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Emory Greek organizations collaborated to host an interactive program on issues of dating abuse and sexual assault in White Hall yesterday, Thursday, Oct. 23.

The event, titled “Safe Smart Dating” hosted by Emory’s Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) sorority and Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity, was part of a broader program offered by the national chapter of SDT in partnership with Jewish Women International (JWI) and the national ZBT chapter.

Emory is the first university to host a full-length Safe Smart Dating program — until now, only three pilot programs had been tested at universities since the program’s launch last year.

Upon entering the auditorium, the event’s more than 100 participants were assigned to smaller, peer-led discussion groups.

Representatives from JWI and the ZBT national chapter led a presentation about different types of abuse found in college relationships and dealing with cases of assault.

After the facilitators explained a particular issue, participants split up into their small groups. The attendees were given news articles and hypothetical scenarios, as well as shown videos to spark discussions in the groups.

“It’s an engaging conversation that has [participants] not just listening to a lecture but has them actually participating in how you would address these situations,” National President of SDT Michelle Carlson said.

Another interactive feature of the program was the live-text surveys. Upon describing the different types of dating abuse, the presenters put up a poll asking attendees whether they had experienced any kind of dating abuse, and if so, what kind.

Participants could text in their responses anonymously and see how people in the room answered on the screen in real-time.

“It was really sobering to see the numbers in your own community as opposed to just random statistics,” College senior Jamie Shulman said. “I think it was really eye-opening for specifically Emory campus and what goes on here.”

College senior and President of Emory’s SDT chapter Lindsay Baker, worked with the national SDT chapter to bring the Safe Smart Dating program to campus. She said she felt there wasn’t enough engagement from the Emory community on issues of sexual assault.

“There’s not a lot of public things going on in response to sexual violence on campus, especially within the Greek community,” Baker said. “We wanted to really be the pioneers and do something about it instead of just sitting back.”

Carlson noted that the Safe Smart Dating program was unique in that it engages both men and women, and that this effort is coming from Greek organizations.

“There’s a lot of negative stereotypes about Greek men and Greek women,” Carlson explained. “We have an opportunity to be leaders in this area of domestic violence to work together and make a difference on college campuses.”

The program was also LGBT-friendly. The hypothetical scenarios discussed at the event deliberately used characters with gender-neutral names so that they could apply to all types of relationships.

“It is really inclusive of all types of relationships, in the sense that it’s not just your typical male-female relationship,” College senior and President of Emory’s ZBT chapter Sam Broida said. “It’s sort of an all-encompassing, overarching review of how to handle any kind of relationship.”

Drew Rizzo, health promotion specialist for Emory’s Respect program, and Catherine Petersen, an employee of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), were also on hand to provide counseling for any students who may have felt uncomfortable by any of the issues discussed in the program.

— By Harmeet Kaur, Digital Editor

The University is investigating a bias incident that allegedly occurred during an intramural (IM) flag football game between Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity and another group of Emory students on Monday, according to an Oct. 21 email from Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair.

The students involved were allegedly “subjected to behavior that violated [Emory] community principles of inclusivity, openness and respect,” Nair wrote.

According to Intramural Coordinator Ricky Talman, a student yelled “go back to India” to the opposing team. Talman added that IM sports stress the importance of diversity and inclusivity, and any sort of discrimination or bias acts are not tolerated.

AEPi was the target of a bias incident earlier this month on Oct. 5, where swastikas were spray-painted onto its house. The University and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Civil Rights division is investigating that incident.

“Each incident is managed individually as each is different,” Senior Associate Dean and Director of Campus Life External Relations Andy Wilson wrote in an email to the Wheel.

In Nair’s email, he explained that the University is investigating the flag football incident in accordance to Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy through the bias response team, and the University is working with AEPi leadership and witnesses to identify those responsible.

The bias response team is available to “support and guide students seeking assistance in determining how to handle a bias incident” and will document incidents and meet with affected students to facilitate services, ensure safety and to provide assistance and comfort to those impacted, according to the Emory bias response website.

AEPi released a statement to the Wheel addressing the individual’s response and reassuring the Emory community of their commitment as an organization to keep Emory a safe space.

“The brothers of Alpha Epsilon Pi are deeply saddened and apologetic about the incident that occurred at an intramural football game,” the statement read. “The horrific comments by no means reflect the beliefs, values or morals of our brotherhood. We will work tirelessly with Emory to ensure a community safe from bigotry and harassment.”

Emory’s Student Government Association (SGA) President and College junior Jon Darby wrote that the SGA Executive Board was “disheartened and offended by the alleged incident” at the flag football game, he wrote.

Four witnesses at the IM game declined to comment on the incident.

College junior Peter Witzig said that he thought the response from Nair and others are a result of other, more recent bias incidents.

“I think it’s a step forward, because before [the swastikas painted on AEPi’s house], it would have been nothing,” Witzig said. “I’m positive and optimistic that something happened.”

