Sources

What my sources do for my paper

Small Business Movement (Team Amigas)

A movement that is taking the nation by storm is the Small Business movement. The notion to shop small is being echoed from small towns to large cities. When you walk down Main Street, it is not the chain restaurants and convenience stores that give it character, it is the unique, small businesses that add to the flavor of Main Street. It may seem that big businesses are what keeps our national economy afloat, but in reality half of employed Americans work for small businesses. Also, in an economy where job growth is everything, it is important to note that in the past 20 years 65% of new jobs came from small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. If small businesses are so important, why do we need a movement surrounding them?

According to the Small Business Revolution, small businesses are under attack in small towns. Small businesses do not have the advantage of having lots of funding and resources to fall back on when their location fails. They must rely on support from the community and lots of hard work. One way the movement is promoting small businesses is through Small Business Saturday. This ‘holiday’ is between black Friday and cyber Monday. It has successfully promoted people to shop at small businesses on that day and spend around $5.7 billion. However, there are 364 other days in the year! The maker movement is what small businesses must rely on the rest of the year. This movement “[shares] a vision of nothing less than changing the world, “freeing the worker” from the rote and unempowered work of corporations and into doing something fulfilling and creative that may well transcend the profit motive.” This movement within in a movement is the driving force that keeps small businesses connected. The point of the movement is to put the power into the hands of the small businesses and take it from corporate America. Around 1/3 of small businesses will fail in the first 2 years, with the support of the maker movement, maybe this statistic can improve for the better. The students at the University of Delaware could definitely be more involved with small businesses in the area. We have a very active Entrepreneurship club, but they are more focused on starting their own ventures instead of working with already existing ones. I think this movement would be an exciting movement to get involved with because we could help to improve our campus by helping the local businesses on Main Street, like Grassroots. Focusing on our small businesses could help improve the atmosphere of Main Street and make our university even better.grassroots

Core4: UD Student Health Concerns

A cause that is important to my group, the Core4, is the varying student health concerns that undergraduates all over the country are experiencing, specifically freshmen, including the ones here at UD. While student health concerns range from lack of exercise/poor dieting, to unaddressed mental health concerns, to unsafe-sex practices (and the STDs that may follow), it’s important to educate students from the beginning of their time at college. Many college freshmen are experiencing a time when they are out in the world on their own for the first time, making it a very influential time, which can be positive or negative (depending on who is influencing them). This is an important cause to support because college students, and students in general, are the future of the world. If we do not take time to focus on our health now and the importance of making the healthy choices that we should, we will fail to see the importance of passing that information on to future generations. A lot about who we will become is determined by the health-related choices that we make everyday—and they are everywhere. From what we choose to fuel our bodies with in the dining hall, to the destructive substances that we choose that ultimately hurt us, we are in control. From taking the elevator to taking the stairs in various buildings on campus, we are in control. From using a condom when being sexually active to having unprotected sex, we are in control. That’s why it’s important to educate the person in control, us students, on how to healthfully use that power. A student group that strives to do that here at UD is Healthy HENS. Although it’s a good start, way too many students are continually choosing an unhealthy way of life that affects not only their bodies but their minds too. By supporting the cause of improving the physical health of students, we can potentially have a positive impact on their mental health as well. This is still an important cause to support because although we have the research and the knowledge behind healthful decisions, that information just isn’t getting the exposure that it needs to be. It’s our time, here at UD, to take a stand and address student health concerns more than they are currently being considered.

healthyhens               0d91ff9

Student Loan Debt’s Online Platform

An online platform is vital for the movement I am looking at, Student Loan Debt. Given that the most affected group of people are students or recent graduates, the internet is a great way to reach them. Since the statistics surrounding student loan debt are so shocking, pictures that show how much debt people are accumulating based on region or on average are a quick and easy to get the message across. The numbers are undeniable, which is why when you google the movement that is the first thing you see. Another part of their platform is very informal but reaches a large audience: memes and twitter. There are pages upon pages of SpongeBob and Arthur and Disney themed student loan memes that highlight the frustration and pain caused by student loans through humor. The movement reaches their audience in many unconventional ways, but they also use a traditional website. One website is called Rolling Jubilee and it has a very appealing layout. The first thing you see is a current counter that advertises the current amount of money they have raised towards their cause and how much debt they have “abolished” total. They present statistics with easy to interpret drawings that make it more interesting. As already mentioned they take advantage of twitter’s influence on people’s lives, for instance they have a section that allows the viewer to simply click on a premade tweet and post it directly. Another form of media that they use a lot is videos. They have videos that span the range of polished professional recording explaining their plans and stance to home videos of protests and marches to boost morale and encourage action. Something I find really effective is the personal story videos that Student Debt Crisis has on their website. I think it makes the movement more relevant and relatable. I plan to include a variety of the types of media that the movement uses. I think it would be useful to use the more lighthearted memes to grab the viewer’s attention, but then also include the more moving personal story videos to really have the message hit home. I think it is also important to include statistical pictures/diagrams on my website because it helps to show the relevance of the issue. I will also include some audio clips to help show another way people get their information about the issues and the movement. I think NPR does a good job of showing how people seek advice about their student loans and decisions people have to make about savings and loans. I plan to include this variety of media because different viewers learn in different ways and by having different types of media presented in an appealing and easy to use way will reach the whole audience the best.

