Sigma Kappa Sorority Hosts Ultra Violet Week on Campus

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While black, red, and white are the dominant colors on campus, UNO’s Sigma Kappa sorority sports a different color for a great cause. Purple is not just a cute color to them, but it also serves as a marker for a series of their events hosted the last week of September, called Ultra Violet Week. They chose purple in order to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. The Alzheimer’s Association also challenges teams to “Go Purple” and take the “Purple Plunge”  to incorporate their official color to raise awareness.

This past weekend Sigma Kappa Sorority kicked off their 2015 Ultra Violet Week by volunteering at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held in Midtown Crossing.

Ultra Violet Week is a national campaign held by all Sigma Kappa chapters across the country. It is an entire week dedicated to fundraising events and fun activities on campus to collect money and raise awareness for their philanthropy, the Sigma Kappa Foundation. The Sigma Kappa Foundation funds money for other charities within the philanthropy like Inherit the Earth, Maine Seacoast Mission, and most predominately the Alzheimer’s Association.

This year’s Ultra Violet Week is being held Sunday,September 27th through Friday, October second. During the week Sigma Kappa will host a series of events throughout the week.

On Monday, September 28, they are hosting a flag football tournament from 7 p.m. through 10 p.m.. Teams that wish to join can pre-register here, or sign up when they arrive. The tournament will take place in the Pep bowl.

On Wednesday, September 30, and Thursday, October 1, Sigma Kappa will be selling caramel, sprinkle, and Oreo covered apples called “Sigma Kapples” in the Plaza. The apples are hand made by the women of Sigma Kappa teaming up for “Sigma Kapple making parties”. They will be available for sale 10 a.m. through 2 p.m., while supplies last. Caramel apples will be $2 each and sprinkle and Oreo covered ones will be $3 each.

To conclude Ultra Violet Week, on Friday, October 2, they will and put on a Spaghetti Feed/ Silent Auction at First Christian Church, across the street from UNO’s Dodge campus. The event starts at 5 p.m. and concludes at 8 p.m.. Tickets can be pre-purchased from any member of Sigma Kappa or at the door. The Spaghetti Feed tickets will be $4 for children, $6 for adults, and $10 for all you can eat spaghetti, salad, and bread sticks.

All the events proceeds will be supporting Sigma Kappa’s philanthropy and funding Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

“Our Fall 2014 Ultra Violet Week raised over $5,000.” said said Sigma Kappa’s Vice President of Philanthropic Service,Bri Shelbourn.

Alzheimer’s Disease has impacted the friends and families of many of Sigma Kappa’s members and serves as an inspiration to them as this week kicks off.

“Alzheimer’s annually kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined,but Americans don’t see it as the deadly disease it is” said Bri Shelbourn ,”They only see the media’s portrayal of the disease, and Alzheimer’s is much more than just loosing memories.

According to www.Alz.org Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in America. It is also the only cause of death in the top 10 most deadly that cannot be prevented, cured , or slowed. Nationally the Sigma Kappa Foundation has been donating since 1874, and is currently the largest nonprofit contributor to the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Seth Rogen, an Alzheimer’s Association advocate is credited as saying “”Americans whisper the word Alzheimer’s, but it needs to be screamed to the point that people fear the disease.””, Ultra Violet Week is Sigma Kappas loudest scream of the year.” said Shelbourn, “We do not whisper the word Alzheimer’s because the people affected by it deserve so much more. They deserve to have people advocating for an end to a disease that steals every part of you. Our goal is to raise as much as possible during Ultra Violet Week 2015, we are really hoping for a great turnout this year.”

If you’d like to help support their cause checkout their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Legal & Ethical Boundaries

In a recent article, a photographer chose to snap a shot of a drowned corpse of a Syrian boy washed up on shore. His entire family was also drowned in their attempt to escape their war-torn country, and clearly could not consent to having their corpse plastered on an online article for everyone to see. This photographer’s action has caused a recent uproar about journalism ethics. Sparking the question, when in the midst of reporting a huge story, how far is too far?

Certain ethics codes has been set, and it’s crucial to keep them in mind during any journalism career

Journalism ethics have been laid out as:
1) Speak the Truth and Report It:
2) Minimize Harm
3) Act Independently
4) Be Transparent and Accountable

Reporter,Brian Williams, broke this ethical code, and claimed that while in Iran his helicopter was attacked, but was caught in his lie and was suspended from his job. Another newscaster made anti-Muslim comments when commenting on airline travel and was fired because of it.

Any written piece, physical or online, can be considered for libel. This makes it very easy to cross boundaries and cause legal and ethical problems if not done properly. Obscenity is one of those boundaries and is defined as sexual indecency, words and images, without the incorporation of artistic value. One example is George Carlin’s 1972 routine called “7 Words you cannot say on Television” where he describes a humorous struggle of a never-ending list of words that is considered obscene on television.
” You never know whats going to be on the list, because it’s always someone else’s list” Carlin says in the performance.
He is referring to the constant struggle of never quite knowing just who could be offended by what you say or do. To some extent that is very true. On very controversial and sensitive topics, many stations will now have comments completely disabled to avoid “anonymous” conversations from getting overheated, or taken too far. When given anonymity, it can bring out the worst in people and they say things they wouldn’t normally. In situations such as the recent journalists being killed, people in the comments supporting their murder. For stations it’s important to remove material like that, as not to offend or damage those who view it.

