Intercollegiate Fashion Club Holds Show

On Thursday, April 9, 2009 the Intercollegiate Fashion Club (IFC) held a show in the ARC featuring several different collections from budding designers.

The show featured models from St. Mary’s, but they also utilized models from outside of the school. Models were seen in everything from shiny, red bodysuits to printed tee shirts. The show had a decent turnout with audience members comprised of both students and community members.

Outside of the show The Invisible Children Committee sold DVD’s, bracelets, and collected donations. They also gave away various hats and scarves with the Invisible Children logo on them. Some of the merchandise was featured in the show and can be ordered online.

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The Dove May Fly No More

Perceptive students may have noticed that in the last few years, the College yearbook, The Dove, has steadily been published later and later. This lateness has been due to a serious decline in Dove staff members.

The Dove is a College club that relies on the support, interest, and cooperation of the students; however, unlike other clubs on campus, students who participate in The Dove have an obligation to finish a completed project, a project that requires extra work on top of classes and summer participation. “The problem with a major publication being a major club [is that] unless it’s a club that has a lot of active members, it can’t come out. It can’t get done by one person,” said advisor Kelly Schroeder

At the moment, The Dove has one staff member, Editor Laurie Hammond, a senior. “Laurie has had pretty much no help,” said Schroeder.  Laurie admits that she has had some people show interest in working on the yearbook; however, she does not want them to be stuck in the same position she is now.

“I can’t hand [The Dove] to someone else. I don’t want to put someone in the same position I’m in,” said Hammond.

Last year, staffing was so lean that the yearbook was not completed and distributed. In fact, the 2007-2008 edition of The Dove has still not been distributed.  Fortunately for those who had purchased the issue, Hammond has been working on the issue and will send it out this April. “The people who ordered ‘08 will get it. Laurie has finished all her work, the publisher helped. It’s in production right now, we should receive the books in April,” said Schroeder.
There were more factors into the late publishing of the ‘08 Dove than simply understaffing. There was also a problem with the publisher and also problems with student participation. According to Hammond, she had trouble getting pictures and club information from students.

Hammond and Schroeder question whether or not a hard-copied yearbook is even in the interest of the students. “I think the problem with college is that many people don’t know we have a yearbook, “ said Hammond.

“I guess the question is have yearbooks gone out of fashion, since people chronicle their lives on Facebook?” said Schroeder.

The future of The Dove is up in question, but it appears that as of this moment a 2008-2009 edition might not be published; however, according to Hammond, if this is something that students still want, then they will do what they can to make sure it is completed..

Math for Social Justice Brings Numbers to Life

Mathematics professor David Kung has implemented a service project in his Survey of Mathematics class meant to promote activism in the community through the use of mathematics.

“There’s a lot of activism on campus, and I wanted to harness that energy and get people to learn some mathematics while trying to be activists,” said Kung. Kung’s survey project coincides with his specific survey class, which is entitled Math for Social Justice.

Kung hopes that this project will help the students in his class do three things, be less intimidated by math, utilize math to achieve social change, and learn to be more active in their communities. “I hope they are more critical consumers of mathematics and the media, and I hope they are able to use mathematics to promote social justice,” said Kung.

Before students began the project, Professor Kung shared a proposal that he had created several years ago that would give the students some ideas and give them an idea of what steps they should be taken when implementing a project of this nature.

Students had to complete several steps before they could officially begin working on their project. “Each student had to propose a project. Thirty-two projects were proposed, we’re only doing eight. [Students had] to explain an issue, say how they wanted to address issue, explore mathematics, needed to understand the issue, and talk about the impact that project would have,” said Kung.

One of the groups in the class has built their project around the idea of senior Shane Hall. According to sophomore Monica Powell, a member of this group, the premise of the project is to “get solar energy panels on the dorms which would save a bunch of money in a short time.” Senior Katie Ryan, also a member of this group, says that Shane Hall was inspired by the Sustainability Committee.

This group has been attending Student Government Association (SGA) meetings, discussing their plans with people in the university, and looking at other universities who have implemented similar projects. “We went to an SGA meeting and listened to the sustainability fellows, and they are the ones who convinced us that it would be more realistic to get solar panels on the dorm rather than the ARC (Athletics and Recreations Center), which was the original idea,” said Powell.

Thus far, the group has had hardly any problems with the project. “The hardest part about this is coordinating our ideas with the College’s agenda; right now the school is cutting back on funding and doesn’t really want to hear about new projects,” said Ryan.

Overall the problem with most groups seems to be remembering to add a math component to their project. “A lot of us keep forgetting that there’s a math component for the project. He [Professor Kung] keeps gently reminding us that we need math,” said Powell.

Kung’s hope that these projects will help promote activism among his students seems to be taking effect. “I really just want to do something that helps the St. Mary’s community,” said Powell, “Personally, I probably won’t be around to see this [the project] put into effect, but I like that I helped get the ball rolling.”

