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10 Things To Do in Your First Week Of Class

WSU students study together

These students are confident and at ease–and you can be too!

Orientation Week might be over but there are still a few things you can do to be prepared for the beginning of classes. This first week can be pretty confusing as a freshman. You hear so much information all at once and it can be hard to retain it all. If you find yourself feeling a bit lost, this list can help you find your way so you can start off the year with a solid foundation. Prepare yourself with this helpful checklist.

  1. Check out the list of WSU clubs, and meet other students who share your interests. If you don’t see a club or organization and you want to start one, go for it!
  2. Go exploring! Grab some new friends and travel downtown to see what it has to offer, as well as other Winona hangouts.
  3. Organize your computer and download programs. Especially if you know you will be needing a specific program for a class, download it ASAP! Waiting to do this in class with everyone else will be a long slow process you’ll want to avoid. If you have any questions or issues with your new computer, go to Tech Support (second floor of Somsen) before classes start and get everything squared away.
  4. Order your books! Don’t know what books you will need? Search by your course to find which books your professor requires on the WSU bookstore website.
  5. Along with sending friend requests to everyone in your residence hall and classes, make sure you follow WSU on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to stay connected and updated on everything happening at WSU! And be sure to join your fellow freshmen in the Class of 2018 Facebook group.
  6. If you haven’t figured this out already, make sure you know how to log into your email and D2L. Also, be able to log onto “Find a Course” and locate your DARS report (knowing how to use this tool will make fulfilling your major and minor class requirements a lot easier!) If you want to update you major from undecided status, do so now! If you have questions about any of this visit the Warrior Hub in Maxwell 222.
  7. While you’re reviewing your DARS, look to see who your advisor is. Your advisor can help you make sure you have all the right classes to keep you on track.
  8. Get a pass at Lake Lodge to go canoeing, kayaking and more. It costs $5 for a year-long pass. The first time you sign up you have to fill out an info card so they can get you in the database, but after that you just have to renew your pass every year and you have unlimited access!
  9. Look for a job. This is not necessary for everyone, but if you are one of those who have to work through the school year now is the time to go around applying for jobs on and off campus.
  10. Check out the awesome Integrated Wellness Complex and solidify your workout routine! Like the Group Exercise Facebook Page if you would want the inside scoop on free workout classes.  This page is also a great place to find a work out buddy!

And, finally, are you excited for the year yet? Good! You’re especially excited now that you are well prepared and have all your questions answered, right?

Just remember: Part of being a college student is becoming independent and figuring things out on your own (even if you have to make a few mistakes along the way). Don’t be afraid to ask questions and use your resources! If you have any more questions about this list or even something not mentioned, leave a comment below and we will point you in the right direction!

–Anna Butler

Your Ultimate Guide to Move-In Day

Here are some of the friendly RAs and Move-In Crew ready to help you move in.

Here are some of the friendly RAs and Move-In Crew ready to help you move in.

If you’re anything like me, you prefer to know exactly what you’re getting into before you get into it. Knowing what to expect and, thus, being prepared are two of the best ways to erase fear. When it comes to Move-In Day, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous my freshman year. This is why I have whipped up this little guide for you so you can have a run down of what Move-In Day will be like. Hopefully, this will put your nerves to rest so you can sleep in peace the night before the big day!

Now, without further ado, here is “Your Ultimate Guide to Move-In Day.” You’re welcome!

Before You Leave Home

Make sure to bring the following:

  • A form on identification
  • Social Security card
  • Health insurance cards
  • Cleaning supplies (I’ll explain more later.)

You’ll get a good work out moving in so wear loose, comfortable clothing.  Also, get here early because it’s going to be a crazy busy day! Moving into your residence hall is an all day event and begins at 9am.

First Things First

Before you start unloading, check in with the RAs at front desk.

They have a few forms you must fill out:

  • Emergency contact form (This can be filled out by you or your parent.)
  • Room Condition Report (RCR)
  • Loft agreement form (This must be filled out even if you don’t want a loft. You can change your mind any time throughout the semester.)

Then, you will receive:

  • Warrior ID card (If you haven’t had your photo taken yet, go to the Warrior Hub in Maxwell Hall.)
  • Room key
  • A folder containing coupons, club and general information, your orientation week schedule, the academic school year schedule and other useful information

You new address should be posted at the front desk, so make sure you write that down! Also located at the front desk should be a “Transit and Safety Ride” pamphlet and free Winona State notepad. Feel free to grab these. :)

After You Complete the Paperwork

You will be escorted to your room. If you are not escorted, don’t be afraid to ask a Move-In crew member to help you. The Move-In Crew are volunteers who will be wearing purple t-shirts so they are easy to find!

