Celebrating diversity is something that many people do not get to experience until stepping foot on a college campus. The days of being pushed around in the hallways by high school bullies are usually triumphed once a person is introduced to the diverse spectrum of university life and has entered into a world outside of suburbia. There is solace in knowing that there are educated people and carefully crafted organizations dedicated to wholeheartedly embracing students and welcoming a colorful array of people from different races, ethnic backgrounds, religions and sexualities. Unfortunately, sometimes those high school bullies still stomp around searching for outsiders who infiltrate on their closed minded hatred.
Roger Hines’ article, “Biting the Hand that Feeds You: The Way of Academia,” published Sept. 29 in the Marietta Daily Journal claims that “the action of Kennesaw State University in promoting Gay Pride Month is a slap in the face of the citizens of Cobb, Cherokee, Bartow, and all other counties in the region KSU serves.”
Hines explains, “KSU’s celebration of Gay Pride is an affront to the entire state since the university, the state’s third largest, receives tax money generated by citizens across Georgia.”
Considering that KSU, as a public institution, receives tax money from the state means that the university has a responsibility to represent the entire public community. That means everyone, including the thousands of people that embody the LGBTIQ community. I’ve grown up with countless gay and lesbian community members, who pay taxes, work for state institutions and pay tuition. Our LGBTIQ peers deserve to be represented by their community just as much as anyone else. KSU takes pride in not only recognizing these people but dedicates a month in celebrating them, celebrating the ones who have often spent much of their lives being judged and ridiculed for simply being who they are. KSU invites its students to unapologetically be themselves and this is something that should be commended.
It isn’t just about supporting LGBTIQ rights; it’s about supporting human rights. If we are not progressive and do not keep moving towards eliminating the barriers we use to divide ourselves, we will not evolve as a culture. We can never stop fighting for civil rights and we must continue to stand up for each and every member of our community.
Celebrating diversity it what makes KSU such a warm, open place. The more you stand against us, the stronger we stand together. We invite you to come join us in celebrating the many different spectrums of humanity, but until then, while KSU continues to evolve, those who refuse to grow with us will be left behind.
It seems that after all of the hard work that goes into homework, taking lecture notes and studying for exams, students often forget about the work that is put in on the other side of academics. Often taken for granted are the people who work long hours to assign the homework, create the thought- provoking lectures and put together those pressing exams. Even then, within the world of academics there is a certain type of teacher who is often forgotten: the part-time professor.
Luckily, the times of being left in the dust will soon be a thing of the past. KSU recently established a part-time faculty senate to the university council that will allow representation for adjunct professors. I spoke with Yvonne Wichman, a dedicated part-time professor at KSU for over 15 years who brought light to the subject. Her excitement alone explained why it is so important that the new part-time faculty council be in place.
Being a part-time professor might only be the tip of the iceberg for many, but it is also the main source of income for numerous teachers at KSU. Part-time professors are limited in the amount of hours they can teach as the Georgia Board of Regents strictly limits part-time professors five courses per academic year. With lack of hours comes lack of income, which is a struggle for many part-time employees at KSU.
For those supporting families, many end up supplementing their income by getting second jobs or teaching outside of the Board of Regents at private universities. There will now be a part-time professor who understands the struggle that comes with part-time teaching that can represent this often unheard realm of faculty members.
While tenured professors often get to bathe in the glory of academic prestige, many part-time professors are left underappreciated and unrecognized. In many cases, however, students actually preferred adjunct professors to their more seasoned colleagues. According to Jordan Weismann’s article in The Atlantic, controlling for certain student characteristics, freshmen were actually about seven percentage points more likely to take a second course in a given field if their first class was taught by an adjunt or non-tenured professor.
According to the KSU Academic Affairs office, as of spring 2013 KSU had approximately 900 full time faculty members and in excess of 600 part time faculty members, meaning that P/T represented 40% of total faculty (1500) on campus that semester.
Before the recent addition to the university council, over 40% of KSU’s faculty was left unrepresented. Yvonne Wichman said, “I’m thrilled to see we are being recognized by the senate, and by the university at large, it speaks very highly of KSU.”
