Giving True Day raises $800,000

“The most important idea behind Giving True Day is that students, faculty and staff, alumni and friends of the university can choose to support their passion on campus,” said Director of Annual Giving Carole Booms. “It’s about what you feel is important to support when it comes to giving.”

Eastern Michigan University holds is sixth annual Giving True Day as a way to support and give thanks to different aspects of the university. One can make a gift to athletics, an EMU college of the donor’s choice, WEMU, special initiatives like the Undergraduate Symposium, and much more.

The idea behind Giving True Day is to have something positive come after the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is a nationally recognized time for the charitable season.

“Our hope is that people will listen to the stories and see the gifts and truly be inspired to help make a difference for EMU students,” said Booms.

This 24-hour campaign of generosity is set up around campus. While President of the Alumni Association Matt Mortier and Assistant Director of Engagement Celia Murkowski manages the “Thank You” table in the Student Center, WEMU holds an all-day open house jam session.

The “Thank You” table is meant for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to write personalized cards and notes to donors. Participants were also able to spin a wheel to win special prizes and free food.

“Without contribution, we wouldn’t have the Eastern have today,” said EMU freshman Alexzander Sambrone, after writing their card.

In King Hall, WEMU made a point to hold an open house as a way to celebrate all the good that happens on campus during the campaign.

Their jam session starred pianist Rich Roe, bassist Kurt Krahnke, drummer Jesse Kramer, and a variety of performers who filled King Hall with electrifying jazz for the day. Around 20 people attended the event at a time with people cycling in and out of the hall throughout the day.

On a mission to raise $50,000 the staff at WEMU had nothing but smiles as the day went on. General Manager Molly Motherwell commented on the importance of the event.

“We had such success, we decided to combine it with Giving Tuesday,” said Motherwell.The goal for this year’s Giving True Day is to reach one thousand donors and $500 thousand in 24 hours. According to EMU’s Giving True Day website, over $800 thousand was raised by 852 unique donors, surpassing the goal but falling short in donors.

“We’ve raised more awareness every year, reached out farther to alumni and friends of the University, engaged students and partnered with many programs across campus,” said Booms. “Our goal is to have it grow and get better every year so we can help more students.”

If you weren’t able to participate the day of Giving True Day, the EMU Foundation is always welcoming support from anyone who wants to make a gift to any of the programs listed on their website, where you can search for a fund of your choice.


Alt-right message written on Freedom Walls causes Student Government to act

Spotted earlier today by a reporter for the Eastern Echo, one of the walls in the Free Speech Space reads “it’s okay to be white.” The message comes a week after a statement condemning anti-semitism was tampered with on the same wall.

“As soon as we saw that message, we knew it couldn’t stay up,” said Student Government Vice President Ethan Smith. “To whoever did this, I’d just say give it up. Your message is never going to take root here, and the EMU community isn’t even going to give it a chance.”

Eastern Michigan University’s Free Speech and Speaker Policy calls for the university to ensure the “safety and security” of people on and around Eastern’s campus, while allowing views to be expressed openly to allow for “critical evaluation.”

Student Government encourages students to speak up and shut down inflammatory and hateful messages when they appear on campus. The guidelines for use of the Student Speech Space, which include the kiosk and the walls, call it a creative space for students to “communicate upcoming events and other public messages.”

The slogan “it’s okay to be white” was spread last year by users on the website 4chan, an Internet discussion forum, to show that a harmless message would cause mass coverage by the media. It has since been picked up by politically organized neo-Nazi groups, including commentary website The Daily Stormer, to advocate for anti-semetic practices and white supremacy.

Richard Spencer, president of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute, sparked a nationwide conversation on how free speech is regulated at college campuses when vising campuses around the country, including Michigan State University in March, spreading anti-semetic messages. The debate on whether to censor or resist free speech at public universities has been a political issue since students protested at University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s, advocating for academic freedom and a right to free speech.

The message was painted over at 6:00 p.m. by members of Student Government and the Silver Linings Fellowship Group.

Student Senate bids farewell to long-serving members

The Student Senate met Tuesday to hold their final general meeting of the semester. Although drama reigned over the political process, all the Senators were present to pass two new resolutions.

The first, Res 105-14, looks to hold the Inter-fraternity Council (IFC) accountable for implementing a plan to reduce sexual assault incidents. This resolution shows the support of Student Government for the plan created by the IFC and calls for the current plan to continue to be enforced. It passed 12-2, with Sen. Cooley and Jones-Darling voting no.

The second, Res 105-15, urges the university to implement online courses for internship-based classes. It also calls on the Faculty Senate, Provost, Deans and Department Heads to encourage the faculty to offer those classes. The resolution was also transmitted to the Deans of all the College’s and the Faculty Senate.

Following the resolutions came the farewell remarks of two long serving members of Student Government.

Sen. Jones-Darling had been a Senator for three years, serving as vice-chair on the transportation and business and finance committees, and on the commission for health and safety. Also serving as a resident advisor and in numerous political roles, he wrote numerous resolutions and contributed a great deal to Student Government.

