Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tuition at Dominican

My dad, Pasquale "Pat" Pisano, is not very tech savvy and has trouble manuvering around MyDU while paying my tuition. He used to be able to mail in a check to Dominican, but now they have changed it. In order to pay tuition by check, students have to physically go to the Student Accounts office. I am sure that my dad is not the only parent who has trouble with the website. At Elmhurst College, students are allowed to mail in their tuition through check. "The Dominican website is very hard to manuever and very awkward," Pisano said. "I think it needs to be revamped."

Engineering and Nursing


I wonder if Dr. McDreamy's nurses had a four year program...

Many students enter Dominican with hopes of becoming a nurse or an engineer. However, at Dominican, these majors are a lot more complicated than people think. The engineering program is affiliated with Dominican, and is a five year program. The first two years students only take classes at Dominican, but the next three are at Illinois Institute of Technology. Students who are involved with this program are still able to live on campus. Junior Ernesto Ramirez is currently involved in the engineering program. "IIT's campus is about forty five mintues to an hour away. Sometimes it is hard because I have an 8:30 a.m. class at Dominican and have to literally run to my car to make my classes at IIT. Also, it is hard to receive extra help just because the campus is far away from River Forest. But, we are being taught by real engineers who really know about the field," Ramirez said.

But, what about the nursing program? For students who want to become nurses, they have two options. They can either complete two years at Dominican and apply to West Suburban or finish four years of college and then apply to nursing schools. Most colleges have a nursing program so after your four years students are able to become nurses. Tammy Altonaga completed two years at Dominican and now attends West Suburban. She really wishes that she could have completed her nursing degree through Dominican instead of transferring after two years. Gina Navia, who is from Kansas City had to rent her own apartment because Dominican does not offer housing for West Suburban transfers. If a student is still affiliated with Dominican for the engineering program, why should it be different for the nursing program? Also, since nursing is such a popular field, shouldn't Dominican have a four year program without transferring in between or afterwards? More people would be attracted to Dominican if these programs were offered as a four year program.

Friday, November 14, 2008

DU Journalism: Past. Present. and Future?

With the latest issue of the Star in the makings the last couple days, I've been running around Dominican (and the surrounding community) reporting for a couple different stories. One story, or little blurb rather, about the bullet found on campus, led me to the office of Jeffrey Carlson, Dean Rosary College of Arts and Sciences. What I assumed to be a 15 minute interview turned into a 45 discussion on many different things all relating to Dominican and journalism.


Carlson was very interested on my suggestions about expanding the courses offered for journalism students. While a state of the art media center is not in the picture, new opportunities may come!!


We touched on the possibility of an online Star website including blogs (like most newspapers have). We also discussed technology use that allows DU journalists to provide exclusive multimedia coverage for various stories. And my favorite: We discussed the possibility of adding new journalism courses to the curriculum.


In my opinion, future DU journos would greatly benefit from a continuation of Convergent Journalism (CAS 352). This type of class would challenge students to create better multimedia projects and provide additional experience with cameras, editing software and the like. I also suggested that a course teaching the writing style of broadcast journalism should (in my opinion, most definitely) be offered. The intro and intermediate journalism courses here provide extensive instruction on how to report, write and structure a story the correct way. The correct way for print.


I told Carlson that based on my experience interning at WMAQ NBC 5 this summer, DU journos should know how to write stories for broadcast...(not only for an internship or possible career in broadcast, but also for) the multimedia projects we're working on for this class. When I began my internship, my advisor and DU's journalism guru, John Jenks, provided me with a book on broadcast. If it weren't for his advice and guidance, the resume tape I left my internship with would've been half as good as it is now.


I've learned an immense amount on journalism from the journalism courses I've taken at DU. But a broadcast writing course, in my opinion, is a Must Have. Print and broadcast are two totally different information highways. The stories are written in two totally different languages. By this I mean the structure is completely different. So different, it's like comparing the Eiffle Tower to a local 7-11......not saying that either or is in my eyes a 7-11....just saying that print and broadcast are completely different. Both give audiences all the facts. But each has its own method of delivery: printed vs. spoken words. Newspapers are written to read, not hear, and vice versa.