If there are ten or more part- time faculty members within a department, they will be represented within the council by an elected faculty member. With over 24 departments needing representation across campus, this will be a wonderful addition to the university. It is great to see representation given to those who work so hard both inside and outside of the classroom; the voices of part-timers will finally be heard. The emergence of the new part-time faculty council shows just how much KSU has grown and will continue to grow over the years.
While it is true that the torch has been passed on, I want to introduce myself as the new opinion editor while it is still hot in my hands and before I have been scorched by its fiery flame. Maya Angelou once said, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”
The opinion section will be a place to be heard loud and clear in a world that often seeks to keep us silenced. Not only do students have strong voices but students have strong opinions behind those voices, and now is our time to be heard. We are here to proclaim that we cannot be silenced; we are here to articulate opinions that matter.
I want to create a comfortable environment where thoughts can be expressed clearly and passionately, a place where new ideas come to be celebrated. Most importantly, the opinion section will be where students can come to understand that they are not alone in their thoughts about worldly issues and local initiatives.
We must speak up, speak out and speak courageously to the world. We are here to show that the youth perspective is just as important as those of our parents, professors and politicians. One day we will fill their shoes and if we want to see change in the world we live in, we must start now. Babatunde Osotimehim stated in an article published in The Atlantic, “Over the next decade and beyond, if we are to solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to tap into the dynamism of youth movements and young social entrepreneurs, for they have the potential to disrupt inertia and be the most creative forces for social change.”
I want to challenge students and faculty alike to look towards the opinion section to help find their own inner voice and to develop powerful ideas in hopes to encourage people to want to listen.
I would like to hear about what issues you are passionate about within our campus.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any leads, tips or hints. Also, if you feel that an article was published without proper or reasonable coverage of an issue, event or organization, feel free to write a letter to the editor for us to publish.
Let us show them that we are putting our education to good use. It’s time for the voices of our generation be heard, recognized and celebrated.
During the summer months, the lake is a popular destination for anyone looking to beat the heat, to kick back to enjoy the water and, in many cases, indulge in a few brewskies. Whether it is Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona or Lake Hartwell, one thing is certain: the best way to experience the lake is by boat. When alcohol and boating combine, however, disaster can ensue.
Deaths associated with alcohol-related incidents on the water last year prompted Georgia to get more serious about its boating laws; the state recently lowered the maximum blood alcohol level for boat operators from 0.10 to 0.08 to match the existing level for automobile drivers. Marc Teichner, FOX 5 reporter, states in a recent report that state lawmakers say the idea behind this new law is to ensure that everyone is safe while they are on the water.
It seems clear that boating under the influence would be more perilous than driving a car while under the influence. According to the Boating and Safety Resource Center website, alcohol is more dangerous to boaters because boat operators are often less experienced and less confident on the water than on the highway. Recreational boaters do not have the benefit of daily boat operation. In fact, boaters average only 110 hours on the water per year.
Though boating accidents may occur less frequently than automobile accidents, there is more risk involved. The Recourse Center explains that alcohol is more hazardous on the water than on land because the marine environment itself– the motion, vibration, engine noise, sun, wind and spray – accelerates a drinker’s impairment. With these factors in mind, it seems like an obvious decision to increase boater safety laws. Lowering the blood alcohol level is a good start to preventing Georgia’s lakes from becoming death traps.
The Georgia Department of Natural Recourses states that those arrested for boating under the influence may lose their privilege to operate a boat or PWC until they successfully complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program approved by the Department of Driver Services. They will also be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or prison time up to one year.
This is a step in the right direction for boater safety. BUIs should be treated with the same stern guidelines as DUIs in order to decrease the number of fatalities and injuries on Georgia’s waterways. Not only is it sensible, but it is practical and it is fair. A family enjoying a summer day at the lake should not have to endure the risk of potentially dangerous boaters on the water.
Much like how the dangers of driving under the influence have been continually drilled into our minds, every boater needs to understand the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Increasing the safety and protection of boaters and passengers does not have to be at the expense of having fun.
