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The Merciad, Oct. 14, 2009

The Merciad, Oct. 14, 2009

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The Merciad, Oct. 14, 2009
The Merciad, Oct. 14, 2009

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Published by: TheMerciad on May 29, 2011
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Sitting in the sterile surroundings of a col-lege library in the United States, the wordsthat Abdimalik Abdi speak seem so out of place. As the 23-year-old Mercyhurst Collegesenior describes his last memory of his child-hood home in native Somalia in 1993, his nor-mally jovial tone turns to a deadpan delivery,sending chills through anyone within earshot.“I remember that day exactly,” Abdi said, who recalls playing with his friends as he didon many other afternoons.Except this time, gunshots rang out.Crowds of people began running past 7-year-old Abdi and his friends in the streets.“I kept asking my friends ‘Where are thesepeople going?’ We see our parents running toward us and saying ‘Let’s go. We have to getout of here,’” Abdi said. “We hid under a desk in our home and heard more shots, peoplescreaming, saw smoke all over the place.” The smoke and gunfire came from war-ring factions within Somalia, a country whosegovernment and leader, Siad Barre, wereoverthrown in early 1991. Abdi’s father, Yusuf, fought as a soldierin the Barre’s Somali army against Ethiopiaduring the 1980s and was still in the military on the day their town descended into chaos. Abdimalik Abdi, the family’s oldest child,cowered inside the home with his father,mother (Marian), two sisters (Fartun andNajma) and brother (Abdinoor).“Somebody knocked at the door. We didn’topen. We stayed completely silent,” Abdi said,his voice dropping even as he recounts theevents 16 years later.
Vol.83, No.6/10.14.09/Free
Read more on Page 5 orat merciad.mercyhurst.edu/AbdiMalik
Smoke, screamsand gunfire
By Ethan Magoc
Multimedia editor
Somali refugee rememberspast, builds future at ’Hurst
Page 2Page 6 Page 7
Backstreet Boysare back with newalbum Students voiceopinions, concernsat MSG ForumThis I Believe: Alumhonors professor’sinfluence
Page 2October 14, 2009
Students voice opinions, concerns at forum
 The Mercyhurst Student Gov-ernment (MSG) invited studentsto voice their opinions at the firststudent forum of the year. With guest speakers fromadministration, athletics andPolice and Safety, the forum on Wednesday, Oct. 7, covered a variety of topics weighing onstudents’ minds.Student senators met withadministration and students inthe Cummings Art Gallery. The event began with anaddress from Mercyhurst Presi-dent Dr. Thomas Gamble. Dr. J.M. Adovasio, representing ath-letics, and Chief Kenneth Sidun,representing Police and Safety, welcomed students, as well. Afterward, the floor wasopened for students to mingle with administration and studentsenators in order to discuss theircampus concerns. After hearing high crime sta-tistics for Mercyhurst in Septem-ber, several students questionedthe safety of this campus. Sidunresponded to these statistics by explaining that Mercyhurst’scrime reports cover both theErie and North East Campuses.“This is a safe campus, Iassure you,” Sidun said.Freshman Chelsea Schermer-horn attended the forum inorder to ask MSG to advocatecopying the key for Baldwin’selevator after emergency work-ers could not use the elevatorto reach the third floor during arecent medical emergency.In response to Schermerhorn’ssuggestions, MSG arranged fora second key to be kept behindthe front desk in Baldwin. Policeand Safety also keep a key.Schermerhorn also pointedout the “very little student input”on the college radio channel.“My friends and I would beespecially interested in a radioclub,” she said.Student senators promisedto promote the cause, althoughinterested students must takecharge to revive the radio club.Other issues students men-tioned included expanding theMercyhurst Recreation Center,the need for gluten-free foodin Egan Dining Hall and themalfunctions of the emergency blue light phones. All issues discussed at theStudent Forum were discussedagain at the MSG meeting onMonday, Oct. 12.Student senators divided theissues and assigned tasks tothe appropriate committee forfuture action.Senators also discussed waysto advertise for future forumssince the turn-out of students was lower than expected.
By Jennifer McCurdy
Contributing writer
Mercyhurst College President Dr. Thomas Gamble spoke withstudents at the Mercyhurst Student Government StudentForum on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Guest speakers fromadministration, athletics, and Police and Safety also spokewith students about their concerns.
 Tyler Stauffer photo
City campuses competeto help the hungry
 To go along with its belief of being socially merciful, Mercy-hurst College helps those whosuffer from lack of food andshelter.From Monday, Oct. 19,through Saturday, Oct. 24, thecardboard village and the annualfood drive will take place atMercyhurst. The cardboard village is wherestudents volunteer to sleep out-side in boxes to raise awarenessand funds for the homeless. The group of students, ledby junior Joe Weidenboerner, will collect donations and havea bake sale to raise funds. The cardboard village will beheld outside of Zurn Hall from4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, until7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22. The annual food drive,known as Collegiate GoldenHarvest Week, is sponsoredby the Second Harvest FoodBank. The food drive is a com-petition among Mercyhurst,Gannon University and PennState Behrend. There will bebins all around campus for stu-dents to drop off their dona-tions. Bins will be located inbuildings including Audrey Hirt Academic Building, Zurn Hall,the Herrmann Student Unionand Old Main.Monday through Friday from4 p.m. until 7 p.m. students willgo door-to-door collecting cansof food and other nonperish-able food items. The proceeds from the twoevents go toward the SecondHarvest Food Bank of North- west Pennsylvania and a non-profit organization for thehomeless.“I feel Hunger and Homeless-ness Week is very important toour campus because it allows ourstudents to step into the com-munity and work toward a causethat helps others,” Campus Min-istry graduate assistant Gretchen Yori said.For more information aboutHunger and Homelessness Week, or to find out how tohelp, contact Gretchen Yori atgyori82@mercyhurst.edu.
