College life

June 17, 2011

dorm jocks flexing posing by menwrestling

If you’re a college student
interested in free speech, consider coming to this. I”ll be talking
about themes in Matt Welch and my forthcoming book, The Declaration
of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with
America. Maximizing free expression is right there at the top of
the list. And I can tell you that Bob Corn-Revere, who recently
spoke at Reason’s annual donor event, is not only a brilliant First
Amendment lawyer – he puts on a helluva show, too!

Save the Date: 2011 Campus Freedom Network Conference, July
14-16

FIRE is proud to announce that the 2011 Campus Freedom
Network Conference
 will be held July
14-16
 on the campus of Bryn Mawr College, just
outside of Philadelphia. The CFN Conference brings together
committed students from across the country to learn from eminent
First Amendment scholars and meet fellow advocates for free speech
on campus.

The conference will begin with dinner on Thursday evening,
followed by a day and a half of lectures, panels, and break-out
sessions. Attendees will hear from distinguished keynote speakers,
a panel of students involved in previous FIRE cases, and FIRE staff
about the philosophical and legal arguments for First Amendment
rights on campus and how they can improve the culture of free
speech at their schools.

The Thursday night keynote speaker will
be Nick
Gillespie
, editor in chief of Reason.tv and
Reason.com, which… features the staff blog Hit &
Run
, named by Washingtonian, Playboy, and
others as one of the best political blogs.

Friday night’s keynote speaker is Robert
Corn-Revere
, a partner at the law firm of Davis Wright
Tremaine in Washington, D.C., and a First Amendment expert with
extensive experience in communications, media, and information
technology law. Corn-Revere is the lead attorney for former
Valdosta State University student Hayden
Barnes in Barnes v. Zaccari, a federal civil
rights case currently before the United States Court of Appeals for
the Eleventh Circuit.

We welcome all college students interested in defending free
speech on campus to apply to attend the conference. The conference
is FREE, and FIRE will also provide up to
$300 to reimburse expenses for attendees to travel to Bryn Mawr.
Space is limited, so you should register soon!

Apply today at thecfn.org/conference

One of them is Paul Toth, a staff psychologist at Indiana University, where therapists began using a computerized evaluation called the Behavioral Health Measure, or BHM, in November. He recalls one student whose depression scores were improving but whose overall well-being scores were not. Staffers then determined that, to truly get better, the student needed to deal with academic issues that had been caused by the depression.

Evaluations like these also shed light on topics that students may not verbalize in therapy, such as a lack of trust, or bonding, with their therapist. In some cases, Toth says he’s found out that a few students haven’t liked it when he’s suggested trying antidepressants with therapy.

“So then I can back off on that,” he says.

Perhaps most importantly, therapists say these instant evaluations show them more quickly when a student is seriously considering suicide.

“I can look at that on my computer before the student even walks into my office,” says Birky, whose new clients sit at private computer kiosks in the counseling center waiting room to take a different evaluation called the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms, or CCAPS.

CCAPS, which has versions with 34 and 62 questions, is used on dozens of campuses across the country, including Penn State, where researchers used national CCAPS data to generate an annual study on the mental health of students on campuses across the nation.

Among other things, the research found that about a quarter of U.S. college students sought mental health services last year.

“So as demand increases, you have to be more objective about deciding who’s in the greatest need,” says Ben Locke, the study’s lead author and the associate director of research and technology at Penn State’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services.

The newer BHM was developed by Mark Kopta, a psychology professor at the University of Evansville in Indiana. So far, it is used on just 15 campuses, from the University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins to tiny Fairmont State University in West Virginia.

But those who use it say it has some advantages over more established evaluations.

For one, it has a 20-question version that takes two minutes or less to complete, so it can be used more easily at every counseling session.

“It doesn’t take the place of an interview, but it makes the interview much more efficient,” says Kopta, head of CelestHealth Systems, which markets the BHM questionnaires with a package other tools that evaluate such things as the bond between counselor and client.

Factors students are asked to rate in the BHM include:

_”Alcohol or drug use interfering with your performance at school or work.”

_”Thoughts of ending your life.”

_”Powerful, intense mood swings or highs and lows.”

