december 10 , 2015
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one-third of one percent of Bentley’s annual revenue from just simple tuition and fees in the first year of implementation. In the third year of the proposal, one percent, or simply, “Just a penny on the dollar,” would be subtracted, according to Joan Atlas. For a group that hasn’t received a raise in three consecutive years, as opposed to the rest of the entire Bentley faculty and staff, it appears that the proposed increase in pay is not only deserved but also long overdue. In response to the October 28th proposal, Bentley administration counteroffered by proposing a raise of $75 for arts and sciences adjuncts
and $375 for business adjuncts - a rather uncooperative answer to the adjunct union’s seemingly reasonable request. One of the main concerns on the administration’s mind was that the resulting faculty raise would force them to also raise student tuition. However, tuition has consistently increased for years now, but adjunct compensation has remained the same. Compared to the planned $80 million dollar expenditure on renovations to Jennison Hall and the construction of a new campus hockey arena, which are both necessary projects, asking for 1% of what the school receives in tuition and fees per year is, “A drop in the bucket,” says union organizer, Heather Cushman,
NEWS of the Massachusetts Union for Human Service Workers & Educators. Overall, such an increase would not be powerful enough to elicit a dramatic change in the amount Bentley must charge for tuition. On top of compensatory changes, Bentley adjuncts have also requested entitlement to benefits that many other fellow Bentley part-timers presently enjoy. Included are insurance coverages, retirement eligibilities, tuition remissions, and flexible spending accounts. The administration’s response was a rejection of any increased access to benefits. “It’s become a difficult process, and the administration does not seem to be open to making significant change for what is 40% of the faculty
- a faculty that does a huge amount of the teaching of introductory courses as well,” Joan Atlas further added. For a school that is known for taking a leadership role in issues such as business ethics and corporate citizenship, it would rationally follow that Bentley would reciprocate its words with fair and equal treatment of its adjunct faculty. As it seems right now, such is not the case. With a growing base of supporters, including a particularly encouraging voice from Bentley’s own tenured faculty, agreement on a working deal could appear sooner rather than later. Until then, union representatives remain hard at work to gain what they believe are respectable changes in adjunct faculty policy.”
Love Your Melon crew takes over Bentley news editor
A hat for every child battling cancer in America: that was the simple idea that ignited the now national organization, “Love Your Melon,” in 2012 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Two sophomores in college, Zach and Brian, developed the idea in an entrepreneurship class, and their simple buy a hat, give a hat concept spread quickly. Now over 300 schools have started Campus Crews, with students raising awareness about childhood cancer, selling the hats to support the cause, and visiting children with cancer while dressed as superheroes. Bentley University is one of those 300 schools. Like the founding of the organization itself, the idea of a Bentley college crew started in class by two students. Isabella Isotti (’16), now Crew Captain, and Katie Rama (’16), now Public Relations Manager, were taking eMarketing with Bentley Alumus and Adjunct Lecturer C.C. Chapman in Spring of 2015 when they first learned of the organization. Given an assignment to present on a nonprofit, Isabella recalled hearing about the organization from a friend at another school, and decided to research it further. The in-class presentation quickly turned into the two of them applying to start a crew over the summer. “I wanted to spend my last year at Bentley devoting myself to a cause I was proud of, and one where I can see my efforts make a difference in these children’s lives,” says Rama. This Fall, the group was approved, and has grown rapidly since. Love Your Melon, originally built on the idea of selling hats in order to visit children with cancer in households or hospitals to give them hats, quickly outgrew its mission. Today, as they have already reserved over 45,000 hats to donate to children in the US (“equal to the number of children currently undergoing cancer treatment in the country”), they have “partnered with the Pinky Swear Foundation
to provide immediate support for children battling cancer and with CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to fund research initiatives to beat childhood cancer completely,” according to their website. This is the mission 20 Bentley students have taken up as Love Your Melon ambassadors. These crew members attend weekly meetings, help with promotional events, and, of course, attend household and hospital visits with children. “We are hands-on,” says Rama, “whether it’s hanging up fliers, giving presentations to organizations and classrooms, or visiting children in the hospital, our crew members work their butts off and feel amazing about the difference we’ve made!” Their hard work has paid off in the form of three major events. First was Love Your Melon Day, a national event hosted by the organization. Bentley crew members had the opportunity to visit a boy named Tommy at Boston Children’s Hospital. The students, dressed in the organization’s trademark superhero attire, spent the afternoon with him and gave him his own Love Your Melon hat. The second event was a household visit with Livy, her three older siblings, and her parents. The Bentley crew spent the afternoon getting to know the family, coloring, and playing with Livy. Tori Hancock (’16), ViceCaptain of Bentley’s Love Your Melon Crew, noted that, despite