College sophomore Jasmyn Mackell feels the email and investigation are reasonable reactions.

“I would say that it’s fair, being that they’re addressing all of the issues,” Mackell said. “I just hope that they’re thoroughly looking into it rather than issuing a statement and leaving it at that.”

Mackell also said that the response to the swastika incident played a role in how Emory administration responded to this incident.

“I think that the administration wants to show that they’re angling their response unbiasedly, but we’ll only be able to tell unless more incidents happen,” Mackell said.

— By Stephen Fowler, Assistant News Editor & Sonam Vashi, Executive Editor

This article was updated at 11:16 a.m., Friday, Oct. 24 to reflect that Intramural Coordinator Ricky Talman said a student yelled “go back to India.” Talman did not say that an AEPi fraternity member yelled that statement, as the article previously reflected.

Emory University students supported Thoughtful Thursday by holding up signs with information relevant to sexual trafficking and rape. | Photo courtesty of Matthew Caron

Emory University students supported Thoughtful Thursday by holding up signs with information relevant to sexual trafficking and rape. | Photo courtesty of Matthew Caron

Thoughtful Thursday: Human Rights Awareness took place on Emory University’s Cox Bridge on Thursday, Oct. 23 in order to disperse information regarding human rights violations. This event, the first of many to take place monthly, highlighted the importance of being cognizant about instances of sexual trafficking and rape that happen in American society as well as outside its confines. Stacey Leiman, College senior and founder of the Thoughtful Thursday events, sat down with the Wheel to share the motivations and the goals behind her project.

Loli Lucaciu: How did the idea of Thoughtful Thursdays come about?

Stacey Leiman: The idea for Thoughtful Thursday specifically came from needing a way to expose human rights violations to Emory students. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own work and meetings that we forget that there are millions of people dealing with these kinds of violations every day. Thoughtful Thursday gives Emory students a way to educate themselves about these issues while not having to do any extra work except look at a poster and have someone tell you about the issue as you walk to class.

LL: What were the main motivating forces behind the creation of your project?

SL: I created the idea because I have always been passionate about spreading awareness of human rights violations. Education is incredibly important to me, and there are so many ways to educate people outside of the classroom. Thoughtful Thursday is so important because it helps educate the student body about real issues that are happening every day.

LL: When are these special Thursdays happening?

SL: Thoughtful Thursday will happen every third Thursday of the month. So many T’s!

LL: What are the main goals of these events?

SL: The main purpose of the event is to spread awareness of human rights violations around the world. This goal will hopefully be achieved by having more Thoughtful Thursday events and more students knowing about it.

LL: Why did you choose the topic of sexual trafficking and rape as the first issue discussed?

SL: The topics chosen were sexual trafficking in the United States and rape as a tool of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). These issues were chosen because sexual trafficking in the United States is incredibly prevalent, especially in Atlanta (which currently has the highest rate of sex trafficking in the country).

I figured doing something close to home would be a good way to kick off this event. Also what is going on in the DRC is terrible and has been going on for years. It’s one of those issues that never really gets much press, so I wanted to make Emory students more aware of issues going on abroad, as well.

LL: How did you get involved in the issue? What did you learn about it?

SL: I initially got involved in the issue because at my high school we have a Human Rights Week, where we have an entire hallway dedicated to a human rights issue. For my senior year, we did rape as a tool of war in the DRC, so I already knew a bit about the topic.

Then when I came to Emory, I remember sitting in a club meeting about human rights and learning that Atlanta had the highest amount of sex trafficking in the country. I thought “wow, this is great for me and the other seven people in this room to know, but what about the rest of the student body?” I wanted to find a way to make human rights awareness an issue for everyone.

LL: Any plans of continuing to raise awareness about sexual trafficking in the future? In what ways?

SL: Next week, Emory Undergraduate Global Health Organization (EUGHO) is having an open forum dinner at Cox Hall to discuss these issues with anyone who wants to join and hopefully there will be some sort of open forum after every one of these events. For now, there are organizations on campus that focus on sexual trafficking that students can get involved with if they are interested in this issue.

LL: How can Emory students contribute to alleviate this issue?

SL: The first step in any form of action is awareness, so just educating themselves on these issues is amazing.

But if students want to do more, there are groups on campus that can provide outlets for students as well as many national and international organizations like Love146, The Polaris Project and Women for Women, all of which deal with survivors of sexual trafficking and rape in the DRC.

LL: What other topics will be covered during future Thoughtful Thursday sessions?

SL: Next month’s topic is scheduled to be about Tibet and beyond that [the topic] is pretty open!

LL: How are you trying to expand these events? What’s next for Thoughtful Thursdays?

SL: I am trying to expand these events by getting more clubs involved and creating more posters so we can talk to more people at once. Also [by trying] to get outside groups and professors involved. The president of the Emory Alumni Association is Doug Shipman, who also happens to be the CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, so maybe we can partner with him or the Carter Center to make these events bigger.

