Colonies of neotropical army ants of the genus Eciton Latreille offer some of the most captivating examples of intricate interactions between species, with hundreds of associated species already described in colonies of Eciton burchellii Westwood. Among this plethora of species found with Eciton colonies, two genera of staphylinid beetles, Ecitomorpha Wasmann, and Ecitophya Wasmann, have evolved to mimic the appearance and parallel the colouration of the most abundant ant worker cast. Here, we study for the first time the association of these ant-mimicking beetles with their ant host in an evolutionary and population genetics framework. The central emphasis is on colonies of E. burchellii, the only Eciton species that harbours both genera of ant-mimicking beetles. Phylogenetic and population structure analyses using the same mtDNA COI region (802 bp) for ants and beetles indicated that speciation patterns of the myrmecophiles were congruent with specialization to a particular Eciton (sub)species. Therefore, current taxonomic treatments of Eciton and its Ecitomorpha and Ecitophya associates need revision. Molecular clock analyses suggested that diversification of the Eciton hosts pre-date that of their guests, with a possible earlier association of Ecitophya (found with a large number of Eciton species) than with Ecitomorpha (found only with E. burchellii colonies). Population-level analyses revealed that patterns of diversification for the myrmecophiles are also consistent with specialisation to a particular host across broad geographical areas but not at small geographical scales, with gene flow within each species found between host colonies, even across landscape features that are strong barriers for Eciton female-mediated gene flow.
View post tag: Amphibious View post tag: Navy View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Naval Training & Education View post tag: Denver Amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9), with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Darwin, Australia, Sept. 3, for the second time in less than two weeks.Denver’s first visit to Darwin was a working port visit where the crew conducted an offload of a large part of the 31st MEU and their equipment as they prepared to start Exercise Koolendong at the Bradshaw Field Training Area (BFTA).This visit follows another working port visit in Dili, Timor-Leste, but this time Darwin will be primarily a liberty port for the crew. Sailors and Marines will have an opportunity to participate in community service projects and enjoy some much earned personal time.“It’s going to be good. I’m excited.” said Lance Cpl. Dillon Nichols, assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, attached to the 31st MEU. “I want to eat something that’s not ship food, hang out and walk around on dry land.”Denver is on patrol with the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, and is currently participating in Exercise Koolendong with the 31st MEU.[mappress]Press Release, September 03, 2013 View post tag: Australia Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Denver Arrives in Darwin, Australia View post tag: Defence View post tag: Dock View post tag: Arrives Back to overview,Home naval-today Amphibious Transport Dock Ship USS Denver Arrives in Darwin, Australia September 3, 2013 View post tag: Darwin View post tag: USS View post tag: ship View post tag: Transport View post tag: Defense Share this article
Google+ Pinterest (“Prison Barbed Wire Fence” by Jobs For Felons Hub, CC BY 2.0) There will be no delay.A federal judge is denying a request to halt the upcoming execution of an inmate on death row.Brandon Bernard, a 40-year-old from Texas, is guilty of murdering two youth ministers there in 1999.He shot one of them in the head and knocked the other unconscious.Bernard then locked both people in a car and lit it on fire.Bernard’s lawyers had been trying to halt his execution — but no dice.He’ll become the ninth inmate at the federal pen in Terre Haute to be executed this year on Thursday. Pinterest Facebook Google+ No delay in scheduled execution of Brandon Bernard in Terre Haute WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – December 9, 2020 1 305 Twitter Twitter Facebook IndianaLocalNews WhatsApp Previous articleSB Cubs invited to play 2021 as the High Single-A Cubs affiliateNext articleOld Oaken Bucket game cancelled due to COVID-19 Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.
Clayton Park Bakery has won a contract to supply Lancashire Cricket Club with pies for the upcoming cricket season. The bakery lost out on the contact last year to a local rival bakery, but was selected by the club this year to fill the contact.Nic Ashurst, head chef at Lancashire Cricket Club said: “It’s vitally important to us to keep our members happy. That means ensuring the best quality produce, the freshest bake and the best taste.”The bakery has supplied to sports clubs before, and already sells their pies at Liverpool, Everton, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Oldham Athletic football clubs.Clayton Park Bakery also supplies small shops throughout the Northwest as well as quality chains Spar and Booths.