A day out on the boat should be an enjoyable summer experience, especially for college students. Let us make sure we keep it that way.
The Intellectual Bias panel presented April 1 asked the controversial question: Do Colleges Discriminate Against Conservatives? This discussion panel sparked my interest because I found it hard to believe that a conservative could feel out of place in such a seemingly ring-wing community. As a self-proclaimed liberal raised in a very right-minded household I often find myself ostracized for having different social and political views than my other family members. I hoped that the panel could give me a clear perspective of contrasting viewpoints, and luckily, it did just that.
“Academia is a very lonely place for the conservative,” said Mary Grabar, PhD who spoke first in the Intellectual Bias panel. Dr. Grabar opened the panel with a strong affirmation on how she has felt socially and professionally ostracized and virtually punished for her conservative views throughout her career as a professor.
I noticed a heavy presence of middle-aged, white males in the audience so I was happy to hear the perspective of a woman. Dr. Grabar brought up some very intriguing ideas that made me realize how it must feel to be the one conservative in a group of liberals, it reminded me how I often feel within my own family. It was empowering to know that she was not afraid to profess her conservative views despite being discouraged by her co-workers. As a woman hearing her take her stance, I felt encouraged to be more out spoken about my own opinions within the community.
The next speaker in the panel, Timothy Furnish, PhD., allowed a different, more intense perspective for the conservatives. As he spoke, it was somewhat difficult for me to have empathy for him as I felt he had a biased standpoint since in the past he was not selected for a teaching position at KSU.
Although Dr. Furnish mentioned some very interesting ideas, it was not until the panel got back around to Dr. Grabar when she listed a few statistics and mentioned that one in 64 professors will be conservative that I realized universities do tend to have a very liberal mindset. I could not think of having any conservative professors since I have been a student at KSU, but why? I then drew upon perhaps a more important question: is this particularly a bad thing?
Melvin Fein, PhD., a Jewish sociologist and cynical psychologist from Brooklyn, New York who has been a member of the KSU staff for over 20 years, was even more opinionated about the subject. He brought light to the questions that had been running rapid through my brain. Dr. Fien discussed that people often assume he is a liberal based simply on his job title.
It was enlightening to hear his story on how he had to fight for his position in academia and defend his job as a conservative. He also noted that professors will often convince students to think a certain way and that many times, it will be against any right-minded views. After highlighting ideas about the liberal mindset being a “disease of youth” and how young people are often mislead in the name of liberalism, I began to wonder is these professors assumed that we (students) do not have the ability to think for ourselves. Finally, Dr. Fien said something that I had been waiting to hear, “You should look at what you’re learning, weigh the evidence, and make up your own minds.”
It was then that I realized that a good professor does not simply preach his or her ideas and impose them on his or her students; a good professor raises the questions and then encourages his or her students to come up with their own answers.
I walked away from the panel with one particularly important piece of knowledge. My education is in no one’s hands but my own and it is my job to be proactive in my learning. Whether it is from a liberal or conservative viewpoint, I must discover the truth on my own.
Kim Jong-un is a sexy, young heir living the American Dream in everyone’s favorite Communist, one-man dictatorship state: North Korea. Until the death of his father, Kim Jong-II, in Dec. 2011, Kim Jong-un was an unemployed 20-something living at home with his parents. Today, he runs a whole country.
Dan Bandow’s article published in the National Interest, asserts that Kim Jung- un is informally known as the “Cute Leader.” Americans admire this kind of unsound hero. Kim Jong-un is portrayed in a true underdog story of a young man following in his praised father’s footsteps, attempting to uphold the family name.
If Kim Jong-un ever left North Korea, he would have a glamorous hit reality show in the U.S. We could call it “Kim Jong-UnCensored,” airing every Sunday evening right after “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E!.
Kim Jong-un could be considered the Paris Hilton of North Korea, but with nuclear weapons. Now THAT’S hot. As if the U.S. was Hilton’s ex-best friend Nicole Ritchie, Kim Jong-un stands with his arms crossed and his nose up while he continues to give the U.S. the silent treatment, allowing rumors to spread through a he-said-she-said fashion between South Korea and the U.S.. This gossip keeps things interesting between nations; however, it seems that some information tends to get lost between North Korea and South Korea, as tin cans and rope often have lousy reception.
