other than modern languages faculty.“Long before the Sophia program, [GWS staff] was teaching diversity classes that have stuck around and are still taught today,” Davis saidSonalini Sapra, assistant professor of political science and GWS, said she works hard in her classes to debunk stereotypes of women as victims of their circumstances.“The way women’s rights play out in Morocco and Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan, it varies,” she said. “The Middle East is not some monolith.”Her class also studies the way in which women’s rights are used as a justification for military intervention, especially in media images, she said.“The way that Muslim women are depicted in advertisements, the images do a disservice to women and don’t afford them any agency,” Sapra said.“Advertisements [and other media images] create false dichotomies … Our women are so empowered here in the U.S. and [the images] create this ‘us and them’ mentality, instead of a solidarity mentality,” she said.Sapra said her students explore the social movements led by women who are often seen as marginalized by other socities. For example, Muslim women in some parts of the world have converted the headscarf into an empowering icon, instead of a symbol of oppression.Interest and work in feminist activity on campus ebbs and flows, based on the student population, but the GWS faculty searches to find ways to keep feminist activity a sustained dialogue among students, Sapra said.Davis urged students to look at the GWS department as a model for change.“Change does take time. It look 12 years to get a major, eight years to get a minor,” she said. “If you want to get something done, particularly something that’s hard, it takes time, and some of the faculty that started this program aren’t here to see it finish.“Inherent in any GWS program is activism. For the most part, we are feminists and part of being a feminist is that you work for justice for other people.” Tags: 10th annual, Diversity Student Leadership Conference, DSLC, Saint Mary’s College, SDB, Student Diversity Boardlast_img read more

Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Clwyd back SME fund

first_imgThe Greater Manchester, Clwyd and South Yorkshire UK local authority funds have committed to a £60m (€83.7m) small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development fund.Launched by Foresight Group, it will target SMEs in the North West of England.The fund has attracted £20m from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) – at £17.6bn, the UK’s largest local authority scheme – and an undisclosed amount from the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority and Clywd Pension Fund.The fund will make private equity investments of up to £5m in businesses based in the English regions of Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside, North East Wales and South Yorkshire. Foresight will open an office in Manchester to oversee investments, which it said would be across all sectors and types of private equity.Kieran Quinn, chairman at the GMPF, said: “This is an excellent example of local government pension schemes working collaboratively to generate commercial returns and provide a positive impact on the local economy.”The GMPF has previously spoken of the challenges in maintaining its 5% target allocation to private equity due to the rate at rate at which the asset class recycles capital.Bernard Fairman, chairman at Foresight, said the fund would seek to support a government initiative to revitalise growth in the UK’s North.“The region,” he said, “has a large number of underfunded SMEs, particularly within the niche engineering and hi-tech manufacturing sectors, creating opportunities for the fund to stimulate growth, generate jobs and deliver healthy risk-adjusted returns to investors.”Colin Everett, chief executive of Clwyd’s administering authority Flintshire County Council, added: “We are keen to collaborate with other local government pension schemes and believe this fund will provide a sustainable local economic impact along with commercial returns.”The GMPF’s £20m investment comes shortly after its £500m infrastructure joint venture with the London Pensions Fund Authority made its first investment, committing to a biomass fund.last_img read more

Miss America

first_imgI guess I have lost my campaign against tattoos when a Miss America candidate makes the finals with a very visible tattoo.  If the Miss America pageant doesn’t have a problem with a tattoo, I guess pro-sports, college sports, and high school sports won’t do anything about it either.  I do not find tattoos making anyone look more athletic or macho.  What I see is some hideous ink marring a young body for life.  Sure, LeBron James looks ferocious on a basketball floor now, but what will he look like in 15 years working in some office or representing some company at a business conference?  It used to be that you put tattoos where they could be covered, but now they put them all over their body and it is impossible to cover them all up.  To add to that, the many forms of long hair tied in various knots again does not make them look like an athlete, but like some unkempt bum off the street.  Peyton Manning seems to do quite well without the tattoos, long hair, lip rings, and what have you as Michael Strahan did in his era.  Let’s just hope that our young athletes choose to follow Manning and Strahan instead of a Dennis Rodman.last_img read more

Women who admitted to Dakota Access Pipeline vandalism now face federal charges

first_imgDES MOINES — Two women who  admitted to intentionally damaging the Dakota Access Pipeline running through Iowa face several federal charges.The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa says a federal grand jury has charged Jessica Reznicek  and Ruby Montoya, with one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility, four counts of use of fire in the commission of a felony, and four counts of malicious use of fire.Montoya was recently arrested in Arizona and is awaiting extradition. Reznicek appeared in court and was released pending her trial — which is scheduled for December 2nd.The two held a news conference outside the Iowa Utilities Board office in July of 2017. Reznicek read a statement that said they tried several actions to stop the pipeline from being completed and transporting oil. She says they turned to vandalism after the other actions failed.“On election night (2016), we began our peaceful direct action campaign to a Dakota Access construction site and burned at least five pieces of heavy machinery in Buena Vista County, Iowa,” Reznicek said . She says “our action wasn’t much, but we at least stopped construction for a day at that particular site.”Reznicek says they then looked for a better way to damage the pipeline. “We then began to research to the tools necessary to pierce through a 5/8 inch steel pipe — the materials used for this pipeline. In March we began to apply this self-guided information. We began in Mahaska County, Iowa, using oxyacetylene cutting torches to pierce through exposed, empty steel valves, successfully delaying completion of the pipeline for weeks,” Reznicek said.Montoya says they were pleased with the way destroying the valves stopped the progress of the pipeline. “After the success of this peaceful action, we began to use this tactic up and down the pipeline, throughout Iowa and a part of South Dakota, moving from valve to valve until running out of supplies,” Montoya says. The two then said they moved back to arson, using tires and gasoline-soaked rags to burned multiple valve sites, their electrical units, as well as additional heavy equipment located throughout Iowa.The two said they attempted to pierce a valve located in Wapallo County in early May and were disheartened when they discovered the pipeline was already working. The two finished their statement and then pulled a hammer and crowbar from their backpacks and began to tear letters off the Iowa Utilities Board sign behind them. State Troopers quickly moved in and arrested them on vandalism charges.They were later released and said the FBI raided the the Des Moines Catholic Worker House where they were staying in August of 2017 looking for evidence. Montoya was 27 at the time and Reznicek was 35.Little was heard of the case until the announcement of the charges against them. The information from the Southern District Attorney’s Office says they face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of first charge of conspiracy to damage an energy facility. If they are convicted of the use of fire in the commission of a felony, Reznicek and Montoya face a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison to be served consecutive to the sentence imposed with the other charge.For each second or subsequent conviction Reznicek and Montoya face a mandatory minimum 20 years imprisonment. If they are convicted of malicious use of fire, Reznicek and Montoya face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison and not more than a $250,000 fine.Here’s the information from the U.S. Attorney: Pipeline charges PDFlast_img read more