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The Wheel - Issue 10

The Wheel - Issue 10

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Published by: anchihos on Mar 11, 2012
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• SCU group works tochange policies
By Becky Doucette
managing editor
‘A bit
Maja Smedberg, a senior at SCU is callingfor a change in the Student Code of Conduct’slanguage regarding students with mentalillness.Smedberg has assembled a task-forcewhich includes students, faculty, staff andadministrators, who met last week to discusspossible changes.“The goal of the task group is to helpSCU be the best it can be regarding mentalhealth and mental illness; on the cuttingedge of mental health policy and education,”Smedberg said.The task-force focused specifically onthe Student Behavioral Leave of Absence(non-discipline based) policy (printed tothe right of this article). The SCU Code of Conduct provides step-by-step instructionsregarding how the University deals withbehavioral issues from its students.
New task-force confronts self-harm stigma 
Rachel Armstrong
news editor
Student BehavioralLeave o Absence(non-disciplinebased):
See SELF-HARM, pg. 2
March 5, 2012 - VOLUME 79 ISSUE 10
This newspaper, like many other things, is recyclable.Online at thewheel-scu.tumblr.com
Opinion:2-3 features:4-6 health:7 sports:8
Whitby Hall, which has gone through many changes over the years between classroomsand dorm rooms, is in its last semester asa residence hall. By Fall 2012, Whitby willonly be used for academic purposes.Junior Lindsay Roloff expressed concernabout the changes.“I feel very sad about being a displacedstudent. I love my room in Whitby andI feel as though I’m being evicted froma place I really love and care about. My room is beautiful. [It] has the best view oncampus, a million dollar view,” Roloff said.“It makes me sad to know that next year it’llbe someone’s ofce.”Next year, the fourth oor of Whitby will
•Students react to finalsemester in Whitby 
For Smedberg, this specic policy, whichcan result in a maximum consequence of expulsion, can be harmful for studentssuffering from mental or emotional healthissues.“The language allows SCU to expel studentsfrom the dorms or the entire University because of ‘self-harm,’” Smedberg said. “Whilestudents who engage in these behaviors needhelp and support, removing them from thedorms and their school, which is a student’sworld, against their will is not helpful andcould actually be very harmful.”However, Curt Galloway, Dean of StudentAffairs, believes this policy, which fallsunder Executive Authority, provides theAdministration with an alternative to theCode of Conduct when engaging studentswith self-injurious behaviors.“It allows us to work with students--particularly students that are engaging inbehaviors that may lead to harm to self or others--without engaging them in theCode of Conduct itself,” Galloway said.“These are serious matters. When dealingwith students with mental health issues, it isreally important [that] what we do is try tobe very supportive. As you read in the [Codeof Conduct] it’s often about trying to nd abalance where we can be supportive of thestudent and trying to help them as much aswe possibly can; and at the same time beingcognizant of the affects of the behavior onthe rest of the community.”Debbi Epperson, an alumnae of SCU whograduated in 2009, was directly affected by this policy during her senior year in 2008.“My psychologist recommended that I gointo the hospital to deal with some issues,”Epperson recalled. “One of my issues ishaving self-injurious behaviors and whileI was being treated for depression, bi-polardisorder and anxiety, I was also being treatedfor self-injurious behavior which manifesteditself as mainly scratching and cutting.”“One day a couple people from the residencehalls and a Dean of something came to thehospital and sat me down for a meeting,”Epperson said. “They said, ‘We might nothave you back. You might not be allowedback into the residence halls.’”While Epperson can’t recall the specictitles of the SCU staff or administrationmembers who came to speak with her in the
From the Code of Conduct: “Thispolicy has been developed from thephilosophy and ethic of care anda philosophy of holistic studentlearning and a deep commitmentto providing for the safety and well-being of our students.
Care for theindividual student, in the context of a Catholic liberal arts education for women, often requires balancing individual needs with the needsof the community.
This policy willbe utilized for situations in which a student’s behavior indicates a threatto the health and/or safety of self or others.
This policy allows theUniversity to remove a student fromUniversity property and programs(including the residence halls andattending classes) either immediately (interim leave of absence) or after an appropriate review process(involuntary or voluntary leaveof absence).
