By Jake Jones

Everything is coming together for the first annual Michiana Dance for the Homeless (MDH), which will be held on Saturday, April 19, at noon until noon on Sunday in the Student Activities Center (SAC) at the IU South Bend campus. The dance is an event for IUSB students, as well as the whole community.

The executive team in charge of putting the event together consists of Executive Chair Aleah Wilburn who is a Senator of the IU South Bend Student Government Association (SGA), Ivan Blount, President of the Student Body, Teresa Santos, Secretary of the SGA, Jacqueline Kronk, Director of Development and PR at the Center for the Homeless, Whitney Nickle, Events Coordinator at Center for the Homeless, and Anne McGraw, Director of Development at IU South Bend. All of whom overlook the 10 planning committees, which consist of members of the SGA, the Center for the Homeless and students at IU South Bend.

During the dance the participants must be on their feet for 24 hours doing one of the many activities planned, including listening to the live band, learning new dances from a dance team, participating in the talent show, playing basketball among other activities that have not yet been finalized. All food and drinks for the participants will be provided during the dance.

In order to participate in the Michiana Dance for the Homeless, it is necessary to raise money for the Center for the Homeless through pledges or donations. College students need to raise $250 in order to participate and members of the community as well as high school students must raise $100 to participate. All donations must be done through the fundraising committee, specifics for which can be found at www.danceforthehomeless.com. The Center for the Homeless relies on private donors and fundraising events like the Michiana Dance for the Homeless for 85% of their funding.

The event will be advertised, sponsored and covered by multiple Federated Media radio stations such as 103.9 The Bear, 95.3 WAOR, B100 100.7, and Power 95.7. Advertising is scheduled to begin in February. Regarding the Michiana Dance for the Homeless and her involvement Aleah Wilburn said, “I have a passion for doing charity events. I am focusing my energy on trying to establish an opportunity for students to come together where they can experience student life.” Wilburn urges the student body to get involved with the Michiana Dance for the Homeless in order to ensure that it is a huge success for the community and IU South Bend.

Further information and updates can be found at www.danceforthehomeless.com.

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21st Century Scholars

February 27, 2008

By Jake Jones 

Getting through college is often difficult enough, but when students also have to carry the burden of financial restrictions sometimes the prospect of even attending college becomes an impossibility.

The 21st Century Scholars program was created to change this by giving low-income students the opportunity to go to college if they fulfill certain criteria that revolves around their life choices and their academic careers during high school.

Students enroll in the program between 6th and 8th grade and they must sign a pledge stating that they will maintain a 2.0 GPA and abstain from drugs, alcohol, and violence.

The scholarship would apply to Indiana colleges or trade schools for two or four year public institutions. The scholarship would guarantee eight semesters of college.

If a student participates in any negative behavior such as drugs, alcohol or crime then they will forfeit the benefits of the scholarship. Pauline Jarvis-Ward of Academic Support Services said “When kids have something to look forward to, it allows them to overcome a negative environment”.  The extra support from the program has helped maintain an 85.3% retention rate among participants who now attend IU South Bend.

Overall the program helps to increase enrollment and give local students the skills they need to join the workforce after graduation. When asked for some final thoughts on the program Jarvid-Ward said, “I think it’s a win-win situation all the way around… it is a great opportunity and I would encourage all who are eligible to take advantage of it.”

For more information on the program contact the Academic Support Services office in AI 148.  

SeaChange: Reversing the Tide

February 27, 2008

By Kristen Bailey

Whales sing.  They sing loud and long and beautifully.  After the performance by Roger Payne and Lisa Barrow, entitled “Sea Change: Reversing the Tide,” one audience member exclaimed, “That was the most amazing thing I have ever heard.  I could listen to that all day…go to sleep to it.  Where can I find those recordings?”

Reactions such as hers, one of being reached deeply and of feeling a profound connection to the natural world is just one of many the performance was designed to elicit.

According to the writers/performers, the presentation was created to relate the idea that humans are a part of the natural world, no matter how removed daily life is from the rhythms of the seasons or the whales’ songs.  In fact, this connection is what is necessary to compel humans to act to make positive change in the world.  They argue that “our survival requires that we attend not just to our own wellbeing, but also to the wellbeing of the entire web of life.”

In his introduction, Vice Chancellor Guillaume spoke of the need for people to understand that taking care of the environment is taking care of ourselves.  He hoped that the performance would “…teach us and remind us of our responsibility to Mother Earth,” and that he hoped the audience would leave “thinking more deeply“ about what they can do.

