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.”

New album by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness balances thought-provoking lyrics with fun dance beats

Originally published in Issue 9, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 16, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness released its second album “Zombies on Broadway” on Feb. 10. The indie rock/pop album, full of well-written lyrics and music perfect for dancing, is a follow-up to the self-titled debut of Andrew McMahon’s solo project Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, which featured the Billboard Hot 100 single “Cecilia and the Satellite” about McMahon’s newborn daughter.

McMahon began his music career in the early 2000s with pop- punk band Something Corporate and ventured off into his rst solo project Jack’s Mannequin. Before Jack’s Mannequin’s first album was released in 2005, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. About a year later, McMahon started the non-profit charity The Dear Jack Foundation, to raise funds for adolescent and young adult cancer (ages 15-39).

After a three-album journey using the moniker Jack’s Mannequin, McMahon was

ready for his next solo project: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

andrewmcmahon

Possibly explaining the split image of himself on his cover art, McMahon writes on his website, “What I found; I have always been two people; One in search of peace and the other in search of whatever makes my hair stand up and my heart beat faster.” Photo courtesy of anderwmcmahon.com

 

The new album “Zombies on Broadway” features 11 tracks and opens up with the sounds of New York City subways in “Zombie Intro,” which quickly leads into “Brooklyn, You’re Killing Me.” The lyrics are more spoken than sung, but the song is still catchy and fun to listen to.

If it’s not obvious from the first two tracks, “Zombies on Broadway” is based on McMahon’s experiences in New York.

“I wrote this album in the middle of a whirlwind, when the future was unclear. Isn’t it always?” writes McMahon on his website. “I found my way to the city, thinking I could settle a score with a ghost. You can’t, so I came home and rewrote the ending.”

The album’s hit-single “Fire Escape” truly gives the feel of spending a night in the big city and being in love. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure to sing and dance along to. Verses are backed up by McMahon’s piano playing, which leads up to a bass drop

and a catchy chorus utilizing his distinct voice.

“So Close” is another fun, pop song, about being on the verge of success or failure.

“So close to giving up, so close to going all the way,” sings McMahon in the chorus.

McMahon mixes up his style with country elements in “Walking in My Sleep” and slows things down with “Don’t Speak for Me (True).” On the surface of the latter song, the story seems to be about getting over a breakup, but looking deeper, it could actually be about McMahon surviving cancer.

“Every day I feel a little bit stronger than I was when I was, when I was with you,” he sings.

McMahon’s clever lyrics often utilizes similes; “You’ve got a heart like a neon sign,” he sings in “Shot Out of a Cannon,” and also metaphors, such as comparing love’s strength to a building in the song “Love and Great Buildings.”

The album closes strong with “Birthday Song,” featuring strong soaring vocals accompanied by the piano and wraps things up with more sounds from New York City.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness is touring with alternative bands Atlas Genius and the Night Riots in the Zombies in America Tour. Catch the tour at The Fillmore in Philadelphia on April 7. More tour dates and information can be found at andrewmcmahon.com.

 

From the editor’s desk: Online health information, abortion inaccuracies

Originally published in Issue 9, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 16, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

At this point in the semester, you’re either one of three things: about to be sick, sick or just got over it. Unfortunately, I currently fall under the “sick” category.

When I’m sick I do two things. First, I Google my symptoms and nd out from WebMD that I have cancer. Then I panic and text my sister, who is an RN, and nd out that WebMD is wrong and I’m not dying.

Most likely, you also fall under the category of googling your symptoms. According to a Pew Research Center 2013 survey of online health information seeking, 77 percent start with search engines like Google or Yahoo instead of going to a health-oriented site.

This may not sound problematic, but most people do not try and decide if the sources they are looking at are credible and trustworthy. They most likely choose the first source on the page and work their way down.

Additionally, many people have confirmation biases. If they believe they have the flu, they are going to look for websites telling them they have the flu in order to confirm what they already believe.

Most people are satisfied with their searches; however, many websites contain inaccurate health information. Once a lie is told on the Internet, it tends to spread. Health information is sometimes syndicated, so it appears on multiple sites. This means they are verifying their information with multiple sources, but they have really read the material from the same syndicate on two different websites.

Information is often misleading to set certain agendas and one of these is the pro-life agenda. In December 2016, the French Senate signed a bill criminalizing the posting of misleading pro-life information online. They believe it is unlawful for sites to pose as neutral sources of information but promote anti-abortion agendas.