LL: What feedback did you receive from the Emory community?

SL: Emory students who came to learn about the issues thought the posters were incredibly informative and seemed excited about the event’s purpose.

Although the topic is not the most uplifting, students seemed interested and definitely cared about the subject.

— By Loli Lucaciu, Student Life Editor

ebola

 

After seeing countless statuses and links on my newsfeed expressing extreme concern about Ebola having come to the U.S. — the paranoid responses of those who are afraid to leave their homes, who want to seal our borders, who criticize our medical workers and public health leaders (I won’t even mention the ridiculous conspiracy theories I’ve heard concerning the President) — I can’t hold in my opinion any longer. People need to stop panicking and start acting.

There have been three cases of Ebola in the U.S. One of these cases, which tragically resulted in death, involved a Liberian man named Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted the disease in West Africa (If you’d like to discuss how outrageous it is that he was denied treatment, despite his 103-degree fever, possibly based on his skin color and social standing, I have a few opinions on that too).

The two other cases, both health care workers who treated Duncan, are the only two Americans known to have contracted the disease on American soil. Blinded by fear, many American people are forgetting the fact that for many West Africans, facing their relatives and friends dying all around them is a daily reality. I’ve been surprised at the quantity of media addressing the U.S. Ebola “crisis” as opposed to media displaying the utter horror of what is going on in West Africa. This media approach is a massive factor in fueling the American people’s unrest.

The hysteria that our country is falling victim to originates from a fear of our proximity to two of our own citizens seeking treatment here in Atlanta, despite their being under strict regulation and in containment.

There have been nearly 9,000 cases reported in the region of West Africa, over 4,000 of which have resulted in death. And these are just the reported cases. Yes, these numbers are very scary. I understand that. But our best chance of stopping this disease is by fighting and containing it at its source. We, in the U.S., have unique resources and expertise to do this. Among these resources are American doctors and scientists who are doing everything in their power to limit this disease to its area of origin.

My mother is one of these. She is a doctor who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and she is currently in Sierra Leone for a month, having volunteered to treat patients suffering from Ebola along with interviewing them to help the CDC track and contain this terrible disease. I’m not expecting that to hit home as much as it does for me, but maybe it’ll add some perspective for some of you. The horror of what she is seeing and living every day is what we need to focus on. If you are able, channel your fear into incentive to support organizations aiding in the control of Ebola.

Consider donating to organizations like the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Doctors Without Borders, the American Red Cross, etc., all of which are using these donations to send supplies, medicine and health care workers to West Africa.

Yes, Ebola has come to America, and we may well see more cases in the coming weeks. But let’s stop this talk about closing our borders. As American citizens, we have the right to return to our country, suffering from Ebola or not. And as a country founded by immigrants (which of us, after all, is not a descendant of people who came from elsewhere?), shouldn’t we open our arms to anyone in need, rather than engaging in mindless xenophobia?

Our doctors and scientists, moreover, learn how to combat this disease by actually treating cases, ultimately making us all safer in the long run. I obviously hope my mother does not contract Ebola while doing her work. But, hypothetically, if she did, would you seriously deny her, an American woman who has risked her life protecting you, the right to seek aid in the country she calls home? I understand that some Americans are scared, but we should not allow panic to dictate policy.

This disease can only be transmitted in very limited circumstances involving direct contact with bodily fluids, not through air. In donating money, you are helping others while simultaneously looking out for your own well-being. The more resources that find their way to West Africa for combating Ebola, the less likely it is to become a serious problem in our country. And if you are unable to donate, remember that knowledge on this subject and spreading it to promote awareness is also of the upmost importance.

– Anna Bing is a College freshman from Atlanta, Georgia.

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Freshman Anders Olsen runs the frisbee down the field (Left) and his older brother, senior Christian Olsen sets himself to make a pass (Right). The brothers, who play on the Emory ultimate frisbee club team, have both competed on the national level. | Photo Courtesy of Nate Haskell(Left)/ Photo Courtesy of James Crissman (Right)

When most think “frisbee” they visualize the carefree tossing of a neon-colored disk at the beach or playing catch with their dog at the park. But, add the word “ultimate” and the picture transforms into a fiercely competitive sport played in more than 80 countries by an estimated seven million athletes.

While most Emory students are aware of the sport’s existence, many do not know that two of their peers have played Ultimate Frisbee, also known as Ultimate, at the highest level.

Senior Christian Olsen is a member of the Emory club team and competed on the 2013 USA Under 23 National Team, and his brother, freshman Anders Olsen, also on the Emory team, is a member of the 2014 USA Under 19 National Team.

They both got started playing Ultimate in highschool at Paideia, a private school in Atlanta with a long history of the sport and a reputation for being an Ultimate powerhouse. Their high school team competed with multiple college teams around Georgia, including Emory, whom they beat.

