Jenna Duncan's Portfolio

Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

Posts Tagged ‘event coverage

Onyx hosts week to publicize its magazine

leave a comment »

Published on April 12, 2009 in The Huntington News

Last week, The Onyx Informer hosted a series of events to help promote the publication around campus. Oversized sweaters, legwarmers and neon lights flooded afterHOURS Saturday night to conclude Onyx Week 2009.

This was the first year The Onyx Informer, which seeks to be a voice for the African Diaspora at Northeastern, hosted a week of events to promote their magazine, editor-in-chief Margaret Kamara said.

“The reason we did Onyx Week was to help people hear the name on campus again,” Kamara said. “A lot of the student population isn’t aware of the publication or what it’s about.”

This was the second year for the ’80s and ’90s dance party. Attendees dressed up in previous decades’ clothing and danced to oldies. Based off its earlier success, members of The Onyx decided to host an entire week of events and finish with the dance party, she said.

The festivities began Monday, April 6 with an alumni mixer at 6 p.m. in West Village C. A similar event was hosted Kamara’s freshman year, and she said she was glad to reinstate it.

“The events weren’t really for the alumni, but in the beginning [of the week] we wanted to connect them and start an alumni group,” she said. “So now in the future they can give back to The Onyx or mentor, or help with any type of networking.”

This focus is to make sure that The Onyx is a recognized student publication on campus, Kamara said.

“We hoped to let students know that there are different publications on campus and to expose themselves to it,” she said. “They should make an effort to let them know what we’re about.”

Through the events and new freshmen added to staff this year, Kamara, a senior, said she feels that the publication is in good hands and will continue to grow next year.

“[The new staff] is really excited,” she said. “The new people have energy and enthusiasm and they’re dedicated to promoting the magazine. They’re going to take it to another level.”

The magazine already attracts students because of promotion by the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, as well as through networking with friends, said freshman Onyx member Danielle Howe.

“I heard of The Onyx before I got on campus and I got here and got more involved,” she said. “It exposes a lot of good and bad about the university.”

The Onyx continued to promote the magazine through its events, handing out copies of the magazine and talking with students Wednesday at a barbecue in the Centennial Commons.

“We had food and at the same time passed out our issues,” Kamara said. “We let them know that we are here and cater to minority students, but also cover issues that effect the whole student body.”

Thursday was another event where a group of students went out to dinner at Fajitas and Ritas, a Mexican restaurant in the Theater District. On Friday, there was Soul Speech Live in Frost Lounge, where there was an open mic for poets, rappers and artists, and the week was ended with the dance party at afterHOURS.

“Soul Speech and the party were [my favorites] and it was so successful,” Howe said. “Everyone was just having a good time.”

The party was at full capacity, and was a successful way to cap off the week, Kamara said.

“The party of course was the most successful,” she said. “A lot of people showed up and the fact that it hit capacity speaks for itself. It was a great event.”

Advertisements

Written by jdunccc

April 12, 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Huntington News

Tagged with ,

Harvard team taking on RIAA comes to NU

leave a comment »

Published on April 8, 2009 in The Huntington News

On iTunes, seven songs cost $6.93.

Seven songs for Joel Tenenbaum, however, may cost him $1 million.

Tenenbaum, a graduate student at Boston University, and a team of Harvard law students led by Professor Charles Nesson are currently fighting the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

“Everyone’s talking about Joel,” said Debbie Rosenbaum, a Harvard graduate student who is handling the public relations for the case. “There’s a definite buzz in cyberspace, so it’s exciting.”

Yesterday, about 20 people gathered in Shillman Hall to listen to Tenenbaum, Nesson and Rosenbaum talk about the case and what they believe the key issues are.

“We’re not here to protect the CD industry,” Tenenbaum said. “We are here to protect the music and its future.”

The case began in 2003 when a letter was sent to Tenenbaum’s parents’ house, where he was living at the time. He was 16 years old, and the letter requested $5,250 for the seven songs he allegedly downloaded illegally. He explained his financial status as a student, and sent a check for $500, which was later returned.

He said he didn’t hear anything else until 2007, when five separate music labels filed a civil complaint, seeking up to $150,000 per song. From here, he and his mother, a lawyer, dealt with the numerous legal allegations until Nesson offered to help.

“We had been fighting for a while, then Charlie stepped in to assist me,” Tenenbaum said.

In October 2008, Tenenbaum’ attended a deposition hosted by a council of music industry representatives from Denver. After this, his parents, sister and even ex-girlfriends had to endure the same council.

“This to me is so mind-boggling,” Nesson said. “We’re talking about a kid that downloaded some songs, and for doing that his family has been infringed upon ‘hellip; It’s some kind of insanity.”

With the enormity of the case and the measures that have been taken by the RIAA legal team, the case has gained a lot of support, even globally.

