EDITOR IN CHIEF Amber Wilson-Daeschlein | firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Spoto | email@example.com COPY EDITOR Nathaniel Mathews | firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS EDITOR Alyssa Jackson | email@example.com LEISURE EDITOR William Hirsh | firstname.lastname@example.org FEATURES EDITOR Nicole Howley | email@example.com SPORTS EDITOR Kayla Emerson | firstname.lastname@example.org VIEWS EDITOR Steven Markowitz | email@example.com WRITERS Danielle Delp, William Hirsh, Nicole Howley, Alyssa Jackson, Juan Lachapelle, Joan McDonough, Jeff McKinzie, Nadia Pierre-Louis, Amy Sanderson, Michelle Spoto, David Utt
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BRIDGING THE GAP: IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK When I applied to RIT, I hadn’t heard very much about it — living eight hours away and all — so when it came time to choose where I was going to spend the next four years, I made a pretty uninformed decision. The majority of my freshman year was spent debating whether or not I had made the right choice and it wasn’t until last year that I became confident that RIT was the college for me. One of the main reasons for my assurance was the many types of diversity RIT has to offer, more specifically, being home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. As a child growing up in a small town that boasted a large collection of antique shops and a pretty homogeneous mix of old people and middle-class families, I experienced hardly any communication barriers. During my first year at RIT, I learned to fingerspell my first name and once played intramural volleyball against a team with a deaf member. It wasn’t until I joined a sorority and met three members of my pledge class who were deaf that I had to learn to communicate efficiently with deaf students. Our initial meeting on bid day was a little awkward but we exchanged phone numbers, planned a shopping date for the next day and communicated mostly by writing notes on our phones. Throughout the quarter, I learned how to sign things like “your shirt is cute” and “bitch, please” but more importantly, I learned that communicating with deaf people isn’t that hard. It was actually, surprisingly easy. I couldn’t believe that I had spent my whole first year at RIT missing out on an entirely new culture that I had never before had the chance to experience. I was so worried that my inability to sign would prove too difficult to overcome or slow down the conversation to the point of exasperation. I had never thought to simply grab a small notebook and go bridge the gap to make some new friends. I’m so glad that I learned how easy it was to communicate, even without using sign language. Any time I didn’t know how to sign something, I could write it down or fingerspell it and my sisters would be more than happy to teach me or help me out. One time, I went out to lunch with a deaf friend and even though I only knew about half of the signs she was using, I still understood her almost perfectly because of her expressiveness when storytelling. She was patient enough to help me communicate and I was willing to learn. Almost two years after joining my sorority and meeting my deaf pledge sisters, I still suck at signing. But that hasn’t stopped us from having tons of fun together, making memories that I will never forget. I only wish that I had had the courage to walk up to someone with a sticky note that said “Hi, I’m Amber” and start a conversation, no matter how unconventional the method was.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 04.05.13 | VOLUME 62 | ISSUE 25
Mikaela Davis, a local Rochester musician, tunes her harp prior to opening a free concert put on by WITR in the Gordon Field House on March 30, 2013. | photograph by Juan Madrid NEWS 4. News Desk SG looks at sustainability and the grading system.
FEATURES 13. Increasing Access Through Technology Bridging the gap in deaf-hearing communication.
VIEWS 21. Word On The Street What is the worst miscommunication you’ve ever had?
7. Plus/Minus Grading System Postponed another year.
16. Starting the Conversation Addressing domestic violence amongst the Deaf community.
22. Rings Spring is on its way, right?
LEISURE 8. Reviews Leisure’s cooked up two recipes just for you.
SPORTS 19. Women’s Lacrosse Narrowly Defeats Vassar Lady Tigers pull ahead in second half.
Cover photograph by Griffin Moores
9. At Your Leisure Midterms have you in a corner? Learn how to fight back! 10. Bringing Thousands of People Together Through Lines Film and canvas unite for a unique student production.
BEYOND THE BRICKS
BY JUAN LACHAPELLE | ILLUSTRATION BY ELISA PLANCE
THE NEW AGE OF QUANTUM COMPUTERS
elieved to be ready on a commercial scale, quantum computing is becoming popular among the likes of Microsoft, I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard. The corporation Lockheed Martin bought an early prototype of a quantum computer from the company D-wave two years ago. The New York Times reported that the company plans to upgrade the prototype to a commercial level and is interested in using quantum computing as part of their business. Though many experts are skeptical of its abilities, the computer can potentially “supercharge even the most powerful systems, solving some science and business problems millions of times faster than can be done today,” according to the New York Times. The computer would be able to analyze large quantities of genetic data for cancer research, quickly recognize other cars and objects in self-driving vehicles and determine behaviors of proteins coded for by the human genome. According to the New York Times, “…Quantum computing relies on the fact that subatomic particles inhabit a range of states … Those probable.... states can be narrowed to determine an optimal outcome among a near-infinitude of possibilities, which allows certain types of problems to be solved rapidly.” Adaptions of these computers will be seen in military, aircraft and medical technology in the near future.
