MSU supports Sexual Assault Awareness Month

It is Happening Right now

Every 3 minutes a woman is being raped.  Every 18 seconds a woman is being beaten.  1 in 4 women will be a victim of sexual assault during her academic years in college.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, SSAM.   The goal is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate others on how to prevent it.  Minnesota State University, Mankato has recognized the issue and is working for change.  This month MSU  is  putting on numerous events to raise awareness.

What is Sexual Assault?

According to Women’s Health Gov. sexual assault is any type of sexual activity you do not agree with, including:

  • inappropriate touching
  • vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
  • sexual intercourse you say no to
  • rape
  • attempted rape
  • child molestation

“Sexual assault, it can affect your sister, your mother,your friend, your cousin, your co-worker.  Its someone you know that has been abused.  Its physically, verbally, sexually.  Anything you encounter.  It’s not right and you are not to blame,” said VP philanthropy of Alpha Chi Omega, Shante Foote.

Foote works with her sorority and the Women’s Center to promote awareness to MSU’s campus.

College students like to keep private about sexual assault.  They get bashful and uncomfortable about the topic.  It is important for us to reach them because college students are victims of sexual assault all the time,” said Foote. 

How it affects college students

College can be the best time in your adult life.  You are released from under your parents wings and you get to fly on your own.  For many of us this freedom is new and exciting.  College students act invincible and carefree.

Sexual assault can change the best years of your life into a nightmare of fear and shame.  College woman are at a higher risk of sexual assault than their non-college-bound-peers. Not just women but college students in general are at a higher risk.

A majority of survivors of sexual assaults are full time students.  Roughly 1/3 are first year students between the ages of 17-19.  Rape is a sever case of sexual assault.  According to the national statistics about sexual violence 1 in 5 woman will be raped during their college years.  Approximately 85% of rapes are done by someone you know.

This  is why as an incoming college student you have to be careful who you put your trust in.  A recent study done by the National Institute of Justice breaks down who the people committing such hateful crimes are.  College student victims of rape know their attacks as:

  • Fellow classmates (35.5%)
  • Friends (34.2%)
  • Boyfriends of ex-boyfriends (23.7%)
  • Other acquiescence’s (2.65)

Nearly 60% of rapes occur in residents halls.  Students should educate themselves on the “date rape” drug.  It can be slipped into your drink when you are not looking.  It comes in a clear odorless liquid or a white powder.

There are many variations of the drug as in the ingredients.  This drug makes you physically helpless.   It makes you powerless against sexual attackers and can create memory loss.

Bars, house parties, or restaurants are all common places that college students hang out at.  You can help keep you and your friends protected by doing these simple things:

  • If you come as a group, leave as one
  • Never leave a drink unattended
  • Do not take open drinks.  If you are getting a drink from someone open it yourself
  • Watch out for one another, if you see symptoms of the date rape drug seek medical help

Closer to home

MSU is supporting SAAM by hosting a variety of events over the month.   The Women’s Center and the Violence Awareness and Response Program have teamed up to make a difference.  You can learn a lot right here on your campus.

Sexual assault is notorious for being under reported.  MSU is trying to break the silent when it comes to this issue. This month MSU is providing a varitey of events including:

  • The Clothing Line Project
  • Take Back the Night
  • Violence Free Training Zone
  • CADA Trivia

“MSU is such a diverse school that offers services for many problems. That being said, I am so proud of the Women’s Center for holding such a strong value in women becoming influential people in society,” said Women’s Studies Major, Michelle Farley

The events are spread out thew the month of April.  Some are free, some cost money.  Some are open to the public and some of only for MSU students but they all have a common goal.  To raise awareness for sexual assault everywhere.

“My hope for the future is SAAM wont have to dedicate itself to just a  month long event but that it will be an ongoing process of awareness through out the whole and entire year,”  said Interim Assistant Director, Samantha Hedwall

The Women’s Center wants to get the message out that there is a place where you can go.  A place where someone will always be there for you.  They will not be silent about theses issues any longer.

“Now is the time when victims can share their story and empower others with their experience,” Violence Awareness and Response Program Coordinator, Laura Schultz.  

She also expresses how this is it doesn’t end here.

“I am so glad that MSU and community organizations were able to work together and have such successful conversations about sexual violence. I look forward to continuing these conversations, supporting survivors, and ultimately working to completely eradicate sexual violence,” Schultz. 

Come to check out the MSU Women’s Center, 218 Centennial Student Union and help spread awareness so we can end sexual assault.   MSU has many events offered this month that can make you part of the change.