Results from that evaluation also are divided by categories, including suicide risk, depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse. Each category is color-coded – green for normal, yellow for mild distress, orange for moderate distress and red for severe distress.

Glenn Hirsch, head of counseling services at the University of Minnesota, recalls one student whose suicide chart was flagged with red, but who initially denied she was severely suicidal.

Her scores also indicated that she was mistrustful of Hirsch and the counseling process, so he used those scores – and showed her her charts at each session – to get her to open up and deal with her suicidal thoughts.

“Showing that visually can really make a difference,” he says.

After initially dropping out of school, he says the student client returned to the university and passed all her classes. She also has regularly taken her medication, something she hadn’t done before.

There are other ways mental health professionals are using technology to help them evaluate clients, on and off college campuses.

A psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins has developed a free service called Mood 24/7 that sends a daily text message to its users, asking them to rate their mood on a scale of 1 to 10. The data can then be accessed by the user, their mental health counselor and even family and friends.

Dr. Adam Kaplin, who came up with the idea, says that typically clients are unlikely to remember how they were feeling between visits, or to use paper and pencil charts to keep track.

“It’s very simple. But there is power in simplicity,” Kaplin says of the system, which now has about 3,000 users, from college students to older clients. Among other things, he says the system helps psychiatrists do a better job of monitoring and adjusting psychotropic medications.

All of these methods are fine for those who seek help. But there’s also concern that the large majority of suicidal and depressed students still don’t seek counseling and, therefore never are evaluated.

“I’ve talked to graduating seniors who literally didn’t know that the mental health counseling center existed,” says 23-year-old Jeff Brozena, president and founder of Penn State’s chapter of Active Minds, an organization aimed at raising students’ awareness about mental health.

His chapter is one of a few that hosted a traveling exhibit called “Send Silence Packing,” made up of 1,100 backpacks representing the estimated number of college students who take their own lives each year.

Counseling centers also have expanded outreach.

At Pace University in New York, counseling director Richard Shadick and his staff give a presentation at each “University 101″ class for freshman and give them a survey to help them get a read on substance abuse and mental health problems they may be having. The mental health staff also spends time on campus giving mini screenings called “checkups from the neck up” and refers students who need help to the counseling center.

Elsewhere, the National College Depression Partnership has been working with campus health centers across the country to do their own quick mental health screenings when students come in for regular visits with the doctor.

Within the counseling field, there is no consensus about whether there really are more college students with mental health issues or whether they are simply increasingly willing to ask for help.

Some say that antidepressants and more support has made it more possible than ever for a student who is mentally ill to attend college. Others have noted that this generation of students seems less able to cope with stress, for whatever reason.

“Maybe, in some ways, these kids are a little bit less resilient,” says Birky, at Lehigh.

Whatever the reason, it’s an issue that’s being taken seriously.

A recent analysis of BHM questionnaires from 13,300 students who were treated at campus counseling centers found that those students were, indeed, having significant psychological problems. Just over two-thirds were clinically depressed at some level. Seventeen percent had drug and alcohol problems. About 20 percent were suicidal.

And those figures do not include the students who have yet to seek help.

related site sell books


What Oprah has done for books

May 24, 2011

oprah.jpg by DJ Riley

She was like a fairy godmother to the book world: With a gushing endorsement and an “O” book seal publishers clamored for, Oprah Winfrey reinvigorated the book club, rocketed little-known authors to stardom, fetched a windfall for the publishing industry as a whole, and encouraged a nation to read. It was called the “Oprah Effect” for good reason – everything she touched became publishing gold. Now that she’s leaving – The Oprah Winfrey Show ends its 25-year run on Wednesday – what of her determined book boostering? 3 of this month’s best novels Publishers are eager to find out. Oprah’s effect on book reading and sales is almost supernatural. Oprah’s Book Club began Sept. 17, 1996, with Jacquelyn Mitchard’s “The Deep End of the Ocean,” about the kidnapping of a child.

• Since then, she’s selected 70 books for Oprah’s Book Club.

• Fifty-nine of her books made The top 10 on USA Today’s bestseller list

• Twenty-two of her books were No. 1 on USA Today’s bestseller list

• Toni Morrison, whose books were chosen four times for Oprah’s Book Club (“Song of Solomon,” “Paradise,” “The Bluest Eye,” and “Sula” were all picked), got a bigger sales boost from Oprah than from winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Among Oprah’s other successes was bringing Leo Tolstoy’s 19th-century love story “Anna Karenina” to the No. 1 spot on many bestseller lists, including USA Today’s. She also helped sales of a little-known collection of short stories about Africa soar. “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan had an initial print of 77,000. After Oprah endorsed the book, 780,000 more copies were printed. Perhaps most telling, Oprah has helped sell some 55 million copies of her book club picks since 1996, according to Fordham University marketing professor Al Greco. “And there wasn’t a James Patterson or a John Grisham among them,” he told USA Today. “She made book discussions interesting, educational, and entertaining,” Greco said. “Literature professors can be interesting and educational, but are they entertaining?”

Oprah’s Book Club certainly has been. There was the headline-making James Frey controversy, in which Oprah excoriated Mr. Frey for fabricating parts of his memoir “A Million Little Pieces.” She had Frey back on air in her final season to apologize. “I got ambushed,” Frey said, adding, “In some ways I deserved it.” Since then, Frey’s latest book, “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” has risen from 10,286 on Amazon’s sale ratings to 253. And then there was Jonathan Franzen, whose book “The Corrections” was chosen as an Oprah Book Club pick in 2001. Mr. Franzen greeted the news with less than full enthusiasm, warning his work “was a hard book for that audience,” and warily questioning the desirability of seeing Oprah’s “logo of corporate ownership” on his book’s cover. Oprah canceled Franzen’s on-air book club dinner. He later apologized and Oprah again selected his novel “Freedom” for her book club. Chastened, he appeared on the show, apologized, and, like the Oprah-Frey on-air rapprochement, Oprah and Franzen went through a public reconciliation. After that, both Franzen novels soared to the top of multiple bestseller lists. The books benefited from the drama, though Oprah has acknowledged that her book club shows rarely garnered her best ratings. What does that mean for future book club shows? Will Oprah continue her literary endorsements on OWN, her new cable network? Publishers can breathe a sigh of relief you can still sell back books. Oprah told USA Today she is “going to try to develop a show for books and authors,” though she provided no details and the OWN show likely won’t garner the ratings her network TV talk show has. “Some things you do because it is necessary,” Oprah said, acknowledging that her book club shows were rarely her most popular. “We’ve done OK with them. We found the more I could connect the author and the book to the audience, the better the numbers would be.”


Trouble in Japan

March 16, 2011

Japan #9 by cathou_cathare

Update to donate to the Red Cross Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. If you need some extra cash to donate try sell text books.

Japan was rocked by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in a nation that has been an historic victim of the seismic events. According to the Associated Press, the subsequent tsunami, residual flooding, and massive aftershocks have created a series of cascading events that are pushing the island nation's recovery efforts to their limits. With more than 200,000 displaced, an estimated 10,000 or more dead, basic infrastructure failures and the quick depletion of life-sustaining necessities, the situation may get worse. Americans taking in the news can't help but wonder: What if a tsunami hit a city like Seattle? Or New York? Is it possible?

Because the earthquake generated the wave westward, Japan took the brunt of waves cresting over 30 feet in height. History tells us it could have been far worse. The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 generated 80-foot waves, killing nearly 300,000 people. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa was so violent, it produced waves cresting at 130 feet, killing nearly 40,000 people.

But could a doomsday tsunami be generated and hit an American city? The Daily Galaxy reported a wall of water estimated at 1,700 feet high (nearly three times the height of Seattle's Space Needle) slammed into the Alaskan coastline in 1858 when an 8.3 magnitude earthquake occurred along the southern edge of the Aleutian Islands.

National Geographic reports that in 1700, a slippage in the Cascadia Subduction Zone along the Pacific Northwest coast not only generated a tsunami that hit the West Coast, but Japan experienced waves that crested at more than 15 feet as well. And scientists say it will happen again.

However, when the area was hit in 1700, there were small indigenous populations. Now there are more than 4 million people that inhabit just the Seattle metropolitan area. Portland, Ore., just 150 miles south, has a metropolitan area of more than 2 million. Vancouver, British Columbia, to the north, has a comparable population. Like the Miyagi Prefecture where the Japan earthquake and tsunami struck, millions of individuals would not only feel the immediate impact but also the cascading ramifications.

And New York City? Could that city of more than 8 million — more than 19 million metro — be hit by a tsunami?

According to a model put together by Steven Ward and Simon Day in 2001, such an event could occur. Following a landslide generated by volcanic activity in the Canary Islands, a massive displacement could occur that would generate massive tsunami waves across the Atlantic, potentially washing ashore from South America to northern Canada. A worst-case scenario model shows 65- to 75-foot-tall waves hitting the Eastern seaboard of the United States within eight hours.

There are more than a few who wonder whether or not American cities are prepared for such an event. Or could the world see a repeat of Hurricane Katrina — or worse?


Rent Textbooks For College and Save Money

March 7, 2011

Rent textbooks for college and save money. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, if you are a college student, burdened by the tuition most colleges or universities charge, you may want to look into textbook rental. With the current economy, textbook rental options are becoming a very popular way to overcome some of the financial difficulties of receiving a higher education.

The cost of textbooks needed to fulfill your academic requirements are estimated to be 20 percent of the tuition that a standard university charges and about half the price of tuition that a community college charges That is an average of $900 per year! Can you really afford to buy college textbooks at that price? Compare renting textbooks to purchasing textbooks and you will see that the pros to textbook rental far outweigh purchasing textbooks. First, it is cheaper to rent college textbooks. Cheaper because purchasing a textbook will cost you full retail price at most colleges whereas rental will cost you a fraction of the purchase price. There is virtually no reason to worry that the book will not be bought back by the college. Even if they buy it back, you will not get your full purchase price.

A second reason why you should rent textbooks is for the convenience. There are many companies that offer textbook rental services and can be found on the internet. There rental services offer discounted rental prices, free shipping of the textbooks, an online account so you will always be updated as far as the due dates on the textbook and free shipping of the books by you back to the company. Now, with most rental companies of any kind there are limitations to renting and they can pertain to textbook rental as well. One major issue that a rental company is concerned about is damage. If you damage a textbook and return it, you will be charged a damage fee.

Some companies will allow you to highlight text in their books, but if is too excessive, you may get charged with a damage fee. If you return a book past it’s due date you will be charged a late fee. Remember that any rented item is not actually your property and you should follow all terms and conditions of the agreement between you and the rental company. There are options for the students who want to rent college textbooks and save money.

Do your research before you rent textbooks because not all companies offer the same great service. See what other students have said about the different companies. In the long run, if you decide to rent college textbooks, you will save yourself a lot of money! visit http://www.collegebookrenter.com for details on how to save 85%


E Textbooks

March 7, 2011

Meet Celebration, my iPad! by Shai Coggins

check out sell old textbooks for more textbook solutions.

Macro Notes

‘Oil, shmoil, we can overcome’ says the stock market…
Peter Boockvar

‘Oil, shmoil, we can overcome’ says the US and European stock markets as the daily rise in energy prices can’t derail every equity dip being a perceived buy. While the US economy continues to improve, part of the resiliency has to also be the belief that the jump in energy prices is not sustainable but be careful believing that one as commodity prices had been on a relentless run well before Tunisia wanted change. The average gallon of gasoline over the weekend according to AAA did reach $3.51. Moody’s finally got ahead of the curve on a downgrade by lowering…

read more »

Macro Notes

‘Oil, shmoil, we can overcome’ says the stock market…
Peter Boockvar

‘Oil, shmoil, we can overcome’ says the US and European stock markets as the daily rise in energy prices can’t derail every equity dip being a perceived buy. While the US economy continues to improve, part of the resiliency has to also be the belief that the jump in energy prices is not sustainable but be careful believing that one as commodity prices had been on a relentless run well before Tunisia wanted change. The average gallon of gasoline over the weekend according to AAA did reach $3.51. Moody’s finally got ahead of the curve on a downgrade by lowering…

read more »


Today in college News

March 7, 2011

To save money on college bookrenter

Welcome to the future, where scientists can print body parts. No, seriously: researchers at Cornell University have used 3D printing technology to engineer a human ear out of silicone. This should one day soon open the door to the creating functional human body parts using DNA-injected ‘ink.’ The team at the Computational Synthesis Laboratory, led by Hod Lipson, are now testing the printer as a way to crank out synthetic heart valves. Check out the ear being synthesized in the video after the break.

Details of an autonomous University of Wisconsin at Madison have emerged following a controversial bid for the flagship university to split from the UW system.

The New Badger Partnership website, which has tracked the university’s efforts to increase institutional flexibility — especially regarding setting tuition — posted a summary (PDF) of the proposed bill which would rebrand UW-Madison as a public authority, much like the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

According to the summary, the institution would be governed by a 21 member Board of Trustees, 11 of whom would be appointed by Gov. Scott Walker and 10 who would be elected by UW-Madison affiliates. The university chancellor would maintain a non-voting seat.

In addition, all of the institutions assets and liabilities would be transferred to the newly established authority from the UW Board of Regents. The institution would remain public and continue to receive state funding, but as a “block grant”– which would allow the university to allocate public money as it sees fit.

The proposed bill has been denounced by many university officials who fear that the split will play out poorly. In a letter to Walker and UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin, UW System President Kevin Reilly and other officials wrote that “dismantling our public university structure is a consequential public policy decision that affects every UW campus, all 72 UW-Extension county offices, and every family who dreams of seeing their child earn a UW degree.”

Below, watch Wisc-TV Channel3000 interview university students and officials on the possible break, and check out the New Badger Partnership site for more information.

What do you think of an independent UW-Madison? Leave your opinion in the comments section.


Today in college News

February 27, 2011

Cash Money Print :: Bright White by Orange Beautiful

sell used textbooks online

The college search process is a daunting one. There’s a thousand page books by big name publishers touting every school on the planet. There’s websites for every school and every program across the nation. You can sign up to receive enough written information to kill a portion of the rain forest. It’s all so much! How are you supposed to chose which school will be your home for the next four years? The best way to make that decision is be arming yourself with the best information you can. And how can you find that? Very simple: on a campus tour.

Start by compiling a list of schools that, on paper, you already love. These schools may have the program you want or be in a city you like. You can find them through Princeton Review or any other college search engine online. They may include your parents’ Alma Mater or you’re neighbor’s favorite university. Another great resource that counselors won’t tell you about it LiveJournal.com. You can search their communities for one tailored to a specific school. You can post and ask current students questions or just peruse their postings and find out what life is really like there. There’s also a community called Campus Reviews, where current and prospective students document their experiences with specific universities. You can visit http://community.livejournal.com/campusreviews/ to read their experiences.

Once you’ve compiled a list of schools you like, it’s time to investigate them more thoroughly than you could by reading someone else’s review. It’s time to write your own. Take a weekend or two and visit the schools on your list. Most high schools will excuse absences related to college visits, so check with your guidance office. They can also hook you up with alumni from your high school that attend any of the universities you’re looking at. Having a connection is a great way to find out the inside information not only on what it’s like to attend school, but what the transition was like for someone with the same background as you.

The best place to find tour information is the campus website. Visit the admissions office homepage (often listed under “prospective students), to find out information. When you’re investigating, don’t just stop at the tour. If you’re interested in a journalism program, find out if you can meet with a professor or adviser or sit in on a class. The school may even hook you up with a student in your specific field of interest who can better answer your questions. Also check the campus events calendar for the day you’ll be in town. Find out if there’s any big cultural activities or other goings on you can attend. The key to the campus visit is not just to take the tour, but to try as to get as close a picture of student life as possible.

But no matter what, take the standard campus tour. Even if it’s your local state school where you’ve been for high school band concerts and football games your entire life, you should still sign up to wander around with a student. There’s something to be learned from taking the campus sponsored tour. You’ll learn to see the school in a new light, as a student, and you’ll be able to tell if you’ll feel comfortable in that role. When you arrive you won’t just be going to sporting events or staying in a dorm overnight. This will become your home, and you need to know if you can handle that.