FACEBOOK: A FRIEND OF FRIENDS While still in its early stage, Facebook will be rolling out its new “Graph Search” in the coming months. In an article by NBC News, Mark Zuckerberg compared Facebook to a huge database and explained that, “Just like a database, you should be able to query it.” The new feature will allow people to search through your friends, photos, places and interests. It also allows friends to see what friends liked, recommend and where they checked in. It will create suggestions using conversational language, such as “books that my friends like” and “friends who live nearby.” The search can also be used for more specific inquiries. As described by NBC News, “Let’s
4 News | 04.05.13
say you want to play matchmaker for a friend who recently moved to New York City from Germany. You could search for all friends-offriends who happen to reside in New York City, lived in Germany at some point, and are single.” Zuckerberg explained that although the Graph Search is privacy conscious, Facebook users should check and update their privacy settings individually. The previous version of Facebook’s search will be updated to incor porate Microsoft’s Bing for faster and more accurate searches. Those interested can apply through Facebook to test the beta version of the search.
BY ALYSSA JACKSON
MARCH 22, 2013 At the March 22 Student Government (SG) meeting, Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability adviser to President Destler, presented on RIT’s improvements in sustainability and what their priorities for the future include.
SUSTAINABILITY Cardinal explained that sustainability is often thought of as “green,” but that work has been done to include social and economic issues. She cited that many degrees, concentrations and colleges have collaborated with student groups on campus to increase sustainability, such as the Mobile Bike Shop and Recover Rochester. Despite these gains, Cardinal claimed that electricity use is still an increasing problem at RIT and said that the use of electricity could be reduced by 30 percent simply by changing behaviors. Finally, Cardinal introduced the idea of creating a sustainability committee so that students could have individuals to field questions, concerns and suggestions on the topic. MARCH 29, 2013
PLUS/MINUS GRADING At the March 29 SG meeting Jeremy Haefner updated the committee on the plus/minus grading system that will begin in the fall of 2014. Haefner explained that the grading system has been delayed so that focus could be placed on the semester conversion. He stated that while there will be fewer 4.0 GPAs and little difference between a C and a C-, it will be a more refined tool to evaluate student academic work. Fernando Naveda, the Calendar Conversion Director, felt that these changes are not very dramatic.
IMPROVAMONIUM At the end of the meeting, one of RIT’s improv clubs talked about their main event, Improvamonium. The event will take place on April 5 and April 6 in the Ingle Auditorium and feature professional college and high school improv troops from the Rochester and Syracuse area.
SENATE PASSES NEW BUDGET AFTER 4 YEARS To be adopted next year, the Senate has passed a $3.7 trillion budget that will bring about several changes. Described by the New York Times, the all-night debate ended in a 50 to 49 vote at around 5 a.m. According to the New York Times, the plan includes “$100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy” and well over $1 trillion in tax increases for the coming decade. It will also reform senior Medicare programs for future recipients, food stamps and other “safety net” programs. Even with the passed budget, the government’s spending limit will likely have to be extended in the summer.
FORECAST COMPILED BY NADIA PIERRE-LOUIS FRIDAY
BUS MEETS AT THE STOP OUTSIDE OF BOOTH AT 5:30 P.M. Interested in getting a chance to explore the art scene of Downtown Rochester? The bus will be taking students to galleries and a few cool coffee shops. Cost: Free SATURDAY
CAB LATE NIGHT AND GLOBAL UNION PRESENTS: TAIKOZA: SOUNDS OF JAPAN
INGLE AUDITORIUM. DOORS OPEN AT 8:45 P.M., SHOW STARTS AT 9 P.M. Come by and experience the excitement of taiko drums, bamboo flutes and a dance ensemble during this thrilling event. Cost: $1 RIT students, $5 general public SUNDAY
07 TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN DINNER
STUDENT DEVELOPMENT CENTER (CSD 1300 AND 1310).7 P.M. - 10 P.M. Not only do you get fine Caribbean cuisine, but entertainment is also provided. Come by and experience a new culture for the night. Cost: $10 for students and faculty, $15 general public
THINKIN’ AND DRINKIN’ 08 TRIVIA NIGHT
THE BUG JAR. 8 P.M. – 9 P.M. If you’re 21 or over, come down to Monroe Avenue to enjoy a night of drinking and trivia festivities. There are four rounds of five questions. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Cost: Free to get in TUESDAY
AUDITORIUM THEATRE. DOORS OPEN AT 6:00 P.M. SHOW BEGINS AT 7:30 P.M. It’s not too late to score tickets to this Grammy and three-time Tony Award winning musical! Although CAB’s tickets are sold out and the venue price may be a bit steep, this experience is well worth it. Assisted listening devices are available at all performances. The event will take place from April 3 through April 21. Cost: $37.50-82.50 depending on seating WEDNESDAY
RIT TENNIS VS. UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
RIT TENNIS COURTS. 4 P.M.- 8 P.M. The men’s tennis team is taking on University of Rochester this Wednesday night. Come down to show some school spirit and support for your home team! Cost: Free THURSDAY
PHI ALPHA DELTA PRESENTS: POETRY SLAM
WEBB AUDITORIUM. 8:30 - 10:30 P.M. Come by and check out this fraternity’s second annual fundraiser. Help Phi Alpha Delta raise cash while enjoying some good friendly competition in this year’s Poetry Slam. Cost: $2 presale, $3 at the door