After the 45 minute discussion Carlson and I shared, I left his office feeling fabulous about the possibilities DU can provide future journalists. I was enthusiastic to see how receptive, appreciative and understanding Carlson was in hearing what, why, when and how I think new courses would dramatically enhance the journalism curriculum.


Although I will be graduating from Dominican with my degree in journalism this spring, I hope that my efforts will have made some sort of impact on the future of DU's journalism program. I am confident and very satisfied with the skills I've learned here thus far and hope that future DominiNET bloggers and Star staff writers will have more opportunities to explore their passions for news delivery.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Salsa Dancing!

Today was Salsa Dancing in the Social Hall with OLA, the Organization of Latin American Students. The music was blasting and it looked liked everyone was having fun and learning a lot. Sophomore Vania Lopez was teaching senior Christina Crowley a thing or two about the dance. Lopez said that she was having a great time teaching and that Crowley was doing very well. Crowley shrugged, half in agreement.

This is a great event for something like OLA to have. It costs nothing, spreads diversity, and helps students learn something for the next time they are at a family wedding. The Social Hall was a great location because people were heading back from dinner so there was a good amount of interest. Awesome job, OLA!


Ministry Center's Busy Student Retreats

Margaret Brennan from the Ministry Center explains the Busy Student Retreats, a free service which students can utilize to get a handle on all that end of semester stress.

more on Officer Training

To go along with Megan's post (directly below this one), it seems silly that Student Involvement requires club officers (who are busy enough as it is) to attend Officer Training sessions.

I feel that if Student Involvement is going to make a fuss about students attending, then the sessions should at least teach club officers and members something useful. ie. How to update myDU pages!

I'm serious. I was skimming through the different clubs' myDU pages today and, sadly, MOST of them haven't been updated in the last year at all. There is even a page for Dominican's cheerleading team (FYI Dominican doesn't even have a cheerleading team anymore...and hasn't since last year). MyDU is a tool that I think club officers could use to their advantage, but obviously don't.

All in all, like I said above, it's a bit ridiculous to force students to attend these meetings during such a busy time of year. But, if it must happen, Student Involvement should at least focus on teaching club officers something that could actually be of use to the students for their clubs. And by the looks of it, the myDU pages should probably be a top priority.

What is the Point of Officer Training?

Dominican club officers are required to go to countless Officer Training sessions throughout the semester in order to follow the guidelines of Student Involvement. If you do not attend these sessions your club will be suspended.

This is the case with the wonderful Dominican Star. Myself and my Co-Editor Tom, see no point in these sessions. Honestly, we have not gone to any of them, which is our own fault. I just do not understand why the sessions are so frequent. I think I have done my fair share of leadership building exercises throughout my education. Eventually it gets over done.

I would be more inclined to attend these sessions if there was only one at the beginning of each semester. The late notice on the sessions is also not appreciated. I received an email Monday reminding me that officer training was Tuesday and Wednesday. I never received an original notice that we had training at all, so this was no reminder to me.

To anyone that has attended Officer Training, really what is the point?

Dish Pick-up, the Trash & Unexpected Reward


This is going to be a somewhat mixed post. I wanted to give an update on the Chartwells Dish Pick-up on Power 2. Over the past week, I've noticed that there were about four or five dishes in the bin as well as most recently, glasses and utensils. The dishes are taken on the designated days (Tuesday and Friday). It looks like the dish pick-up service is catching on and more residents are utilizing it. Above, is a picture of what was in the bin today, but the same thing has been there since yesterday.

I want to follow-up on a comment I made here on Natalie's post about Recycling at DU. While it's great that DU does recycle and color code their bags to that effect, I get disheartened when I see items that clearly should be recycled aren't thrown away in the right bin. Now I am guilty of this too sometimes - it happens, but I hope there is a system that sorts out recyclables that are accidentally thrown out in the regular waste bin.

