Does ‘13 Reasons Why’ confront rape culture?

By Dean Galiffa

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In support of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, DCCC will be holding Clothesline Project events on every campus, from April 3-19. The Clothesline Project is an organization created to bring awareness to those affected by violence. Photo by Dean Galiffa

After reading the book and watching the Netflix original series adaptation, Marple campus Career and Counseling Center staff member Chris Doyle developed “Confronting Rape Culture: 13 Reasons Why,” a workshop exploring the “pervasiveness of rape culture” within the show.

“I thought pairing the workshop with ‘13 Reasons Why’ would get people’s attention,” Doyle said. “I wanted to focus more on confronting rape culture rather than the more controversial aspects of the show, such as the glamorization of suicide.”

Eileen Colucci, a fellow counselor, approached Doyle shortly after she developed the workshop.

“I was interested in partnering with her in this project,” Colucci said. “The idea was that we would use the show as a tool surrounding an important topic.”

Throughout this semester, there have been two workshops held on both the Marple and Downingtown campuses.

The first was held on Feb. 8 on the Marple campus during Q-Time and opened with Doyle explaining the purpose of the workshop.

“[Rape culture] is a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse,” Doyle said.

Doyle suggested that students ask questions when discussing sexual violence.

“One of our responsibilities is to educate and raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses,” Doyle said. “This workshop is one of the more contemporary ways we’ve chosen to do that. We’re going to show scenes from the show and open up a discussion.”

Before beginning the presentation, Doyle said that the workshop was meant to explore the contributing factors of rape culture among men and women.

“This is not a man-bashing presentation,” Doyle said. “This takes into account the culture that affects women but also affects men. Pressure is put on both parties to act in a specific way.”

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91 percent of colleges in 2014 reported zero incidents of rape on campus. Photo courtesy of Mic Network Inc.

Jessie V. Ford’s article “‘Going with the Flow’: How College Men’s Experiences of Unwanted Sex Are Produced by Gendered Interactional Pressures,” published in Social Forces, examines 39 heterosexual men’s experiences with unwanted sex in college.

Ford’s data suggested that men typically conduct their sex lives to conform to society’s expectations of masculinity.

“Men consent to unwanted sex because accepting all opportunities for sexual activity is a widely accepted way to perform masculinity,” Ford writes. “They fear ridicule if stories are told portraying them as the kind of man who does not jump at any opportunity for sex with an attractive woman.”

A study in the Journal of Child & Family Studies titled “Sexual Assault Among College Students: Family of Origin Hostility, Attachment, and the Hook-Up Culture as Risk Factors” reports “Between one-third and one-half of college men admit to perpetrating some form of sexual assault against a woman.”

Another study in PLoS ONE titled “Sexual assault incidents among college undergraduates: Prevalence and factors associated with risk,” estimates 20 to 25 percent of college students in the United States are sexual assault victims.

These statistics prompted universities to enhance or develop policies and programs to prevent sexual assault.

According to an article by Jennifer R. Boyle in the American Journal of Health Studies, recent efforts against sexual assault on college campuses have focused heavily on the “bystander approach, [which] relies on third party witnesses to intervene in potential sexual assault situations.”

Current bystander programs, including the Mentors in Violence Prevention program and the Men’s Project, have shown some success among college students.

“There’s something called ‘Bystander Intervention,” Doyle told students during the Feb. 8 workshop. “It is a program to teach people how to intervene when they see something going on. I’m hoping to bring that training to campus.”

Rosie Long, a first-year psychology major, attended the workshop on Marple campus. She said a friend at West Chester University underwent the training.

“I think all teachers should have to attend that training,” Long said. “I’ve had past encounters with sexual assault and harassment in high school and the teachers and counselors involved did not handle it well.”

Long attended Upper Darby High School where she said she was victim of sexual harassment and assault on multiple occasions.

“In one situation, a counselor told me I could fill out paperwork, but it would probably lead to more harassment and bullying,” said Long in an interview after the workshop. “I was advised to avoid him in the hallways and sit away from him at lunch. He was an athlete, and he was very glorified and ran for homecoming king.”

Long completed her senior year through the Upper Darby School District Cyber Academy, a program offering classes to students online, after feeling too unsafe attending traditional classes.

During the workshop, Colucci said that she was shocked after hearing Long’s story. She related her experience to a scene from “13 Reasons Why,” in which a student was exonerated for sexual harassment on account of his athlete status.