Ahead of this weekend’s Mother’s Day holiday, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile has released a new video for “The Mother”, a tune off of her 2018 album, By The Way, I Forgive You. Brandi’s most recent acclaimed studio album helped her win three Grammys earlier this year.The new video depicts the joys and responsibilities of motherhood alongside Carlile’s first-person lyrics, including mothers putting their children to bed and laying with them, pushing children in strollers, breastfeeding, grocery shopping, and cooking. Watch Brandi Carlile’s new video for “The Mother” below:Brandi Carlile – “The Mother”[Video: Brandi Carlile]On Monday, Brandi Carlile announced she is headed back to the beach in January for her second annual destination event. Next year’s Brandi Carlile’s Girls Just Wanna Weekend is set for January 29th through February 2nd at Rivera Maya, MX’s Hard Rock Hotel.The five-day destination is highlighted by three performances from Carlile, in addition to sets from Sheryl Crow, Lake Street Dive, Patty Griffin, Lucius, Wanda Sykes (Comedy Set), KT Tunstall, Jade Bird, Amanda Shires, and Yola.Carlile also recently extended her 2019 tour plans with a new batch of concert dates now scheduled to keep the singer and guitarist on the road well into the summer months. Head to Brandi Carlile’s website for a full list of her upcoming tour dates and ticketing information.
Harvard University officials responded to reports of downed utility lines and broken branches, but received no reports of injuries or serious damage as Tropical Storm Irene passed through the region. For general emergency information, please visit www.harvard.edu/emergency. Students, faculty and staff also should check the websites of their School or department for area-specific information about storm-related changes to normal operations. The MBTA announced that it was suspending all service for Sunday, except for necessary medical trips on the Ride.In the event of an emergency, the University will activate the MessageMe notification system to communicate with subscribers via instant messages, emails and phone calls. To subscribe to MessageMe, or to review University updates during an emergency, please visit www.harvard.edu/emergency.Updates and alerts from state officials are at mass.gov.
As the men’s basketball tournament known as March Madness edges closer to crowning another national champion, the debate over whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) exploits some of its student-athletes has reached a high-water mark.In a ruling on Wednesday, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago said that football players at Northwestern University were employees of the private school and therefore had the right to unionize, setting up the possibility of the first labor union in college sports. A Northwestern spokesman said the university will appeal the ruling to the full NLRB in Washington. The NCAA, which was not a party to the proceeding but would be affected by unionizing, said on its website: “We strongly disagree with the notion that student-athletes are employees.”This week, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan ’87, a former Harvard basketball star, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that universities should consider tying bonus pay for college coaches and athletic directors to the academic performance and graduation rates of athletes, not team wins and losses. Duncan also criticized some university presidents and boards for not doing enough to ensure that the tail of athletics doesn’t wag the academic dog. While it is a member of the NCAA, Harvard offers only need-based financial aid.Other pending legal challenges seek to test NCAA policies that strictly limit the amount of money that student-athletes can receive while playing; contest the number, value, and length of scholarships that schools can offer each year; and question whether athletes should get long-term financial help for injuries sustained while playing sports. There is also a class-action claim over concussions.In one notable case, former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon wants to bar the NCAA from limiting how much money student-athletes can receive while playing and to collect damages for the NCAA’s use of players’ images, likenesses, and names without permission. A trial is scheduled to begin June 9 in California. Last year, the NCAA took in $913 million, generated primarily from merchandise sales and broadcast rights.Peter Carfagna is a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School (HLS) and runs its sports law clinic. A practicing sports law attorney, he spoke with the Gazette about the debate over compensation for student-athletes and the pending legal challenges to the NCAA’s authority.GAZETTE: What are your thoughts on the ruling in favor of the Northwestern University football players?CARFAGNA: A huge surprise, an upset victory by the union side of the competition here. I don’t think many close observers of the scene anticipated the result. It was a close call at best. They scored the first touchdown. But the game continues, to use a football metaphor, because Northwestern is going to be appealing it. A surprising result. The whole legal world, not just the sports legal world, is watching this unionization effort. For the Teamsters and other unions, this has become important to them, for obvious reasons, but when you micro it down to the world of college sports … it’s really a tectonic shift in how college sports would have to operate if this ruling is upheld.GAZETTE: How would the business of college sports be affected if the NCAA were required to compensate many student-athletes?CARFAGNA: It wouldn’t necessarily jump right to that — that’s what everybody’s jumping to. But it would mean, “we’ll sit down at the table,” like we would have to with any collective-bargaining unit, and we would negotiate terms and conditions of employment. So, start with health and safety issues they feel are not adequately addressed under the current system, I know that’s a big part of it, health and safety. Certainly you have to pay the player at least sharing in and being compensated in a thoroughgoing and fair way. [The player] would be right up there at the negotiating table, and then that becomes the ebb and flow of the negotiation and who knows how that would come out?Certainly, you’ve got the O’Bannon case out there, a $40 million settlement already, over licensing and royalties from video games. So that’s $40 million that EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing have paid to be done with that suit. You don’t pay $40 million if there isn’t some merit, and the NCAA continues to defend that suit, so you’ve got one flank over here where you’ve got a huge liability staring at you right in the face on paying them for the use of their name, likeness, and image — that’s one problem they’d have to deal with at this hypothetical negotiating table.Second is the concussion litigations that are pending against the NCAA. . . . And thirdly, there’s two putative class actions pending against the NCAA going from tuition, room, and board to “full cost of attendance,” which would mean anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 or more per year per student-athlete, which has been on the table for the last few years, which harkens back to a $228 million settlement the NCAA entered into on that very same issue a few years ago. To me, all of those things would be on the table, and then the negotiations would likely replicate what happens between the NFL and its players’ association and the NBA and its players’ association, in which agreements would protect the NCAA from all this litigation under federal labor exemption.GAZETTE: The NCAA is currently facing a number of lawsuits on issues around scholarship rules, compensation, head injuries, medical costs, etc. O’Bannon’s attorney has said that his case has wider implications and could set the stage for broad reforms to the way many college athletes are treated. Is he right? And if so, how might that play out?CARFAGNA: We’ve had Ed up at Harvard; he was on a panel for us. I agree with all that. Consideration is the scholarship grant for tuition, room, and board by the NCAA, and the scholarship grant letter itself says, essentially, just paraphrasing: While you’re a student-athlete, you hereby grant us the right to use your name/image/likeness for the promotion of our sport, our school, our events. Now, it’s very fuzzily worded. What does an 18-year-old Ed O’Bannon know when UCLA offers him that letter and he signs it? Well, he’s essentially waived his rights as claimant in perpetuity. What the lawyer’s getting at, what Ed said when he came to our panel was, “It’s a contract of adhesion; I didn’t know what I was signing. Sure, I understood while I was playing there they could use me, but now I’m in a video game and they’re selling my numbered jersey without my name on it, and that’s not right.”The point is the limitation of that waiver. Because the NCAA says, “In perpetuity we own your name, image, and likeness for all purposes,” and the answer coming back is “Well, no, maybe while I’m a student-athlete, but afterward if you’re making money off of me, you’ve got to pay me, or create a trust fund that I can petition for payment.” It goes so far as to say current athletes should share in media rights. So … he’s saying, and the judge has allowed those claims to continue for current media rights. That would really be big, worth hundreds of millions of dollars for March Madness. . . . It would seem to me that when you’re playing, those rights belong to a school and the NCAA, but the judge let it ride.GAZETTE: Given that the cost of NCAA scholarships represents only a tiny fraction of the financial value that student-athletes bring to their respective schools, are such student-athletes “exploited employees,” as some argue?CARFAGNA: Taylor Branch, who’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and really made his life’s work studying the history of slavery — he came to our class last fall and talked about his new book. He wrote an article called “The Shame of College Sports” that he’s turned into a book, “Cartel.” There’s a documentary called “Schooled” that was shown during my class last fall. I have to remain neutral, because then I have representatives from the other side come and talk about why the scholarship grant is fair consideration. To answer your question, Taylor says this is slavery, this is involuntary servitude, and makes that case very effectively. And there were many in the audience who agreed with him.And then are others who say, like Warren Zola — he runs the professional sports counseling panel at Boston College — and he’ll take the other side of the issue for a good school like BC, which graduates 90+ percent of its student-athletes. … If you want my opinion, I think full cost of attendance is appropriate, at least. But that would raise all sorts of Title IX issues. Many schools simply could not afford it.GAZETTE: What is a reasonable way to compensate student-athletes while also satisfying the NCAA’s interest in maintaining