Case in point - the trash bin on Power 2 this morning (11/12):


A gallon of milk...shouldn't that be recycled?

An unopened Outtakes Chicken Caesar Salad is in the regular waste bin as well. Considering it is a plastic container, this should be in the plastic recyclable bin. But I think it is worse that it's been thrown out without even being touched/eaten. I admit I have thrown away unopened food items once in a while. But I'm always reminded of my sister's speech about how you should clean your plate because of all those people starving in the world. The food you leave on the plate and then throw away equals less food for those who deal with hunger everyday.

On a light note, not the best advertisement for the Chicken Caesar Salad (which is most likely from the Cyber Cafe): "So good, you could throw it right away!"

Finally, Show Your ID at the Coughlin Commons Desk. You just may get free candy.

The Hershey's candy bar I received this morning after I showed my ID without prompting. I don't know if it makes a difference if you show it without the desk person asking you or if they have to ask you. Either way, I was surprised when the Resource Desk Assistant stopped me and put a basket of candy in front of me asking me if I wanted a piece of candy for showing my ID.

I don't know if I just chose a lucky time of day or if this is something that will continue on for the rest of the school year. Judging by the Hershey's candy bar with its Halloween theme...it could just be leftover Halloween candy that they'd like to get rid of. If this didn't just happen to me, then I hope that others who got some free candy feel more incentive to show their ID in the future. As for me, I think it was a one-time thing, but if I get more candy for showing my ID in the future, then I'm all for it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Relief for Chicago drivers?



I love the city, but I hate its relentless parking tickets. Being a commuter student who lives in Chicago, sometimes it's pretty tricky finding legit parking without having to wake up at 7 to move your car before rush hour. Sometimes it's worse when driving home from night classes because by the time I get home, most of my neighbors have settled in for the night and taken every available spot that doesn't require an early rise. For a while this year I was convinced that my car was giving off invisible meter-maid signals drawing them to my Jetta.


theexpiredmeter.com

My friends are in a band Treaty of Paris, and several of those members live in the suburbs but work in the city. They laments the pain as well in their song Tired All the Time: "The city's out of parking spaces, but never out of orange citations, paper slips and brand new yellow boots."

I am someone who has been booted, towed, and ticketed multiple times by the city of Chicago (in instances that have been both my fault and NOT my fault), and still make the trip every month to the Department of Revenue to pay down my ever-growing payment plan.

The "boot threshold"--which is the number of unpaid, doubled tickets you can have before your car is booted--dropped from five to three in 2002, to two earlier this year. Ouch.

Last Wednesday, Nov. 5, Mayor Daley announced a new parking ticket amnesty plan which will run from Dec. 1 through Feb. 14., which excited me at first. However, the details of the "deal" aren't that great: a 50 percent waiver of penalties on tickets issued before Jan. 1, 2007.

...So, if I have a $50 ticket from 2006 which doubled to $100 (ticket fines double after two months), I would be able to pay $75 to clear it from my record.

It's something, I guess.

Although this doesn't directly benefit me, as my tickets are more recent, I'm sure this will help a lot of people, because there are people who owe nearly $72,000.00 in parking ticket debt. Carla Morgan has 442 tickets which amount to that much, according to the City of Chicago's list of debtors. The next highest "scofflaw" owes $44,000 on 333 tickets. How do you get THAT bad? How do you climb out from under THAT much parking ticket debt? Unbelievable. It makes me feel a lot better about myself.


Anyhow, this was nice news to receive last week. And although I've yet to be a victim of red-light Big Brother camera violations (knock on wood...), those who have been will benefit as well. I know city aldermen criticized Daley for lowering the boot threshold; I wonder if electing a Chicagoan president also had anything to do with this softening of heart (which it really isn't; it's a quick revenue-generating tactic.)? I just wish the amnesty were extended to tickets from 2007. Or even this year, why not?

I'm writing Obama. I know where he lives.

Blocking off the back parking lot: safety issue or not?

