Flacks: Contemporary Issues-NewsActivist- Fall 2017

About this class

This course requires students to develop individual portfolios about contemporary issues, sharing work with increasing depth as the semester progresses.

Students write and collaobrate to develop cross-disciplinary knowledge and broaden perspectives regarding local, provincial, national, and international news. Assignments encouraging interactions with peers across campuses and borders will build broad understanding of issues in an exciting and personalized manner.  

Themes addressed during the semester involve: Journalism, Critical Thinking and Credibility of sources, Personal Voice in writing, impacts on communities of non-profits, NGOs, and socially-conscious businesses, the impact of academic research on communities, and the  possibilities of Collaboration and civic journalism in 2016.

 

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Sarah_B on September 19, 2017
The article written by Ruth Marcus, on The Daily Progress, on September 19th, talks about women being devaluated by men in politics. The article is mostly written about what happened in the US with Hillary Clinton and a House Minority Leader.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Justin on September 19, 2017
As read from a Japanese writer,the Japanese school system is very different from america's. Students spend more time at school in Japan, as they have 3 semesters instead of 2 like us. They also have longer semesters, and less vacations. In fact, bet ween all three semesters, they get 6 weeks of vacation in the summer, and 2 weeks between each semester(winter and spring break). Most of the time, even though these are "vacations", students are loaded with homework.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Claudia on September 18, 2017
In a conference with BBC News, June 29 2017, Jocelyn Wabano-lahtail communicates her preoccupations about indigenous persons in Canada. Being myself originally from Peru, I can very much understand her struggles. In the past multiples indigenous groups were assimilated or even killed. In my country when Spanish people came, they killed a lot of men and raped the women that is why now Latinos are not very considered indigenous, because we are pretty much a mix now.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Ilias on September 18, 2017
The article "Will Germany's new law kill free speech online?" written by Patrick Evans and posted September 17, 2017 on BBC News portrays the fear surrounding a new law in Germany. This law, called Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, will be established in October. It would force social media to take down "blatantly illegal" hate speech in 24 hours and less "blatant" hate speech within a week. This rises concerns for some, as "hate speech" is not something clearly defined.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by lulumgomes on September 18, 2017
I decided to do a small throwback to last year’s Summer Olympics that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and talk about this article that was written by Hasani Gittens and published in NBC News, August 14th 2016. This article explains how Ryan Lochte, a member of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, was robbed in Brazil after a night-out with his other teammates.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by boi on September 17, 2017
In the article When Procrastination is Persistent, Pervasive and Pointless written by Linda Sapadin and published in Psychcentral in 2017, it is explained how procrastination can be a burden for some people who overdo it. She explains that in a digital world, it is especially difficult not to give in to procrastination because of all the quick distractions that technology offers us. She adds that some people procrastinate by doing other chores but it might become a problem when it becomes pointless. It is a problem if your procrastination is never ending.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Alisoncampbell on September 17, 2017
This Forbes Article from September 12th 2017, written by Nathaniel Parish Flannery covers many topics, all somehow related to Trump's immigration laws and wall to ban central Americans to illegally immigrate to the country. Lack of opportunity, low economy and violence are pushing residents of these countries out of their homes on a search for a chance at a better life. Stopping immigration from these countries is letting these poor people in the worst situations and keeping them from being the best versions of themselves in a country where they have opportunities and a real future.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Rice on September 17, 2017
On Juin 6,2014,Daniel Gritzer a Culinary Director,from Serious Eats wrote about how you should store bread to slow down the process of going stale. In this article he extensively explores this phenomena, that has recently taken on a lot of interest. He first introduces the science behind bread going stale. Gritzer explains that there are two factors that cause bread to become hard.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by she2lby on September 15, 2017
On Jan. 22, 2017, Kristin Rushowy wrote an article for the Toronto Star on a rural school in Ontario closing because there were not enough students to be able to stain the building itself. This occurrence is resulting in many families having to send their kids to another school, which happens to be a lot farther than the other school. Some children now have to travel about an hour and a half to get to school.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by audreynoiseux on September 7, 2017
Published on Al Jazeera English website by Al Jazeera and news agencies, on September 6th, the article “US reacts to Trump's move to scrap the DACA programme” sums up the reactions to Trump government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by audreynoiseux on September 7, 2017
Published on Al Jazeera English website by Al Jazeera and news agencies, on September 6th, the article “US reacts to Trump's move to scrap the DACA programme” sums up the reactions to Trump government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Louis von Bergaby on September 6, 2017
The world has seen since a few months a rising of the military tensions between the United States and North Korea. In fact, after a sixth successful nuclear test including one that caused a 6.3 earthquake on September 3rd, North Korea seems on its way to pursue his dream to possess the nuclear bomb. If we know that the US are not against the idea of a military action, China asked for a pacific dialogue between the two belligerents in a way to solve the conflict without creating a war.  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Sarah_B on September 6, 2017
A lot of us have been ignoring this problem for a long time. You’re probably wondering what problem I am writing about. Well, it’s global climate change. By reading this, you will find out what global climate change is and what the consequences are.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Claudia on September 6, 2017
I must say living in this century is coming out very difficult in many ways. Especially, to the most outspoken of us, the ones that try to make their best to express not only their beliefs but also to give us ,the population, the right to evaluate situations by having almost all the facts possible to be given. Yes, the journalists. Who are being mistreated all around the world in this right instant.  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by danielam on September 6, 2017
        On August 22, 2017, Robert Muggah and Juan Carlos Garzón wrote an article, What it will take to stem the violence in Latin America, in the Los Angeles Times about the violence in Latin America. They talk about the violence in many cities of Latin America which makes the citizens feel unsafe most of the time.

