No, that’s not my boyfriend’s motorcycle

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Warning: Contains unladylike language. You’ve been warned.

I’ve had my 1990 Kawasaki Ninja 250r for less than a week, and people are already trying to take it away from me. And give it to my boyfriend.

Some background: I’m a 20-something female college student. I’ve had my motorcycle license since I was 16, but just doodled around on my dad’s ’74 Honda, which he was kind enough to lend me upon request. The electric start only functioned about half the time, and the bike didn’t really believe in the concept of idling, but I made it work. I finally squirreled away enough cash to buy my own bike, and went for a sportier (and slightly more reliable) Kawasaki. My boyfriend, who does not have his motorcycle license and has no desire to get one, nonetheless fully supports my reckless love for all things two-wheeled and motorized.

Now to the issue at hand: Somehow, by being a woman and buying a sportbike, I appear to have violated a fundamental law of the universe. This has been made clear to me several times, but most blatantly right after I finished my second ride on the new crotch rocket and dismounted next to my apartment.

As I removed my helmet and guided the bike onto my driveway, a neighbor walked past. A friendly guy my age with whom I’d chit-chatted a few times before. He paused, took in the helmet in my hand and the bike next to me, and asked, “Whoa! Cool bike. Is that your boyfriend’s ride?”

Now, I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but if I saw someone holding a motorcycle helmet, wearing a motorcycle jacket, and holding a still-hot motorcycle, with no one else around, I would probably assume that the person in question owned the motorcycle. Again, and I emphasize, there was no one else around. Yet somehow, this neighbor needed to create a fictional motorcycle-riding boyfriend to explain my relationship to this sportbike.

I wanted to scream “IT’S MY MOTORCYCLE! MINE! I DON’T NEED A MAN TO RIDE MY MOTORCYCLE FOR ME! FUCK OFF!” Instead, I opted for the more reasoned reply of, “Oh, haha *insert vapid giggle*, it’s actually my bike!” to which he responded with a appraising up-and-down look at me.

“Wow, then, you really are the full package.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between, leads us to the crux of the issue: Society gives us two ways to view women and their relationship with motorcycles. Either you “ride bitch” behind a man or you’re sexualized beyond reason. And when I say “beyond reason,” I mean it. Just google “women” and “sportbikes” and see what images show up. Or rather, don’t, because I gathered them for you here:

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Fun fact: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends male riders wear fully protective helmets, gloves, boots, jackets and pants to prevent fatal injuries during a crash. To women, they offer the following advise: “Sexy women carry a shield of protection around their naked bodies, and are therefore encouraged to wear as little as possible while riding a motorcycle. This will prevent any burns from the engine, road rash from hitting the asphalt, and foot or ankle damage from debris.” Another fun fact: That is not true.
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I guess this sexy woman is taking a shit on her motorcycle? Or experiencing stomach cramps? Maybe she wants to vomit from all the sexism?
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The Department of Transportation recommends that riders wear DOT-certified helmets at all times, UNLESS “it is likely to mess up your hair, in which case, fuck it and take your chances with the road.” 

 

My neighbor was trying to give me a compliment (I think) and I’m not here to dive into the huuuuuuuge cultural issue of men making unwanted quasi-sexual comments about women in public. More eloquent voices than mine have written prolifically on that subject.

I also don’t want to single out my neighbor as the only offender here. In the last seven days, I’ve had no less than 13 friends ask me, incredulously, if I had a motorcycle license upon learning that I bought a bike. To which I responded: No. I just bought a bike I can’t ride, in the hopes that maybe some nice man with a motorcycle license will come along and let me sit on the backseat.

The nice lady at AAA who helped me transfer the bike title into my name kept asking me what type of car I was buying, even after I mentioned that it was a motorcycle several times, then finally exclaimed, “Oh, that’s right, you said it was a motorcycle! Now what in the world is a nice girl like you going to do with a big, scary motorcycle?”

When I asked my dad to teach me how to ride a motorcycle, it was because he’d picked me up from school and softball practice on his old bike for years, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I still remember riding around my neighborhood on the backseat, holding on to him for dear life at 15 miles per hour and wearing my purple bicycle helmet, because we didn’t have a brainbucket small enough for my six-year-old noggin.

I have three little brothers, two of whom are old enough to drive. Of the three of us, I’m the only one with a class “M” license. My dad never made bikes about “boys” vs. “girls.” I wanted to ride, so he patiently stepped me through easing out the clutch, kicking it into gear, and cornering safely. He signed both of us up for a safety course, and took me to test for my permit and license.