some league parity so that the richest and/or most motivated schools can’t simply “buy up” the best athletes year after year?CARFAGNA: When I had [Zola] at class, he said, “Look, there might be a secession movement.” The big schools, they don’t need the NCAA. They might just say: “See you later; we don’t need all these amateurism rules. Why do we need you guys to run our Final Four? Why do we need you administrators to run the BCS [football’s Bowl Championship Series]? We’ll just take the greatest 64 teams and just have our own conference, and see you later.” That’s the possible fallout. And he’s at BC, which is very competitive in the two major sports and great at hockey. They’re kind of at a crossroads.What does a Duke do? What does an ACC [Atlantic Coast Conference] school with high academic standards do? There’s such a wide range of opinion as to what’s appropriate. The end of the spectrum is, for these scholarships at a place like BC, at Notre Dame, at Stanford, is full consideration. That’s what the NCAA is saying loud and clear: Student-athletes get a free education that would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to Duke, but here it’s for free. If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. It’s worked for a long time. Their main defense, and it has some merit to it, is “You didn’t have to take the scholarship.” … They’re saying, “Hey, if you don’t like it, we’ve got 10 more guys in line who are happy to sign that letter and get a free Stanford education.”GAZETTE: Do you agree with Duncan’s position, and, if not, what can be done by school administrations to ensure that academics are taken as seriously by coaches as athletics?CARFAGNA: It’s not a one size fits all. Let’s take Ohio State: You go across the state, if you put a pinprick on the highest paid state employee — I think it’s up to over 30 states — it’s the football coach. That’s not appropriate, I agree. You take an Alabama: $7 million with bonuses, and that’s just what the university pays, not to mention all [other outside compensation], and Nick Saban’s making $10 million, probably. That bubble is continuing to explode, whereby coaches are becoming multimillionaires, and they’re job shopping, and have carve-outs in their agreements to allow them to hopscotch all around to the next-highest bidder. … So what should Ohio State, what should the president of [the University of] Alabama do, [given] the pressures on these guys to deliver many millions of dollars back to the university? I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to be a university president in that situation. It’s a tough draw. But yeah, I think all the things Secretary Duncan is saying make sense, and I would agree with him. But who’s going to enforce them?This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
For Nadya Okamoto ’20, there has rarely been a time when life wasn’t unsteady.Whether living with friends in high school during a time of financial instability for her family or amid her non-stop multitasking as a student/social entrepreneur/public speaker, the junior from Portland, Ore., is relentlessly searching for balance.“I’m a work-hard-play-hard kind of person,” said Okamoto. “People assume because I’m Asian that I have a ‘tiger mother,’ but that’s not the case. I have no pressure from my mom around school or academics. She just wants me to have mindfulness in my life and follow my passions.”The demands of co-founding PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement in high school, running for public office as a first-year, and constant speaking engagements kept Okamoto, 20, off campus as much as on during her first year at Harvard. Since founding PERIOD in 2014, Okamoto has helped expand the nonprofit to more than 230 campus chapters around the nation and abroad. It has distributed enough products for more than 380,000 periods to those in need. In addition to her academic and entrepreneurial lives, she also made an unsuccessful run for Cambridge City Council last year, and signed a book deal for “Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement,” which just came out.“We both had books in the works at Simon & Schuster,” said a bemused Jonathan Hansen, a senior lecturer on social studies who taught Okamoto in Social Studies 10. “While I was writing my biography on Fidel Castro, she was working on ‘Period Power.’ Nadya faced a tight window. My book was overdue. I could relate to the pressure.”Okamoto, who was on full financial aid for her first two years of school, wrote much of “Period Power” at Hemenway Gym and the Schlesinger Library, before finishing it during last year’s Wintersession.“I would put Post-its all over my stair climber with my headphones, and start talking into my recorder and then transcribe it,” she said. “I was writing it for all the little sisters out there, for my own sisters, and for myself.”Inspiring Okamoto to activism was a period without a home of her own. She was 16 in 2014 when financial insecurity set in. Though it was temporary, she met homeless women during that time who were using toilet paper, newspaper, and cardboard to meet their menstruation needs.