Champlain College, 2016: NewsActivist (Contemporary Issues Complementary Course)

About this class

This course requires students to develop individual portfolios about contemporary issues, sharing work with increasing depth as the semester progresses.

The course encourages student to develop cross-disciplinary knowledge and broaden perspectives regarding local, provincial, national, and international news, Assignments encouraging interactions with peers across campuses and borders will build broad understanding of issues in an exciting and unique manner.  

Themes addressed during teh semester involve: Journalism, Critical Thinking and Credibility of sources, Personal Voice in writing, impacts on communities of non-profits, NGOs, and socially-conscious businesses, the impact of academic research on communities, and the  possibilities of Collaboration and civic journalism in 2016.

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Gretta-olivia on May 9, 2016
Name: Gretta-Olivia Ineza                                               Burundians lives matter   During the semester, the majority of my posts on new activism were about the accurate situation in Burundi, my native country, which is located in East Africa.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Cynthia_pare on May 9, 2016
    There is so much problems on the planet that could be overcomed by stronger wills of inhabitants. Most problems that we face nowadays are caused by men “cleverness” that sometimes can be very destructive. The planet is starting to age, because of her tiredness of men’s fights. Citizens, children, women, men, foreigners are tagged, but  now it is time to stop putting names on what we see and start being one whole that support each other. Oxfam

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Adam J. Lavoie on May 9, 2016
In my latest project, I studied what are the problems in our everyday lives that keep us from going forward in the gender equality matter. I looked at impartial articles on gender studies, men's studies and sociology to find the general causes of gender inequality in our social environment and found out that the major factors in that issue were that women are expected to work a double shift of work when they get home because of gender role. Also gender generalization in our society prevents us from being equal with everybody who doesn't fit the mold our society puts them into.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by CherryBlossom on May 9, 2016
Many diseases have symptoms that are visible to the eye like cancer, Parkinson or muscular dystrophy. The people who are affected by these diseases tend to be noticed by the population and attract unwanted stares. Although these people can fell like they are being pitied or judged, having a visible disease has its advantages or may I say, having an invisible disease has its disadvantages.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by ADaydreamingWal... on May 8, 2016
Education has been my main subject on News Activist. I wrote about the issues concerning women, students and teachers in the educational environment. In this last post, I will introduce you to the inequalities of the women’s post-education and, then, I will introduce you to an event I have went to called “Marche Monde” organized by Oxfam Québec.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by julie.brown on May 8, 2016
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to become acquainted with a couple churches around the South Shore and in Montreal, getting a better sense of what each is doing in order to get involved with their community and with global issues. Growing up in a Christian community, I’d sometimes felt that the church was separate from the outside world. It seemed as though there was an invisible rift between the people I would see during a Sunday service and those that would sit next to me in class; sermons and worship seemingly never intersected with real-world issues.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by julie.brown on May 8, 2016
The following is an interview between the author, Julie Brown, and Bianca Hébert, the chair of the youth group of Rosemount Bible Church. The interview was conducted on April 29th, 2016. The article that these interviews were conducted for can be found here.   BROWN: How long have you been involved with RBC (Rosemount Bible Church) on a leadership level?

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by julie.brown on May 8, 2016
The following is the transcript of an interview between the author, Julie Brown, and Matheus Schultz, a college student and member of Saint-Marc's Parish in Candiac. The interview was conducted on April 6th, 2016. The event discussed took place on April 3rd, 2016.  The article that these interviews were conducted for can be found here.   BROWN: Tell us a bit about the event that you orchestrated.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by RomyLeclerc on May 8, 2016
Inequalities have always been a major part of our modern society. We all know that some people own more than others. Recently, a report came out revealing that 62 people own the same as half the population worldwide. This report was written by an organization named Oxfam.

