Every year an average of 572,032 women and 48,983 men experience domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner. And every year, between 2,000 and 4,000 of those men and women will die from the injuries they receive at the hands of a loved one.
To represent the lives lost due to intimate partner domestic violence, 2,000 illuminated bags will outline the Union College campus on Oct. 8, each flicker telling a story’s tragic end. The process of placing the bags and lighting the candles will begin at 4 p.m. The commemorative service will begin at 7 p.m. on the Tribute Terrace outside the Ortner Center.
Although Union’s Social Work Club plans the event, it is implemented with the help of many student and community hands. Preparation will begin three days prior to the event, as volunteers scoop sand into the 2,000 bags and place a small candle in the center.
This will be the second year that Union College has used the luminary event to “shine light on a dark issue” and promote the Friendship Home’s annual Safe Quarters drive that will take place Sunday, Oct. 11. Union is a hosting site for the drive, during which more than 1,500 volunteers go door-to-door, collecting spare change and other financial contributions. The Friendship Home uses the donations to help battered women and their children rebuild their lives, free from violence.
A grant recently awarded to Union College’s Teaching Learning Center (TLC) will benefit the local Lincoln community by empowering students faced with learning and development disabilities such as ADD. TLC, Union’s academic support and disability service provider, received $84,510 in funding from Woods Charitable Foundation, with disbursement set over the next three years.
With this grant, the center plans to implement a program designed to aid high school juniors with learning disabilities transition into college life, and likewise, help eighth graders transition into high school life. The two nine-week pilot classes scheduled to run during the 2009-2010 school year will focus on self-advocating and financial aid.
“This new program was created in order to open educational doors for students with disabilities who otherwise wouldn’t recognize education as an option,” said Debbie Forshee-Sweeney, TLC director. “Many students with learning disabilities and ADD go through high school with the false belief that higher education is not in their reach.”
Union College students who have struggled with similar disabilities will be involved in the new program by servings as mentors. Each student will receive training and a stipend to assist in co-teaching the classes located in Lincoln’s 10 middle schools and six high schools.
Since 1981, Union College students, employees and friends have taken a day off classes and work to serve the Lincoln community. This slideshow shows some of the more than 700 people who participated in this year's Project Impact.
Special thanks to Remedy Drive for the song, "Here's for the Years" and Vota for "Whole World in His Hands."
Seth Perkins, associate professor of health and human performance, and Spencer Way clean a playground during Project Impact in 2008.
“We always assume we know what people need, but usually we don’t have a clue,” said Emily Carlson, coordinator for Union College’s annual volunteer event, “Project Impact gives students an opportunity to see through the eyes of the community and better understand what they’re needing.”
Last year, as assistant leader for Project Impact, Carlson delivered bagels to each site of the 50 sites where Union students were volunteering. In the middle of her journey, she spotted a homeless man. Thinking he could use a bite to eat, she stopped the car, grabbed a bag of bagels and handed it to him.
She drove away feeling good about her kind deed. As she looked in her rear view mirror she watched in shock as the homeless man opened a nearby trashcan and dumped the contents of the bag. He proceeded to shove his personal belongings in the bag and walked off with a smile.
|Kelly Knaubert, our group leader, emceed the race.|
What student would pass up an opportunity to pelt water balloons at their teachers? I wouldn’t, and I hoped others shared my view. Let’s keep our minds open—it was for the American Heart Association, after all.
This year was Union Colleges tenth anniversary of supporting the American Heart Association by hosting an alternate day for the Heart Walk and raising funds. In the past, the money was raised simply by distributing pledge envelopes to employees. This year, LuAnn Davis, vice president for Advancement, decided to use the opportunity for her Institutional Development students to experience live, hands-on fundraising. I was one of those lucky students.
We divided into groups and chose an audience to focus on. The groups included Union College faculty, staff and students, the Mid-America Union Conference, George Stone Elementary School, Helen Hyatt Elementary School, College View Academy and Christian Record Services.
A group organized by Maranatha Volunteers International donated their time and energy to Union College July 6-17. Maranatha is an independent Seventh-day Adventist organization that constructs and repairs schools, churches, orphanages, clinics and other essential infrastructure around the world while encouraging people to make hands-on service part of their lives.
As Union Scholars focus their attention on finding solutions to global issues, they have the distinct advantage of having international travel and study built right into the honors curriculum.
The three week course in May 2010 began with a couple days of instruction at Union College then moved on to Sabah, Malaysia where students conducted "windshield" surveys of the village researching their needs. The trip concluded with visits to Hong Kong and China.
For many students with disabilities, college seems impossible and the opportunities offered by higher education seem closed off. For more than 30 years, the Teaching Learning Center (TLC) at Union College has been helping dispel these misconceptions and make college accessible.