It is obvious that Kim Jong- un’s priorities as an heir are exactly where they should be: spending his daddy’s money. Nearly one-third of North Korea’s budget is spent on military. According to CNN World’s Facts on North Korea, military expenditures account for 31.3 percent of GDP expenditures, making North Korea, dollar for dollar, the world’s most militaristic state. North Korea also reportedly has a biological weapons program based at the National Defense Research Institute and Medical Academy, but given how the last rocket went, perhaps Kim Jong-un should just launch a fragrance line.
Kim Jong-un is focused on spending his country’s budget on way cooler things. The country is starving. Even though the country’s pudgy leader clearly keeps himself fed, he makes sure that his country’s citizens do not get too much to eat. Jong-un is doing a great job of making sure his country’s citizens are exactly what we Americans strive to be: skinny and fabulous. After all, who needs food when there is money to be spent on new shoes and missiles?
In their book “North Korea: Through the Looking Glass,” Kong Dan Oh and Ralph C. Hassig describe the country as living a “schizophrenic existence.”
There would be peace between North Korea and the U.S. if the glamorous Kim Jong-un would just embrace that he was born to be a reality television star. He would have such a successful career in reality TV here in the states that a spinoff with the Kardashians would have to be in order. It would be called “Kim & Kim Take Miami,” and there would not be any more wars.
My favorite Thanksgiving memories happen at a place that for centuries has been deemed second best; underrated and unrecognized. A place where all the youngest cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews gather in a distant, far off realm: the kid’s table.
At our house, it’s the after dinner festivities that I look forward to the most. While the men plop down on the couch with full bellies to watch the football game and the women dig through Black Friday deals, we at the respected kid’s table have a bigger mission: an annual home-run derby to decide who has it in them to win over the respect of our elders and gain bragging rights until Christmas.
We set up the bases in the backyard and take the field. The battle commences. Brother against sister, cousin against cousin. One by one we step up to the plate and give our best swing. My oldest cousin usually reins champion, but not the Thanksgiving of 2009. After the two of us compete head to head for a solid hour, I hit one clear over the fence to put me in the lead. My family applauds and I run the bases in victory. The game ends. The prize: the last beloved slice of chocolate cheese cake.
by Traci Hendrix
Holidays, though seemingly overdone, are simply a special time of the year that aim to bring together families and cherish relationships. Whether they are religious or not, holidays are special to every single person. They do not need to be snuffed out by schools, taken out of media or discriminated against by rivaling celebrations. The number of holidays celebrated throughout the world is infinite.
Each holiday serves a specific purpose or (else) it wouldn’t be considered a special occasion, and that aspect is not something to be overlooked. After eating your weight in turkey and pies, surviving the apocalypse, ripping wrappings, spreading cheer and spending time with loved ones, bring in the New Year with a resolution to have an open mind to others’ holidays and accept the fact that none of them are going anywhere any time soon.
CELEBRATE LIFE by Megan Emory
Winding roads, cold wind and the smell of Christmas trees mark the start of the holiday season. We all have family traditions that we know are worthy of telling our kids and grandkids about someday and this is one of mine.
Christmas doesn’t really begin until I am in my grandparent’s living room putting ornaments and lights on the newly chopped tree that my twin sister and I just spent 40 minutes searching for in every worthy tree lot in West Virginia. With Christmas music and the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the background, I always have a moment where I stop and realize this is why I love this holiday. It’s bigger than just a day to get gifts, it’s about spending time with those you love celebrating life.
Though the popular television series “Breaking Bad” has won seven primetime Emmy Awards since it first aired in 2008, it is unlikely that former first lady Nancy Reagan, who initiated the “Just Say No” campaign in the early 80s, is pleased to know that more than 3.5 million American viewers are sitting at home watching a show whose characters spend their day manufacturing the world’s highest quality crystal meth. Nevertheless, recent years has seen a heightened fascination with this type of television. But the question remains: How do television shows with strong drug-related content shape our ideas of drug use in modern America? Is real life reflecting art?
