From the Editor’s desk: Sexism in the workplace

Originally published in Issue 11, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (March 23, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

A recent Twitter thread about an email experiment has been going viral and caught a lot of attention, including my own. If you haven’t seen it, the thread was from Martin R. Schneider who worked at a small employment service firm with Nicole Pieri, whose boss complained took a long time working with clients.

Schneider recalls having accidentally sent e-mails under Pieri’s name and having clients being rude and dismissive towards him. After changing back to his own email signature, he received positivity and gratitude from the same client.

Schneider and Pieri then began an experiment where they switched email signatures for two weeks.

The results? Schneider tweeted, “I was in hell. Everything I asked or suggested was questioned. Clients I could do in my sleep were condescending. One asked if I was single.”

As for Pieri, Schneider tweeted, “Nicole had the most productive work week of her career. I realized the reason she took longer is because she had to convince clients to respect her.”

This experiment reveals that sexism still exists in the workplace today and is a daily obstacle for women.

“I wasn’t any better at the job than she was, I just had this invisible advantage,” tweeted Schneider, who realized his unearned privilege of being a male.

Twitter users were also quick to bring up the fact that if Pieri had a black-sounding female name, she would face additional struggles.

This incident also reminds me of the Howard/Heidi experiment. Half of a Harvard class was given the case study of Heidi Roizen, a real-life entrepreneur. The same case study was given to the other half of the class except the name was changed to Howard.

Both groups found Heidi and Howard equally competent, as it should be since the accomplishments were identical. However, Howard was seen as more likeable while Heidi was seen as selfish and not someone you would want to work with.

It is sad that while success and likeability are positively correlated for men, it is negatively correlated for women. Additionally, women are often sexist against other women, so it’s not like sexism exists solely because of men. Women and men both need to reflect on the respect, or lack of respect, they give others.

I have been applying to jobs and I wonder if my resume is perceived as less strong because of my gender. Will that affect my job opportunities in the future? I sure hope not, but like Pieri, I will work twice as hard to get the job done.

This issue is full of successful (and likeable) women such as alumna and business owner Anne Gurtowski, CSSJ volunteer of the month Erin O’Neil and the women’s lacrosse team who will be making DeSales history all season long.

Peace, love & DeSales

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

Catholic leaders send Clean Power Plan support letter to Trump

Originally published in Issue 11, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (March 23, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

One hundred and twenty five U.S. Catholic leaders signed the Catholic Climate Covenant’s letter to support the Clean Power Plan and sent it to President Donald Trump, the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt, top Congressional leaders and state governors.

The Clean Power Plan is a major EPA effort to reduce carbon emissions from power plants with a goal of 30 percent reduction in 2030 when compared to 2005 levels.

Former President Barack Obama and the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan in August 2015.

Catholic Climate Covenant’s letter mentions Pope Francis and says everyone has a role to play in keeping our Earth safe.

“In Laudato Si’ (LS), his groundbreaking encyclical on ecology, Pope Francis echoes Saint John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI by calling climate change an urgent moral issue that wounds creation, threatens human life and dignity, and disproportionately harms the poor and vulnerable who contribute the least to climate change.”

In addition to reducing power plant emissions, the letter mentions the other benefits of the Clean Power Plan.

“The Plan would also reduce other dangerous power plant pollution like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide. These reductions are expected to prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed work and school days,” the letter reads. “They are also anticipated to produce up to $54 billion in public health and climate benefits—benefits that would be lost if the Clean Power Plan is not upheld and implemented.”

These efforts will promote human equality and environmental justice. According to the letter, nearly 40 percent of Latinos and 68 percent of African Americans in the U.S. live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. This means that they have a greater risk of facing premature deaths, asthma attacks and other health problems.

Unfortunately, Trump plans to scrap the Clean Power Plan. Shortly after being sworn into office, Trump published “An American First Energy Plan” on whitehouse. gov.

His plan reads,“President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.”

Wind Energy

Trump is focusing on shale, coal, natural gas and oil instead of renewable energy. Wind and solar costs have been declining dramatically since their peak prices in 2011. 

The Climate Action Plan includes the Clean Power Plan. The Waters of the U.S. rule protects streams and wetlands that have been scientifically shown to impact downstream water quality. According to the EPA, one in three people get drinking water from streams that were vulnerable to pollution before the Clean Water Rule.