“This case has become bigger than Joel or any of us,” Rosenbaum said.

Because the case has attracted so much attention and is fighting the higher-ups of the recording industry, Tenenbaum and his team are using unconventional methods like blogging about their legal strategy and asking for public input. This has generated negative feedback from many lawyers, Rosenbaum said, but isn’t illegal.

“We’re lapping into collaborative knowledge,” she said. “I realize we are pushing a lot of boundaries.”

The case has also left people divided, however, resulting in varied responses on their website,www.joelfightsback.com, and the Facebook group, Joel Fights Back Against RIAA.

“We’ve gotten two basic responses,” Tenenbaum said. “To fight the man ‘hellip; and then of course that I’m killing the music industry.”

Tenenbaum and his team, however, believe peer-to-peer sharing is actually beneficial to the music industry and needs to be adopted.

“We understand people make money in between the artist and customer,” Rosenbaum said. “The Internet has fundamentally changed how it works. Artists can now directly communicate with consumers.”

Here, they cited the ‘Radiohead Model,’ where the band Radiohead released a download-only version of their album In Rainbows for a user-defined price. Also, by low-priced or free downloads, artists can get more exposure.

“I’d like [people to] recognize that noncommercial sharing is a good thing and actually helps artists,” Nesson said.

The issues at hand in the case and what the defense hopes to achieve show how the lines are currently blurred, said junior music industry major Marc Pellegrino.

“It’s very interesting and informative,” he said. “But it just proves that nothing is clear, and it’s not black and white.”

The first hearing date has been postponed to April 30 since they are currently fighting to allow the trial be viewed online. Though it’s a constant fight, the team said they feel like they are correct in their beliefs and have the general public’s support.

“The legal battle is uphill, but I think the court of public opinion is on our side,” Rosenbaum said.

Written by jdunccc

April 8, 2009 at 12:00 am

Professor makes case for Israel with film screening

leave a comment »

Published on April 1, 2009 in The Huntington News

Despite the New England Patriots’ Tedy Bruschi speaking Monday night, about 150 people instead gathered to see Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz screen his new film, ‘The Case for Israel,’ and have a debate with attendees about the state of Israeli and Palestinian relations.

This is the only college screening that Dershowitz has attended, and was sponsored by Students for Israel at Northeastern, College Democrats, College Republicans, Political Science Students’ Association and Northeastern Hillel.

The event began by playing the film, which was broken into six sections:’ J’accuse (outrage against a powerful person), Historical Facts, Democracy and Difficult Choices, Justice, Threats and Fortitude. These six sections outline why Dershowitz believes Israel should be its own state, and why he feels it is reasonable.

J’accuse opens the film with outrage directed toward Jimmy Carter, who is avidly pro-Palestine, and whom Dershowitz blames for ruining Israel and Palestine’s chances of peace. Historical Facts briefed viewers on the history of Palestinian and Israeli relations, and Democracy and Difficult Choices showed how the Israeli government works. The last three focused on how Israel is singled out, threatened by terrorists and more accepting than Palestine.

“This isn’t a film for extremists,” he said later during the question and answer session. “For me, it’s making the case for people that have an open mind about this.”

After the viewing, Dershowitz came on the stage and challenged students to ask their hardest questions.

“Who wants to ask the first hard, critical question?” he asked the audience.

The questions ranged from the film’s target audience to asking what he would do if he were a Palestinian. He first became heated when a student suggested Palestinians fought because they were oppressed or poor.

“So people that don’t have jobs can blow up babies?” he said. “Terrorism is targeting civilians for killing.”

From here, he argued that while Israelis try to protect people by having bomb shelters everywhere, Palestinians are more willing to sacrifice their own and do not put up such defense mechanisms for the public.

“You can’t measure the number of deaths because it won’t be proportional,” he said. “Israel does everything in its power to preserve human life.”

In response to the next question, he also argued that Israel will do anything in its power to end the conflict, including giving up Jerusalem.

From here the topics drifted toward the workings of Israel as a democracy, and how it is viewed by the world. One of the main arguments during this, as well as the film, is that Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East, comparing it to the government in Palestine that can murder homosexuals.

He then discussed how in Europe there are many human rights campaigns focused on being pro-Palestine, but they don’t care about any other human rights issues like genocide in Darfur. This, he said, proves that it is only because people are against a Jewish state existing.

“When the French care only about the Palestinians, its pure anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz said.

The session was concluded by a student asking when the hatred would go away, and Dershowitz shared a story about attending an orchestra performance about a year ago where the orchestra was composed half of Israelis and half of Palestinians.

“For many Israelis and Palestinians, it was a sign of what could be,” he said. “Will it happen overnight? No.”

Despite Dershowitz’s tough and confident attitude, junior electrical engineering major Bruce Kaufman said he wasn’t fully convinced by Dershowitz.

“I think he glossed it over,” he said. “But he did say that Israel isn’t perfect, and there’s some obvious controversy.”

Written by jdunccc

April 1, 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Huntington News

Tagged with ,

Haitian group hosts cultural show Thursday

leave a comment »

Published on February 22, 2009 in The Huntington News

Three tables adorned with traditional Haitian food ranging from fried plantains to rum cake gathered much of the attention Thursday night at Curry Student Center Ballroom for The Awakening, a cultural show celebrating the 205th anniversary of Haiti’s independence presented by the Haitian Student Unity (HSU) group and Illuminous Event Solutions (IES).

The show was opened by host Chris Worrell yelling ‘Where my Haitians at?’ to the audience, and then led into the Haitian National Anthem sung in Creole.

A documentary presentation followed, with a slideshow depicting Haiti through the past and present, contrasting images of the pristine beaches against images of children of extreme poverty, which are commonplace in Haiti, Peter Faiteau, president of HSU said.

‘What the media says about Haiti, that it’s one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean … but at the same time the country itself is so enriched with culture,’ he said. ‘I went there when I was young. I remember chasing chickens, going to the beach. The scenery was beautiful.’

Next was a dance performance, one of five throughout the show, which Faiteau said was popular with the crowd.
‘They loved the dance performances, and people were contacting me for more of their information so they could use the dancers for other events,’ he said.

There were also three mini fashion shows, the first showcasing Haitian designer Nyndia Diligent’s clothing. All of the designers were from Haiti or incorporated Haitian culture into their designs, from the style to the strong colors.
A spoken word segment was next, where Jeffery performed a politically fueled rap in front of a dropdown slideshow displaying images from Haiti.

‘Do you see what I see?’ he asked. ‘Survival of the fittest, survival of the richest.’

Another fashion show followed, showcasing company H-Republik T-shirts in bright colors screened with images and symbols of Haitian culture, which senior finance major Parnel Jospitre enjoyed, and said he would even buy some of the shirts.

‘The fashions were the best part besides the food,’ he said.

The second half followed the same form as the first half, featuring one of the most popular performances, comedian Haitian V, a virtual YouTube star who in his videos sits in front of the Haitian flag discussing everything from Britney Spears to how he doesn’t like that young adults wear sneakers rather than shoes.

‘A lot of people came to just see Haitian V,’ Faiteau said. ‘People really know him especially through YouTube, and people loved him.’

The night was concluded with a spread of three tables covered in traditional Haitian food, which Faiteau said he considered the highlight of the night.

There was a table of main courses, like fried pork, fried beef and fried plantains. Each was on display with the name in Creole, English and a description of the food. Another table was full of desserts, while another had a bunch of different rice dishes and soups. One of the many historic foods was squash soup, which is a symbol of independence and is consumed on the first day of January.

Overall, Faiteau said the show went well, and helped to celebrate Haiti’s independence.

‘We wanted to let everyone know this is Haiti and although it has had its down times, it has so many positive parts,’ he said. ‘A lot of people wanted to learn about the past, of [how Haiti] came to be, and a lot of people left with an education.’

Written by jdunccc

February 22, 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Huntington News

Tagged with ,

Graphic designer shares experiences

leave a comment »

Published on February 11, 2009 in The Huntington News

Images dating back to the 1100s, or as recent as a few years old, were projected from international graphic designer Krzysztof Lenk’s Macintosh laptop onto the wall of Raytheon Amphitheater Tuesday night as part of the the Art + Design department’s lecture series.

Lenk, a former partner and design director of Dynamic Diagrams, a consultant group for website information architecture, and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) professor, discussed concepts of designing and connecting ancient images to current concepts and shared some of his experiences. He also showed examples of visual communication and website architecture.

As he took to the podium in front of about 60 students and teachers, he joked about his accent, a blend from his native language, Polish, and where he learned to speak English, Rhode Island. He began with a brief background about himself, emphasizing when he immigrated to the United States in 1982 to teach information design, despite his specialty in publication design. Information design uses graphic design to effectively convey important information like airport signs and websites, while publication design is the graphic art of designing everything from newspapers to product catalogues.

“I was asked to teach something I didn’t know,” he said. “I started to learn and it was an interesting process of learning and applying that to classes. I’m not a particularly bright person, but every new discovery led me to another.”

Lenk then began a slideshow, first showing a presentation he had created by applying existing human ratios to a theoretical group of 1,000. Through this he showed how race, land use and other statistics would be reflected in a visual format. He stressed that this was visual communication, and without the simple sound effects of tings and claps throughout the presentation, the meaning would be lost.

“As a human I am connected to the outside world,” he said. “When I turn off the sound images are only half as powerful. ‘hellip; Sound is helping this message reach others.”

After describing the importance of sound, Lenk referred to historical images, some dating back to the 1400s and quoting St. John of Damascus, a father of the Catholic Church, on divine images.