In the last issue the article “Pro-Life Club attends 44th March for Life in D.C.,” quoted a student who stated that having an abortion could cause their mental and physical health to suffer such as damaging reproductive organs, causing infertility and leading to emotional trauma like PTSD.

As the editor, I read every article before the issue is sent to the publisher. After reading this, I was unsure if the information was true or not and a quick Google search confirmed what the student said, or so I thought. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of inaccurate information being falsely spread around the Internet. I’m not trying to argue for or against abortion here, but as a journalist, it is important to me that the facts are presented accurately and that lies do not spread out of control (i.e. for the hundredth time, vaccines do not cause autism).

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, abortion is a low-risk procedure. Fewer than one in 100 women have complications from an abortion performed before 14 weeks of pregnancy and up to two in 200 women after. Additionally, the risks from an abortion are less than the risks of giving birth.

Going back to abortion inaccuracies, a 2010 study “Informed or misinformed consent? Abortion policy in the United States,” found that one-third of informed consent information is inaccurate. Most states have informed consent statutes, which require that a woman seeking an abortion receive a state-authored informational packet before an abortion is performed.

Researchers found that 31 percent of the information was medically inaccurate ranging from 15 to 47 percent across states with Pennsylvania averaging to 24 percent. Most of the inaccuracies were about the first trimester of the pregnancy, and among women who have abortions, 90 percent do so in the first trimester. The patterns of inaccuracies included accelerated fetal development, especially size and weight.

Similarly, a 2014 study, “Crisis pregnancy center websites: Information, misinformation and disinformation” looked at a total of 254 websites of crisis pregnancy centers (348) referenced in state resource directories for pregnant women. A total of 203 out of 254 websites had at least one false or misleading piece of information. The most common being mental health risks, preterm birth, breast cancer and future infertility.

Now that the facts are straight, you should de nitely check out The Minstrel’s new “Volunteer of the Month” section honoring students dedicated to service. There’s also an ice hockey double feature on the back page and lots of great reading in between.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

DeSales alum Dom Carlineo talks “Rachel Ray Show,” coaching at Lehigh

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Alumnus Dom Carlineo ’15 and his mom Nina of Philadelphia, Pa. won the first-ever mama’s boy cookoff in a “Rachel Ray Show” episode that aired Jan. 4.

Getting on the show was a completely random process.

“A great friend of mine from pre-school through high school worked on the show after college,” says Dom. “She heard how they wanted to do this segment and were looking for a local representative. She threw my mom and I out to them on a whim and they loved our story.”

Dom has loved cooking, and eating his mom’s food, since a young age.

“The kitchen was always where everyone gathered and hung out in our home growing up. I always loved to eat and, sometime between middle school and college, wanted to learn how to cook. I would watch my mom and mentally just take notes of how she’d do things.”

To win the show, Dom and Nina made a Philly Cheesesteak with an Italian twist. The ingredients consisted of shaved steak, a fresh roll, mozzarella and provolone for the cheese, sautéed peppers, onion and garlic topped off with homemade tomato sauce.
Chef Emeril Lagasse judged the competition based on taste, presentation, originality and most importantly, love.

The competing mom and-son duo made barbeque chicken wings with a secret sauce and loaded mashed potatoes, and although competition was tough, Dom and Nina came out on top.

“I love competition so winning was the plan,” jokes Dom.

On a more serious note, he says that spending the day with his mom meant the most to him.

“I’ve always been so close with her, so to be able to do something like this on TV and to have all of our friends, family, acquaintances and literally everyone watch it and reach out to us about it, is something that I’ll never forget.”

“It’s rare right now that we both get a full day off together due to our schedules, so this was the perfect excuse,” adds Dom.

In addition to bragging rights, Dom and Nina won a mama’s boy cook-off trophy, a spa day for mom and dinner for two at a local restaurant.

dom

During a football game, Dom jokes with Lehigh’s senior starting linebacker who was hurt and had to sit out during the game. Photo courtesy of Lehigh

Since graduating from DeSales with a B.S. in sports and exercise science, Dom is working as a strength and conditioning coach at Lehigh University. He enjoys his job so much that he says, “so far, I haven’t worked a day in my life.”

One aspect Dom enjoys is thathe has so many different responsibilities that his days never get stale or redundant. He is responsible for programming, nutrition and scheduling for eight of Lehigh’s varsity teams, which is surprisingly only about a third of Dom’s job. He also handles administration work, equipment ordering, recruiting events and serves on a few Lehigh committees.