Ultimately, Trump wants to focus on shale, oil, coal and natural gas in order to create jobs. He also wants to open up this billion-dollar industry to include Yellowstone, Yosemite Valley, Mt. Rushmore and other nationally protected areas.

EPA administrator Pruitt, like Trump, is in denial about climate change and does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming despite ample amounts of evidence available.

Removing the Clean Power Plan will be a complicated process. The EPA went through a long rule making process to enact the plan and it will take many years to undo it. Additionally, the EPA is legally obligated to regulate CO2 through various Clean Air Act programs.

The climate action group 350.org is doing everything they can to stop Trump from removing the Clean Power Plan.

“Trump’s energy plan is par for the course of the President’s climate denial, but it’s nonetheless alarming for the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground,” said 350.org executive director May Boeve in a statement. “Fulfilling this plan would not only set back years of progress we’ve made towards protecting the climate, but would undoubtedly worsen the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, from rising sea levels to extreme weather.”

Trump also plans to remove the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Agreement, the first global climate effort to reduce emissions. There are 194 nations involved in the accord and if the U.S. withdraws, it will take a four-year process to withdraw the world’s largest economy and second-largest climate polluter.

EPAchart

Human activity is responsible for almost all of the increases in greenhouse gases, which trap heat and make the planet warmer. In 2014, there were 6,870 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Photo courtesy of  the EPA

This would be a large step back for the U.S., who refused to ratify the emission-reduction 1997 Kyoto agreement. This resulted in global emissions surging rather than declining due to lack of U.S. participation.

Foreign leaders say that if the U.S. leaves the Paris Agreement, it will have ramifications for the diplomacy and credibility of the U.S. as well.

As for Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf’s spokesman said they are in the review process to evaluate how communities will be harmed and affected by eliminating the Clean Power Plan. If Trump removes the Waters of the U.S. rule, Pennsylvania’s waterways are actually offered more protection under the state’s Clean Streams Act. However, the rule’s removal would make it easier for states to abolish environmental protections.

Overall, the letter from the Catholic Climate Covenant puts pressure on U.S. leaders to take steps forward, not backwards, in global warming, which is a crisis and not the “hoax” that Trump refers to it as.

From the editor’s desk: Discrimination is not dead

Originally published in Issue 10, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (March 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

In November, The Minstrel published my article “‘Sexual orientation’ missing from non-discrimination policies.” Seeing this article published was a proud moment for me as a journalist. I’m glad my article is still leading to faculty discussions four months later, and was glad to see “sexual orientation” being included in the NSSEE survey, which DeSales did not include in any previous years.

The Notice of Non-Discrimination found in the student handbook and faculty handbook says, “DeSales University will accept and make available to all students, faculty members or employees on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to age, sex, race, color, disability, veteran status, national origin, or ancestry, all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students, faculty members, and employees.”

Clearly, sexual orientation is missing (and many non-discrimination policies list gender expression and gender identity as well), but it’s about way more than adding words to a list.

It’s about the students.

It’s about the faculty and staff.

It’s about equal treatment.

One of the key reasons same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. is because of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It says states should not deny any person “the equal protection of the laws,” so I don’t think it is fair for DeSales to deny recognition to the LGBT population in their policies.

However, do you notice anything else missing from the non-discrimination clause?

Ironically enough, the nondiscrimination policies of this religious-based institution are lacking religion, which most non-discrimination policies include.

The students and staff at DeSales have diverse religions. Of course, Catholicism is the majority on campus; however, people practicing different religions may feel like the odd man out and unable to express their views.

Discrimination is not dead.

According to Pew Research Center in 2015, anti-Muslim assaults in the U.S. were at the highest level since Sept. 11 era levels. In 2001 there were 93 reported aggravated or simple assaults motivated by anti-Muslim bias while in 2015, there were 91, and that number most likely increased for 2016 and still increasing today. Additionally, there were 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes incidents in 2015, which is 67 percent higher than the previous year.

Sexual orientation and religion need to be protected by the University.

I have de nitely made my opinions clear on the subject, but read Father Dailey’s “Letter to the editor,” which also relates back to my sexual orientation article and gives context to the most popular DeSales’ phrase: “Be who you are and be that well.”

I appreciate hearing the feedback and different voices at the University. If you would like to send a “Letter to the Editor” for a future publication, e-mail me at kd6695@desales.edu.

