Multiculturalism at UMass and the Five Colleges

One doesn’t need to look far in the Pioneer Valley or the Five Colleges to find multicultural programs with the intent of propagating a diverse and tolerant society for all students. Just at the University of Massachusetts, organizations like the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS) promote multiculturalism and offer events that spread awareness and integrate multiple different groups.

Students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts participated in the YWCA Take a Stand Against Racism event in Wilider Hall on Friday April 26th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The opening panel discussion was named on “Building Strong and Diverse Communities: Taking Action to Prevent and Reduce Acts of Racial Hatred.” The panelists consisted of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan,Debora Ferreira the executive director of equal opportunity and diversity at UMass Amherst, and Amilcar Shabazz, faculty advisor to the chancellor for diversity and excellence and professor of Afro-American studies at UMass Amherst.

Ferreira said that the Office of Equal Opportunity was put in place because of years of struggle but the office was created for all the “isms.” “I’m an immigrant,” in this country she said, “why should I be targeted because of the color of my skin?”

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A Look to the Future of Journalsim

Journalism will live as long as people continue to tell stories, and as long as people are willing to listen. New journalism focuses more on personalizing the news reading experience.

When I first walked into Steve Fox’s class I assumed that multimedia acted more as a feature for news reporting or newsgathering. I had no idea that so much effort is directed towards maintaining effective multimedia components that attract an audience.

Now I think of print journalism as a slowly fading industry. News organizations everywhere continue to lose readers and they are forced to adapt to the current trends and a deeper involvement in multimedia.

When I think of journalism, multimedia is the first thing to pop in my head. I am so used to seeing pictures, videos, and audio files to accompany a piece of journalism, it would seem strange to see anything else.

That does not mean that print journalism is dying, but it is becoming less prominent, generating opportunities for multimedia journalism to take over.

In recent years Twitter and Facebook have proved to be a useful tool for journalists. Reporters can connect with one another and share information with the click of a button.

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Ethical Implications of SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization is the “practice of improving and promoting,” a web site to increase the amount of visitors directed to the site from search engines.

There are many elements to SEO, from the text on your page to the way other sites are linked to the page. Using SEO is simply a matter of search engines understanding the structure of the webpage.

There are however, some ethical implications that come along with using SEO. Journalists explore ways to gain more readers online, and they have to use terms that the public can find in search engines.

One of the major ethical issues that journalists deal with is inaccurate information received by the public. This means that the terms that the public may enter into the search engine are incorrect, and will hinder the individual from locating a specific story.

This may not be an issue to some, however, if journalists have to use words and phrases that are wrong in order to gain readers, then it can become a problem.

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A Multimedia Piece Dedicated to Cubism

“The New York Times,” created a news package last week about philanthropist Leonard A. Lauder’s promise to give the Metropolitan Museum of Art his collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

Cubism was a revolutionary style of modern art developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques in Paris between 1907 and 1914. The term “cubism,” originated from a French art critic Louis Vauxcelles who described “geometric forms,” in the abstract works as “cubes.”

According to the museum’s website cubist painters were against the “inherited concept,” that art naturally should copy nature or that they should adopt traditional techniques such as perspective and modeling. These artists wanted to emphasize “the two dimensionality of the canvas,” which led them to reduce and fracture objects into geometric forms.

Lauder’s collection is said to be valued at more than one billion dollars, and it puts him in a class with “cornerstone contributors,” like Michael C. Rockefeller and Robert Lehman. According to scholars, the collection is “among the world’s greatest and is as good as, if not better than,” Cubist artwork in institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

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UMass Students in Debt

In recent years, student debt has rocketed to staggering heights climbing above $1 trillion of unpaid loans in 2012, becoming more of a major problem for attendees of the University of Massachusetts.  While student debt has started to become a rising issue for so many students of this generation, UMass Sociology Professor Dan Clawson, author of the book “The Future of Higher Education,” has made a number of observations and critiques of the modern system and where it has gone wrong.

In his book, Clawson refers to the current way universities work as a “business oriented model.

According to him, “There has been a huge decrease in funding for the university, and when that decrease comes the university says… we could make the university worse, we could lower the quality, we could squeeze the workers more, or we could squeeze the students more. To some degree, they do a little of all of those things.”

