“Sit on your front porch and watch UD go by — one last time.”
I was left with these words as I walked out of the PR office on Friday, tears filling up in my eyes as the words hit me.
They made me think. They made me cry. And they made me act. On Saturday, I took to the porch to see what would unfold.
Lawn chairs, Frisbee, cornhole, conversations and laughter were all around us. Friends came and went. Some stayed all night, some stopped by to say hi.
We had passers-by tell us a joke or something fun about themselves. We watched the house down the road try and light fireworks. We saw some people stumble home and commented on the latest weekend fashions. We yelled when people drove the wrong way up Stonemill. We got rained on, but we maintained our posts.
We talked about life; we talked about leaving, starting over, beginning again. We talked about our fear, our sadness, our excitement and our joy.
We lived life; we spent time with one another.
We were invited to go to the bar, but declined — we were sitting on our front porch, living UD, and there was nowhere else we would rather be.
It’s funny, when people ask me what I will miss the most about this place, it’s nights like Saturday that come to mind. I won’t miss the classes, the books, the housing lottery, the meal plans or the homework, but I will miss my roommates, my neighbors, my friends.
If a front porch could talk, it would have a touching tale to tell. It would be one of love, laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, friendship and community.
Now that’s what I’m really going to miss.
What do puppies, massages and Frisbee golf have in common?
All were part of D-stress Day, a project developed by a group of students in the public relations campaigns class taught by Mihaela Vorvoreanu, assistant professor of communication.
Five students — Kailyn Derck, Sarah Danaher, Katie Bollin, Zwisel Gandia and Tom Jakacki — took the theme “Respect Your Body, Respect Yourself” and turned it into a chance to help fellow students learn about effective stress management.
The day was funded by a grant from the Wellness Council with printing donated by the communication department.
The group gave away stress balls, massages and brochures about ways to reduce stress.
“Our main objective was to say, ‘If you feel stressed, take a break,’ ” Derck said.
For D-Stress Day festivities, the Kennedy Union greenspace was filled with cornhole boards, a Frisbee golf course, animals from the Humane Society, a massage booth and a representative from the counseling center.
Earlier in the week, D-stress movies were shown in ArtStreet billed as “comedies to laugh off the stress.”
Before each movie, the group performed skits to remind the audience why they were really there.
A group of UD students wanted to wear something that would make them stand out — not to make a fashion statement, but one of social justice.
Today, approximately 1,000 UD students, faculty and staff donned bright-orange T-shirts bearing the slogan “gay? fine by me.” The T-shirt campaign was 100 percent student driven, from concept to completion.
Students intended the ocean of orange that washed across campus today to be a show of solidarity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of UD’s community.
“Ultimately, we hope to accomplish respect,” said Allie Role ’06, one of the students who worked on the campaign. “We want to make everyone aware of the LGBT presence in our community, not only as a Catholic institution, but outside that as well. We want those that go through every day of life feeling like they are alone and have no one to support them to know that there is plenty of support right here at the University of Dayton.”
The group of seniors who initiated the T-shirt campaign drew inspiration from a similar event at the University of Notre Dame.
“They ran the campaign successfully at their university, and we figured that if Notre Dame, as a Catholic institution, could do it, there was no reason why we couldn’t either,” Role said. “We definitely hope that this becomes an annual tradition on campus.”
From anticipation to chocolate satisfaction in less than 15 seconds.
That’s how long it took more than 100 children to rush the grass near Kennedy Union and scavenge hundreds of brightly colored plastic eggs filled with holiday candies during the annual Easter egg hunt Saturday, April 8.
The event, which attracted 250 children and parents, is the largest annual activity for the Dayton alumni chapter. The day started with a breakfast and coloring activity in Kennedy Union, then moved outdoors under sunny skies for photos with the Easter Bunny and the egg hunt.
The Student Alumni Council stuffed sweets in the eggs and the group’s vice president, junior Emily Puchala, into the bunny suit. They also collected boxes full of school supplies to donate to area children in need.
Days like yesterday remind me that “universal” and “university” share the same Latin roots.
Eric Olson, a senior and manager of ArtStreet Café, met me at 8 a.m. to talk about the “sick, twisted love” that gets him up early mornings and at all hours of the night to manage this entity of the student-run Flyer Enterprises.
After a morning of writing and rewriting headlines for alumni profiles in the UDQ , I went to lunch and then to teach my writing class. Trapped in a hot room on the day before Easter break, we talked about the amazing range of news stories they’ve picked for their final essay: the war in Iraq and the Moussaoui trial, of course, but also a local steel mill strike, NFL labor negotiations, General Motors’ struggles, the gang MS-13, the rise of satellite radio and a lot else.
But it was the sophomore I lunched with who was on my mind all day. As we walked in a light breeze back from Brown Street, she looked up at the beautiful blue sky and said, “This reminds me of home.”Home is Rwanda, which she fled on foot as an 8-year-old girl, dodging bullets and bombs, hopping over mutilated bodies and fighting other kids for scraps of food.