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6 days 14 hours ago

This is an issue here! Even if there is buses going to the rural areas that is not the issue and you didn't read the summary fully because I discuss about how traveling time effects how much time children have to do their homework and that they have to move farther away from home. I don't know where you are from, but in my town we are about 400 people in total and I was discussing extreme rural areas. Just because it didn't happen to you doesn't mean it is not happening elsewhere and even if there is one bus going to one area twice per day the time it takes to get there and back will effect how kids feel in their community.

1 week 17 hours ago

Hi! I really like your article. Even though the story mentioned happened over a year ago, I think it illustrates an issue that is real in 2017 in a lot of other countries. You did a great resume of the situation and how it impacted Brazil. I really appreciate the personal touch in your article. We really feel that you are concerned about the problem. The reason why I decided to comment is that I can relate. I am from Russia and I often read some articles about Russia that are completely false and it is sad because they have impacts on my native country. This is a good example: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/cnn-trump-r...

Reply to: A Fading Culture
1 week 17 hours ago

I think that you wrote a great article! I like how you explained the situation in Canada and in South America which are different. In Mexico, for example, they killed all the indigenous people and here, we put them in reserves to exclude them from our society. I can relate to this cause because it has always been an important value for my family. In fact, my mother worked as a doctor in the north of Quebec with the native people for a year and she understands and realizes how bad we have been towards them. Keep going!

Reply to: A Fading Culture
1 week 17 hours ago

I think that you wrote a great article! I like how you explained the situation in Canada and in South America which are different. In Mexico, for example, they killed all the indigenous people and here, we put them in reserves to exclude them from our society. I can relate to this cause because it has always been an important value for my family. In fact, my mother worked as a doctor in the north of Quebec with the native people for a year and she understands and realizes how bad we have been towards them. Keep going!

1 week 18 hours ago

I think you brought up a good argument by pointing out that strict dress codes restrict diversity and self-expression for students. The teenage years, especially high school, are a time for finding yourself and your own personal style, so dress codes should not be in the way of this. The high school I came from, Heritage, had a relatively strict dress code, for the most part aimed towards girls. While they allowed items of clothing that other schools would absolutely not, such as ripped jeans and leggings (if a knee-length skirt or dress was worn over them), we were obligated to have our shoulders covered, no midriff showing and shorts were not permitted. The reason for this, according to teachers and administration, was just like what you mentioned in your article: "To avoid distracting the boys". In May 2016, all female students including myself decided we wanted to protest these sexist rules by all showing up to school wearing short shorts. This got a lot of attention and was even covered on CBC news. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/heritage-regional-dress-code-1.36...) Backed up with good arguments, this protest eventually managed to get to the ears of the student council and even the governing board. The next year, our dress code was loosened a little, now giving us the right to wear leggings alone if your shirt was mid-thigh length, and tanks tops were allowed with a cardigan worn on top. I think that it is fine to say that a minimum of modesty should be required from students, but clothing should still be a personal choice. This can work very well, as shown by the freedom in dress code we have in CEGEP: girls wear what they want to wear, yet male students can still focus on their work.

1 week 1 day ago

Hello ! I enjoyed reading your article and was very surprised by it because I had no idea schools were closing in some rural areas which would be causing problems for the people of the countryside. You taught me something knew ! I am, on the other hand, surprised to hear about this seeing as I come from the countryside. Schools being closed has never really been a problem from my experience living in the countryside for two reasons; the first is that I've never seen schools closing even with few people attending, and second because there are already many buses who come to get the kids from the rural areas and bring them to schools in the city. But I guess in other places in Canada it must be a problem.

