Lori Mould's everyday life!

SUNYSA…Let’s get this year started!! May 25, 2014

On April 6, 2014, I was elected to be the President of the Student Assembly for the State University of New York (SUNYSA) and I will be a voting member of the SUNY Board of Trustees.  The State University of New York (SUNY) is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States with a total enrollment of 465,000 students plus 1.1 million adult education students spanning 64 campuses across the state.

SUNYSA is the official organization by which SUNY students can participate in University-wide governance. We provide a forum for consultation and the exchange of information between students, the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees. We advocate for our 465,000 students regarding issues such as: tuition,military and veterans issues, Education Opportunity Program (EOP-http://www.suny.edu/attend/academics/eop/), Child Care Services, edTPA, textbook affordability seamless transfer, Blood Donor Equality, support for Open SUNY, Contingent Faculty Pay Equity,just to name a few.  For more information, please visit: http://system.suny.edu/university-life/student-assembly/ and http://www.studentassembly.org/.

I know that the Executive Board and myself are ready to start the year which starts this Friday!  We will be hosting Transitional which is a three day event in which all of the new and returning Representatives, appointed Directors, Executive Board, and Advisors can come together to plan our goals, network with newly elected members, and to formally elect the Directors. Additionally, the Representatives will receive your campus assignments.  There are 16 Representatives for our 64 campuses, 12 Directors, and 4 Executive Board Members.

I will be blogging about my experiences as the SUNYSA President throughout the year.  Please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to provide the answers and/or find the answers for you!  I am excited to get started this weekend as our 2014-2015 term of office officially starts on the 1st of June!!  We have a great Executive Committee and I know that we will be hitting the ground running with the goals created this weekend.

Please stay tuned for more information about SUNYSA, updates, pictures, etc.  Thank you for checking out my blog and enjoy the rest of the long weekend!!

To our all of our active duty military and veterans and your families, thank you for your service and sacrifice!!

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Are Americans losing our Freedom of Speech and Privacy on the Internet May 8, 2014

Let us begin this post with the Day of Affirmation Address which was delivered on June 6, 1966, Senator Robert F. Kennedy said,

The first element of this individual liberty [the name of freedom] is the freedom of speech.  The right to express and communicate ideas…Hand in hand with freedom of speech goes the power to be heard -to share in the decisions of government which shape men’s lives. Everything that makes life worthwhile—family, work, education, a place to rear one’s children and a place to rest one’s head—all this rests on decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people (http://research.archives.gov/description/194041).

Do you believe that your internet use should be considered a Human Right?

Well, it seems that the Committee of Ministers of the 47 member of States of the Council of Europe set a precedent on April 16, 2014 when Recommendation CM/Rec (2014)6 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on a Guide to human rights for Internet users was adopted by the Committee of Ministers at the 1197th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies.  This Committee of Ministers believes that there should a guide, of sorts, which the internet user could use to learn about his/her human rights while online as well as the limitations and the remedies for said limitations.  They also believe that human rights and fundamental freedom apply to online as well as offline usage.

This document is really quite interesting and if you click on the link provided below it will show you all of the details regarding: Access and Non-discrimination. Freedom of Expression and Information, Assembly, Association and Participation, Privacy and Data Protection, Education and Literacy, Children and Young People, and Effective Remedies (http://www.coe.int/web/internet-users-rights/guide;jsessionid=7422E8871EF6692B7AEB0B8AFC29997E).

The Privacy and Data Protection section says that it is only if you have broken the law and/or given permission for your personal data to be searched that your personal data can be collected. It also states that you would have to be informed about the content of the personal data collected and which third party it was distributed to, and for what purpose.  Which means that for the most part every person would have the ability to control your own personal data (http://www.coe.int/web/internet-users-rights/privacy-and-data-protection),

 In the United States, it appears that a person’s human rights, fundamental freedoms, and Constitutional Rights are being compromised due to the government’s handling of security and/or terrorism concerns.

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(Image Source: The Contributor Staff, The Contributor, http://thecontributor.com/humor/7-cartoons-nsa-doesnt-want-you-see)

Edward Snowden, a former employee with the CIA, broke the Freedom of Speech and Privacy issue wide open when he went public with numerous classified documents which uncovered the fact that there are numerous global surveillance programs along with various other surveillance technologies in place to gather information for its enemies and the American people.  There have been many debates since 2013 regarding mass surveillance, drone usage, and government secrecy.