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PLUS/MINUS GRADING SYSTEM POSTPONED ANOTHER YEAR After years of planning, RIT is set to implement a plus-minus grading system in the fall of 2014. by Joan McDonough | illustration by Emily Gage
ccording to a memo sent out to all RIT students and faculty via e-mail on behalf of Jeremy Haefner, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, ideas for the switch began in the spring of 2009. After being postponed in 2010, the plan was to implement the change at the start of the 2013 - 2014 academic year. The Provost’s memo explained that the most recent postponement of the plus-minus grading system is, once again, for further refinement. Throughout the upcoming academic year, faculty will be working on the college, department and program levels “to assure consistency and uniform implementation.” With the change to semesters, the memo stated that, “Adding yet another challenge seems counterproductive.” Dr. James Heliotis, a professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been working on the new grading system as a member of the plus-minus grading taskforce. The taskforce is made up of 16 individuals from all areas of RIT. “There’s just too much going on with the semester conversion,” said Heliotis, confirming why the implementation has been postponed a second time. Students and faculty across the university have considered the approaching grading change and have offered their thoughts. Megan Moltrup, third year Museum Studies student, said that the new system will make more sense. “There’s a big difference between a 90 and a 99,” she said, adding that she saw no downsides to the new system. Sara Wirth, fourth year Hospitality Management student, agreed with the previous comment but added that some students could be discouraged by the new system. For students who generally earn scores in the lower end of a letter grade, seeing a minus next to their grades could be disheartening, as it also lowers their GPAs. Students with experience with the system expressed discontent with the switch as well. Megan Fleet, third year Business Management student, transferred from Monroe Community College where she disliked the plus-minus grading system. “Even if it’s an A it still looks like a minus,” she said. “100 percent and 90 percent are not the same, but if you work for the letter grade of an A you should get an A.” Peggy Noll, senior staff assistant for the departments of History; Philosophy; and Performing Arts and Visual Culture, felt that the new grading system would be beneficial to students. She noted that while it could affect some students’ grades in ways that could inf luence their scholarships, the new
system would be more akin to other universities grading systems. John Kaemmerlen, lecturer for the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, shared Noll’s contentment with the new system. He said that it will better differentiate grades. He noted that in the current system the difference between an 89.4 percent and an 89.6 percent was very small, yet it could mean the difference between an A and a B for a student, altering his or her overall grade. The memo from the Provost concluded by stating that this switch to a plus-minus grading system will keep RIT on track with other universities and also offers a more accurate way to determine students’ success in the classroom. The email said plans for the upcoming grading system are promised to “be based on open communication, transparency of process, and careful attention to the academic success of our students.”
REVIEWS Asian Style Lettuce Wraps by David Utt
Photo by Giles Holbrow
$25.47 | 25min Prep | 15min Cook Time | Recipe | 4 As someone who considers himself more carnivore than omnivore and worlds away from anything that can be called vegetarian, I had huge reservations when this recipe was recommended to me. The fact that my nemesis, tofu, was one of the ingredients was enough to make me quiver in my boots. Yet they implored me, so I soldiered on out of curiosity. The ingredients were simple enough, most of which you can get from any grocery store. However, totaling 25 dollars for all of the ingredients, the
Baked Kale Chips by William Hirsh
price was a shock. The preparation of the meal simply came down to cutting everything into either small or large chunks depending on the ingredient, with the exception of zesting the limes which required some time. The actual process of cooking continues the recipe’s simplicity. I began by tossing everything into an olive oil laced pan, starting with the garlic, ginger, tofu, sauce and more while mixing the amalgamation steadily as each new ingredient is added. This really brought out my favorite part of the piece — the smell. The mix of sriracha, peanut sauce, toasting onions and mushrooms was an unforeseen surprise as a sweet tanginess arose from the pan, filling the entire room. When it was finished cooking, I took some lettuce and used it as a taco, laying the mix inside and pooling some of the fragrant peanut sauce on top of it. Closing my eyes and taking a quick chomp into the unknown, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. A wave of freshness brushed over me, followed by the not-so-subtle kick of the peanut sauce, which gave the dish its real flavor. It was after diving headfirst into the wrap that I realized one problem: this was going to be a messy meal, forcing me to resort to a pile-it-all-up on the plate technique. Thankfully, the awesome taste and smell was preserved. With the ability to take this one recipe and have enough food to fill an apartment’s worth of hungry people — I would say that around one or two wraps is enough for most — this is definitely a ‘bang for your buck’ dish. Even though the preparation, time and price can be considered a bit much for some, the fact that you can get up to five wraps is a huge plus to your wallet, not to mention your taste buds. The full ingredients list can be found online.