1 week 1 day ago

I like that you brought up this topic as I haven’t heard about this in a while. I am glad that you visited my beautiful country and that it opened your eyes by seeing the harsh conditions in which some locals live. The article you chose is very good and it gave me information about my country that I did not previously know about, for example, that most immigrants are Honduran, Guatemalan, and from El Salvador. Day by day I see Hondurans and Central Americans struggle to become better and try to get out of the poverty they live in. This can sometimes lead to violence as most believe that it is the easiest way of getting money, like robbing and committing other crimes. It is only natural that we strive to become better and earn money to survive and this is why many think their only option is to migrate to the United States as there are more job opportunities and life is better and more secure. Conditions are getting harder with the building of “the wall”, I am not saying that Americans should let people just migrate to their country but I am saying that they should try to help others in need by making it a little easier for those who really want to grow.

My experience with this topic is that I get judged when I say I am from Honduras or that I am a Latina. People associate me with crime and violence from these countries as it is all they see and hear in the news. Yes, many gang members and criminals in the US are from Latin America, but that does not mean that we are all like this. Some, and if not most of us, are hardworking people that follow the rules and try to be successful and have a better life. Some have become citizens of the United States and it is unfair that this stereotype will make them be deported when they have done nothing wrong. I really hope, for my Latin community living in the United States, that officials will investigate them before just deporting them without a reason other than “they are Latinos meaning they are criminals.”

1 week 1 day ago

I liked the link you shared as it had a lot of valuable information and explanation of the cause. I am glad you brought up this topic as it is a major one in small countries of the Caribbean. As you mentioned climate change is the main reason for the decrease in coral reefs and this is extremely bad for people who depend on them. Like for example, small countries that their economy mainly depends on tourism. There are some coral reefs in the Caribbean Ocean and this is the main reason why tourists are attracted to visit these places. These places offer many activities that have to do with the coral reefs like snorkeling and scuba diving and in order to do these activities tourists must pay which help the economy.

My country, Honduras, has part of the Mesoamerica coral reefs and in 2015 it was discovered that Honduras “has the healthiest reefs throughout the region, being the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.” http://www.honduras.com/mesoamerica-healthiest-%E2%80%AA%E2%80%8Ecoral-r... This is based on the “study of 248 coral reef sites along 1,000 kilometers of the Caribbean coast.” Yes, this report is two years old but it empathizes the fact that Honduras is home to amazing coral reefs. There are many studies that show how the bleaching in coral reefs will affect the countries economy. Throughout the last couple of years, I have seen a decrease in tourist arrivals in the Bay Islands, home of the coral reefs, and this is due to the bleaching of coral reefs. It is affecting my countries economy as fewer tourists are visiting my country. This is mostly bad for the locals, as many people are in danger of losing their jobs and this might have a negative impact on them and in the worst case scenario they might turn to crime in order to survive. We must act fast and do everything we can to decrease the velocity of climate change as in the future this will be a major problem throughout all the world.

http://www.marinespatialecologylab.org/force/Climate%20Change%20p.%2052-... I also found this article that shows the risks of climate change and how it affects coral reefs.

 

1 week 1 day ago

Hello boi ! I really enjoyed reading your article and I'm happy someone brought this issue up; even though it isn't a worldwide issue it still remains a major problem for many places in the world. On the other hand, I must disagree with what your article says about procrastination. I researched another article on procrastination, written by Heather Murphy, and this article only suggests that procrastination is about experiencing discomfort and/or anxiety while performing a task you don't like. Procrastination doesn't necessarily have to do with technology neither is it technology that cause it. If you care to read the article I will give you the link down bellow and thank you again for having written your article on the issue of procrastination !

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/science/procrastination-research-conf...

1 week 1 day ago

Hi Rainertaych,

I would first like to start by saying that I am glad to see that you took the time to bring up this subject. It feels like for once we are not confronted to a bad news. I like that you are bringing up a nice side of a country, giving acknowledgment to a hard working country.

To continue, I would like to add-on to your text by saying that it is true, these countries do work hard to keep their areas clean. I believe I can say that because I was in Dubai a couple months ago. Not only was I in Dubai, but I was there to help out in a hotel, so I happened to be there for quite a while. Anyways, all that to say that I was there and I saw all of the people working hard in the streets to pick up every single bits and pieces of trash that lay on the ground. These people work hard all day every day to ensure the area is clean; from paper to cigarette butts, they pick it up.

To conclude, I would like conclude by saying : don’t forget capitalized your “I’s.”

• Phil Viens

There no collaborative classes

About the author

I'm a Humanities Teacher at Champlain College, Saint-Lambert and the designer and founder of Newsactivist. Between 2007 and the present, I've developed a course, Newsactivist, which asked students to blog about the news that they felt showed parts of the world in need of improvement.