I’m proud of the work I did to earn my motorcycle license. I worked my ass off to afford my new bike. Every time someone questions my ability to ride or my ownership of my bike, it feels like a slap in the face.

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Ok, it’s got a couple scrapes and scratches, but it’s beautiful to me.

So please, I ask everyone, of all genders, to be mindful of how we still feel the need to unnecessarily assign gender roles to everything, whether its a sportbike, a Barbie doll, or even a school subject. Awareness leads to understanding, and understanding leads to more respect for everyone.

Or, you know, just stopping fucking assuming I can’t ride my own goddam bike. Geezus.

‘You’ll never get a job with that!’ A closer look at the value of a liberal arts degree

By Kaye Burnet, Sean Ray, and Michael Richards

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Dakota Eckenrode said that taking a major like philosophy ties into a law degree much more than people think.

“Philosophy… but I plan on going to law school.”

That’s the automatic response Dakota Eckenrode gives when people ask what his college major is.

At which point, the usual response is, “Oh, so you’re doing philosophy because you don’t want to get a job when you graduate?”

He always assures them that he’s had a “game plan” from the start of his collegiate career.

“If you don’t say what your plans are, people think that your major is a joke,” he said.

Eckenrode will  graduate from Duquesne University in December 2016 with a dual major in philosophy and ancient civilizations. But that is not the end of his plans. Eckenrode has always wanted to go into law school, even before he got to college. And as it turns out, pre-law is not always the best choice for future lawyers.

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Liberal arts majors comprised almost one third of all bachelor’s degree recipients in 2014, but received 20 percent fewer job offers than STEM field majors.

Law school applicants who graduated with a classics degree scored highest on law school admissions tests, or LSATs, according to a 2014 report from the Law School Admissions Council, which claims to help prospective law students ease into the law school admission process.

In the same report, philosophy majors scored sixth best.

Eckenrode believes that, contrary to common belief, many businesses are seeking out philosophy majors because of the more flexible skill set they are taught.

“Critical thinking, close reading of material, the ability to have an intelligent conversation and debate and to come up with new ideas” are all sought-after skills, he said.

He admits that much of philosophy is analyzing and reiterating arguments that other people have made, but that creating one’s own arguments is just as important to the field, and an enticing skill to law schools.

“You have to be capable of coming up with your own arguments and your own responses and your own critiques so those types of skills are so valuable for other fields,” said Eckenrode.

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To hear more from liberal arts students and professors about their perspective on the value of a liberal arts degree, watch this video.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is a nonprofit from Bethlehem, PA that works with college career placement offices to determine what majors employers sought out most for 2015.

The top three hired bachelor degree topics were Finance, Accounting and Computer Science, all of which had at least 120 of the sampled respondents saying they would hire from those fields.

Graduates with liberal arts majors, however, don’t make the list.

Only 40 percent of students graduating with a liberal arts or humanities degree in 2014 had at least one job offer by the time they graduated, according to data gathered by the National Association for Colleges and Employers. Graduates with computer science, economics and accounting degrees had at least one offer 60 percent of the time.

But at least one member of Duquesne’s Liberal Arts faculty believes that a humanities degree doesn’t have to spell unemployment.

Dr. Dillon, dean of the Journalism and Multimedia Arts (JMA) Department at Duquesne said he “wholeheartedly disagrees” with the myth that liberal arts majors don’t get hired.

He said that these stereotypes stem from anxieties over how expensive college tuition is and a desire for “certainty.” Dillon said vocational fields such as nursing and pharmacy are appealing because “there is a direct correlation between the education and the job you end up with.”

“In the Liberal Arts, you’re learning in a way that asks you to make connections between things and basically qualifies you to work in all kinds of fields,” he said.

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Liberal arts majors at Duquesne are encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities and internships, which Dillon said makes them better job candidates. In this photograph from September 2014, Duquesne liberal arts students enjoy their first glimpse of Vatican City in Rome, Italy. Photo credit Kaye Burnet.

And what is the JMA department at Duquesne doing to help make sure their graduates succeed?

“We are giving people theory, we are connecting their education in JMA to the larger liberal arts context and we are asking people or helping people or expecting people when they leave here to be like Swiss army knives who can do all sorts of things,” said Dillon.

This means ensuring JMA students are able to adapt to an ever changing industry.

“Media is a very wide, diverse pool of possibilities and you may specialize in one thing but you’re never going to do just one thing in media anymore,” he said. “The days of the reporter with his notebook and the photographer with his camera and the layout editor waiting patiently by the city desk, that’s gone.”