Every night between 2 a.m.-6 a.m., the back parking lot off of Park Avenue is gated off. All cars entering and leaving must go around the main entrance and enter through the main circle drive.



I believe this is done to prevent unwanted guests from entering the back parking lot in the middle of the night and to prevent theft from occuring.

I've always wondered though, whether or not this is a potential safety issue. Think about it. If there was an emergency in the middle of the night and the police or fire department had to get through to the dorms, they, like everybody else, would have to go all the way around. I feel like this would slow down response time if there was ever a real emergency.

Besides, does blocking off the parking lot for a few hours really prevent theft? The parking lot is still very open, and anyone could walk right in... or drive around if they really wanted to.

What are your thoughts? Safety issue or not? I'll be following up on this post after I have a chance to talk with security.

Pro Vita Pres. Discusses March For Life

Dominican's Pro Vita president, Jessica Ayette, talks about the March For Life event coming up this January in Washington D.C. Pro Vita is sponsoring the event. Any student is welcome to attend. It's a good opportunity to talk with politicians and network with other pro-life students and leaders who will also be there.


Free Edge!




Yesterday, some company came in to pass out free samples of Edge Shave Gel. While it was nice to see faces light up at the prospect of free samples, it was not as nice to see the said gel all over the mini quad, the trash can near the commons, and, yes, even on some cars in the parking lot. I’m not sure whose idea it was to allow these samples to be handed out, but whoever it was obviously was not thinking about the maturity level of 19 year olds.

This brings another question to mind: how are companies given authorization to pass out samples of products? This is not the first time I have seen fellow students walking about with travel sized toiletries. Do companies just come into school with boxed of things to give to students? Technically anything could be in those boxes so is it really safe?

Sigma Tau Delta Book Sale

The annual Sigma Tau Delta book sale in the Social Hall is always a great way to support this student organization and pick up some bargain books from all over the literary world. Books at this year's sale include everything from novels to biographies to Marxist theory, so there's probably something for everybody. Go on out and support them on their last day!

Student Carrie Stump describes the book sale in this short video clip.

calling all CABbies...2 positions now open on the e-board



Campus Activites Board (CAB) is currently accepting applications for students interested in joining the executive board as homecoming co-chairs. The homecoming co-chairs are responsible for planning the dance and all other activities that go on during homecoming week.

According to the CAB homecoming application, CAB members are expected to:
-attend CAB meetings
-recruit a committee for your position to assist in planning and implementation of the event
-serve on two additional CAB committees
-hold regular meetings during the appropiate time for your event
-work closely with the CAB's President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer

In addition to the CAB member requirements above, the Homecoming Chairperson(s) are expected to:
-work closely with two Executive Boards to fulfill a one year position serving from December 2008 to December 2009
-serve on the University Homecoming Committee to assist in planning the campus wide fall Homecoming program
-work closely with Student Involvement, Athletics and Recreation, Alumni/ae and Constituant Relations, and University clubs and organizations
-recruit a committee to assist in the planning of student Homecoming events; Planning will occur during the winter, spring and summer

Here are a few of this year's homecoming photos:

(Photos courtesy of Ebony Benson)


Griselda Feliciano calls the DJ during the dance set up. "There were so many little details," she said, "but it was very rewarding in the end."


Dance decorations.


The final product


Students at the dance

Junior Griselda Feliciano has been one of the homecoming co-chairs on CAB for the last two years. When asked what advice she would want to give the new homecoming co-chairs, Feliciano said, "As the homecoming co-chair, you must be responsible and willing to ask for help. You must also be creative because things are going to go wrong and you will need to be creative enough to come up with solutions."

Although it's a huge committment, Feliciano had an overall good experience on CAB. "There's nothing like walking into the dance you helped bring to life," she said. "It's a lot of work, but it's satisfying."

Applications are available in the Student Involvement Resource Center (SIRC). They must be turned in to Coughlin 040 by Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 by 3:00 p.m. When dropping off an application, students should also sign up for an interview time on the CAB bulletin board on Lewis 2.

