Author: Agustin Diaz Jr.

Deaf students ready to recruit their own

While the university maintains an outstanding reputation with the Deaf community, Deaf and hard-of-hearing students see no reason why they should not be included in recruiting others with similar characteristics. The most prepared and effective program in all of Utah for Deaf Studies is UVU; this is partially due to Accessibility Services, the program in charge of accommodating and providing a smooth transition for deaf students on the campus. According to the Director of Accessibility Services, Ed Martinelli, they meet the needs of all its Deaf students and welcome more. Michelle Taylor, Associate Vice President for Student Services and Enrollement, said that bringing prospective Deaf students to the university is actually very successful. They work closely with high school coordinators and vocational rehabilitation counselors so that students may easily access information and smoothly transition to a stable college career. However, Deaf students at this school are not included in this process even when it would seem logical to pursue it. Chantel Marshall, a Deaf student and activist of the Deaf community, said she was not aware of any recruitment services inclined towards Deaf students, and if there were, she would like to be a part of it. Additionally, it would reduce the perceived problem of hearing individuals communicating with those prospective Deaf students. “Because of the language barrier,” said Taylor, “recruiting for students who are Deaf often happens directly...

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Bill threatens outreach programs (Pt. 2)

An amendment to Utah’s constitution that proposes banning affirmative action from state governed agencies and state institutions will specifically attack state funding to outreach programs, recruitment and preference-selection geared towards women and minorities of color. Peggy Pasin, coordinator of the Women’s Center, and Gwen Anderson, director of the Multicultural Center, have voiced numerous concerns about the bill and have mentioned the devastating consequences that would hurt Utah in the long run with the acceptance of such a bill, especially federally and state funded UVU. “It looks like, ‘Wow! Look at the money we’ve saved’,” says Passin. “However, if you look at the long-term effect of not assisting women and different ethnic groups in completing their education, I think you’re looking at a much greater expenditure over time.” Ingrid Sagers, UVU student and mother of three, said, “I specifically count on the flexibility and trust of programs that help people like me and can’t imagine why someone would want to get rid of that.” On Feb. 12, 2010,  Ward Connerly told the Deseret News, “Diversity is an amorphous idea that is simply in the eye of the beholder.” Connerly’s desperate attempts for a colorblind society and dedication towards utopian ideals of equality are shrouded in suspicion. The Colorado Independent investigated his anti-affirmative action activities, regarding contributions he has received from “a ‘good ole boys’ cottage industry.” Columnist Cara Degette quoted...

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Bill threatens outreach programs

While affirmative action supports equality in the workplace, it also mandates funding for diversity projects like the Multicultural and Women’s Centers on campus. Chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute Ward Connerly leads conservative legislators in Utah on efforts to revive a bill seeking to ban outreach programs funded by the state for multicultural populations and women. The legislation shows frightening promise of being passed this next session. For a state-funded university like UVU, this could lead to the demise of desperately needed outreach programs utilized by students involved with the Women’s Resource and Multicultural Centers. “To try and limit people who are already limited in resources and opportunity is tragic,” said former student Bethany Womack. “Especially here in Utah where women and minorities have much to catch up on, the bill only serves as an obstacle to progression.” Opponents claim that affirmative action is an act of prejudice toward white males, creating a reverse discrimination. However, to make such arguments is to misunderstand the background and intention of affirmative action. Affirmative action was created during the intense racial tension that took place before and during the 1960’s, which happened alongside heavily oppressive sentiments toward women. It is a policy formulated for opportunity and success to groups who have long faced opposition and intense hatred. Women and minorities of color share that experience and have benefited greatly from services...

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I told her I wouldn’t cut my culture

Marketing Native Amercian culture is hypocritcal: Discriminatory policies at Deer Valley Resort as an example Jonathan Williams, a full-blooded Navajo student at UVU, met with Deer Valley Resort representatives with plenty of positive expectations for a career in hospitality. He was immediately disappointed and frustrated that Deer Valley would deny a male an internship based on a policy that does not consider the cultural significance of his long hair. One of the employees came up to Williams after discussing internship options and told him that if he was interested in employment at the resort, he needed to cut his hair. “I told her I wouldn’t cut my hair,” he said boldly. “What I didn’t know was that there was a girl who heard, I’m assuming the entire conversation, because she approached the lady and asked her if she needed to cut her hair.” With a sigh, Williams said, “The lady responded, ‘No, you don’t. You’re fine; you’re a girl.’ ” While long hair on a female may be culturally acceptable in some places, for some Native Americans there are strong cultural attributes that are caught in a world that hardly notices them. According to Williams, while he was not explicitly denied employment, he was discouraged by the rhetoric and decided not to pursue the internship. Eva Miller, a UVU student with a strong Navajo heritage and an opinion of...

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We the Students Shall Speak Now

The purpose of any governing body should be to act as a voice for the population they serve, and we as students are no different. However, when students feel apprehensive, even fearful, of speaking out against their student government, the issue justifies critical attention. “The role of student government,” said Student Body President Richard Portwood, “is to represent our students and provide them with opportunity.” While the ideal deserves admiration, it gains suspicion when several participants of the Black Student Union who were trying to create a fundraiser for Haiti this past year revert to silence when asked about the events that led to disappointment and frustration. Former Black Student Union president Chris Bernard was contacted to understand the situation more fully. His response was, “I have two more semesters left. Let’s talk about it after I graduate.” The statement speaks volumes about fears of academic consequences and what students may feel if they have a quarrel or difference of opinion with student government. “It was supposed to be a BSU event,” said Lycha Andrews, a member of the Black Student Union willing to comment. “We were planning on working with other clubs and we called student government for support and they just ended up coming to one of our meetings and told us they were going to make all the decisions.” As a result, opportunities to do more...

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