“At first, I thought it was a pretty wimpy sport, because the self-refereeing and ‘no-contact’ rules,” Christian said. “However, once I started playing, I realized that it was one of the best team sports that I could ever be apart of.”

Anders’ views on the sport similarly changed when he learned more about it.

“Having never heard of it, I thought the idea of playing a sport with a frisbee was stupid and comical,” he said. “However, the first day was a blast and I quickly fell in love with this new sport.”

At last year’s World Championships, Christian competed with an Under 23 Division team comprised of the best college Ultimate players in the country, a team which won the world title.

“It was great being able to represent our country, the Ultimate community of the US and our family,” Christian said.

Christian will be trying out for the 2015 National Team early in November in hopes of winning a second gold medal.

This past summer, Anders was a part of the Under 19 Division USA Team, which won silver at the world championships in Lecco, Italy.

“Playing on the nationals team was one of the best experiences of my life because I spent a chunk of my summer playing a sport I loved with people who loved it just as much as me,” Anders said.

Emory’s club team is growing as exciting new talent with the potential to shine is starting to become passionate about the sport.

“Emory is not a very big school, nor are we an Ultimate ‘powerhouse,’” Christian said. “But we are starting to accumulate the talent and dedication we need to really build a solid program here.”

Ultimate was first invented by a group of students at Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J. in 1968. It is a unique sport due to its self-officiating, a concept known as “Spirit of the Game.” This theory promotes players making their own calls.

Athletes are thus responsible for their own actions in the game. Spirit of the Game is incorporated in the official rules and enforced in every level of the game from regional to international.

“My favorite thing about this sport is that it holds you to the highest standard of integrity for yourself and your opponents,” Christian said. “Because of [Spirit of the Game rules] we are forced to be honest and treat our competition with respect. I feel like all other sports lack that aspect of the game, even at the professional levels, occasionally.”

Anders’ favorite part of the game is its uniquely fast pace and strong community.

“It moves so rapidly that everything you do when you’re on the field is instinctual because there is no time to think,” he said. “[Ultimate is a] welcoming community, kind, yet competitive atmosphere.”

Because of their difference in age divisions on the national teams, this year on the Emory club team is the first real time the Olsen brothers have had the opportunity to play as teammates.

While some sports might make brothers compete for the top spot by pushing each other down, Ultimate offers an arena for each brother to get better by pushing the other to succeed.

“I think we are comfortable enough with each other to where I can give him direct, honest feedback and he will take it and do with it what he wants,” Christian said of his relationship with his younger brother. “He is constantly trying to get better and that’s why I try my best to push him every practice.”

Still, there are glimpses of a slight sibling rivalry between the two.

“There is competition but it’s a friendly one,” Anders confessed. “We like to push one another and gentlemanly compliment one another for each other’s victories. We like to urge each other to play better, but it’s a friendly kind that is in place to make us both stronger players.”

Christian, Anders and the rest of the Ultimate team are travelling to Statesboro, Ga., this weekend to compete in the Battle in the Boro, hosted by Georgia Southern University.

— By Elana Cates, Staff Writer

The Eagles swim against the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Wilmington in the WoodPEC for a Alumni and Family Weekend crowd. The women’s team defeated UNC-Wilmington, 152-142, while the men lost 157-131. The teams take on Birmingham-Southern College away this Saturday. | Photo Courtesy of Jason Oh

The Eagles swim against the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Wilmington in the WoodPEC for a Alumni and Family Weekend crowd. The women’s team defeated UNC-Wilmington, 152-142, while the men lost 157-131. The teams take on Birmingham-Southern College away this Saturday. | Photo Courtesy of Jason Oh

By Rupsha Basu

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in their first intercollegiate dual meet of this season against the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Wilmington with a win for the women’s team and a loss for the men’s team.

The final standings were 152-142 for the men’s team and 157-131 for the women’s team. Combined, both teams won 23 of 32 events, 15 out of 16 of which were won by the women’s team.

The women’s team locked in wins in the 200-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle by freshman Ming Ong, the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke by sophomore Claire Liu and a 200-medley relay victory by Liu, freshman Cindy Cheng and sophomores Annelise Kowalsky and Kristine Rosenberg. Liu, Ong, freshman Julia Wawer and senior Nancy Larson won the 200-yard freestyle relay race.

Senior and Co-Captain McKenna Newsum-Schoenberg won 1,000-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly. Other individual event victors included Kowalsky, junior Ellie Thompson, sophomore Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe and freshman Mara Rosenstock.

“Last year the women’s team lost to UNC-Wilmington, and we lost to them by four points,” Newsum-Schoenberg said. “That really fueled our fire.”

She added that the team proved they could prevail.

For the men’s team, junior Andrew Wilson dominated the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events as well as the 200-yard individual medley.