“I always loved the training and mental toughness aspect of sports even more so than sports themselves,” says Dom. “Once I completed my first internship at Lehigh with their strength and conditioning department, I knew what I wanted to do for my next phase in life.”

Dom works with hundreds of athletes a week, ranging from college to elementary school students counting the camps and individual sessions he runs.

“I have the opportunity to affect each one of their lives positively and that is my exact goal,” he says. “It is a very cool process to witness young people grow and develop both physically and mentally.”

Of course, DeSales played a large part in preparing Dom for where he is now. He says the two biggest lessons he learned at DeSales are ones that he heard every day. “Be who you are and be that well,” from Saint Francis de Sales and “God did not make any of us alike,” from Rev. Douglas Burns, OSFS, instructor and coordinator of sports and exercise physiology.

“Not only was it verified in our sports and exercise science curriculum, but [Burns] explained it to us throughout all aspects of life,” says Dom. “I continue to witness it constantly throughout every day life, especially with a job like mine where I work with so many people.”

As an alum, Dom hopes to stay involved with DeSales as much as he can. Currently, Dom works with DeSales sports and exercise science students who are interning at Lehigh and he also trains the DeSales’ men’s lacrosse team.

As most students have heard, the four years at DeSales fly by.

“It’s full of lifelong friends and faculty and staff who are willing to do absolutely anything for you as long as you put forth the effort,” says Dom.

From the editor’s desk: life is waiting

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

I ended last year’s letter from the editor with a quote so I feel like it’s only appropriate to come full circle and start this year’s letter with a quote too.

“As long as you live, there’s always something waiting; and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do? You can’t stop living.”—Truman Capote, “In Cold Blood”

I love this quote because I think it’s perfect for entering 2017. There is so much waiting for us this year. We will learn, laugh, cry, love, make mistakes, try new things, meet new people, discover ourselves, have good days and have bad days.

Whatever is waiting for us, it’s there. It’s waiting. You have to keep living and taking chances. There’s no one who doesn’t experience hurt and pain in the world, so do your best to make each day brighter for yourself and others.

One thing that has already been affecting everyone this year is the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Most of the country has accepted the fact that he is our president; however, citizens aren’t sitting back and waiting to see what happens. On Trump’s rst full day in of ce, an estimated 2.5 million people united together at women’s marches in the nation’s capital and cities around the world.

Many are already infuriated that pages on the of cial White House website, whitehouse.gov, have been disappearing. Some of the pages include those on climate change, civil rights, health care and LGBT rights. It is important that America does not move backwards on these issues and citizens have a greater responsibility now than ever to be informed.

A lot of people have strong views for or against Obamacare with many believing Obamacare is better than the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and vice versa. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” recreated a 2013-segment where he asked people on the street which they preferred. Four years and a lot of media coverage later, people do not realize Obamacare is the nickname for ACA.

While funny, the video is also horrifying, speci cally because the reason most people gave for not liking Obamacare was ecause they don’t like Obama. So let’s concentrate on the facts. We can’t believe every word and fear Trump puts inside our heads because we like him and we can’t dismiss every word he says because we don’t like him. The most important thing is to continue to educate yourself on important issues.

So give 2017 a chance. There’s going to be highs and there’s going to be lows. Most of us have witnessed both already. CJ Bamert talks about his experience at the Women’s March, Jaci Wendel covers the Kraft lecture and Steve Manzo predicts the winning team of Superbowl LI.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief

LVAIC director of sustainability no longer employed at DeSales

Originally published in Issue 8, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (February 2, 2017). Click here to view the entire issue. 

Campus Environment is no longer employing the environmental consulting services of Nick DeSalvo, director of sustainability with the Lehigh Valley Assoc. of Independent Colleges (LVAIC).

Robert Snyder, vice president of administration, finance and campus environment, made this decision in December saying that Nick was “spread too thin” by being at DeSales a third of the time and spending the other two thirds at Lafayette and Moravian.

This does not mean the campus is taking a step backwards in sustainability, though.

“It wasn’t that we were looking to eliminate [the position],” said Marc Albanese, vice president of Campus Environment. “We were looking to bring it back in house.”

Albanese says that by bringing DeSalvo’s roles in house, the program will become more comprehensive and expand by having staff members focus on specific issues.