Appropriate effortwill be made to resolve situationsvoluntarily. Examples of behaviorswhich may warrant the use of thispolicy include, but are not limitedto:
unresolved, ongoing and serious suicidal threats; imminent threatsof harm to self or others; behavior which presents a reasonable threat to self or other (e.g. “cutting” behavior,expressions of self-harm or suicideideation, etc) and/or behavior that causes disruption to the community (e.g. residence hall, class, etc).” 
hospital, she recallsvividly how it madeher feel.“I don’t think people understandand I don’t think people want tounderstand,”Epperson said.“Talking about thismakes me sad becauseI had a mostly goodexperience at [SCU]but this one thing--how the threeof them came toRegions [Hospital]to see me, like I wasdoing somethingwrong--made mefeel terrible. Here Iwas just strugglingwith a disease.Stacy Symons,Psychology Professorhouse the Physician’s Assistant program.The decision was made by the University earlier this year.“This was not a departmental decision, itwas a University decision based on the needsand best options for the academic needsof the University,” Ben McCabe, HousingAssignments and Information Specialist, said.Students were also concerned about facilities’presence on the oor. Facilities began work in Fall 2011, which resulted in some of theWhitby residents ling complaints.“I was kind of complaining too becausewe’re not out yet, we still live here, we’rearound,” sophomore and Whitby ResidenceAdvisor(RA) Amelia Sneve said.However, once these concerns were presentedto facilities, they have not been seen on theoor since. The Residence Hall Association(RHA) will also be holding an open forumwhere students can meet and talk withfacilities about any concerns that they may be having surrounding Whitby’s changes.Whitby also houses the Honors Floor andthe location of the new Honors Floor hasnot been conrmed.“We have two plans; if the rst one is notapproved we will go use the second. I don’twant to get into specics that will only leadto confusion and additional inaccuracies,”McCabe said.Students currently residing in Whitby arealso receiving some benets. Currently denedas “displaced students,” they can choose theirhousing before the regular sign-up. This way they get rst choice for on-campus housingafter students who choose to same-space.But there are some concerns with CaecilianHall being the only upperclassman, traditionalhousing available on campus.“I know some people are very worriedabout having only Ceacilian as a traditionalupperclassman dorm because a lot of peopledo like that environment, so only having onehall will probably make competition a littlebit higher this semester,” Sneve said.However, Residence Life does not share thesame worry after considering the numbers.After looking at the numbers and makinga few small adjustments to the housing sign-up process, we think we should be able toaccommodate every student who is choosingto live on campus next year,” McCabe said.Now that Whitby is in its last semester as aresidence hall, students are coming togetherto try and make the most of their time left.“We are planning on painting a muralwith our residents in the hallway. To...commemorate it,” Sneve said. “I don’t know if they’ll paint over it; I hope they don’t.The oor also plans to have a session foralumnae who have lived in Whitby to visitand say goodbye.“We’ll for sure have chances for people tocome up and say goodbye, for the nostalgicones. I know I’m a little nostalgic already,Sneve said. “We’re going to enjoy our timewith each other while it lasts.”Although students understand the need forchange, it is still a difcult reality for some.“I understand why the administration hasmade this decision, but I do not like it. I willmiss living in Whitby,” Roloff said. “[It] justmakes me feel sad, and a bit abandoned.”Becky can be reached at
Graphic by Heather Kolnick.
2 | The WheelMarch 5, 2012
SELF-HARM continued...
Editor-in Chief:ALEXA CHIHOSLayout Designer:SARAH WENTEManaging Editor:BECKYDOUCETTESections Editor:ANNE MOECopy and News Editor:RACHELARMSTRONGPhoto Editor:HEATHER KOLNICKPhotographers:SARAH KICZULA,KA THAO, ASHLEY SKWIERA Adviser:SHEILA ELDREDCartoonist:WESLEY PIVECSenior Staff Writers:ANNA HAYES,CAITLYN WITTStaff Writers:ASHLEY SKWIERA,MILAN WILSON-ROBINSON, CHEYBRYANTIf you would like to contribute toThe Wheel, please contact us at wheel@stkate.edu.
The Wheel aspires to reflect thediversity and unique atmospherethat comprises St. Catherine Uni- versity. We strive to provide aninclusive newspaper primarilyfor the students and by the stu-dents. The Wheel promotes the vision of empowering women tolead and influence as well as anunderstanding of the universitycommunity inside and outsideof the gates. As a staff we aim tomeet the highest journalistic stan-dards and stand in accordance with the 1st Amendment of theConstitution of the United Statesof America and policies of priorrestraint. The Wheel is not a pub-lic relations vehicle for any SCUindividual, group, department orfor the college as a whole. We welcome feedback and encour-age an open discourse. The Wheelis supported by student fundsand is distributed free of charge.
