Foundations for Writing

A St. Cloud State Site for English 191

December 10, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Unfair Treatment for Minorities Remix

In our video, we wanted to do something that would raise awareness about the inequalities in law enforcement with minorities. We shared multiple examples to show the unfairness minorities receive in the system. Hopefully when people watch this, they will see what is happening and hopefully will create change for the better in our society.

Tori, Peyton, & Kyanna

December 9, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Here’s how Stearns is working to improve our jail system”

This St. Cloud Times’ opinion piece includes helpful data on the presence of homeless in the prison population, collected as part of a Community Action Team’s work. Here’s some information about the Team and why it was formed.

Because of the high number of inmates requiring some sort of medical care, Stearns County, along with CentraCare, Central MN Mental Health Center, St. Cloud Police Department and Mayo Clinic Ambulance, created a Community Action Team. The team’s main goals were to cut down on emergency room visits and jail bookings by identifying individuals who were frequently picked up and brought to either facility, mainly to be reminded to take their medications or to refill their prescriptions.

And here’s a piece of the data the Team collected in the first year of its collaboration:

Stearns County’s Community Corrections Division has seen positive results from six clients in the first year, which included:

  • Four of six were homeless in 2017, with five of the six in some sort of housing a year later. The remaining person ended up serving jail time for their offenses.
  • Five of the six were unmedicated and received intervention by the team. Five of the six were receiving medication management to make sure they kept up on their medications.
  • Average client spent 15 days in detox prior to intervention and zero days after the intervention.
  • Prior to being assisted by the Community Action Team, individuals had 103 police contacts and that dropped down to 28 after the intervention started.
  • These individuals averaged 331 days in jail prior to and 308 after intervention. These numbers don’t seem as good, but one individual had a 104-day sentence at the end of the year review and another had a pending 111-day civil commitment, which skewed the numbers. But at a cost of $212/bed per day, dropping 23 days equals $4,876, which also means a savings to county taxpayers.

You’ll find the full opinion piece at

December 9, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Board approves 1 step in moving Ole Miss Confederate statue”

According to the Associated Press (,

A Confederate statue would be moved from a central spot on the University of Mississippi’s campus to a less prominent Confederate cemetery, under a proposal approved Friday by a state board.

The cemetery is still on campus, but it’s in a place few people walk or drive.

The statue is being removed in part because of student protests:

The monument is one of many erected across the South more than a century ago. Critics say its display near the university’s main administrative building sends a signal that the school glorifies the Confederacy and glosses over the South’s history of slavery.

Pro-Confederate groups from outside the university rallied at the monument Feb. 23, causing Ole Miss basketball players to kneel during the national anthem, in protest of the rally. Student government leaders voted March 5 to ask administrators to move the monument to the cemetery, where Confederate soldiers killed at the Battle of Shiloh are buried.

December 9, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Shades of Gray”

Linda Larson, who teaches in our department, wrote this interesting opinion piece for the St. Cloud Times, focusing on unpacking assumptions about Christian organizations’ and their treatment of LGBTQ+ communities, including assistance provided to the homeless. Here’s a key section of the opinion piece:

This leads me to my question of whether or not I should support the Salvation Army or, for that matter, any faith-based organization that doesn’t perfectly align with my personal beliefs. The answer is a muddled shade of gray.

If the answer is that I should never support anything faith-based, I’m guilty of discrimination. Why should I lump all Christians together? Thinking of my Catholic heritage, I admired Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, for her dedication for caring for the poor. Dorothy Day, founder of The Catholic Worker, worked tirelessly for social justice. These two women were heroes, but they belonged to a church whose official position conflicts with my support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Here in Central Minnesota, Catholic Charities in St. Cloud distributes free food and financial assistance. Last Sunday’s St. Cloud Times editorial stated that Catholic Charities helped 53,000 people last year.

The Salvation Army tends to the homeless in St. Cloud.

If the boycott bankrupts the Salvation Army, then the Salvation Army would leave St. Cloud. If we expand a boycott to all faith-based organizations and it’s successful, Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services would shut down. It wouldn’t change the fact that Christians who live in this area would help people.

And here a link to the full “Shades of Gray” piece in the St. Cloud Times.

December 2, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Twitter feed responding to an anti-semitic text

This posting comes with a trigger warning. If you’re unaware of some of the hate-filled online speech characterized as Trumpism, here’s an example.

The Twitter feed following this Tweet provides additional information.