Long said she read the book and saw the show before the workshop, and found it a useful tool.

“I didn’t like the book as much as the show,” Long said. “The show opened up a discussion on sexual assault, bullying, and suicide, even though it didn’t execute it very well. Using scenes was helpful, and having it be in the title of the workshop definitely appealed to students more.”

Erin McCarthy, a second-year psychology major who was homeschooled, attended the workshop on the Downingtown campus on March 6, 2018. She had not seen the show or read the book before the workshop and did not think using the show was a helpful tool.

“I went into it with low expectations and came out with even less than that level,” she said. “I thought the show was a very bad representation of rape culture.”

McCarthy added that the workshop was not about confronting rape culture, but blaming rape culture on many different aspects of today’s society.

“I thought the workshop would be about bettering the future of our society,” she added. “I expected us to be finding the root of the problem and discussing how to fix it. Instead, it was a lot of complaining.”

McCarthy said that she believes the issues surrounding rape culture can be dealt with from an early age.

“We need to teach children how to treat each other appropriately and with respect,” McCarthy said. “Parents should be teaching their kids how to act, not expecting schools to.”

In support of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, DCCC will be holding Clothesline Project events on every campus, from April 3-19.

The Clothesline Project is an organization created to bring awareness to those affected by violence. T-shirts are decorated and hung on a clothesline display as a testimony to the problem, according to the organization’s website.

Contact Dean Galiffa at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Food bank meets need on Marple campus

By Andrew Henry

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The F.E.R.B program at DCCC provides food with nutritional value such as fruit and Gatorade to help hungry students make it through their day. The snacks are packed into white bags kept in the Campus Life office. Photo by Andrew Henry

It’s no secret that being a college student can be challenging. Sitting in a classroom for more than an hour, focusing on what the teacher is saying, all the while taking notes, not to mention having to study those notes for hours on end to retain the information.

Now imagine having to do that on an empty stomach.

Some may not have to imagine. For some, this is a reality.

Food insecurity is defined by Merriam-Webster as “unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.”

In other words, some students do not eat because they simply cannot afford to.

This issue is quite common on college campuses, according to a report published by Students Against Hunger, which reports the rate of food insecurity among college students as four times greater than the national average.

DCCC offers programs that help those struggling with food insecurities.

Kathy Schank, an associate professor of social work at DCCC since 2008, is also the faculty advisor to the Social Work Club.

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An instructional placard outlining how to gain access to the food provided by the F.E.R.B program stands behind a sample of what one might find in a bag acquired from Campus Life on Marple campus. Photo by Andrew Henry

The club, along with Campus Life, noticed an ongoing problem on the Marple campus and other DCCC branch campuses.

Students are hungry.

Counselors also took notice and began bringing food to their offices, according to Schank.

Water bottles, snack bars, and other small snacks were brought in to help students make it through the day, but staff saw that it was not enough.

At a meeting with the Social Work Club during the 2011-12 academic year then Campus Life director Amy Williams Gaudioso suggested a solution: creating a food bank on DCCC’s Marple campus.

The Social Work Club agreed, and within one and a half years a program called the Food Emergency Resource Bank, or FERB, was created in spring of 2014.

“We asked for donations toward the food bank from the college community,” Schank said. “And we have been getting a great response ever since.”

Food bank items are selected based on nutritional value, and what would best help students make it through their day.

The food bank at DCCC is located in the Student Center, Room 1180.

Students can approach a counselor and simply tell her that they have a “food emergency.” Students will then receive a ticket that is to be taken to the front desk at Campus Life. They will be given a bag of food from the food bank with no questions asked.

The next step for the food bank is to expand into a larger facility and have it be manned by student volunteers. A team is actively working on the expansion and finding space to do it.

The food bank is also linked to a program called Keystone Education Yields Success, or K.E.Y.S, located in Room 2170 on DCCC’s Marple campus. The program is directed by Susan Bennett.

K.E.Y.S is designed to help recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) succeed in community college, according to their page on DCCC’s website.

The program supplies lunch vouchers, financial assistance, and rewards for students based on their academic achievements.

“There are students that are eligible for K.E.Y.S, and just haven’t signed up,” Bennett said. “If you received the Pell grant, you are more than likely eligible.”

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An instructional placard outlines how one might gain access to the food provided by the F.E.R.B program. Photo by Andrew Henry

The program also provides free transportation, childcare, and gives students information about other programs for which students may be eligible.