Volume 79, issue 10
Editorial: Noshit, no shame
By Anne Moe, with contributions byRachel Thompson, Paige LaPoint, MilanWilson-Robinson, and Sarah Wente
What is your rst language? Is it respected?Are you proud of your mother tongue, thelanguage you grew up speaking, or are youashamed because others have made you feelinferior because of it? In the fall of 2011,18.9 percent of the incoming rst year classreported speaking a language other thanEnglish at home, many of whom have sufferedviolations of their linguistic human rights.Most of us have heard of human rights,such as the right to access portable water andsafety. Linguistic human rights are a mystery to most people because almost no one talksabout them. There is no explicit denitionof linguistic human rights, but linguistichuman rights include the rights to positively identify with one’s mother language, learn inone’s mother language, develop the languageand have the respect of others regardless of language, as suggested by Robert Phillipsonand Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, editors of thebook “Linguistic Human Rights: OvercomingLinguistic Discrimination.” Everyone deservesthe right to learn the dominant languagewhile maintaining their own language andculture. Language is central to how weidentify ourselves, and assimilating to thedominant language is like giving up a pieceof who we are.Most nations are multi-lingual, meaningthat although there is a dominant language,there are many people in the country whodo not identify that language as being theirmother tongue; consequently, linguistichuman rights are necessary to maintainrespect for the groups who do not speak the dominant language.Often, those who don’t identify with thedominant language are stigmatized, and they abandon or are ashamed of their mothertongues. In more drastic situations, childrenare punished for speaking their mother tonguesat school, while others are told that they arenot U.S. Americans because the dominantlanguage is not their mother tongue. InKenya, for instance, English became theonly language that was acceptable. If schoolchildren were caught speaking Gikuyu, oneof the indigenous languages, they were canedand then forced to wear signs around theirnecks that said things like “I am a donkey.The disrespect and hindrance of the use of a mother language is a linguistic humanrights violation, but discrimination basedon language is still widely accepted andunacknowledged.All of that information was quite heavy,and it might seem as though the linguisticstate of the world is beyond repair. Althoughit is happening slowly, the ght for linguistichuman rights is happening. In 1999, theUnited Nations created International MotherLanguage Day, which takes place every Feb.21. The goal of the day is “to promote thepreservation and protection of all languagesused by peoples of the world,” according tothe United Nations website.Even though the day has passed this year,there are still many things that one can doeven at St. Catherine University (SCU). Watchout for posters and those who are tabling. Goto an event or community where you don’tspeak the dominant language. It will give you a new understanding and appreciationfor those around you who are not part of the dominant group. Even though it may bedifcult, speak up when someone is makingclaims and expressing stereotypes about acertain language or group of people. Althoughit might not seem worthwhile, change beginson a small scale.Language is tied closely with identity andself. For those of us who exclusively speak the dominant language, English, it is hardto imagine the experiences of those whoare stigmatized because of the languagethey speak. How would it feel? Ponder thatbefore you make assumptions about thepeople around you and the languages they speak. Check your privilege, and don’t useit to stigmatize others. You never know who you will inuence.Anne can be reached at
Consider this:
at SCU, was surprised at this section of theCode of Conduct, as she is generally proudof the way SCU handles sensitive mentalhealth issues.“I was quite upset actually to see thatthose policies appear to be primarily gearedtoward the protection of the institution fromliability in the severe example...of a suicideattempt on campus,” Symons said.For both Symons the policy seemsunnecessary.“The policy is what we fall back on if there’s a severe case that is incompatiblewith campus and the person refuses toleave,” Symons said. “It is not necessary to have a policy that is quite so restrictive,because anybody who is going to engage inbehavior that is severe enough to disruptthe community...you’re going to be callingthe authorities. It ignores the fact that thevast majority of mental health and mentalillness symptoms don’t necessarily impairtypical functioning.Smedberg echoes this sentiment.“The law allows for involuntary hospitalization when someone is a seriousdanger to themselves, so I don’t think it isnecessary for the Code of Conduct to addressthis issue,” Smedberg said.Maladaptive coping mechanisms are commonfor college age women, and though Symonsbelieves it is important for the Administrationto be cognizant of these issues, in her opinionthe policy in question could cause SCU morelegal trouble rather than less.