Film festival focuses on non-violent resistance

first_imgPeace studies course material and film study will converge at the fifth annual ScreenPeace Film Festival, where attendees will share in the experiences of five nonviolent resistors from around the world. The festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, is co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Hal Culbertson, executive director of the Kroc Institute, said this year’s festival theme of nonviolent resistance developed in response to the Arab Spring, a series of civil resistance movements in the Arab world that began in late 2010. “We thought there would be significant interest in the Arab Spring and its impact around the world,” Culbertson said. “We decided to make the theme of nonviolent resistance the centerpiece because we knew of several films that related to this.” The five films that will be shown over the course of the festival portray the stories of a varied cast of people: a Palestinian farmer, a Chinese artist and activist, a scholar of nonviolent resistance, an interracial American couple and an aspiring Algerian filmmaker. Alison Rice, associate professor of French and Francophone literatures, will introduce the last film of the weekend, “Normal!,” about a young Algerian filmmaker living and working when the Arab Spring protests begin in his country in the last days of 2010. “With these protests taking place, it’s like a documentary, but it’s not labeled a documentary,” Rice said. “It’s like a film within a film.” The film follows the struggles of the filmmaker as he tries to discern how to act appropriately in the midst of the protests, Rice said. “[It is] really about the dilemma of how to act when you’re in a societal system in a country where you do not agree with the way things are going,” she said. “How do you react, how do you respond effectively?” The film sends a message of solidarity, Rice said, and the feeling of “everyone participating in something together.” Rice was chosen to introduce “Normal!” for the ScreenPeace Festival because of her close connections with Algerian culture as a professor of French and Francophone literature, she said. “I also love the work the Kroc Institute does, and I am firmly behind the idea of peace studies, and I love film as well,” Rice said. “It was a perfect opportunity for me to respond to.” Culbertson said the Kroc Institute chooses films for the festival that will relate to the material the Peace Studies department is teaching in the classroom. “We designate films with our chief educational goals in mind and we try to complement our class discussions of peace with films that are particularly situated where conflict and peace issues are prominent,” he said. “It can address issues on a more local level and more in context than we often can in the classroom.” The festival also provides food for thought for others who may not know a great deal about peace issues around the world. “The real goal is to stimulate thought and reflection of peace issues around the world,” he said. “I think film as a medium is a wonderful way for people to learn about other cultures and contexts. It’s a different way of seeing peace issues played out.” The festival is free to attend, but tickets are required. For a full schedule of films and to obtain tickets, visit read more

Plan to keep kiwi kids safe

first_imgDominion Post 26 January 2012Average Kiwi families could be subject to greater state scrutiny if proposed rules around mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse are introduced. A Families Commission report, released today, says agencies’ inadequate systems are putting vulnerable children at risk. It calls for better information-sharing between government departments and enhanced reporting by health professionals to safeguard at-risk children. But it also suggests controversial new measures that could expose innocent mums and dads to greater government intervention if child abuse is suspected. More than 22,000 children suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse, or neglect, in the last financial year. Every year an average of 10 children die at the hands of their family or carers.THE NUMBERS22,087 – Findings of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect by CYF in the past financial year.5020 – Children and young people in the custody of the department’s chief executive for care and protection at June 30, 2011.4238 – Children in out-of-home care in 2010.45 percent – The proportion of children in care with siblings who had previously been removed from their parents. read more

Tracking and handling concussions in college football is left to schools. Doctors think that should change.