If a student wants to check his eligibility, he can visit http://www.compass.state.pa.us.

A questionnaire takes about two minutes to complete.

“[Food insecurities are] one symptom of a larger systemic issue,” said Allyson Gleason, director of Campus Life. However, she does feel that the food bank has made an impact on students’ lives.

If you or someone you know is struggling with finding your next meal, contact the Career and Counseling Center on Marple Campus.

Contact Andrew Henry at communitarian@dccc.mail.edu

DCCC Multicultural and Badminton Clubs celebrate the Year of the Dog

By Comfort Queh

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In celebration of the Lunar New Year, a traditional holiday in China, DCCC’s Multicultural and Badminton Clubs joined together to host their first fundraiser of the year on Feb. 14 to celebrate the year of the dog. The event occurred from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 2520 in Founder’s Hall and raised $287.

The celebration featured Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, Henna tattoos and handmade Valentine’s Day cards and gifts for students and faculty members to purchase while enjoying the decorations and festivities that members of the club had organized.

All the proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the clubs’ future events and equipment needed for the Badminton Club, said Chayawan Sonchaeng, who has a master’s degree in TESO (Teaching English to Students of Other Language), teaches ESL at DCCC, and is one of the co-advisors of both the Multicultural and Badminton Clubs.

Sonchaeng explained that the fundraiser is used as a platform for the Multicultural Club members to “raise awareness about others culture so we can learn to respect one another.”

“We would like to use this as a way to educate people about other cultures so they can learn about it and embrace it,” Sonchaeng added.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated in countries with a significant population of Chinese heritage. In other countries, this holiday is called by a different name: The Vietnamese refer to it as Tet, and the Tibetans refer to it as Losar. In Japan it is referred to as Shogatsu, and the Koreans refers to it as Seollal.

The fundraiser began with five different stations, each offering different items and foods for purchase.

Students at the first station sold summer rolls, a Vietnamese dish prepared by Hang Tran, the president and founder of the Badminton Club. Tran and other members that manned the station were dressed in their Ao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress.

Students and faculty were able to purchase $2 for one summer roll or $3 for two. “It’s very good and tasty,” said Jiajun Huang, a first year mechanical-engineering student at the college. Huang attended the event for the first time with his friend Charles Yang, a statistics major.

The second station displayed different Henna tattoos that students and faculty could purchase for $5.

“I really like it,” said Idalis Lloyd, a second semester business student after getting a full hand henna tattoo for the first time.

The third station offered $1 spring rolls and dumplings for purchase.

The fourth station sold $1 hand-made Valentine’s Day cards, teddy bears, and heart shaped pillow.

“The decorations are beautiful,” said ESL tutor Bobbi Morris.

“It’s a great way for them to work together,” said Morris. “I think it’s absolutely terrific that I could buy a Valentine’s Day card.”

The fifth station was a selfie station where students and faculty could take $1 selfies. Heart-shaped sunglasses, colorful beaded necklaces, and heart-shaped Mickey Mouse ears were some of the available props.

“It’s very good, friendly people and it’s cheap,” said Daiki Ito, a second semester ESL student. “I can get to know different countries and cultures. I like this.”

The Multicultural Club meets every Friday in Room 1180 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students can share information about their cultures with each other. Some of the countries that the club members have discussed include India, Madagascar, Albania, Bangladesh and Vietnamese.

“It’s very special and interesting because we are from different cultures,” said Premisa Kerthi, the president of the Multicultural Club. “We talk in English to help build our confidence because most of the students are from ESL classes.”

Contact Comfort Queh at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

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Financial aid administrator Ray Toole is about to take a bite of his summer roll at the Multicultural Lunar New Year fundraiser on Feb. 14. Photo by Comfort Queh
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ESL tutors Bobbi Morris and Lynn Maharaj show Valentine’s Day spirit by purchasing handcrafted cards made by the Multicultural Club at the Lunar New Year fundraiser on Feb. 14. Photo by Comfort Queh
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Yen Le wears an Ao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress at the Multicultural Lunar New Year fundraiser on Feb. 14. Photo by Comfort Queh

Black History Month: how a week became 28 days

By Andrew Henry 

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February is Black History Month, but why?

When 10 students on Delaware County’s Marple Campus were asked, nine of them admitted to having absolutely no idea.

