Experts in Labor Economics, Immigration Join Nichols Students for Cultural Panel


DUDLEY, Mass.—Nichols College recently welcomed guest speakers from Mount Holyoke College and the University of Nebraska to offer their expert opinions on the topic of immigration. David Hernandez, professor of Spanish and Latino Studies at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., along with Professor Emeritus Hendrik Van der Burg of the University of Nebraska; and Judy Ansel, director of Labor Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, joined members of the Nichols student Economics Club and other students for an expert-led discussion Oct. 27, 2016, on immigration policies.

Nichols Professor of Economics Hans Despain introduced each guest speaker, noting his relationship to each and their individual accomplishments.

Ansel began with an argument against multinational organizations and their treatment toward underpaid workers in Latin American countries, calling on the fact that “workers in Mexico make $4 a day; that’s all they make.”

With his presentation “Understanding Immigrant Detention: An Overview,” Hernandez shared statistics concerning Hispanic and Latino immigrants and their controversial treatment. He stated that “90 percent of apprehensions, detentions, and deportations at the border are Latinos” and that approximately 429,000 Latinos are detained every year.

Van der Burg is an immigrant from Holland, who moved to the United States with his parents in 1959 at age 7. He said he owes his chance to immigrate to the U.S. due to an opening posted for Dutch farmers. Due to flooding in the 1950s, many farmers in Holland experienced a loss of their livelihood; the U.S. extended an invitation for the displaced farmers to come to the United States and continue their farming here. When many farmers did not embrace the offer, Van der Burg’s family took the opportunity to relocate from Holland to the U.S.

Economics Club Vice President Dailaine Dos Reis shared her appreciation for being able to meet and dine with the guest speakers prior to the event.

“Having the ability first-hand was a great opportunity for networking,” she said.

Dos Reis also spoke from her own perspective as an economics enthusiast and immigrant, noting, “Having the ability to converse with qualified experts in the aspect of immigration and being an immigrant myself, I feel that they helped positively integrate immigration reform into a cohesive conversation.”

Topics covered over the span of the event included the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), international and domestic terrorism, job outsourcing, and border control policies.

The event was sponsored by the Fischer Institute at Nichols, which works to offer students cultural experience to broaden their understanding of international events and issues.

Pleased with the outcome of the panel, Dos Reis said: “We students feel it’s important to diversify our perspectives, which is especially important when discussing the concept of immigration. These experts brought us a new take on the impact immigration has, as well as the micro and macro perspective on the community.”

Megan Fields is a Nichols College senior marketing major and psychology minor. She interns for the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications.

Election Results Party Kicks Off a New Era


Nichols College students gathered on Election Night, Nov. 8, 2016, in the Fels Main Lounge for an election results viewing party. Surrounded by chicken wings and pizza, students chatted and cheered when they found their preferred candidate doing well in this historic race for the presidency of the United States.

The Nichols Office of Student Involvement coordinated the event to gather all campus community members (students, faculty, and staff) to get involved in this year’s election and political process. Many students arrived in groups, and engaged in intellectual debates on the qualities of the candidates. Some students even chose to wear the colors representative of their preferred candidate’s party.

While I am not the world’s biggest pizza fan, I appreciate the effort by Student Involvement to involve students in such an integral part of this country’s operations. Being able to watch the live results as they came in, on who won and who lost each state, was convenient for me as a viewer, and enabled me to speak freely with other students on their own opinions while staying up to date.

Although the party ended and the audience left before a winner was declared, it was thrilling to go through the ups and downs of each candidate’s progress from state to state, and being able to project who we thought might be the winner.

Despite the recent turmoil over the election results, being able to witness this moment in history is certainly something I believe many people will appreciate their participation and involvement in the years to come.

Megan Fields is a senior marketing major and psychology minor at Nichols College. She interns for the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications.

Student Government Association Sponsors “Pink Out” Event for Breast Cancer Awareness


The Nichols Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored a Pink Out event during the home football game on Oct. 29. When walking down to the game, students were greeted by dozens of pastel pink balloons in swaying archways, and tables covered in neon pink sheets.

Members of SGA enthusiastically waved students over to gather their pink goodies: horns, t-shirts, Mardi Gras beads and tumblers. Students were encouraged to take one of everything in support of breast cancer awareness, which the month of October is officially dedicated to.

According to Kristina Maxwell ’18, a vice president on the Executive Advisory Board of SGA, the goal of the program was to “have an event where the student body could come out and show their support for a serious cause. In doing both of those things,” she continued “we elevate the entire campus’ awareness of breast cancer.”

SGA has been known to put on campus-wide events before, such as the semi-annual SGA Day full of games and prizes, but the organization’s main focus is allocating funds for student organizations and negotiating student policies.

The group is also responsible for working as a conduit between the student body population and campus administration. “We exist as the voice of the students” Maxwell commented. “We are here, as students ourselves, to represent the students.”

SGA is also involved heavily in community service, and has recently worked with local schools for various service efforts.

Although the main purpose of the Pink Out event was to raise awareness for the cause, the program did raise close to $150 in donations from students and family members for charity.

Produced by the Bison for the Nichols College Community