Matt Gibson on "Into the Woods"


As Suzy posted below, the play Into the Woods is opening up this weekend on campus. This is a little preview of the play from one of the main actors Matthew Gibson.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Film Course

I think a lot of people reading this are going to be communication students. If you are a communication student, I really recommend taking a film course. It's a really cool alternative to the normal communication classes. This semester I'm taking "Seeing Hitchcock." We watch and discuss films by one of the all-time great directors, Alfred Hitchcock. I've seen such great films as Vertigo and Strangers on a Train. I loved movies before, but now I feel that I really understand them. So if you're looking for classes to take, I would definitely consider a film course.

Continued acts of vandalism in Cenntenial Hall

The handle on one of the doors between Centennial 2 and the stairwell was unscrewed and taken Saturday night.

“Nothing was broken; there weren’t even splinters in the wood,” said Jamie Zwijack, RA on Centennial 2. “It is not an obvious act of damage, but the door handle is missing."





Vandalism has been out of control this year in Centennial Hall. There are holes in the walls, light fixtures have been damaged and fire extinguishers have been tampered with.

“Although acts of vandalism may seem funny at the time, it’s a big hassle for residence life, security, and maintenance,” Zwijack said. “It also becomes a hassle for students when they end up being charged for it.”

It’s unfortunate that everyone ends up suffering because of one or two students’ behaviors. Money that is supposed to be going towards my tuition and textbooks ends up going towards fixing these damages, and that really isn't fair.

Maybe Residence Life could tighten up security in the res halls or maybe some residents just need a reality check. Maybe both need to happen. Either way, I hope that these incidents are taken seriously by res. life, as they end up affecting all of the residents in Centennial.

Into the Woods


This weekend, the Dominican University Performing Arts Center is putting on its production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. This musical features the Baker and the Baker’s Wife, as well as many other familiar fairy tale characters, as they venture into the woods to get their happily ever afters. The show consists of 22 actors, most of which are Dominican students. The stage crew is made up of members of the DU community as well.

Personally, being a theater geek in high school, I am thrilled to see this production. I try to attend most things put on by the theater department because I am never disappointed. The sets are always beautiful and the talent is amazing. Sondheim is a very unique lyricist (you may have seen his other work, Sweeney Todd) and the music for Into the Woods is pretty much awesome.

The play is Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3:00pm. Try to get out and see it. Tickets are only $5 with a DU ID!


Photo from http://alumni.hputx.edu/

Do U RECYCLE? DU DOES!!


benchua42.blogspot.com



Although my fellow blogger posted that DU does not recycle, my reporting has proven that posting to be false. I spoke with Samella Hargor, supervisor for the physical plant, Thursday afternoon hoping she could confirm or set straight the recycling issue. And she did just that.


Hargro said that Dominican DOES RECYCLE!! "The bags are color coded. All waste goes in white bags and all recyclables go in black bags." While maintenance may pick up all bags when making their rounds, Hargro said that recyclables and waste are separated for each designated dumpster.



Hargro said Dominican has always recycled. Although in previous years, paper recyclables were further separated from plastic, glass or aluminum, for the past several years, all recyclable materials are separated from the trash.



Here you see a physical plant worker making his rounds with both recyclables and waste. While they're in the same cart for the time being, he told me they'll be separated into each designated dumpster.

cuzoogle.com


This is reassuring as some of my fellow bloggers and I were upset by the post stating that all waste gathers in one dumpster.
Whew!! I love the idea of going green and love that Dominican IS GOING GREEN!

howstuffworks.com


At Dominican, RECYCLABLES=BLACK BAGS. WASTE=WHITE BAGS.

Service Learning Needs YOUR Help Sponsoring Families for Thanksgiving


gospel.com


Thanksgiving is a celebration in which family and friends gather around a table decorated with food giving thanks for life, love and each other. Some families celebrate by eating turkey, while others eat chicken or some other tasty meat. Traditionally, the table is accessorized with mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, pumpkin pie and so on.



countryliving.com


However, there are many families who are not fortunate to celebrate Thanksgiving this way. Given the economy and growing number of unemployed, the Thanksgiving meal may not be affordable. MaDonna Thelen, the director of service learning, said Dominican will be sponsoring 30 Thanksgiving families this year. However, due to the economic crunch that has many under a tighter budget than usual, Thelen is worried that some of the families will go without a sponsor this Thanksgiving holiday.