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Drizzle olive oil on kale and sprinkle seasoning evenly throughout. 3. Place 1-3 handfuls of kale onto a cookie sheet. 4. Bake until the edges brown, about 10-15 minutes. Trust me; it tastes better than it looks.
Photo by Mackenzie Harris
10-15min Cook Time | Recipe | 3 Ingredients: -1 bag of precut washed kale. -olive oil -garlic salt, regular salt or other dry seasonings
I happened upon the recipe for these kale chips a week or so ago and was bitten by a curious cooking bug. Once I picked up my bag of the spinach look-alike, I tried sautéing it to get some cooking experience with the plant. I was pleasantly surprised by the unique texture that comes from cooking these bitter leafy greens. This experience extends to the baked chips recipe as well. The chips are relatively decent when you’ve cooked them long enough and included a reasonable amount of seasoning. The chips melt in your mouth yet have a crispy consistency. With the garlic salt and olive oil, the chips taste like a cross between buttery popcorn and baked pumpkin seeds, reminding me of the fall. With that said, despite the short prep and cooking time, it’s not a very filling snack. I guarantee you will burn through your batch by the end of the day you make it. Even with two generous handfuls, I completely finished my batch, having to rummage through my pantry to feel full. While this might be due to the unique yet addictive taste, definitely go big or go home when debating how large of a batch to make. Adapted from allrecipes.com
AT YOUR LEISURE WORD OF THE WEEK Croodle (v) - to cower from fear in a group. As the quarter trudged on, the students at RIT began to croodle in the face of demands set by their professors.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.” -Jim Henson
by William Hirsh
STREAM OF CHOCOLATE FACTS George Cadbury, of Cadbury brand fame, was a Quaker. Due to the Quaker’s restrictions on the consumption of alcohol, drinking CHOCOLATE was a popular substitute. A part of Cadbury’s success came from these sales of drinking chocolate. The word CHOCOLATE originates from the AZTEC. Derived from the Nahuatl word, xocolātl, meaning “bitter water,” it transformed into chocolātl, resembling the modern variant. The AZTEC ruler Montezuma has been alleged to have drunk 50 cups of chili pepper laden chocolate per day in his prime. The AVERAGE for Aztec emperors was ten. Chocolate melts around 93 degrees on AVERAGE, which is close to the body temperature of humans. This ensures that the sweet treat melts in your mouth.
REPORTER RECOMMENDS Act Like Your Fictional Hero For a Day If Tora-Con taught me anything, it’s that people love dressing up as their favorite characters. Each year, around the time of the convention, RIT is crawling with costumed tributes to heroes, villains and icons from several fandoms. This leads me to my proposition: Act like your favorite badass for a day. Why just wake up to a regular day of your life when you could spring from your bed like the eccentric Doctor? The following week, why not sprint to class like the speedster Kid Flash? When you were younger, your parents, teachers and authority figures would tell you all the time to emulate the people in your life that had values you respected, so why not those of fiction? While this doesn’t guarantee you membership in the Avengers or a magic stretching dog, it could give you the little confidence boast you need to stay sharp and kick procrastination into a corner, like Chun-Li, this quarter.
COMIC by James Lecarpentier
EYE OF THE TIGER I BLARED DURING THE EXAM PROFESSOR APPROVED.
