Final Project – Hubbard, Ade, Hadden, Lohr

Breaking the Silence on Campus Sexual Assault

Group Members: Rachel Hubbard, Teddy Ade, Joey Hadden, Jeremy Lohr

“I’m a first year student here at St. Ed’s. I was sexually assaulted twice…”

The second time this 19-year-old freshman, who has asked to remain anonymous, was sexually assaulted, it occurred on campus during the school year.

A 2015 report from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center shows that one in five women are sexually assaulted on campus and that 90% of college victims do not report it.

After coming home with a young man from sixth street she was sexually assaulted the next morning. “When I went to eat breakfast he threw my plate and began doing sexual activities with me.”

“I felt used. I began to not trust other people in a relationship. You can’t have sex the same way and you feel taken advantage of and you’re just a sex object.”

She is now a member of It’s On Us, a sexual assault awareness campaign launched in 2014 by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

St. Edward’s is one of just 224 schools to join the former Vice President’s initiative, according to former chapter President Maddie Cohen.

After the freshman’s second assault she did not want to use any of the resources on campus. “I felt like an idiot for letting it happen again.”

Her and Cohen state that it’s important for students to know where they can find help on campus in the case of a sexual assault.

Possible resources for students include the Health and Counseling Center and the office of the Dean of Students. Steven Pinkenburg, Dean of Students at St. Edward’s, is in charge of dealing with sexual assault cases on campus. Mr. Pinkenburg shared with us the steps taken in the event of these cases.

A survivor of a sexual assault case gets to choose how they want the situation to unfold. They can first report to the administration of the Dean of Students office or they can report criminal charges to the University Police Department. Title IX legally requires that all schools and universities must respond to and resolve any hostile situations that occur on campus, including sexual harassment and violence.

University Police Department Commander Homer Huerta shared updates the university is making for students including a new app called Topper Safe.

In an effort to help students feel safer on campus, Topper Safe will soon be released. Along with providing emergency guidelines and contact resources, it will also allow the user to request safe rides, submit anonymous tips, as well as the option to relay any questions or concerns.  

If you yourself have been sexually assaulted or know anyone on campus who has been sexually assaulted, know you are not alone. You do not have fight it yourself.

The Health and Counseling Center is located at Lady Bird Johnson Hall, 100. To make an appointment call, 512-448-8686.

 

Final Project Pitch – Jeremy Lohr

Our final project is to make a primarily video based story about sexual assault on campus. The story will have interviews, talk about awareness, and discuss procedures of what students should do and how it is handles on campus. UPD and Dean of Students would be ideal interview subjects.

Headlines – Jeremy Lohr

College trash fire injures two

Two Mallory College students suffered slight burns trying to extinguish a fire that started in a classroom trash basket. Firefighters took out the fire which had spread to desks and chairs within 30 minutes.

Racist cross burner found guilty

32 year old Fred R. Thornton was found guilty for bias harassment after burning a cross at the home of a racially mixed couple. Two other participant men are awaiting trial after Judge Richard Frank’s called Thornton’s actions “despicable.”

Pencil company not smarter than a fourth-grader

Fourth-grade student Arthur Metzler showed that anti-drug campaign pencils with “Too Cool to Drugs” eventually read “Cool to Do Drugs” and “Do Drugs” when sharpened. Britton Pencil Co. has released new pencils with “Too Cool to Do.”

Plane crashes near Little League baseball game

A plane crashed near a Little League baseball game while the pilot, Herbert Young was practicing take-off and landing, injuring himself and passenger Sarah Shields. Only a few cars at the baseball game were damaged.

Winter is finally coming

After weeks of warm weather, a long-delayed winter storm is arriving this weekend. Sleet, snow, and freezing rain are expected for several days, putting freeway workers and utility companies on standby.

Midterm Story Final – Jeremy Lohr

Austin Community Gardens On the Rise

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with growing sectors in technology, music, business, and now community gardens.

“They’ve been on the rise for the past 8 years since the city has become supportive of it,” says Sari Albornoz, the Grow Local Program Director at Sustainable Food Center and key contact for the Coalition of Austin Community Gardens (CACG).

Map of Austin Community Gardens

The city support she is referring to is the Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Garden Program (SUACG) founded in 2009 to “streamline the process for establishing community gardens and sustainable urban agriculture on city land.” The program claims to be “producing an estimated 100,000 pounds of fresh local, organic produce for Austin residents every year.”

One of these city gardens, the Deep Eddy Community Garden, is over 30 years old, 400 square feet and has a highly selective waitlist to get a plot for gardening. Gardens on city land require a lengthy paperwork process to get made, but represent less than a third of the rising gardens in Austin.

Most of the gardens can be found through the CACG, which works on a broader scope to help start and maintain gardens that are not just city sponsored. They provide panels and sessions to help educate people on how to start a garden.

“Gardens built at a center with a mission do very well,” according to Albornoz. These gardens include church, school, and neighborhood gardens. While city and neighborhood gardens typically have gardeners grow food for themselves, church and school gardens mostly donate theirs. Schools usually donate the food, but use the gardens as an educational tool, according to Albornoz, while churches may donate the food or host potlucks.

