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Andrea Walker

More by Andrea Walker

The Laureate 2013 Call for Submissions



Every year, the Lee Honors College releases a new edition of its literary journal, The Laureate. The Laureate accepts short fiction, plays, creative nonfiction, poems, grey-scale photography, and grey-scale drawings. It is open to all Western undergraduate students and encourages those from all majors to submit their work for consideration. It gives students a great opportunity to showcase their work and looks great on a resume.


Call for submissions opened in October and closes on December 1st. In the spring, the journal will be released. This year, the journal will be available online for the first time.


Students who are interested in submitting their work can find the guidelines online on Facebook at “WMU Laureate 2013” and at “”. For further inquires, please contact Andrea at

Media's Negative Effects on how Women View Themselves



On October 16th, men and women grouped together to share poems, music and stories in celebration of Love Your Body Day. The event, hosted by Womyn’s Equality, encouraged its participants to spread awareness about body image issues by wearing signs around campus decked in personalized statements about how they came to appreciate their bodies. Love Your Body Day is a movement that aims to help women develop a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence. The National Organization for Women (NOW), who created the movement, states, “The Love Your Body campaign challenges the message that a woman's value is best measured through her willingness and ability to embody current beauty standards.”

The media often takes the blame for beauty issues with young women. Research from The American Psychological Association (APA) has shown that “Routine objectification and sexualization of women in the media and other cultural institutions can lead to anxiety, shame, self-disgust, undermined confidence and discomfort with one's own body. Research supports that sexualization can lead to eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression -- three of the most common mental health disorders in girls and women.”

In other words, there is clearly a connection between media influence and the mental health and wellness of those who see it. However, is it directly the media’s fault that we have low self-esteem? Or is low self-esteem a product of us not loving ourselves and being vulnerable to the media? Should we confront the problem by demanding the media to change the ways in which they advertise or should we attack it by trying to love ourselves and the diversity of the human form more? Personally, I side with the latter.

Teen Mom Stars Speak At WMU


      On Tuesday October 9, the third floor of the Bernhard Center was packed with hundreds of people ranging from typical Western students to middle-aged mothers with their high school daughters. Visitors had come from all over the Kalamazoo metro area to see the MTV hot topic reality-star couple speak. The event exceeded capacity and hundreds of potential spectators were turned away.
     Students for Life, an RSO that strives to “promote and defend the dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception until natural death”, brought the couple to WMU’s campus to answer questions and raise awareness on adoption and adoption myths. Theresa, Students for Life’s president, states, “Students for Life decided to host this event because Catelynn and Tyler are two young adults who have an amazing story to tell and can be an inspiration and support to other young women who are experiencing an unintended pregnancy. We wanted to provide the opportunity for female and male students at WMU to learn more about life affirming options and resources available in the event they become pregnant.” 
     Caitlyn and Tyler stepped into the public eye when they appeared on MTV’s documentary series 16 and Pregnant. The two Michigan residents were showcased as they decided what to do about an unplanned pregnancy. Since both were still in high school with drug-addicted parents, they decided that adoption would be the best course of action to take for their unborn daughter. Caitlyn and Tyler also were featured on 16 and Pregnant’s spin-off series, Teen Mom, to show America what life was like after adopting out a child.
     The event started out with sentiments from Bethany Christian Services, the adoption agency that assisted Caitlyn and Tyler, as well as videos about what adoption was like in the early 20th century. Afterwards, Caitlyn and Tyler came onto the stage with their adoption counselor, Dawn, to tell their story and answer questions.

RSO Spotlight- Hillel


The Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan is a community that serves the Jewish community in several universities across the Great Lakes State. They have several affiliates at institutions such as Alma, Grand Valley, and Michigan Tech. Hillel’s presence is also at Western to serve the Jewish community here.

For Yom Kipper, the Jewish Day of Atonement, several Hillel students fasted. As sundown approached, students gathered at Faunce to break the fast. Prayers and challah (a Jewish bread served on holidays and Sabbath) were shared. A meal of kosher Panera Bread dishes, including cheese, hummus, and tuna sandwiches, commenced shortly afterwards.

Hillel holds Shabbat dinners every two weeks to bring members together. The next one will take place on October 26th. A havdalah ceremony will be taking place on the 20th of October. More information about the location of these events can be found on their Facebook page.