Living in a responsible manner that will care for the Earth – this is a pretty tall order when you think about it.  Lisa Barrow especially felt the reaction of “What Can I Do?” in response to the facts of pollutions, loss of habitat, and global warming can make individual efforts seem pointless.  In response, she did something.  Not only did she and Roger Payne create a “performance [that] uses science and poetry to examine the problems that face the earth,” she wrote a book and companion web site that can guide individuals in their search for what to do entitled What Can I Do?

Apparently, there are a lot of people at IU South Bend and in the Michiana area who care, and who wanted to know what to do and to think more deeply about environmental issues.  It was standing room only for the performance last week on January 15.

It was only about five minutes into the performance that it first happened.  Whale songs.  Loud whale songs.  They filled the room, bouncing off the walls and around and inside the heads of the listeners and into their hearts, connecting everyone present to some of the most primal sounds on the planet.

The songs transported the audience to another world, a separate reality from human life but a world existing on this planet that is shared with whales, plants, cats, and insects of all shapes and sizes.  Each life has value, and each plays a central role in the “web of life” that once disturbed or its threads broken, the connections begin to dissolve and interdependences that may not have been known or realized before are suddenly, soberly, apparent.

As modern society invents, builds and develops homes, chemicals, and materials the effects of each disturbance or creation are largely unexamined.  As Payne and Barrow bluntly put it, “we are pillars of ignorance supporting a house of cards.”

Although hard facts and depressing and shocking ideas were shared, they were interspersed with poetry.  These uplifting interludes served to highlight hopes and dreams and provided inspiration for deeper meditation on the issues.  They also served to question more deeply the disconnection between modern society and the natural world and the effects that might have on the natural world.  A portion of the poem “Mother Earth, Her Whales” by Gary Snyder serves this point:

How can the head-heavy power hungry politic scientist  

Government                  two-world        Capitalist-Imperialist

Third-world                  Communist       paper-shuffling male

Non-farmer                  jet-set   bureaucrats

Speak for the green of the leaf?  Speak for the soil?

They followed this poem by saying that we live in a world ruled by denial.  It is difficult to act on the most serious of matters, and many choose to do nothing at all in face of problems.  They could not let anyone sit in this denial without some egging on to act, and they urged through a poem by Robyn Sarah that audience members not be “Riveted” in their frozen wonderment of the situation.  After all, as Edmund Burke has said, “Nobody did worse than he who did nothing for fear he could only do a little.

The “Sea Change” performance was educational, enlightening and inspiring.  There are ways to feel connected, to reflect creatively on the role of people as part of the planet.  The performers insist that all people help solve the problems humanity face.  They urged listeners to take issues of sustainability seriously, as Payne stated:“Think of the difference we could make if we decided that nature is important….Sustainability is not about deprivation.  It is about doing things smarter and better, living restoratively, peacefully, sustainably.

Roger Payne is a scientist, and Lisa Barrow is an actress.  Through two separate fields they brought together threads of truth and insight.  Together, they wove a story of humans destructive powers on the planet together with the power of possibility and positive action.  It is a beautiful story of hope and renewal and rejuvenation.  It is a true story with a role for all people to take a part in acting out.  The role each person takes need not be grungy or despairing.  It can, in fact be a beautiful and uplifting experience, as evidenced by the efforts and message of the Sea Change event.  As Payne said in informal discussions held after the presentation with audience members, “I think beauty can save the world.  In fact, I think it is the only thing that will.”

To learn more about the performance the issues raised and for a complete list of poems utilized to highlight points throughout, go to www.seachangeinstitute.org.

For Lisa Barrow’s book/action guide entitled What Can I Do? An Alphabet for Living, go to: www.whatcanidousa.org.

For whale songs, try listening at www.whalesong.net.

The Social Forum movement has been called “one of the most important political developments of our time” by Notre Dame Peace Studies Professor Jackie Smith.   The U.S. Forum (USSF) took place in Atlanta last year.  The three day-long event was divided into themes: problems, ideas and solutions, and mobilization.  Over 900 workshops were held along with marches and formal and informal networking opportunities among concerned citizens who are working for sustainable communities at various levels. Prof. Smith describes the event as inspirational, saying, “The 15,000 people at this summer’s U.S. Social Forum…reminded us that this country is very diverse but also full of creative and dedicated people…If we’re going to change things in our country, we’d better start where we’re at.”  And so, she is working with a group of organizers to develop the first Michiana Social Forum.

A World Social Forum is planned for 2008, but this time it will be different. Instead of a large national, continental or international event as Social Forums have been in the past, the World Social Forum is designed to take place locally. The first Michiana Social Forum is scheduled to take place on January 26, 2008, with events throughout the week leading up to the event. It is designed, in part, to “develop leadership and develop consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world.”  

