Library to add new storage building to free up space for students

By Alex Nicoll
The Razorback Reporter

All she wanted to do was prepare for her thermodynamics test.
Anxiety mounted in junior Genesis Espinoza’s mind as she worked her way, floor by floor, through David W. Mullins Library, spending 20 minutes searching a spot that she could spread out and study her materials.
Study space was so sparse, she stopped going altogether started going to Bell Engineering Center instead, she said.
Espinoza’s frustration is a common one, she said. To help rectify this problem and to go along with a national trend, the renovation underway at Mullins will include more study space for multipurpose uses.
Over 40 percent of Americans said they think libraries possibly should move library stacks to make room for more meeting spaces or tech centers, 24 percent of people said libraries definitely should move stacks. Fifty-seven percent said libraries should definitely have more comfortable spaces, according to a 2016 study from the Pew Research Center.
“The way people use the main library has changed so significantly,” said Carolyn Allen, UA dean of libraries.
One way library officials have tried to push Mullins toward this growing trend is by building the 27,000-square foot storage building off Hill Avenue in south Fayetteville that will be able to hold an estimated 1.8 million volumes, according to the UA libraries’ website. Moving these materials out of Mullins will free up space to go toward group-study areas.
The collections the UofA receives have increased, Allen said. That, coupled with the growing UA enrollment, has led to a need for more study space in the library.
When enrollment reaches 30,000, which is the maximum that Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz wants, the library will need 3,000 to 3,400 more seats, Allen said.
One plan will include space for lectures and programs as well as independent study when it is not in use by a class or group, Allen said.
Besides more study space, other renovations for Mullins will include updated fire sprinklers, HVAC system, lights and asbestos abatement.
The renovation to Mullins is scheduled to begin by fall 2018, and be completed by January 2020. The estimated cost – $16.5 million – will be paid for by bonds, said Daniel Clairmont, director of engineering and construction for Facilities Management.
The storage building will be three times as large as the one in use on campus. The proposed site will have larger preservation space and will have better quality-control options including temperature gauges, moisture-control barriers and pest-repellent measures that will prolong the shelf life of the university’s collections, Allen said.
Three library staff members will work in the storage building and shuttle materials to Mullins from the building Mondays through Saturdays.
Discussion about getting new library storage began in 2007, but it was not until two years later that UA officials conducted a cost study to assess a complete renovation and expansion of Mullins. The price tag was heftier than officials realized, at $84 million.
“That was way out of the ballpark,” Allen said.
Instead of a full-scale renovation, Allen and other UA officials decided to make modest changes over the course of the last five to seven years. Some of these changes included reducing the size of the reference collection, adding computers to the periodicals room and creating more open bays for study space.
“We’ve done all we can do to the existing space without tearing down walls,” Allen said.
The current renovation and new storage building did not come to fruition until around 2015, Allen said.
The building is being built and is scheduled to be completed by July 2018, according to the libraries’ website. The cost to complete the building is $14.6 million, which will be paid with bonds, Clairmont said.
Espinoza was excited about the prospect of having more space to study, she said.
“It will be a very great idea,” Espinoza said. “I think there will be many students who’ll like it.”

Jennifer Lin speaks in Digital Media Lab, journalism class

Photo by Alex Nicoll
Jennifer Lin, former international reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, speaks to students in the Digital Media Lab on Oct. 12.
Photo by Alex Nicoll
Jennifer Lin listens to Professor Gerald Jordan during her visit to the School of Journalism and Strategic Media on Oct. 12. Lin and Jordan are former colleagues who worked together at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Photo by Chase Reavis
Jennifer Lin gives a presentation to Assistant Professor Kara Gould’s Media And Society class Oct. 12. She spoke about her book, Shanghai Faithful.


DACA Recipients Uncertain of Unprotected Future in the U.S.

By Andrea Johnson

The Razorback Reporter

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals forms and fees submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will no longer be accepted.