“There was a never-ending cycle of organizations not prioritizing menstrual hygiene, and thus not feeling any need to invest in tampons and pads. On the other side, homeless menstruators did not feel comfortable advocating for their menstrual needs, because menstruation is something that most want to hide,” wrote Okamoto in “Period Power.” Since founding PERIOD in 2014, Okamoto has helped expand the nonprofit to more than 230 campus chapters around the nation and abroad. It has distributed enough products for more than 380,000 periods to those in need. Harvard Presidential City of Boston Fellow leading the way “There’s a lot of talk of altruism in this generation, but Nadya is more than talk,” said Hansen, noting that her sense of humor matches her activism. “One day she walked into class with cookies in the shape of tampons and all types of contraception. We discussed Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ while eating IUDs.”Hansen said Okamoto “fit right in during the seminar. But the second class ended, she was on her phone and out the door, rushing to the airport” for meetings and speaking engagements.“I’ve never seen anything like it in my 20 years at Harvard. She’d fly in for a class and right after she’d be on the phone attending to company matters,” said Hansen. “This juggling act exacted a toll. Nadya is obviously smart, but I wasn’t getting her best every week. I was not the first to suggest she consider taking time off from School, though I was perhaps a little more adamant. Social studies is immensely difficult. I told her: ‘We need all of you, or it’s not going to work.’”Okamoto agreed, and is using the time off this fall to grow PERIOD and promote the book.“I haven’t been able to invest in nurturing good relationships with professors because I don’t have time to meet with them. I was getting good grades, but I didn’t read most of the books, and I wasn’t deeply learning,” she said. “Professor Hansen’s comments on my essays felt brutal sometimes, but honest. I didn’t want to feel like 50 percent of my time here has gone by and I haven’t taken full advantage of it.”Born in New York, Okamoto grew up in Oregon. Mother Sophia Tzeng ’95 and classmate Vincent Forand, a junior at Cornell, helped found PERIOD. At the time when she founded PERIOD, she was getting out of an abusive relationship in which she experienced sexual assault, and was starting to realize the abuse that she said existed in her relationship with her father.“I’m fiercely proud of being Generation Z. I get very frustrated with the world around me,” she said. “‘I’m just going to do it’ is my attitude, and I don’t worry about the qualifications I need. I just go for it.”Okamoto is not sure what she ultimately wants to do with her young life, but said: “I love public speaking, traveling, and meeting new people. I don’t know if I want a future in politics or a nonprofit or the corporate world. But I am drawn to studying social studies because it’s all the subjects I like in one. I wanted to learn how to think critically, and it’s a small concentration where you get a lot of individual attention.”Regardless of future studies or her career, Okamoto set herself a personal goal for the school year “to get better at chill time.”“I have to make myself make time, even for sleep. It’s hard for me not to think about it as a waste of time. Running for office or running a nonprofit — I feel like I can always be sending more emails, and doing more — and it’s been a learning experience to push myself to take downtime and enjoy that.” When her life is over, she’ll have lived First-year student, a Native American, promises herself to blaze trail for others Courage, sadness, and compassion have all shaped senior Elsie Tellier’s response to her lethal disease. But not bitterness. Staying grounded ‘Pathway to public service’ Related
Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of a five-part series on sexual assault at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Today’s story focuses on student group responses to sexual assault.Approaching the issue from a variety of different perspectives, students from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are seeking out avenues to continue the conversation around, and ultimately prevent, sexual assault on college campuses.Central to their efforts is defining what it means for students to stand against sexual assault. Photo courtesy of Loyal Daughters and Sons Seniors Tess Rinaldo, left, and Skyler Hughes hold signs outside of South Dining Hall to raise awareness for sexual assault and rape culture as part of Loyal Daughters and Sons’ “Talk About it Tuesday” campaign.“A lot of people on campus, okay, they’re against sexual assault,” senior Skyler Hughes said. “But it’s not a controversial thing to be against.”Hughes is a producer for Loyal Daughters and Sons (LDS), an annual, student-run performance that collects the personal stories of Notre Dame community members regarding gender relations, sexuality and sexual assault, and adapts them for the stage.Almost a decade after its initial beginnings as a senior thesis project, Hughes said LDS still works to identify how the performance fits into the ongoing discussion about sexual assault, and more broadly, gender relations.“[LDS’s] role has definitely evolved, and I think that’s one of the things we’re trying to negotiate right now: What is our role in this larger conversation?” he said.Hughes said LDS distinguishes itself by bringing a personal element to the conversation.“I think because we tell these stories — these very personal stories — I think we add a dimension to the conversation that other campaigns — with statistics, or trainings, or door-to-door campaigns — they can’t add … ,” he said. “And I think that’s a really important side to have in the conversation about sexual assault. We can’t detach it from those personal stories.”Focusing their efforts on educating and informing students about sexual assault rather than relating students’ personal experiences, the FIRE Starters — a student initiative of the Gender Relations Center (GRC) — are also working to define their stance against sexual assault, Notre Dame senior and FIRE Starter Annie Kuster said.