Empowerment is a liberating feeling. Or, for some UD students, it’s Empowermint.
On Wednesday Oct. 19, the “Vote Everywhere” Political Science department initiative and the Student Government Association collaborated to host a debate watch party at Kennedy Union’s Hangar for the third presidential debate.
Students gathered with friends in an informal environment to watch the live, televised event on a large projector screen in the Hangar’s lounge area.
A special milkshake treat, featuring mint, coffee and fudge flavors, was available to the Galley customers during this election season.
“I created [the Empowermint milkshake] initially on National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 27,” said Katherine Liming, Team Leader of the University of Dayton Vote Everywhere. “We then carried on the partnership for our debate watch parties in the Hangar. I was aware of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor, and was inspired because it was such a great pun and that is Vote Everywhere’s mission, voter empowerment.”
Ryan Wray, junior with a double major in international business and marketing, found the third debate to be “the most heated between the two candidates.”
“In past debates it was more clear who the winner was,” said Wray. “This debate presented more serious concerns about what the candidates will bring to the presidency.”
Chloe Massie-Costales, sophomore with a double major in human rights and sociology, felt a sense of frustration after the debate viewing.
“There’s a lot of extremism in this election,” she said. “I think we’ve moved away from actual debating.”
In October, the autumn sky shines blue above St. Joseph Hall as the sun sets aglow red and yellow leaves.
No wonder it’s such a popular time for high school students to visit campus.
During three weekend open house events for prospective students, UD welcomed 1,019 students and their families, not to mention the hundreds who fill the admission office during the weekdays.
One family received the presentation and tour — plus a bit of that special UD hospitality. Here’s how it happened:
A mother and daughter come to campus, enjoy the open house and visit the bookstore. While walking back to Albert Emanuel Hall, they stop a current student to ask her a few questions. The student — a transfer from Miami, a school the daughter is also considering — shares how happy she is to be at UD and answers all their questions. Mom is so impressed and pleased that she and her daughter take the student to dinner.
Helping a stranger. Fellowship over a meal. Sounds like a perfect introduction to life at UD on a beautiful autumn day.
UD admissions, by the numbers:
1,019 Prospective students attending fall open houses
605 High school visits by admissions counselors
389 College fairs attended
244 Coffee chats with prospective students
61 Individual student interviews
11 Dayton area high school receptions
The upcoming election has been unlike any other we have seen in recent years. Both candidates have engaged in behavior that many describe as mean-spirited, brutally negative and ultimately disheartening to our country’s morale. It is also the first presidential election that many college-aged social media driven millennials can vote in.
Although students may support one candidate over another, in turn disagreeing on major social and political issues, there has been unanimous respect for each other’s beliefs on campus.
Thought-provoking questions were answered and respectful debate took place on Oct. 18 at Table of Plenty, a gathering of UD students and Campus Ministry staff over a meal and discussion on complex social justice issues during the session “Faith, Values and Voting.” Students expressed their fears and disappointment for the first presidential election they are eligible to vote in.
Elizabeth Montgomery with Campus Ministry said, “What saddens me most is that when I think about my faith and this election is how people have been interacting. Party lines have become too severe and our two candidates can’t even shake hands before a debate. We have forgotten about seeing the good in others.”
Students discussed concerns about the lack of civility and respect for human dignity that is portrayed from both candidates. Attack ads were also a big topic of the day. Students said that they believed the blatant disregard the candidates have for each other has inspired the same negative feelings amongst many of their supporters. It has become “normal” to see their friends on social media tearing both the candidates and each other’s beliefs down.
Jack Needles ’18 said, “Parties have become so polarized. It’s like politicians just regurgitate their party platforms, not personal beliefs. This calls you to question, is that moral? Do you vote for a party or do you vote for the better person?”
Although negativity and name calling surround this election, through events such as Table of Plenty, UD students are able to engage in difficult conversation with respect towards one another and with the hopes of inspiring positive change.
“The next 30 minutes can save your life,” Dayton Bright Pink education ambassador Amanda Knoth announced at the Brighten Up Educational Workshop at the McGinnis Center on Oct. 19.
Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, according to its website.
The organization is a national partner of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity and this year UD ZTA invited women in other Greek organizations to the workshop for the first time.
“Bright Pink’s presentation is a great opportunity to learn about the risks we’re subject to as women,” said sophomore Brennan Striegel who is a member of ZTA and brought her roommates to the presentation. Striegel acknowledged the importance of education on the topic and found the presentation as “an opportunity for us to come together to discuss and understand a cause that I think everyone can relate to and has been affected by.”
Participants learned that one in eight women will develop breast cancer and 80% of breast cancer is found by the woman herself. Women should be looking for lumps, swelling, redness and other symptoms.
“Know your normal,” Knoth said, encouraging more women to become self advocates for their health by conducting self exams on a regular basis.
Knoth further educated participants that one in 75 women will develop ovarian cancer, but the signs are not necessarily overt. Knoth stressed the importance of bringing abnormal pelvic or abdominal pain, fatigue or other symptoms to a doctor’s attention.