December 2, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Homelessness Is Mankato’s Hidden Issue”

The AP picked up an article on homelessness in Mankato that Brian Arola originally wrote for the Mankato Free Press. Here’s the lead:

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The word “hidden” comes up frequently when you ask experts about homelessness in Mankato.

Homelessness here, say those who work with the people experiencing it, doesn’t fit the stereotype of a disheveled panhandler asking for change on a street corner.

Here, it looks like a man taking refuge in a public library knowing he’s less likely to be shooed away there. Or a family searching for stability in a shelter after losing everything in a house fire. Or a teen crashing on a friend’s couch because home isn’t safe.

The general public might not see examples of it unless they know where to look. Its lack of visibility shouldn’t be mistaken for nonexistence.

The article is a really good snapshot of homelessness in Mankato and the area’s attempts to track and address the issue. The extended example makes the process of how it happens understandable; understandable, too, is the difficulty of “Getting a grasp” on the number of people experiencing homelessness.

December 1, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“St. Cloud sisters take on sexual assault, help survivors navigate the system”

Lee LaDue, SCSU’s coordinator of gender violence prevention, and her sister, Peggy, executive director of the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center, were featured in today’s St. Cloud Times. Here’s the article lead and a link to the full text:

During the last several decades, two sisters have become known as area leaders in sexual assault advocacy, education and prevention.

Peggy and Lee LaDue have been working in the field in Central Minnesota since the early 1990s and have, between the two of them, more than 50 years experience.

Lee has worked with many of my students over the years—both those who have worked in the Women’s Center as well as victims of sexual assault, female and male. An essential part of Lee’s caring, professional work occurs when students go to her for help. Another substantial part of what she does is working with those who choose to report assaults, including assistance as they move through the process with police and the courts. When appropriate, she also communicates with faculty as students who are victims of sexual assault move through the court process.

It sounds as if Lee is retiring at the end of the summer. I’m not sure how we’ll get along without her. I’ve referred students to her, and they’ve inevitably been grateful for her assistance. Lee has also reached out to me when a few of my students were going to court and wanted to let me know. I will really miss her presence on campus.

December 1, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Threat against Ilhan Omar leads to Twitter Ban

In case you haven’t heard, here’s the lead of an November 30th article from NBC News:

Ilhan Omar’s opponent banned from Twitter after suggesting congresswoman should be hanged

“Violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats, and ultimately, violent acts,” Omar said in response to the threatening tweets from Republican candidate Danielle Stella.

You can find the rest of the article at

November 20, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Sample Remixes

Here are some remixes that student groups gave me permission to share (and that are publicly available on YouTube). The later examples provide the students’ paragraphs of introduction:

Gender Bias in the Workplace

Our group, composed of four women, worked together to show the differences in how men and women are treated while working. This video uses Disney clips, news articles, and very powerful facts to show gender inequality in the workplace. Learning from the past will help us strive for a better future, and thats what needs to happen.

Racism in the Media

In our video remix we show racism in the media. We show clips of racist acts or saying caught in the news. It is a concerning and growing issue today. As technology has advanced this issue has become more public. We want people to be aware of this problem and make sure the people around us do not make the same mistake as the people in these videos. Everyone is equally a person, no matter their skin color or what they believe in.

Blue Lives Matter

Our video is about the controversy about Blue Lives Matter. We show a series of videos of police officers getting shot and how quickly these situations can happen. We honor the fallen officers in providing images of them that can be found on Fallen Officer Memorial Fund website. Because this is such a controversal topic, we are more showing the situations that caused Blue Lives Matter to form and go public versus arguing this is the correct side to be on. ENJOY 🙂

November 20, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Another real view of copyright

I think you know this example from COLL 110. Here’s the lead of Leonard Pitts’ open letter to Chris Cecil about his ongoing plagiarism of Pitts’ columns:

Dear Chris Cecil:

Here’s how you write a newspaper column. First, you find a topic that engages you. Then you spend a few hours banging your head against a computer screen until what you’ve written there no longer makes you want to hurl.

Or, you could just wait till somebody else writes a column and steal it. That’s what you’ve been doing on a regular basis.

Before Tuesday, I had never heard of you or the Daily Tribune News, in Cartersville, Ga., where you are associate managing editor. Then one of my readers, God bless her, sent me an e-mail noting the similarities between a column of mine and one you had purportedly written. (

If you don’t know Pitts’ writing, he’s a syndicated columnist for The Miami Herald, and his columns show up in The St. Cloud Times. He often focuses on issues concerning race, immigration, hate crimes, politics, and so on. He’s also on Twitter (@LeonardPittsJr1) and has a delightful, warm voice there.

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