News briefs

By Ryan Fitzgerald, Sarah Torrey, Krista DeJulio, and Emily Kochanek

Group discusses poverty

Sophomore and Keever RA Hayley Kreckler led a discussion this month about the problems of poverty in the Boston area. The event titled, “Food for Thought: The War on Poverty,” was in conjunction with the Donahue Institute’s Panel Discussion, “The War on Poverty: Where are we 50 years later?”

Kreckler’s group discussion gave students the opportunity to speak out about different households and lifestyles they come from. The talk opened up with an activity followed by a circle discussion of how poverty affects our society.

Poverty has become an increasing problem in the city of Boston in recent years. Many Lasell students are from the Boston area and have experienced this poverty first-hand. The discussion allowed these students to talk about struggles they have endured dealing with poverty. Students who haven’t dealt with poverty were able to talk about their upbringing, and in-turn all students earned a different perspective of life.

The talk also helped students understand the difficulties of living in poverty. Many do not realize that even the simplicity of owning our own bed is something that many people must go without every single day.

Marla Runyan speaks to campus

Marla Runyan, Olympic athlete and teacher at Perkins School for the Blind, shared her experiences of growing up legally blind as well as how her condition shaped her athletic career and view of the world.

“I heard all the time, ‘just do the best you can,’” said Runyan. “I thought to myself, what if the best I can do is pretty damn good?”

Runyan participated in school sports despite those who doubted her. Despite her coach’s initial misgivings, based on her inability to see, he agreed to train her to run an Olympic heptathlon.

Runyan would indeed become an Olympian in time. She competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics after success in the Paralympic Games. She credited the urge to overcome her blindness as her biggest motivator. In Sydney, she placed eighth in the 1500-meter, making her the first legally blind Olympic athlete and the highest American woman finish in that event.

“I came to believe I could do anything if I worked twice as hard,” said Runyan. “I came to believe that hard worked trumped blindness.”

Runyan left her audience with homework: to think about what it is that makes them a leader and what they can do to change people’s lives. Her own career serves as a shining example of such a feat.

Peace Fest to occur in December

The first annual PeaceFest will take place at Lasell on Sunday, December 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. This event is a joint collaboration from Hope for Humanity and Center for Community Based Learning

The proceeds from the event will support jobs for youth development through Action for Boston Community Development.

There will be musical performances along with Lasell clubs participating in entertainment as well. Refreshments, treats and prizes will be given out throughout the event.

Student event coordinator, Grace Hogan, says, “PeaceFest is going to be a great opportunity for all parts of the Lasell community to work together to help others.”

Student wins pageant

Senior Megan Doble recently won the Miss New England Coed competition and will be going to the national competition in Florida during Thanksgiving and will compete against 50 other girls. “I have learned it’s not about the crown or title,” said Doble, “but rather about the impact I can have on society and the lives that I touch.”

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