In addition to knowing the symptoms, breast and ovarian cancers are linked to genetics and knowing family history is vital in understanding one’s risk. Knoth recommends women talk with both sides of their families and use the Bright Pink assess your risk tool to see if their risk level requires more screening than the standard cycle recommends.
“This is all important information as women need to band together,” Knoth said when concluding the presentation. “Share this information with a woman in your life. . . [this] can save your life, but only if you act.”
Erin Frey is a student reporter in the Office of Marketing and Communications. She has written in UD Magazine, Porches and UDQuickly. Erin had the opportunity to travel to Kentucky and take part in UDSAP from Oct. 6-9. She shares, here, the impact the trip had on both her and the residents of Salyersville.
The population of Magoffin County in Salyersville, Kentucky is about 13,000. To the 16 UD students that stayed in the UDSAP (University of Dayton Summer Appalachia Program) house over fall break – those 13,000 people are beacons of God’s love.
I was lucky enough to have been one of those 16 students, and for those who also have had the honor of staying at the UDSAP house, know about it’s special power. It’s crumbing walls are covered in quotes from it’s inhabitants from the last 50 years, its aroma is that of wet grass and tired smiles and still it somehow manages to be the most inspiring and relaxing place I have ever stepped foot in.
The long weekend consisted of hiking, playing bingo at a nursing home, and running wild with the kids and teens of the local community. It doesn’t sound like much, we didn’t give anyone anything, build houses or donate money. We, instead, were simply present. We visited their neglected, tiny, trailers and played in the dirt. We listened, laughed, cried and most importantly, we told everyone we met how much we loved them because those three words, are rare to be heard or said for the children we played with.
As Tom Whitaker, a local artist told us, “You can’t leave love out if it.” In everything we did, we poured out love to those who don’t normally receive it. Whitaker also told us that the main problem our world faces has nothing to do with economics, race, or war, but a lack of self esteem. People are not told how special they are and are unaware of their potential.
Little did we know, while trying to show the people of Salyersville love, these children who lived in houses held together with duct tape and elbow grease showed us how little it took to make their day. They craved attention and for someone to take an interest in them. They sat on our laps and filled our hearts with joy as they accepted our exasperated arms and made us feel young again.
Tj Meyer, and UDSAP ’97 alum sums up the purpose of the trip perfectly. His quote, displayed on the wall of the house reads, “The fabric of my soul is sewing me a blanket. Do I use it to hide, or do I give it to someone who is cold?”
“[My team and I] do everything we can to use our imagery and art to bend history,” James Balog, a decorated photographer and climate change researcher, announced to a full-house Oct. 17 in Kennedy Union Ballroom.
Balog uses a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology to pair science with photographs and show the impact humans have on the environment. He also uses art to be a spokesman on climate change and shared his message at UD as part of the annual Speaker Series and Sustainability Week programming, co-sponsored by the Hanley Sustainability Institute and the Provost Office.
In addition to authoring eight books, Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) – the largest photographic study of glaciers – and was featured in the 2012 Emmy award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice.”
Balog’s speech was charged with passion as he shared a slide show which included before and after pictures showing the contrast of what earth structures looked like decades ago compared to now— what he refers to as natural tectonics vs. “human tectonics.”
He shared time-lapsed images of earth’s temperatures which became more red, indicating increased warmth over time.
Balog warned the audience that, “Yes, there is natural variation in climate like there is natural variation in the weather, but we are in an unnatural cycle right now.”
He explained that earth’s rising carbon dioxide levels, and in turn temperatures, have created four-times more and six-times bigger forest fires. Balog also said glaciers are reacting to temperature changes by retreating faster than natural.
A final video featured snow-capped glaciers that Balog photographed around the world, but at the end of the film, Balog noted all that was shown has since melted and no longer exists.
“Climate change is not a question of belief. I think there is climate change, I don’t believe there is climate change,” Balog stated. “That is based on the evidence.”
In 2009, Balog served as a U.S./ NASA representative at Copenhagen on the topic. Today, he continues this same policy work with countless organizations.
“Every single one of you can use your voice to alter the course of history,” Balog says. “Pay attention to the subject because we love ourselves, we love our family and we have respect for the people that will come after us.”
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Dayton Fire Department lieutenant Tyler McCoy said, recalling the famous Benjamin Franklin quote during the University’s Smokeout and Safety Street Fair Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The offices of student development, public safety and environmental health and safety teamed up with local partners to help educate students about the importance of fire safety and prevention, and provide resources in case of fire emergencies in the student neighborhood.
An ambulance, police car, fire truck and S.W.A.T. vehicle overtook Lawnview Street while smoke seeped from a house at 118 Lawnview and from the barbecue set up at ArtStreet Amphitheater serving hot dogs and burgers. Students escaped the smoke-filled house and learned how to put out live fires by properly operating a fire extinguisher.
Students also asked questions of the Dayton police and fire departments while learning from representatives at pop-up tables that lined the street. Organizations spoke about their mission and handed out pamphlets regarding fire safety practices.