They are there to help you in any way, including:

  • Set up lofts
  • Move in your stuff
  • Find your room
  • Answer any questions you may have

Once You Get to Your Room

Before you move anything in, check your room over and fill out the Room Condition Report (RCR). This is your chance to write down any damages currently in your room so you don’t get charged for them at the end of the year.

Also, this is where those cleaning supplies I mentioned earlier will come in handy! The rooms were thoroughly cleaned after the previous resident moved out in May, but over the summer your room has likely gathered a little dust so take a quick spin through and wipe down surfaces.

Time to Move In Your Stuff

Moving carts should be floating around all the residence halls. Don’t hesitate to grab one!

Your roommate might also be moving at the same time you are. This is great because you can coordinate on how to arrange the room and who gets which desk. If your roommate isn’t there yet, be mindful of where you place your stuff so he or she can move in later on without tripping over your boxes and bags.

You’ll probably realize that you forgot to bring something (extra hangers or Command strips, for example) and if you find yourself in need of anything, check out Wal-mart and Target. They are located off Mankato St. right across from Winona Health.

After Your Parents Leave

Your family may be gone, but you are not alone! Remember, this is your first opportunity to get to know people so leave your door open and introduce yourself to your neighbors!

You should also check your email. You will likely be receiving an informational email about your agenda (PDF) for the rest of the week. Stay up to date and make sure you know what is going on so you’re not left out.

There will be a mandatory hall meeting where you meet your RA and the rest of your hallmates. You will likely go to dinner with them and go to the UPAC’s outdoor movie located on Main Campus in front of Phelps. If you haven’t already, start making some friends!

Other Tips for Orientation Week

Make sure to bring your warrior ID card with you everywhere you go. Remember, the residence halls lock their doors after 11pm so you will need your ID to get inside!

I’m sure you have heard this before, but I will say it again: be outgoing!!! I cannot stress this enough. Worried because you’re shy? You might surprise yourself! Everyone is extra friendly so breaking out of your shell will be easier then you think. The thing to remember is that everyone is new and will be open and willing to making new friends. A simple smile will go a long way!

Still have questions or concerns? The Housing and Residence Life Office also has a move-in day guide to help you get settled in at WSU.

–Anna Butler

17 Things Your RA Wants You to Know

Several RAs at a team building retreat

The RAs went on a team-building retreat in preparation for your stay!

When you move into the residence halls next week, you will meet your residence assistants. You may wonder, “Who are these super natural beings that always keep their cool and have endless amounts of knowledge and energy to go around? How ever did they get to this level of awesomeness?”

Well, the RAs don’t have super natural powers nor did they come from outer space. In fact, they are normal students just like you and me who have a passion for helping others and making a difference! All of these RAs were once freshman too and walked onto campus for the first time a little unsure of themselves and the road ahead. They learned many things on their journey and were influenced by their awesome RAs to follow in their footsteps. These people who walk the halls in confidence are ready and excited to connect with you on a personal level to make your first year at Winona a memorable one. They want to be your mentor and see you grow as much as you do. But before you officially arrive at your new home, there are a few things they want you to know.

In their own words…

  1. We are not scary people; we are normal, just like you.
  2. We put in a lot of work organizing events and making your freshman year great. We love it when you come to our programs!
  3. We are here to help, not get you in trouble. We want to enhance your experience, not take it away from you.
  4. We are trained to handle any issue you could possibly have so don’t be afraid to ask questions! Also, we were freshman once, too, so chances are we have been through what you are going through.
  5. We want to get to know you–even if you don’t have a question or need our help, we would love to chat with you!
  6. When it comes to decorating your dorm room, you are going to need a lot of command strips. Also, if your dorm doesn’t have AC, make sure you bring a fan.
  7. Get involved, get over-involved and then decide which you want to stay involved in. The connections can last even if you don’t stay in the group.
  8. Don’t go home right away. Stay EVEN IF you feel home sick. The feeling will pass and it only gets better from there.
  9. Keep your door open and get OUT of your room every chance you get.
  10. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone– so get uncomfortable.
  11. Come in with a positive outlook. The way you choose to view your experience will greatly affect the happiness of your stay.
  12. Go to class! You may want to kick back and only focus on the fun, but remember the real reason you are here. Your senior year self will thank you for it!
  13. Being away from home for the first time can be scary, but you can have confidence knowing that the dorms are an extremely secure environment to live in.
  14. Living on campus is filled with great opportunities to not only make new friends, but also to meet a variety of new and interesting people with different views and opinions. Embrace it!
  15. Free food is not uncommon…You’re welcome!
  16. If you are without a car this year, have no fear! From main campus, you are conveniently within walking distance to nearly everything.
  17. Smile, be yourself, be fearless and don’t worry. We are all in the same boat!