OF PEOPLE TOGETHER
BY AMY SANDERSON | PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHNATHAN FOSTER he assignment Meadows had to complete was to shoot and edit a five minute experimental film with no distinct narrative by the end of the quarter. The final idea was Lines, a project where Meadows set up a canvas in public and had individuals paint one line onto it. The goal is to get up to 3,000 people to paint one line on a canvas, thus creating a piece of art through the collaboration of multitudes of people. As Meadows carries out the project, he changes the canvas every 30 participants and for the final step will put all of these canvases together in a nine by nine or 10 by 10 grid. Meadows’ objective is to show people how they can all be connected in something bigger than themselves. To successfully execute his project, Meadows recruited two other Film and Animation majors to aid him in producing and filming the project. Second year transfer student Karl Pajak is the director of photography, and third year James Nevada is the producer of the film. Each role is important — Pajak helps in the creative aspect of the project, bouncing ideas back and forth with Meadows, while Nevada coordinates location and paperwork for the crew. The three member team has already put major time into the project; Meadows estimates that over 100 hours of planning, shooting and editing has already been done. One of the major decisions the Lines team had to make was where to film. They decided to remain in the Rochester area to stay local and get involved with the community, but choosing specific locations was another matter. “We needed a location with lots of traffic,” Meadows stated in an email interview, “Many locations that were chains have a very strict “No Soliciting” policy, so they were difficult to obtain.” “Getting permission from locations owned by chains was complicated,” Nevada explained in an email interview, “It was difficult because we had to go through different levels of corporate.” With this in
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mind, Nevada cold-called a variety of locations, including Marketplace and Eastview malls, to see if they would be willing to let them shoot. With a wellangled pitch, the team has been able to film at a variety of locations, including RIT’s own RITz. When thinking about film sets, people often imagine elaborate sets that take up large amounts of space and are huge productions. The Lines set is quite the opposite. In addition to taking up a minimal amount of space, the Lines setup is evocative of their minimalist logo. “We use a soft light to emphasize the colors of the paint against the white canvas,” Pajak explained at the Eastview site. Though this endeavor, the Lines team members are all thoughtful and appreciative of the experience. “It has been really interesting to observe how people react to having their photo taken,” Pajak describes, “Often how people behave in the photo correlates with the type of line they paint on the canvas. For example, two friends came by, one reserved and one eccentric, posed in their portraits according to their personality. The more reserved friend painted a short, straight line while the eccentric friend painted a long line with purposeful curves and twists.” Interacting with thousands of strangers has left the team with these types of fascinating insights regarding people. “It’s awesome seeing people react to other lines. Many people try to avoid crossing over others, while some continue on others and some just like trying to cover the entire canvas,” Meadows reflects. “Being able to be a part of so many people’s lives has been a fantastic experience. I have learned so much about people just through their lines and our very small conversations.” Check out Lines and where their next event will be on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LinesExperiment
Rochester Institute of Technology for making a difference, one line of code at a time.
159 Coders, 24 Hours, 6 Nonprofits, 3 Locations Congratulations to the Code for Good challenge winner, Karthik Nadimpalli, and thank you to all Rochester Institute of Technology participants. You helped solve real-life technology challenges for the Delaware and New York nonprofits – The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, United Way of Delaware, Team Rubicon, Pencils of Promise and Single Stop USA – to make a difference in people’s lives. We’re proud of your efforts, and you should be too.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer M/F/D/V ©2013 JPMorgan Chase & Co.
LMS TECH SERVICES NOW RECRUITING:
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n the Deaf community, there’s a commonly used expression: “bridging the gap” — trying to make communication more accessible between deaf and hearing people. In the Deaf community, recent technology has been creating opportunities that make it easier to communicate with others. At RIT/NTID these technologies are being developed to improve communication and access for Deaf students.
INCREASING ACCESS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY by Nicole Howley and Jeff McKinzie illustration by Jon Lavalley
The Department of Access Services (DAS) is one major portion of this movement that utilizes technology specifically to help students receive the information they need to succeed in their classes. One of the major technologies is C-Print, a captioning service that is offered to deaf and hard-of-hearing students on the RIT campus. Mike Stinson is a current professor at NTID’s Research Program who developed the technology. According to him, C-Print had been built upon a shorthand writing method called Gregg Shorthand. You can recognize Gregg Shorthand in C-Print when a captionist spells out a word phonetically that the program converts to the fully spelled out word. A simple example that Stinson provided was the phonetic spelling of the word “welcome”, which is “WLKM”. Steve Nelson, director of operations at Access Services, has seen other technologies proposed but doesn’t feel that they fit the needs of the classroom or are worth the costs. “We’re looking for the best way to provide services and the most cost-efficient way,” he says.“For all 33 years I’ve worked here, there’s been a continuing need for services. So it’s important for us to control costs while we provide the best services possible.” Nelson also explained that introducing something like automatic speech recognition has been slow. “When first I started in interpreting some thirty years ago, people were predicting that automatic speech recognition would arrive in about five years. Now they’re saying two years, so we must be getting closer.”
