Archive for April, 2011

Julie Johnson


Imagine a world where all the children in the grade school next door could be kidnapped and forced to carry guns and machetes. They would be told to use them to kill, or they would be killed themselves. Boys could be forced to shoot or dismember anyone, including parents, siblings or friends. Little girls would be forced to walk all day long, and then made to sleep with an older man, one of the abductors, every night, and bear his children. This kind of world is so far beyond the stretch of our imaginations, but it is reality for the children of northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, southern Sudan, and part of Central African Republic.

This kind of world is so far beyond the stretch of our imaginations, but it is reality for the children of northern Uganda. Imagine a world where all the children in the grade school next door could be kidnapped and forced to carry guns and machetes.

This horror is the reality of the longest running war in Africa’s history; the conflict of the Lord’s Resistance Army lead by Joseph Kony versus the Ugandan government under President Museveni, in its 25th year.

On Monday, April 11, at 7:00pm, Invisible Children is coming to Edgewood College for a free screening of their recent film, Tony. This film documents the life of one of the escaped child soldiers the film makers had met on their first trip to Uganda, how he overcame his suffering under the LRA and how he fights to bring resolution to the conflict. They will also provide an update on the conflict and explain how to become involved and help end this war.

In 2003, three young filmmakers went to Africa looking for something interesting that they could capture on film. They began filming child soldiers and in the process became advocates for these children. Since then they have started a non-government organization called Invisible Children, which, among other things, takes the stories of child soldiers and makes them public through film. Ekaterina Strekalova, a journalist for World Bulletin, of the United Nations Association reported on their activity. In her article, American Youth Take On the Cause of Child Soldiers, she states, “According to the survey for War-Affected Youth, conducted for Unicef in Uganda, more than 66,000 children and youth were abducted by Joseph Kony within a 15-year span.”

“The Lord’s Resistance Army began when Joseph Kony took over for his “cousin,” Alice Lakwena, who was the leader of the Holy Spirit Movement among the Acholi people of northern Uganda, and east Africa. This movement caused some resentment towards the government, and Lakwena was exiled. As its new leader, and under its new title, The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Kony was not well received by the Acholi people. In order to keep his army strong he resorted to abducting children. These children were made to believe that Kony had special powers from the Holy Spirit: he could walk on water, and was invincible to bullets and anything else that could harm him. It is estimated that more than 90% of the LRA’s troops were abducted as children. (According to Invisible Children) In an effort to help these villages that were being raided, keep children from being abducted, and offer some form of protection, the Ugandan government moved the people into displacement camps in 1996. Instead, these camps became places of poverty, disease and starvation.

In an effort to educate the youth of the Western world, Invisible Children sends out teams of “roadies” who travel throughout the different regions of the United States, and other countries as well On Monday, April 11, at 7:00pm, Invisible Children is coming to Edgewood College for a free screening of their recent film, Tony.

“In recent years more and more international attention has been focused on this crisis. In 2001, the US Patriot Act officially declared the LRA to be a terrorist organization—a huge step in drawing attention to the conflict and the atrocities committed by the LR A. In 2004, congress passed the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act, the first piece of American legislation to address this disaster. And in 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrents for Joseph Kony and four of his top commanders.” (According to the Invisible Children website)

Invisible Children, along with other groups, has been lobbying the government to help resolve this conflict for some time now. They have been successful in organizing grassroots campaigns and mobilizing high school and college students to march on Washington. Celebrities such as actress Kristin Bell, actor Val Kilmer, Ryan Gosling, Fallout Boy’s Pete Wentz, director Jon Turteltaub have also gotten on board to lobby and talk to politicians about ending the war. Former Senator, Russ Feingold also a strong supporter of Invisible Children and their efforts, and has worked in Washington to stop Kony and bring him to justice. The UN, working with the Ugandan government, organized a peace treaty with Kony to end the war on four different occasions, but Kony refused to sign any of them. In 2010, President Obama signed the LR A Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act into law.