–Anna Butler

Several RAs at Prairie Island, about to go canoe racing at the team building retreat.

See, they don’t look so scary–just ready for a little canoe-racing at their retreat.

For Snow, or Rain, or Heat, or Gloom of Night– Better be Prepared!

An "all the things" meme about packing

Yep…this pretty much sums up preparing to move to college.

You are standing in front of your bedroom closet, then you turn to look at your desk covered in papers and knickknacks and the walls hung with photos and posters before glancing across the floor that is strewn with random objects you had forgotten you even owned but are now sentimental to you. And as you gaze upon all your possessions, you wonder “Where do I even begin to pack for college??

Is this scene ringing any bells for you? Well, that is how I felt, at least, when I was preparing to go to college, leaving behind the bedroom I’d called my own for almost 18 years and all its memories of childhood. Whether you are struggling with nostalgia or not, moving is such a hassle (I know, I’ve done it 5 times now) and you might be tempted to bring as few boxes with you as possible. But the reality is that you had better be prepared for everything– weather-wise and otherwise.

This is especially if your parents live several hours away (as mine do) since it isn’t so easy to run home and grab your winter coat, for example, when the weather turns cold disturbingly early. That’s all well and good but, you may be thinking, where are you going to put all that potentially necessary stuff in a college residence hall room?!? The key is to maximize the amount of space you do have and keep everything organized so you can find it easily.

This is what I have learned:

  • Use flat bins to get the most out of the space under the bed. Even if you don’t decide to loft your bed (which is an excellent way to gain extra floor space) you can still store a lot of stuff under it. I used three long, flat bins to store all my spring & summer clothes during the winter and then turned it into winter storage when the weather grew warm again.
  • Put shelving units inside the closet. This is an easy way to add extra storage space. In my closet, I used several milk crates stacked on their sides in mine to store bedding, towels and other supplies.
  • Buy lots of hangers and 3-M hooks. Hanging up most of your clothes in the closet will save you space in your dresser drawers. Putting up 3-M hooks on the back of the door or elsewhere around your room is a great way to keep coats within easy reach and let towels dry after showering.
  • Use shoe boxes as drawer dividers. Re-purposing shoe boxes as drawer dividers is a cheap, eco-friendly way to stay organized. I save all my shoeboxes (my mom would say I have a problem—but hey, you never know when you might need a box!) and use them in my dresser to make it easy find socks, underwear, make-up, and jewelry.
  • Hang some bulletin boards. Bulletin boards are a great way to de-clutter desktops and display photos but they can also be used to store necklaces, thus eliminating space-consuming jewelry trees. I hang all my necklaces up a bulletin board where they are in easy reach and kept from getting tangled.

The second key piece of advice I have is don’t bring things that you don’t really need:

  • Your entire book collection. Sorry! I am an English major so I understand your pain, but those beloved books will only take up space. Bring only a few of your very favorite books though honestly, you probably won’t have time to read them. If you do have time for pleasure reading, you can simply check books out from the Winona Public Library which is only a few blocks from campus.
  • Your cd/dvd collection. This one calls for the same logic as above; you simply don’t have the space to store stacks of cds or dvds. Instead, put all your music on your computer and/or iPod and listen to songs that way. The front desks in the res halls all have a wide movie selection that you can borrow using your student ID. However, if you can’t bear to leave your movies at home, do place all the discs in binder with plastic sleeves to eliminate dozens of bulky cases.
  • A vacuum and cooking equipment. The front desks in all the residence halls have vacuums available for students to check out. They also have pots and pans so if you want to do any baking these items are available. A small frying pan and quart-sized pot for macaroni are useful but you’ll most likely eat your main meals in the cafeteria.
  • A printer. There some 90 printers across campus, including the dorms, that WSU students can use for free. So why would you bring a big bulky printer and pay for all that ink and paper??