1,392 | 3 | 0
Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by rebstooke on May 7, 2016
All along the semester, I decided to concentrate my blog post and writing on a cause that is important to me, homelessness. I chose this subject because it perfectly shows how our society is build today. It demonstrate that the entire society is not build in a way that favorises a quest of solutions in this issue. Also, the well-being of every human on this planet is something that bothers me because everybody deserve the same quality.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Nikolaos on May 7, 2016
Words are very important. They allow us, amongst many other things, to communicate our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Some words, however, are more delicate than others, especially when they define someone’s identity or have a very heavy and dark past such as “faggot” or “nigger”.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Sauro on May 5, 2016
This essay answers the following question: To what extent does community journalism is an asset to its locality? The topic has been chosen in the view that there is a lack of information about what it is and the importance it has in society. The research done is of academic level using examples of news stories from around the globe. The findings of the research illustrate that community journalism is a tool that promotes the cohesion, freedom of expression, and organization within society.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by hunter_c on May 4, 2016
The issue of aboriginal abuse in Canada and the United States has been an ongoing one for many years now, and it is just recent that it has gotten more attention in the news and in the academic world.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Mr.Bean on May 4, 2016
Albertan oil sands exploitation and pipelines construction and/or expansion throughout North-Canada could be economically benefit for Canada. Canada could open its market internationally in addition to create jobs. Some politicians and environmentalist called that the environmental risks were too important, and that the project should not see rise. The Canadian population also affirmed that they do not want pipelines in their yard, since it could contaminate water areas as well as the soil.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by catherinegamache on May 4, 2016
Throughout the semester I chose to concentrate my writing and blog post on homelessness. I chose this subject because I am very concerned about people’s well-being and even more about vulnerable persons’ well-being. Homelessness is a topic that really affects me because a member of my family encountered some difficulties linked to homelessness. When he first started his company, he borrowed a lot of money from the bank and had many debts. At the begging his company did not work really well so, he did not have enough money to pay off all of his debts.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by gbrouillard on May 4, 2016
I have decided to do my volunteer work with an organism related to homelessness. After doing some research on the volunteer opportunities close by, I chose to contact the Accueil Bonneau situated in the old Montreal. This organism has as a goal to welcome any homeless person or anyone who is at risk of homelessness by daily journeying with that person in responding to his basic needs and helping him achieve a better quality of life and well-being. The work I did there was to serve the people who came to have a lunch during the second service of the day.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by alexebelec on May 4, 2016
Even during the twenty-first century, there is still violence occurring towards animals. Several laws were newly installed in order to help animal cruelty situations, but there are still a lot of animal abuse occurring in the world. In this essay, animal abuse will be argued to still be common nowadays for small animals and farmed animals. It will also be viewed as the responsibility of a  veterinarian to see and protect the animal’s rights whenever it sees animal abuse made on one of their patients.

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Reply to: Overfishing
5 months 21 hours ago

I chose this summary because I completely agree with you. Overfishing is an international problem, and our oceans are under pressure because they meet the needs of billions of people around the world. I strongly believe that humans should start fishing less. As a society, I think that we don’t understand (or we underestimate) how overfishing has serious consequences on the health of the oceans as a whole. Not to mention, it affects the balance of life in oceans, and this practice is pushing many fish stocks to the point of global collapse. However, it is never too late to save our oceans. We can do so by creating more marine protected areas in order to allow fishes to recover. Also, trawling must be banned because it results in massive dead fish and wasteful bycatch. Moreover, the best way to save our oceans is to educate people and spread the word.

A.B

5 months 2 days ago

Response 4(oceans and fisheries/agriculture)
I choose this particular summary to comment on because, I was drawn to the fact that you mention that there were 7 major issues that our oceans are facing, and was curious to find out what those 7 were as well as the effects they may have on climate change and possibly our food supply. Based on some of the information I found from another source, I agree with a few of your points. For example you mention how today’s oceans are heavily polluted with waste, according to my source it says “that despite recycling being the solution for disposables 90% of plastic globally isn’t recycled (Greenpeace,N.D,p.8)” most of which are ending up in our oceans, it continues to state how if we don’t change quickly, future generations are at risk of inheriting a dump rather than an ocean. You also covered the fact that we are overfishing is affecting the oceans food chain. The information I found agrees, it says how we have already removed the majority of large fish in the ocean, specifically a whooping 2/3rds and how “one in three fish populations have collapsed since 1950(Greenpeace,N.D,p.8)”. What I found interesting from doing research regarding your response is that I learned the economic effect and importance of the oceans being able to provide a food source for poorer countries. According to my article it says how “more than 3 billion people rely on our oceans and coastal ecosystems for their livelihood(Greenpeace,N.D,p.8)”. Due to the lack of fish in the ocean’s it has made it very difficult for many fisherman and companies to make a profit this creates a certain drive to overfish in hopes of being able to turn that profit which in turn threatens our oceans as a whole, all this to say I also agree with you on the fact that we need to raise more awareness on the matter if we are to make a difference before our oceans become barren.

