The Grateful Garment Project by Noah Sanchez

Professor Richard Rossi’s Public Relations Cases and Campaigns class is currently working with the San Jose based non-profit organization The Grateful Garment Project. His class is planning and setting up a public relations campaign for the non-profit. “In this class, the students are creating a PR campaign for The Grateful Garment organization. A majority of the students have taken some of the other public relations courses I teach before this PR Campaigns class so they are familiar with the steps to start a campaign and all of the different things they need to do. I feel that with a strong PR campaign, we can really help The Grateful Garment Project reach their goal of 20,000 sports bras for Operation emBRAce,” said Professor Richard Rossi.

The Grateful Garment Project’s mission is to ensure that every victim of a sexual crime who crosses the threshold of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) facility or who seeks medical attention and/or law enforcement involvement is provided with whatever new clothing, toiletries, snacks, and other miscellaneous items that he or she may require. They have further expanded their mission and vision to encompass all victims of sexual violence. This includes, but is not limited to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) and victims of Human Sexual Trafficking (HST).

Along with donations of money, the Grateful Garment organization is also looking for donations of sports bras for their Operation emBRAce campaign. Their goal for the campaign is to collect 20,000 bras over the next year. “Although this goal seems a little far fetched to achieve because twenty thousand does seem like a lot of bras, even if it is over the course of the year, but with the right public relations campaign, we can achieve the goal. There is also currently a drop box for sports bras in the library if anyone is interested in donating. Helping this non-profit organization is very fulfilling to me and I really like what this organization stands for and what they do,” according to sophomore student, Erin Banda.

The Grateful Garment Project was started by a Notre Dame de Namur alumni, Lisa Blanchard, as senior project, but it expanded to become a whole non-profit organization. Blanchard says that it is her vision that victims of sexual assault never experience further suffering due to lack of resources. One of Blanchard’s partners Michele Grisham accompanies her whenever there is a meeting with Professor Rossi and his class. “TGGP’s mission truly touched me. There are really no words to properly describe the horror of being sexually violated. Anything that I can do to help those survivors is important to me personally. Sports bras are one of the most requested items by sexual assault victims, and yet they are one of the least donated items. Allowing victims to go home without proper support is unacceptable, and you can help us solve this challenge,” said Grisham of The Grateful Garment Project and Operation embrace.

The Grateful Garment Project currently partners with agencies in 29 counties throughout California. In each of theses counties, they have up to six programs. The programs include; clothing closets, human trafficking/CSEC Resources, youth gift-card/incentive, dress for dignity, pack-it forward, and beautification projects. For more information on each of these projects, as well as the different ways you can get involved and donate directly to The Grateful Garment Project, visit their website at http://gratefulgarment.org.

Rising Issue of Hunger In College by Lupe Gutierrez

Hunger has become an issue within universities, for students are now starving themselves in order to pay for college expenses. They are reducing their personal expenses, in order to get through college.

According to author Katy Murphy in a 2016 mercury news article she said that “A new UC survey found that 1 in 5 of students had gone hungry in the past year because they didn’t have money for food. CSU this year released the sobering estimate that 8-12 percent of students were homeless or lacked permanent housing. And a survey from San Jose State found that 20 percent of students had gone a whole day without a meal because money was so tight”.

Here at Notre Dame De Namur University, resident students have meal plans according to what they can afford. Commuter students also have the option of applying for affordable meal plans. 

“Our school should do more in regards to helping students who are starving. UC’s/CSU’s have already developed food programs to help out students who are struggling with hunger, yet we don’t happen to have any programs just yet. Notre Dame De Namur University, should change the meal plans and make them more affordable and to create a food program, that could benefit both resident and commuter students, who are dealing with this issue” Said Senior Fabiola Malfabon.

Jim McGarry, Director of The Sr. Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement stated “ Here on campus we do in fact have students who suffer from food security and homelessness. To help with this issue we have a food pantry on campus, where we bring fresh produce from a local farmer’s market, for students to take for free. Hunger is a big issue within college campus now a days and we are determined to do more for students”.