You’ll also want to coordinate with your roommate so that you don’t end up with two mini-fridges, two microwaves, floor lamps etc. Talking to your roommate before you actually move in is always a good idea—it makes sharing close quarters so much less awkward! Living in the residence hall is a fun challenge; this is just my advice to help your experience be more fun and less challenging by being prepared for everything.

–Liz Meinders

Your Guide to Textbook-Buying Basics

The front entrance to the WSU bookstore

Newly renovated, the WSU Bookstore has all the books you need ready on their shelves.

It seems like the beginning of fall semester is still so far away, but you should start looking for your textbooks now so you’ll be prepared for the first day of class.

Here’s how to get started:

1) Find out what books you need.

Well, this is an obvious first step but knowing where to look perhaps isn’t so self-explanatory. To find the books required for your classes, go to the WSU Bookstore and select 2014 Fall Semester from the “Select A Course” drop-down menu. Then scroll through the list of departments and courses to find each of your classes, then click on them to view the list of books you need.

2) Buy your books.

New books are fresh, crisp, free of any markings and are stocked and ready for you to pick up at the WSU bookstore. However, if you aren’t hankering for that new book smell and don’t mind a little highlighting, used books are an excellent way to save some cash.

Here’s where to find some deals on used books:

  • The WSU Bookstore – The biggest advantage to the WSU bookstore is you can grab the book you need instantly. There is no depending on the vagaries of FedEx or UPS and you don’t need to double and triple check that it is correct edition because your professors have ordered the books they want you to use through the WSU Bookstore. WSU Bookstore Bonus: all bookstore profits contribute to WSU scholarships and campus improvements. Did you catch that? 100 percent of profits go right back to WSU.
  • Wazoo’s List – This is a great resource that is open exclusively to the WSU community. Fellow WSU students post their books (and many other items as well) to the Wazoo’s List Facebook group for WSU students to buy. It’s all local and gets textbooks out of the homes of people who don’t need them and into the hands of those that do.
  • The Internet – You can also buy your textbooks from online stores such as Amazon,, Chegg and others. These retailers may also give you the option to rent your textbooks which can save you money and the trouble of getting rid of them at the end of the semester. But be warned—it may be more difficult to find the exact copy your professor requires and you may encounter unexpected shipping delays.

Before you buy:

  • Make sure the book is the correct version you need. You can check this by cross-referencing the copyright date on the book and your course book list.
  • Some books may include discs or online codes and some used versions may not include these extras. Check that you’re book includes them, if not ask your professor to see if those extra materials are necessary.

Happy hunting!

An Independence Day to Remember

an American flag against the sky

Happy Independence Day!

This Friday, we as a country celebrate our history of political independence and our desire to govern ourselves as we see fit. In a way, the 4th of July is a foreshadowing of your personal independence day that is swiftly approaching—that is, the day you move in at WSU.

Clearly, independence is a wonderful thing—I love my independence and couldn’t move back into my parents’ house (Sorry, Mom & Dad!)—but you should be careful not fall into these traps and temptations that arise when you are given your much anticipated freedom.

1. You Don’t Have a Curfew

In college, there is no one to say you must be home on school nights by a certain time. You can stay out until 2am if you want to, or even say to hell with sleep and pull an all-nighter. However, a good night’s sleep—and moreover, a consistent sleep schedule– is important for your health. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your attention span, memory, mood, physical performance and even lead to obesity, diabetes and higher susceptibility to infections. Campus life is busy and, of course, you don’t want to miss a minute of the fun but do yourself a favor and get some sleep so you can fully enjoy it.

2. You Can Eat Whatever, Whenever

Without parents around, you can decide to eat pizza for breakfast, get ice cream for dessert every night and never let anything green touch your plate. But it’s important to get good nutrition and limit portion sizes –especially if you are hoping to avoid the Freshman 15. Step out of the line for burgers and fries once in a while and head over to the salad bar for a healthy alternative.

3. You Don’t Have to Go to Class

College, unlike K-12 education, isn’t a government requirement and no one will come after you for skipping classes. Some professors may take role every day and factor attendance into your grade, but others won’t. While skipping a class offers short term benefits–an extra hour of sleep, an early start to the weekend, avoiding a boring lecture—in the long term, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. There is a strong correlation between going to class and achieving a high grade. If you attend class regularly, you will understand the material better, can ask questions and get to know your professor which will help you make contacts and get letters of recommendation.