“I actually think it’s more of a legal risk for the institution to have a hard line policy in place. That opens the institution up tomore possibility of lawsuits than a moresupportive, social justice minded policy.For Epperson, this was the case. After beinginformed she wouldn’t be able to return tocampus, she weighed her options.“I was rst going to just beg them to letme stay in the dorms,” Epperson said. “Butthen I said, ‘You know my psychologistthinks it’s ne and there’s the Americans withDisabilities Act.’ ...As soon as I mentionedthe Americans with Disability Act that shutpeople up pretty quick because they didn’twant me to sue them. That was somethingI had in my mind...that I would have to suethe school. And I didn’t want to do thatbecause I love [SCU].”However upsetting this specific policy may be, there is an overwhelming senseof pride in the way SCU engages with andprovides services for students suffering frommental illness.“I’m really proud of the way that I think the institution tries to support and work withour students who are dealing with mentalhealth issues,” Galloway said.Symons agrees. In addition to the CounselingCenter, which provides personal counseling,emergency counseling, and referals tocommunity services for students, all free of charge, SCU also has an Emergency AlertSystems Team (EAST) through which professorsor staff members can alert Administrationabout a student they’re worried about.“The [EAST program] has been effectivefor me in help[ing] students,” Symons said.“You’re going to be letting this informationout to the administration, but then theadministration can turn around and helpprotect you.”For Epperson and Smedberg, they continueto ght against the stigma associated withmental illness.“If I had cancer and it scared people inthe dorms they wouldn’t say, ‘You can’tcome back because you’re chemotherapy isscaring people,’” Epperson said.“I am in recovery from mental illness and amvery passionate about advocating for peoplewith mental health issues,” Smedberg said.“I also have so much love for SCU I want togive back...by helping make positive changes.”For Galloway, there is no cookie-cutterapproach for dealing with mental healthissues, and each individual student mustbe taken into account. Changing trendsregarding mental health may mean changesin the SCU policy as well.“You really have to apply what you know about the individual student and her situationand then make decisions based on that. Theliterature shows there’s an incline in [mentalhealth issues among college students] andwe’re trying to gure out what that meansand change our policies and approachesto respond to that adequately. It’s very challenging,” Galloway said.Moving forward, Smedberg and her task force hope SCU can provide a positive exampleof sensitive, inclusive policy.“I know students at other universities areconcerned about and [are] working on theseissues as well, and I would love for [SCU]to be a role model for other universities inthis area.”Rachel can be reached at
In your mother tongue, have youbeen able to:
-address school teachers?-deal with the tax 
-answer a question
from a police ofcer?
-explain a medical problem to a nurse or doctor?-write to a national newspaper?-watch the local and national news on television?-ask questions at a political meeting?
For many people in the world,the answer to these questions is “no.”
The frst step to ending language discrimination? Be aware that it exists.
Graphic by Libby Wambheim.Questions from “Linguistic Human Rights: Overcoming Language Discrimination.”Ed. Phillipson and Skutnabb-Kangas.
March 5, 2012 The Wheel | 3
Voice o change:Brains not bullies
By Becky Doucette
managing editor
By AlexaChihos
News in brie 
• Local news outsideSCU gates
This week, a United States District Judgeannounced an investigation against a mannamed, “Mr. X.Mr. X has used twitter tothreaten former presidential candidate, MicheleBachmann. These threats have consistedof sexual insinuations and direct violence.The recent discussions surrounding Mr.X concern his identity and whether or notit should be under investigation by the state.It was ruled that his identity was necessarfor a proper investigation in order to decidewhether these tweets about Bachmann andviolent sex acts were credible. Mr. X’s lawyerhas stated that these tweets were not credible,
By Wesley Pivec
Pay alls short or women in Minnesota :
In the state of Minnesota, wage disparity is still prevalent as women with equivalenttraining to men in the same professionearn only 80 cents to a dollar. For the rsttime, women in Minnesota make up theprimary breadwinners in a majority of households, 51 percent, and that numberhas increased 27 percent in the past two years. A study had indicated that identicalresumes were given more credibility whenthey had men’s names instead of women’snames and that the wage disparity is greatestfor women with advanced degrees.
