Gender relations club aims to promote discussion

first_imgJunior Caylin McCallick saw a lack of conversation between different genders at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame and decided to found the Justice Education Gender Relations Group (JEGRG) in order to spark and facilitate that conversation.“I realized that I had no outlets of engaging in academic conversation with different genders,” McCallick said. “I just want to talk to people. I want to engage in higher-level discussion about the issues we face — and I want to do it in an environment that’s void of solo cups and Tinder.”According to McCallick, the group, which she is doing as an independent academic study project, will meet once per week for four weeks. She said it will have a loose structure in hopes of creating open conversations about subjects varying from how different genders interact to sex positivity to DomerFest.“This group is my way of finding people with similar feelings who want to have a serious, safe dialogue about gender,” McCallick said. “What am I blind to? What do you know that I should know too?”McCallick said the main focus of the group is creating a space in which dialogue of this type can occur.“I realized that I didn’t really know how to communicate with opposite genders because on this campus mostly I just speak with females,” McCallick said. “I realized that was a common problem because I saw people … in different social situations. We’re all educated people, and yet when we meet each other, it becomes this dumb game. … I wanted to figure out why that is and delve deeper in the discrepancies between genders.”McCallick said she wants to create a continuous conversation in which women can speak with men on a professional level in addition to romantic or social contex in order to find the deeper meaning behind certain ideas about other genders.“I feel like I judge very quickly, especially men,” McCallick said. “I don’t know where that comes from in my soul. I just want to talk to someone face-to-face and figure out why I am having this defensive against you and figure out what we can do about it, so that we both can rise because there’s this strange social stigma and I don’t know where it comes from.”According to McCallick, the group will give members the opportunity to engage with and learn the perspectives of people different from them. The group’s dynamic will strengthen communication skills, a tool that will be beneficial later in life, she said.“I think it’s important because [Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are] both institutions of higher learning,” McCallick said. “We can benefit from representing our schools in the business world by knowing how to speak with someone appropriately and knowing what the other side of the issue is.”McCallick estimates the group will have 10 female-identifying members and 10-male identifying members, but it is open to people who identify as any gender.“I want it to be balanced among genders,” McCallick said. “I’m not just saying male and female — I want all genders. I want the balance because I don’t want any one to take control more than the other. … We can get really defensive, and the biggest thing is it has to be a safe environment to say things. You don’t want to get people on the defensive.”The group will begin meeting after spring break. For more information on how to join, email McCallick at cmccal01@saintmarys.eduTags: Caylin McCallick, gender relations, Justice Education Gender Relations Group, saint mary’s, SMClast_img read more

NCAA members, Atlanta mayor announce start of Final Four

first_imgATLANTA — The press conference announcing the final stretch of an event called March Madness was much more low key than its name would suggest.High-ranking members of the NCAA, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations Andrew Young and others who helped bring the Final Four to Atlanta spoke to a crowd of about 50 people, most of who were with the media, at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Georgia World Congress Center. Syracuse plays Michigan on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. in the Georgia Dome for a chance to advance to the national championship.“We’re going to have some of the best college basketball in the United States of America over the next few days,” Reed said. “I couldn’t be more excited.”People who spoke at the press conference discussed what the event means to the city in the short and long term, as well as charitable efforts related to the Final Four.After thanking the NCAA and partners such as the Georgia Institute of Technology and Coca-Cola Co., Reed talked about the economic effects of the Final Four for the city. Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson and John Rutledge, vice president of market unit sales operations for Coca-Cola, addressed the crowd before Reed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textReed said more than 100,000 people are expected to travel to Atlanta for the Final Four games, which is expected to generate $70 million in economic activity for places such as hotels and restaurants.“This tournament brings energy and excitement,” he said. “And you can feel it when you go outside.”Earlier in the press conference, Dan Gavitt, vice president of men’s basketball championships for the NCAA, talked about the significance of holding the 75th NCAA Tournament in Atlanta. This year also marks the first time the Division-II and Division-III championship games are being played in the same city.Gavitt said 7,500 pairs of shoes and 2,500 food boxes will be distributed to people in need throughout Atlanta with the help of local groups. The NCAA will work with another group to refurbish a local community center, he said.“We, along with the local organizing committee at the NCAA, are excited to leave a lasting legacy here in Atlanta through a number of initiatives,” he said.Young, the U.S. ambassador for the U.N. and a civil rights activist, was the last person to speak at the conference. He spoke freely, not reading from a prepared speech.Young spoke about the role of sports in society, which he said extends “far beyond that which anything anybody could imagine.” He cited the ability for a table tennis match to change foreign policy, and then joked that if the North Koreans played basketball, problems could be solved very quickly.Another example of the effect of sports in society he provided was with the civil rights movement, saying Martin Luther King Jr. “grew up” in the Butler Street YMCA.“Even in our movement, and particularly as we went around the country trying to organize young people for nonviolent activities, we found that the only way you could catch up with them was quite often on a basketball court,” Young said. “And they wouldn’t listen to you until you got in the game with them.”He ended the conference by going back to the positive effects the tournament will have on the city.Said Young: “Here for the next few days, the world will be focused on Atlanta, as much as it has, I think, since the Olympics in 1996.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 5, 2013 at 1:46 am Contact Dylan: dmsegelb@syr.edu | @dylan_segelbaumlast_img read more