Dangerous "knockout" game is spreading across the country
There is a newly popular game for teenagers called “the Knockout Game.” The object of this disturbing game is to knock out an unsuspecting stranger on the street with just one hit. The people being attacked have no connection to the attackers and are usually just walking down the street.
Fourth San Jose student suspended in hate crime case
A fourth San Jose State University student has been suspended in connection with an incident in which three others have been charged with a hate crime for allegedly bullying a black roommate, locking a bicycle chain around his neck and using racial slurs to demean him.The 18-year-old male student from Los Angeles has not been identified because at the time of the alleged incidents he was a minor, according to university spokesman Pat Harris and Bay Area media reports. The student is also expected to be charged in the case.
Children's book drive to support literacy
From Nov. 18 to Dec. 6, there will be a children’s book drive at West Chester University. All donations will be delivered to the “PHILADELPHIA READS Book Bank, [which] provides children’s books and school supplies -- free of charge -- to Philadelphia educators who teach in public, charter and parochial schools, day care centers, after school programs and other educational sites. Teachers are invited to select up to 350 books per year for their classroom libraries.
Author Tim O'Brien visits West Chester's campus
On Nov. 11 at 7pm, renowned novelist and short story writer Tim O’Brien visited West Chester University’s campus. O’Brien writes about his wartime experiences serving in Vietnam, and is perhaps best known for his work The Things They Carried, in which he relays truthful stories about his experience in war through fictionalizing reality. The stories are not true in the literal sense, yet O’Brien writes, “In any war story, but especially a true one, it’s difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen… there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed.”
Bake sale and tutor drive to benefit community literacy
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy, a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2003, reported that 14% of adults in America could not read at a third grade level—that is 30 million people with below basic literacy skills. Ten years later, the number has grown to 36 million adults. Without literacy skills, these adults struggle to secure jobs, raise their families, and stay healthy.
On Monday, Nov. 25, a bake sale will be held in the academic quad from 12-2 p.m. to benefit one of Chester County’s attempts to combat illiteracy: the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library’s Adult Literacy Program (ALP). The program serves deserving, educationally disadvantaged adults in need of the necessary skills to become self-sufficient in their communities. It offers one-on-one instruction in English as a Second Language; reading, writing, and math help; job skills preparation; and citizenship classes, which are designed to help students prepare for the citizenship interview and test. All of these programs are free of charge.
Over the past 34 years, the Adult Literacy Program has served more than 6,000 community members; however, recent changes in the Department of Education have disqualified the ALP from state and federal adult education funds. The program now must rely on funding from the United Way of Southern Chester County and the Bayard Taylor Library, along with charitable donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals. The bake sale on the 25th is a small way for West Chester University students to support this wonderful cause and uplift our fellow community members with the power of literacy and self-sufficiency (and all it takes is a brownie!).
One community member who has been impacted by the generosity of the ALP is Lupe Ruiz de Garcia. She began as a student in the program, going to class for 12 hours per week. Eventually, the program matched her with a tutor to help her attain her citizenship. Ruiz de Garcia and her tutor met for two years.
“I remember the last year meeting with [my tutor] was difficult because meeting with her, attending the three-hour morning class, and studying to get my GED all at the same time was not easy—not to mention three children at home needing my help with homework,” Ruiz de Garcia recalled.* Her tutor, Betty Austin, drove from Springfield to Kennett Square every week in order to help Ruiz de Garcia achieve her goals, which is something she vows she will never forget.
After all of her hard work, Ruiz de Garcia was rewarded with a job offer from the then-director of the ALP, Linda Jacobi. She worked in the office for one year before the ALP surprised her with another offer—a position as an ESL instructor for the night classes. “Of course, I thought [Jacoby] was kidding,” Ruiz de Garcia said, “but I liked the idea of giving back a little. Why not be a model for students and encourage them to learn?” Now, Ruiz de Garcia has been working in the office for 8 years and as an ESL teacher for 7 years.
The bake sale’s mission is to provide success stories, like that of Ruiz de Garcia, to as many community members as possible. “The ALP changes people’s lives. I went from not even knowing how to say ‘good morning’ to being able to communicate with the doctor and my children’s teachers, and even going to an American restaurant and ordering food,” Ruiz de Garcia explains.
Those who are not able to make it to the bake sale, but still wish to help the ALP, are encouraged to become tutors for the program. The list of students eager to be matched with a tutor is incredibly long, but we can change that. All the ALP needs is for volunteers to donate 1-2 hours of their time per week to make a difference in one of these student’s lives. Tutors do not need to have experience teaching or prior knowledge of any foreign language. They need only the desire to empower a community member with the English language. Students looking for volunteer hours, additions to their resumes, a new friend, or even knowledge about a new culture should look no further than the Bayard Taylor ALP.
Ruiz de Garcia says, “Volunteers are always happy, surprised, and curious about the cultures of other countries, and they always learn some Spanish and, of course, enjoy some food! Most importantly, tutors get the satisfaction of helping somebody who was not lucky enough to get the education that the tutor received. I mention this because most Hispanic people are not even able to finish elementary school. Some people might think the ALP is nothing compared to the education others get, but for somebody who only went to 5th grade, it means a lot. It means everything.”