Daniel Gaynor, Hillel’s Vice President, states, “Our presence is for Jewish students but we like to educate and welcome anyone to our events.”


Seven STI Misconceptions to Clear Up


The Term “STD” Is Politically and Clinically Incorrect:
Infections that are passed via sexual contact have been around for centuries and are referred to by several terms. You may have heard a parent or grandparent referring to these infections as VD, or venereal disease; a term that gained much popularity in the Western World during World War II. Nowadays, STDs, or Sexually Transmitted Diseases, is often the collection of words used to define these conditions. However, the word “disease” encompasses a wide variety of conditions that impair bodily functions, including those, which are born within the body without the influence of pathogens. In other words, a disease is not always an infection. Illnesses of these sorts are more accurately described as Sexually Transmitted Infections, or STIs.

There Are Only Three Types of Sex:
When asked about the different types of sex that pose risks, oral, anal, and vaginal sex are often the first to be mentioned. Mutual masturbation is commonly overlooked. When partners stimulate themselves and then their partner (or vise versa), bodily fluids can still be exchanged.

Hepatitis C Is a Common STI and Easily Spread via Sexual Contact:
The truth is, Hepatitis C isn’t typically spread by sexual contact. More people in the US are HCV positive than are HIV positive, but the virus is typically spread by blood from an infected person entering the bloodstream of another. According to a 2010 article from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “10% of persons with acute HCV infection report contact with a known HCV-infected sex partner as their only risk for infection.” Factors such as HIV infection and sex-with-injury do increase the odds of contracting HCV through sex. Several credible healthcare providers, such as Planned Parenthood, don’t even list Hepatitis C as an STI.

10 Reasons to Use a Condom No One (but us!) has Told You


We have all been told that condoms should be used correctly and consistently every time you have sex in order to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. These two factoids are vital for maintaining your sexual health, but there are even more reasons why condoms add to a fulfilling sex life. Condoms don’t have to be a burden, but rather a tool to enhance sex play and strengthen the trust of your relationships. For instance, consider the following::

It Shows He Cares: Even if he isn’t your boyfriend, if he wears a condom, it could show that he’s concerned about your health and his. Also, you get to avoid the anxiety afterwards of wondering who he has been with. Both points make the experience more enjoyable.

Condom Application Can be Foreplay: True, it is not the most pleasurable experience, but putting on the condom sends the message that something is about to happen. Some guys find it sexy when a woman puts it on. This is a good habit to get into, anyway, because then you’ll know if it has been put on correctly.

It Shows that You Take Control: Confident, take-charge women are sexy women. Going for what you want and refusing to give in otherwise can beis enticing.

He Can Last Longer: Often, men complain that condoms don’t allow sex to be as pleasurable for them. It is true that condoms do reduce some stimulation;, however this can be beneficial to both parties. Less stimulation results in delayed finish. That means more fun for you both and more confidence for him.

RSO Spotlight: Womyn's Equality


Womyn’s Equality is the only feminist registered student organization on WMU’s campus. The mission statement in the about section of their Facebook group states, “We promote women's rights..., from equal pay and job opportunities to a women's right to choose. We are pro-family, pro-child, and pro-motherhood.”

The group reconvened on September 11 for the first meeting of the 2012-2013 academic year following the summer sabbatical. The rendezvous, with snacks and beverages in tow, served as a chance to introduce new members, reconnect with returning members, and familiarize the members with the new board representatives. Members are diverse in characteristics and circumstance with several involved in other WMU organizations including Students for Sustainable Earth (SSE), Theater for Community Health, and Students for Sexual Awareness.

Womyn’s Equality will be conducting a handful of events throughout the year. The largest of these events is the Vagina Monologues, a performance of Eve Ensler’s famous play, where a percentage of the proceeds go to help end violence towards women. Dalton Theater will be hosting the play on February 8th and 9th.

Other notable events include Love Your Body Day and I ♥ Female Orgasm . Love Your Body Day celebrates the diversity of the human form with an open mic night and other confidence building activities on October 16th. On November 27th, for I Heart Female Orgasm, Womyn’s Equality will be bringing in a professional to teach techniques in maximizing sexual pleasure in the realms of sex play and masturbation for interested students of all orientations.

Second-term president, Genae Carter, opts to get more WMU students involved in the RSO’s efforts. Carter states, “Our organization focuses on combating the ism's in our society, education through awareness and community involvement. The members strive to implement change not only on our campus, but the world.”