“Isn’t is because February is the shortest month of the year?” asked Angel Goins, a criminal justice major.

The reason February was chosen has nothing to do with the length of the month. It was chosen by a black man named Carter G. Woodson, the second black man to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University, according to Daryl Michael Scott, a professor of History at Howard University and vice president for Programs of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

In 1915 Woodson went to Illinois to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves in the United States. The event commemorated the progress black people in America had made since the abolition of slavery. Approximately 6000 to 12,000 black U.S. citizens attended the three-week event, according to Scott.

Due to the overwhelming turnout, Woodson formed an organization known as the Association For the Study of Negro life (ASNLH), which promoted the study of African people’s history and genealogy, and the sharing of those findings.

Woodson thought that sharing the historical facts about Africans would help to improve race relations by changing the way that Africans were perceived.

In 1926, Woodson established that a week in February would be known as Negro History Week and would be used to promote and teach the history of black people, writes Scott.

The Month of February was chosen because it holds the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, a former slave turned abolitionist, and President Abraham Lincoln, the president who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves.

In 1976, 50 years after the establishment of Negro history week, the ASNLH finally had enough influence to establish Black History Month, and since then every president has acknowledged February as Black History Month, according to Scott.

DCCC’s Marple campus will be holding events all throughout the month February.

Allyson Gleason, director of Campus Life at DCCC expressed the importance of promoting diversity on campus both during Black History Month, and all year long.

“It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate different cultures,” Gleason said. “We try to reach out to everyone, which is why we had the play ‘Tres Vidas’ in October for Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Contact Andrew Henry at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Software alerts students of academic status

By John Kearney

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Screenshot from Delagate’s Application Sidebar. Photo courtesy of DCCC website

Starfish Early Alert is a thumbnail that exists alongside frequently used Delagate applications such as Canvas, Student Email, and Degree Works.

The retention program, consisting of 7,000 online profiles, has features that are pertinent to student success, advocates say.

David Murtha, dean of the Career and Counseling Center and one of Early Alert’s coordinators, said the program aims to identify students exhibiting behaviors not conducive to student success before they have no choice but to withdraw from or fail a course.

“Historically, many institutions would send midterm warnings to students,” Murtha said. “However, when it is halfway through the semester, it is often too late to turn grades around.”

The Starfish program was launched in fall of 2015 as a more efficient replacement to SARS (Scheduling and Reporting System) the preceding online feature of the Early Alert system, according to David Pringle, director of Student Completion Programs.

After its conception, professors were directed to implement “kudos” and “warnings” to their students with respect to their academic standing in the class. Kudos are sent to students who show above-average academic standing in a course. Warnings are sent to those missing classwork, those who are unable to attend class regularly, and to those at risk of failing a course.

Humanities Professor Francesco Bellini, recalled attempting to warn a student of missing work through one of Starfish’s click-and-send messages during the Fall 2016 semester.

“The letter was typed as though I had written it and my name was signed at the end,” Bellini said. “We went back and forth with the administration and eventually agreed on a neutral reply.” Professors are now able to customize these messages.

The program has proven itself beneficial in its mission. According to data from the fall 2017 semester, students who received kudos had a seven percent higher credit-completion rate than those who did not; they were also seven percent more likely to come out of a course with a C or higher, said Pringle.

Two new features have been added to Starfish during the 2017-2018 academic year: “My Success Network” and “Raise Your Hand.”

“My Success Network” is a directory for all the staff in the Career and Counseling Center, as well as any given student’s profile’s instructors for the current semester, and tutoring information.

“Raise Your Hand” gives students a space where they can ask questions, such as those pertaining to work-study opportunities, those with questions related to tutoring for coursework, and “I Need Help,” a category for general inquiries that pertain to any college-related matters.

“I Need Help” allows for concerns of any school-related program, ranging from the financial aid process to food products in the cafeteria, to be sent to the correct department and answered via online messaging.

“It’s been a work in progress, and we have been revamping it and hearing concerns,” Murtha said. “Even though we have had it for almost two years, these past semesters reflect the direction we are heading towards.”

Contact John Kearney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Phantoms fall short at their first home game against Middlesex

By Caroline Sweeney

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DCCC head coach Paul Motta and Middlesex head coach Cj Mooney discuss boundaries before the Phantoms home opener on March 19. Photo by Caroline Sweeney

DCCC Phantoms men’s baseball team lost their home opener 17-12 against Middlesex County College’s Blue Colts on March 19. The Phantoms have begun their season with an under .500 record of 2-3, and in regional play, the men are 1-1.