Like the women’s team, the men’s senior and Co-Captain Hayden Baker won the 200-yard butterfly, and his brother College sophomore Christian Baker claimed the 200 and 500-yard freestyle titles.

Other victors for the men’s team included freshmen Henry Copses and Alexander Hardwick in the 1,000 and 100-yard freestyle, respectively.

UNC-Wilmington presented a sizeable challenge as a Division I opponent, especially for the men’s team because they did not have any divers competing, according to Head Coach Jon Howell.

Because of the lack of divers, the men’s team started off with a 32-point deficit, 22 of which they were able to make up.

“It’s hard to compete without any male divers, but we put up a great fight, making up 22 points on the swimming side of things,” Baker said.

However, the team fell short 10 points despite their success in the swimming competitions.

“They had to really step up, and the men’s team did,” Newsum-Schoenberg said.

As for the women’s team, they were successful on both sides of competition.

“The women were fairly dominant in the meet,” Howell said, commenting on the fact that they only lost one event.

Additionally, the weekend brought in a large crowd due to Alumni and Family Weekend.

“It was a fun weekend across the board,” Howell said.

The atmosphere also affected the team members.

“Having family and alumni in the stands was icing on the cake,” Newsum-Schoenberg said.

The competition also marked the first meet for members of the team who are new this season.

“Our freshmen handled their first meet well,” Baker said.

While the opportunity to compete against a Division I team was good experience for Emory’s team, Howell said his main objective is preparing for the team’s national championships.

“Our objective right now is to get a little better every week and I think we definitely accomplished that from where we were a week ago,” Howell concluded.

The Emory swimming and diving teams’ next competition will be another dual meet in Birmingham, Ala. against Birmingham-Southern College on Saturday, Nov. 1.

— By Rupsha Basu, News Editor

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By Samantha Goodman

What was once a grassy field now holds sweet potatoes, peppers and more in an expansive farm and interactive classroom for Oxford College students called the Oxford Organic Farm, which officially opened on Oct. 18 just 700 feet from the Oxford campus.

Since this semester began, there have been at least 150 students in the small college who have worked on the farm either as part of class requirements, volunteer work or a work-study program.

The Emory community was invited to celebrate the opening of the more than 11-acre farm with local and organic foods, music by rock band Mercy Street, tours of the farm, fresh apple cider and a ceremonial tree planting, according to Assistant Professor of Sociology Deric Shannon.

“The project has exceeded expectations in every way,” Oxford College Dean Stephen Bowen said. “The farm is already producing hundreds of pounds of vegetables every week.”

Sodexo buys much of the produce to serve to students eating at both the Oxford and Atlanta campuses.

The farm, located at 406 Emory Street, was donated to Oxford by Trulock Dickson (‘72OX, ‘74C) in 2011. It originally belonged to late Oxford Professor of Mathematics and Director of Student Activities Marshall Elizer and his wife Fran since 1948, according to Shannon.

Bowen said in an interview with the Wheel the idea for the farm has been in the works for several years. According to a Jan. 17 University press release, Bowen said that “the enabling event was the gift of land.”

The next piece in the puzzle was finding the right farmer to manage the land, use sustainable farming to support the community and teach students in the process, according to the Jan. 17 University press release.

According to the press release, they landed on Daniel Parson, who comes with 15 years of experience in organic farming. In 2009, he was presented with the Georgia Organics Land Steward of the Year Award and named to Mother Nature Network’s “40 Farmers Under 40” list.

Parson initially focused on readying the land for students this fall. Since then, the farm now includes a barn that houses a walk-in cooler and space where the produce can be prepared, packed and distributed.

The farm operates a weekly paid produce plan that allows subscribers to pick up their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) baskets that are pre-filled with that week’s produce.

Parson also has a booth on Tuesdays at the Emory Farmer’s Market that sells vegetables grown at the Oxford garden.

Additionally, Oxford professors are building the farm into their class curriculum. In one class, “The Sociology of Food,” the farm serves as the classroom.

Taught by Shannon, the class is an “experimental way to learn about good food and to become good learners,” he said. “[The class] looks at how food is central to inequality and how it plays into building our identities.”

Classes in Economics, Environmental Science, Philosophy, Sociology and Spanish have also included work on the farm as part of the curricula.

“It is nice to see the community getting so involved,” Parson said.

Shannon added that members from the surrounding Fulton County area have come to enjoy the garden as well.

“It’s amazing to think of all the people who have spent their time turning this long-term vision into a reality,” Parson said. “It was just a field when I got here in January, and now it’s a fixture on campus.”

This is only the beginning according to Bowen, who noted that the irrigation system was just installed last week.

Parson, Bowen and Shannon all noted that everyone is invited to check out the farm when they have a chance.

“In a lot of ways, the best hasn’t even come yet,” Parson said.