Radhika Coomaraswmy, a special representative of the UN secretary-general for children and armed conflicts, emphasized the importance of offering education in areas of conflicts, “Just as we set up water and sanitation, we should also set up schools,’ Coomaraswmy said. (Strekalva)

In an effort to educate the youth of the Western world, Invisible Children sends out teams of “roadies” who travel throughout the different regions of the United States, and other countries as well, to show the documentaries made of the conflict and the children involved. They also bring a Ugandan youth who was directly involved in the conflict to personally tell his or her story during the talk back following the film screening.

Margo Edge


Edgewood Circle K represented the college well at the Wisconsin-Upper Michigan district convention, DCON, by bringing home multiple awards and honorable mentions  as well as Cody Schara being elected Governor of the district.

While other students were going off on their spring break extravaganzas, members from Edgewood Circle K participated in service projects while attending their district convention.  The convention was March 11 to March 13.   The convention was held in Appleton, Wisconsin at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel.

This was the second year that Circle K went to DCON since they have been a student organization. Circle K  was formed at the beginning of the 2010 academic year.  The student organization received the spirit award for the second year in a row.  The group accrued points throughout the weekend by showing their enthusiasm when their chapter was mentioned during the weekends activities.

“To earn points we had to dress up in 80’s clothes when we went to hear the candidates running for district board and we had noise makers to really show our enthusiasm whenever they said our name,” Brittany Ollhoff said.

Circle K received the Outstanding Club Award at DCON.

Nick Galles, club treasurer, received the Outstanding Treasurer Award.  Galles has been club treasurer for one term and was just elected club president for next term.

Ken Saville, Kiwanis advisor to Circle K, received the Outstanding Kiwanis Advisor Award during the K Family Luncheon. Saville has been with the group since the chapter began last year.  During the luncheon members of the K family presented their service projects to the district.

Circle K also received many honorable mentions.  Gabe Burns, Club Scrapbooking Chair assembled an honorable scrapbook.  Earlier this year, Circle K organized a fundraiser at Edgewood for Threads of Hope.  This fundraiser also received a special mention.  The student organizations performed a mash up of Miley Cyrus at the talent show during the convention which rounded out the honorable mentions.

“The talent show was so much fun dancing to Miley [Cyrus] and all the boys wearing wigs,” said Cody Schara.

Throughout the weekend students engaged in service projects.  The projects included making posters for the Appleton March of Dimes walk, turning t-shirts to dog bones, and crafted items for the elderly.

“The best part was seeing all of the different personalities, experiences (both new and returning members) mesh together to have a weekend of fun, service and leadership,” said Jackie Erzinger, former president of Circle K.

Cody Schara, SGA president, was elected as district governor.  He starts his term on April 1 and will preside over 27 clubs in the Wisconsin-Upper Michigan district.  Schara’s platform included concentrating on the growth of membership, keeping active communication throughout the district, and dedication to service.

“Circle K is a service organization, but it is also a student organization that promotes fellowship and it strengthens ties to community on and off campus.  I am excited to be a part of this,” said Schara.

Schara created a governor’s project.  The project is aimed at benefitting schools in need.  Each club under the direction of Schara will be provided with bins to collect donations and school supplies.  Each school supply has a certain point value and the club with the highest points obtained will be able to help deliver the school supplies to the school that is chosen at the beginning of the next school year.

Brent Gerlach

It’s not everyday that a student has the luxury to learn about a professor he or she admires.  Walking into an office with a poster of The Clash hung on the wall, surrounded by novels and plays by literary legends like Shakespeare, Homer, and Dante, one vacant chair sits next to Rachel Poulsen’s desk.

The first question was simple: What do you do at Edgewood?

She laughed, alluding that it was a lot, and then began an expansive list of organizations and committees she is involved with: Assessment and Program Evaluation Committee, Edgewood College Honors Program, General Education Implementation Subcommittee on the Arts, Women’s and Gender Studies Curriculum Committee and the non-profit art collaborative GESWERK.