He then described the process of how he consults clients, for example, asking what their goals are as a company and whom the company wants the message to reach, bringing upon the importance of color.

“Color conveys different messages better,” he said. “You have to think about your audience. If you’re sending a message to Latinos you want more color contrast than if you are sending it to Norwegians in Minnesota. These are important things for a designer to know.”

Such details are determined by the quality of questions the designer asks, and when these extensive questions are not asked the designer ends up getting the short hand, he said.

“I’m a designer and I’m not that powerful,” Lenk said. “But if I don’t ask enough questions, someone will send me back to redesign on my own budget.”

After explaining the consultation process, he diverged back to relating ancient sketches to important design concepts like spacial relations, optics and proportional realities.

He then finished this portion of the lecture by showing and explaining one of his largest projects, the redesign of the Samsung Global website, what some students considered the highlight of the entire presentation.

“The Samsung example [was my favorite part],” graduate information systems student Amit Navare said. “It was a problem about showing a website in a good way. So it was interesting to see how to go about doing that.”

The lecture was then concluded with a brief question and answer section, in which he expanded on points from the lecture like color usage in addition to answering questions regarding how to supplement a design curriculum.

As a whole, the lecture was enriching and informative, Navare said.

“I was looking for something about graphic design that could help me with website design and something with artistic expression,” he said. “I would say it gave me perspective now to how a graphic designer looks into a problem and how it effects everyone from the vice president to the marketing department.”

Written by jdunccc

February 11, 2009 at 12:00 am

Policy lecture series raises issues surrounding presidential elections

leave a comment »

Published September 21, 2008 in The Huntington News

After driving about an hour and a half from Connecticut, Kristen Savage arrived at Room 20 of West Village F to see something she deemed special.

Savage and about 120 other people gathered for the first Open Classroom Policy series Wednesday night. The free lecture, “Policy Advice for the Next President,” was hosted by the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy.

“It’s free education,” Savage said. “It’s a good topic to discuss with people who actually know what they’re talking about.”

The free lecture series, which is being called a course, is led by Michael Dukakis, distinguished professor of political science, former governor of Massachusetts and 1988 presidential hopeful, and Robert Culver, president and CEO of MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development authority that works to stimulate economic development, according to the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy’s website

The course is hosted once a week on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, the website stated, and will run through December. Each class is broken into two subsets: the first half includes a small introduction and a series of guest speakers who are experts on the topic at hand and the second half includes a class discussion on the issues that are relevant to the subject.

“[Open Classroom] supports serious public issues and is a great thing,” Culver said. “I hope the classes are substantially challenging, but that the dialogues are equally informative.”

Having two prominent leaders increases the appeal of the course, said Executive Director of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy John Sarvey.

“The two leaders are the highlights [of the program],” Sarvey said. “They both have tremendous insight and experience to offer, but in addition to the professors for the semester we have interesting guest lecturers every week and they’re people that have a lot of real world experience and expertise in these issues.”

Seeing such influential figures in person was the motivation for freshman business major Peter Petrin to attend the class, he said.

“At first I heard Dukakis was speaking and I knew a little about him and wanted to see him,” Petrin said. “To see big political figures up close is a completely different experience.”

Some students who did not attend said they might be interested in attending the series.

“[I might attend] depending on what issues they’re discussing,” said freshman accounting major Lauren Buzzell. “If it’s something I’m not interested in, I won’t go.”

The series will be discussing issues like meeting healthcare needs, regulating the marketplace and preparing the workforce for the future, according to the website.

Other students said they did not have the time to attend any additional lectures outside of school-required ones.

“I probably would go, I just don’t have the time right now,” said junior communication studies major Jordan Silas.

The class is designed to discuss policy issues the next president will encounter, the website stated, and covers everything from foreign policy to healthcare. It is a free course open to the community.

“Opening up the university to our neighbors in the Stony Brook Communities was a prime motivation behind the development of the ‘Open Classroom,’” Barry Bluestone, dean of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy said in a statement. “Here is an opportunity for the broader community to get a chance to see the teaching we do at Northeastern and how we try to use our faculty and guest speakers to address a range of pressing challenges we face as a community and as a nation.”

Though the Policy Advice to the Next President class ends in December, the “Open Classroom” will host another series next semester, entitled “Economic Growth and Social Justice.”

“Every semester we want to have one course that’s of interest and engages the community as well as the campus,” Sarvey said of continuing the program.

By educating the community, the organizers of the class said they hope to give new insight and perspective to this seasons’ voters.

“We want the participants to go away with a deeper understanding of public policy and the challenges and opportunities facing different issues,” Sarvey said. “We also hope that it reinforces Northeastern’s commitment and openness to the community.”


Written by jdunccc

September 21, 2008 at 12:00 am