Currently, the JMA department is tracking the success of its graduates anecdotally, due to lack of expertise, money and resources necessary to track job placement and entry-level salaries properly. Part of the difficulty, according to Dillon, comes from the fact that journalism students often build careers that fall outside a narrow definition of journalism, but still rely on the skills they learned in JMA. Dillon said graduates were happy in careers as diverse as communications director, media analyst, business owner and entrepreneur.

There are two kinds of college graduates, according to Dillon: those who choose a job because it makes a lot of money and those who can only work at jobs that they truly enjoy. The majority at Duquesne’s JMA department fall into the later category, he said.

“I think that’s why they find their way into liberal arts, because there has to be some sort of outlet for their passion in the work they’re going to do and they have to feel like it’s going to matter to other people and to them,” said Dillon.

“People in the liberal arts know how to learn and know how to ask. And they know which questions are important to ask… and to me that’s the value of having a journalism and a media department in a college of liberal arts.”

 

 

Duquesne Professor Inspires Others to Gain the “Courage to Quit” Smoking

By Kaye Burnet. Diane Kwiatkowski (left), 55, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania listens as Jamie McConaha (center) animatedly describes the effect of a nicotine replacement drug  to her smoking cessation class. Assistant teacher Brandon Herk (right) observes.
By Kaye Burnet. Diane Kwiatkowski (left), 55, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania listens as Jamie McConaha (center) animatedly describes the effect of a nicotine replacement drug to her smoking cessation class. Assistant teacher Brandon Herk (right) observes.

“You must do the thing that you think you cannot do.”

Jamie McConaha reads these words, borrowed from Eleanor Roosevelt, outloud to an eclectic group of five people gathered together in a hidden corner in a Shop N’ Save in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

McConaha, 32, is a pharmacy professor at Duquesne University who uses her free time to teach weekly smoking cessation classes in the Pittsburgh area.  She recently received a grant to expand her classes, which she has taught and developed over the last three years. The five people sitting together at Shop N’ Save are her current pupils, coming to McConaha to receive the guidance and assistance they need to kick their tobacco addictions.

Many of McConaha’s smoking cessation students think they “cannot do” what it takes to stop their smoking or chewing habits, according to Brandon Herk, an academic and research fellow at Duquesne who assists McConaha with the classes.

“It’s very hard to work with the negativity sometimes,” Herk said.

McConaha said that while some students are motivated and enthusiastic about quitting, there are those who are only at her free classes because their friends or family made them come. Those students can affect the rest of the class with their bad moods, McConaha said.

“It seems like in every class, there’s that one person who’s negative,” she said.

During the April 27 class in Shop N’ Save, one man tells the group that McConaha’s class is useless.

“I don’t really need all this,” the man said. “When I want to quit, I’ll just make up my mind and do it.”

McConaha listens to the man politely, but doesn’t argue with him.

“I just try not to play into it,” McConaha said about the negative comments she encounters during classes.  “I listen to them, and then I move on.”

During her classes, McConaha plays several roles. One minute she’s a pharmacy professor, explaining clearly and with accompanying hand gestures exactly how tobacco use harms the human body. The next minute, she’s a cheerleader, applauding the progress her students have made and encouraging them to do more.

It could be that cheering on others comes naturally to McConaha, who made extra cash during her time at Duquesne by working on the Pens Patrol, the squad of young men and women who walk out onto the ice at Pittsburgh Penguins hockey games to give away merchandise and enliven the crowd.

For at least one student, McConaha’s approach to teaching smokers how to quit is appreciated.

Kathy McCarty, 60, of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania called McConaha “very positive” and “non-judgemental and informative.

“She understands people and reads people very well,” McCarty said. “She doesn’t use a lot of force to make her point.”

All of the material and processes used for the classes is McConaha’s original work.

“I’m in the middle of obtaining the copyright for the classes,” McConaha said. According to her, the program has been constantly expanding and improving since she began teaching them in 2013.

In April, Tobacco Free Allegheny acknowledged McConaha’s work to stop smoking in the county with nearly $4,000 in grant money. McConaha said she plans to combine this funding with a previously obtained grant from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals to increase the number of class locations. Now students can take McConaha’s free class in Bethel Park, Wilkinsburg, and the Hill District.

Called “The Courage to Quit,” McConaha’s four-week smoking cessation program combines talk therapy, information distribution and nicotine replacement therapies to encourage smokers and tobacco chewers to drop their unhealthy habits. According to McConaha, she developed the curriculum herself based on her own knowledge and training.