Four area residents attended the U.S. Social Forum last year, and recently spoke with an audience at IUSB about their experience. Waldo Carrasco, a philosophy student at IUSB, saw how the USSF brought people together to work on common goals. Urban and rural organizers found common ground, or a “common target” as he put it, of their distinctly regional issues—the coal companies.  Both groups were working to stop actions by the coal companies that were making their communities unhealthy and ultimately unsustainable. Even seemingly dissimilar groups such as an Immigrants Rights group and a Gay-Bisexual-Lesbian-Transgender group were able to find what they had in common in their struggles. Although their focus was on different issues, as marginalized groups they found solidarity. He also noticed a distinctly “anti-intellectual” approach to some of the activist groups. Many had come representing their city, neighborhood, their block, or their apartment building, where a group had formed to discuss a shared concern. Their discussions led to action. They learned to address their issues by taking them on, seeking solutions in any way they could. Instead of waiting for larger groups to come in and assist with their problems, the smaller groups were taking it on and getting results. 

Chris Hausmann, a graduate student at Notre Dame, saw a “synergy around common targets” develop in the workshops he attended. For example, he saw a Chicago group working to raise awareness that the Cabrini Green housing development is a violation of human rights, addressing affordable housing issues with a post-hurricane Katrina group and a Boston-based group.  However, it was the conversations that impacted Chris the most. He shared how a Kenyan man approached him and told him, “Your country has nuclear weapons and is threatening other countries!” This encounter led to a discussion of their shared concerns and led to a new level of global understanding on the person to person level.   

“The Movement of Movements – The Network of Networks – A New Public Sphere” These phrases were what Ana Velitchkova, a graduate student in the Peace Studies program at Notre Dame, heard used to describe the USSF. She was skeptical of such idealistic words. What she learned through her time in Atlanta was that the words really did ring true. She saw movements brought together: peace, environmental, women’s issues, GLBT, and more. She saw that there is something in common that affected all the groups and that by working together, they can learn and do more. It was clear to her by the end of the event that marginalized people had a voice at USSF, that it really did provide a new public sphere. The attitude was that everybody has something to contribute to the conversation, and everybody is welcome. 

The same will be the case, organizers hope, for the World Social Forum that will be held in Michiana on January 26.  Everybody has a valuable voice in how this community, state and country can be a better place for its citizens and a better neighbor to the other countries. “The alternative begins with people thinking,” says Carrasco. 

Start thinking about it.  There is no time like today to start a new world.

            For more information about the Michiana Social Forum, visit  www.michianasocialforum.org.    

The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies.  The World Social Forum is also characterized by plurality and diversity, is non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party. It proposes to facilitate decentralized coordination and networking among organizations engaged in concrete action towards building another world, at any level from the local to the international, but it does not intend to be a body representing world civil society. The World Social Forum is not a group nor an organization. To learn more about the World Social Forum, see www.wsf2008.net

The sixth annual Independent Video and Filmmakers Festival will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 13, and from 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 14, with workshops and screenings of films by local and regional filmmakers in Wiekamp 1001 and Weikamp 1135.

“I’ve been making films for almost 18 years, and when I was a student and staff member at IUSB, I had an excellent venue to screen my films and wanted to create a festival where other local filmmakers could have the same opportunity,” said founder Tim Richardson.

It began as a venue for local filmmakers and has grown to receive films from across the country, as well as from Canada, China and England. It is open to any one who makes shorts or features on video or film including high school and college students.

Three features will be screened, along with short films from Indianapolis, Chicago and New York, as well as a documentary, Welcome to Snyderville, produced at Notre Dame.

“We meet new filmmakers every year and I know there are many more around here – students, hobbyists and professionals – who should take advantage of this unique opportunity we offer here,” Robinson said. “This is something the entire community should check out and support. We have an awesome local film community and this is an excellent venue for those filmmakers and the general public to share in celebrating the art of filmmaking.”

He encouraged students to submit films for review by IUSB alumni, staff and students who have video and film knowledge and experience.

“We try to give some latitude to student productions and we’ve seen some phenomenal ones come through over the years.”.

Workshops on screenwriting, producing microcinema, creating special effects in Michiana, and a director’s panel will take place from 11 to 12 p.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in Wiekamp 1001 .

Ticket will go on sale at the door Friday night beginning at 6 p.m. The cost is $5 per time slot as follows: Friday, 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday 8 to noon, ,noon to 6 p.m., or 6 to 11 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased for all day Saturday for $10, or $15 for an all weekend pass.

The event is sponsored by the IUSB Film Club and supported by Mid America Filmmakers, a South Bend not-for-profit group for independent filmmakers, and the IU Alumni Association.