Officials stopped accepting DACA requests Sept. 5, after President Donald Trump rescinded the 2012 executive order by former President Barack Obama. Renewals were accepted until Oct. 5 for DACA recipients whose applications would expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

Elaine Duke, acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a memorandum Sept. 5 announcing that the agency may phase out DACA.

DACA granted protection from deportation and work authorization in the U.S. for up to two years for eligible immigrants who entered the country illegally. Requirements apply to individuals who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday and were not older than 31 by June 15, 2012, among other restrictions. Renewals were granted to applicants who met the requirements and paid $495 in fees every two years.

As of Sept. 4 of this year, 689,800 residents are living in the U.S. under DACA, according to immigration data. More than three-fourths of recipients, 79.4 percent, came from Mexico. Arkansas is home to 4,700 DACA recipients, less than one percent of the total DACA population.

Immigration attorney Drew Devenport met with more clients concerned about their status under DACA in the past month than in previous months during this four-and-a-half years working at the Davis Law Firm in Springdale, he said. He typically meets an average of seven DACA recipients or applicants a month, he said. Between Sept. 6 and Oct. 3, Devenport scheduled 33 DACA-related appointments and spoke with others by phone.

Devenport screened clients to determine their eligibility. That helped ineligible clients avoid wasting time and money in the case of a denied application, Devenport said.

“Screenings are also good just because it allows you to meet with an attorney and basically discuss if you have any kind criminal history or concerns about your eligibility,” Devenport said.

Immigration Services aims to process renewal requests in less than 120 days, according to the website. Clients might wait 30 days or up to 180 days before knowing whether their application was processed successfully, Devenport said.

Springdale resident Mishell Quintero renewed her DACA application in January and may legally live and work in the U.S. until January 2019. Quintero, originally from Mexico City, Mexico, arrived in the U.S. at age 7 in 2001 and applied for DACA after she graduated from high school in 2013.

Quintero waited to apply until after graduation so she could focus on schoolwork, she said. From start to finish, she spent at least three months gathering personal records and submitting required materials to obtain DACA.

Under DACA, Quintero gained the ability to pursue higher education at Northwest Arkansas Community College, build credit, buy a house and accomplish other goals while living in the U.S., the “land of opportunity,” she said.

“It’s done so much. Without it, I honestly don’t know what I would be doing right now,” Quintero said.

When she first heard that DACA would be phased out, she did not react emotionally to the news, she said. But as time went on, “a feeling of despair and loss,” she said, came over her.

“It feels like a death of somebody,” Quintero said. “If there’s no legislation passed, our livelihoods are going to change dramatically.”

KenDrell Collins, a third-year law student at the UA School of Law, helped DACA recipients over the past month through the UA Immigration Clinic. He sees concern from people who worry about their uncertain future after their DACA expires, he said.

During the six-month phase-out period that ends March 5, 2018, Congress may give DACA recipients another means of legal protection.

“Obviously, nobody knows what they’re going to do,” Collins said. “There’s speculation, but there’s no guarantee that (DACA recipients) will get protection, which is the scary part for a lot of people.”

For now, people can only advocate for an effective DACA replacement program and challenge Congress to create new law, Collins said.

“They call it a ‘wind down of the DACA program,’ but if you’re going to wind this program down, you need to create a new one – another opportunity for people who were brought here as children,” Collins said.

