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News Briefs

October 26, 2003
Contact: 

Diane Schupbach, education coordinator, UNI Museums, (319) 273-3276, diane.schupbach@uni.edu
Garry Bozylinsky, associate vice president, Information Technology Services,(319) 273-7779, Garry.Bozylinksy@uni.edu
Betty DeBerg, head, Department of Philosophy and Religion, (319) 273-6221, 277-5071, betty.deberg@uni.edu
Margaret Empie, assistant director for catering and retail, Department of Residence, (319) 273-2333, margaret.empie@uni.edu
Ken Jacobsen, mental health counselor, UNI Counseling Center, (319) 273-2676, kenneth.Jacobsen@uni.edu

South Tama first-graders bring 'Pennies for Panthers'

First-graders from South Tama Elementary School will bring tubsful of change to the University Museums on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 27 and 28. Sue Grosboll, Museums director, said the students, in gratitude for the museum's free programming, raised the money by petitioning classmates for spare change. Two groups of 70 students each will present the money during scheduled field trips, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

'We all agreed that we needed to do something to show our appreciation for all the things that UNI does for us. We really are fortunate to have the museum allow us to come on a field trip and not charge us a cent,' said Lon Wilkerson, the South Tama first-grade teacher who dubbed the project 'Pennies for Panthers.'

The students will attend a program about costumes and have a scavenger at the Museums, and tour the Center for Energy and Environmental Education.

Contact:

Diane Schupbach, education coordinator, UNI Museums, (319) 273-3276, diane.schupbach@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





Internet anniversary stirs tax talk

On Oct. 29, 1969, data began flowing between computers at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute, and the Internet was born. Today the Internet 'is so ubiquitous in our lives that we don't realize the changes over the years,' says Garry Bozylinsky, associate vice president for information technology services at UNI. ' The sheer volume, ease of accessibility and wide variety of users makes it a very powerful tool.'

The beauty of the Internet, he says, is that it is generally free trade. 'Taxing the Internet is like charging people to use the public library. A tax or cost would really reduce the use and value. Imagine if we had to pay for every mile on every road we drove -- how our use would change.'

Contact:

Garry Bozylinsky, associate vice president, Information Technology Services,

(319) 273-7779, Garry.Bozylinksy@uni.edu

Melissa Barber, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761



National Separation of Church and State Day

The nation will observe Separation of Church and State Day Tuesday, Oct. 28. This controversial amendment to the U.S. Constitution is constantly challenged, often in schools. In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Abington v. Schemmp, that Bible reading endorsed a particular religion and was therefore unconstitutional. Since then, everything from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to the Pledge of Allegiance has been questioned.

'You usually hear one of two extremes when people talk about religion and schools,' said Betty DeBerg, head of UNI's Department of Philosophy and Religion. 'One of those is people who want religion to be promoted in school, and they almost always limit it to their religion. The other extreme is people who believe public schools should have nothing whatsoever to do with religion. They want it completely banned.' But, DeBerg said, it is possible for instructors and parents to talk about religion within the public schools, and to do so without trampling on the Constitution. 'There is actually a middle ground that is supported by a wide range of religious and educational groups.'

Contacts:

Betty DeBerg, head, Department of Philosophy and Religion, (319) 273-6221, 277-5071, betty.deberg@uni.edu,

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761



Making good manners a habit helps students use them under stress

Oct. 30 is the birth anniversary of Emily Post, whose book on manners, 'Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage,' first appeared in 1922. It went on to become the 'American bible of manners and social behavior,' and established Post as a household name in matters of etiquette. Good manners continue to be important today, and at UNI, the Department of Residence (DOR) believes the best learning for dining etiquette takes place at a meal.

'Twenty years ago, college students were interested in dining and other etiquette because they wanted to make good impressions when they went on dates or 'to meet the parents',' says Margaret Empie, assistant director for catering and retail at UNI. 'Today the emphasis has changed and they're concerned about having an edge when they compete for professional positions or internships. They understand that their success may depend on how they conduct themselves with other people, in addition to the technical skills or knowledge they may possess.'

Each year, student groups ask the DOR do presentations about manners during formal dinners. The 30-minute presentations includes instructions from not using cell phones at dinner and toothpicks in front of other people, to how to know which fork to use. 'We want students to realize the importance of making etiquette a way of life. If good manners are a habit, they are more likely to be maintained in a stressful situation. The interviewee is more likely to successfully focus on the other person and the interview rather than on which fork to use or what to do when there's no knife in the butter dish.'

Margaret Empie, assistant director for catering and retail, Department of Residence, (319) 273-2333, margaret.empie@uni.edu

Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761



Familiarity breeds contempt among coworkers

The average employee spends as much time -- if not more -- with coworkers as with a spouse. The result often is differences in opinion and arguments and in-office fights. Crabby Coworkers Day is Monday, Oct. 27, and Ken Jacobsen, a mental health counselor at UNI's Counseling Center, says the best way to head off problems with coworkers is to talk. 'Ironically, it's the simplest thing to do and it's something people know

how to do -- but don't. Just go talk to the person.'

Jacobsen also encourages people to pick little fights. 'So they don't bottle things up and end up exploding and stomping around. We call that gunny-sacking, because you store and store and store, and then, when one more little irritable things occurs, you really unload.'

He notes those most likely to be the 'irritating' coworker are the insecure. 'They've been hurt, or they feel threatened and expect to be criticized. That makes them hypercritical, defensive and afraid to take on extra responsibilities -- all the things that tick off other people.'

Contacts:

Ken Jacobsen, mental health counselor, UNI Counseling Center, (319) 273-2676, kenneth.Jacobsen@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpeper, University Marketing & public Relations, (319) 273-2761