One of the expansions is the new role of campus environment data entry, which will examine how much electricity, water and natural gas DeSales uses and compare the data to previous months to determine if the data is trending up or down.

earth2desales

Members of the Earth to DeSales picked up trash at Lake Nockamixon in October 2016 and have numerous sustainability plans for this semester. Photo courtesy of Megan Arnold

DeSalvo also served on the Campus Environmental Committee and was the advisor to Earth to DeSales, a club dedicated to sustainability. 

“Nick had so many great contacts and resources at his disposal and that was a huge part of getting the club up and running again,” said president of Earth to DeSales Megan Arnold.

DeSalvo attended all their meetings to contribute  ideas and came to a Lake Nockamixon trash clean up last semester.

“Needless to say, Nick was a huge part of the club, and a huge help to me individually. The club is really going to miss him personally and professionally,” said Arnold.

Dr. Joseph Leese, assistant professor of biology, will be replacing DeSalvo as Earth to DeSales’ advisor.

Leese was initially concerned about why DeSalvo was no longer employed. He saw the value of having DeSalvo’s communication network and knowing about the sustainable initiatives other LVAIC schools were implementing.

However, after learning Campus Environment’s plan, he said, “I do think on a practical level that having people on campus dedicated to [sustainability] makes more sense.”

Leese says that it’s all about making students aware and educated on sustainability issues. In recent years, DeSales replaced fluorescent outdoor lighting with LED lights, Gambet received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and a wildflower meadow was planted to reduce DeSales’ carbon footprint.

Leese does his part as well by occasionally riding his bicycle to work.

“When I ride to work, it saves me almost nothing on CO2 emissions, but I think it shows students I care about the next generation.”

Arnold agrees with Leese on the importance of education and aims to increase knowledge about sustainability on campus. Upcoming Earth to DeSales events include a dorm-energy competition where the dorm who uses the least energy each month receives a prize, a trip to the Nurture Nature Foundation in Easton, documentaries to raise awareness and fundraisers to get the word out about sustainability.

From the Editor’s Desk: Finding Christmas Spirit Despite a Terrible 2016

Originally published in Issue 7, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (December 8, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue. 

I didn’t know what to write this letter about so I asked my mom. Since it’s the last issue before winter break she said, “Isn’t it suppose to be about Christmas?”

I mumbled some sarcastic comments back to her, but I love Christmas and have no ideas. So, here goes nothing Mom.

Stereotype me as a “basic white girl,” but Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love that I get to spend time with my family and hey, presents never hurt anyone. I also love the decorations: putting up the Christmas tree and our train and village that reside underneath it. Green, red and sparkly decorations throughout the house and glittering lights outside courtesy of my “Bah-humbug” saying Dad. (We know you secretly love Christmas, Dad)

Christmas transforms everyday places like your living room, DeSales’ campus and most importantly, people. In my opinion, everyone’s a little more cheerful with Christmas music, decorations and holiday spirit. (Christmas music is great and if you disagree, try not to smile while my sister Katie and I duet “Dominick the Donkey” for the hundredth time.)

During the Christmas season, I can almost forget how terrible of a year 2016 was. Shootings in Orlando, the bombing in Brussels, Hurricane Matthew, outbreak of Zika, the presidential election and other events have made 2016 so terrible that basically everyone can agree on the fact that this year sucked. On a personal level, I had a pretty great year, but with everything happening in the world around me, I am hoping 2017 has better global outcomes.

So while I am fearful for the future of America and the rest of the world, I can pretend that we live in a happy, joyful place during the month of December and also regain hope that America will thrive and become a place filled with equality.

I hope this letter has given everyone a little bit of hope and willingness to embrace Christmas and the New Year ahead of us. There is no greater feeling than knowing that my writing has reached people and that I have impacted their lives. If I have made someone laugh at my letters or considered new points of views in my editorials, I did my job. If I can be a voice for LGBT students or sexual assault victims, I did my job.

I write because I love writing, but most importantly, it is because of all of you. I don’t want to get too mushy because I’m saving all that for the end of the spring semester, but thank you to everyone who has supported me and everyone who let me tell their stories.

This issue, The Minstrel leaves you with many stories to take with you for winter break. Some of these stories deal with terrible circumstances like the stabbing on campus but most of them, like the feature on Dr. Focht and No Shave November, are filled with hope and silver linings. Be sure to find your hope and joy over the holiday season.

“The day will be what you make it, so rise, like the sun, and burn.”—William C. Hannan.

Peace, love & DeSales,

Kellie Dietrich
Editor-in-Chief