Peace, love & Desales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

DeSales’ first-annual Mini-THON raises $2,864.52 for pediatric cancer

Originally published in Issue 10, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (March 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Sponsored by Alpha Pi Omega (APO), the rst-annual Four Diamonds Mini-THON raised $2,864.52, well over APO’s goal of $1,000, for pediatric cancer and took place Friday, Feb. 17 at 10 p.m. to Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 a.m. in McShea.

The idea for Mini-THON surfaced after surveying the raise money and awareness commit to stay on their feet brotherhood about service opportunities.

“Thankfully, Mini-THON was one idea brought up,” said Amanda Kaschak, president of APO. “Many of the brothers actually participated in Mini-THON in high school, so their experience was a plus as well.”

Leading up to Mini-THON, APO held two fundraisers to raise money and awareness

for the main event. The staff of Donahue made pancakes and took donations for the fundraiser “Thonaue,” which raised $60, and the second event, “Pie in the Face,” raised $125.

mini-thon

Mini-THON participants hold up their hands to form a diamond, the symbol of THON and the Four Diamonds Fund, which represents the four diamonds of the fund: courage, wisdom, honesty and strength. Photo courtesy of Morgan DeAntonio

Mini-THONs are modeled after Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, where students commit to stay on their feet for 46 hours. This year they raised $10,045,478.44 for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital.

DeSales’ Mini-THON participants asked friends, family members and coworkers to make donations and committ to dancing, or at least not sitting down, for 10 hours. In addition to a DJ and dancing, there was a life-sized game of Hungry Hungry Hippos, tug of war, ping-pong, a frisbee toss, merchandise, a bake sale and free food available from the DUC and Now That’s Italian in Coopersburg.

One of the highlights of the night was the group dance to “Just Hold On” by Steve Aoki and Louis Tomlinson.

“Even though people were with their friends, and there was some team rivalry for events like Hungry Hungry Hippos, everyone did the dance together on the hour and it was a really fun way to unify the group and mark the passing of the time,” said Leslie Myers, vice president of APO and senior event chair of Mini-THON.

Overall, 93 participants from DeSales, Cedar Crest College and Kutztown registered for the event, but not all of them made it until 8 a.m.

“I wasn’t able to stay the full 10 hours, but I was happy to see that we went beyond our goals,” said Tina Tran, APO member and chair of the entertainment committee for Mini-THON. “People had such amazing energy and spirit, and I truly admire the dedication of everyone involved, especially Leslie, and those who made it through all the way to the end.”

Kaschak also noted that the energy of Mini-THON was incredible.

“Without looking at the clock, you never would have known it was 3 or 4 in the morning. Even as people got tired, we had an amazing group to keep spirits up and remind us that we were doing it for the kids.”

Although the cause made Mini-THON worth it in the end, APO faced dif culties putting on the event. Myers said that the biggest challenge of hosting Mini- THON was the time constraint.

“I found out that we were hosting it one month and eight days before it happened,” said Myers. “Usually Mini-THONs take eight to 12 months to plan.”

With the help of the APO brotherhood and members of the DeSales community, the event was made possible.

“This could not have been done without the help of Jaime Gerhart our advisor, Vicky Gaffney and Matt [McMonagle], Tracy [Gallagher] and Nick [Luchko], Linnae Budusky and Lyndsay Driscoll, just to name a few,” said Kaschak.

Overall, the night was deemed a success.

“The moment the nal total was revealed, all of the hard work paid off. Not only did we exceed our goal, but through our efforts we are able to help the life of a child affected by this monstrous disease,” said Kaschak.

“Seeing the sun come back up was the most amazing feeling,” added Myers. “I have done Mini-THONs in high school so I knew what I was asking of everyone, but still having people there with me at 8 a.m. at this event that I had put together was something that I was so thankful for.”

APO plans to make Mini- THON an annual event, but Kaschak says they want to move it to the fall semester.

“We are currently working on collecting suggestions for improvements including the possibility of the timing, length and activities planned,” she said. “The main improvement to be accomplished is more advertising and participation.”

Students can donate to the ght against pediatric cancer until June 1. Help APO reach their new goal of $3,000 by searching “DeSales donor drive” to contribute online to the Four Diamonds Fund or at the URL http://fourdiamonds.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=1743.

As Four Diamonds says, “One day we will dance in celebration, until then we will dance for a cure.”