The writing class immediately followed lunch, and then I was back in my office putting the final touches on the spring Dayton Educator magazine, which went to the printer by the end of the day.
Some days, universities are like that.
The civil engineering capstone projects get bigger, better and more popular every year.
This year’s endeavor is a proposed 200-foot tall monument to the Wright brothers at the southwest corner of the Interstate 70 and 75 interchange. Past projects include a recreation center, a visual and performing arts building and proposed uses for the NCR Corp. property UD purchased last year.
“These projects are getting more and more ambitious,” adviser and civil engineering lecturer Don Chase said. “They are more visible and meaningful (than in past years).”
When Kelly Moon studied in Asia in 2004, she saw the prostitutes propositioning customers in front of brothels and on street corners. What she didn’t see were the children as young as 5 who she heard are sold into the sex trade industry.
Only after she returned to Dayton did she realize that both the women and the children are part of the same morally and economically destructive cycle that is fueled, in part, by the internationalization of business.
During yesterday’s Stander Symposium, Moon discussed the growing problem in human trafficking, the topic of her senior international business capstone project. (See a “Dateline” segment she shared.)
“This is something that we, as international business majors, will deal with in our jobs,” she said. “This is something our peers or fellow employees might be involved in, I’m sad to say, and it’s an issue we can make a difference in.”
She reported that this modern-day slavery is found across the globe, with 60,000 to 80,000 women and children annually being trafficked across international borders. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry that is both a human rights and business problem, she said.
Governments spend an increasing amount of money combating the spread of disease, violence and other illegal trade caused by the sex trade, reducing resources available for legitimate business. Thousands of girls are left demoralized and without education, reducing countries’ economic viability. Businesses are also hampered in growing markets where major human rights and freedom violations require international sanctions.
She made these suggestions to stem the growth:
— Refuse to participate.
— Do not openly or silently condone such behavior in your peers or business partners.
— Educate others about human trafficking.
She also recommends that businesses pass a zero-tolerance policy for their employees, similar to one the U.S. government instituted for its overseas officials. “So much of this is done by businessmen on business trips,” she said. “I think a zero-tolerance policy would be a great start.”
Jane Goodall gave the crowd that packed the Frericks Center a chimpanzee’s morning greeting: short hoots and pants that grew increasingly voluble and excitable.
“That means ‘Hi’,” she said. “It also means, ‘This is me.’ Every chimpanzee has his or her own individual voice.”
Goodall’s distinctly individual voice and unique path have often placed her at odds with scientific convention. The primatologist and conservationist shared these experiences during her Stander Symposium keynote address April 5.
In 1960, Goodall, then 26, arrived at Lake Tanganyika to study the area’s chimpanzee population. She made breakthrough discoveries, observing that chimps use tools, hunt and eat other animals and form lasting family relationships. She insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions – findings that have implications for humans and their stewardship of Earth.
She learned to defend those observations at Cambridge University, where she later enrolled “to go straight for a Ph.D.” because as her mentor, paleontologist Louis Leakey noted, “We don’t have time for a B.A.”
Click here for a recent interview with Goodall.
At the University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop last weekend, writers got to write about writing on a blog posted through the workshop’s home page (click on “Live from the Bombeck Workshop” and then on “comments” to read writers’ reactions). The main buzz was around Dave Barry, the keynote speaker during Thursday’s opening dinner, who left the humor column writing business so “everybody would have a chance,” according to blogger Dave Lieber. Barry also had kind words for those he met during the book signing that evening. Here’s the experience of Joe Blundo, columnist for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch:
Just another Dave Barry note: My son, Noah, is a columnist for the Post at Ohio University, and he worships Dave Barry. So at the Erma, I bought Dave’s new book, figuring I’d have him autograph it for Noah. While standing in line for the autograph, it occurred to me to ask Dave if he’d talk to Noah on my cell phone. So when I got to where Dave was sitting, I handed him the book and the phone and explained the situation. He took the phone and said, “Hi, Noah. This is Dave Barry. I just wanted to tell you that your dad is here at this convention and he’s drunk and naked.” The only thing that could have impressed my son more was if I really had been drunk and naked. Because, hey, he’s a college student. He respects heavy-duty partying.
The first documentary produced about Erma Bombeck’s life premiered before 350 writers at last weekend’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. ”Erma Bombeck: A Legacy of Laughter” sparked laughter, tears and some guilt from the mostly female audience. One writer asked if the kids ever felt like they were intruding on their mom while she wrote. “She used to lock herself in her office, and we’d slip notes — lots of notes — under the door. I don’t know. It didn’t seem like neglect,” said Betsy Bombeck to laughter.
Narrated by talk show pioneer and former neighbor Phil Donahue, the half-hour documentary will air on more than 270 public television stations, more than 90 percent of the nation’s television markets.