Informal programs to meet needs of NIU

By Jen Bland

Wednesday will begin a semester-long series of brown bag lunch presentations by University Resources for Women.

The presentations will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. every week at the University Resources for Women office on the corner of Lincoln Highway and Normal Road.

Annemarie Jage, research associate at University Resources for Women, said the presentations are very informal and students are welcome to bring sack lunches.

Jage said the brown bag program is designed to attract and meet the needs of people in the NIU community.

The presentations will cover a wide array of subjects from finding a good mechanic to holiday decorating ideas. Jage said many presentation ideas are products of surveys the office sends out.

“We send surveys to people on our mailing list asking them what things they are interested in learning more about,” she said.

Wednesday’s presentation is entitled “Do I need a Lawyer? Am I Paying a Reasonable Fee? Is my Lawyer Doing a Good Job?” It will feature Natalie Clark, professor of law.

“This presentation will address questions women might have when they seek legal council,” Jage said.

Deborah Haliczer, coordinator of NIU’s Employee Wellness and Assistance Program, will tackle the subject of “Coping with a New Job, New Location” on Sept. 15

Jage said this presentation will deal with making the transitions that come with “a new turf or a new job.”

“Changes in Insurance Benefits: Any Questions?” is scheduled for Sept. 22. Joanne Bergren, assistant manager of NIU’s Insurance Office, will address questions about the new Family Leave Act and changes in insurance benefits as they pertain to NIU employees.

Sexual harassment is the focus of “When Must the ‘Reasonable Women’ Tolerate Sexual Harassment” on Sept. 29.

Lorraine Schmall, associate professor in the College of Law, will tackle the problems of how to react when sexually harassed and what sexual harassment is.

“We get a lot of inquiries at this office about what women can do when sexually harassed,” Jage said.

“Faculty-Student Relationships: Beyond the Classroom?” will be discussed by NIU Ombudsman Tim Griffin on Oct. 6. He will explain what relationships might and might not be appropriate, Jage said.

Safe Passage Director Pam Wiseman will speak about “Violence in Relationships” on Oct. 13. This presentation will deal with violence in all relationships, whether spousal, dating or between roommates.

“This is something everyone can afford to hear,” urged Jage. “Sometimes people perform violent acts that we may not even recognize as violent.”

Women can learn how to take a more active role in personal finances at “Women and Money” on Oct. 20. Carrie Megli and Mary Phelan from Resource Bank will do some exercises to show women how to do their own financial planning.

“Most women feel men should take care of the finances or that it’s too complicated for them to do,” Jage said.

“Gaining the Competitive Edge in Your Job Search Through Co-op” is the subject of the presentation on Oct. 27. Cooperative Education Director Doug Davis will demonstrate how participating in Co-op might be a valuable stepping stone in anyone’s career.

On Nov. 3, “How to Choose Your Car Mechanic: When you know more about the answers you don’t want to hear than the questions you need to ask” will be featured.

Marty Fay from The Motor Works will tell women what questions they need to ask and what they can expect in the way of cost, explained Jage.

Dan Klein, an associate professor in health education and a counselor in the Center for Counseling at the Family Service Agency, will address “Coping with Holiday Blues.”

“Many people have lost someone or lost a job so around the holidays it may be difficult to be happy,” Jage said. “People need a guideline to celebrate differently and more creatively, yet still be mindful of the losses.”

The semester series will end with “Holiday Decorating Ideas” on Nov. 17. Wencke Hansen from Glidden Florist will demonstrate some decorating ideas and answer any questions.

Jage added all the presentations contain subjects that pertain to students whether they need the information now or in the future.

“If the students don’t need to know these things themselves, they often know someone who does,” she said. “The presentations are done by people students can use as resources and are a nice way to get acquainted with this office.”