When Clawson began working at UMass in 1978, he says “the most common occupation for students’ parents was being a machinist… today I’m much less likely to have students with working class parents even though they’re still having to borrow.”

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Journalism Becomes Data-driven

Chapter nine in Mark Brigg’s book highlights the importance of digitizing your life and organizing the information you collect. Briggs brings the readers attention to the chaotic disarray of our email inboxes. We can take advantage of organizational tools such as filters and folders to restore an order to our email programs.

Briggs compares the capabilities of technology to driving a car. He says that no matter how cool the car is or how many gizmos it has, the driver makes the decisions that matter.

There are several simple things we can do to ensure that our email programs operate smoothly and effectively. Briggs would like journalists to commit to a few time-saving rules to manage an email account, and they are as simple as just reducing the amount of time your email program is open on your screen. Briggs says to focus time on something else for an hour or two before launching your email again. It can be beneficial to address new messages every time you sign onto email in order to prevent distractions from new messages.

David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” book offers many lessons and suggestions on how to manage this ocean of data. Journalists have to develop a strategy beginning with a simple equation. (What you need to manage + the right tools to manage it= personal productivity.

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News Becomes a Conversation

In the tenth chapter of Mark Briggs’ book we learn that news has become a conversation and the biggest challenges facing journalists is how to manage and leverage the conversation. Many journalists are now coming around to the idea that managing online communities and participating in social networks are the future of journalism.

Comments on news stories and blogs have grown into social networking tools where journalists interact with each other. The primary motivation for social tools on media sites is to stay technologically relevant and to build strong relationships with an audience.

Mandy Jenkins has held community management and social media positions for several news organizations offers the “rules of engagement.” She says that we should answer all questions asked by our readers. The second rule is to address criticism professionally and respectfully. Third rule of engagement is to respond, publicly or privately to your readers. Fourth rule is to share good responses from comments. The final two rules are to publicly correct oneself and always acknowledge news tips.

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Tow Zone: Lack of Campus Parking Leads to Unrest Amongst UMass Amherst Students

In June 2011, The University of Massachusetts Amherst began construction of a new $186.5 million residential and teaching complex directly across from Boyden Athletic Fields in the center of campus to serve its Commonwealth Honors College. The complex will include 600 first-year beds, 900 upper-class beds, nine classrooms, two faculty apartments, four staff apartments, and an Administration and Student Services building.

It plans to open in the fall of 2013, welcoming in 3,000 Honors College students enrolled in 88 majors.

“This new complex will serve as a visible representation of the commitment of this campus to academic excellence and will help attract even more students to the program,” said Dean of Commonwealth Honors College, Priscilla M. Clarkson.

While it will certainly establish itself as one of the best public university complexes of its kind in the nation, Dean Clarkson’s comment brings up an interesting dilemma.

What does this mean for the lack of parking already on campus?

The university is hoping their new construction will attract even more students to the 22,000 undergrad and 6,150 graduate students already attending UMass.  The Honors College has even stated that they plan to increase their own enrollment from 485 this fall, to 600 next year.

This means a lot more students, and a lot less parking.

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Henderson’s Tutorial Put to Use

John R. Henderson’s tutorial proves that research is more than knowing how to navigate Google or other search engines. He maps out how to differentiate between reliable websites and the junk.

“The American Cultural History”  appears to be a very solid online source. I noticed that the url was a “.edu” which means that it is from an educational source. The webpage is filled with hyperlinks that bring the reader to the source. Many of the links lead to more “.edu” sites which gives this page more ground. Along with all the hyperlinks there is a great amount of book references and citations, this only adds reinforcement to the web pages credibility. The site has not seen much activity as the last update was over two years ago, but most of the information presented can be traced back to its source. This is an authoritative site because the authors and designer are clearly noted at the bottom of the page. The dean of educational services at Lone Star College designed the page, but it was written by two of the college’s staff.

The 1960’s “History.com” site does not seem like an authoritative webpage. This is a circumstance where we cannot let the name or brand become misleading. My biggest concern with this webpage is the lack of sources. There are no hyperlinks within the text to bring us to the place where the writer got their information. On that note, the author is not even noted on this web page. This is a red flag in my opinion especially if I were going to consider using this site for research. I cannot determine who wrote the text or what their credibility is and for that reason I would not use this site for research.

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