 

Destigmatizing Mental Illness on College Campuses

stop-the-stigma-of-mental-illness-e1381250784828After researching the mental health movement and starting to build my website, I’ve realized just how important online platforms are. Specifically with the mental health movement on college campuses, and the need to create a welcoming space for all, an online platform reaches people who may be struggling in silence. Online pages allow shy people or those ashamed of their struggle to step out, voice their opinions, and get help.

The organization that I want to focus my website on is Active Minds (and their chapters at universities across the country) because they have a large online platform. This platform includes their website and various social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Active Minds uses their social media pages to post quotes, messages, videos, and links to articles in the hopes of educating all about mental health and the need to destigmatize it. This is an effective way of getting the message out because college students are used to scrolling through their social media news feeds and seeing pictures, quotes, and articles to browse. I want to post similar links and pictures on my website homepage, because they are both relatable and will capture the attention of viewers, leading them to further discover my website. The Active Minds website is easy to navigate due to its site map, which gives links to the website’s main features like the homepage, the organization’s background, media, and information on the current chapters. This layout is helpful for viewers on the Active Minds website because they can easily find out why and when the organization was established (2003) as well as how to get involved under the “take action” tab. The “take action” tab includes an interactive map that shows which universities have a current chapter, including UD.

I want my website to be utilize organized tabs on the homepage and include many links, making it easy and enjoyable to explore. I wish to emulate the Active Mind’s website by including the story of how they were established/their mission, along with mental health statistics on college campuses under an “about” tab which can be found directly on the homepage. I also want to include a “why” tab which discusses why it’s important to accept mental illness for what it is and stop making it this unspeakable issue which deters people from getting help. I will also include a “how you can help” tab which lists the many chapters that exist across the country as well as the necessary contact info. In contrast to the Active Minds website, I wish to include shorter bursts of information/bullet points rather than long paragraphs because college viewers prefer quick information, and will be more likely to continue to explore my website if they are attracted immediately.

 

Homework Due Friday, February 24th

For Friday, we’re going to be talking about gender, sex, and advocacy on the college campus. Read this article from Harvard’s newspaper about the choice to regulate clubs along with this response about the difficulties posed by regulations. Next, take a look at this article about a Columbia protest of sexual assault and another take on the protest and the woman behind it.

Take notes and be ready to discuss these articles and the concepts of gender on the college campus on Friday.

Homework Due Monday, February 13

For Monday, please read these three articles debating the place of political correctness, safe spaces, and trigger warnings on the college campus:

The New York Times’s report on the University of Chicago’s letter to freshmen at the beginning of last semester.

This letter to the Washington Post from the president of  Northwestern University

This explanation of trigger warnings.

Take notes and come to class Monday ready to discuss all three.

 

Advocacy: Making a Change

To me, advocacy is when people actively work to promote a change in the world that they perceive as positive. The point of advocating is to make the society as a whole see why their side of a problem is the morally right side. Advocacy movements that are successful tend to be ones that approach promoting their ideas peacefully. With MLK day being just last month, it is easy to call to mind Martin Luther King Jr.’s shining example of peacefully advocating for civil rights. The way I see it, the best way to advocate for something is to change what you do every day by going out of your way to talk to people who can make changes, going to places where injustices happen, attending marches and protests, creating and sharing social media campaigns, making ads for TV, newspaper, phones, raising money for support, and doing whatever is in your power to make a change no matter how small. For example, there is a group on campus who plans to make feminine hygiene products more available to women in Africa because that is one of the main reasons they must miss school every month and therefore have less education. That kind of advocating not only gets a message out but actually does something about it. Some other movements that come to mind are immigration, LGBTQ rights, gun violence, climate change, and student loan debt. Student loan debt interests me because it is something that affects me as a college student. With education being so expensive, it is harder to get a degree in a world where a degree is a requirement for most jobs that will lead you to the middle class. Another interesting movement is the one surrounding immigration given the new recent political atmosphere. I think it is important to study movements because they can be divisive and having the right facts is very important. Just like any argument it will be a benefit to fully understand both sides from studying the movements. One challenge will be trying to ignore our own innate biases from the way we were raised and the beliefs that are around us. It will be challenging to not react to the movements with only our emotions but use facts and logic, but it will be a rewarding experience.