It’s not just what Rachel does that makes her so impressive.  Poulsen welcomes different ideas and encourages students to think outside the canon of academia; promoting progressive education.  Not only that, her flexibility and patience are an essential part of her teaching style.  Her methods are effective: She wants her students to learn the material and they do.

Rachel’s refined and well-received teaching method is the result of over fourteen years of higher education.  This has also led her develop a knack for making sense of things.  She takes complicated concepts found in literature and connects them to familiar ideas that are easily understood by students.

Education: M.A. and Ph.D. at Loyola University Chicago; she specialized in early modern literature and culture, specifically Renaissance drama.

Taught at Loyola University, New York University, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and University of Illinois –Chicago before coming to Edgewood in 2006.

Favorite Book: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan but her favorite changes monthly.

Favorite Restaurant: Ha Long Bay.  Vietnamese cuisine at a fair price.

Funny Fact: She has a few soul music playlists made up entirely of soul food titled tracks.

Enjoys: Cooking and walking her dog, Zelda.  And jellybeans.

Brianna Fiene


Edgewood has seen a plethora of Women’s Month events on campus this March. Sayeeda Mamoon, French Professor, eloquently introduced many of the events. Monday, March 21 a panel of women writers gave an hour of their time to sit and talk with students. The authors had interesting advice and shared some the tribulations of publishing work.

Julie Dunbar, Music Professor has recently published a textbook called “Women, Music, Culture: An Introduction”. Her inspiration came from the lack of recognition of women musicians in formal music textbooks. She was left filling in the gaps for years until she decided to write her own textbook.

When asked to share some of the “bumps in the road” to publishing, Dunbar replied, “Where do I begin?” The large textbooks press McGraw-Hill Companies, considering her subject to be a “niche-market” rejected her.  Routledge, a smaller press, soon picked her up. “I should have had an attorney to read the contract.” Dunbar said. Once her idea was approved the press pushed her to finish her book in a short amount of time. She was able to do the indexing and the graphic design with some help and perseverance in time to meet her deadline. She advised future writers to save all correspondence between writer and editor to reference in times of confusion. Despite multiple setbacks she was able to produce an articulate and inclusive textbook on women in music.

Jennifer Braun, Administrative Assistant at Edgewood, worked as missionary in India. She taught women how to speak English there and over time became a friend and confidant to the women she helped. Her first novel was born out of this missionary experience. Her second book she published independently through Amazon and had more luck in making a profit. She published with a small independent press but regrets being so hasty in her decision. This book she wrote was a mystery novel to raise money for another missionary project in India. Braun had some very upfront and solid advice for publishing hopefuls. “Having a good agent is like having a good lawyer,” Braun said.

Braun cited patience as being a key to success. She said finding a good agent takes time and an author should find someone who will really work for them. Many agents receive over 6,000 submissions a month. “Their corridors are lined with your hard work,” Braun said. Braun has found her niche; she now writes personal memoirs for people. She finished by saying, “If you’re young and feel passionate enough to write a book, do it. Just write.”

Magda Coll, Spanish Professor, writes poems. She is unique in her heritage, being from Catalonia that is a kingdom of Spain, with its own language and culture. Her poems are written in both Catalan and Spanish. She finds inspiration in love, heartbreak and being away from her homeland. A person wanting to promote the Catalan culture first approached her and pressured her to publish her poems through an institute at Barcelona.  She was happy to contribute but many of her bi-lingual poems were cut, “For political reasons,” Coll said.

Angela Woodward, Director of the Writing Center, has published two works of fiction through Ravenna Press. “Once one thing fell into place, everything else fell into place pretty quickly,” Woodward said. She has been very happy with her chosen press because they publish her unique genre of writing. Woodward submits her fiction to “a family of literary magazines” that embraces her genre. A representative of Ravenna was interested in her work and Woodward agreed to write a novel around the excerpt that caught their attention. Her first novel, The Human Mind,  was published in 2007 and not highly promoted. However, with her most recent novel, End of Fire Cult, she took it upon herself her do the promoting. “Having your book published is just one step of the process, but getting people to read it is a whole other thing. I’m enjoying the process,” Woodward said.