“Just because April is coming to an end doesn’t mean the awarness for sexual violence has to end,  Hedwall


Steve DiMeglio will speak at MSU’s “Media Day”



Lisa Alitz

Phone: 651-380-8094


Steve DiMeglio

Phone: 703-854-6373

Email: sdemeglio@usatoday

MSU Graduate comes back to share his success story.

USA Today golf writer Stephen Dimeglio. USATMUG XXX (Via MerlinFTP Drop)

Senior Golf Writer for USA Today, Steve DiMeglio will speak at at Minnesota State University’s annual “Media Day”.

He will speak from 4 to 6 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium located on the MSU campus.  His address “Mickeys Mantle’s on line one, Steve!” will touch on his journey from the White House to the House that Ruth build to the Home of Golf.

The event is free and open to the public.

His passion with sports, especially baseball, was combined with his writing skills as a MSU student where he wrote for The Reporter. Former Reporter Advisor, Professor Ellen Mrja said,

“He was absolutely the most dedicated sports editor our paper has ever had. His sports pages were mare than scores. They were interesting, informative and consistently outstanding.”

Since graduating he worked his way up to the position as Senior Golf Writer for the USA Today. Giving him the opportunity to work with exciting people such as:

  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Tiger Woods
  • Tom Brady
  • Peyton Manning

These are just a few of the athletes, presidents and celebrities he has had the privilege to cover and speak with.

DiMeglio’s father, Dr. John DiMeglio, and his mother will be at the address among with scholarship recipients and other mass media students.  Scholarships will be awarded in the CSU from 3-4 p.m.

A special thanks to the Nadine B. Andreas Foundation for helping  MSU host Steve DiMeglio.


For more information contact Lisa Alitz at (651) 380-8094 or email at

Analysis of the Construction Deaths on the Las Vegas Strip

Cost of Expansion is too High

Construction deaths on the Las Vegas strip have been a big issue in the past18 months.  Although the problem is large it is hard to get the story out to everyone, especially people that are far away from the area.  I am sure the story was in all the newspapers in the southwest but to get the story out to a greater audience the Las Vegas Sun put up a online mash up to explain in depth the issue.

Many of the elements I learned from chapter 1 of Online Journalism by James C. Foust were represented in this mash up.  Some of the unique advantages the internet provides are audience control, time and access, nonliterary, unlimited space, immediacy, mulitmedia control and audience participation.  The elements used in this story that made it memorable were the audience control, multimedia capability, and nonliterary.

Audience control is represented in this mash up because we have control over what we want to look at.  That way readers are more engaged in the story.  Nonliterary and multimedia capability are represented because there is a slide show, video and interactive stories on the site. Readers can go from the article to the other multimedia stories as they please in a nonlinear way.  This is effective because people move more quickly on the internet and might not have time to read a whole story, by clicking around they can get more information in less time.  Also a visual might be more telling than a written article.

What we can’t understand from reading an article…

I learned in my Poynter class on Video Storytelling for the Web that you want to use video and multimedia to show something that can’t re described in written words.  You can’t find write the heartbreak of the people who have lost family members and friends but watching it on video helps people understand the severity of the construction deaths.

The  multimedia that stuck out the most to me was the illustrations of the way people were killed.  The pictures with the descriptions helped me to imagine what happened, giving the story strong emotional appeal.  Showing the faces of the victims killed and the consequences that the businesses faced was organized in a creative way that made it easy to understand. On the website it is called “Accidents on the Strip” and you examine the 9 deaths of the constitutions workers.  This stuck out to me the most because it was very personal and individualized.

All though the “Accidents on the Strip” stood out to me, I think all of the multimedia used has a specific purpose in the story.  The slideshow is to get you engaged in the story, the video is used to create emotional appeal and the illustration is used to inform.

In the article it says no workers have died since June 2008.  To improve this story I would have liked to read or watch some of the changes that OSHA and the U.S. House and Senate made to ensure the safety for future construction workers.

Another suggestion is, I would like to see is how the owners of the hotels reacted to the deaths at their sites.  Was Trump sympathetic towards laborer, Isidro Palayo who fell 70 feet to his death when safety regulations were not met?   Seeing how the hotel owners reacted to the families and the situation would influence me.  If they felt guilty and tried to help the families it would make me feel better about staying at their hotel even though an unfortunate incident occurred there.

The Trump Hotel in Las Vegas 

Links are used a lot in this mash up.  You can link to the map of the strip, the biographies of the people that died and video and pictures of peoples reactions to it.  Linking helps people on the internet get a variety of information.  Readers might get bored skimming one section so by having links its allows them to stay on your website but get new information in creative ways.