A schedule of the productions to be shown can be found at http://www.ivff.net.

Student Art Exhibition

April 7, 2007

Alma D. Gomez

Staff Writer

      On March 22 the IU South Bend Student Exhibition opened with works that left you thinking about how much talent is coming out of this campus. 
      There was a wide range of art from a balsa wood sculpture to a digitally engineered self portrait.  In some paintings the subject matter was anything but ordinary “Ketchup” is one example.  A large bottle was introduced in the painting splattering over what seem to be a traditional still life.  
      In another painting, the subject matter was Jesus.  Starting with the way many people remember him, the artist introduced a unique perspective, and portrayed a life-size Jesus.
      The artists include students who will graduate at the end of the semester, giving you a taste of what’s to come in their B.F.A exhibits this spring.  Be on the lookout for the dates, and take the time to come see the students’ talent.
      The Student Exhibition is a great way to show your skills and your work. When you go to these shows as an artist it helps you see what everybody is doing and opens your mind to new possibilities. 
      This year there were awards offered to several students. 
      The exhibition will run until April 6 and admission is free.  The gallery is located in the northeast corner of the associates building, just south of the administration building.

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Friday:  Noon – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 11 – 3 p.m.
 

Terrie Phillips
Staff Writer

On Thursday, March 8, 2007, Mishawaka Mayor Jeff Rea spoke with students at Indiana University South Bend, giving them the State of the City Address. 
 
Rea spoke on the City of Mishawaka and the future plans to expand the city and bring more commerce.  He wants to make the city more of a home town.  “We are working together to build the best hometown available,” said Rea.
 
The City of Mishawaka is putting efforts to better city services such as the police department, fire department and water works.  “We purchased a new public safety communication system.  It is going to really help us prevent crime.” 
 
“The treatment plant is currently treating flows that are at its design capacity of 12 million gallons per day.  The expansion is saving the dual purpose of providing capacity for continued growth in the community and will cut annual combined sewer overflow (CSO) volume in-half,” according to State of the City of Mishawaka 2007, www.mishawakacity.com/Text%20Inserts/SOC2007II.pdf.

The city is now home to 50 thousand people, according to Rea.  The city has seen great change over the years.  “Years ago we were an industrial center, then we became a little more diversified, then we saw a shift in retail, now we have shifted to medical.”
 
According to www.mynewhospital.org, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center is planning to build a $355 million facility at Edison Lakes.  “Multi-story towers will provide 254 in-patient private rooms and baths with a hotel style ambience.  A business center will be available to patients and visiting family members.  Set on 90 acres, the new facility, located less than 10 miles from the current SJRMC campus, will include a park area with ponds and walkway.”
 
Rea is anticipating the arrival a Ruth’s Chris, a high-end steak house. With the arrival of this restaurant, Rea hopes some more national names will also come to Mishawaka. 
 
Mishawaka is also developing more green space for the residents to enjoy.  “Several years ago we took control of the former Uniroyal facility.  The city took control in 1998, in early 2000 we started demolition,” said Rea.  “We constructed a great new park,” said Rea.  The park includes a three mile river walk. 
 
With new development coming to Mishawaka it is a constantly changing city.  The city plans to continue to build more neighborhoods.  “We are working on a neighborhood transformation,” said Rea.
     
Rea is also working on the budget, doing things to help stretch citizen tax dollars by taking perks away from city workers, such as not allowing police to use there police car for personal use, and charging city workers for health insurance. 

Adam Gallippo
Student Life Editor

Last Monday it was impossible not to notice the rows of empty shoes, boots and sandals adorned with flowers and nametags.
     
The event, “Eyes Wide Open: Beyond Fear, Toward Hope,” is a traveling exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee and brought to our campus by the IUSB club, Students for Common Sense. The exhibit illustrates the cost of war in Iraq by displaying the empty footwear of dead U.S. and Iraqi military personnel.

Students for Common Sense, an organization started just last fall, is no stranger when it comes to controversy. Whether it was their screening of “An Inconvenient Truth” or traveling to Washington, D.C. to protest the war in Iraq, Students for Common Sense will continue to draw both support and criticism. All truly significant events do.

While walking around the exhibit, IUSB student Devin Megyese was shocked to see the number of children’s shoes on display.

“I heard this exhibit was to display the dead U.S. and Iraq military people. I guess they really take the word infantry to heart,” said Megyese. “It’s incredibly sad to see that so many children would be used to fight in a war. As a child, there’s no way they can grasp what they’re being instructed to do. When will it be over?”
     