— By Samantha Goodman, Contributing Writer

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Photo by James Crissman

By Stephen Fowler
Asst. News Editor

Emory University Hospital launched a website detailing protocols and procedures for dealing with patients infected with Ebola, according to an Oct. 20 University press release.

According to the press release, the website will serve as a compendium of best practices for safe and effective screening, diagnosis and treatment for patients with Ebola.

“The Emory Healthcare Ebola Preparedness Protocols website includes policies, procedures and protocols developed within Emory Healthcare to enable physicians and staff to deal safely and effectively with various risk categories of patients who could be or are infected with the Ebola virus,” the press release reads.

Emory Hospital has been responsible for the successful treatment of three Ebola patients: physician Kent Brantly, aid worker Nancy Writebol and an unidentified male patient; nurse Amber Joy Vinson is currently being treated in a special isolation unit.

According to the Oct. 20 University press release, the third Ebola patient, who entered treatment at Emory University Hospital Sept. 9, was released Sept. 19 and poses “no public health threat.”

The patient will make a statement at a later date and wishes to retain anonymity, according to the statement.

President and CEO of Emory Healthcare John Fox wrote in the statement from the press release that, given Emory’s role in treating Ebola patients, it is important to ensure other health care facilities are prepared to handle Ebola.

“Health care providers throughout the United States are very concerned about the potential spread of Ebola virus and the possible arrival of patients with Ebola virus disease at their emergency departments, hospitals and clinics,” Fox wrote. “Emory Healthcare is committed to sharing our processes and experience on how to provide safe, effective care for patients with Ebola virus disease.”

The 84-page protocol manual covers every step of the admissions process, including a high-risk assessment performed by an Infectious Diseases physician, a comprehensive travel history and delineation of high-risk, intermediate-risk and low-risk for Ebola.

There is also a detailed section on specimen management for patients who have contracted Ebola or are at high-risk of infection.

Another nurse, Nina Pham, also contracted Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national who was infected with the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States and later died on Oct. 8.

According to reports from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and Chief Clinical Officer for Texas Health Services Daniel Varga, Texas Health Presbyterian allegedly did not follow proper protocol or have health care staff in proper protective gear when treating Duncan, which contributed to Vinson and Pham being infected.

Another aspect of the Ebola protocols calls for education around risk assessment, triage and care of high-risk patients across the Emory Healthcare system.

The protocol manual also outlines the history and function of Emory’s Special Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU), where the Ebola patients have been treated.

Staffing in the SCDU is comprised of physicians who are members of the Infectious Diseases Division at the Emory University School of Medicine, experienced Emory Healthcare nurses who have received special training in the care of patients with serious communicable diseases and laboratory technologists, according to the protocol manual.

— Contact Stephen Fowler at smfowle@emory.edu

SWAT

Armored vehicles lumber down the dusty road of a small town; heavily armed men sporting body armor and tactical gear ride along in the back. This is the reality of post-9/11 America.

Many military operations overseas are coming to a close, but the War on Terror is still happening. An alarming amount of ordinance from foreign wars is being funneled back into the United States and being given directly to law enforcement agencies.

This, coupled with an upswing in the predominance of paramilitary tactics utilized by local police, has permanently transformed policing in the U.S. and could alter American society as a whole.
The use of assault weapons and military-style tactics by the police are very troubling for a number of reasons. Statistics released from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that the vast majority of weapons used in violent crimes are handguns or knives, which makes the use of assault rifles by police seem like overkill.

The use of “no-knock warrants,” which allow police officers to enter a home without immediate or prior notification to the homeowners, is a tool increasingly utilized by police officers. No-knock warrants are used when it is believed that evidence in a home may be destroyed during the time it takes police to identify themselves. Warrants of this nature have been decried as violating the Fourth Amendment. On top of constitutional challenges, the warrants are controversial for other reasons. For example, burglars have broken into homes by claiming to be police with no-knock warrants. Armed homeowners who believe they are being invaded have exchanged gunfire with officers, leading to deaths on both sides. The use of no-knock warrants has grown from about 3,000 raids a year in the 1980s to about 70,000 raids a year.

But what was the catalyst behind this trend in American policing? The proliferation of heavily armed police is directly correlated to America’s “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror.” We might like to think of increased militarization as a result of our post-9/11 mentality, but it is really a symptom of policies from more than three decades ago.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan passed the Military Cooperation with Law Enforcement Act, which allowed and encouraged the military to cooperate with local, state and federal law enforcement and render assistance via research, equipment and other assets to assist with the then-nascent “War on Drugs” initiative.

This act of government authorized the military to train civilian police officers to use the new high-tech weaponry, instructed the military to share drug-war–related information with police officers and authorized the military to take an active role in preventing drugs from entering the country.