the young age of Livy’s siblings (6, 8, and 9 years old), they were all “caring and good with her. The family was going through such a difficult time but seeing they’re positivity and hearing them get to be so carefree and laughing was really special.” Their third big event was a hospital donation visit, where they were able to meet over 20 children and families at Tufts Floating Children’s Hospital. As a result of the campus crew’s efforts in selling Love Your Melon hats, they were able to spend the day with these children and give them hats of their own. Through these three events, Bentley students have been able to touch the lives of numerous children and their family, in addition to raising awareness of and funding for research of childhood cancer. Isotti, Crew Captain, refers to these Bentley students as a “crew of shining stars.” Love Your Melon has credits (similar to points) for selling products, special leadership boards, and challengers to encourage its 300+ crews to get creative in the way they sell the product to make the biggest contribution to childhood cancer research possible. The Bentley crew has been an active participant, with its crew competing in many weekly challenges, such as pumpkin carving or working to get celebrities to post about Love Your Melon on social media, using all the connections they can find at Bentley. “The Bentley
community has contributed greatly to our success!” says Isotti. Each challenge brings with it more awareness for the group on campus, more sales, and more donation events with children and more money towards cancer research. The Bentley crew hosted its first sales event on December 9th in Smith, and is now looking forward to partnering with Sigma Chi for their Hairless Huntsman fundraiser on December 14th. 30 of the fraternities’ brothers will shave their heads to raise money for cancer research. Their goal is to raise $5,000, and as of December 7, they had raised $4,450. At the event, Love Your Melon will also be raffling off Love Your Melon beanies. This group has come a long way in its short existence on campus, growing from just an idea sparked from an eMarketing class to a team 20 people strong. Those wishing to get involved are encouraged to email any of the students mentioned here or connect with them on Facebook (“Bentley University Love Your Melon Campus Crew.”) When asked why students should get involved Isotti replied, “We often become so engrossed with our own lives, we forget how lucky we truly are. Buy a hat, and make a kid smile!” Anyone can buy their own Love Your Melon hat at loveyourmelon. com. Be sure to select Bentley at check-out so the campus crew can continue with their hospital and household visits!
Courtesy of faeook.com
BY Jennifer wright
Love Your Melon volunteers and children pose for a picture.
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to make residence living more inclusive. Although taking a class with a diverse group of students is important, that brief in-class time cannot compare to actually living with someone. Students suggested randomizing roommates freshman year or simply developing more programs to bring together those who might not normally have sought each other out as friends. Second, ALANA (AfricanAmerican, Latino, AsianAmerican, Native American and multiracial) students pointed out that sometimes they can be the only student of color in a classroom. As a result, faculty members or fellow students will sometimes make an assumption about their race or nationality and expect them to accurately represent that entire community. The general feeling was “just because I’m black doesn’t mean I know anything about Africa,” explained DeAgrela. The second take-away sparked the third: a need for more allies in their white classmates. It can become exhausting to always have to correct people and stand up for yourself. Similarly to how LGBTQ allies are meant to step in when they hear someone say something offensive about the community, these allies would be additional voices correcting that faculty member in class asking a student of color to represent an entire culture. Allies would provide a support system so ALANA students wouldn’t feel like they’re always fighting alone. After all, by all working towards a more inclusive community, the entire community benefits. The conversation is long from over. It continued just this week on December 9th with an event on microagressions, but the message of these events is that the conversation should be continuing every day. #BentleyVoices stresses the fact that it’s okay to not have all the answers so long as you’re willing to ask the questions. Ignorance is not intolerance, a theme that kept popping up during these discussions. Students recognized that the majority of people here are not intolerant, they simply don’t know better due to a lack of knowledge. “Many stereotypes and false conclusions made about people are due to using knowledge gained from everything and everyone else except the person they are drawing conclusions about,” says senior Quincy Giles, one of the participants at the Thursday event. “We need events like this one in order to tear down those walls to allow people to see more clearly the true person they are looking at.” Getting involved in #BentleyVoices, whether formally at the events, online by using the hashtag, or even informally with trusted friends, are all important first steps to rectifying the ignorance.