Oceans Issues & Threats, n.d, https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/oceans/issues/

Reply to: Climate changes
5 months 2 weeks ago

Climate change is extremely likely due to human activities. In my opinion, I consider global warming as the biggest challenge of all times. I found this article really interesting because it presents the main causes of climate changes. Also, the article is from the government from Canada which, in a way, provides nation the concerns about global warming and greenhouse gases. As mentioned in your summary, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) creates greenhouse effects and Carbone dioxide that goes into the atmosphere. But how, as humans, can we reduce carbon dioxide emission? One way we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to use carbon-free sources of energy, such as solar power, wind power, geothermal energy, and low-head hydropower. For example, when possible, walk or ride your bike in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

https://teeic.indianaffairs.gov/er/carbon/carboninfo/reduce/index.htm

A.B

5 months 2 weeks ago

After having read your article summary, I agree with your main point of the need to treat our planet better, to try and minimize the effects climate change has on the weather and the damages it brings. For example your article covers how major hurricanes such as Irma and Harvey were in part caused by the melting of the icebergs in the arctic. I enjoyed the reference to wealth being the mood to the planets personality from your article. The only thing I disagree with is, when you give the statistic on the U.S accepting 90 million climate change refugees in 2017. I have my doubts about the U.S accepting a growth rate of 25%. Based on the article I found it says how “59 studies were looked at to see if climate change and extreme weather had any correlation (Gabbatiss p.2)” what was found from these studies was that “41 demonstrated climate changes had made extreme weather events more intense and long lived(Gabbatiss p.2)”. That’s nearly a 70% correlation between the two variables. My article also mentions the high cost by these events, not to mention deaths. This supports your claim of how the government has to spend a lot of money in order to repair all the damages caused by these natural disasters. According to my article it also mentions how climate change also has an impact on heat waves, droughts and rainfall, to name a few, similar to your article. Based on this information alone it is clear that the more we continue to pollute the planet the faster climate change will progress. Which will only cause the situation to worsen. The only way to avoid this from happening is to limit global emissions, something that is easier said than done, I believe that if more people would understand the connection between natural disasters and climate change it would hopefully make people realise how serious this issue is, and encourage them to take action.

Gabbatiss, J.(2017)., Natural disasters increasingly linked to climate change, new report warns. The Independent. Pages 1-4
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-natural-disaste...

6 months 1 week ago

I find your summary very interesting because it talks about the resiliency of an ecosystem which consists of the ability to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure. Also, I loved the fact that you mentioned wildfires as natural occurrence. Forest fires are natural disturbances which are particularly important to the cycle of regeneration and regrowth. In fact, fire can be a constructive force that maintain health and perpetuity on ecosystems. However, on the other hand, fire can also be a destructive force and can rapidly cause negative impacts. As you already claim, the effects of fire on an ecosystem depend on the fire intensity and the scale of time and space of assessment. In my opinion, it is very alarming to see that fire has been correlated with climate changes. Moreover, climate change affects fire regimes directly. The increase in temperatures will result in a greater frequency and intensity/severity of those future fires. Fire frequency is likely to increase in the short term, but this change is going to lead to a longer-term change in the abundance of the ecosystem. In other words, there will be an increase in fire potential around the world.