Nurses call or new patient limitlegislation:
After making a “safe-stafng” the themeof a one day strike in 2010, the MinnesotaNurses Association is calling for new legislation that would set a limit on how many patients can be assigned to hospitalnurses. At a recent press conference, unionleaders had said that they had collectedabout 1,000 reports in the second half of 2011 from nurses who had said thatpatients were endangered by insufcientstafng levels. However, hospital ofcialsargue that stafng ratios are expensiveand unworkable.
Teresa Hermodson-Olsen
Psychology and Spanish (double major)
I you could be any animal what would it be?
Your project:
My title is Comparisons of the Effects of Bilingual andMonolingual Exposure on Executive Functioning in NeuropsychologicalVulnerable Children.
Breaking it down:
I was looking at whether living in a bilingual homewould give children who received neuropsychological evaluationsless impaired executive functioning skills than children who live in amonolingual home. “Executive functioning” is the cognitive processesthat are used to complete goal-oriented tasks such as problem-solving orplanning. 
How did this project develop?
I started collaborating with Dr. ArturoSesma (SCU psychology professor), Danielle Ramstrom (SCU student),Dr. Heather Sesma and Dr. Kisten Wiik (assistant professor and post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School) through the Summer Scholars program hereat SCU in June 2011. We wanted to make a database from the evaluationles of children seen at the pediatrics neuropsychological clinic and thentest our individual hypotheses by running statistical analyses on the datawe gathered. 
Any un acts you came across?
The research I decided to conduct isnew research. There is a gap in the literature concerning the effect of bilingualism on clinically-referred children. It is very exciting to bestarting research in a new area. 
What is some advice you’d give to a frst year student?
Study abroad! Ireally suggest at least a semester (if not a year) because it allows you toreally immerse yourself in a new culture and have a great new experience.Also, get to know your professors and faculty on this campus – ndcollaborative projects to work on (research, teaching assistants, etc.) It willmake your SCU experience that much richer.but meant to be hyperbole.Personally, I never thought I would beat such a crossroad, mostly because thediscussion revolves around cyber bullyingand republican politician Bachmann, acandidate that I would never vote for orgive any care for. However, I would neverwish cyber-bullying on anyone, not evena candidate that I despise…rather largely.According to the Star Tribune, “The grand jury should know if Mr. X has a history of threatening political candidates, or hasengaged in threatening behavior towardBachmann.”How many times does Mr. X have tothreaten political candidates in orderfor it to become a “credible threat?” Orhow many times does he have to threatenone person at a time? The key word I’mhaving trouble with is the term “credible.”What if this was a teenager, upset withBachmann for her policies and doesn’t know how else to reach her? What if this personhad cyber-bullied others, and had gottenaway with it until now? According to the judge, it is likely that Mr. X will not receive“criminal indictment,” because this was nota “true” threat. When does a threat becomea true threat?Cyber-bullying, no matter the form, whetherit’s against a gay student who cannot comeout at school or a Republican candidatewho informed that rule in schools, it is notokay. Sometimes, cyber-bullying is writtenoff as a joke. Asking Bachmann if she’d liketo perform in a sex act with a “Vietnam-eramachete” is not humorous, it’s disgusting.So what if Mr. X is just a teenager at 14 years old, starting high school? Would thisteen just be written off, or have somethingplaced on a permanent record? I hopeneither. Teenagers nowadays have a goodunderstanding of what cyber-bullyingmeans and should not be excused for theirbehavior. However, do they fully know theconsequences of their actions?Sometimes these consequences are suicides.I’d like to think that a teen would never intendsomeone to harm themselves.Through understanding the consequencesof our actions, the real consequences, I’mconvinced that cyber-bullying can be decreased.Cyber-bullying is a form of violence in whichthe perpetrator cannot be tracked or traceduntil the court is convinced that your threatis true and credible. Let’s take a step back togure out why these human beings, just like you and me, are moved to write violent, nasty comments behind an anonymous nametag.If Mr. X is upset with Bachmann becauseof her former campaign or policies, he shouldnot be addressing her as any less than ahuman being, because change comes frompersonal passion with a face behind it – notviolent slander from an anonymous source.Becky can be reached at
Teresa Hermondson-Olsen.Photo by Heather Kolnick.
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