Thus the precedent was set, inviting future legislators to pass laws in a similar vein and thus decrease the distinction between the military and police, all in the name of keeping drugs off the streets. Modern theories of policing define the police as civil-servants working through local government for the prevention of crimes and apprehension of criminals. Police are supposed to utilize a proportional amount of force as required by the situation whereas soldiers on a foreign battlefield may utilize any amount of force necessary to ensure the completion of the mission. But with the large amounts of military grade equipment and training made available to the police, the traditional mind set of police officers is changing to justify the use of these assets.

More recent legislature passed after the events of September 11, 2001 has transformed the issue from one of drug suppression to one of fighting the menace of terrorism. Legislature passed as early as the 1990s has resulted in thousands of pieces of military hardware, ranging from weapons to vehicles, being passed into the hands of the police for use on U.S. citizens.

This increasingly militarized police force could adversely affect police-civilian relationships as the general populace feels more and more like a people under occupation.

Recently, with the winding down of military operations abroad, the Department of Defense, along with the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department, have made it easier than ever for local police departments to obtain military vehicles. Heavily armed and armored mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs) have recently found their way into the hands of civilian police. 175 of these hulking behemoths of war had been doled out to various police departments across the U.S. when they first became available in the summer of 2013, and the number of requests for MRAPs has quadrupled in the past year.

Many civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have condemned the use of military vehicles in American municipalities, stating that the use of military and SWAT style tactics for simple arrests or warrant servings is far from necessary.

The purchasing of military grade equipment, ranging from body armor to the aforementioned MRAPs is made simple for even the smallest and most low key of police departments through a series of grants from the Department of Homeland Security. These grants are issued to “enhance the ability of regional authorities to prepare, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks and other disasters,” per the department’s own website.

Not only are these weapons made available to local police departments, but with these grants allow greater access to these weapons of war, a fact that has alarmed many Americans who hold strong convictions about the necessity of a civilian police force as opposed to a military or national police force.

In fact, an Associated Press investigation of the Defense Department’s military surplus program shows that a large percentage of the $4.2 billion worth of equipment that has been distributed over the past 25 years has gone directly to police and sheriff departments in rural areas with very few officers and low crime rates.

This overt militarization also comes at a time when reports on police brutality are occurring with more frequency than in decades past, contributing to an ongoing image problem of police in the U.S.
Every few weeks, stories about police brutality, accidental fatal shootings or other high profile run-ins with the police permeate media outlets and online blogs. Images of police officers raiding the Occupy encampments across the country with brutal efficiency, the beating to death of mentally ill homeless man Kelly Thomas by California police, the shooting of 18 year old Keith Vidal; these incidents, coupled with an increased emphasis on paramilitary training and mindset for police, could lead to a very serious breakdown in respect for law enforcement.

It is an unfortunate reality of our time that we live in an era of uncertainty. With terrorist attacks seemingly able to manifest out of nowhere, we rely on internal security forces more than ever for the protection of citizens. Training and arming police with the best equipment seems like a proactive step to helping them in their anti-terrorism responsibilities.

The problem arises when police begin utilizing these tools in their day-to-day operations; for example, serving a warrant for a non-violent drug offender does not merit the use of full body armor and SWAT-style raids. This disproportionate use of force on a nation’s citizens fosters resentment and suspicion toward law enforcement officials.

Ultimately, police militarization does more harm than good. Police come to be viewed as oppressors and citizens are viewed as potential threats. The result is that we as a nation are more endangered by our own police forces than by terrorists, and this reality causes distrusts of police on a fundamental level.

When you are more likely to end up dead at the hands of those sworn to protect you than those sworn to destroy you, who is the bigger threat?

— By Andrew Morsilli, a College senior from East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Photo by Mark Spicer/Staff

Photo by Mark Spicer/Staff

By Jungmin Lee
Contributing Writer

Written by Tennessee Williams in 1947 and set in the same time period, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Streetcar Named Desire has solidified its reputation as an American classic. In fact, its longstanding relevance was showcased by an Emory student theater rendition which opened Friday, Oct. 17 at the Black Box Theater in the Burlington Road Building, and will run through next Saturday, Oct. 25. Presented by the Dooley Players, Emory’s student-run, non-musical theater organization (also the newly birthed combo of former groups AHANA and Starving Artists Productions), the show was an outstanding directorial debut for College juniors Zana Pouncey and Angad Dev Singh.

In a Directors’ Note featured in the program, Pouncey hinted at the intense storyline the audience was in for. She stated, “[Tennessee] Williams boldly allows his characters to wrestle through heavy topics that brashly confront genuine issues in society.” Singh also wrote, “I hope audience members experience the thriving, exuberant atmosphere of New Orleans and connect with the carefully crafted characters that Williams’ has created.”

Both directors emphasized that many societal themes explored in the original text, such as vanity, class and even homophobia, are still prevalent; therefore the late 1940s setting would not be a hindrance for the audience.

