Booze-Soaked Santas

Sho Wills wrote an article for CNN titled, “Booze-Soaked Santas Have Some New Yorkers Seeing Red.” The article is about Santacon which is an annual Christmas-themed bar crawl through hundreds of cities worldwide. New York City is the city that is discussed in the article because it has been a reoccurring event since 1997. