September 26, 2008
Involvement from students neededSometimes I feel like I'm just beating a dead horse. But in this case that's just what's needed. There are always a great deal of articles about being involved and taking advantage of the different academic and extracurricular opportunities presented to you at Susquehanna. While it would seem that we could get the point and be involved, that just isn't the case.
Unlike everyone else who pushes you to get involved for self-fulfillment, I'd like to offer a different set of reasons for why you need to step out on that ledge and put forth just a tad more effort, why you need to try a little harder to become involved in what's happening around you.
This year marks an important milestone in Susquehanna's history. I'm sure everyone is aware by now that it is the university's Sesquicentennial. Why don't more of you want to be involved in the planning and execution of events that will undoubtedly be remembered for countless years to come? Why are so many students content with leaving the work to someone else?
As a member of the Sesquicentennial Ball Committee and its umbrella Homecoming Committee, I can say from first-hand experience that no one seems to be interested in helping. Every Monday night at the meeting, the meeting rooms in which we gather are practically empty. There are probably less than 15 of us who gather to try and plan an event that should affect all 2000 plus of you. I would subscribe to the notion that people are just too busy to come and participate, if our meeting wasn't a mere 30 minutes once a week. And if I wasn't so busy too that there isn't even space in the margins of my planner anymore. If I can dedicate my only free night of the week to helping, then I don't see why you can't too.
Aside from participating in activities to benefit yourselves, how about you help to plan or organize events that benefit the university and community at large. How about you help to make sure Susquehanna's legacy is maintained and this year's events are a proper representation of the great institution that we are and will continue to be?
Don't you want to have a say in the decisions that are made? Wouldn't you like to make sure that your friends and fellow classmates are properly represented and enjoy their times here at Susquehanna?
Facebook causes irritationShouldn't something new also be improved?
The "new" Facebook has been thrust forth upon the community of users in some misguided attempt to mix things up in the popular site that boasts thousands of profiles.
After a preview across a select amount of the user profiles, the new format was recently implemented over the entire networking site.
To the dismay of many users, these alterations are not minor in the least, spanning from the home page of the site to the editing process for all profiles of all users.
The homepage has been spread out and does not look streamlined.
The broadness of the sidebar and each individual news update has eliminated a focal point on the page.
By almost splitting the page in half, the look is quite confusing. That isn't the biggest problem, considering everyone wants to look at profiles, not the jumbled homepage that is currently in existence. The biggest flop is the organization of these user profiles.
The predominant change to the profiles is the segmenting of information into three or four tabs located toward the top of the page.
This is an obvious attempt to reduce the length of each profile page by sorting the content of the info of the user, applications from "Where Have You Been?" to "Pirates vs. Ninjas," and lastly the photos all get their own separate page.
This effort has not only failed dismally in making pages more compact, but has also drawn attention away from the colorful applications and personal information of the user, making the centerpiece of the profile the "wall posts."
Here in lies the biggest problem. What is the point of these applications when, in order to see them, the viewer must click more than just the one time it takes to navigate to your friend's homepage?
These colorful applications such as "Games," "Pieces of Flair" and "Bumper Stickers" used to make the pages visually interesting, and open to creative expression of the user, but now they have been shoved to the back of the profile page, away from the immediate sight of the meandering Facebook surfer.
In all of this advertising jargon I've been using, it would be easy to chalk up these judgments to my over-education of the marketing field, and that the average Facebook user would not be so critical.
Well, even if they cannot put their finger on what the problem is with the new Facebook, they have certainly put their fingers to the keyboard to express their distaste for it.
I, alone, have received six invitations from six different Facebook groups claiming to either have a solution to get to the old layout of the original format, or recruiting in desperation to get the old site back at its original state.
What it all boils down to is this: Mark Zuckerburg should know better than to ever try to fix something that wasn't even broken at the beginning.
Street lights needed on roadWho likes to walk in the dark? I certainly do not, and doing so makes me feel uneasy in my stomach, worried that something potentially dangerous could happen.
