Headlines and Summaries

LSGA discusses upcoming events
Headline: LSGA in charge of campus promotion and funding

To Inform: The Lindenwood Student Government Association helps promote activities from all organizations and clubs on campus. It focuses on communication between organizations and other students. The LSGA also serves an important role in the funds of each club.

To Entice: The Lindenwood Student Government Association is not based on the typical high school elections. However, popularity and communication are an important part of the LSGA’s agenda.

Shirts hang high
Headline: Shirts expose the truth on domestic violence

To Inform: Events such as a speech by Jackson Katz and a t-shirt display emphasizing the victims of domestic abuse were part of the Domestic Violence week that occurred here on campus.

To Entice: The Domestic Violence week sponsored on campus had a special guest. Former student Amanda Cates, 26, is only one of the infinite women that died because of domestic abuse.

Workshops focus on tools for media literacy
Headline: Media literacy vital to 21st century classroom

To Inform: Jill Falk, assistant professor in communications, stresses the need for all students to become media savvy. Workshops are now an addition to learning and redistributing the effects of media. Its incorporation into the classroom is only the first step in educating media consumers.

To Entice: Media literacy not only means consuming media. “Understanding media is important…how they make money and how advertisers manipulate you.” The 21st century classroom holds the answers to consuming media the smart way.

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Studying Abroad Not Very Popular for US; other countries leading the way in numbers

As I walk into the cafeteria, I hear a group of students speaking in German. When I walk out, I find that the group has been replaced by Japanese students. I walk into the Connection and all I hear is French. I take the elevator to the third floor, walk towards the mailroom, and am bombarded with several distinct accents of the Spanish language. I walk out and find the Brazilians in an excited conversation about the latest soccer game. And this has is the routine of one’s day here on campus.

I’m sure the question everyone wants to know is: how many languages are spoken on campus? However, the real question is: why are there so many international students in the United States?

The benefits of studying abroad are obvious. Vistawide provides ten reasons for students to experience education in a country not one’s own. Out of these 10, eight focus on the overall experience and the benefits of a new environment. Studying abroad brings challenges and students that are able to excel in this distinct atmosphere, gain much more than a degree.

However, this degree is much more than a certificate verifying the completion of a four-year education. “The value of an American degree is much more than a degree from my native country.” International students admit that an American degree, almost ANY American degree, looks better on a resume than a university from home.

The degree may be more valuable, but is the education? Education systems vary from school district to school district. My belief is that education varies from country to country as well (that’s a bit obvious, but bear with me).

A friend of mine studied in Madrid for a semester. In that semester, she traveled to incredible places, improved her Spanish accent, and became accustomed to a new diet and atmosphere. She wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Yet, only 4 percent of American students ever take the opportunity to study abroad, whether it is a month, semester, or four years. Compare that to the 94,563 students from India that came to the US in the year 07-08. In total, 623,805 students made their way from countries all over the globe to study at American colleges and universities during the 07-08 academic year.

What’s missing? Or rather, what isn’t missing? Security is a great incentive. Staying at home is much safer than traveling the world, no matter how magnificent it may be. After all, who wants to see the Egyptian pyramids or the Eiffel Tower? I guess traveling is overrated. I wonder when the same will happen to education.

Laziness or Safety Precaution

Every time I walk into a restroom, I realize that I am surrounded by items that are automatic. The soap is automatically dispensed, just as the hand dryer automatically starts, when hands are placed underneath. The same is true of the faucet; if there are no hands underneath it, it will not give any water. And finally, the toilet flushes—sometimes even before it should—without having pressed a single button.

Don’t get me wrong, the censors are admirable technology. But how far has this automatic technology gone? Does it stem from mere laziness? Or is it attributed to safety and hygiene and maybe even environmentally green precautions?

Automatic dispensers serve two essential purposes: (1) to protect individuals from bacteria and potential diseases that lurk on restroom surfaces and (2) to monitor the amount of resources that are used (particularly water).

In the case of automatic toilets, one more purpose can be added: to make sure all toilets are flushed when people forget to flush it themselves. This is important because when surveyed, 77 percent of people said that the overall appearance of cleanliness supports positive sanitation practices.

The question is, how much of these resources are we actually saving? For example, the toilet flushes once when the individual stands up. Then, when we open the door it flushes again. An individual could have flushed it himself once and saved the water that was wasted in the second flush. Also, automatic dispensers for soap and hand towels are ridiculous. One can place his or her hands underneath the dispenser a million times and the machine isn’t going to monitor if it’s the same person or not.

Now, in the quest for a safe and environmentally friendly restroom, the next step is obvious: automatic toilet paper dispensers. The product from Kimberly-Clark is promoted as being able to decrease toilet paper use by up to 20 percent. A similar product is demonstrated below.

The reasons behind these innovations lie in studies and statistics. In fact, only about two-thirds of people that claim they wash their hands when using a public restroom actually do it. Even more frightening are the big numbers. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 40 million Americans get sick from hand-borne bacteria each year and 80,000 people die.”

These numbers obviously get your attention. Fear of disease is powerful. However, this is making us absolute freaks. Use some common sense. That’s the best way to stay healthy. Automatic dispensers have nothing to do with it. As for conserving our resources, well, machines shouldn’t have to tell us how to do that. We should be conscious enough to take this into consideration, in and out of the restroom.

Single Meal Plan Inconvenient for Students

Dining ServicesEach week, students have a chance to enter the cafeteria only three times a day, excluding weekends when we can only enter twice. Each week, we have only 19 meals given to us. If we swipe our ID card more than once during the same meal, we aren’t allowed to eat. If we forget our ID, we are left without a meal for as long as it takes to purchase a new one.