In the world of journalism and ethics it is easy to wonder just what reporter’s are thinking when they take pictures of the horrors and death that occur around them. Do they hesitate and consider the implications or not even flinch?

Student Profile: Miguel Alvarado

UNO Junior, Miguel Alvarado, 22, sets his goals high for the future by double majoring in Public Relations and Graphic Design while also staying very involved on campus.

Alvarado grew up in California before moving to Nebraska at age 14 when his parents got new job opportunities in Omaha. He attended Omaha Bryan High School for four years and graduated in 2011. Alvarado chose the University of Nebraska Omaha because of it’s proximity and closeness to home. Currently he lives in Scott Court and loves being on campus.

Alvarado chose his majors because he has a passion for graphic design and wants to continue to grow in the field. He grows his skills in and outside of class by stepping up to be the Public Relations Chairman of his Fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta, and managing all of their social media accounts and online relations with other chapters. He has big plans to get Sigma Lambda Beta’s name out on campus in the upcoming year.

“One of my biggest goals is to see our chapter grow and become more widely known,” says Alvarado, ” I would love to see a larger membership before I graduate.”

On campus he is also an active member of UNO’s Public Relations Club, PRSSA, the Latino Association, Spanish Club, and Ad Club. He plans to to study abroad in Costa Rica for a semester as well. Alvarado previously interned at the advertising company, Swanson-Russell, helping hospitals and farmers create advertisements. Currently he works as a sales person for U.S. Cellular and enjoys his job.

In his free time, Alvarado likes to “stroll” dance with fraternity brothers, visit UNO’s HPER facility with his friends, sleep, and play soccer. These have all been an important ways to relieve daily stress for him.

For the future, he plans to graduate UNO and move to Chicago to finish his masters degree in  Advertising.

“Chicago is definitely my favorite city, I see myself living there after I graduate.” says Alvarado.

Online & Citizen Journalism

Today even new born babies and pets have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. The amount information that we share is exponential and that trend isn’t going anywhere. Online is becoming the most crucial media outlets to reach an audience and remain relevant to the times. Online Journalism has grown and become the most interactive form of news sharing and is quickly becoming the preferred norm. Companies like Huntington Post are based solely online, and kick butt at it.

For the first time the media audiences are being called “users” not just “readers”. Sharing news online has created a whole new platform for for interactivity by allowing users to post, share, and comment live. This allows the conversation around an topic to be the area of attention rather than just the report especially when controversy (such as Super Bowl Commercials) is thrown into the mix. More and more news stations start trendy #hashtags to encourage more public conversation and create web traffic. Other undeniable advantages of online media are Google Analytics that allow you to learn about the audience that visits each page, not to mention the unlimited space for stories and content.

Along with large companies, the internet is seeing a rise in citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is huge on Twitter, as it is one of the fastest ways to reach out. @MeanStreetsOMA ins a great example of local citizen journalism. This is very beneficial because citizens are there in the moment and provide crucial details that reporters can’t always grasp all while the event is still happening. However with live reactions it often creates a battle between reporting first and reporting right.

Overall, online journalism is now an essential part of the media industry and is now required of potential employees of new casting. They must be well versed and skilled at online media, staying up to date with their audience. Online journalism is doing amazing, unprecedented things with the way modern day people interact.

Josie Loza: The “Gateway” to a career in Journalism

Omahan Josie Loza explains the road to her journalism career in three words “Networking is key”.

Loza realized her interest in journalism during her years at Omaha Bryan High School and decided she was going to go for it. Loza’s career took off when she met the editing manager for Omaha World Herald her senior year at a conference, and got the chance to share her passion for journalism with him.

That crucial conversation led to her landing her first job at the Omaha World Herald. It also led to her meeting her best motivator Diana, the highest ranking female at the Omaha World Herald, to keep her striving to realize her potential as a young woman in the journalism field. These connections were priceless to her on her climb to her dream career.

As an employee at the World Herald, Loza was very persistent, and says that it was her biggest asset in getting her an “in” on the positions that became available.

In doing her best and taking every opportunity she could get, Loza worked her way up from the UNO Gateway as a student, to working the archives, to human writing human interest pieces, to police writing at fires, to crafting obituary columns, to sharing Omaha night life, to becoming her own writer for her, now very popular blog, Momaha.  And now as Manager of Student Publications at the UNO Gateway, she offers up her expertise to help students do just the same and realize their true potential.

“No opportunity is a missed opportunity” Loza says, ” I could’ve sat and been a column writer all my life, but I wanted more and you should too.”

Her determination to continue to better herself in her career is inspirational for women. In her strive to give others the same networking skills, Loza has created a Journalism Boot Camp for UNO’s students.

“The goal of this boot camp is to create opportunities for students to get internships like I did,” says Loza.

The boot camp is held once a month on Mondays in Eppley on campus. The first meeting will be September 28th at 6:30 p.m. For students interested in participating in the boot camp, check out The Gateway website for more information.

Hello and Welcome!

This blog will include the upcoming and ongoing events put on by UNO’s clubs and activities participate in. I aim to capture each groups motivation in the community and get to the heart of what volunteering means to them.

I will post written, photo, and video stories often, so be sure to check back on the latest updates!

Feel free to contact me via email or Facebook ( clconrad@unomaha.edu – Cassidy Conrad )