But what does it take to sponsor a family? According to Thelen, each participating family needs a box of canned or boxed food. Such foods may include stuffing mix, boxed mashed potatoes, canned fruits or vegetables, gravy and so on. In addition to these items, a gift certificate to Jewel is also needed to allow the sponsored family to buy fresh items like a turkey, milk, fresh vegetables, etc. Thelen encourages a minimum Jewel gift certificate of $25 but anything beyond that would be generously accepted.



focusfriends.org


Thelen said the average Thanksgiving family costs $75 dollars to sponsor. Can't afford it? Well, encourage some friends to all pitch in so that a family will have food for the holiday. Contact Thelen or service learning to find out how you (and your friends) can become a Thanksgiving family sponsor. All donations are due Monday, Nov. 24.


Together, the Dominican community will make a difference.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

PLEASE Come to Our Events!

This Wednesday night is CAB Mainstage’s Open Mic Night. DU students are encouraged to get up in front of that microphone and express themselves. There will even be ice cream sundaes!

Unfortunately, this event, like many others at Dominican, will most likely be poorly attended. As a member of CAB (and co-sponsor of this event) I have seen people go through hours of hard work for a program only to have maybe 20 out of our 1,600 students attend. It is disappointing to have such disinterest in something we thought would be awesome.

It seems that throughout campus, there is a general sense of apathy for most events and organizations here. Looking in the dining hall, the walls are plastered with butcher paper advertising countless events with prizes or free food or anything to get people the come. While there are the few that are gung ho about everything Dominican, most students would prefer to watch Grey’s Anatomy or play Halo. Many students have family or work responsibilities, but we would like to hold an event that people would clear their calendars for. That task, however, is not easily accomplished.

So Dominican, what can student organizations do to get YOU to attend events? Are there specific things you would like to see or participate in? Is there a better way to get you information about the going-ons of campus? Should we just promise everyone $10 to come the things?

What do you think?

Broadway in Chicago experience


On friday night, I saw Dirty Dancing on broadway at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago. I had a great time, and the show was absolutely amazing. My friends and I got our tickets from Dominican's Office of Student Involvement for only $30. It made me appreciate all that Student Involvement has to offer.

"Dirty Dancing is different than other shows we've sold tickets for in the past," said Carrie Cook, director of Student Involvement. "We've been trying to offer students a variety instead of just selling tickets for Wicked all of the time."

According to Cook, the next broadway show that Dominican will be selling tickets for is Mary Poppins in April 2009.

"If students have any suggestions for shows, they should let the Office of Student Involvement know," Cook said. "Suggestions are always taken into account."

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Theatre Examiner

60 Minutes story on Electronic Waste...

Photo source: greenpeace.org (direct link via caption below)
Chinese child amongst a pile of wires and electronic waste or e-waste. According to greenpeace.org, children in China can often be found dismantling e-waste though it contains hazardous chemicals damaging to their health.





Video from CBSnews.com: 60 Minutes Follows The Trail Of Toxic E-Waste, Illegally Shipped From The U.S. To China

I was watching 60 Minutes on CBS this evening and one of their stories caught my attention. It's about E-Waste or electronic waste from America's TVs, computers and other electronic devices being sent to China. This is a troubling issue because as workers in China in scrapyards work to get useful scrap metal from these electronics, the E-waste's toxic materials (i.e. lead) pollute their environment and are detrimental to their health.

There was a clip during the segment with a Chinese worker who showed his burnt hands from working with the e-waste. Though his work is detrimental to his health, he said that he'll still continue doing the work because of the money. 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley relayed this back to Jim Puckett, founder of Basel Action Network, a watchdog group working to stop this sort of thing from happening (rich countries dumping toxic waste on poor ones). Puckett said that it shouldn't have to come down to a choice between being destitute (which is the reason these workers do this) and having your health threatened.

