Tuesday, April 30, 2013

16th Annual Diversity Awards

Check out videos from the 16th Annual Diversity Awards here! Ceremony hosted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Memorial Union, Ballroom. 

PHOTOS can be viewed from this link.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Student Ary Gallery - NOW OPEN!


Drop by the Multicultural Center, Hardge Forum to see our newly opened Gallery featuring student works of art and winners of our first annual Diversity Student Art Competition! Pieces will be on display until the end of the spring semester.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Super-Size...My Health: Re-evaluating Perceptions on Public Health

        As a part of the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium on Health, Politics, and Money, Roberta Friedman presented a lecture this Tuesday evening on "Creating Optimal Defaults to Prevent Obesity." Friedman, the Director of Public Policy at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, stated that 2 in 3 adults are obese in the United States. 1 in 3 children are now obese. She mentions food swamps, areas saturated with fast food establishments, and America's raging portion distortion.

        When news hit the public about Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban on large sugary drinks in restaurants, theaters, and stadiums, the response was electric. The NYT reported a whooping 60% opposition from city-goers. People don't want to be told what they cannot do. Like adolescents, if you forbid something, it only makes them want to do it more. In our society, bulk and wholesale triggers our minds to think, "SAVINGS!" The larger the portion, the more for our money.

        A slightly similar initiative in the name of public health sparked about two years ago when the FDA started plastering cigarette boxes with graphic images and factoids of diseased lungs, corpses, and all the possible detriments that could result in smoking. The hope was that it would make smokers reconsider their actions. This initiative was quickly banned.

        In a country that lives by its free market and freedoms, I don't think we have business placing bans on soda sizes--even if it's for the good of the people. If Mayor Bloomberg's plan were to be enacted nation-wide, eventually I think it would be accepted as background noise. People would complain in casual conversation, like they do for rising gas prices and movie tickets, but it wouldn't deter people from continuing to consume. Would it make people reconsider buying a cup of cola when they buy their buttery popcorn for the new Iron Man 3? Possibly. Would it decrease rates of obesity? Probably not significantly. I applaud the efforts; however, I think our public health initiatives should take form in a different manner.

        There are certain things that society inherently knows. This is the result of strategic branding. Recently a Dior mascara ad was banned because a rival company challenged its false advertisement. The actress, they argued, was retouched so that her lashes seemed artificially separated and thickened. A cosmetic company PhotoShops their advertisements... Can anyone really say that they find this shocking? Everything fed to us has already been processed in some manner. Even reality TV isn't quite reality. But we still buy, watch, and wish we had those lashes, that body, that flawless skin. This is all incorporated into our assumptive world. Aggressive and strategic branding has shaped what now exists.

        So what if we made public health equally acceptable and even cool? If you really think about it, all health-related adverts are generally dry and fact-driven. When they come up, we change the channel. But when a Doritos commercial appears with a dog being sky-rocketed--which I'm pretty sure has nothing to do with what you get when you buy a bag--we watch. It's funny. Sex and humor sells. Am I saying we should make a healthy lifestyle sexy? Not necessarily. (Although if you think about it, balanced diet and lifestyle does boost confidence and improve holistic health. Who doesn't find this attractive?) I am, however, suggesting a reevaluation of how we market and educate about eating better, active lifestyles, vaccinations, and all things public health. Maybe even stick in a little gallow humor.

Holly Tran, Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Confessions of a College Student "Going Green"

            I have been trying to go green for quite some time now and somehow it just never happens. I seem to be the type of person that wastes a lot of things. I don't go for the essential stuff that I seem to need, instead I exceed the limit of items that I might require. When it comes to wasting I can't compare myself to anyone. I have wasted plastic, food, water, and money.

            Plastic: I don't drink water all the time, but when I do, it has to be bottle water. Each day at home I would open a bottle of water that I never finish and the next day the bottle would be in the trash. So when the bottle wasting became something I noticed since I'm trying to go green I decided to use a recycling bin to store all the plastic bottles in. At the end of every week when I decide to clean my room and take the trash out, it dawns on me that I’m living on the 4th floor. This means that I would have to carry the trash and recycling bin all at once outside. The area for the trash and recycle is not even near my building. So when I got sick of going up and down the stairs with two sets of bins, I decided to get rid of the recycling bin. Everything inside of it became part of the trash bin. I closed my eyes to going green because I was tired of taking two bins up and down the stairs

            Food: I love to eat junk food and when I came to college it was like a dream come true. There are two dining halls that serve the ultimate junk foods. When I go to Hope or Butterfield to eat I get more food than I can even consume. At the end of my breakfast, lunch, or dinner I end up throwing away all the food I got. I tell myself that I will decrease the portion of food I get to eat, but each day it gets worse. I have a fast metabolism so I feel as though I can eat everything. Take my first semester of school for example; since I lived upstairs in Butterfield Hall, one of the dining halls on campus. Every day I would go down for lunch and I would get a plate and fill it up with chicken nuggets, wings, fries, and whatever else is being served in the entree area. Then I would get two slices of pizza and I would make my best friend get me two more. The only reason I tell her to get it is because there is a sign in the pizza area that says “2 slices per person." Once I start eating I would feel empty so I would eat the four slices of pizza and three chicken nuggets. By the time I get to everything else I'm already full and I end up throwing away whatever else is left on the plate. After class I would go back to Butterfield or Hope and do the same thing again; in fact I did it about six to seven times a day.