I think the package creates community building.  It already shows from the video that the community is very involved and the more people that watch it and realize what is going on, the more people will work together within the community to make sure changes are made.  When this story first came out I am sure social media was used a lot.  People most likely turned to sites like facebook and twitter to get their opinions heard.

Although I thought the most effective multimedia was the pictures of the way people were killed, the video is the most memorable.  The way the family members talked about the importance of safety measures was memorable because you could hear the sadness in their voice and see the concern in their eyes because they know how terrible not meeting the safety requirements can be.

The creator of this mash up was extremely successful at making the readers be engaged and understand the story.  He used a variety of multimedia elements and took advantage of what you can do with online journalism that you can’t with with printed journalism.  Overall, this was a very well organized and touching story.

Video Storytelling for the Web

After signing up with Poynter I decided to take the free course on “video storytelling for the web”.  I chose this topic because video and reporting interest me.  After taking this course I have learned the basic knowledge on how to use video to tell stories on the web. This course made me interested and wanting to learn more on a subject I previously thought was to complicated for me to understand.  This is the break down of what I learned.

To be able to tell a good video story on the web you have to know the differences between broadcast video and web video.

  • Broadcast TV and news papers compete to be the better medium where  as the web uses video along with the story to enhance it but web video can also stand alone.
  • Broadcast has people trained in a specific skill where as web videographers have to have a “learn as you go” mentality.
  • Broadcast needs a team at minimum of 3 people where as web videographers can do everything solo.
  • Broadcast has a strick time schedule where as web video has more flexibility when it has to be presented.

When selecting stories for web videos  there are four key factors to keep in mind:

  • Visual appeal- should show motion that can’t be described in audio or text, example would be sporting events
  •  Emotional appeal- go beyond facts to make readers care about the story
  • Character- good video has someone viewers would care about of want to spend time with
  • News value- must have a consider journalistic value to the story you are telling.

Other factors include location, time, community, web traffic, and shelf life.

When choosing a story you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does sound help?
  • What visuals help tell the story?
  • How do camera angles and techniques help the story?
  • How interviews are included?
  • Is the videographer or another narrator used?
  • Are there recurring video or audio themes occurring?

There are 3 components of a video story:

  1. Story- must have a specific focus and angle
  2. Audio-voice of people but also appropriate background noise
  3. Video-should enhance and illustrate the story told by the audio

I learned about what equipment should be used to make web videos, their are many tools needed to create a successful a web video.   All the equipment is expensive and needs to be packed carefully to avoid chaos on the scene.  Using these tools right can result in good video, audio and lighting basics.

When on the scene keep in mind anything thing can happen so think of each job as on the job training.  After you have collected all the information keep in mind the 3 editing decisions for a good web video.

  1. have a good story line
  2. have good audio
  3. have good video

Once edited, you have to compress your video.  The more highly compressed your video is the faster it will transfer though the web but highly compressed videos can be blurry and have distorted audio so you have to find a happy medium by using  trial and error.

This video has visual appeal.  It is the top 5 catches in football history.  The only way you can get the full effect of how amazing they are is by seeing them in video.

This video has good examples of emotional appeal.  It also has good background noise in with the main speakers voice.


Google Maps-Favorite Places to Eat in Mankato

As a college student you think we would stay in a cook meals like ramen noddles or totino’s 10 for $10 pizzas but  instead I find myself spending money to indulge in going out to eat on a weekly basis. I have found there are many delightful places to wine and dine at a reasonable price inn Mankato, MN.

Places that not only give you excellent food but a great experience for a night away from the kitchen.  This map includes descriptions and locations of places where I would recommend to  anymore in the area.


Practicing with Anchor Links

The Pledge

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Obama focuses on the value of higher ed

Should secondary schools be more transparent about the cost of education and success or graduates?

Obama has weighed in with a strong “yes.”

What are people getting for there money?

The debt amount of and average graduating student with loans in 25,000+.  The federal government pours $140 billion into federal grants and loans annually.  Despite this unemployment rates remain high, literacy among college students has declined and college drop out rates are increasing.

College drop out rates:

  • 40% of students at a 4 year university won’t graduate
  • 60% of students in 2 year programs won’t graduate or transfer (according to College Measures)
  • 1/5 of students at a community college will NOT return for a second year

College drop out rates are expensive and not just for the individual.  Drop outs are costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars  annually, according to American Institutes of Research.

Access to college has been the driving force in federal higher education policy or decades but with high drop out rates and thousands of dollars in debt more people are starting to question.

Is it worth it?

Luckily, Obama sees the problem and the Obama Administration believes strongly that the cost of education and the success of graduates needs to be evaluated so change can happen.