One statistic that puts the e-waste issue into perspective: "Well, we throw out about 130,000 computers every day in the United States," according to Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist and authority on waste management at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

This story got me thinking about how computers are being recycled here at Dominican. In the last few years at Dominican, new computers have replaced old (most recently in the Tech Center with the latest Macs) and it just goes to show how fast technology is moving - and something has to give. According to Hershkowitz, e-waste "is the fastest-growing component of the municipal waste stream worldwide." It is hard to deny that statement as even at Dominican, the drive to keep up with technology is shown through the replacement of computers.

When I was looking at colleges to attend, my parents and I visited Lake Forest College, where their library was being renovated. My parents commented that this looked to be a trend for colleges - to improve their library facilities. And with us being in the electronic age, this doesn't mean adding more books, but adding more computers and moving the card catalog to an online database. I remember that when I first started high school, there was a small enclosed area with computers. By the end of my senior year there, the number of computers had increased and where there were once book shelves full of books, rows of computers took its place.

Even if old computers at Dominican are being moved to other locations, what happens when more new computers come in and the old computers need to moved out for good? I've heard from quite a few other students that we pretty much have the same number of computers - they're just newer.

I'd like to think that Dominican is insuring that computers are recycled properly and not sent to other countries to be dismantled by destitute workers in a toxic working and living environment.
"We have a situation where we have 21st century toxics being managed in a 17th century environment," according to Hershkowitz in the 60 Minutes story. Some of the ways that the e-waste is dismantled is more in a medieval fashion than using 21st century technologies according to the video.

After seeing this story, I could not agree more with the statement uttered during the story about e-waste: it's the "dirty little secret of the electronic age."

Sex at Dominican

As a part of my job as co-editor-in-chief of the Dominican STAR, I'm responsible for coming up with new story ideas for our staff. One way I figure out these ideas is by using U-Wire, a comprehensive "best-of" if you will of what college journalists around the country have to offer in terms of their work.

One major section of this site, in addition to every other important category such as opinions, news, features, entertainment, and sports is a subject that people at Dominican are extremely reluctant to discuss: SEX.

Sex has its own section on the U-Wire site, with columnists from schools all over the country weighing in their opinions or advice on the deed, much to the pleasure (or displeasure) of their fellow students. A great many of these stories have an almost universal appeal to college students, sex being a high priority (let's face it) on a vast amount of students' agendas.

Many of these stories on U-Wire or printed in college newspapers I've read deal with stories of embarrassing or particularly eventful sexual encounters. Some of them offer advice to fellow students on their different relationship woes, some are particularly raunchy accounts of your typical gratuitous lovemaking sessions. But not all of these stories are what the average reader would typically expect; there are informational pieces dealing with safe and healthy sex, surveys relating interesting statistics, and even commentary on risque women's Halloween costumes.

Some of the topics I've come across while perusing this section include major issues that divide students and even members of the administration here at Dominican. There are occasionally the interesting stories about how condoms aren't offered in First Aid or Wellness clinics on campuses due to "university policy," a concept students at Dominican are all too familiar with, as mentioned in Diana's post here.

So I'm going to ask a question to my fellow journalists on this blog and to the members of the Dominican community at large: why are people here reluctant to write about sex, or even have any sort of forum or discussion of the subject for student benefit?

I'm not criticizing anyone, or trying to provoke anyone, no matter what your beliefs may be. I'm simply asking. I'm well aware of the Catholic tradition (I was raised Catholic, but do not currently practice), but I highly doubt everyone here is Catholic, or that everyone is uptight or otherwise reluctant to talk about the subject for whatever personal reasons. I'm also aware of the community here, with the convent and strong moral and religious tradition of the University. But I personally don't believe that sex is such a bad thing; it is a part of life for college students, for better or for worse, and it's probably something that students here would like to discuss in some way, as it's something people in our age group usually feel they can discuss openly. Perhaps they feel stifled by the obvious stigmas attached to such subject matter, especially in an environment such as Dominican? Such a small campus and community could make for some awkwardness.