After the last couple of weeks with incidents happening on and off campus, it is not a surprise that many students, myself included, are not feeling safe on campus and in the local community.
Walking in the dark makes the situation worse. Much worse. Yet there is a lot that could be done to prevent or at least help this unsafe feeling dissipate.
As an off-campus resident who strolls up and down University Avenue, I don't feel safe. I am not even in a city, I'm in Selinsgrove.
Why don't I feel safe? There are no lights, none whatsoever.
If the surrounding houses don't have their porch lights on, you might as well be in an alley. I cannot tell you how many times I've walked and tripped because I am unable to see that the sidewalks are uneven or cracked.
This begs the question of why there aren't street lights down a major road where students walk up and down constantly, not only in the daytime but in the evening as well.
Are students supposed to carry their own flashlights when the sun goes down? Are we just not supposed to walk at night?
As college students, the fact is that most of us stay on campus until after the sun sets because we have night class, club meetings, work or studying to do at the library.
After a hard day, it's not refreshing to have to deal with anxiety of how the walk home will go this time.
Not having proper lighting on public streets near and around a college campus almost provides a perfect opportunity for more crime to happen, which is not something that I want to occur to me nor any other student, faculty member or administrator.
I ask all students and faculty members to take a stand with me and petition for street lights on University Avenue. This is something that should have been done a long time ago.
In order to help students feel safe and confident to walk down the street, lights are a must. It may not solve all of the problems regarding crime on and off campus, but that's where other tactics come into play.
For example, if the university scattered blue light stations throughout campus, students could access public safety immediately if there was an emergency. Then public safety could respond appropriately.
Let's light up the avenue and alleviate the frustrations and worries of students walking in the dark. I can't tell you how happy I will be when I am blinded with the light, because there are finally street lights glowing above me making the darkness of the night not feel so dark.
Votes bring no changeStrolling through the hallway in the bottom of Degenstein, I came across a sign outside the women's bathroom, near the radio station. It read, "Your life will change in (insert number of days here)." This is a countdown to the election for the next president of the United States.
In the past few weeks there have been students talking about this pivotal election as if it is the Holy Grail of all elections. Okay, I get it. What happens in this election will change the face of America blah blah blah. Will it really though?
I think back on what the sign says, that my life will change in so many days. I can almost believe that. The fact that I will be doing something different on that day shows that. I certainly feel like my life has changed today compared to yesterday. I gained a rank in "Call of Duty 4." Don't you see? My life has changed and I've provided an example.
Still, I can hear it already. "There is a huge difference between an election and a silly little game." My first reaction is to say that you've obviously never played "Call of Duty 4," but then I would reflect on exactly what has been said.
There is no difference between today and when a new president will be in the office.
Sure policies will change; our views on given aspects of life may have to readjust to a changing political tide in Washington D.C.
That's it. That is the very end of how anything will change.
I will still walk around campus feeling more or less the same, not changed because a few people in Washington had their jobs taken away from them and new people took over.
I would not say that when a CEO of any Fortune 500 company steps down and a new man takes over, that any employees would feel the effects. At least not immediately.
How the new president runs the nation is going to be based off of how to make the people happy and make himself likeable in the public eye.
We seem to forget that small detail as we put these two men onto a pedestal to worship them as if, compared to Bush, they are gods. Trust me when I say they are not.
While they may not make the same dumb mistakes as Bush or implement things that he did for the nation's benefit, they will still have the pros and pitfalls that every political figure in history has had.
As this election comes up, I won't push my own political ideologies on you. I won't argue that McCain is better than Obama or vice-versa. I will not tell you who I will vote for or whether or not I plan on voting. I won't even ask you to vote.
What I will ask is to have you take a step back and look at just how much this election will actually affect your life. Base your decisions off of what you come up with.
Ladies and gentleman, this election will not change life as we know it. Who knows, we may not see any policy changes take place even within the first year.
What will change your life is this school and what you end up taking from it once you leave and head to the real world where you will begin to feel the effects of this election.
Until that time, work hard, study often and maybe I'll see you at the polls.
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