first_imgUPDATED: Aug. 28, 2017 at 11:08 a.m.On Nov. 1, 2013, inside a Manley Field House office, then-SU head coach Scott Shafer told defensive lineman Tyler Marona his career was over. For about three months after Marona suffered a concussion at an inter-squad scrimmage, he said he regularly met to evaluate his progress with Shafer and SU team doctor James Tucker, who came to the team facility about once per week. Marona liked both men and thought they cared about his health. He did not know who officially decided to medically disqualify him, but he understood why.“(Shafer) ended up being like, ‘I don’t want to bring you back and then have you get hurt again, and then I can never look you in the eye ever again and be like, hey, I did what was best for you,’” Marona said this month. “I don’t intend for this to be condescending or any of that, but (Shafer) was covering his ass in that regard, so that he wouldn’t get fired. … I also get it, because if I had a kid, and I was coaching him, I would say the same thing.”That the decision to disqualify Marona was the team’s to make highlights what experts say is the major issue in how concussions are handled across college football. Because neither the NCAA nor the Atlantic Coast Conference provides oversight or tracks concussions, the onus rests on individual schools to monitor head injuries.Currently, team doctors are charged with making decisions both routine, like allowing a player to practice or not, and serious, like medical disqualification. Some team doctors, like Tucker, are not neurological specialists. Tucker is certified only in family medicine, yet he has the final say on all medical disqualifications.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse has disqualified at least five football players in the past four years. There are multiple players still on SU’s roster who have undergone concussion testing protocol in that timeframe, most notably quarterback Eric Dungey, who has reportedly suffered at least two concussions.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorThere is an inherent conflict of interest that experts worry about in providing the power to those on a team’s payroll. The conflict could be eliminated, independent doctors and a lawyer said, with the creation of an NCAA-wide — or even ACC-wide — policy that requires independent neurologists to assess head injuries.Multiple attempts to reach the NCAA, ACC and SU Athletics for comment on this story were unsuccessful.Further action addressing concussion tracking at the NCAA level likely isn’t imminent, experts said, because doctors are still unsure of the long-term consequences of concussions. This leaves the issue’s severity and legality unclear.“For now, the more we can provide an environment where an athlete is given the best medical advice independent of the pressures of sport, that’s really the ideal goal,” said Dr. Brian Rieger, the director of the Upstate Concussion Center in Syracuse.In August 2013, after Marona felt “woozy” from the scrimmage hit, he approached SU’s head athletic trainer Denny Kellington. He “went up the chain of command,” speaking with Timothy Neal, assistant athletics director of sports medicine, as well as Shafer and Tucker. Then, Marona took an ImPACT test, a computer assessment tool to evaluate and manage suspected concussions. Marona said the test results were similar to previous attempts when he was concussed, so all he could do was wait.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorSpeaking up as Marona did is not the norm among college football players, doctors and multiple former players said.One reason is that college players are particularly less open to hearing about safety, said Dr. Theodore Henderson, a concussion expert who has spoken to the NFL Players Association and the players’ safety summit.“The college system sort of enforces this,” Henderson said. “You have to do your best to show your best if you’re going to get picked up in the (NFL) Draft.”Athletes also feel a lot of pressure, former SU players said, to reliably perform, which they say can lead to a chain reaction. It could become harder for the player to admit to himself that he’s hurt. This can make players unreliable self-reporters, which is crucial for an injury like a concussion, that cannot be definitively determined with medical equipment. Without the player’s admission, problems may persist unmonitored and players grapple with injury alone.“Judging a concussion is very hard, unless you’re the person having the concussion,” said Isaiah Johnson, a former Syracuse football defensive end also medically disqualified under Shafer.Though coaches want to keep their players healthy, it’s not their top priority, Johnson and Marona each said.“They just want you to be there so that everybody can win,” Marona said. “There’s nothing worse than losing. That’s really the crux of the point, that’s the reason why (not self-reporting) is a problem, because there’s pressure to perform, to win and for the coaches not to get fired.”At a spring practice in 2015, Johnson said he told a coach that his head wasn’t feeling well seven plays into a 24-play scrimmage. Despite his concussion history, Johnson said, the coach didn’t take him out of the scrimmage and Johnson ultimately participated in 18 of those 24 plays.In April of that year, Tucker disqualified Johnson after he suffered three concussions in 18 months.