Archive for February, 2010

Student Newspaper Editors Workshop: “Inside The Times”

Monday, April 19, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

620 Eighth Avenue, 15th Floor Conference Center, Room 15W4-121

The New York Times is pleased to announce a full-day workshop hosted by The New York Times for student newspaper editors who attend colleges and universities that are partners with the newspaper.

The meeting will be held in New York City at the Times at 620 Eighth Avenue. Lunch will be provided. Students should arrive at the Times no later than 9:45 a.m. to check in.

Please note that due to heightened security at the Times, luggage is not permitted in the building—students must make alternative arrangements for storing their luggage. Backpacks are acceptable.

Program Description

Student newspaper editors will have the opportunity to work directly with Times editors and reporters to explore the role of a newspaper in contemporary society, develop their journalistic skills, and discuss the various aspects of the newspaper from the newsroom and editorial to advertising. They will also participate in a workshop on the editing process. Finally, there will be time to interact with other student editors from around the country.

Participants

While it is preferred that student newspapers send the current editor and the incoming editor, campuses may invite the most appropriate student representatives. There is no registration fee, although participants must pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.

Hotels

Reasonably priced hotels near the Times include: Comfort Inn Times Square, 305 W. 39th St.

(39th St. and 8th Ave.), 1-877-424-6423; and the Milford Plaza Hotel, 270 W. 45th St., 1-888-288-5700 or (212) 869-3600. Participants can find additional accommodations in New York City on www.hotels.com.

Registration

To register for the symposium, please send the name and email of the primary faculty or staff contact person, university affiliation, name of campus newspaper, and each student’s name, title, and email Anthony Nunziata at anthony.nunziata@pcfcorp.com.  The deadline for registering is Friday, April 9, 2010, but please register early as it is on a first come first serve basis.

For more information, please contact Kathleen O’Connell oconkm@nytimes.com or

(800) 698-8604.

Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility

The Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility states: “I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”

Students define for themselves what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. Students at a hundred colleges and universities  (and some high schools) are using the pledge at some level. The schools involved include liberal arts colleges (e.g. Bates and Grinnell); state universities (such as Colorado and Florida); private research universities (including Stanford and George Washington University); and schools outside the U.S. (e.g., Taiwan and Canada). The Pledge is also now found at graduate and professional schools, as well as high schools.

Graduates who voluntarily signed the pledge have sought out employment reflecting their values and visions, turned down jobs with which they did not feel comfortable, and worked to make changes once on the job. For example, they have promoted recycling at their organization, removed racist language from a training manual, worked for gender parity in high school athletics, and helped to convince an employer to refuse a chemical weapons-related contract.

The Pledge was initiated at Humboldt State University in California, Manchester College in Indiana coordinated the campaign effort for ten years, and Bentley University near Boston took over the reins during 2007-2008. The project has taken different forms at different institutions. For example, at Manchester, students sign and keep a wallet-size card stating the pledge, the pledge is printed in the formal commencement program, and students and supportive faculty wear green ribbons at commencement. (At a few schools, a different color ribbon is used.).  At Bentley University the pledge is a “capstone” of  its four-year Civic Leadership Program and at Humboldt State, student government funds a student pledge coordinator internship.

Depending upon the school, it might take several years to reach this level of institutionalization.  If one can get a few groups/departments involved, and get some media attention on (and off) campus, it will get others interested and build for the future. The project has been covered by newspapers (e.g., USA Today); magazines (e.g., Business Week), national radio networks (for instance, ABC); and local TV stations (like in Ft. Wayne, IN).

In a sense, the Pledge operates at three levels: students and graduates making choices about their employment; schools educating about values and citizenship rather than only knowledge and skills; and the workplace and society being concerned about more than just the bottom line. The impact is immense  if only a significant minority of the millions of college graduates each year sign and live out the Pledge.

The Graduation Pledge Alliance has a web site for campus organizers and pledge signers (www.graduationpledge.org ). Please keep us informed of any pledge efforts you are considering to undertake, as we try to monitor what is happening, and provide periodic updates on the national efforts (including hints on having a successful campaign). Contact  GPA@Bentley.edu for further information, questions, or comments.