Right fielder Corey Woodcock led the Phantoms with three runs scored and four at-bats. Following Woodcock, third baseman Thomas Donahue and shortstop Jorge Rodriguez scored two runs. Gabriel Frigiola, Kevin Finn, Brian O’Neill, Tyler Butz and Nathaniel Scottung all scored one run.

The game was pretty good until a couple of mishaps in the field,” said Dominic Ervin, Phantoms starting pitcher. “We bounced back and came back to a close loss. If we had the same mindset we started within the first inning through the rest of the game, we would’ve won.”

Ervin began the game strong by only giving up one run to Middlesex. “It felt pretty good getting back on the field,” said Dominic Ervin, a second-year early childhood education major. “My arm felt strong, but there is always room for improvement for myself.”

The Phantoms came back in their half of the first inning, scoring two runs to take the lead early 2-1.

Both teams had a quiet offensive in the second and third inning, with no scoring for either side; however, the team’s defense kept the game tight.

Middlesex dominated the game with a commanding fourth inning. The Blue Colts racked up the hit and surged into the lead. Eight base hits and eight RBI’s gave Middlesex a 9-2 lead at the end of the fourth inning.

Middlesex went through their batting rotation twice before the Phantoms put an end to the surge with two pitching changes.

Ervin was replaced by Carl Lanholm, who allowed one walk and one RBI before he was re-placed by Brian O’Neill. Middlesex’s half of the inning was ended with two fly outs and an out at first base.

The Phantoms struggled offensively with fourth and fifth inning. Middlesex continued to score, lengthening their lead. So Middlesex was up 14-2 at the end of the fifth.

The Phantoms then put together an impressive effort to come back from their 10 runs deficit, scoring seven unanswered runs in their half of the sixth, bringing the score to 14-9 Middlesex.

Middlesex held on to their dominant lead by tacking on three more runs. DCCC added on three more runs of their own in the final two innings.

The final score for the Phantoms opener was 17-12 Middlesex.

“I felt good about my performance,” said Corey Woodcock, a first-year machine tool and technology major. “I gave my team everything I had and was able to contribute to the game.”

Both Woodcock and Ervin agreed that the team fell flat during the March 9 game.Yet they both share the same hopes to keep a positive attitude throughout the season.

“My goals, along with my teammates’ goals, are to win as many games as we can and get a spot in playoffs,” Woodcock said.

The Phantoms next home game will be a double header on April 14 at 12 p.m..

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Body modification: have we gone too far?

By Emily Steinhardt

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Some women are forgoing the traditional engagement ring, opting instead to get a dermal piercing in their ring finger. Photo courtesy of Flickr

Dermal engagement rings.

I saw a story on Snapchat the other day that the newest piercing trend is to have your ring finger pierced when you get engaged as opposed to receiving the traditional ring.

Body modification means to deliberately alter ones body, including practices such as ear piercing, nose jobs, and body building.

Humans have been modifying their bodies for at least 10 thousand years, which is when the art of tattoos is said to have originated. But are we going too far?

I don’t understand why or how some of these trends start.

Who suddenly thinks to themselves “I think that I should get my finger pierced.”

Why would you want to do that?

The process includes using a dermal punch to remove a small circle of flesh from the finger, then a small dermal anchor is inserted into the hole before a small base secures the dermal anchor in place.

The piercing is just an infection waiting to happen. Think about everything you use your hands for.

The amount of dirt and germs that would come into contact with the piercing as it heals is concerning, and frankly, disgusting.

Also, what happens if your marriage doesn’t last? 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. When you remove the piercing there will forever be a scar where the piercing was.

Additionally, your body naturally rejects foreign objects over time. Thus, if your marriage does last, you’re going to need to get your finger re-pierced repeatedly.

The average price of an engagement ring has passed six thousand dollars, so I can understand that a dermal piercing is not nearly as expensive as the traditional choice of jewelry. But, is it really worth paying $70 to $100 for something your body will eventually reject?

I understand that everyone is entitled to their body and owning your choices has it’s merit.

If you decide to go the non-traditional route, whatever the reason may be, it is your choice. Confidence is key to making anything work.

But you will not catch me with a dermal piercing anytime soon.

Contact Emily Steinhardt at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu