Dec 06 2017

EMU’s “Wall of Speech”

by blogemu

Do you live in America? Congratulations you have the right to free speech!

 

Whether you are an organization, and elected official, an journalist, an artist, or just an everyday person who has something to say, you have this right. As students at EMU we also have the right to express our freedom of speech on Eastern’s “wall of speech”.

 

The First Amendment to the Constitution gives individuals the right to say whatever they want, so long as their words do not bring harm to another, without fear of government interference.

 

Eastern Michigan University encourages this right and gives their students the opportunity to share their speech by allowing students to put it on the “wall of speech” in the middle of campus.

 

The “wall of speech” consists of two cement walls and nearby cement cylindrical kiosk located in the grassy area between the Rec/IM, Porter, and Pray-Harrold building. According to student government at EMU, these walls are a call for the students’ creativity to communicate upcoming events and other public messages.

 

Utilizing the wall is a great way for students to share their ideas about things going on, on campus or in the world. Whatever they want to write on the wall they can.

 

Whether a group or club on campus wants to promote an event, or whether a person randomly feels like painting, any and everyone should take advantage of this opportunity and should utilize the “wall of speech”

 

If a student or group would like to paint on the “wall of speech”, there are a few rules to remember:

 

  •    Any Eastern Michigan University student may access the walls and the kiosk at any time. Free-speech is waiting for everybody and for nobody! If you want to speak up, do it! But, if you don’t want to deliver your message on the wall of speech, the wall won’t wait for you… It is always there and will always communicate something.

 

  •    Painting any of these spaces does not guarantee that a message will remain for any amount of time. You might finish painting at 10 p.m. only to see the wall repainted again at 5:30 a.m. (true story)

 

  •    The best thing about free speech also contains its biggest weakness; all speech, even hate speech is protected.

 

  •    You must remember, “Every time hate speech is permitted, it costs someone part of his or her self, part of their self-respect, or part of their sanity” (unknown). Hate speech does not accomplish anything. We encourage political, educational and social deliberation that will challenge other people’s thoughts, but before acting, ask yourself what are you trying to achieve with your messages? How are people going to accept and interpret  the messages?

 

  •    If you were exposed to controversial statements that may offend you, try to see them as a spark of a conversation and a debate. The first amendment wasn’t designed to protect mainstream ideas that already have much support and no need for protection, so look at the message as an intellectual debate rather than personal attack.

 

We encourage all students to take out their paint and brushes and put their ideas out for everyone to see! So get out there and do something creative today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michal Liberman is an swimmer at EMU. She is a junior, majoring in public relations. Michal is from Israel originally, works part time in the EMU Division of Communications, and is featured in EMU’s #YouAreWelcomeHere banner campaign.

Nov 28 2017

Life Is Good When You Bleed Green and White! What It’s Like to be an EMU Tour Guide

by blogemu

 

      “Hi! My Name is Faith and I’ll be your tour guide today. We will be starting off right here in the number one student center in the nation! Down this hallway is….”

 

These sentences are ones that I am all too familiar with, but with every opportunity I have to rattle them off, I gain a sense of pride for this amazing university I get to call homE.  

 

      As mentioned above my name is Faith and I would like to tell you a little bit about what it’s like to be a tour guide here at EMU! I have been working in the Admissions Welcome Center for about a year now and everyday is a new adventure.  

      I am going to highlight my three favorite things about working in the office in this post: working with the general public, the people I work with, and the university I get to show off.

 

      First of all, spending an hour and a half to two hours with complete strangers three times a week is always an adventure.  Since we are working with the general public you never really know what to expect.

 

      In fact, we go through around six weeks of training and a bulk of that training covers tough situations that may arise on tours, but I still have felt completely unprepared for some things that have happened.

 

Beyond that, you get to know these strangers and you leave feeling more like friends. It’s so cool to hear about people’s dreams and aspirations and what go them there.  I love learning about different people’s’ passion and watch their passion grow for this school throughout our route.

 

    Next, the people found in the Admissions Welcome Center identify more as a family than as a staff. It has been the time of my life working with some of my closest friends.

 

One of my favorite traditions in the office is when our whole team—tour guides, coordinators, advisors—get together and have breakfast before major events and start our day singing (more like scream) the EMU fight song together. The energy in the room is so positive and soooooo #TRUEMU.

 

      Finally, my favorite part about being a tour guide is being able to show off the place that changed my life.  Eastern Michigan University has meant so much to me and has really made me who I am.