A.B

6 months 1 week ago

I choose this article summary in particular because of the topic on the melting of the arctic sea ice. It is my understanding that this event of all those ecosystems affected is the one that will have the biggest impact on a global scale. I agree with the opinion given in the summary regarding the plight of the polar bear and how the arctic food chain depends on a stable sea ice platform and how global warming is the primary reason for the sea ice loss. Based on the article I found by the climate institute “Climate Change Impact on Arctic Ecosystems” it concludes that “polar bear populations would decline without ice sheets to hunt and live on anywhere from 30-50% in the next 40 years (Ospina,2017,4)”. This in turn would send entire arctic food chains out of balance. The article confirms “that several months out of the year the temperature is 5 degrees Celsius higher than average of the past several decades (Ospina,2017,p.2)”.From an informative point of view my article confirms your findings but also discusses other gravely important issues caused by melting ice sheets such as follows. Melting ice is not just about bears and arctic wild life. The melting ice sheets means “new parasites and diseases can affect wild life populations because of warming temperatures. These new pathogens could be transmitted to humans (Ospina,2017,p.5)”. Also, “the gulfstream would be affected because melted arctic ice would introduce more fresh water to the oceans changing the salinity which could disrupt the Gulf Stream flow which could lead to more extreme global weather conditions(Ospina,2017,p.5)”. Finally “the melting of ice means carbon and other green house gases trapped in glaciers and permafrost would be realised accelerating climate change (Ospina,2017,p.5)”. Besides the damaging release of gases melting permafrost will also affect “35million people living in the area. Melting permafrost will seriously damage infrastructure from ground collapse or lake formations (Ospina,2017,p.6)”. In other words all animals are in danger including humans.

Ospina,C.(2017) Climate Change Impact on Arctic Ecosystems. Climate Institute, pages 1-6, http://climate.org/climate-change-impact-on-arctic-ecosystems/

6 months 3 weeks ago

I decided to comment your summary because I strongly agree with you. I also believe that humans all around the world should do their best to consume less by paying attention to what they are buying and what they are throwing away. There are many ways to consume less that were not mentioned in your summary. For example, we can make an effort to purchase clothing or goods that are made in sustainable ways from companies that are mindful of what they produce and how. Also, we should buy paper products that are made from recycled goods. Your summary reminds me how it is important to take care of the Earth because it is the only home that we have and it provides us with food and water. Together, if we all fight for, we can change many things. Everyday actions matter. One aspect that I found really interesting in your summary is that education of women in developing countries is one of the most important factor that causes them to have less babies in later life. In other words, I learned that education promotes a better quality of life for children over the quantity in order to reduce the future number of people using environmental resources. Furthermore, I loved the fact that you talked about the IMPAT formula and Thomas Malthus. Even if we talked about it in class, I found it interesting that you made a link with what we have already learned. Your summary based on this article is supported by class concepts which I think is easier to understand. Overall I really enjoyed your summary! Well done!

A.B

7 months 2 days ago

I agree with you in your response when you touch upon bringing to light the current /future issues that affect our population such as growth rates and consumption. Based on the article I found from The Royal Society.org where it states in its introduction “The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are higher then ever and major changes are taking place in the environment”(royal society,2012,p.11). Based on information available from the same source I agree with your estimate of the population between 9.6 - 11.3 billion, my information shows “Under the UN medium fertility variant the population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050.”(Royal society,2012,p.20) Based on this it’s a reasonable assumption to think that in the following 50 years we will have added an additional 2 billion people. Feeding the planet is complicated since “live stock has major implications for the environment footprint of agriculture(royal society,2012,p.77)” and fish stocks are in serious decline globally. I also agree with your claim that the earth’s resources will become damaged and eventually there will be less and less of these needed resources. The article by The Royal Society shares the same point of view and gives examples such as “pollution of wetlands could possibly affect drinking water, the deforestation of hillsides could expose downstream communities to the dangers of flooding, the destruction of mangrove forests to allow shrimp farming can damage fisheries and as well as exposing communities to tsunami damage” (royal society, 2012, p.65). Overall I enjoyed your summary. What stood out to me and made me choose this particular response is we both share a similar opinion. We both believe that the root cause of all these problems that ultimately prevents us from change is greed. People are more interested in making money and turn a blind eye to the fact they are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Roayal society, 2012, People and the planet, Excellence in science, https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/p...

A.B

7 months 3 days ago

the summary is there, just need to click on the title, to avoid any confusions.

There no collaborative classes

About the author

I'm a Humanities Teacher at Champlain College, Saint-Lambert and the designer and founder of Newsactivist. Between 2007 and the present, I've developed a course, Newsactivist, which asked students to blog about the news that they felt showed parts of the world in need of improvement.