Video Project: Kindness Day

My project is going to be about Kindness Day, an annual event at Brandeis. My main interviewee will be Gabby (Kindness day coordinator of four years):

1. How did you come to be involved in leading this day?
2. How has kindness day evolved since you were a freshman?
3. Why is kindness important to you?
4. What sorts of activities are on the agenda this year?
5. Favorite part/activity?
6. What has been one of your most memorable kind interaction you had with someone?
7. What do you want people to take away from the day?
8. Would you say Brandeisians remember to create a kind campus when it’s not kindness day?

Video Ideas – Jaime

Hi all, so I have a couple ideas for video projects … they might change, but this is what I have so far:

1. Interviews with employees and community members of the Watch City Housing Clinic, a community action group in Waltham dedicated to affecting the affordable housing issue on a local non-profit level. I interned there last year a little bit and it’s a really inspiring place with people who have a particular perspective on Waltham that is probably pretty different from most student’s. B roll shots might include housing units, scenic images of town, community meetings.

2. Brandeis Peace Circle – Interview with Gordie Fellman, long-time sociology professor who apparently created the peace circle many years ago. I don’t know too much about this one, but it always sparks my curiosity when I walk past. B-roll could include shots of going through archival material, people convening at the circle, etc.

Interviewing A Waltham Cyclist

Hi all — so I’m going with the idea of writing a story about the challenges and benefits of biking in Waltham, and how Waltham is a reflection of or departure from general biking culture in the greater Boston area. I haven’t exactly picked an interviewee yet but I do have a couple students in mind who I know bike around the area a lot.

These are the interview questions I’ve cooked up so far. I’m looking forward to reading yours and getting feedback!

1) What are the major benefits and disadvantages of owning a bike in Waltham?
2) How does Waltham compare to other urban/suburban places you’ve biked (in terms of your subjective experience)?
3) At what point in your life did you connect with biking?
4) Is safety ever a concern? If so, what makes you feel most unsafe and why do you still bike despite these concerns?
5) What do you wish you could change about the way public spaces, infrastructure, and resources are for cyclists now?
6) Could Boston ever become a real biking city, with large portions of the population commuting via bike? What sorts of obstacles stand in the way of that happening?

First Post – Jaime

My name is Jaime, I’m a Senior English major with minors in Politics and Environmental Studies and this is my first post. I guess the title is redundant now. Oops. As a journalist, I’m interested in stories with a strong human-interest angle first and foremost. I prefer stories that use feature-style reporting to humanize policy issues, especially in the areas of urban planning and sustainability. I also love reading non-fiction about subcultures and personal histories–I’m currently reading a fantastic book called Random Family which tracks the lives of two young couples from the Bronx struggling in poverty. And as a campus journalist I’m excited about hyper-local reporting and the role it plays in a community, as well as the first amendment rights issues as they relate to college newspapers.

On the topic of first Amendment rights, the national news story I wanted to mention is about the University of California’s recently proposed, “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance” with the goal of combating intolerance and protecting students from bigotry. It sounds good in theory, but the language of the statement seems to potentially umbrella together acts of intolerance with some non-violent expressions and opinions. I don’t love the idea of Universities micromanaging dialogue and personally I’d rather virulent opinions be thrown in the ring along with productive ones rather then try to devise some way of magically filtering out which is which. That’s free speech. This issue is right at the heart of a conversation we had in Prof. McNamara’s class last week about fostering healthy and open campus dialogue for those of you in that class.

A piece of on-campus news I’m a fan of is the decision to remove bacon from The Einstein’s menu. It might not seem like a huge deal but some people are pretty upset, claiming that it’s kind of unfair for a secular school to make this change for the benefit for the kosher population.  This move is the latest in a long string of decisions that have removed and re-added pork and shellfish products from Brandeis dining menus in varying degrees and I just find the long-standing nature of this otherwise seemingly minor issue pretty fascinating.

Right now I’m deciding between two stories to pursue further. The first would be a continuation of a series I attempted to start with the Justice last year called, “Deis Discoveries.” It attempts to uncover the history of unique campus fixtures like buildings, statues, etc. Right now though, I’m leaning more toward my second idea about biking culture — in Waltham and among students at Brandeis. It would investigate Waltham municipal efforts (or lack thereof) to make the roads safer for cyclists. I’ve already snapped a few relevant photos for that one!