4. You Don’t Have to do Homework or Study

The same logic applies here: no one will make sure your homework gets done or that you study for exams. College classes may not have homework to turn in every day but they usually have hefty reading assignments and major papers or exams that can make or break your grade. And don’t think that you’ll be able to leave it all to the last minute—procrastination only leads to late night cram sessions that leave you with a half-assed attempt, a potentially passing grade and a weakened immune system. If you don’t do the required work as it is assigned, you’ll find yourself floundering in the class, a situation that definitely isn’t worth a 12 hour Netflix marathon or a weekend of partying with your friends.

5. You Don’t Have to Clean Your Room

Now that you’re out of your parents’ house, there is no one to complain if you never make your bed, drop clothes on the floor, let the trash pile up and forget what a vacuum looks like. This is especially true if you live in a single room. While cleaning and organizing you room does require some effort, it can help you feel more focused and less stressed as well as avoid any health code violations.

6. You Can Buy Whatever, Whenever

Up until now, your parents have probably had some say in how you spend your money, but once you turn 18, legally you are on your own. Your parents can’t access your bank accounts or track all your purchases. But this is not the time to get a giant tattoo or the latest Apple gadget—you should be saving your money for basic needs, school supplies and textbooks. You are also likely receiving credit card offers in the mail and all I can say is BE CAREFUL if you decide to get a credit card. It’s a good idea to start building credit early but on the other, but woe unto you if you use a line of credit irresponsibly as it can swiftly drag you down into the Pit of Despair—I mean, Debt. The WSU Financial Aid Office offers tools and information to help you manage your money.

This list may seem like a collection of juvenile excesses and since you’re adults now, you’re obviously past all that. Well, college offers you the chance to make your own choices but don’t let that freedom lead you to making poor decisions just because you don’t have any adult supervision. Yes, you are the adult now, and with that independence comes the responsibility to live with the consequences of the choices you make.

--Liz Meinders

7 Ways a Res Hall is Totally Unlike Your Parents’ House

Living in a college residence hall is quite different than living in your parent’s house and, of course, you knew that already. However, there are some aspects that you won’t fully comprehend until you move in. And as someone who lived through it, I can tell you that this is really what res life is like compared to your family home.

1. At your parent’s house, you probably had your own room

a woman snuggles into a big bed

but in the res hall you will have roommates–enough said!


2. In a house, you have a bedroom for sleeping, a kitchen for eating, a living room for hanging out with friends etc…


while in a res hall room you have one room for all of the above activities


3. Back home, your neighbors live on the other side of a picket fence

Hidey-ho Neighbor!

but your neighbors live on the other side of the wall in a res hall


4. Before you moved to college, your parents would yell at you for playing music too loudly

but now you’ll be the one asking people to turn their speakers down


5. At your parents’ house, the bathroom is a place of privacy

Bathroom Privacy

while in a res hall a bathroom is, well, just a bathroom



6. Back home, the person to washing machine ratio is about 4:1 with the bonus of Mom’s complimentary laundry service

Mom's Laundry Service

At college, the person to washing machine ratio is more like 20:1

Occupy all the Washers

7. If you are hungry at your parents’ house, you just have to walk over to the fridge


But at college if you want a meal you have to walk across campus to the dining hall

Feeling Peckish

When you break it down, a residence hall is a crowded, noisy crash pad with small bedrooms and not-so-private bathrooms that requires effort and planning to find food. But, it is also the place where you will make many of your friends, get creative with interior design, stay up too late cramming for exams, while away Saturday afternoons with movie-marathons and taste a little independence. It’s an once-in-a-lifetime experience of communal living that will be totally different from living with your parents, yet in the end, your residence hall will become your home sweet home.

–Liz Meinders


The Importance of Preserving Artifacts

16th Baptist Church,

We visited the 16th Baptist Church, rebuilt after the 1963 bombing.

When I was young, I used to think that museums were boring and I suppose a lot of other kids my age did too. But as I got older, I started to appreciate the preservation of artifacts that were part of history.

We visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the its on-site museum. The exhibits were very realistic instead of just using pictures or only one or two actual pieces from the time period. It was like immersing yourself into a 1950s classroom. I think this is a good way to bring history to life. They also had the piece of brick that embedded itself into church-goer Denise McNair’s head during the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Museums can be really interactive. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute was limited on interaction but right next to the museum was Kelly Ingram Park and the 16th Street Baptist Church, which are essentially museums themselves even though the church is still in use today and people use the park for various activities. I think those provided enough interaction just because of the history that happened there.