It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to ask questions while on the tour. The tour guides are often the most enthusiastic students who can’t wait to tell you everything about XXX State University. They’re dying to answer all the questions you’re dying to ask. Feel free to shout out anything that comes to mind. They’ve probably heard it all before. Some good ones to remember are questions about parking and transportation, meal plans, residence life, Greek activities (if you’re interested), athletics. Ask them how registration works and how easy it is to get into the classes you need. Financial aid is also a big consideration, although this question may have to wait until you get in front of one of the admissions directors. There is life outside of class, after all. Don’t forget, though, that these tour guides are students with real experience, not just the spoon-fed admissions office information. Ask them about their favorite class or their favorite professor. Ask them what the best part about move-in was. Ask them why they chose this school over that school, and what other universities they were considering. This is the information that will give you the best picture of what student life is really like.

When you go on the tour, you’ll need to come prepared with a few tools. Pack a small tote bag with a notebook, several pens, and a camera. The notebook and camera are for those out-and-about times. Take pictures of the gorgeous buildings and interesting students. Take a picture of your tour guide so you’ll remember who is who. And TAKE NOTES. They’ll be valuable later as you try to remember which school offered all freshmen parking and which schools didn’t allow freshmen to bring cars. You’ll also need to make sure to leave room in the tote bag for all the stuff you’ll acquire while visiting, and there will be a lot. From written information in the form of view books, pamphlets, and handouts, to university paraphernalia such as lanyards, mugs, cups, folder, and writing utensils. There’s no end to the promotional materials a university can throw at you, and that last thing you want to do is be juggling everything while tromping around on a two mile tour.

When the tour is over, wander around by yourself for a while. Go sit in the library for a minute and observe the students. Wander through an academic building. Try to eat a meal in the cafeteria. Any and all of these activities will give you a feel as to what it would be like to attend as a student, not just stay on the tour path.

When you’ve returned from your campus visits, sit down with your bag of information: notes, pamphlets, view books, handouts, the works. Start sorting through. Pull information out of the pile from schools you didn’t particularly like. Narrow down the field as best as you can. And while they may seem cliche, pro/con lists are great tools. They help you line up the pluses of one school against another so you can more closely quantify which school is right for you. You may still have a tough decision to make, but at least you’ll be armed with the best possible information. In the end, go with your gut. If you visited a big school with an excellent reputation that every one’s dying to attend but just felt more comfortable at the small liberal arts school, pay attention to that feeling. You’ll have four years to regret your college choice should you make it for the wrong reasons. This is your home, and above all else you want to enjoy being there.


2011 Acadamy Awards

February 27, 2011

Academy Awards - Governors Ball by bloginity

Due to the Writers strike in Hollywood, the People’s Choice Awards have been cancelled. So what does that mean for the Golden Globes and the Oscars?

As of now, the awards shows that are set for January were cancelled. However, there may be an “alternative ceremony” that might take place that will not include a red carpet and the media will not be allowed. This means there will be an end to Hollywood’s fashion parade, and no Joan Rivers. Darn!

It’s been reported that if the Golden Globes do take place, than the writers Guild will picket the red carpet. Many of the actors who are nominated, including “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl, will not cross the picket line and attend the awards ceremony.

The Oscars took a hit when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scenes denied their request to “use certain film clips” for the ceremony. They are also expecting a denial with their request to allow the writers work on the show. According to People.com, this request hasn’t been made yet.

The AMPAS posted a statement on the website by saying that the Writers Guild of America’s decision “affects only the conditions under which we may use material, not our ability to do so.” So what does this mean? If the Oscars want to use those certain clips, they will have to pay for them.

They WGA hasn’t officially said no, but they are prepared for the denial which means that host Jon Stewart is going to be doing a whole lot of improvising, which in fact, could lead to some interesting and entertaining television.

As of last week, the Oscars are slated for an air date of February 24, but if the strike is still going on, it could be an end to the entire 2008 awards seasons, according to an article in Marie Claire

The Hollywood Insider is reporting that the AMPAS have yet to request a waiver for the show, “nor has the Guild told the Academy whether such a request would or wouldn’t be viewed favorable.” The website also stated that the Oscars will go on as planned.