“Breaking Bad” follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who resides in New Mexico. When White is diagnosed with stage III lung cancer and given a prognosis of two years to live, he decides to enter a treacherous world of drugs and crime to provide his family financial security. The series then follows the revolution of his life as a family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.
In the case of “Breaking Bad,” it seems its popularity has not changed the negative stigma primarily associated with crystal meth. Though the show does not particularly highlight the use of the drug itself, its plot line is very heavily influenced by the creation and distribution of the drug.
“I see the show really being about the downfall of Walter White,” said junior Christo Stevens. “I rarely even think about the drug aspect or meth addiction. I think the creators of the show have focused on this guy and his journey to becoming evil. Meth is just the backdrop. There were a few scenes in the early seasons of people using the drug, and they were far from glamorous.”
With five seasons under its HAZMAT belt, the overall viewer reaction to the show has been positive, and no news reports of chemistry majors dropping out of college to create meth labs have surfaced just yet.
The Showtime series “Weeds” has a similar plot line but focuses on the “softer” – yet just as controversial – drug, marijuana. The central character is Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a widowed mother of two boys who begins selling marijuana to support her family after her husband dies. Over time, she and her family become more entwined in her drug-dealing career, which eventually rises to the highest levels of an international drug- smuggling cartel, all while Botwin attempts to sustain her upper middle-class lifestyle.
Some would argue that “Weeds” and other shows that make light of marijuana use are a huge factor in how people perceive the drug and the debate of its decriminalization. In light of the recent progression toward legalization in Colorado and Washington State, this argument would explain why the Drug Free America Foundation demanded that Showtime pull its hit show from the air. Although DFAF may fear viewers are too naive to not be influenced by television, nothing predominantly negative has come from the show’s eight successful seasons on air.
The series concluded this year with numerous awards to its name and as reruns move to basic cable, pot legalization is slowly making its way from theory to reality. Since “Weeds” began airing, other shows displaying a profound drug influence have turned up on Showtime television.
“It redefined the network and paved the way for a new generation of antiheroes on “Nurse Jackie,”“Dexter,” and “Californication,” said David Nevins, Showtime’s entertainment president.
“Breaking Bad,” “Weeds” and countless other television programs glorify drug and alcohol use and dramatize it likely for the sole purpose of entertainment rather than to change our perception. It’s not the drug use itself that draws us in, but the action and drama that comes with the associated lifestyle; a way of life that most people in middle-class America cannot directly relate to. The intrigue comes from getting a dramatized inside look into a world that we all know exists, but may never personally come in contact with. We are excited to learn the science behind it all: the cartels, the trade,
and the criminality.
“Television is becoming more like movies, many of which contain scenes of drug and alcohol use,” said Dr. James Sargent, associate professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. “TV shows are becoming more edgy, and are increasingly depicting more smoking and drugs.”
It’s the drama of drugs that draws us in, entertains us and allows us to learn. This particular type of television is fascinating because it simply has never been aired so openly before. It is an exciting new taboo that eagerly pushes our boundaries. What also draws us in is that these shows are smart and creative. They keep us coming back for more because we are emotionally invested in their characters. We want to know what will happen to them next, and perhaps we like the idea that we don’t have control over their life choices the way we do our own.
In his book “Mass Communication Theory,” Denis McQuail explains that “people use the media as a diversion; to escape from routine and unpleasant problems.”
Watching these characters deal with their issues, whether it be dramatized scenes of drug use, sex, alcohol or violence, distracts us from our own daily stress and anxiety. Though many can relate to these characters’ middle-class backgrounds, they do not necessarily influence our everyday lives and we certainly don’t feel pressure from them.
Though the media are likely not attempting to influence our personal decisions to use drugs, they are most certainly tempting us to tune in to its TV programs. Luckily, adolescence and adults alike seem to be more addicted to television itself rather than the drug- submerged lifestyle these programs promote.