“I’m constantly changing the classes as I discover what works and what doesn’t,” the Monongahela, Pennsylvania native said. “Sometimes you have to adapt the classes to a specific area or group of people.”

Herk had McConaha as a professor during his time as a student at Duquesne. According to him, McConaha uses the same techniques that make her a great pharmacy professor to also be an effective smoking cessation teacher.

“We use a form of talk therapy in the classes that relies on responding just the right way to what people say,” Herk said. “As a professor, Dr. McConaha was always very good at providing the right feedback and responses.”

According to McConaha, the smoking cessation classes grew out of her pharmacy work at Duquesne. After graduating with her Doctor of Pharmacy from Duquesne in 2007, McConaha remained at the school as a fellow for two years, then eventually became a professor. As a full-time faculty member, McConaha teaches university classes, works in Duquesne’s Center for Pharmacy Care and serves as a pharmacist for the Preferred Primary Care Physicians in Greentree, Pennsylvania.

While working at a Giant Eagle pharmacy through Duquesne, McConaha realized how largely tobacco use impacted the lives of many Pittsburgh residents. She wanted to help the people she encountered who struggled with tobacco addiction, she said, so she registered for a three and a half day course at the University of Florida to become a Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

What began as a one-woman project quickly gathered steam within Duquesne’s Mylan School of Pharmacy. Now McConaha teaches the classes with an alternating crew of four Duquesne pharmacy residents and fellows.

In addition to these responsibilities, McConaha is also a new mother. When McConaha received the April Tobacco Free Allegheny grant, she had just returned from maternity leave. McConaha and her husband are now the proud parents of a five-month-old girl named Adalyn, their first child.

When asked how McConaha balances caring for a newborn with her work at Duquesne and her smoking cessation classes, McConaha chuckled.

“I have a very understanding husband,” she said. McConaha’s husband works at PNC bank, where his schedule is flexible enough to be able to care for Adalyn when McConaha is not available.

“We also have four grandparents in the area who are pretty excited to watch her,” McConaha said.

McConaha and her family have stayed local over the years. She grew up with two younger brothers in Monongahela, where her mother worked as a nurse at the Monongahela Valley Hospital. According to McConaha, her mother had an impact on her interest in medicine, as did a natural knack for science.

McConaha volunteered at the Monongahela Valley Hospital during her high school years. For a while, McConaha wanted to be a doctor. Then she visited Duquesne and fell in love with the university and its pharmacy program.

In addition to her smoking cessation classes, McConaha has used the last three years to develop Duquesne’s own Tobacco Treatment Specialist certification program. So far, approximately 90 people have been certified to treat tobacco addiction through Duquesne. Organizations such as Tobacco Free Allegheny now send staff members to be trained through McConaha’s accredited three-day program.

Greek Life, Please Remeber: Journalists are People Too

pic of Kaye

NOTE: This article is not in any way endorsed by the Duquesne Duke or any of its staff. It does not reflect the views of the Duke in any way.

In my capacity as a news writer for the Duquesne Duke, I recently wrote an investigative piece about Greek life on Duquesne’s campus. The story was a response to the wave of negative headlines about fraternities and sororities in the national news— racist chants at OU, rape arrests, and nude Facebook photos, among other incidents.

My editor, who assigned the story, and I wanted to find out what the status of Greek life was on campus. Think of it as a check-up at the doctors’— we didn’t think anything was wrong, we just wanted to find out what was going on with Duquesne’s sororities and fraternities. I did not approach this story with a goal in mind.

Instead, as many can attest, I sent an email to the head of every single Greek life organization at Duquesne, or at least all those with up-to-date information on Campus Link. I wanted to talk to as many sources as possible. I also reached out to anyone I knew in Greek life, and I used social media to talk to the friends and roommates of Greek life participants. As with all my stories, I wanted this one to be balanced and objective.

Objectivity and impartiality are the cornerstones of today’s journalism, and the staff of the Duke works hard to uphold them. As such, it hurts me every time I hear someone say “The Duke hates Greek life,” or “I wish The Duke wouldn’t target Greeks.” The Duke consists of dozens of dedicated students who write for a variety of sections for very little reward. They work hard to create a reliable, entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking newspaper for the Duquesne student body to enjoy. In return, they get nasty tweets and unkind words at Greek life meetings.

If you have a problem with my writing, target me. Tweet those criticisms at me: https://twitter.com/KayeBurnet.