The majority of universities have meal plans that students purchase depending on their particular needs. A great portion of these universities have approximately four or five different meal plans. These meal plans provide the number of meals per week each student can consume. Although some may be quite costly in comparison to meals here, there is always the factor of convenience present.

These meal plans are more convenient for students because they allow the students to decide when they want to eat as well as the number of times they want to eat in one day or one week. There are very few wasted meals at these universities unlike the meals wasted here. Students who do not eat breakfast are primary examples of this squander. That amounts to five unconsumed meals a week, and approximately 75 meals a semester.

Even more inconvenient for students is the fact that we can only enter the cafeteria once during the specified hours of each meal. However, what about the students who want to grab lunch from the cafeteria and then pick up a grab and go for later because they won’t have time to eat dinner in the cafeteria? They have no other option than find a way to get to the cafeteria before it closes or spend money off-campus.

These restrictions for students are ludicrous. We can’t work our schedules around the cafeteria simply to save money. We have other obligations. Other universities know this; why doesn’t Lindenwood take this into account? When will meal plans be an option?

Now this is convenience:

Low Graduation Rates a Problem

Like several college students, I plan on graduating in four years. I want to finish my studies as soon as possible. I would think most students would have the same goal in mind, considering paying college tuition is expensive, not to mention the rest of the inevitable college expenses. On top of that, students don’t have the means to adequately support themselves—we can’t work 40 hours a week and those that do kill themselves to stay awake in class and finish their assignments.

Despite all these obstacles, there are those students that find college life appealing, or so I would think after learning that only 40 percent of students at LU graduate in six years. If I stayed in school for six years, my parents would kill me and they don’t even pay my tuition.

graduation
Negatively evaluating this statistic, one could say that students simply don’t want to leave college life behind. Though stress is constant in this environment, it is not as rigid and demanding as a full-time job. Besides that, partying is a constant factor in a student’s life. There is never a dull moment; being away from home empowers some to exaggerate. Students spend an enormous amount of time with friends and focusing one’s time on activities other than attending classes and studying.

There are several other factors that students may spend more than four years in college though, some that are in the student’s control and others not so much. Approximately 37 percent of undergraduate students from UCDavis responded that they took longer than four years to graduate because they added a minor or a second major. Other reasons included required courses not being offered when the students needed them as well as 25 percent answering they could not take more than 15 units because they worked.

Although these may be legitimate reasons for which a student doesn’t graduate in four years, they imply that they graduate a semester or two late. That still does not account for the 60 percent of the student population that doesn’t graduate in six years. Why the education system seems to retain students for so long is still baffling. Even stranger is how students can afford to spend so much time in college. Is it worth it? This generation believes so, or at least that’s what it’s demonstrating.

LU Int’l Students not improving English Language Skills

Because Lindenwood University has a large percentage of international students, they are a significant group of the student population. They are pursuing a degree in a country where the language spoken is not their native tongue, the culture is not familiar, and the people behave differently. These distinctions, though at times welcoming because it is indeed unknown and mysterious, can be overwhelming to deal with at times.

hello different languages If this is happening to college students that do not have to adapt to a new environment, then what is happening to students that must endure great changes?

In LU’s case, the answer is simple. International students find comfort in surrounding themselves with other students that speak the same native language. The majority of international students here believe that they can relate better to the people with the same culture and language. The goal of studying and improving a language they are still becoming familiar with takes a backseat to the reassurance of finding common ground with their fellow countrymen.

There are 24 hours in a day, six to eight of which are spent sleeping, two to three of which are spent eating, and three to four that are spent in class listening to a lecture. That leaves roughly about nine to 13 hours available to orally interact with other students.

I am Mexican-American and am bilingual. I spend maybe two to three hours interacting (this includes both listening and speaking) English in one day. For other internationals, the number may reach four to five depending on the number of students that speak their native language in their classes.

According to Antonio Graceffo, author of the article “Activating your foreign language” published on www.foreignpolicyjournal.com, states that the key behind learning a foreign language is to listen, read, and study that language several hours a day.

If international students fail to interact with American students, their proficiency in the English language will not progress and the purpose of studying and earning a degree in an American university is fruitless.The following video focuses on the benefits of an American degree abroad.

Recycling on LU Campus

recycling_logoEssays or long assignments are due in class and approximately half the class is late. The half sitting in the classroom has freshly-printed assignments, while the other half is waiting in line by the printers outside the computer lab of the Spellmann Center.

Even though there are four accessible printers, there are three problems. One is usually printing at a slow rate because somebody has decided to print several PowerPoint presentations; therefore that one will not be available for at least another five minutes.

By the time the PowerPoint presentations have printed, the second one has already printed the same assignment a couple of times; the person waiting for the PowerPoint presentations got frustrated believing the assignment would never print, so the individual returned to the computer and resent the assignment as many times as he wanted.

And, my favorite, the third one simply has no paper.
The line, therefore, is for the last working and available printer.

I admit it. I steal paper from the computer lab. There are boxes on the counter in front of the printers is usually paper that has been printed on. However, the person that sent the content to the printer decided he no longer needed it and left it in one of the boxes.

I steal that one-sided paper to take notes on. That means I have an assortment of papers that don’t make sense if I mix them up. Nevertheless, I feel better about myself writing on that blank side when knowing the alternative (using a whole new sheet and leaving the printed sheets in the computer lab boxes where I don’t know what will happen to them ). When I no longer need those notes, I recycle the paper.

The Campus YMCA has implemented recycling bins on campus. Campus dorms now have a box for plastic bottles and paper as well. Butler Library also has a bin for paper. Calvert Rogers and Butler Library are currently collecting paper and plastic bottles as well as cardboard and aluminum. Be aware of these occurrences. Conserve our resources. Recycle.

I’m glad I’m not the only one concerned about the environment. We’re saving the world, one homework assignment, or essay, at a time.