Journalism Capstone Final — December 2017

Portugalia Marketplace: How One Portuguese Immigrant Achieved the American Dream

Digital Journalism I — November 2017

Newtown Resident Recalls Day of Sandy Hook Shooting

BRISTOL, R.I. — Roger Williams University student Alex Soderholm is from Newtown, Connecticut, the place where the lives of 20 children and six adults had their lives tragically taken in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. Soderholm agreed to speak with me on camera about the impact that day had on his life and his current views on gun control.

Digital Journalism I — November 2017

Talking Gun Control, Mass Shootings with Rhode Island Gun Shop Owners

Tiverton Gun Owner Undeterred By Rise in Mass Shootings

TIVERTON, R.I. — Through the last 511 days in the U.S., 555 mass shootings have occurred.

Last Sunday, Nov. 5, the latest mass shooting in a tiny church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killed 26 people, with several of them children and at least another 20 were wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history.

Since the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016, 639 people have been killed and 2,635 have been injured in mass shootings.

No foreseeable action by Congress appears in sight as politicians are hesitant to make stronger gun restrictions. Thoughts and prayers haven’t been enough.

In Rhode Island, longtime gun shop owner Craig Lebeau of Sakonnet River Outfitters in Tiverton spoke on the current debate surrounding gun control in light of these mass shootings.

Journalism Capstone Midterm — October 2017

The Ties of Immigration and Culture

Trump’s Anti-Immigration Agenda Reaches Immigrant College Students

By Andrew Wuebker | October 19, 2017

BRISTOL, R.I. — Before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, his presidential campaign focused heavily on the deportation, criminalization and condemnation of undocumented immigrants.

The hypercritical dialogue and narrative by the president has left many undocumented immigrants living in fear of being deported and also leaving a trail of intensified stereotypes and prejudices being applied to them.

Even college students that legally immigrated to the United States are starting to feel the effects of Trump’s anti-immigration agenda. Roger Williams University student Bader AlGasem, an Architecture student from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia explained that sometimes because he’s an immigrant and his culture is directly a part of his identity, it can result in hardships.

“Because I come from a culture [that is] very conservative, very strong in our views, so compared to a country like the United States where everyone is supposed to be liberated from their views basically, well you can stand for your views but you’re still supposed to accept everyone else’s no matter how different they were or they are. Having the fact that my culture is my identity — coming to a liberal college like the one we’re going to now — I go through some hardships sometimes,” said AlGasem.

Among Trump’s actions to counter against what he calls “illegals,” he has since attempted to impose travel bans preventing immigrants from countries such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States, holding up families at airports and sending them home without proper documentation. In the most recent proposal of the travel bans that were set to take effect yesterday, the countries affected were Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.

On Wednesday however, Hawaii federal court judge Derrick Watson blocked Trump’s most recent travel ban, stating his third version of the policy “plainly discriminates based on nationality.”

Another course of action Trump undertook against immigrants was when he stated last month that he will be putting an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program composed by the Obama administration. This program currently protects over 800,000 immigrant children that were born here and brought very young to the U.S. Those under DACA took on the title of “Dreamers” because of their desire for better lives. With Trump stating he will end DACA, he risks sending hundreds of thousands of children to countries in which they have never lived.

“We often have conversations about what happens in other places on campus, sometimes in classrooms on campus and how very often students feel that they are not treated in the same way,” said Don Mays, Director of the Intercultural Center at Roger Williams University, a place where international students on campus can be protected and have these difficult conversations.

“Sometimes there are micro aggressions, sometimes macro aggressions both inside the classroom and outside the classroom and then we all talk about those things and kind of share on strategies how to deal with it or having the support of the staff of the Intercultural Center if it would need an intervention from a staff member or for us to kind of take it to the next level.”

Even further, Mays explained what is wrong with the current dialogue and what the goal is for IC.

“The information that’s going out about immigration in this country is so misleading, so misguided and so just incredibly wrong,” said Mays. “We want to ensure that any students who are coming here will not experience any of those kinds of prejudices or insults because they are coming to this country to get an education, to learn about American culture, to interact with American students and faculty and reap the benefits of our amazing educational system.”

AlGasem stated that the key to ending this dialogue is for others to be open to the views of the outstretched world.

“A really great deal of me trying to normalize what’s going around, [is] just making connections with a lot of people from around, fellow Americans and people from just all over the globe,” said AlGasem. “It just teaches you that there is a lot of views. Not necessarily the same as yours and it just makes everything easier. It makes a ton of sense when you know that there’s not only your mindset.”