I have a thick skin. Journalists have to. I can take criticism. But please, before you criticize, read my article. All the way through. If you can show me that something is factually incorrect, I will correct it. If you object to the way I worded something, tell me. If you think I misquoted someone, I BEG you to tell me, so I can correct it. My email address is burnetk@duq.edu and I check it approximately every five minutes, because that’s why my job requires.

And don’t think that I’m oblivious to the harsh words that float around. Just tonight, as I left The Duke newsroom in the basement of college hall after five hours of non-stop editing and writing for the paper, a sorority meeting next door let out. I heard several women mention my article, which was discussed at the meeting. None of the mentions sounded kind, and when I asked the women what they were talking about, they looked at me suspiciously. When I asked again and mentioned I worked for the Duke, they walked away.

I’m a journalism student. Reporting facts is what I do. I can’t change the facts just because people don’t like them. I’m also a really bad but enthusiastic basketball player, an amateur knitter, a girlfriend, an older sister, an avid tea-drinker, and a lover of puppies. Journalists are people too.

In closing, I’d like to highlight some of the parts of my article that seem to have been overlooked:

Katie O’Toole, Duquesne junior and president of Duquesne’s Delta Zeta chapter, said these incidents distract people from all of the good things fraternities and sororities do.

“It’s frustrating that one person or group of people who drink too much or haze could ruin it for everybody, across the country,” O’Toole said.

Or maybe some critics missed this line:

O’Toole pointed toward philanthropy and networking as two positive outcomes of Greek organizations. According to O’Toole, DZ raises between $3,000 and $4,000 annually for its three philanthropies: the Painted Turtle Camp for terminally ill and disabled children, the Starkey Hearing Foundation and speech and hearing pathology.

In the end, Greek life had a positive voice in my article:

“Through Greek life, you really get to experience college life to the fullest,” Frost said.

Spring at Duquesne University: Charity, Diversity, Reflection

Spring at Duquesne University: Charity, Diversity, Reflection

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Photo taken by Kaye Burnet. Meaghan Dugan (left), 19, of Wilmington, Delaware and Kara Synder (right), 19, of Claysburg, Pennsylvania wait to catch the crowd after classes end in Duquesne University‘s McAnulty College of Liberal Arts on March 17. Dugan and Snyder are raising money for the Duquesne University Student Education Association, which hosts food drives and service projects for local school kids.

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Photo taken by Kaye Burnet. Megan Wasson, 19, of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania leaves Assumption Hall to go to class on March 19. Wasson is a chemistry major in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. Duquesne’s mission statement encourages its professors and students to have a “commitment to excellence in liberal and professional education.”

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Photo taken by Kaye Burnet. Lisa Hawkins, 58, of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania relaxes after work March 17 by Duquesne University’s Rooney Field. Hawkins works as a neurosurgery and urology clinician at UPMC Mercy hospital in Uptown, Pittsburgh, a job she calls “stressful.” Hawkins says she comes to Duquesne often “because they keep the campus really beautiful, and it’s a great place to detox after work.” Duquesne serves its community, Uptown Pittsburgh, by creating a beautiful space for the public to enjoy.

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Photo taken by Kaye Burnet. Colorful cans for pop tab collection line the entrance desk to Assumption Hall at Duquesne on March 19. Donated tabs will be given to a charity in Uganda run by Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe. Sister Nyirumbe and her staff recycles the tabs into purses that are sold to benefit the victims of Ugandan civil war. The Duquesne mission statement calls for faculty and students to have an “attentiveness to global concerns.”

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Photo taken by Kaye Burnet. From left to right: Sean King, 20, of State College, Pennsylvania; Rob Norman, 19, of Moon Township, Pennsylvania; Ian Welch, 22, of Homewood, Pennsylvania; Destiny King, 18, of Cleveland; and Mohamed Cisse, 20, of Washington, D.C. share a meal on March 18 in Duquesne’s Father Hogan Dining Center. Duquesne welcomes a diverse group of men and women with different backgrounds to its campus.

Superficial? Confidence Booster? Pittsburghers Chime in on Controversy over Beauty Pageants

When the first Miss America accepted her crown in 1921, voting was a brand-new right for women, and much of society knew young girls as radical “flappers” who went out dancing without male escorts. While attitudes toward women have mostly changed since then, beauty pageants like Miss America have endured.

In an informal opinion poll conducted recently, some Pittsburgh-area residents called such pageants “outdated,” while others supported the contests for a variety of reasons.