The library, which is only 20 minutes away from campus, is a great, flexible opportunity for WCU students. Training sessions are provided throughout the year to prepare tutors for their exciting new journey as literacy advocates. For more information on becoming an ALP tutor, stop by the bake sale table on the 25th. Bake sale workers will be signing people up to receive updates on the training sessions. Interested people can also call the ALP at 610-444-9118 or visit their website www.theadultliteracyprogram.org.
*Interviews conducted by Irina Aleynikova.
Molly Herbison is a third-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at MH757997@wcupa.edu.
WCU holds third annual Sleepout
From 6 p.m. on Nov. 15 to 6 a.m. on Nov. 16, WCU held the third annual Sleepout to End Hunger and Homelessness in the residential quad. The Sleepout, first established in 2011, is an event to raise awareness about homelessness and poverty and to collect donations from participants for local charities. The Sleepout was sponsored by Residence Life and Housing Services, and was planned and staffed by Residence Life and Housing staff, particularly the staff of Allegheny Hall under the supervision of Allegheny’s Resident Director, Marcus Harrison.
Bob Woodward gives enlightening presentation at WCU
In 1974, Richard Nixon became the only United States President in American history to resign from office. It was not without cause that Nixon stepped down, as his involvement in illicit and unethical activities drew negative press for nearly two years prior to his resignation. However, without the unrelenting investigative journalism work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the American people might never have known the extent to which Nixon exploited the power of his office.
Office of Wellness Education to host zumba glow party
The Office of Wellness Education is sponsoring the first-ever Zumba Glow Party on campus on Nov. 14 from 8-10 p.m. in Sykes Student Union Ballrooms A and B.The party will consist of two hours of Zumba dancing, music, and refreshments. Three Zumba instructors from the Student Recreation Center will be leading the dances, ensuring that guests not only have a great time with their peers, but get a great workout. Students who wear the best glow-themed outfits will be eligible to win one of three great prizes. The Zumba Glow Party is a free event for West Chester University students.
Sleepout to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness
On Nov. 15, the third annual Sleepout to End Hunger and Homelessness will be held in the residential quad. This year, the Sleepout is sponsored by West Chester University’s Residence Life and Housing Department. The event, which will take place between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., raises awareness about homelessness and provides donations for local charities.
Jill McDevitt, owner of Feminique, announced plans to close her shop on Nov. 10 after having several issues with the Borough of West Chester over the past five and a half years.McDevitt made the announcement on her blog on Nov. 4. She had plans to close the store at the end of the month or when all of the contents of the store were sold. She is having a liquidation sale, including merchandise and fixtures such as shelving and mannequins. Because the sale went so well, McDevitt announced on Nov. 7 that she would instead close her doors on Nov. 10. Her store, located at 104 N. Church St., has been free of offensive porn and primarily supplied erotic items, games, books, and lingerie.
West Chester advances in playoffs
In their first playoff game since the 2008 season, West Chester proved that they are a force to be reckoned with, crushing American International College, 38-7.The win moves West Chester into the next round of the Division II playoffs, where they will take on a very familiar opponent, and one of their biggest rivals: Bloomsburg University.
Volleyball's up and down season comes to end after defeating East Stroudsburg
The West Chester University women’s volleyball team won three of their final five games to close the season but failed to clinch a birth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) playoffs.The team this season was very young and only consisted of three seniors that will be lost to graduation: Dana Markol, Allison Grammer, and Tyler Sheafer. Leading hitter, Julia O’Brien, who missed some time at the beginning of the season, will return next year for what will be her final season with the Rams in hopes of a better result.
Byrd a wise choice for Phillies despite criticisms of signing
Phillies general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr., has stated that he wants the Phillies to become a younger team. This then begs the question: why go out and sign a 36 year old outfielder?Interesting question isn’t it? If the goal is to get younger, why sign an older player in a key position? Some might think Amaro has lost his mind and that he should be fired immediately. Believe it or not, Amaro might have been the winner in this signing.
Shawn Leo kicks his way into the record books
West Chester University football place kicker Shawn Leo is currently in his final season as a Golden Ram, the senior graduating in December has left his mark on and off the field during his career.As a red shirt freshman, Leo, who attended Souderton High School, was given the opportunity to earn the starting place kicking job, and he has not disappointed. In just his first year, he set the single season record for his accuracy making 9 out of 10 field goals (90%). During the same season he tied a school record with three field goals made in a game against Shippensburg, a double overtime nationally televised game that the Rams ended up winning 44-43.
Lady Rams 3-2 after average start
The West Chester University women’s basketball team entered the week posting a 1-2 record, with hopes of improving to 3-2. Conference games against both Cheyney University and Mansfield University stood between the Golden Rams and achieving this goal. With a tough start to their season, WCU looked to get back on track and improve through the play of a bright young roster.