 He lived a pretty comfortable lifestyle because of his almost $200,000 salary which allowed his girlfriend and himself to share a home in Hawaii but he also had a career and a family. He stated, I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom, and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance).”

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(Image Source: My[confined]Space)

 The US government and the National Security Agency (NSA) have come under tremendous fire after Snowden’s story broke.  You will have to be the judge on whether you believe everything that Snowden has divulged to the world. I have found that I am a lot more cautious about how I handle my affairs on the internet.

It is interesting to see how far the European countries are willing to go to prove to their citizens that they believe in their human rights and their right to privacy when the US government is struggling to convince the American public that what they are being told by Snowden is a huge pile of hooey.

I believe that no matter what the outcome of this situation I will never look at my use of technology and the internet through the same innocent eyes again.  Food for thought.. Are Americans losing our Freedom of Speech and Privacy on the Internet?

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 (Image Source: Feross Aboukhadijeh (http://feross.org/freedom-of-speech-on-the-internet/)

 References:

http://www.min201.org/~mquerciagrossa/WorldRegs.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

http://ivn.us/2012/07/07/internet-freedom-to-be-ron-paul-movements-next-crusade/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/federicoguerrini/2014/04/29/a-guide-to-human-rights-of-internet-users-launched-today-in-estonia/

http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/faife/publications/ife03.pdf

http://feross.org/freedom-of-speech-on-the-internet/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2148900/fccs-new-net-neutrality-proposal-what-do-we-really-know.html

 

Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela

(Photo courtesy of : http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/05/highlights-nelson-mandela-life-show-how-became-symbol-reconciliation/)

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  Nelson Mandela

I will mourn the loss of one of this world’s most inspirational leaders.  His beliefs and the way that he lived his life were a testimony of his effort to educate those around the world through the example he set by spreading the idea of democracy, freedom, and equal rights for all human beings throughout the world.

Mandela was known worldwide as a teacher, political prisoner, civil rights activist, freedom fighter, the first black President of South Africa, father, and husband. His fight was for all people no matter what their ethnicity, race, creed, religion, etc. He believed that everyone should live their lives by respecting and enhancing the freedom of others!

The leadership style and the way that Nelson Mandela lived his life has shown me that helping others and being a servant leader are the way that I want to live my life. I will be forever grateful for those lessons learned by this great man. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Mandela stated.

 

A sea of dysfunction! December 2, 2013

On November 22, 2013, we experienced the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. The buzz surrounding the social media circles that I follow centered around several JFK quotes: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,” and “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them!”  

It is in moments like these that I saw hope for the country and felt a sense of civility that seemed to be returning towards our fellow man.  I heard and read various conversations about how we should reach out to help hose in need such as: like those in our country that wake up and go to bed hungry and that have no place to call “home” because they are homeless. But for some, almost as quick as those words were uttered they were forgotten!

The opinions and statements that I want to discuss here today should not be tied into what political party you are affiliated with (so please do not make this into a political platform) because I feel it is about how some of us view money and material things over people!  This last week I have witnessed and seen some pretty scary attitudes that are plaguing our country. People have lost the ideal that we should respect the opinions of others without bashing them for their beliefs such as: the people that shop on Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday are part of the problem with this country.  In some ways that might be true, however, there are many folks out there that can only afford presents for their children and families if they shop during those times because of the “HUGE” savings passed on the consumers. When you have not walked in another person’s shoes, it is easy to say how they are part of the problem and not the solution.

So less than one week after all the niceties were uttered we have the nastiness that surrounds the upcoming holiday season!  People bashing others for shopping on Thanksgiving/Black Friday, the loss of compassion over the huge issue of homelessness in this country, the total disregard for human life, the value of a celebrity’s life held at a higher regard than another person’s life, and I could go on….  

When did we become a society that has so little value on a human life? In just one instance, a man lost his life just because he was doing his job at a WalMart in Long Island and people were in such a frenzy over saving a few dollars on some electronics that they did NOT or chose NOT to notice that they crushed a person to death! The NYDailynews.com stated, “When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been on line since Friday morning,” witness Kimberly Cribbs said. “They kept shopping.” (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/worker-dies-long-island-wal-mart-trampled-black-friday-stampede-article-1.334059)

I, personally, do not put a huge value on material possessions because where I live, what I drive, and what I wear should NOT define me as person!! I am saddened by what I have seen on the news and social media and it breaks my heart to know that more tears have been shed over a celebrity’s death than the 4 children that are killed everyday by abuse and/or neglect in the US (http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/each-day-in-america.html).