In 2010 End of Fire Cult received an award from the Council of Wisconsin Writers. Woodward recalls being sent the book cover from her editor and loving the vibrant colors but wondering about the changed title. “The word the had been cut. Apparently I didn’t know the title of my own book,” Woodward said.

The comical accounts of writing and publishing were very inspirational and the panel gave their audience the sense that it was very possible for future authors to do the same. Their anecdotes were much appreciated and they received a warm applause at the end of the informative session.


Laura Green


Ready, se go…green! Edgewood College’s annual Eco-Olympics is under way and students are competing to see which residence hall can lower its electricity and heat use the most. All resident students had the opportunity to enter the contest if they filled out their room audit. Then they just had to take action to make their dorm habits greener. Social Responsibility in Business, the class hosting the contest, takes care of the rest. In case helping the environment isn’t enough incentive, the greenest room in each of the four dorms and two campus apartment buildings will each receive a 25 dollar Target gift card. The six winners will be announced April 20th, during Earth Week.

The Eco- Olympics have been held at Edgewood since 2006. Business professor Denis Collins started the contest at Edgewood after talking with a professor from another college who was doing the Eco-Olympics. Collins’s motivation for starting the contest was to make Edgewood more eco-friendly while educating students about environmental issues and changing behavior to address these issues. Collins also liked the idea of friendly competition. “Contests get people’s attention,” Collins said. “You have teams cooperating with each other within the residence hall, but you also have competition between the residence halls.”

Electricity and heat consumption data for each of the halls is obtained from the Madison Gas and Electric website. This data helps determine if students reduce their electricity and heat use during the contest. Data from two months during the contest period in 2010 will be compared to the data from the same period this year. To ensure fairness, data from all dorms is collected in the same way. However, Collins admitted that “it’s an imperfect measurement.” There is only one electricity meter per building on campus, meaning measurements include the whole building. Many residence hall buildings are not occupied by just resident students. For example, Regina residents have Phil’s and the downstairs classrooms and offices included in their electricity use measurements.

In addition, to monitoring electricity use, which is a broad estimate, the contest narrows its focus on individual residents through a dorm room survey that all residents received. The survey asks students to answer questions about their electricity use as well as other habits, such as whether students recycle.

The Social Responsibility in Business class are responsible for collecting and analyzing these surveys. The class is divided into teams, with each team in charge of one dorm. Teams are required to follow up with the dorm room survey form by auditing rooms themselves. The team has the choice of how to do this, either going from door to door partnering with RAs. Ideally, every room would be audited, but since this is a big challenge, Collins hopes that the teams audit at least half of all dorm rooms. The audits are new this year; in the past, the competition was between residence halls as a whole and not individual rooms.

Collins knows that college students have a lot on their minds and a lot of them are too busy to think about making eco-friendly changes. However, Collins said, “If you don’t push the issue, than nobody changes anything…” He explained that students might see one poster about the Eco-Olympics and not pay attention. But if they keep hearing about the contest and learning about ways to change their behavior, they might start to think about the issue and consider getting involved. Collins pointed out that changing behavior is a long process. However, he hopes that the contest will lay the foundation for students to begin taking steps toward eco-friendly behaviors, whether now or in the future.

Collins felt that the contest has the biggest impact on students in the Social Responsibility in Business class. The students not only learn about changing behavior in response to environmental issues, but they can apply what they’ve learned to other situations. Collins said, “My hope is, at the very least, my students in this class bring this with them to wherever they get jobs after they graduate.”