Admittedly, I had some skepticism about the production’s ability to capture the nuanced excellence of its many predecessors, especially the Academy Award-winning 1951 film adaptation. But all my doubts dissipated as soon as our protagonist Blanche Du Bois (College sophomore Carys Meyer), stepped onstage, looking and sounding like ever the southern belle. Clutching tightly onto her belongings, she frantically scanned her unfamiliar urban surroundings of New Orleans for dear younger sister Stella Kowalski (College senior Ali Reubenstone). The audience watched silently, enraptured by Blanche’s breathy drawl, a voice distinctly sprinkled with a sophistication that seemed out of place in Stella’s simple home. It became clear that this unglamorous living space was a far cry from where the two grew up, a family plantation called Belle Reve (aptly translated to “beautiful dream” in English). Even more startling to Blanche than her sister’s unimpressive taste in lifestyle, was her horrific choice in a husband — enter Stanley Kowalski (College freshman John Beck), aka her worst nightmare.

The chemistry between Stanley and Blanche buzzed from the moment they met — and not in a good way. He, a brutish Polish-American – or in Blanche’s words, a “Polack” — was a Master Sergeant in the war with a no-BS attitude whose explosive anger often led to instances of domestic abuse in his passionate relationship with Stella. She, a sensitive and complicated woman with a habit of lying to tell things as they “ought” to be instead of the grittier truth, was obsessed with beauty, appearances and high-class matters. In his first acting role at Emory, Beck walked, talked and breathed masculinity as Stanley, eliciting a few chuckles with his blunt attitude and caustic humor, as well as a couple gasps from the audience with his hellish exhibitions of violence. I was particularly impressed when he powered through a scene without so much of a flinch, after accidentally cutting his finger on a prop that literally left him bleeding onto the set. Similar to her co-star, Meyer also gave a compelling performance, demonstrating a special dichotomy in her character, one that simultaneously sparked my sympathy and frustration.

Interactions between these opposite personalities led to an increasingly hysterical Blanche and positioned Stella in the middle of an interesting near-love triangle. Throughout the play, Stella found herself torn between these two loyalties. Although she consistently defended her big sister, Stella’s devotion to Stanley kept her at a small but unmistakable distance from Blanche. Here, Reubenstone deserves special credit for depicting this tug-of-war relationship so believably. As the most emotionally stable individual of the trio, she was also the most relatable to me, because the audience itself shared her struggle to identify a clear villain and victim. A testament to Williams’ writing, Blanche and Stanley were not one-dimensional figures who could easily be categorized into either camp. For Stella, her allegiances were complicated by an overwhelming attraction to her husband which was so magnetic that it made zero sense to her dismayed sister and perhaps to the audience, too.

The challenge these three faced, to bear with one another in the confines of only two rooms barely separated by a curtain, filled the show to the brim with intense dramatics. Thankfully, the whole play wasn’t all tears and screams. Moments of beauty glimmered with hope and sometimes with a quiet sadness; we saw one such instance in the beginning stages of Blanche’s budding romance with a friend of Stanley named Mitch (Goizueta Business School senior Mike Filer). In the gentlemanly and soft-spoken Mitch, she saw a potentially happy future, one where she would finally be at peace with a good man by her side. In addition to these romantic scenes, there was a surprising dose of humor interspersed between the lines in several bits. The audience laughed at many of Blanche’s over-the-top antics, amused at the lengths she would go to keep up appearances or seduce every man she came in contact with – even a collector boy, played humorously by College freshman Devon Gould. Much like Blanche’s unpredictable roller coaster of emotions, everyone in the black box seats experienced a spectrum of feelings watching these stellar performances. One minute, our jaws would be dropped in shock at yet another one of Stanley’s outbursts and the next, we would be smiling and giggling away at Blanche’s flirting.

Unlike the tumultuous relationships featured on stage, Meyer noted in an interview with the Wheel that the cast and crew created a collaborative environment during rehearsals: “The cast worked well together … The directors also did an awesome job. They had a vision for the show, but also let us experiment with our characters,” she said.

Thanks to this smooth pre-production process, each actor had the chance to shine onstage, including supporting roles who lent a seamless hand to the story and proved that one’s quantity of lines really had no bearing on one’s quality of performance.

As for the directors, their clear vision proved successful in the skilled staging and technical features of sound and lighting, both of which helped set the ambiance of the play without distracting from the central plot.

The thundering applause as the entire cast of “A Streetcar Named Desire” took a bow was well-deserved, to say the least. I give the performance a solid five out of five stars. Co-director Singh had written in the program, “This is a play that takes my breath away each time I read or view it, and I hope it does the same for you.”

I can say for myself and no doubt, many others who witnessed Friday’s opening night: mission accomplished.

Editor’s note: This production contains depictions of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Counseling and support services remain available to the Emory community. Students may reach the Counseling and Psychological Services Center by calling 404.727.7450 or the Office of Religious Life at 404.727.6225. Faculty and staff may reach the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at 404.727.4328.

— Contact Jungmin Lee at jungmin.lee@emory.edu

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