The student-run Emergency Medical Services and Red Cross Club set up a table, while other booths put faces to names for on-campus faculty and staff resources such as Campus Ministry and Green Dot. Tables like the one from the Federal Emergency Management Agency introduced new resources to students.
Jody Pradelski, FEMA Region 5 Chicago preparation liaison, said her organization was excited to hear about the UD smokeout because FEMA is encouraging other universities to hold similar events. Pradelski stressed the importance of college students becoming a “prepared culture,” in terms of fire safety, and sharing their knowledge with their families and housemates.
Students stopped by on their way to and from class to mingle with the various organizations and explore the emergency vehicles, while munching on the free ice cream, chips, hot dogs and burgers.
But Sister Linda Lee Jackson, F.M.I., faith development coordinator of the student neighborhood, reminded students of the seriousness and importance of becoming educated and aware of what is going on in their neighborhood.
“Have fun, but be safe and be where your feet are,” Jackson said.
The University’s Army ROTC program is one of the oldest and most enduring in the country. The program is celebrating its 100-year anniversary throughout this academic year, as the “Fighting Flyers” battalion was founded in 1917.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, students in the Military Science I class had their first opportunity to rappel down the side of O’Reilly Hall, home to the ROTC department. The rappelling demonstration was part of the centennial celebration.
Sophomore Madeline Seiller from Mason, Ohio explained how the rappelling gets the cadets involved.
“It peaks their interest,” said the pre-medicine major. “It’s an action activity and it’s fun.”
Most UD students graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps as Second Lieutenants. Many UD cadets focus on engineering, infantry or medicine branches of the army, Seiller said.
“I have so much respect for all those who went before me,” said Seiller. “In these 100 years, we’ve turned out so many great cadets.”
Major Jeffrey Rosenberg, the ROTC department chair, said that the first and second year cadet students conduct rappelling to build confidence, develop team building and learn about themselves.
“The 100-year milestone is a significant contribution,” said Rosenberg. “We are providing leaders for the nation. We want to recognize that milestone, and continue for another 100 years.”
Watch here as a student performs the rappeling exercise during the centennial celebrations.
UD alumnae and sisters Eileen Trauth ’72 and Suzanne Trauth ’71 depict the contemporary problems women in the information technology field face through a staged reading of the play they co-wrote called iDream.
Women are significantly underrepresented in the IT field and the production seeks to shed light on those barriers including being marginalized for gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
“The story is fun. It is about three high school girls confronting their future,” explained Suzanne. “They really don’t know anything about information technology. It’s fun to see their look at the IT world.”
The sisters point out that the play isn’t only about women, though. “The purpose of writing the play was to start a conversation about the barriers that hold people back and how they can overcome them,” said Eileen, who has more than 15 years of research on the underrepresentation of women in the computer field.
They both decided the best way to share their research was through theatre.
“I could write about this, and write an academic article for other professors. But we don’t reach the parents, the teachers, and the young people themselves in this way,” said Eileen. “We also wanted to reach out beyond that and talk to ‘regular people.’ Theatre is the best way to convey these messages to people.”
The sisters collaborated by having Suzanne write the play based off the research conducted by Eileen. They both co-wrote the play thereafter.
The performance begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Black Box Theatre inside Fitz Hall. Tickets are $12 for the public, or $8 with a UD ID.
The staged reading will be followed by a talk-back and reception with the playwrights and the cast, which includes Karen Spina, wife of University President Eric Spina; Lawrence Burnley, vice president for diversity and inclusion; Camilo Pérez-Bustillo, executive director of the Human Rights Center; University students; and community members from Hope Road Youth and Community Theatre. The production is directed by Michelle Hayford, and design is by students in the engineering for the performing arts class.
Despite the closure of KU Food Court later this fall, on-the-go students will soon be able to grab a bite without stepping foot inside a dining hall. Starting Oct. 11, the University’s new food truck, Rudy on the Run, will be ready to serve campus with quick and tasty dining choices.
“Dining Services has talked about having a food truck for the last three or four years,” said Douglas Lemaster, the associate director for Dining Services, “but we really needed another option for students due to the upcoming KU renovations.”
There has been extensive testing and design work done on the truck by UDIT, UD Marketing, Dining Services and local businesses to ensure its readiness for serving the college community.
“This is the first time Dining Services has needed such technological capabilities, so this is new ground for all of us,” Lemasters said.
Rudy on the Run will have a diverse selection of food choices, such as vegan burgers, Gouda grilled cheeses, Asian chicken wraps and breakfast sandwiches. It will only accept credit cards, meal plans, or Flyer Express, but not cash.
The truck will only be open from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. its first few weeks of operation, and from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday in November and December. However, next semester, the truck will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. All year long, it will be parked in Humanities Plaza.
Despite the truck’s immediate need because of KU’s coming renovations, Lemaster is already thinking of future plans.
“We’re going to gradually tweak the menu to better fit our customers’ desires,” said Lemaster. “We’re really going to decide in the coming year how Rudy will be utilized in the long term.”