            Water: My water wasting habits goes along with my plastic wasting habits. Each plastic bottle that I throw out usually still has water left over in it. Each day I would open a different water bottle without even finishing the one from the previous day and if I open one and someone touches it, it automatically goes in the bin. See the thing is, I have never been the type to waste water unless it was in a bottle. When I came to college I noticed that my best friend had some water wasting habits. As she brushed her teeth she would leave the faucet running. Every time she did that I told her that she was wasting water and that she needed to stop. One Saturday morning I went to brush my teeth and I had a million thoughts running through my mind that I didn't realize what I was doing. After I was done brushing my teeth I decided to open the faucet to rinse my mouth, but it was already on. So the whole time I was standing there brushing my teeth, I was wasting water. Each day I would notice that the same thing was happening. My best friend’s water wasting habits had gotten to me.

            Money: I don’t know how you can go green for something that already happens to be green, but all I know is that my money wasting habit is ridiculous. I guess it's all because I'm not the one waking up in the morning and going to work to make the money that I spend. My stepfather is the one who supplies me with money. The minute he calls me and tells me that he has put money in my account I would go online to shop before we even get the chance to hang up the phone. One day I ordered two pairs of combat boots. I didn't even like one of the pairs, but I just wanted to buy it because they were combat boots. Then I saw on the top of the sites page that if you spend seventy five dollars or more you get free shipping. Since I was only ten dollars away from free shipping I decided to buy something else. Then I decided to get on my favorite stores (Hollister) website and ordered four pairs of jeans. Three of them were for me and one was a gift for my cousin. Then I got on another website to order some shoes called Moccasins. I really wanted the shoes because it has fur inside which helps keep your feet warm. My friend who happened to be in the room also wanted them and being the nice person that I am I decided to order a pair for her. After the online shopping I checked my online bank statement only to find out that I overdraft my account in under an hour. It was the craziest thing, but it got me to realize that I waste too much money on unnecessary stuff.

            I have personally been trying to work on my go green outlook, but for some strange reason I am addicted to wasting. Sometimes I really do believe that my habits are because of my best friend. In my opinion I never use to waste anything besides money. I chose to keep trying to go green and I am hoping that sooner or later I'll get a wake up. 

            I have personally been trying to work on my go green outlook, but for some strange reason I am addicted to wasting. Sometimes I really do believe that my habits are because of my best friend. In my opinion I never use to waste anything besides money. I chose to keep trying to go green and I am hoping that sooner or later I'll get a wake up. I have stopped drinking bottle water to avoid throwing out plastic bottle so now I just stick to filling up a Brita which filters water from the tap. I went to see the school nutritionist about how I should eat and since then my food wasting has reduced. I have begun to respect food as I am aware that there are some countries in the world that lack food. I brush my teeth in the shower and not at the sink so I can avoid running the faucet. My money wasting habits barely exist now since I have been cut off.

             My advice to anyone going green is to first write down a list of things that you believe you waste and what method you plan on using to reduce the wasting. I would suggest asking people for help. For example, if you waste food a lot, you might want to sit down with a nutritionist and talk about your eating habits, if you waste money a lot you might want to see a financial adviser or find a way to budget yourself. You just have to seek out your resources.

Mammy Jallow, Guest Writer, is currently a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Health Studies.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Candidly Speaking: Insights from a Former Freshman

            My first semester of freshmen year is what I like to call haunting. Two days before move-in day nothing in my life was out the ordinary, and then suddenly I came down with the stomach bug. Being as sick as I was I couldn’t move into my dorm on move in day. I had missed the experience of being welcomed as a freshmen. The day before classes began I moved into my new dorm. The day was already bad as it had been raining while I was moving in.

            Once I was checked in and handed my code to the door, I made my way upstairs to the fourth floor of Butterfiled. I opened the door to my room and saw my best friend Olivia standing there. As I looked around the room I noticed that our third roommate had taken over most of the space. I was left with the top bunk and little closet space. I didn’t let any of this bother me. I was just in love with the fact that I live on top of one of the dining halls. Little did I know that I would spend all my waking time in there?

            After getting settled in my best friend and I printed out our schedules along with a map of the campus. We highlighted the location of each class and went to bed. The next day we woke up, got ready for class, and made our way out the door. We circled the campus a couple of times before we found any of our classes. Even though we had a map we still got lost as neither one of us knew how to read the map.