Things have to change!! There NEEDS to be value put back on everyone’s lives…How and what can we do to help make this change??? How do we make people understand that a life is MUCH more important than a material object?

 

NYS Buyout of Homes on Staten Island damaged by Superstorm Sandy November 19, 2013

Last month I mentioned this NYS buyout of homes in the Ocean Breeze area of Staten Island.  I stated that I would get back to y’all with some details but life has gotten in the way, however, there was an article posted today on the ABCNews website:  NY to Buy Homes in NYC Neighborhood Hit by Sandy (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ny-buy-homes-nyc-neighborhood-hit-sandy-20929102) so here we go.

During the October 2013 Volunteer trip in which several students from #SUNY #EmpireStateCollege went down to Staten Island to help in the recovery effort, Darrell Hayes, the Staten Island Disaster Relief Coordinator for the Diocese of New York, drove us into some of the worst hit areas on his side of the Island and provided some important background information regarding the folks that had and were still living there, the deaths from the storm, the buyout, and the history of the area.

I thought that the buyout was mandatory, however, the article states that it is voluntary.  Governor Cuomo stated that the state has offered to buy all of the 129 homes in several flood-prone areas that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The areas in question are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and tidal marshland.  Due to these factors, the area should be returned to the marshland that it once was before the housing boom brought families into these neighborhoods. The buyout for the homeowner’s will be at pre-storm value!

This buyout is a slippery slope because NYS is currently operating with a deficit.  On November 9, 2012, an article on the TimesUnion.com website titled: Cuomo says Sandy adds $1B to deficit: Governor expects worse financial picture for state (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cuomo-says-Sandy-adds-1B-to-deficit-4021228.php#ixzz2BhMPbLf2), stated that: “Without offering details, Cuomo said the storm would cause “an additional $1 billion deficit on the state side, maybe higher” on top of a deficit that before the storm had been pegged at $1 billion.”

After touring and helping the folks in these areas, I am sympathetic to their plight.  However, I would like to know what you think about this? Your comments and insight would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Leadership through Service November 12, 2013

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

As stated in my prior blog, the concept of servant leadership has been around since 1970, however, there have been several leaders that came before this model was brought to light who were ahead of their time such as: Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, just to name a few!

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

There are numerous traits that servant leaders have such as: compassion, vision, inspiration, respect, empathy, selflessness, and trustworthiness.  These key traits help make servant leaders very effective leaders. As we continue to have an increase in NGO’s, not-for-profits organizations, grass roots organizations, environmental activists, etc., it seems that these types of organizations have been trending towards the servant leadership style in the way that they view leadership and the way to treat their people, the causes they care for, and the communities around them. 

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” Mother Teresa

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(Photo provided by: http://www.leadingtoabettercommunity.com/?p=86)

The Latin words primus inter pares means “first among equals” and best describes a servant leader.  In Robert Greenleaf’s essay,The Servant as Leader he states:“It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant–first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served.”

Are you a servant leader? 

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

 

What is a Servant Leader? November 8, 2013

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.~Alan Cohen

What is a Servant Leader?

Servant Leader/ship has evolved into a popular leadership model.  In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf developed this model and his thought process behind the concept of Servant Leadership happens when a person/s reach out to serve others and leave behind the command and control models of leadership by focusing on being more in tune with the needs of others.

The word ‘Servant’ in this concept would be a person/s that devotes his/herself to meet the needs of those people that he/she lead plus work to serve the needs of organization members.  Also, the ‘Servant’ works in developing employees to be the best they can be by encouraging self expression and personal growth by working to build a sense of community and joint ownership.

A great Servant Leader is so effective at meeting the needs of those working around them that their followers can reach their full potential and perform to the best of his/her ability.  There is a strength in looking at this type of leadership because it moves us past the self-serving and domineering leadership style.  Servant Leadership has more of a focus on how to respect, value, encourage, and mentor the people that report to the team leader.

The concept and principles of Servant Leadership are quite admirable but t is the societal image of “Servant” that can be a problem and at times misleading. Hopefully, everyone has a better idea of what a Servant Leader is because my next blog will share some components surrounding the concept of Servant Leadership/Leaders.