With recent events such as the "Drunk Sex or Date Rape?" forum focusing on sex, why not have the students themselves offer their opinions, advice or funny stories in some way? Why not write about or voice your opinions on such matters in publications such as the Dominican Star or even this blog? I'm just curious. I know I wouldn't for my own reasons.

What do you think?

Bullet Fires Investigation on Campus


To follow-up on my post regarding a fired bullet that was found on campus last week, I'd first like to thank Dean Carlson and campus safety for responding in the manner they did.


On Friday, the day after I posted, I was informed that campus safety and the River Forest police were investigating the area I described where the bullet was found. Two officers and DU's Joel Nayder, of campus safety, examined the area searching for any other signs of fire arms or gun fire.


"The police and I found no evidence of anything being shot on campus. There were no casings or damage to any property," Nayder said. "Judging from the pictures, we guessed that (the bullet) had not been shot from a close range. But that is just a guess."


Nayder also went on to explain that bullets can travel for miles. If a person shoots a gun up into the air, the bullet may not come down for several miles. Officer Murillo, who was part of the investigation, also said that this could have been a possibility.
The original post was published at 3:40 p.m. on Thursday. Nayder informed me that Dean Carlson emailed campus safety Friday at 11:48 p.m. Campus safety then contacted River Forest police at 11:50 a.m. and they responded to Dominican's call by 12:02 p.m.


Being the thorough reporter I am, I went to the police station, spoke with Officer Murillo and filed a Freedom of Information Request for the police report. I arrived at the police station with Ashton Baran, one of the men who found the bullet. After the investigation was completed, R.F.P.D. contacted both Baran and Conrad Sewinski hoping to obtain additional information and the bullet itself. However, the information Dominican provided the officers was not the most direct. While driving to the police station, Baran's mother called him panicking about getting a phone call from the police. After calming his mother, Baran handed the bullet to police custody. Although Murillo would not speak on the record, I was able to meet with the deputy chief. He was not informed of the case but based on the facts I provided him, he told me the crime lab may or may not analyze the bullet to see when and where it was shot and from which type of gun.


While I was unable to get in touch with Dean Carlson early Friday afternoon, I was able to speak with him via telephone around 4:30 that evening. About an hour after we spoke, he posted another comment on the original posting.


Both Dean Carlson and campus safety asked me why I posted first rather than report directly to security. I don't really think journalism necessarily has to work that way. I understand why they would be upset and I'm sure I'd report before posting on a larger concern or public interest, but I do not regret handling the situation the way I did. I think that this blog is becoming bigger everyday and as more people leak tips to us, more news will break from DominiNET first. And because I was faced with a question of ethics before originally posting, I contacted two (DominiNET bloggers whom I believe are some of the strongest) journalists at DU about whether or not I should post before reporting. Both agreed with my idea to post and encouraged me to go forward. I did. And because of that, DominiNET is more fired up.


Be sure to pick up the next issue of the Dominican STAR to read more about the postings and investigation. The next issue is available on news stands Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Then and Now!


Here is a picture of myself and my friend Lauren in kindergarden.



For one of the issues of the Star, I have a really great idea for my column. I have grown up in River Grove, IL since I was born and have known the same seven girls my entire life. Most of them live within a few blocks of my house. We were all best friends growing up and all through elementary school and junior high. As high school began, all of us began seperating into different activities and cliques. After graduation, I completely stopped talking to these girls except for one or two. Some girls when to DePaul, Illinois State, Elmhurst, Northern or Triton. Some of these women I have not seen since high school graduation! So, I Facebooked all of them to get together over X-mas break. I am going to talk to all of them about our lives now, and how they used to be. I also would like to take a before and after shot of us. I really hope that this will be a great way to unite with some of my them and maybe grown close once again.

Have any of you stayed in touch with old friends? What has been your experience with reuniting with them?