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David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Old cell phones help support domestic violence victims
October 12, 2005
By Nicole May, The SignPost
Weber State University, Ogden, Utah

Now that the next greatest cell phone is out with a video camera, unlimited Internet access and more MP3 memory than can possibly be useful, many people wonder what to do with the old phone.

Take it to Psi Chi: They want it.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology students, is doing its part to help fight domestic violence in Utah and provide Weber State University's student body a chance to get involved.

"I'm hoping to see a big turnout," said Parker Cherry, Psi Chi fund-raising vice president. "We are hoping to get as many cell phones as possible."

The Utah Domestic Violence Annual Report released in February 2005 said there were 23 deaths in Utah in 2004 resulting from some form of domestic abuse.

Psi Chi is coordinating a cell phone drive that will continue throughout the remainder of the year. Anyone may drop off an old cell phone at any one of the bins in the Social Sciences Building. These bins are outside Social Sciences Building Room 370 and next to the lab/testing center in the basement.

It is illegal to dispose of cell phones with home garbage, due to hazardous chemicals in the battery. The donated cell phones will be recycled in an environmentally responsible way and profits will be donated to the Young Women's Christian Association in Salt Lake City.

The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women's organization in the world. According to the YWCA Web site, they have more than 25 million members in 122 countries, including 2 million members in 300 local associations in the United States.

Through its programs and services for women and children, the YWCA of Salt Lake City provides a variety of basic needs for safety, shelter, food and clothing, as well as long-term needs for affordable housing, quality child care, preschools, emotional health and physical well being.

Kristena Kons, Psi Chi chapter president, has been involved with Psi Chi for two years, and president since May. She said she got the idea for this fundraiser because psychologists see so many girls with mental-health issues and self-esteem issues.

"We don't get anything out of the drive, all profits will go to them [YWCA]," Kons said.
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