A Sample MFSJ Problem:
A hospital administrator claimed that over the past year, 90% of the patients who have spent a night in the hospital checked out within a week.  The nurses were incredulous – they knew that at any time, 80% of the patients had been in the hospital for longer than a year! How is this possible?  (Similar statistics hold for the homeless, people on welfare, and those without health insurance.)
-Submitted by Dave Kung

Professors Give Love Lines Talk

This year marks the return of the Love Lines talk that features a panel of professors answering any “love/sex” questions anonymously submitted by students.

Love lines was hosted by the First Response Team in the common room of Queen Anne and the panel included husband and wife, Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black (JCB), and Professor Andrew Cognard-Black (ACB). JCB and ACB ended up participating in the panel when JCB was asked by one of her students who is a part of the First Response Team. “One of the peer advocates is in my Women Word Literature course, and asked me if I would be willing to do the panel. Given that I had worked hard to see that sexual assault programming be supported on campus ever since I arrived at St. Mary’s, I definitely wanted to assist the Peer Advocate in any way I could,” said JCB.

ACB got involved, naturally through JCB. She asked him if he would be willing to participate due to the fact that the two of them used to give panels back in graduate school on issues that would again be brought up during Love Lines.

Originally the panel was meant to be made up of more faculty then just the Cognard-Blacks, however the faculty members who were asked decided that they would rather not appear on the panel. “ [When asked to do the panel] Andrew said ‘sure’; all other faculty said ‘no way’. So we wound up being the only two who said ‘okay.’” said JCB.

Love Lines ended up being a type of discussion group, with JCB and ACB sitting at the top and students forming a big circle around them. Members of the First Response team took turns pulling questions out of a box that had been set in the campus center. The questions ranged from sexual to relationship advice. JCB also thought that the questions were of a rather mixed variety. “I thought many were honest, some were unclear, and a few were silly or meant to be shocking,” she said.

When answering the questions ACB and JCB gave both personal and academic advice. ACB, a Professor of Sociology, would relate his field of study to some of the questions, and JCB a Professor of English would relate questions to novels that she has read or taught.

Because of the personal nature of the questions it is understandable that those participating in it would feel reserved or uncomfortable about answering questions. However, JCB and ACB tried to be as open as they possibly could. “ Our only “fear” we had was that we didn’t want to expound on something we didn’t know a lot about,” said JCB.

Habitat for Humanity Plans Alternative Spring Break Service Trip to Greenville, Georgia

Members of Habitat for Humanity pose from left to right: (top row) Catherine Koch, Dana Mead, Jon Kallevang, Chris Rodkey, Katie Cain, Jen Slomski, Marc Hume, Katie Studholme, (front row): Adel Chergui, Sarah Hanley, Sara Childerston, Gina Nearing, Elizabeth Benge, and Monica Powell (Photo Submitted by Katie Cain_
Members of Habitat for Humanity pose from left to right: (top row) Catherine Koch, Dana Mead, Jon Kallevang, Chris Rodkey, Katie Cain, Jen Slomski, Marc Hume, Katie Studholme, (front row): Adel Chergui, Sarah Hanley, Sara Childerston, Gina Nearing, Elizabeth Benge, and Monica Powell (Photo Submitted by Katie Cain_

This spring break, the Habitat for Humanity club will be heading to Greenville, Georgia.

The club has gone on these trips for the last six years. Two years ago the club went to Alabama and last year they went to Greenville.

The purpose of the trip is to build a house for a family who qualifies due to the qualifications of Habitat.

“The main objective is to help Habitat for Humanity whose mission is to build houses for people in the mid-range who can’t afford houses,” said senior, Katie Cain, President of the Habitat chapter here on campus.

The spring break trip is a week long and sees the fifteen students and faculty advisor build one house.

“We start with the concrete foundation. We work everyday eight to four on the house by the end of the week we’re up to the roof and shingles,” said Cain.

The trip is planned mostly by the affiliate the group stays with, but the St. Mary’s chapter focuses on getting the students together here.

“We get registration packets from Habitat for Humanity as well as St. Mary’s forms. We put them together in a packet, and we send out all students e-mails,” said Cain.

Students who participate in the trip have all different levels of experience and have become involved in different ways. “My sister did the trip when she went here. She talked about how awesome it was and I got involved through her contacts with [then President] Megan Hickman,” said senior Jen Slomiski.

Another member, senior Monica Powell, stumbled into Habitat when she went on the trip last year.

“I went last year to Greenville. Prior to that I wasn’t really involved, but after that it inspired me to apply to be on the exec board, and I’m actually going to be co-President next year,” said Powell.

The members last year stayed in a grain silo and bonded with the community through community provided dinners.

“We choose to go back to Greenville this year because of the overwhelming southern hospitality,” said Cain. The group not only bonds through the meals, but also through the road trip down to Georgia and the time spent in the silo.

The members of the group want to stress that the trip is open to everyone and that experience levels should not stop anyone from applying.

“I wouldn’t let inexperience stop you; that’s what Habitat’s all about,” said Powell.