“There’s a lot of different angles that we can take towards sexual assault and relationship violence,” Kuster said. “[It’s] not just like, ‘this is what sexual assault is.’”Kuster, a member of the FIRE Starters subgroup on sexual assault and relationship violence, said the FIRE Starters aim to foster a dialogue concerning “gender and sexual identity and relationship violence, and things like that, that usually are swept under the rug.”She said her subgroup this semester chose to consider sexual assault through a discussion on the meaning of consent.“One of our biggest focuses was consent, [and] understanding — not necessarily promoting sexual activity — but understanding what consent means, how that functions,” she said. “Any interaction you have with someone else involves consent, to some degree.”“I’m fairly sure that nobody goes into the night and is like, ‘you know what, I’m going to sexually assault somebody, I’m going to hurt somebody tonight,’” Kuster said. “And we [as a subgroup] thought it had to do a lot more with this fuzzy line, and when you cross it and you don’t cross it.”Similar to FIRE Starters in their educational approach, Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) aims to provide students with the knowledge necessary to take a stand against the problem of sexual assault, Saint Mary’s sophomore Abbie Spica said.“I think that we can take a stand against sexual assault largely through education, by informing people of the realities of sexual assault,” Spica, who serves as the head of BAVO’s student advisory committee for events and campaigns, said.Among other initiatives, BAVO offers Green Dot bystander intervention training and helps coordinate Take Back the Night, in which Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students march across Notre Dame’s campus to demonstrate solidarity with survivors, Spica said.“This is happening to our peers, these acts of sexual violence,” she said. “We need to be support systems, we need to be encouraging, and Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame are a family, so we need to act like it and be there as a support system for each other.”Spica said the group setting of BAVO allows students to collaborate with like-minded peers and to increase the overall impact they can have in addressing sexual assault.“Sometimes it’s very discouraging when you’re by yourself working on issues like this, because, individually, it’s hard to see how much of an impact you’re making,” Spica said. “When you have so many people doing it in a group, it’s interesting to see how many people’s minds you can change or how many people you can influence.”BAVO is not the only student initiative to facilitate group collaboration. Notre Dames — a female empowerment club started in 2014 — provides a weekly forum in which students can jointly examine sexual assault and other issues impacting women on both campuses, club president and founder Notre Dame senior Alison Leddy said.“One of the reasons I actually started Notre Dames was because I had a few friends who were victims of sexual assault, and what was consistent in their experiences was that they felt like they didn’t have a voice — either in the situation, or after the situation,” Leddy said. “ … I was personally really moved by the fact that they didn’t feel like they could say anything or they didn’t feel like their voice was worthy of being heard.“Especially in an instance of sexual assault where so much power is taken away from you, their voice was the first thing to go.”Complementing the efforts of LDS, FIRE Starters, BAVO and Notre Dames, other student groups are focusing their attention on those aspects of sexual assault which are often overlooked in the larger discussion of the issue.At Saint Mary’s, the Straight and Gay Alliance is seeking to challenge the largely heteronormative discussion of sexual assault, according to the alliance’s president, Saint Mary’s sophomore Abigail Lynn.“A lot of times, people in the LGBTQ community write [sexual assault in a homosexual relationship] off as it not being sexual assault when, if the same thing happened in a heterosexual relationship, it would be a huge deal,” Lynn said. “That’s why it needs to be talked about. If it’s not talked about, you don’t even realize it.”According to Lynn, expressing opinions openly is one of the first steps students can take in working to raise awareness about the issues surrounding sexual assault.“I realized really quickly that if you go about it the right way, people are really receptive to what you have to say,” Lynn said. “We can acknowledge that we have different viewpoints on things, but we can also respect each other. We’re trying to build a community.”Echoing the mission of the Straight and Gay Alliance, members of the College’s Justice Education Student Advisory Committee are also working to promote more inclusive language when speaking about sexual assault, committee member and Saint Mary’s sophomore Alex Shambery said.“People come to Saint Mary’s with certain mindsets about things, and then they have discussions with other people who may have a greater sense of knowledge about those subjects, and this brings people to realizations,” Shambery said. “The only way to go is up.”Saint Mary’s senior Bri O’Brien, who also sits on the committee, said people sometimes dismiss the idea of same-sex assault on campus because it is not as commonly discussed as instances of heterosexual assault are.