The Graduation Pledge is a project of the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, Bentley University.

News in the Information Age: A Public Forum on March 4th

By Mark Neikirk, Northern Kentucky University

Newspapers have long been counted on – locally and nationally – to deliver the reliable, timely information any democracy requires. What happens if it all goes away? Dr. Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, who teaches economics and public affairs at Princeton University, is doing research bout this very question and is finding a direct link between civic activity and a vibrant media.

Much of his work is based on the impact of the closing of The Cincinnati Post, where I was managing editor. After his research was published, I called Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl to discuss what he found – and invited him to Northern Kentucky University, where I now work at the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, to tell our community about his research.

He’ll be here on March 4th at 7 p.m. to participate is public forum, “News in the Information Age: What happens to democracy if the presses stop?”

After summarizing his findings, Dr. Schulhofer-Wohl will join a panel, including a media company CEO (Rich Boehne of the E.W. Scripps Company, which owned The Post); a daily newspaper newsroom manager (Dennis Hetzel who oversees the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kentucky edition); a weekly newspaper owner/publisher (M. E. Sprengelmeyer of the Guadalupe County Communicator in New Mexico; he previously covered national affairs in Washington for the Rocky Mountain News, which was shuttered last year); and a New York Times reporter who has covered the media during this time of immense change (Jacques Steinberg).

There’s a fine old saying: If you don’t like change, you’ll like irrelevancy even less. Although our panelists have a foot in the old media world, they have another firmly planted in new media. Mr. Boehne’s daily challenge is to find ways his publicly traded company can assure investors a return, something he believes cannot be done solely with ink and paper. Mr. Sprengelmeyer is openly experimenting with a community journalism model he hopes to export to a metropolitan market one day. Mr. Hetzel started in journalism before online news but now spends much of his day assuring online content. Mr. Steinberg writes for print, of course, but he also blogs.

If you can come to the forum, please do. If not, follow us on ustream (our channel is NKYFORUM) or with a live Twitter feed (nkyforum) on March 4th. And check out our poster on designer Ryan Ostrander’s site.

Metropolitan State 2010 Census Campaign

By Nadja Berneche, Metropolitan State University

Reposted from the Minnesota Campus Compact blog.

“Be Counted, 2010 Census” banners hang over East 7th Street from the skyway at Metropolitan State University to promote the upcoming census to the University and surrounding Census 2010community.The Center for Community-Based Learning, American Democracy Project, Student Senate, MSUSA, and University Activities Board are coordinating a campaign to provide university students, faculty and staff, and community members, with a series of events that will address how the 2010 Census works and how each individual can make a difference.  The census determines how more than $400 billion is allocated to communities for things like new schools, roads and public transportation, fire and police services, hospital services, and social service programs, higher education The census also determines the number of representatives in Congress who can advocate on our behalf. Everyone’s participation is vital to help ensure a complete and accurate count.

Please join us for one or more of the upcoming informative sessions:

The Census: Culture, Identity, and the Changing Face of MinnesotaA panel discussion about the intersection of the census, race, and identity, with representatives from the Somali and Latino Complete Count Committees, OutFront Minnesota, and Hennepin County.
Tuesday, February 16, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College campus Helland Center Student Lounge (H-2000) Co-sponsored by MCTC

Census Data: A Source for Fun Facts* and more!

State Demographer Tom Gillaspy
Wednesday, February 17, 3:30-5:00 p.m, St. Paul Lib 302 and via ITV in Minneapols, MEC 2300

Dollars We Count On: The Census, Cities, Local Government, and Higher Education Wednesday, February 24, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Great Hall Panel discussion with:
Chris Coleman, St. Paul Mayor, Kathy Lantry, St. Paul City Council President Lois Larson,  Metropolitan State Interim Director of Financial Aid Melvin Carter, St. Paul City Council Graeme Allen, Director of Government Relations, Minnesota State University Student Association

Controversy, Conflict, and the U.S. Census Monday, March 15, Noon – 1:30 p.m., Lib. 132 Campus Conversations Brown Bag- Bring Your Lunch, Dessert and Beverage provided. Campus Conversations are open discussions for students, staff and faculty that focus on current issues.  The conversations work to enhance knowledge of current issues and promote democratic dialogue with members of the campus community. Discussion will be facilitated by a Metropolitan State faculty member.
Click here for more information or call 651-793-1285 with any questions.