Judicial Sargent Larry Borum had no experience coming in as student body vice president for the 2017-18 school year. Taking up the responsibility wasn’t a small task, as meeting with student organizations, faculty, staff, and administration take up a lot of time. Borum was planning on joining as a Senator, no matter what the outcome, and that rings true in why he fit so well into the role.

“It really has changed my life and opened a lot of doors to passions, possibilities and opportunities,” said Borum.

Borum was also a Resident Advisor, Office Manager, and is a McNair scholar. He took up his role as Judicial Sargent at the beginning of the semester to ensure that the incoming president and vice president had a smooth transition into their roles.

“What’s the one thing I want to be remembered for?” said Borum. “I wish I could combine everything into one.”

Borum is planning to focus on his music for the next semester and prepare for graduate school.

Meeting minutes can be found here.

Student Senate passes resolution to amend tobacco free policy

Before dismissing for Thanksgiving recess, the Student Senate announced the passing of three resolutions during their biweekly meeting held in the Student Center.

With only one member of the community and the executive board present, the Senators passed three resolutions regarding the campuses smoking policy, internal affairs and reallocating funds within the university.

Resolution 130-09 passed with an 8-5 vote, encouraging the Board of Regents to amend its Tobacco Free Policy to explicitly mention marijuana. This includes renaming the policy to be smoke free, and calls for enforcement of the policy by the Department of Public Safety and Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility.

Sen. Sam Jones-Darling supported the resolution, saying the strict enforcement the Tobacco Free Policy promised was not being carried out by the university.

Sen. Kirk Suchowesky also supported the resolution.

“I don’t want nicotine . . . or marijuana products of any form on campus,” said Schowesky. This policy will successfully address the passage of Proposal One and amend the Tobacco Free Policy to include marijuana.

Eastern Michigan University released a statement following the passing of Proposal One, earlier this month, reiterating its stance against the consumption of marijuana on campus included in its Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.

Resolution 130-13 allocated $1,000 to the Departments of History and Philosophy, Political Science, and the Center of Jewish Studies to host an event that informs students about peaceful, protective, and legal means for preventing acts of religious of political violence.Suchowesky, author of the proposal, made a statement for the victims of these tragedies.

“They were attacked,” said Suchowesky. “And an attack on them and there identify is just as important if any other group, community, individual was attacked . . . They ought to be condemned.”

Sen. Balaal Hollings was the lone voice of opposition suggesting paying for this event shouldn’t be necessary, as a collaborative event to educate students in a nondiscriminatory matter could be possible without using funds.The resolution passed 12-1.

Resolution 130-12 passed 13-0, restructuring the transportation committee into a commission that will include students not apart of the Senate. They will have voting power after attending two meetings.

Meeting minutes and the resolutions passed can be found here. The meeting was live streamed, and can be watched below.

Fox 2 reporter visits Eastern Michigan University

News Anchor Josh Landon visited Sponberg Auditorium on Wednesday to give advice to future journalists. Landon, an anchor for Fox 2 News, talked about his journey to his current job and answered questions from student journalists and broadcasters. Landon, an EMU graduate, shared his enthusiasm and knowledge with students.

Like many EMU students, Landon’s career started with an internship.

I ignored the rejection and kept on going, because [I knew] someone will say yes. I applied to channel 2, they sent me to channel 4. Then they sent me to channel 7 who finally gave me a chance.

Josh Landon

This sparked a lot of conversation from the audience who, after his initial story, wanted to know what to expect in the field of broadcast journalism.

A student interested in broadcast news asked how many hours to expect when working in the field. Landon explained that although it seems difficult now, the hours (which generally start around 4 a.m.) are not an issue. You’ll adapt to them as you get more experience in the field, since they are just a part of the job.

Another student asked how to advance in such a competitive market. In order to move forward, Landon said, you need to be constantly improving on yourself and asking for feedback. This will show off your work ethic to people who matter. It will eventually give you better relationships, because of how dependable you are.

I moved from the internship at channel 7 to a local channel in Lansing. They [channel 7] could have easily choose a student from Michigan State. But I got in, because I was the one willing to drive an hour every day to get to the station to do the best work I could.

Josh Landon

Landon, who now works for Fox 2 Detroit, explained how he was himself in a way that is hard to pull off in other markets. Detroit has an edge to it, with it has history and a notoriety. This being the case, having moved back to the area he grew up in as a child let him connect to the city better than an outsider moving into the Detroit news market. This enabled him to tell some stories with more passion and conviction.

One noteworthy story he covered in his series, Detroit’s Most Wanted, shows Landon going back to his childhood home while investigating the rampant illegal dumping plaguing Detroit neighborhoods. The emotion conveyed when he saw his own house with trash and run down cars just sitting there was powerful. He was able to give his commentary on it because of how close he was.

I just walked around and told him what I thought. My photographer said we need to start and end with that right there.

Josh Landon

This event showed students how rewarding this field can be and they could not have been more thankful for the experience as many walked up afterwards for photos and handshakes.

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