University of Vermont

Office Of Student And Community Relations

May 2014
Have a Great Summer!
In This Issue
Message from OSCR
Moving Out? Do This with Your Unwanted Stuff!
A Ward of One's Own
Grow Your Own Money
DRCC - My Experience
Is That Your Houseplant Growling?
Watch Out for Rabies!
Random Act of Cookies
Video Pick of the Month
Submit a Story
Contact Us

May 2014

Have a Great Summer!

It has been quite a year. As a community we have dealt with tragedy, triumph, and terrible weather. Through it all we have worked together to make our community as engaged, healthy, and successful as possible. We tip our hats to all your efforts to make a positive contribution to this University and city. This will be the last Off Campus Life issue for this semester but stay tuned for specific emails from us about exciting, upcoming events. Don't worry we will have more issues this Summer.

Good luck on exams and papers
Amanda, Gail, John

PS - There is also a year in review slideshow below.

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The University of Vermont, Champlain College, CSWD, the Burlington Code Enforcement Office, CEDO, Myers, Casella and ReSource partner to host an half-day FREE community swap and recycling event aptly named the Spring Move Out Project.

Last year we helped keep about more than 10 tons of material from clogging Burlington's neighborhood greenbelts and swapped several tons more.

Make sure to save the date of this year's Spring Move Out Project.

Thursday, May 22 from 11-3
On both Loomis & Buell Streets

Join us for an incredible event.

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A Ward of One's Own


Burlington has just gone through its redistricting process and created an 8th city ward, which is currently pending approval by the state legislature. Residents of Athletic Campus, part of Redstone Campus, and students living in the College-Buell-Bradley Neighborhood will make up a significant portion of this new ward (check out this map of the new Ward 8). For information on the Redistricting Process, go here.

What does this mean? What issues will matter to this new ward? How will elected officials be chosen? These questions and more can be answered with your help!

Come be part of the discussion at the Ward 8 Neighborhood Planning Assembly organizational meeting on May 13th at 6 PM in the Pickering Room of the Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street. You can meet your neighbors, enjoy refreshments, and discuss your thoughts, concerns, and vision for your community.

Please contact Kesha Ram in the Burlington Community & Economic Development Office with any questions or requests for an interpreter or accommodations.

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Join the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) for a practical introduction on how to manage your money and learn the basics and get smart about the important and often confusing world of credit. Classes are held monthly at CVOEO office in Burlington. Click here for more information and to register or contact us at (802) 860-1417 x 114 or

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What I learned at DRCC

Ross Pollack and Kevin Kelly

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, the ninth annual Dismantling Rape Culture Conference (DRCC) was held in the Davis Center. The conference, which is sponsored by UVM’s Women’s Center, has seen great success with hundreds of volunteers, attendees, and presenters each year. DRCC's aim is education about the pervasive and destructive consequences of rape culture. Indeed, rape culture, or the prevalence of social norms, which excuse or encourage sexual violence and directly cause an increase in such behavior, is pervasive. The conference sessions are designed and topics discussed in an effort to combat the many nuanced and changing forms in which rape culture continues to exist in everyday life.

Elements of media in particular that trivialize, obfuscate or even celebrate sexual violence and rape are examined for their contribution to a perpetuation of an atmosphere of insecurity and victimization.

Perhaps most impressive feature, however, is what the DRCC has done to help establish a fundamental shift in attitudes towards these conversations on this campus.

It has transformed the way students think, talk about and react to rape culture. The effect consequently produces an increase in both thoughtful approaches to the issues as well as the opportunity for more genuine means of support for victims of sexual violence and rape. In the following paragraphs we will discuss our personal reflections on our participation in DRCC, which was part of the professional development program around cultural competency and diversity through our student staff positions at OSCR.


When I attended the Dismantling Rape Culture Conference on April 10th, the morning began with some admitted curiosity on my part as to what I would be experiencing. The fourth floor of the Davis Center was particularly crowded by the time I had arrived which contributed to the immediate sense that the event had the same kind of boisterous presence as any other large group of engaged individuals. However, when the conference began, it quickly became clear that it was in fact a much more determined, and urgent, nature than other settings I have experienced.

Educator and activist Duane de Four was the morning’s featured speaker and the audience of the Grand Maple Ballroom reacted visibly to different parts of his presentation. His presentation, "The Price of Brotherhood", examined the media’s historic and continuing subtle endorsement of traditional masculinity (which endorses misogyny) through mediums such as video games and advertisements (watch his great video here). de Four drew up various themes to dissect what often seemed like commonplace images, showing how they encouraged men to follow certain behaviors which often included the devaluing and assault of women. The powerful presentation set a tone for the day with its guided examination of one particular facet of rape culture.