 

The accepting and diverse atmosphere at EMU has allowed me to learn, grow, and explore myself more than I have ever imagined and I finally love who I am, because EMU loves who I am. I often think about who I might’ve become if I ended up elsewhere, and I don’t like the alternative.  

 

      Having a job where I can show others the freedom and opportunity found at this institution is amazing.  I am paid to talk about one of my favorite things in the world. What can I say, life is good when you bleed green and white!

 

 

 

 

Faith Salsbury is a sophomore from Toledo, Ohio studying Social Work with a minor in Leadership and a dream to go into Higher Education Student Affairs. Faith works as a Certified Tour Guide on campus and for the marketing department as a part of their awesome street team. Faith is also a proud member of Delta Zeta Gamma Sigma Sorority, The Diversity and Inclusion Group, and the Honors College.

Nov 15 2017

A Peek Into My World: What it’s like to be an international student at EMU

by blogemu

Upon meeting someone, it usually takes a person about 30 seconds to realize I am not American. As soon as I open my mouth to say something, people on campus realize I am an international student, and a sassy one at that.

 

Some of  the questions that I get asked on a regular basis as an international student invlude, “Why did you come to America?”, “What language are you dreaming in?”, “Where do you want to live in the future?”

 

If you are really interested in what life is like as an international student in America, then keep reading because I have some insights for you.

 

  • You can’t hide your identity

It’s not just your accent and name that turns you in, it’s the way you look and dress. It’s the way you talk and walk, and there might be something in your eyes that just screams – DIFFERENT. My advice to other international students would be to enjoy it, and take advantage of your difference. The different side in you is the one thing that will help you stand out.

 

  • You need to get used to the unique language

As an international student there are quite a few American sayings that I struggled with understanding at first. Some of these sayings that didn’t “ring a bell” when I first heard them included, The best thing since sliced bread, or to be held on by a thread,once in a blue moon.” How about saying Yup, instead of thank-you? or giving you the cold shoulderwhen you accidentally drive someone up the wall”? can someone get a “penny for my thoughts” here?

 

  • You represent your country, everyday, even if you don’t want to

International students don’t need to wear their country’s flag around their back to represent their country or ethnic identity. They can however, represent their home countries positively by treating others with respect and kindness. Also with their opinions, habits, gestures and behavior. As an international student, you are an ambassador of your country, everyday. Even if you don’t want to be, so remember that.

 

  • My gosh, those papers are hard

Grammar can be your worst enemy as a student in a country outside of your home language. As an international student simple grammar as well as vocabulary sometimes just doesn’t make sense in your brain.The worst of all is trying to master proper spelling! While these may seem like challenges at first, luckily with spell check these mistakes can be corrected. In my opinion, spell check is the best thing since sliced bread.

 

  • Being misunderstood

This thing that I wanted to say made perfect sense in my head, but here I am standing with this american who is trying to help me but doesn’t seem to guess what I want. Is it the way I pronounce and express myself? Being misunderstood can be frustrating and disheartening as an international student.

 

  • American food?!

Let me just say, peanut butter and jelly is weird! But that’s only the beginning of it. Why is there so much candy everywhere? What are these easy prep kits for meals? And these “just add water” formulas to the most complex dishes? It seems to me that everything is frozen and process. Can we go back to the simple life please? I really don’t want to get fat while living here. Luckily, campus has many healthy options that I choose from.

 

  • Homesick!

There is no cure for a case of homesickness. Somedays are just harder than others. There are days where your brain fails to cooperate in correct English, days where you just wish you could go to your favorite restaurant at home and eat the food you are used to, and days where you really wish your parents could share with you or moments where it would have been swell to just listen to the radio in your native language. While you can’t recreate traditional things that you love from your home country, you can do some of the American things that you love to help cheer you up!

 

Despite the challenges I have faced and overcome, I love America. Specifically, Eastern Michigan University have given me a lifetime experience from every possible perspective.

 

I wouldn’t trade the experience of studying at EMU for anything. The people I have met, the education I have received, and the sports team I am a part of are some of the best opportunities I could ever ask for in life.

 

To any international students, just remember, it’s okay to be different, and to have different biases and experiences. The challenges internationals are facing will only make us stronger, and we are lucky enough to have our university proud of the national and international diversity. Indeed, YouAreWelcomeHere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michal Liberman is an EMU swimmer and junior majoring in public relations and is swimmer. She is from Israel, works part time in the EMU Division of Communications and is featured in EMU’s #YouAreWelcomeHere banner campaign.