‘Times’ series makes newspaper “catalyst for discussion”

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By Joe Shearer, Photo Editor

The Newspapers in Curricula program and several University of Nebraska-Omaha professors have once again teamed up to put current world and local news in perspective for students. They’re also aiming to help relieve the stress of communicating in groups with a bunch of strangers.

A series of “Times Talks,” sponsored by the New York Times, are being hosted throughout the month of Feb. During these talks, students are invited to have lunch and chat about current events with different professors at the Milo Bail Student Center.

Geography professor Christine Dando and English professor Kathy Radosta led a small group in the first series discussion on Feb. 9, which focused on the Occupy movements that swept the United States late last year. The topic shifted many times before ending on the troubles of language barriers for new international students.

Dando said that this isn’t just about promoting reading the news, it’s about students communicating with their peers and exchanging their views.

“Students need to know that it’s not just what you know,” Dando said. “It’s about being aware and bouncing ideas off each other. I know it can be tough, but it’s really important that students actually talk to each other!”

Dando and Radosta emphasized the value in peer interaction at the university.

“We have so many resources here on campus, and this is a great resource to have,” Radosta added. “This is what a college campus should look like.”

Both professors use newspapers to teach their class and heed their students to stay current with what is going on around them, and thanks to campus group Newspapers in Curricula, getting a newspaper shouldn’t be a problem for any UNO student. They are the ones responsible for the free newspaper dispensers located across campus. All you need is a current MavCard and the desire for news.

“With events like this, we hope to make the newspaper a more tangible part of a student’s life,” Radosta said. “The paper is such a great catalyst for discussion.”

There are two more “Times Talk” discussions left in the series, and both are this month. Rory Conces and Paul Williams are hosting a discussion titled “Religion/Politics: What happens in the mix?” on Feb. 20. The last talk in the series, “Do You Trust What You Read? The News. The Story. Checking Your Sources,” will take place on Feb. 28. Each of the discussions take place in the Gallery Room on the Milo Bail Student Center and run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Free pizza is available for the first 15 students.

For more information on the “Times Talk” series, contact Maria Knudtson at mknudtson@unomaha.edu for more information.

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