The 16th Street Baptist Church was the site of a bombing in 1963 and killed four young ladies and one boy and injured another boy and girl. Kelly Ingram Park is the sight of many protests, the largest and most notable one being on the 5th day of the Children’s March in Birmingham. Eugene “Bull” Connor ordered police to spray high-pressure water hoses on people, including children, and to make dogs attack people.

It’s also hard to believe that we were walking in the same places  as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and every important person in the movement, including the children who marched there (well, they didn’t walk in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute of course since it was built in 1992).

We visited Meridian, Miss. and went to the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and the Freedom School, but all we had to look at was the overgrown grass lots where the buildings once stood. COFO was a coalition of organizations that encouraged blacks to vote and ensured that no one stopped them from voting. The city of Meridian decided to take the buildings down because they were not well kept and stood empty.

Our tour guide, Roscoe Jones, said that a few a people tried to save the buildings by registering them on the National Historical Society list but they were too late. Jones was a civil rights worker during the movement and still is for issues in the Meridian school system. Meridian schools are placing young kids under arrest for insignificant things like the wrong color socks with their uniforms.

It’s important that we preserve artifacts from history so that future generations learn how movements, laws and social change affect them and how they can go about changing things.

–Jordan Gerard

What Makes Social Change Happen? Courage!

two buttons showing support for the SNCC

Members of SNCC wore buttons like these to show their support for civil rights equality.  Image credit:

Throughout the course of this trip, we’ve met some pretty amazing people with amazing stories of what it was like living in the 1960s. The Civil Rights Movement was a hard time to live through for black and white people. The violence was staggering and it’s a good thing that Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other leaders told people to be nonviolent.

It must take a lot of courage to be able not to defend yourself when someone is hurting you. Self-defense is a natural reaction to any situation. We either decide to fight or flight. The veterans we’ve talked to said that some of the situations they were in were terrifying, but in the end it was worth it.

So how can today’s youth and young adults get involved to make social change? It’s actually not that difficult. All you have to do is find something that you’re passionate about, join the corresponding organization, participate and then spread the word about your cause.

A lot of the Civil Rights veterans worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Roscoe Jones, our tour guide in Meridian, Miss. said that adults were not present for most of the committee’s activities. Adults helped guide them, but the teenagers were the driving force.

I think that goes to show that any group of people can have power and make social change. If people stand their ground and keep fighting for they want, eventually it will come.

–Jordan Gerard

Mass Communication: Then and Now

people march down the street to show support for civil rights in 1964

Just like today, people used mass communication to organize their rallies and protests. Photo credit:

One of the things that made the Civil Rights Movement operate well was the media and it’s still effective for today’s movements.

They had newspapers, photographers, and the radio, all of which were good at motivating people. The newspapers provided full stories and accounts of nearly every event that happened in the civil rights era. They added a layer of realism to the printed word by interviewing the people that were present at the events.

Sarah Collins Rudolph, a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and sister to Addie Mae Collins who did not survive the bombing, she was quoted in the newspaper, “Right after the explosion I called my sister…I said—I called about three times—‘Addie, Addie, Addie.’ Addie didn’t answer.”

Journalists were also in a dangerous situation when they went into the field to get the stories and witness the events. One thing I have found interesting on this trip is that the addresses of people were included with people’s names. It seems like a dangerous thing to write in the paper because many places were bombed during the movement by the Ku Klux Klan. Actually, they included addresses to let people know where to join up with the person and organization. Often, it would be a place of business so that homes would be safer from the KKK. To me, it seems like a big risk to take, but it was necessary so that the movements could gain more people.

And even more powerful than the printed word is the photograph. Photographs evoke a reaction and put many layers of realism into one medium that is viewable by the mass audience. The great things about photography in the 1950s and 60s were the inexpensive cameras and processing that made it possible for the average person to take photographs. The end result was a massive collection of iconic photos. The content of the photos ranged from lynchings to water hoses to important people. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes and after looking at the entire Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, you understand how people felt during the movement.

Radio was very popular as a form of communication, news, and entertainment. It could be argued that the voice is even more powerful than the photograph. It was the widest used medium of mass communication. DJs during the movement appealed to kids because of their choice of music and because they were able to connect with the kids who listened. DJs also spoke in codes that told kids where and when they were meeting for marches and rallies.

Today’s mass communication includes a few new technologies such as computers and social media. Social media like Facebook and Twitter is the new way to organize and motivate people. Events and movements get thousands of followers and even attention from people in other countries. It’s a way to share ideas among a large group of people and it’s very effective. Imagine if the Civil Rights Movement had Facebook and Twitter.​

–Jordan Gerard