CSU and UC’s have taken a stand against the hunger epidemic that is spreading across universities. College campuses across California have decided to set up food pantries, coordinate emergency relief and  set new policies, such as allowing homeless students to stay in campus residence halls during breaks, so students don’t have to worry what will be their next meal or where to stay for the night. Notre Dame De Namur University has began to help out those who suffer from hunger and we hope to make more changes in the year to come.

California Now Hoping For A Break From Heavy Rainfall by Tamara Qutmiera

200,000 Northern California residents lived and were evacuated for fear that the eroding wall that holds the water back from the Oroville Dam, will crumble and wash them away. The Oroville lake reservoir behind the Oroville dam is overflowing and threatening to blow. Reservoirs that were once at record lows are at capacity or overflowing.

“It’s crazy to think that after years of California struggling to make it through the drought, suddenly we have way too much water to handle. And what really irks me is how carelessly our government manages our water supplies. I think that if they took the time to figure out how to manage and distribute our water properly, we wouldn’t have struggled as much as we did when the drought hit.” said Junior Lynn Thomas.

Californians endured emergency mandatory water restrictions, since 2012, to ensure we don’t use what little water we have left. Now it seems we have too much water, and nowhere to put it. Which leaves Californians asking the question of whether or not the drought is over. The answer is yes and no.

Although this years rain has been the heaviest in decades and made a huge dent in the drought, it is not enough. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Northern half of the state is drought free, while much of the middle and southern portion is still in moderate to severe drought. Meaning that for now, the water restrictions will not be lifted.

It will take years for California’s overburdened groundwater reserves to recharge. Groundwater is unlike surface water, which can recover during a few days of heavy precipitation. Groundwater recovery often takes years or decades. Groundwater systems are also relied upon more heavily during times of drought. So, although our surface water problem has been taken care of, the recovery for groundwater, if possible, will take several to many years to accomplish.

“I honestly thought that the drought was over because of the excessive amount of rain we’ve had the past couple weeks, so I’m shocked to learn that we are still struggling to fill the groundwater reserves. So, I think it would be a good idea to keep the water restrictions up until then. Maybe we can be more lenient with the restrictions, but they should stay in place,” said Senior Evelyn Hurtado.

The amount of rainfall Northern Californians have endured as of late has been drastic and quite frankly, extremely hazardous. Residential roads, as well as highways, have flooded. Power outages, fallen trees, and many other life threatening situations have conspired, leaving Californians praying for the rain to stop. Roads have closed down causing hours worth of traffic, closed off highways including 101 and more.

“The commute to school the past couple days has been problematic. Coming from East side San Jose, the flooding had shut down he main highway I drive on to get to school, causing me to miss class,” said Senior Sneha Anisingaraju.

“Everything that California has endured because of our low water levels is truly devastating. Not only have we suffered from a drought here, but also our world as a whole is in distress. I hope what people learn from this is how downward our environment is going and how real global warming is. I’m praying for more understanding and change to happen regarding how we will go forward and to care for our planet in a more healthy and loving way. We only have one Earth, and we can’t jeopardize and neglect it,” said Senior Mya Grove.

Black Student Union by Marypaz Hermosillo

February is Black History Month and NDNU’s Black Student Union hosts many events to celebrate. The purpose of these events is to educate other NDNU students about the history of African Americans in the United States.

 

“To me it means a month to recognize and appreciate all the black activist this country has had and continues to have today,” said freshman Antionette Watson, a member of the Black Student Union at NDNU. “It is a month to remember all the things black people had to go through just to be considered human beings in America.

 

Black History Month is not only celebrated in the United States, it is also celebrated in Canada. Another country that celebrates Black History Month is the United Kingdom but there it is celebrated in October.

 

Now Black History Month is celebrated throughout the country and many universities, like NDNU. These universities host events to spread awareness through the university’s Black Student Unions. They not only want to spread awareness of the hardships African Americans have gone through, but also on the accomplishments and achievements African Americans have had in our country.

 

“The Black Student Union is supposed to be a club that supports black empowerment and black students, but here at NDNU it is just a club that has events for you to attend,” said Watson. NDNU’s Black Student Union has a lot of growing it has to do but it is starting of on a good note, spreading awareness and having multiple events that everyone on campus is welcomed to join.