Cyber Security for UA Students

By Kayla Nunez
The Razorback Reporter

Online personal information for 64 percent of Americans has been compromised, according to the Pew Research Center, but there are ways to ensure that one stays as safe as possible on the Internet.
One way that people can stay safe online is to use a different password for all accounts, said Eva Owens, security analyst at the UofA.
“People can set up good passwords or good pass phrases,” Owens said.  Long passwords make accounts more difficult to hack.
There are always risks, Owens said, but diversifying passwords will ensure people will stay as safe as possible online.
Owens also suggested that people should “keep a clean machine and be sure they are keeping their software updated.” Individuals must be aware of how to stay safe online and how to keep their sensitive information private, Owens said.
As for UA student accounts, Erik Watkins, Blackboard support specialist, said he’s not aware of Blackboard accounts being hacked but he’s aware of a few cases when someone’s university e-mail account has been hacked.
“Though because the UofA uses the same credentials for multiple systems,” Watkins said, “if a malicious actor has those credentials, all of those accounts are compromised.”
If an individual thinks their university accounts have been hacked, they can contact the UA Information Technology Service help desk at 479-575-2905.
To keep university accounts and all other online accounts safe, users always should remember to log out of their accounts and don’t give passwords to anyone, Owens said.
Owens also suggested that users should be aware of whom they are giving information to online and they should avoid opening suspicious links. Users should be aware of the URL when opening a link, according to Stay Safe Online, a website powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance.
“Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site,” according to Stay Safe Online, “but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com versus .net).”
As a part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the UofA will present events throughout October to inform students, faculty and staff of ways to stay safe online.
There is no way to ensure one stays completely safe online, Owens said, but these are ways to stay as safe as possible.
“Just like with your house,” Owens said, “You lock the door when you leave to make sure no one gets in but sometimes there is still a break in. Our digital life reflects our physical life.”

UA Professors Awarded Grant to Study Hurricane victims

By Erin McGuinness
The Razorback Reporter

A group of UA professors have been awarded a $124,527 National Science Foundation grant to research how social, community and economic resources affect the recovery of Hurricane Harvey victims.
“The project is designed to take an inventory of people who have been displaced in the coastal region of southeast Texas,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick, a sociology professor and chair of the Community and Family Institute. “Specifically, we want to try and better understand what post-disaster implications are for their social ties, their social resources, the way they use capital (and) the way they had social capital but fractured during the disaster.”
Fitzpatrick is the principal investigator for “RAPID: Social Capital, Coping, and the Displaced: Health, Well-Being, and Resiliency Among Hurricane Harvey Victims.” Matthew Spialek, assistant professor of communication, and Xuan Shi, assistant professor of geosciences, will work with him on the project.
Fitzpatrick put together a team of seven graduate and post-graduate students from universities in Texas, he said. He will leave for Houston on Oct. 11 to join them and survey several victims in the area.
Half of the interviews will be with people who are staying in post-disaster shelters such as churches and Red Cross shelters. The other half will be done with people who had the means to temporarily leave the affected area by staying in a hotel or taking shelter with friends or family.
“I think that those are two different people because some were able to evacuate out and some were not. That’s a function of capital. That’s a function of resources,” Fitzpatrick said.
The interviewers will approach their tasks on the premise that not all victims are created equal when it comes to social resources, and as a result, their recovery process will be different, Fitzpatrick said.
Spialek is using his communications background to create the survey, which will map formal and informal connections that people have with their community, including a sense of belonging, who they rely or depend on and what resources are available, he said.
“Ultimately communication is very important in being able to foster reliance following disasters. Not only communication from formal organizations like FEMA or the Red Cross, or the federal or state government, but also form individuals themselves, working with one another to help each other out after a disaster,” Spialek said.
UA junior Mary Kerr Winters is a Houston native. Her family’s home did not flood, but most of her neighbors’ homes were severely damaged, she said. Friends whose home flooded stayed with the Winters family. Her neighbors are close-knit, Winters said, and those whose homes did not flood were able to take in neighbors whose homes did.
Other areas near Winters’ home did not have similar social resources, she said.
“It breaks my heart. Being from there, were very prideful to be from Houston. It doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re from in the city, it’s not a divided city, it’s very unified, so it does break my heart that this is going to take years of recovery,” she said.
Winters hopes a lot of money is donated to lower-income areas, she said.

Once the research is conducted, Fitzpatrick will write a book detailing his findings.
“My goal is to translate the data into something that helps communities better understand who is at greatest risk (during disasters), why and what are the missing links to connect them deeper to their community,” he said.
Fitzpatrick wants the surveying process to be finished by Thanksgiving, and hopes to have the entire project finished within a year, he said.