After the first speaker, I attended The Men’s Program: How to Support a Survivor of Sexual Assault/Rape, a lecture designed to inform male students about the factors contributing to rape culture and how they may be prevented. It also focused on the devastating realities faced by survivors of sexual assault, shared disturbing but essential facts and a particularly harrowing video, which described one potential situation a survivor might face. The 1 in 4 Peer Educators, a men’s group on campus, which brings awareness to the presence of rape culture in college life, excellently presented the session. Overall, the conference demonstrated many impressive qualities. It was well organized and the presenters excellent. But what impacted me most deeply was knowing that the fourth floor of the Davis Center was filled with individuals committed to understanding and ending rape culture. For me, the conference is something this campus should be proud of supporting but more people, especially men, at UVM should attend. This conference needs to continue as long as the threat of a rape culture does.


The Dismantling Rape Culture Conference provides an experience that stays with you long after the conference is over. Luckily, through my work with OSCR (the Office of Student Community Relations), I was able to attend as part of my professional development as a student staff member. I attended two sessions, each an hour and fifteen minutes long; it was definitely enough time to present all necessary information and provide the listener with many impactful stories. The first session was given by the 1 in 4 Peer Educators.

Unfortunately, this name represents the number of women in the United States that have been sexually assaulted. What was even more disturbing is that a large number of cases go unreported, so the ratio is much likely closer to one in three.

One major component they focused on was vernacular used in everyday conversation associated with sexual assault. They stressed how important it is to avoid using any such terms because it takes away from the terror and disgust those words really hold.

Having this newfound knowledge, I feel I must pass it on to my friends and not be afraid to stand up to someone when something does not seem right. It is very easy to look the other way, but stopping a person from committing a sexual assault can save a victim from a lifetime of sadness.

To close their presentation, they asked everyone to close their eyes. They then told us to think of someone very close to us, either our sister, girlfriend, or friend, and then think about how we would feel if they were sexually assaulted, and the actions that would follow. I have a girlfriend so this was hard to picture, and the first emotion I noticed was anger. We were told that this is a normal reaction - to want to cause as much pain as possible to the offender, but this may not be what the victim wants. It is fair to encourage someone to see a therapist and talk to the police, but this cannot be forced. You must support the victim and let them decide what is best for them not what you want to see happen. They should always be in control of the response.

The next session I attended involved women telling their stories of being raped. This was extremely difficult to listen to, but you found yourself admiring the bravery they each possessed. The first speaker was in her early thirties. The second was a senior in college, and the third was in her mid-twenties. Although each story revolved around the same issue, they were still very different. Each story evoked a new emotion, as they all took place during different stages in life. As I looked around the room I could not help but notice the expression on everyone’s face. There were definitely some tears but I think most people realized they needed stay present for the speakers. The amount of respect I had for all of them was infinite. Ultimately, this conference had an enormous impact on me that has provided me a new perspective on the way rape culture exists in everyday life that I will never forget.

Ross Pollack and Kevin Kelly are both student staff members at the Office of Student & Community relations. They decided to attend the conference as one of the professional development activities for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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A great video by Duane de Four about the troubling messages about masculinity to men in advertising .

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Is that Your Houseplant Growling?

The trees and other plants are waking up from their Winter slumber and I wondered if they were as relieved as we are for coming Summer. Do they sigh in relief at the warming Sun or communicate with each other at all? Well it turns out they do! This story on NPR's website walks you through what science has discovered - it's surprising.

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Rabies Awareness

Linda Ayer, Board of Health, Burlington

The Vermont Department of Health has verified 13 positive rabies tests on animals in 2014. 5 of those tests involved raccoons from Burlington.

The rabies virus can be contracted through the bite of an infected animal. There is a very low risk of getting rabies from other contact like petting or handling animals.

You cannot tell whether an animal has rabies by simply looking at it. Rabid animals show a change in their normal behavior. They may show unusual aggression, extreme depression or bizarre behavior.
  • Get rabies shots for all your pets.
  • Call you doctor right away if you are bitten or get animal saliva in a cut, eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Residents are advised to avoid any animal that exhibits strange behavior.

Don’t try to trap or capture the animal yourself. Call the Rabies hotline at 1-800-472-2437 (800- 4-RABIES) or 1-802-233-8697.

For more rabies information log onto the VT Department of Health.

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Random Act of Cookies

A much anticipated end-of-semester-tradition "Cookies in the Library" brings Edmunds Middle Schoolers and other children to Bailey/Howe to wish UVM students good luck on their exams and thank them for being good neighbors throughout the year.

Special thanks to Kevin Kelly, Amanda Adams and her crew from Edmunds Middle School (who decorated and distributed the cookies), Jesse Lauer and the team from Sodexo's bakeshop (who baked off the cookies), Vermont Cookie Love for providing the delicious cookie dough, and UVM students who graciously accepted the cookies with such excitement and gratitude! See you all in the Fall!

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Contact Us

Whether you have a specific issue, want to make some tea before class, or are just curious about what we're up to - please stop by Pearl House and let us help make your off-campus experience successful, positive, and empowering.

We are located at 12 Colchester Avenue - next to John Dewey Hall and in front of the Outing Club.

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Last modified November 13 2014 01:29 PM