Support for when cancer hits close to home
Recently, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The fact that cancer exists did not hit close to home until this happened. Since she lives in Illinois and I am currently studying at CU Boulder, there is not much I could do for her. The best way I could help her is by informing her of her condition and what she can do to prevent other cancers. I am not a medical student, but I was able to find a few resources to help her.
The American Cancer Society is one of the leading cancer health organizations. Its website, cancer.org, has information about different types of cancer, how to stay healthy, how to get involved, different forms of treatment and support, research information, information about the organization and partners of its organization, which includes another important aspect of helping cancer patients: fundraising.
I imagine that many of Boulder's citizens know someone who is battling, has battled, or even sadly lost the battle to cancer. To support these individuals, there are several trustworthy fundraisers in the area. This link includes information about nearby Relay for Life events where teams run or walk around a track to support those with cancer: bit.ly/2BsgYSG
In addition, there are games, food, and other fun activities for participants. While my mom might still be battling cancer, it is good to know that there are programs that support her.
Curtis Sellers, Boulder
The state of our oceanic environment
There is no limit to ways the ocean reciprocally affects human health and activity, often without us even being aware of it. Pollution, fossil-fuel emissions, and overfishing directly affect the ocean's ability to maintain human health, protect the stability of our ecosystem, and be a resource for food and clean water. So the question remains: Why are we actively destroying our oceans?
According to Planet Aid, in 2010 alone, 215 million metric tons of plastics found their way into the sea. And in the documentary "Chasing Coral," it was reported that in 2016, 29 percent of the Great Barrier Reef died. This disregard for environmental stability will without a doubt be the downfall of our ecosystems and, eventually, the human population. Despite this, society is unable to comprehend how something with such subtle importance in day-to-day life can have such an immense overall impact on our existence. This is especially true for inland areas like Colorado, where oceanic issues are literally and figuratively far from our minds.
It's important to remember that although these issues are often hidden from the average person's daily life, they are still present and extremely pressing. As Jacob Villalobos, trained ocean ranger, says: We all eat. We all breathe. We require water to live, and we are all subject to the effects of the weather and climate. No matter where you may be in this world, the ocean makes all of our lives possible.
There are easy ways to advocate for oceanic sustainability without dedicating too much time and energy. Boulder, being a very environmentally conscious city, is a great place to participate in a community whose advocacy efforts are already steadfast and flourishing. There are hundreds of thousands who are already taking these small steps like using a reusable water bottle or carpooling to work. If everyone does their part, our oceans will be a more sustainable and helpful tool for our future.
Madison Affourtit, Boulder
Pave the way for positive change
Yes, racism is bad. This has been the general notion within our society for decades, a widely accepted principle that has governed interactions between races and established boundaries and lines that simply shouldn't be crossed. Conversations about race have been more prevalent with our current political climate, and we have all come to the conclusion that we don't like racism, but we never truly seem to address the detrimental effects of racism and how people of color are actually impacted. Racism not only ostracizes black people socially but has adverse effects on their academic success as well.
According to the article "Coping with Racism and Discrimination," race-related stress as a result of racism can cause a student of color to experience disengagement as well as lack of concentration and motivation, which are damaging for classroom success. Students cannot adequately retain or apply information they have learned if they are unable to focus. They can also not be expected to be academically successful if they lack the motivation to even want to complete assignments or come to class. According to Charity Brown Griffin, an assistant professor at Winston-Salem State University, researchers have found that on colleges that have more aggressive campus climates, especially where students are victims of overt discrimination, negatively affects the achievement of African-American students.
We cannot expect to tackle a key issue like racism in our country and society as a whole if we don't first address it on our own campus. CU Boulder is considered to be a liberal campus where people are more progressive and forward thinking, but the campus is not devoid of racism. Black students are still being called the N-word and being kept out of parties and other activities because of the color of their skin. This is simply unacceptable. To combat this issue, people on campus need to be exposed to information about racism and its negative affects. CU should also promote talks and create forums for other students to interact with students of color and learn about their experiences and the challenges they face. If we begin to employ these small strategies, we can pave the way for bigger, positive change.
Kai Terrell, Boulder
Focus on safety and respect on campus
With finals quickly approaching and the conclusion of this fall semester drawing near, it's important to reflect on the past few months here at the university. What has been successful, and what still needs to be worked on. What I believe is important to reinforce here on campus as we move into a new year under the increasingly heated political climate is campus safety and comfort for students of all races and religions, to respect all religious holidays during this season and account for those who will not celebrate any at all. It is truly a time to reflect on the beauty of living in a place such as Boulder but also to remind ourselves and be thankful for the diverse community we belong to. In the words of Barack Obama, "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
Reubie Bolton, Boulder