While the contest won’t get all students to change their behavior, and can’t measure how much electricity each student uses; the Eco-Olympics reflects something much bigger. The contest is about making students aware that we are all part of the environment and our actions affect the environment and the people living in it. Collins said that previous generations messed up. Instead of fixing the environmental problems they inherited, they made them worse. Now this generation has the chance to change things. “My hope is to remind people that something has to be done,” said Collins. The Eco-Olympics offers one more opportunity for Edgewood students to do something about  environmental problems.


Margo Edge


Fuddy Meers Review

From the rhythmic stroke talk that rolled off Gerti’s tongue to the hysterical hair pulling and gun blazing fight scene, the cast of Fuddy Meers produced a first class performance in the Regina Theatre.

Claire, played by Jennifer Gates, is plagued by psychogenic amnesia. Everyday she awoke as blank slate, having to be told time after time who she was and who the other people in her life were. Gates’ performance was splendid. She made her perky and overly accepting character believable.

Richard, played by Jaime Guiscafre IV, was an ever so happy, yet conniving husband to Claire. Jaime’s infectious smile brightened up the stage and paved the way for hysterical under tones of other characters.

Kenny, played by Brett Sanson, was a a rebellious teenager that just wanted his mommy back. Sanson’s portrayal of this character was spot on. He did not just play a pot smoking youth, but he whole heartedly wanted his mother’s condition to get better. His emotional outbursts were never over the top.

Sweet old Gerti was played by Andrea Kleiner. Kleiner portrayed the Gerti superbly. She never once, slipped up on the difficult language after a stroke, but also made it understandable for her audience. The character inspired the name for the play being unable to say funny mirrors after her stroke and instead said Fuddy Meers.

Kat Gatewood played the character of Heidi. Although her acting fit right in with this crazy cast of comedic knuckleheads, her costume was over the top. At one point, the audience may have been able to see a little more than they bargained for. Heidi is a character thatimpersonates a police officer, but is really a jail lunch lady helping the Limping Man bust out of jail.

The mentally unstable, puppet-bearing Millet was played by Tyler Schott. Schott’s way of tackling these unconventional characters of Millet and his puppet was psychologically unnerving at times, which made for a memorable performance.

Julian Colletta’s intense acting added a little dark humor to the production. The insane head turning humor that came from his mouth was hilarious. Colletta played Limping Man a.k.a Zach a.k.a Phillip. From a permanent limp to a persistent lisp, his acting never faltered.

The stage was ingeniously constructed by a Guiscafre and a crew of others. This brilliant design was built into a cube that was manipulated into the various different back drops for the scenes. Guiscafre told that audience during the talk back after the show, “The cube took around 300 hours to put together.”

The disclaimer, not only in the written program but also prior to the performance getting underway, was a nice touch for the audience. There was explicit language and adult content that younger kids should not have seen, but also added some comic relief to get the audience comfortable in their seats and loosen them up.

The actors were very informative about the process each of them had to go through for this production. The cast were able to paint a vivid picture of the entire process. Other than an explicit outburst from Gatewood, the talk back was a pleasant addition for the audience after the February 26 show.

This was Audrey Lauren-Wax’s first time directing in the Regina Theatre. Lauren-Wax is also a theatre faculty member at Edgewood.

The production was originally written by David Lindsay-Abaire. This extremely hilarious comedy was first performed off Broadway. After performing for sell out crowds off of Broadway, Fuddy Meers was performed on Broadway for another successful run. Lindsay- Abaire has written many on and off Broadway shows such as Rabbit Hole and his most recent production Good People which opened March 3rd.

No longer a Victim

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Margo Edge


As Edgewood tries to start up new programming for violence intervention and prevention services, some representatives in Congress, both on federal and state levels, are taking a huge step backward and targeting victims of sexual assault.

On January 20th, 2011, the “No Taxpayer for Funding Abortion Act or H.R. 3” was introduced to the house.  This new act comes with atrocious new language regarding victims of sexual assault.  Rep.  Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) introduced this act.  Under Section 309, Treatment of Abortions Related to Rape, Incest, or Preserving the Life of the Mother, the use of “forcible rape” is included.  This term of forcible rape was also introduced in an amendment entitled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA).