“Sometimes when you just talk about the surface level of something, you’re not really getting at the heart,” O’Brien said. “It’s easy to do the bare minimum. It’s easy not to talk about same-sex assault.“The bare minimum doesn’t include same-sex assault.”In addition to same-sex assault, the issue of male advocacy figures only marginally into the larger discourse on sexual violence, president of Men Against Sexual Violence (MASV) and Notre Dame junior Daniel Esparza said.“There’s not many male groups at all that talk about sexual violence as a serious matter, and that’s actually a subject that I do take seriously,” he said.According to Esparza, MASV’s mission in part is “to be able to dissolve any misconceptions behind sexual assault, first and foremost.”But dissolving misconceptions can sometimes require people to go outside their comfort zone, Esparza said, and student advocates must often embrace awkward and uncomfortable situations.“There’s really a need to make conversations uncomfortable,” Esparza said. “It’s kind of a social polarization deal. If [men] are not constantly bombarded with the problematic atmospheres that they might create, they really get comfortable validating those problematic behaviors and attitudes.“Continuing the conversation is really a matter of trying to make things awkward, in a way.”News writers Selena Ponio and Andrea Vale contributed to this report.Tags: BAVO, Fire Starters, GRC, MASV, sexual assault, sexual assault series, sexual assault series 2015, straight and gay alliance
Throughout the week of April 19, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is honoring the thousands of volunteers who facilitate 4-H, Master Gardener and Family and Consumer Sciences programming on the county, district and state levels for Volunteer Appreciation Week.For the 2018-2019 program year, Georgia 4-H adult and teen volunteers from across the state devoted more than 218,900 hours — at a value of $5.6 million — to the development of youth through 4-H programming. These hours were cumulated by 7,787 adult and teen 4-H volunteers including more than 3,300 adult chaperones at district and statewide events, 2,010 teen leaders assisting with programs, 1,073 certified project achievement judges, 326 youth club leaders for local and statewide programming and many other critical roles.“I love watching our kids grow at each event,” says Debbie Thigpen, Montgomery County 4-H volunteer. “They teach me something new each time I’m around them. I also enjoy meeting other volunteers and creating new friendships. I’m in my eighth year as a volunteer and plan to continue for as long as 4-H will have me.”For the 2019 calendar year, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs) from across the state contributed 179,788 hours — at a value of $4.3 million — to support Extension programming in consumer horticulture. These hours were the cumulative product of more than 2,300 MGEVs who meet state criteria for active status. In addition, these volunteers devoted more than 9,900 hours to continuing education to keep their information current and skills sharp.“The excitement and passion of our MGEVs are contagious and a continual motivation for me to provide resources and opportunities,” said Kendra Stallings, Chattooga County program assistant. “They know so much. I am always learning from them.”The Family and Consumers Sciences division of Extension reported 7,069 hours of volunteer interaction. More than 1,952 volunteer connections were made by individuals supporting programming in a number of roles, such as teaching food demonstrations and volunteering at the senior center, assisting with event management, soliciting donations, and many other important roles for Georgians around the state.Several volunteers have been recognized for their achievements and dedication to volunteerism. Cisco Damons, a longtime Georgia 4-H volunteer, was honored as the 2019 National 4-H Council’s Southern Region 4-H Volunteer of the Year. In addition, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers in Cobb County were recognized during the 2019 International Master Gardener Conference with the David Gibby Search for Excellence Award in the Research Category. These and countless other outstanding volunteers throughout the state are the reason why Extension is taking the time to honor these individuals.The week of celebration will include a social media campaign that will spotlight key volunteers and their contributions to program areas, interviews with volunteers about their experience with their respective organizations and a video conference for volunteers to share their memories as a group.“Extension Volunteers are a true inspiration,” says Keri Hobbs, UGA Extension 4-H specialist for volunteer development. “I wish we could celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week every week. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled that we’ll recognize and appreciate Extension volunteer service throughout our organization. They are mission-critical and essential to our success. They extend the capacity of our programs so that we can make a larger impact and reach more Georgians through our programs.”UGA Extension translates the science of everyday living for farmers, families and communities to foster a healthy and prosperous Georgia. For more than a century, we’ve provided research and education through a network of committed specialists, agents and volunteers to help Georgians learn, grow and do more. To contact your local county Extension office and become involved, visit extension.uga.edu.