Now its time for bookrenter


Sororities in the News

August 12, 2010

Fraternity Formal 2 by djosvaldo.com

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I'm an Eagle Brother of Alpha Nu Omega Fraternity, Inc. My brothers and I step, so we were excited when we began to see previews of the movie “Stomp the Yard.” Maybe it will be the “School Daze” of our generation. Maybe it will have some hot moves to give us some ideas for our shows.

Judging from the previews, we all assumed that it would be a story about transformation, about brotherhood, and the importance of relying on others. These are things that my organization, and fraternities and sororities as well, hold dear. However, that's not what we got at the movies. What we got was a story about a prideful man that get roped into doing a step show by an organzation who's sole purpose is to win a stepshow.

You might say, “Well, it's just a movie. It's not that big a deal.” Well, I would say that it is. Let's face it, fraternities and sororities already have a bad rap. They are seen as exclusive gangs that only like to party and gratify themselves. Especially when it comes to the historically black organizations, the movie did nothing more but to further cement negative stereotypes about greek life.

Yes, people are hazed in white fraternities, black sororites, green ones, blue ones, oranges ones (I have to state that Alpha Nu Omega, Inc is a non-hazing organization and our purpose is to present Christ). It's common knowledge. If you think back in the movie, there are a lot of things you wouldn't realize unless you yourself have been through a process or around people that have pledged. For example, when DeeJay went to the library to study and he sat down slowly. You know what that meant; DeeJay was paddled. Now, thank God I didn't have to go through that with my organization. But I know people that did. That's a bad thing all around, and there's nothing you can say to excuse such actions.

Think of the profound effect such a movie could have. Maybe I feel that way because I work heavily in media, but this movie sends a horrible message about fraterities. According to this movie, true brotherhood can only be entered into by way of abuse and suffering. And even that brotherhood is shaky because you really are only working together for a shallow goal. This movies says that all fraternities do is step, stroll, and try to show each other up. That's not true. Brotherhood is about trust, love, and committment.

question of the day: What can be done to repair the images of Fraternity/Sorority Life? If I get good responses, I'll do another article about it.


Fraternity living

August 11, 2010

Alpha Delta Pi Sorority Pins by lady_elsinore

The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity started in 1906 with seven African American men, now called the “seven jewels,” who were students at Cornell University. The now hundred-year old Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity began with the following founding fathers: Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy.

These students found that people of color needed to support each other at Cornell University in 1906, and help fight racial injustices that were prevelent at that time. In 1905, there had been only six minority students enrolled at Cornell University; in 1906 none of them returned the following year as a result of racial injustice and inequalities. In 1906, knowing they would face many hardships and difficulties as they struggled to get a quality education during this harsh time of racial prejudices, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, and legal discrimination, the seven new minority students banded together in 1906 to form a study group and support each other at the otherwise all-white school. This was the core groups that became Alpha Phi Alpha and founded the organization.

Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and many other influential African American leaders became members of Alpha Phi Alpha over the years, and these men later argued cases before the Supreme Court, became Supreme Court justices, and Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was the seminal civil rights leader in the 1960s. Thurgood Marshall was the primary counsel that argued before the United States Supreme Court in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that eliminated legal segregation in public schooling; within a few years he was nominated to the Supreme Court itself, the first African American men ever nominated to and placed on the court. Other members also stood at the forefront of equal rights movements, and wanted to change the way the world treated minority people, to change laws allowing discrimination, and to make a better world for all people of color. Civil rights leaders achieved great success in the 1950s and 1960s, and Alpha Phi Alpha helped to promote many of these men in terms of character and strength.

Alpha Phi Alpha's rich history, with their pledge to stop racial injustices, provided a foundation and a support center for these men and their movements that helped drive and inspire people to fight for equality. Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity should take great pride in the sacrifices that the great men before them made, and examine the struggles of members before them that brought Alpha Phi Alpha to its current prominence as a strong African American fraternity with a solid, achievement-based history and ongoing tradition of excellence and brotherhood.

Alpha Phi Alpha is and has always been devoted to academic excellence, good character, fellowship, humanity and helping to correct social injustices faced by minorities in the United States. Its beginnings at ivy league Cornell are testimony to the strength and intelligence of the founding fathers, and their legacy lives on.

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