“I just don’t think the coaches at the time cared about preventing other concussions from happening,” Johnson said. “I believe that I was put in a bad spot. I’m not blaming anyone, but I do believe that different things could have happened.”To prevent predicaments like Johnson’s, many experts endorse the independent neurologist system, which would mirror the NFL’s system. Schools such as SU could contribute to a fund that the NCAA or ACC would use to hire those neurologists, said Paul Haagen, a co-director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy at the Duke University School of Law.“That’s at least a plausible move,” Haagen said.Compelling the NCAA to do more, such as significantly changing rules, will likely require more research and a better understanding of concussions. There are no universal guidelines on determining when it is and isn’t safe to continue a career in contact sports after concussion injuries.Some research has indicated a correlation between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy known as C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. The issue came into the national spotlight in July, when researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System found C.T.E. in all but one of 111 brains that belonged to former NFL players.But experts cautioned against immediately drawing conclusions from that study, noting that the sample was biased. The brains were donated, not randomly selected. There are “strong associations” between concussions and C.T.E., one researcher said, but no scientific link. It’s possible that repeated blows to the head, not concussions, caused the C.T.E. in the players in the study.There’s also no players’ union in college football as there is in the NFL, where a labor agreement exists between the league and the NFL Players Association. The most recent agreement, reached in 2011, stipulates that players are eligible for benefits if they are found to have neuro-cognitive impairments.Without a players’ union at the college level, it’s difficult for players to fight collectively against the NCAA. But it hasn’t stopped some from trying: The Chicago-based law firm Edelson PC has filed at least 43 concussion lawsuits on behalf of former players alleging that the NCAA, conferences and individual schools knew or should have known the risks associated with football and did nothing. One of those suits was filed on behalf of former SU player Marcus Clayton. The attorneys at Edelson PC declined to comment on this story.Former Syracuse quarterback AJ Long was disqualified in 2015 due to concussions. | Courtesy of AJ LongLawyers for thousands of ex-NFL players have filed similar lawsuits against the NFL, and in 2015 a judge approved a $1 billion settlement.But lawsuits against the NCAA are less likely to succeed because, rather than a CBA, the NCAA has only a “loose obligation to consider student-athlete welfare,” said Haagen of Duke’s Center for Sports Law and Policy. Depending on the United States’ future politics, he added, it’s possible the lawsuits could be dismissed completely if the NCAA argues that athletes made an informed choice by playing football.“The suits may go forward,” he said. “But they may not.”Concussions suffered by players not involved in lawsuits, such as Marona and Johnson, likely are unknown to the NCAA or the ACC, since neither organization tracks those injuries.The governing bodies likely don’t know about AJ Long’s injuries, either. Tucker disqualified the former Syracuse quarterback in October 2015 after he suffered multiple concussions. Long then transferred to Wagner and then Division II West Chester to continue his football career. Long declined to comment on this story.Syracuse has also added players previously medically disqualified at other schools, such as Luke Arciniega in 2013.Marona had come into the facility “every day” as a part of SU’s concussion protocol, he said, to talk about how he was feeling. He had taken the ImPACT once, then again, then a third time. Each time, he thought he improved and the computer spit back close to the same results. His displayed unreliable judgment, he said, pushed SU to have its final “heart-to-heart” in the head athletic trainer’s office. Looking back, Marona said he knew the risks of playing football and, while Shafer and SU’s staff seemed to care, he knew few in college football beyond the team’s complex did.“The NCAA is a money machine,” Marona said. “They just want to get the guys on the field. It doesn’t matter to them. ‘We want these guys to get passing grades and we went them to be on the field.’ If something prohibits that, they figure well, injuries are part of the game. … But this injury specifically is a life-altering injury. If you tear your ACL, you’re not going to go dumb.“Something needs to be done.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the medical decision-makers for student athletes were misstated. Coaches are not permitted to make medical decisions on behalf of athletes. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Published on August 28, 2017 at 12:47 am Contact Sam: | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more