This bill in many ways was derived from the Hyde Amendment, which was passed in 1976.  Hyde, which has to be renewed every year, was the stepping stone for H.R. 3.  The only differences are that H.R. 3 will not need to be renewed every year and the term “forcible rape” has been introduced.  Apparently, Congress in ’76 knew that while drafting legislation one should never attack victims of sexual assault.  Today, we have people in office that don’t put forth the effort to think about the victims of heinous crimes before introducing bills that lawfully exclude certain victims if they aren’t forcibly raped.  Smith excluded the definition of “forcible rape” in H.R. 3.

Rep Smith says, “Abortion is acceptable bigotry-prejudice against the child in the womb.”  But isn’t writing legislation that reads “forcible rape” an acceptable bigotry-prejudice against the sexual assault victim, Rep. Smith?  The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network estimates that in 2004-2005 there were at least 3,204 pregnancies that were caused by a non-consenting act of intercourse.

South Dakota benched a bill that would legalize the killing of doctors under the term “justifiable homicide”.  On the other hand, a bill which would essentially make women jump through firey hoops to get an abortion, is being considered now.    This bill would ensure that a woman would not have accessibility to a hasty abortion except in the event of an emergency.  This new legislation includes pre-abortion counseling by not only a physician, but also a pregnancy help center advocate.  Females do need to get educated about their options, however, only during a medical emergency when a woman’s physical life is in danger would an abortion be able to be used without counseling.  What about the psychological ramifications of not being able to procure an abortion after a woman has been raped?  The trauma could catapult some women into a deep spiraling mental crisis.  Some could even turn to suicide to stop the continued victimization that the law is forcing them to live through.

In Georgia, state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta), has presented an amendment to Titles 16 and 17 changing the term rape victim to rape accuser.  This means that in order for the state of Georgia to consider someone a victim of rape, the accused has to be convicted of this crime, someone will be considered a victim of rape.  Georgia law doesn’t even acknowledge that men can be raped.  One in ten men are raped in their lifetime with one in seven of those men being raped before they turned the age of 18 according to Crisis Connection.  It seems Georgia is leaving out a lot of victims in their law making, but what would happen if it happened to one of the high ranking officials or a close loved one was victimized?  What laws would be amended or introduced then?

The American Medical Association estimated that in 2000 as few as 10% of victims reported being sexually assaulted to the proper authorities.  Every victim that doesn’t report the rape does not report any number of various reasons and forcing them to confront what happened to them can be just as traumatizing.   The conviction rate of these sex offenders is only 2% as reported by US Senate Judiciary Committee: Conviction and Imprisonment Statistics.

If an amendment such as this were to be passed there would not be any need for the word accuser because there wouldn’t be anyone that would do the accusing.  People who are sexually assaulted are victims of heinous crimes, but will likely not seek out justice because the justice system has already failed them long before the perpetrator ever had the thought to perform sex without consent.

These are just a few examples of state and federals laws that are trying to be passed right now.  This very minute, senator and representative conservatives are introducing many more bills of this nature to be voted into law.  The bill that was taken off of the docket in South Dakota would have made murder, other than self-defense, justifiable.

I was raped four years ago.  I have been through hell and back.  Some people cannot say that they have made it back from that hell.  When I finally sought out help I realized that there was so much help out there for people that have been through what I have been through.  After it happened to me I was worried about all of these things from pregnancy to medical screenings for transmitted diseases to mental health counseling to help me overcome my new fear of living life at all.

I was 18 when this happened to me.  I was young and didn’t think that anything of that nature could happen to me.  Women and men alike need to realize that this problem isn’t as small as these numbers are showing.  The numbers belong to people who are the most courageous of all of us, who spoke out.  I was not one of these strong and courageous people.  I was lonely, scared, and I felt like I was all alone.  Don’t traumatize the victims anymore than they already are!  Don’t stomp on us because we can still be extremely functioning and effective member of society!