In the Birthplace of Populism

Harry Boyte, co-director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, wrote this post from College Station, Texas.

Re-posted with permission from the By the People CDC blog.

“Always say ‘Howdy,’” the student at the hotel reception desk told me. “And ask to see the ‘Aggie ring.’”

I am at Texas A&M University, where I’ve been invited to speak as part of the school’s Social Justice Week. I’ve never seen a university with which students identify as strongly–from the Aggie ring, earned after one year and inaugurated with a pitcher of beer (for those who imbibe), to the hand signs and calls that each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) makes differently, to football fans who stand throughout games.

Yesterday, student leaders described these and other traditions to me. An African American student, a leader in the Alternative Spring Break, said she visited other campuses, “but nowhere else did I feel so welcomed, or seen as an individual.”

Texas A&M is a land grant university, part of the expansion of higher education under the 1862 Morrill Act which established colleges and universities for poor and rural young people. It was explicitly part of the “common school movement,” inspired by other things that we all share and are responsible for (water, air, in some cases land, and now public education, community centers, and the Internet).

In preparation for my speech last night, “What Does It Mean to be an Aggie in the 21st Century?,” I did research on the commons tradition in Texas, which is remarkable. Grazing lands, for instance, were not private until recently. The “cowboy commons” was how the West was settled, with intricate codes of honor and custom developed to protect the commons and manage herds. East Texas, where Texas A&M is located, was the birthplace of the Farmers Alliances, an enormous movement of farm cooperatives organized by both black and white farmers that was the foundation of American Populism in the latter decades of the 19th century. The town of Lampasas, to the West, was the first meeting place of the Alliance. Houston County, to the East, was where the Colored Farmers Alliance was born. (To read more, visit www.onthecommons.org.)

The Aggies I’ve talked to seem to understand that this energizing, inspiring commonwealth tradition–and its values like honor, integrity, and service–are under siege in modern consumer society. At the end of my talk last night, I issued a challenge to Texas A&M University to take leadership in turning around the privatization of the commons. One young Latino cadet, known among his professors for his integrity, said “Thank you, sir. I have my marching orders.”

What we’re planning to listen to:

Agents and Architects of Democracy: An Empowering Heritage Webinar

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Eastern

East Stroudsburg of Pennsylvania’s Judicial Forum: 2009

By Christopher T. Brooks, East Stroudsburg of Pennsylvania

Our program set out to clarify the process by which judges in
Pennsylvania were selected, what criteria there was to be on the ballot
and a general discussion about electing the judiciary anywhere. After a
brief introduction to the purpose of the American Democracy Project, and
the members of the Panel, which included Judge Jonathan Mark, Judge
Stephen Baratta, and Mr. Wes Niemoczynski, a series of questions were
posed to the panel. Some of those questions and answers (summarized)
included but were not limited to:

1.      What made you decide to run for a seat on the court?
All three respondents stated that they ran out of a desire to help
ensure that justice could be brought to those who have been wronged and
those who have wronged them.

2.      Many voters do not feel that it is important to vote in state
and local elections. Can you take a moment to explain why these voters
may be misinformed? Mr. Niemoczynski responded to this question by saying that local elections are some of the most important elections that people can participate in. While national elections are also very important, local elections, such as those for township supervisors can have some of the
most immediate impacts. This is because the elected officials are
directly involved with individual communities.

3.      Do you feel that Pennsylvania’s system of electing their judges
is the best way to select judicial officials?
All three members stated that electing judges is the best system
available because it prevents the political appointment of judicial
officials, who may be beholden to the government that appointed them. By
electing our judges, we help to ensure that their rulings will not be
affected by anything but the letter of the law.

After the questions were finished the floor was opened up to the
audience. The members asked some very good questions of the three men
who were present, which led to the conclusion of our program, one which
we hope to do again in the future.


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