By Chelsee Callahan
Contributing writer
Crime stats mislead
 At first glance at the Pennsyl- vania Uniform Crime Report-ing (UCR) Program statisticsfor 2008, Mercyhurst Collegeappears to have double the crimerates of other local colleges.Of 239 Part 1 offensesreported by Erie County col-leges, Edinboro University had51, Penn State Behrend had29, Gannon University had 44and Mercyhurst had 115. Part1 crimes include rape, robbery,assault and burglary.Kenneth Sidun, chief of Policeand Safety at Mercyhurst, saidthese statistics are misleading.“It’s because we combineNorth East and West campus with main campus for UCR reports,” Sidun said. When broken down, Mercy-hurst’s statistics are closer to theaverage crime numbers for col-lege campuses.“We have more studentsliving on campus and morebuildings. In comparison withother colleges we’re about aver-age,” Sidun said.Sidun thinks there have beenfewer Part 1 crimes than at thistime last year.“We’re trying to make stu-dents aware of how to protectthemselves and their property.If you see somebody suspi-cious, call Police and Safety and we’ll come over and investigate. That’s our job,” Sidun said.
By JoEllen Marsh
Read an enhanced version of this articleon the news section atmerciad.mercyhurst.edu
Page 3October 14, 2009
Every year at MercyhurstCollege, new programs join the variety of majors and minorsavailable to undergraduate stu-dents. This year, two programs inparticular have become avail-able as majors: Russian studiesand graphic design.Graphic design was offeredas a concentration within the artmajor in previous years, and thecourse offerings for this con-centration have been steadily growing for years.“It was actually on the levelof a major, but it was just notbeing recognized as one,” JodiStaniunas-Hopper, the pro-gram’s director, said.Graphic design has enoughstudents to justify its majorstatus; Staniunas-Hopper esti-mated current enrollment atbetween 45 and 55 students. Junior Lisa Bathory, the stu-dent in charge of the graphicdesign club AdPro, said, “I’mreally glad graphic design isbeing offered as a full major now.It looks better on a résumé.” The graphic design major wasimproved by this year’s addi-tion of the digital media minor, which is a collaboration with theCommunication Department.Many of the new programsat Mercyhurst are programs thathave existed previously as con-centrations and contract majorsand need only to go through astate-approved process of certi-fication. Another such previously-existing program is RussianStudies, which is in its first offi-cial year as a major.Department Chair of RussianStudies Father Steven Simonsaid that many students whostudied abroad in Russia hadenough courses to qualify themfor a Russian major, but they had to fill out vast amounts of paperwork in order to have amajor in Russian Studies.Many Russian Studies majorsare also Intel majors looking toboost their portfolio, or are stu-dents looking to start commer-cial business ventures in Russia. Another option for Russianstudies students is to continuelearning about Russia at thepost-grad level. Whatever option they choose,“Students who go into jobinterviews with Russian studiesin their résumé get an edge fora lot of reasons,” Simon said.“It shows that they’re open toother cultures, and it’s a rarespecialty.” The continuing developmentof new programs at Mercy-hurst, headed by the Depart-ment of Academic Affairsand Dr. Belfiore, shows thatthe faculty and administrationof Mercyhurst continue to beopen and receptive to the aca-demic needs of their studentpopulation.
By Kelly Dempsey
Contributing writer
Existing programsbecome ‘new’ majors
New clubs bounce onto campus
Over the past few weeks, threenew clubs have become Recog-nized Student Clubs/Organiza-tions (RSCOs). These new clubsare the Ping Pong Club, RolePlaying Game Club and theMercyhurst Finance Club. The Ping Pong Club is underthe supervision of Curtis Robi-nette, Mercyhurst’s water polocoach. This club is designed toprovide students with a way tolearn to play ping pong and a way to socialize as well.Freshman Ian Tasmanfounded the Ping Pong Club.“There have not been any meetings yet, but the club is cur-rently looking for donations,” Tasman said.Role Playing Game Club(RPGC), under the supervisionof faculty member Dr. MarnieSullivan, is dedicated to giving members a fun social environ-ment where they can take partin role playing games. According to Sullivan, “Roleplaying games are those in which players take on the per-spective of imaginary charac-ters, usually in a setting createdand overseen by a mediator,and vicariously experience theimagined adventures of thesecharacters.” The Mercyhurst Finance Clubis advised by Dr. Juan Argaez. According to its Web Site,the Mercyhurst Finance Clubis designed “to help studentsunderstand how the many assets of finance work by par-ticipating in a mock investmentproject while also studying how corporations function in thestock market.”
By Alicia Cagle
Contributing writer
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