However, Stinson says that a software application for C-Print on mobile phones and other portable devices will be available soon. This type of transition will help in classroom settings where students might need to move around. Nelson described how notetaking, another service provided by DAS, has also changed as technology has improved. Notetaking used to be done by hand with paper and pencil, copied, and then distributed to students in hard copy format. But this method of distribution and note taking has changed with time and the increased use of technology. “Computer networks enabled us to move to a more costefficient strategy of scanning and distributing [notes] electronically. These scanned images were simply pictures of the note pages,” Nelson explains. “Now in many cases, students receive files they can search, edit and highlight in Microsoft Word. Many of our student notetakers type the class notes they take and directly upload those files for distribution.” In addition to C-Print and digital notetaking, another technology — created by technology company Cisco Systems — is helping to bridge the communication gap both inside and outside of the classroom. Cisco Systems is hoping to work with RIT/NTID to improve some of their technologies for Deaf users. According to a 2011 NTID media relations article, a Cisco videoconferencing room was donated to RIT/NTID for their use and for their feedback. In this article, Cisco engineer Shraddha Chaplot stated, “We hope RIT/ NTID will be able to find different solutions or recommendations to better assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing.” The technologies employed at DAS are making strides towards improving access but there is
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still a way to go. This is why another group called the NTID Center for Access Technology Innovation Lab (CAT lab), is working to improve and create new technologies to bridge the gap even more.
TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE FUTURE There are currently a wide variety of projects being worked on by students and faculty at the CAT lab to improve access both inside and outside of the classroom setting. Associate Professor at Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences Tom Oh and his research team recently received seed funding from the Effective Access Technology Program for their project: “Smart Cane Prototype for the Blind.” This project differs from other access technology because it focuses on increasing access for people who are both deaf and blind. Those who are blind can use walking sticks and their sense of hearing to navigate their way through the streets and other public areas. Some walking sticks even have sound feedback to increase the person’s awareness of their surroundings. However, a person who is both deaf and blind may have a walking stick alone, making awareness of their surroundings harder to achieve and posing dangers to the individual’s safety. The smart cane would help this population to navigate more easily and more safely through the use of vibrations. For instance, if a person started to walk towards a wall or other obstacle on their right, the left side of the handle on the cane would vibrate, indicating that the person should shift directions and guiding them away from a potential collision. “We do have a couple Deaf-Blind students here on campus,” says Gary Behm, director of the CAT
SMART CANE FOR THE BLIND
SEE-THRU, LIFE-SIZE INTERACTIVE MONITERS
Lab and an instructional/support member of the NTID Engineering Studies department. “We want to make sure that they are involved with our project because they are the ones that are going to use it.” Another project for increased access within the classroom is the See-Thru, LifeSize Interactive Monitors (SLIM) Software Program. This project is aimed at bringing more information from a classroom setting to one central location; in this case, a screen. SLIM utilizes video conferencing technology to make a “transparent” screen from two monitors placed back to back that allow the person standing in front of one screen to see what or who is in front of the other. In a classroom setting, students and professors could see each other through the use of these monitors while simultaneously sharing power points, pictures, documents, and/or websites on the same display. At the same time, the professor can write notes or draw diagrams directly on the screen that will be displayed for students to see on their screen. The SLIM screen also has the capacity to include captioning or any other software program, including video games. The software is intended to addresses the problems that a traditional classroom setting might pose to a deaf or hard of hearing individual by providing one central focus point where the student and instructor can view all of the information needed. This technology can be used within a classroom positioned between the professor and the students or for remote learning between a professor and student. The technology can also be utilized outside of the classroom and in the office for meetings, conferences and long distance communication. A much simpler, but still necessary, technology being developed in the CAT lab is the C3 facemask: a clear facemask for use by doctors and other medical professionals. These professionals have to wear face masks to stop the spread of germs but these masks can make communication between the Deaf and hearing communities even more difficult. By covering half of the person’s face, these masks make it
difficult to for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to read the lips and facial expressions of their doctors. From the perspective of a deaf person, “When you go to the dentist and are having your teeth cleaned and they have a mask and they talk to you, then you can’t really understand what they are saying. Are they mad at you? Are they happy? Are they joking? You have no idea,” explains Behm. The medical professionals still have to wear facemasks for professional and sanitary reasons “but with the C3 facemask, you feel more comfortable working with them.” Although the C3 facemask won’t fix all of the barriers in communication in a medical office, it makes it easier for deaf clients to see some visual clues about when their healthcare providers are talking to them and what tone the conversation is headed in. Progress is being made here at RIT to help improve communication and access for all members of campus but the effort doesn’t stop there; plenty of companies are starting to take the needs of Deaf individuals into account when producing their technologies as well. For instance, Sony recently released their STW-C140GI Entertainment Access Glasses with Audio to movie theaters which project movie captioning right in front of the eyes of the person wearing them. Google has also made an effort to encourage communication between Deaf and hearing communities through the addition of their new interpreter app to Google hangouts. This app allows for a person’s view of their interpreter to be more prominent on the window, increasing ease of communication. All of these new technological developments are making progress towards equal access and ease of communication but there is still a way to go. One of the main achievements of technology in recent years has been the increase in connectivity around the world. Now the CAT lab and others are working to increase connectivity between the Deaf and hearing communities in the same regions and campuses as well.