The magnitude of the event drew all forms of local media coverage as both television and print journalists descended on IUSB as the war in Iraq will continue to be a hot topic.
     
For many, it was difficult to feel anything other than sadness and confusion while examining the exhibit. While some felt the display was a grizzly reminder of why we need to leave Iraq, others felt it, if seen by the enemy, would provide encouragement for them to continue.
     
“It emboldens [the enemy]. They’ll think the group members are allies in the war against America,” said IUSB student Chuck Norton in Margaret Fosmoe’s South Bend Tribune article, “War exhibit draws support, criticism at IUSB.”  Norton continued, “We didn’t ask, ‘When will the war be over?’ after Pearl Harbor. It’ll be over when the Iraqi leadership can stand on its own.”
     
Following the IUSB display of “Eyes Wide Open: Beyond Fear, Toward Hope” the exhibit moved to Notre Dame’s campus.
     
     
     
      

Terrie Phillips
Student News Editor

On Wednesday, March 21, 2007, in SAC 223-225 at 5:30 p.m., as part of the Millennium Campaign, three professors spoke with an audience on the subject of education and how it empowers around the world.

The first speaker, Dr. Susan Cress, Associate Professor of Education, IU South Bend, spoke on the numbers of children that go uneducated and UNICEF’s efforts. Cress talked about how to bring education to children. “Start at the beginning when talking about education,” said Cress.

According to Cress, to bring education you have to consider the factors that play into the lives of the children you are trying to educate. “Are families able to find food?” said Cress. Factors include: a safe environment, warm clothing, hunger, shoes, proper healthcare and shelter, just to name a few.

The next speaker, Dr. Marsha Heck, Associate Professor of Secondary Education, IU South Bend, spoke on the resources necessary to bring education to those unable to get it themselves. “There are 130 million children from ages 5 to 11 that do not have the ability to go tot school,” said Heck.

She continued to discuss the issues in New Orleans and war torn countries like Iraq. How issues like war, after effects of natural disasters, and poverty affect the amount of children able to go to school and the quality of education they receive.

The final speaker, Dr. Kwadwo Okrah, Director of the Center for Global Education, IU South Bend, discussed how we need to consider other countries needs and resources when bringing education to them. For example, an abundance of computer science graduates in a country with only 40 computers can cause a brain drain within that society.

He talked about teaching them skills they need to know to grow and survive in their environment. “If we don’t take care we will maintain the status quo,” said Okrah. He also discussed the definition of empowerment in politics, culture and economics.

After the speakers finished, the discussion continued with questions and comments.

Electromagnetic Radiation

March 29, 2007

Lucy Rzeszutek
Environmental Justice League

Mobile phones and mobile towers have been a grave concern as numerous emerging studies continually and consistently show possible health effects.  Proximity, duration, and intensity of the Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) output determines how sick or electrically sensitive one becomes.  As cell phone use continues to spread like wildfire and as cell towers pop up in our backyards unbeknownst to us, we don’t have time to wait and see whether or not or just how much of our brains are being fried and bodies harmed. 

Cancer clusters or hot spots are dotting the St. Joseph County area.  EMR abounds and as the radiation increases, brain tumors, cancers, and diseases also increase.  Symptoms such as tiredness, forgetfulness, numbness, sleep interferences, headaches, sharp pains, and more fall under the long list of electrical sensitivity.  As more and more people are bombarded with this unseen radiation, younger and younger people are afflicted.

According to Leif Salford, he and his colleagues have shown in repeated studies that “radio frequency electromagnetic fields open the blood-brain barrier of rats so that large proteins, which may carry poisons, can enter the brain” as stated in the book, The Invisible Disease:  The Dangers of Environmental Illnesses Caused by Electromagnetic Fields and Chemical Emissions by Gunni Nordstrom.  According to Dr. Henry Lai, “cell phone radiation causes damage to DNA in human blood cells,” as written in the book by Dr. George Carlo and Martin Schram called Cell Phones:  Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age.  Many more credible scientists, doctors, and experts have shown that there are adverse health affects to electromagnetic radiation.  To name several, they are Olle Johansson, Don Maisch, Louis Slesin, Janet Newton, and Blake Levitt.

Being that there is a repeated risk exhibited, fervent action is needed now to ensure the safest and optimal surroundings for the people of St. Joseph County.  Cell towers should not be built near schools, homes, and places of employment.  We cannot afford to be guinea pigs, mice, or monkeys on which this ‘experiment’ is performed unmonitored and unchecked while we suffer the consequences, Therefore let us educate one another and do something about this immediate and serious threat to our well being. 

Contact the legislation and Board of Health to take action on the community’s behalf and find out why so many people are getting cancers, tumors, and other illnesses.