Cherry Creek Community Garden

If someone cannot find the time or resources to get a garden made on city land or in their neighborhood, they can use resources like Urban Patchwork, which will send someone to help “turn unused yard space into farmland.”

Albornoz is not able to pinpoint the exact reason for the rise of community gardens in Austin, but explains how the benefits may be alluring to most people. She classifies them under health, economic, environmental, educational, and community building activities.

According to several studies, Albornoz says that gardening is considered a physical exercise and that “horticultural therapy” is rising with it. Parents will be happy to hear too that studies have shown that children will be more prone and even excited to eat vegetables when they grow them themselves. Albornoz says, “It’s something about the kids seeing the process of the plant grow from the beginning and to be able to pull it out of the dirt and eat it.”

Whether these gardens are to make income through farmer’s markets, to create a gathering space for neighbors, to educate on fresh foods, or just being outdoors, community gardens provide sustainable food that anyone can make in their backyard.

 

Midterm Story Draft – Jeremy Lohr

[Note: I’m going to one of the gardens this week to meet one of the senior gardeners, Flo Rice, to see her schedule and how they work. I’ve also been waiting for SUACG Coordinator Meredith Gray to respond to me, but she looks like a dead end. I’m also getting more story info from CACG director, Sari Albornoz] OK. You need characters. How about people who go to the garden? You want to evoke this place and experience through the eyes of the people in your story. How about interviewing someone who has a plot in the garden?

Hidden behind trees adjacent to the popular tourist spot, Deep Eddy Pool, is a 34-year old city community garden. Fruit trees along the edges are starting to grow and a communal plot full of herbs varies from basil to mint. The 400 square foot area has a waiting list of people hoping to some day get access to one of the 34 exclusive plots available for their own gardening.

[Interview with Flo Rice, one of the plot’s gardeners]

The Deep Eddy Community Garden is the oldest of 30 public gardens part of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Garden Program (SUACG) in Austin. The program claims to be “producing an estimated 100,000 pounds of fresh local, organic produce for Austin residents every year.”

These city-endorsed gardens are a small fraction of the community gardens in Austin as others can be on church, school, or private property. Some of these gardens include ones designated for senior citizens while others are farms in the city open to the public.

[Map data: CACG info  and SUACG info]

While the SUACG was formed to help citizens “create community gardens and sustainable urban agriculture on city land,” the process of doing so is lengthy and full of paperwork. One of their resources, the Coalition of Austin Community Gardens (CACG) is aiming to “facilitate the creation of more community gardens in the Greater Austin Metro Area.”

The CACG works on a broader scope, providing information on all city community gardens and offering workshops and panels on topics around gardening. Austin’s Sustainable Food Center’s Grow Local Program Director, Sari Albornoz, leads the coalition. Just last September they held a panel titled “Raising Poultry at Community Gardens,” at the Deep Eddy Community Garden where Flo was one the speakers. The event educated gardeners on the benefits having chickens at the gardens with the poultry guests in attendance.

[Interview with Sari and Flo]

The SUACG gardens such as Deep Eddy’s have a higher attendance and maintenance compared to other community gardens (with the urban farms as an exception). This is due to high-maintenance components such as special plants or chickens. Most other community gardens such as the Cherry Creek Community Garden have simple tools and plants such as peach tree or lettuce. The city-sponsored gardens also required a lot of commitment and work beforehand to be placed on city land, meaning members were more long-term minded. Community gardens placed in neighborhoods or churches may have had the excitement behind a novelty idea but slowly lost interest over time.

Midterm Draft Pictures

Sari lists Urban Patchwork as a resource for people that want to start gardens, but do not have the time or knowledge on working out a way to build one in a public or neighborhood area. The group will come out to help “turn unused yard space into farmland that provides, fresh, organically grown produce.”

Austin’s community gardens can be tucked away or out in plain sight, but are spread out all across the city. They serve to bring together communities and neighborhoods, offering a recreational activity or a way to start eating fresh, local, and sustainable food.

 

 

 

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Mid Term Story Pitch – Jeremy Lohr

I’m thinking of a story about the community gardens around Austin. They are located all across the city and according to the city’s website the gardens are “producing an estimated 100,000 pounds of fresh local, organic produce… every year.” The history of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Garden Program (SUACG) would be detailed, explaining how and why it came to be. There is also a “Coalition of Austin Community Gardens,” that seems to be working on a smaller scale, but it’d be interesting to hear what they’re doing for the community. It’s a story about things going on in and for the community that most people might not be aware about. Overall this story could spread awareness, get people involved, educate them on their own gardens, and encourage them to make their own.

I would be interviewing leaders in these programs and show up on days people gather to work and try to interview anyone. A lot of video and photography could go into this story, showing people working in the gardens and what the gardens look like. Another interactive media element could be an interactive map that shows the gardens across the city. Another could a slideshow of the process on how the gardens are formed, what they grow, and where the produce goes to. It would be interesting to see how people create something together for the community and how it impacts them.

Great idea. Now line up people who are agreeing to be interviewed on camera and list them here. Remember that you are also writing a story with this. I really like the map idea.