The UIS Community

A new kind of conversation addressing issues that UIS students and staff care about.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

3 gratitudes

I saw on TV last night that a major department store here will open at 8 pm Thanksgiving night, just when people should be relaxing at home--winding down calmly--very much satisfied in the quiet moments after time with family and a once-a-year feast. The Thursday night store opening is a great disservice to the retail employees who have no choice.

But rather than rant about the commercialization of post-Thanksgiving, I remind myself of three things I'm grateful for, because creating a short list of "Three gratitudes a day" is far healthier for me than getting angry about something I can do nothing about. So here are my three:

1. The fall colors at UIS, which lasted a bit longer than usual this year.


I'm feeling better already. 

2. My twin grandsons, who turned one this year. Augie and Charlie. Experienced grandparents had told me that becoming a grandpa is just wonderful. Perhaps the greatest thing. But it's even better, surpassing all expectations.

3. #GivingTuesday, which I first heard about today. Celebrating as many ways as possible that people give of themselves to others. Nice.

Here's to a peaceful and calm Thursday evening -- urging you to pause to feel very grateful for at least one thing, if not three.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Two robust conversations - smoking and nickname/mascot

The UIS community is engaging in two very robust conversations. One is about the UIS smoking policy, the other about retaining Prairie Stars or changing the nickname.

A Smoking Policy Task Force is polling the campus community and our community friends with questions about our current smoking policy, designated smoking areas, and whether we should consider going smoke-free or tobacco-free. This task force is expected to finish its work early next year. Members of the UIS community (those with a network ID) can weigh in now with the online survey. I completed it -- less than 10 minutes. I hope a lot of students and staff find 10 minutes to do this.

Another discussion is about whether the nickname Prairie Stars and mascot Cosmo should be retained or changed. Three informational forums will occur on campus this week. Six possible nicknames are under consideration -- Prairie Stars, Stars, and four to be revealed this week.