Nick Herrington, 34, lives in the South Side with his wife, who formerly competed in beauty pageants.

“I think it gave her the confidence she has today,” Herrington said.

Patricia Sheahan, 71, of Murrysville, agrees that competitions lead to confident young women.

“Those who would be in that process already know they’re beautiful and have no qualms or worries or concerns about their looks,” Sheahan said.

According to the Miss America pageant website, contestants compete for $50,000 in first-place scholarship money, but a January 2014 article in the International Business Times says women usually spend more than that to prepare for the pageant.

Jessie Miller, a 21-year-old Duquesne University junior, thinks the scholarships make the contests “legitimate.”

“I think you should promote them,” Miller said, “because, even though they might be geared towards the look of the girl, they also give scholarships for a lot of the girls. And, a lot of the time, they aren’t specifically just for how you look.”

Miller points out that many pageants, such as Miss America and Miss USA, have talent and question portions.

More than 2.5 million girls and women compete in more than 100,000 beauty pageants each year, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute.

Gina Veschio, 35, of Edgewood, is worried that those numbers equal “too many losers.”

“I just don’t like the idea of judging people,” Veschio said, “giving first, second and third place and saying the rest aren’t good enough.”

The average weight of Miss America winners is 121 pounds, according to Statistic Brain, and only eight winners have been African-American.

Moses Hart, 51, a North Side resident and retired correctional officer, is worried that this does not reflect women in a realistic way.

“They are all carbon copies! All fake,” Hart said. “I’d like to see real women — a size 14 instead of a size double zero,” Hart said. “They say, ‘Ah, she’s too fat,’ when maybe she’s just thick in the hips. After all, beauty is from inside a person.”

Hart and others also expressed concern about child beauty pageants. An ABC news article from 2009 estimated that 250,000 children compete in approximately 5,000 pageants in the United States each year.

“It’s for the parents’ benefit,” Hart said. “They make (child contestants) look older than they are, and it’s like something for a pedophile to go after.”

According to The New York Times, the French national Senate actually banned children fewer than 16 years old from competing in pageants in 2013, fearing “hypersexualization” of young girls.

“When you have a regular beauty pageant, with adults, that’s fine,” Austin Schlechter, a 19-year-old Duquesne University freshman, said. “They can make their own informed decisions and go in of their own volition.

“Child beauty pageants I think are a bit of a more mixed issue, because a child can’t exactly consent. And, they’re under the influence of their parents.”

One thing most survey participants agree on, whether a pageant is for adults or children, is that participants should not have to show a lot of skin to compete.

“No more swimsuit thing,” Hart said. “That’s just for dirty old men.”

Duquesne Students Seeking Parking Passes are Out of Luck

Forbes Garage parking passes are sold out for the rest of the semester, according to a Parking and Traffic Office employee.

The employee, who preferred not to be named, said fall residents with permits could renew them without difficulty, but this left few spots open for new second semester permits.

“They’ve all been sold out since school started [in January],” she said.

The Forbes Garage, located between the Duquesne Union and the Power Center, shares a name with Forbes Avenue, the major road it sits on.

Forbes Avenue connects downtown with Oakland and is named for General John Forbes, a British general in the French and Indian War who captured then-Fort Duquesne from the French in 1758 and named it Pittsburgh, according to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission website “Explore PA History.”

Forbes Garage has been at the center of controversy this year, according to a November article in The Duquesne Duke, since many students feel it does not provide enough parking spaces for resident and commuter students. Some are calling for another garage to be built.

The eight-story garage became even taller last summer, when the large cooling ducts formerly near the entrance to the Locust Garage were moved to its roof. The most recent Sustainability at Duquesne report from the Office of Facilities Management calls these towers “more energy efficient” than they were previously.

Traffic and Parking Manager Bryan Matraczo could not be reached for comment.

The Story Spreads…

The Story Spreads…

My story was featured on Real Clear Education’s website! I’m ecstatic that people are finding my writing interesting enough to spread around. It means I’m doing my job to inform!

I actually have an audience?!

BAM! 1900 views overnight on my sixth story for WESA! I guess we have a lot of concerned parents out there, wondering about how their children’s classrooms are affecting their learning. This kind of story is fun to write and read, because it addresses something we’re all familiar with (classrooms) and looks at them in a new way. It stimulates curiosity and gets people thinking– “Maybe we should take a peek in our son or daughter’s classroom and see what it looks like…” CMU is doing some interesting and useful research here. Click the photo to read my story!