            We both had every class together and we both hated our classes. We are both wanting nursing majors and found three of our courses to be challenging. As the semester progressed we found ourselves moving backwards. We were struggling in three of our classes and instead of studying or getting tutored we went to Butterfield to eat, socialize, sleep, and watch Netflix all day long. We didn’t look forward to anything but the weekend. Most of the time we didn’t attend class. We would wake up and ask each other “Are you going to class today?” and of course the answer to that question was always” NO.”

            As the semester came to an end we tried to pull through with our classes, but it was too late. We were failing two out of our six classes and there was nothing we could do. Our GPA suffered terribly and we were very close to academic probation. Leaving URI at the end of the first semester we came up with a master plan to not let our second semester be as disastrous as the first. I can truly say I learned my lesson on the importance of attending classes and studying. 

            Going into my second year of college I am hoping to not get the stomach bug on move-in day. My best friend and I have already printed out our schedules and this year we don’t need a map to find our way around. Our classes are a little less hectic. We are only taking four classes as oppose to six. We’ve already spoken to people who have taken the courses that we are going to be taking in the fall. We came up with a study schedule and times to go to the Academic Enhancement Center (AEC) for tutoring.

            My advice to the incoming freshmen is for starters: Avoid making the dining hall the one place you go. Try to attend all of your classes and if you miss a day or so find a reliable classmate who has all the information covered in class or go see your professor about it. There are some courses that are very hard to catch up in so missing class often will cause nothing but failure. Avoid procrastinating when you have work that needs to be done by a certain time. I know that most people’s parents tell them to put their education first and I think this is very true. Once you see your opportunity almost slip away you learn to do everything differently. 

Mammy Jallow, Guest Writer, is currently a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Health Studies.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

(Almost) Welcome Back

            When I step outside, I can smell the looming onset of fall. I can hear the jubilant chatter amongst students about the classes they're in and about the amount of reading they will have to do for the first week of school.  I can see the rise in noise level as the semester progresses and students begin packing to the library in hoards to cram for exams...

            Okay, so may be actually being able to smell the coming of a new semester is debatable, but one thing is for sure--September is inching its way closer. With each new academic year, we have much to look forward to: New faces, classes, opportunities, and ideas. At the Multicultural Center, we're gearing up for our first major event of the fall semester: Diversity Week (Monday, October 1st - Friday, October 5th). We're excited to bring you over 60 stimulating workshops, events, and seminars--this year, with a focus on health care. Be sure to keep an eye out for more information as the time draws closer. 

            Step inside our building in the fall and you'll notice a few design renovations. We won't spoil the surprises just yet. Be sure to also utilize all of our new resources including our Talk2MCC texting feature. Have a question or looking to book an appointment to come in and speak with us? Text it to 265010

            Finally, with the new semester, you'll most likely make new friends. Have us be one of them. Add us on Facebook and show us some love. But as fun as liking our posts and commenting on our wall can be, face-to-face conversation will never get old. Feel free to stop by our Main Office and introduce yourself. We'd love to show you around and orient you to the resources available. Until then, enjoy your summer! We greatly look forward to getting to know you. 

Holly Tran, Staff Writer

Monday, April 30, 2012

Nearing the Finish Line

            In middle school, many of us looked up to the taller, more popular high school-ers and wanted to be them. By the time high school came around, our vision became focused on college life. Senioritis kicked in and no longer could we pay attention in lecture. It was as though our brains went into automatic and like a contagion, a mass of daydreaming, excited soon-to-be college acceptees. 
            Today marks the last day of classes for the University of Rhode Island. In less than a month, we will see the Class of 2012 walk the stage. Now, how do you spot a senior? If you peek into the library's 24 Hour Room, you'll see a mass of students hyped up on caffeine and feverishly flipping through notes and typing long, double-spaced essays. 

These students are not seniors. 

Look through the window to the Quad on a warm sunny day. See those students sun-bathing on the grass? That's your graduating class. By this time, most Class of 2012-ers have pretty much mentally checked out. Engage them in conversation about their future plans and what they have in store for after May, and a few will tell you about their acceptances to graduate school, a full-time job they landed, or plans for a backpacking trip across the globe. A handful will also candidly admit to you that they have absolutely no idea what they will do post-graduation and insert a muttered remark about finding a job. 

            As these young adults are busy shifting the pieces in place for their path ahead, we'd like to offer our parting gift: Advice.

"Good luck with the world." -Anonymous Freshman

"Don't live with your parents! Move out. Good luck finding an apartment! ...and don't get married the next day." -Francisco Vargas, Junior

"Find a job, fast." -Anonymous Senior

"God speed." -Anthony Mam, Graduate Student

Congratulations, Class of 2012! We know you'll all do great things.