 

The Black Student Union is something that is recently gaining numbers in students at NDNU and this year for Black History Month they are putting on a movie for anyone at NDNU to attend every Tuesday. The movies consist of movies that have African Americans as the main character and others even touch on the history of African Americans. Another event they hosted this year was a fashion show on Wednesday February 22, 2106. The theme of the fashion show was culture explosion.

 

Although not every student is involved with the Black Student Union NDNU on it’s own teaches students about the history of the many different cultures and races in America. “I don’t remember learning much about any positive history of African Americans even during Black History Month before college,” said sophomore Xochitl Vazquez. This seems to be a common theme when talking to the college students that attend NDNU.
“I feel that at NDNU I am exposed to more African American history,” Said Vazquez. “Especially being a Political Science major and taking multiple history classes that don’t just cover basic history like in high school.” This just goes to show that NDNU and the Black Student Union try to expose its students to the history, hardships, and accomplishments of the African American community.

Las Vegas Raiders by Andrew English

Although the N.F.L. is still wary of gambling and its potential influence on games, the league has dismissed those concerns in order for the Oakland Raiders to move forward to move to Sin City in the very near future.

On Thursday January 19, the Oakland Raiders applied to relocate to Las Vegas. This would be a bid that will test the league, which has stridently opposed sports gambling for decades. Relocation of the Raiders would require approval from at least 24 of the 32 teams, and the earliest the owners are expected to vote is late March, when they are to meet in Phoenix. The Raiders have said they want to move to Nevada because they have failed for years to find a replacement for their home at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which is one of the oldest and most decrepit stadiums in the league. Local government officials have said they cannot pay a large share of the bill for a new sports facility, something the Raiders have demanded. “We’ll give them the home that Oakland couldn’t”, says Zach Ginter a former NDNU student and Las Vegas resident, “The city has been needing a sports team for the longest time. I know that the stadium cost along with gambling and betting may be a concern for the league, but I think in the long run it will benefit greatly to the city and the N.F.L.”

“The Bay Area won’t be the same without the Raiders”, said Brandon Davis, a local Bay Area resident, after the finding about Raiders abrupt move to Las Vegas. “I’ve been a Raiders fan for all of my life. My dad used to take me to Raider games when I was younger, it makes me upset that I may not possibly be able to do that and continue the legacy when I get kids.” However while most people in the Bay are upset about the Raiders sudden move, Jessica Beltran, a SoCal resident who plans to move to the Bay Area after graduation, thinks that the Raiders moving maybe a better plan in the long run. “I believe that Raiders moving will be good for the 49ers. With one team gone the Bay can focus more on having one main football team. Gold and Maroon looks better than black and white anyway.”

The Raiders tried to leave Oakland last year but failed to persuade the owners of other teams to let them build a new stadium in SoCal with the Chargers, who last week announced their move from San Diego to Los Angeles. The Raiders owner, Mark Davis, who also had talked with officials in San Antonio, began meeting with lawmakers in Nevada, who ultimately agreed to contribute $750 million in hotel taxes to help pay for a 1.9 billion dollar domed stadium that Davis wants to build in Las Vegas. However, the city plans to earn all that money back in five years time.

When it’s all said and done, Vegas needs a sports team more than the Bay. Why? The Bay already has a numerous amount of professional teams, it will help generate more money to the league itself, and to the hotels in Las Vegas. In addition Vegas is way more adept to handling the demands that a major football team needs. Oakland didn’t have enough income to support the Raiders and a move was definitely in the future, nonetheless, Raiders fans didn’t think it would come this quick. Las Vegas has more resources and a bigger area to expand than the Oakland Raiders in the Even though the Raiders 1.9 billion dollar football stadium will set them back a couple hundred million dollars, the long term results for the team moving will definitely out way the negatives.

Study Abroad by Brianna Mora

Want to study in Spain? France? Or even Great Britain? Read how!

The Modern Languages and Cultures Program offers Notre Dame de Namur University students to join Study Abroad. The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures enables students to acquire proficiency in their target language and to gain insights from the culture. The Modern Languages and Cultures program prepares students for careers in international business, education, diplomacy, travel, and translation. Study Abroad is highly recommended for students to learn the language and experience another culture. Study Abroad allows students to obtain new perspectives of life in other countries related to education, careers, cultures, and human relationships. Dr. Helene Laroche Davis; chair of the Modern Languages and Culture program here at Notre Dame de Namur University mentions that students, discover themselves when abroad. The program is specifically programmed to help students understand world issues while learning another language and experience other cultures. Dr. Ann Fathman, Study Abroad Adviser said that in recent years, students have studied in..accredited universities throughout the world especially Italy, Spain, France, England, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. Many of the cities include historic capitals such as: Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France; Oxford, England; New Delhi, India, Geneva, Switzerland; Semester at Sea, and others. Laroche states that many of students favorites include: France, Spain, and Italy. Students can even receive credit for participating in trips and service projects. The Study Abroad Experience is available to all Notre Dame de Namur University students! Throughout the experience [students] take classes in a university abroad of their choice and live in dorms or homes. They can take 15 units of classes in any subject offered. Many students also study the language of the country where they are staying.  Most programs offer excursions, and many students travel to other countries during their time abroad, said Fathman. The program strategically allows students to select from a wide variety of summer, semester, and year programs.  Students from all majors can receive credit while studying at overseas universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America. Fees for overseas study are comparable to the cost of on-campus tuition and housing. Steps for applying are simple as 1, 2, 3! First, research potential programs to study abroad and contact your study abroad adviser to see if the program meets qualifications. Next, apply to the program. When accepted to the program, obtain Notre Dame de Namur University Approval to Study Abroad form from the Study Abroad office. Fathman also reminds students of the requirements to go on Study Abroad: NDNU requires that a student have a 2.5 GPA, be at least a sophomore, attend an approved study abroad program at an accredited university. Our students attend a variety of programs which have various requirements (e.g.; some require a 3.0 GPA). Fathman adds on to reveal that Students who study abroad have the opportunity to live in a new culture, to learn new languages, to study at a  university in another country, to travel and meet people from different countries. Students who study abroad say it’s the highlight of their college career and a life-changing experience. They become global citizens of the world. If students are interested, please speak with Dr. Helene Laroche Davis or Dr. Ann Fathman.

College Crimes by Lupe Gutierrez

College crimes across the United States are affecting student’s lives. From rape to drug and alcohol abuse, these types of crimes are occurring from big campus to small campus like Notre Dame De Namur University.

Rape incidents have been occurring primarily in fraternities at various universities across the United States for decades. According to author Jessica Valenti in a 2014 Guardian article she states that “…numerous studies have found that men who join fraternities are three times more likely to rape, that women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women, and that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in four years away at school.”

Notre Dame De Namur University’s director of public safety William G. Palmini Jr. stated, “ We have 24/7 patrols on campus by site and foot as well, which therefore allows us to keep an eye on the university’s safety from any crimes being committed. Regarding crimes on campus, there has been eight sexual abuse crimes so far this year, which is relatively low. As of recent, we are in the process of being a part of the freshman and transfer student orientations from now on, so we can inform incoming students about crimes and the consequences behind them.”

Notre Dame De Namur University, being a small private university, crimes don’t often occur on campus, yet whenever they do, they circulate among students.

“ Yes, I have witnessed some students on campus, who have abused alcohol. A friend of mine was going through a break up and turned to alcohol to cope with her emotions, which wasn’t the healthiest choice for her” said Senior Paul Enriquez.

Being a Catholic private university, the Greek life on campus isn’t recognized. Yet on campus, we have two Greek Latin organizations, Lambda Theta Phi, a fraternity and Lambda Sigma Gamma, a sorority.

“ Here on campus, we have a Latin fraternity and sorority. I have been a member in the sorority for the past three years and we have not experienced any crime problems in both Greek organizations. In regards to rape incidents, I believe that a boy will rape a girl regardless if he is part of a fraternity or not. For example, with the Brock Turner case, even though he wasn’t Greek, he got away with rape, due to being a student athlete. It’s unfortunate to see a high percentage in fraternity rapes, which is giving the Greek life a bad reputation” said Junior Yocelynn Mendoza.

College students come into contact with rape, alcohol and drug abuse on a daily basis on campus, especially those who live on campus. Notre Dame De Namur University has done well, in regards to handling crimes on campus, which explains as to why we don’t often hear of any occurring.