My Focus: Girls & Education

by Shannon McNaul

“Movements that Work to Create Change” Word Cloudcloud

My Interests

The movements that I would like to explore are movements related to gender equality and education reform and equality. Some of the specific movements include education for girls in developing countries, feminism, education reform, women in STEM fields, and women’s health.steminist

Why?

These movements definitely intersect with my sense of identity; I know the importance of education and I am a woman. While I was growing up, I was fortunate enough to receive a high quality education, and now, I have the privilege of attending UD. Because of my background, I think that quality education is very important and that all people in all parts of the globe should have access to it. Girls in developing regions of the world are especially deprived of this necessary education. Also, I am a female and I am an engineer. Engineering is a male-dominated field, and I do not want to be disadvantaged in my career because I am a woman.

Benefits

These movements have already created change in the world. To begin, women in first world countries are increasingly being treated and paid equally as men in their careers. Also, more women are making names for themselves in business, politics, engineering, and science. Next, a benefit related to girls in developing countries includes helping girls get a higher level of education and better their lives instead of having only a primary level of education and being oppressed by their country’s culture. The Girls Count Act, which ensures that girls have official birth certificates, reduces child marriage and gives girls more access to education.

Challenges

On the other hand, there are many challenges that need to be addressed moving forward. To begin, many people misunderstand the definition of feminism and do not think it promotes gender equality. Two examples of this include the countermovement to feminism, meninism, and the labeling of feminists as “feminazis”. Another major challenge is the lack of support from men even though feminism is important for both genders. A challenge for girls in developing countries is that the way of life is so ingrained in society that it is hard for girls to disobey the culture to go to school or to avoid child marriage.unicef

These Movements on Campus

On college campuses, there are multiple student organizations that support these causes: Girl Up Campus, Scientista, Society for Women Engineers, Student Activists for Gender Equality, and UNICEF.girlup

 

 

A Movement for a Voice

Advocacy, to me, is the power of having my voice be heard as a collective voice that speaks for those who have been silenced. While one voice alone may seem small and weak amidst the voice or actions of the opposition, it has the power to ignite a change and act as an impetus for the beginning of a larger movement. A wildfire cannot start without an initial spark, and that spark is the power of just one or two voices. When I think of movements, I generally think of protests, marches, sit-downs, and the introduction of newfound social and political justice. I also think of the unyielding power of group-thought and hundreds or thousands of people standing together to fight for a common cause. Personally, I am greatly interested (and have even been involved) in movements that advocated against sexual assault and rape culture on college campuses across America. Some examples of the anti-sexual assault movements have occurred at various universities such as the protests against rape at Syracuse University in 2014, the mattress carrying at Columbia University as a response to the sexual assault of student Emma Sulkowicz (“Carry That Weight”), and the marches at Dartmouth College that aided in the implementation of new school-wide sexual violence mandates. Although I am also interested in other movements, such as the Gay Rights and Marriage Equality movement and the recent Women’s March on Washington, the anti-rape movement is the closest to my heart and the movement that I have been most diligently following since it’s inception. I see many, many benefits from this movement, such as the implementation of more harsh consequences for sexual offenders, support groups for those who have been affected by sexual violence, and the mandates of anti-sexual violence education classes on campus. A challenge to this movement that I can imagine will continue to be a challenge moving forward is the stigma that surrounds sexual assault. Many women (and men) are afraid to report a sexual assault because they are afraid that they will be victim blamed and there will only be scarlet letter shame for them instead of justice. This is why many victims internalize the pain and post traumatic stress that comes after sexual assault instead of talking about it to a professional or reporting it to police. However, I hope that through the continued push of the movement, this stigma will be mitigated, and victims will not be afraid to speak out, while offenders will be rightly punished.

-Katie Kornienko.