Starting the Conversation: Addressing Domestic Violence Within the Deaf Community by Nicole Howley
“In this past week alone, I’ve had three new clients, Deaf students, who have experienced rape,” said Erin Esposito, the executive director of Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims (ASADV) and lecturer at NTID. She sees cases like this on a regular basis. A survey of RIT students conducted over the course of eight years by two associate professors of criminal justice at RIT, Laverne McQuiller Williams and Judy Porter, found that hard of hearing and deaf students had a 50 percent higher chance of being victims of relationship violence. However, many experts — including Esposito — suggest that the number of cases occurring is much higher than those being reported. Organizations across campus have been reaching out to students in the Deaf community to try to reduce this statistic and to provide the help they need. Three students coming to her in one week, is a relatively new rate of reporting for Esposito and ASADV. “We have not seen these numbers before but they are coming to us; they are flooding to us,” said Esposito.
“Why? I can only guess because of the community awareness and education intensified and heightened on this campus.”
The Difference in CulturE There are common reasons seen in any culture for why dating violence may occur and why it is not always reported. However, there are some factors that affect the members of the Deaf community specifically. “When someone has been abused or raped there is a huge barrier to reach out and get help. It’s a struggle because a lot of people feel ashamed; they feel it’s their fault. Their self-esteem is just shot. So taking that first step to reach for help is so instrumental,” explains Esposito. “Deaf people have an even bigger hurdle.” In addition to facing the challenge of reaching out for help, members of the Deaf community must also overcome barriers in communication and cultural understanding. The legal system is primarily geared towards hearing individuals so Finding a means of communication as a deaf student can be difficult. Interpreters can help but even when their services are available, it can take hours for members of the Deaf community to complete certain legal processes that take hearing people a matter of mere minutes. For instance, when filling out an order of protection, a hearing individual Can get an interview within five to 15 minutes. A deaf person, however, has to request an interpreter, and then wait an hour or more to get into the interview. “That’s an obstacle in itself,” explains Eposito. “Sometimes that process deters people from wanting to continue.” In addition to language obstacles, there are differences in culture between the Deaf and hearing communities. “The Deaf community is so small that everyone knows each other,” said Esposito. “Think of a small town mentality. Something happens, five minutes later everyone knows.” This makes confidentiality extremely important when reporting dating Violence but also extremely difficult to achieve. Many deaf victims worry that they cannot maintain the confidentiality they need to keep them safe and sadly, “The close-knit nature of the [Deaf] community just intensifies the fear of reporting” according to Esposito. The idea that the physical nature of Sign Languages, like ASL, contributes to the difference between rates of domestic violence in the deaf and hearing communities is a common, but false, rumor. However, despite this inaccuracy, it is often used by abusers within the Deaf community as an excuse for their behavior. “There are people who try to use Deaf culture. They try to justify their facial expressions and gestures as Deaf culture. It is not Deaf culture. It is abuse. There is a difference. There is a big difference.”
_The Proposed SolutioN Multiple groups on campus are working to address the issue of domestic violence specifically within the Deaf community. Their main efforts include increasing access to services and cultivating awareness of the issue so it can be curbed. ASADV helps to provide access to necessary resources to victims of dating violence within the Deaf community. This includes providing interpreters, legal and/or medical advocacy and support. At RIT, ASADV has also worked closely with Campus Advocacy Response and Support and RIT’s Center for Women and Gender. ASADV offers a necessary perspective when helping members of the Deaf community.
“We are a Deaf-run agency with a Deaf staff that serves the Deaf community and so we have a connection, an unspoken connection with Deaf people that really can’t be provided any other way,” said Esposito. Esposito has gone beyond her work in Rochester to try to resolve some of the issues that Deaf victims face on a national level. She recently spoke on a panel in front of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. She shared her own story as a deaf victim of abuse during her childhood and in relationships as a young adult in order to address the issues that this community faces and how to change them. ASADV continues to improve access to services and to information on the RIT campus as well. This year, they partnered with the RIT branch of the Red Flag Campaign (RFC). Originally started by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance with the help of members of college campuses and community advocates, the RFC is a national campaign aimed to help raise awareness about dating violence and how to prevent it using bystander intervention. This approach differs from those of the past; instead of focusing on how not to be a victim, the RFC emphasizes how friends and members of the
community can speak up and help prevent these situations. They hope that by providing more information to the community, everyone will become more involved by looking out for the “red flags” of an unhealthy relationship. Esposito believes that this type of campaigning may be extremely effective for the close-knit deaf community. “If we create an atmosphere where people are genuinely engaged in the bystander approach then people will feel safer and more confident to make these reports.” Eventually, bystander intervention coupled with increased education about “red flags” could help to discourage rape culture by asking about what action everyone can take to stop dating violence from occurring. For Esposito, the opportunity to inform college students about these issues in today’s society is an encouraging first step in correcting the problem. “I’m so glad that we are able to provide people with the tools and resources so that, once they graduate, move, get a job, whatever, they have this information,” said Esposito. “They go out into the working world armed with this knowledge.”
