My Journey Through Narrative Reporting Taylor McChesney

Humans of Summerville

“My greatest struggle right now is balancing school, work and life in general. I thought my senior year would be easy, but it turns out it is not easy at all. It is actually a living h-e-double l. I have all these things to do for church and work and it’s killing me. And right now, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I keep my head above water by sometimes taking long showers in the pitch black dark. Sometimes I have a glass of wine. And sometimes I pray. I probably should do more of the praying, but wine probably wins the award for how I handle things at this point, along with Stella Artois Belgian beer as well.” - Adam Rutkowski

ZTA Event

AUGUSTA- Augusta University students helped raise awareness and money for the Breast Cancer Awareness and Education foundation Wednesday by eating and playing games

The Eta Mu Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha at Augusta University held a luncheon where about 200 students and faculty showed up outside on the JSAC promenade on campus.

For $5, the lunch came with a choice of a hotdog, hamburger or cheeseburger plate that came with chips, a drink and cotton candy. A pink poster was set up so students had the option to sign the name of someone they know who is battling cancer or who has battled breast cancer.

“All of the proceeds are going towards the Breast Cancer Awareness and Education foundation through the Zeta Tau Alpha foundation,” Katie Humphrey, the ZTA Eta Mu president, said.

For a week every October, Zeta Tau Alpha holds a series of fundraisers for breast cancer awareness. This week was no different with students all over campus attending to eat a lunch plate, hang out with friends, and play a game or two of corn hole.

“This whole week we are doing different events throughout the week that should all raise awareness and money for the cause,” Humphrey said. “We love a cause that is women helping and empowering women.”

The amount of money raised will be totaled at the end of the week after all the events have concluded, and the money can be donated. The rest of the week there will be a corn hole tournament, a Buffalo Wild Wings percentage night, and a breast cancer walk.

“I just want to encourage students on campus to get involved to help raise awareness and money because it is everywhere and it is a very popular disease,” Katlyn Gates, Zeta Tau Alpha member, said.

Bianca Fortis Profile

At the age of 28, Bianca Fortis knows her passion in journalism. So far she has co-founded a startup media company called Transborder Media and started to create a documentary on deported United States veterans called The Deported.

The Florida native graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010 when she landed an editorial internship at the Hispanic Link News Service in Washington D.C. Fortis claimed, “the experience was great.”

Since then she has had positions as a senior reporter, staff reporter and a research assistant. She is currently a freelance reporter and photographer, the co-founder of Transborder Media, and an independent consultant for social media management. Fortis feels that, “freelance is something I’ll always goes back to.”

In 2013 Fortis started Transborder Media along with Griselda San Martin and Elaine Cromie. According to Fortis, it was started as a way to receive money, but it was an evolving process that quickly turned into a passion when all of the women discovered their need to raise awareness on United States veterans that were being deported back to their home country.

Fortis, San Martin and Cromie were all able to spend time in Mexico in 2015 to learn more about the deported veterans. The veterans had been in the United States on a green card, so when they committed a felony they would have to serve the prison sentence along with being deported back to the country in which they were born.

“It was like they were being sentenced twice,” Fortis said. “I’m not making excuses for them, but I like to look at the issues as a whole.”

Getting people interested and caring is something Fortis feels is a struggle, but she thinks that the Mexican veterans represent the deported veterans population well as a whole in the documentary film The Deported. The film is still a work in progress seeing as it is costly to have to finance, and applying for grants takes time.

Fortis will continue her freelance work along with working on the documentary, but in the spring of 2017 she will help with Augusta University’s public life reporting class. “Public life reporting is something she excels at,” said Richard Kenny, Ph.D., former professor of Fortis and current Department Chair and professor for the Augusta University communication department.

Fortis has advice for aspiring journalists. “Writing is the most basic skill you can have, so practice it,” Fortis said. “You never know where a story can take you.”

Brikkel Rucker Interview

Presidential Election

No matter what side you were on, Americans all across the nation were shocked as they watched votes pile in throughout Tuesday night for the 2016 Presidential Election.

Both candidates had been tracking the polls during early voting, and almost all of the polls were in favor of the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. However, the outcome changed on election night as Donald Trump starting gaining electoral votes from states unexpected. Clinton decided to concede early Wednesday morning which then named Trump the new President-elect.

Many have been trying to figure out just how this happened. Both candidates were seen on television and social media bashing each other while stating who was best fit to run this country. They were trying to persuade voters of the things they could get done as president. The polls still told a different story than the reality.

Ultimately, Trump was able to claim the victory by winning electoral votes in the larger states like Pa., Mich., Fla., Wis., and N.C. Trump’s policies on jobs for the working, middle class are what won the majority of the swing states along with some democratic states.

Ex-military soldier and current railroad worker Joshua Williamson said he was completely shocked by the election results, but could tell it would be a tight race after Florida was called.

No one was surprised by Trump’s inability to claim majority of the Hispanic votes after his agenda to “build a wall” and keep out undocumented immigrants. Many voters agreed with Trump’s goals for greater job opportunities for Americans.

“I would like to see a decrease in jobs being outsourced,” Lane said.

Two students at Augusta University, Mayson Lane and Ashton Stallings, agree that they’d like to see Trump decrease the amount of outsourced jobs to immigrants in the U.S.

Not only did Trump win the presidential election, but the Republican Party also won a majority of the Senate and House of Representatives seats which leaves the Democratic Party in a state of rebuilding to make sure the same doesn’t happen at the next election.

Clinton campaigned on issues such as equal rights across all races and sexualities, anti-gun policies, and policies for women’s access to health care options such as abortion. Clinton’s campaign slogan voiced her policies stating we are “stronger together”, and she was able to bring many of her supporters together.

The election still leaves many of Clinton’s supporters in a mindset of shock and sadness while protests and riots have broke out in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia to rally against the election results.

Clinton has encouraged her supporters to “have an open mind and give Trump a chance.”

President Barack Obama has also reached out to those in fear by stating, “We are all on the same team.” Obama also ensured that he would work with Trump for a smooth transition.

Trump still is not backed by everyone. According to the Huffington Post, the hashtag, #GrabYourWallet, was created for American’s to boycott businesses that are involved with Trump or his daughter, Ivanka Trump. Businesses that are being boycott include Amazon, Macy’s, Marshalls, Sears, and HSN.

Companies such as Hobby Lobby, NASCAR, and New Balance have shown their support of Trump along with Willie Robertson, Jesse James and Clint Eastwood. Even Texas Sen., Ted Cruz, made an announcement saying, “A year ago I pledged to endorse the republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment.”

Throughout the election different companies, politicians and celebrities have voiced their support for Clinton like Madonna, Jay Z, Beyonce, and Amy Shumer. Jay Z and Beyonce even did a concert to rally voters for her the weekend before the elections. President Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Delta Airlines, and Home Depot who have also showed their support as well.

None-the-less the show must still go on. Trump has been working with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to interview nominees for his administrative positions. Nominations include Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor, Mike Pompeo as CIA Director, and Nikki Haley as U.N. Ambassador. Rein Priebus was nominated as Chief of Staff.

Trump now has the opportunity to show the American people what he can do and end the division that continues in this country. Every American has the opportunity to “make America great again” by woking together to fix American problems not political party problems.

“I’m hoping we can stop being divided as a country and that the protesting will stop,” said Clinton supporter Danielle Drinane. “I want us to have respect for the position of the president again regardless of peoples’ political differences.”

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