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Women’s Lacrosse Narrowly Defeats Vassar by Danielle Delp | photograph by Griffin Moores
Clear skies and cool breezes greeted the women’s lacrosse team on the afternoon of March 30 for their second Liberty League match of the season. With an overwhelming victory against Bard College the day before, the Tigers arrived at the RIT turf field fully prepared to give a repeat performance against the Vassar College Brewers. By s c or i ng t he f i rst go a l t h re e minutes into the game, the home team established themselves with a strong start. As time would quickly tell, however, that opening goal would only serve to provoke Vassar’s offense. Almost immediately, the Brewers scored a goal of their own and shut down any hopes of an early lead for the Tigers. Four minutes later, Vassar began to establish their own momentum by pulling ahead with another goal. Though RIT managed to tie the score again soon after, it was becoming clear just how evenly matched the two teams were. With such intense competition, neither side would achieve victory easily. Foul after foul was called as both teams struggled to break the tie. With 19:08 left on the clock, the visitors pulled ahead with their third goal of the game. Inch by inch, RIT was pushed onto the defensive. As the game wore on, the Tigers clearly became unsettled by their opponents. As their playing declined and Vassar widened their lead with two more goals, RIT spectators began to become agitated about the direction the game was heading in. RIT called a time-out to regroup with eleven minutes left in the first half. This appeared to help the team greatly, as they once again regained control of the field. Just a minute after returning to play, RIT scored their first goal in over ten minutes,
followed by a second goal five minutes later. The women nearly managed to score a third goal in the final seconds of the half, but were unable to do so before time ran out, leaving Vassar in the lead 5-4. The second half marked the beginning of far more fierce competition between the two teams. RIT finally managed to tie the score just minutes into the half, but a responding goal from Vassar pushed them into the lead once again. This trend would continue for nearly fifteen minutes, with Vassar pulling ahead every time RIT evened the score. Finally, with 18:05 left in the game, RIT managed to regain a 7-6 lead. The neckand-neck competition continued for the remainder of the game, but the Tigers never again surrendered their lead. Vassar refused to go down quietly, however, and scored two goals in rapid succession in the last minute of the game. Without enough time on the clock for the Brewers to re-establish themselves, the Tigers ultimately won the long game with a score of 13-11. “We started off a little shaky,” said Devin Villagomez, second year Diagnostic Medical Sonography major, “but by the end of the game we definitely picked it up, and it was a tough and hard-fought game, but it was great. It was a great feeling to win our second Liberty League game.” Her teammate Sage Sarkis, first year International Hospitality and Services major, reflected on how different the two Liberty League games were: “We played a game yesterday and we won 23-0, so it was quite a shutout. I don’t think we were as prepared for a team that was even with us today. We didn’t come out great in the first half, but we had a time out and we talked it over, and then we really came out to play the second half, and that’s why we won.”
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WORD ON THE STREET
photographs by Rugile Kaladyte
What is the worst miscommunication you’ve ever had? “With my coworker. Instead of hearing ‘Can I help who’s next?’, I heard ‘Can I have snacks?’” Dan Grinthal (left), first year, Industrial Design
“I have an accent and was asking someone for a pail, but they thought I was asking for a pill.” Nur Faseeha Suhaimi (right), fourth year, Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology
“After missing a meeting with SG’s Vice President, I bought her a 5lb. chocolate bar. Any miscommunication CAN be solved with chocolate.” Kevin Mead, first year, Film and Animation
“When I can’t hear someone and keep having to say ‘What?’ I’ll worry that they think I’m being rude.” Tricia Daluisio (left), third year, Film and Animation
“With our customers at Nathan’s: ‘Whole buffalo?’ ‘No, bowl of buffalo.’ Worst...Communication...Ever.” Ryan Meadows (right), second year, Film and Animation
rings compiled by Michelle Spoto
illustration by Erica Landers
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Saturday, 11:57 p.m. (from text)
Have you ever eaten a wet jellybean? Because otherwise I will not be discussing the finer points of jellybeans with you. Friday, 4:48 p.m. (from text)
Monday, 3:57 p.m. (from text)
WOP WOP WOP
It would probably be most accurate to name next year’s semesters
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“winter 1” and “winter 2.”
WOP WOP WOP
Thursday, 6:43 p.m. (from text) Thursday, 8:57 a.m. (from text) Welcome to Trollchester! Where the weather is made up and the seasons don’t matter!
RINGS, the people walking behind me on the quarter mile are discussing the most effective places to stab someone and cause maximum damage. I suddenly feel as if I’ve got a target on my back...
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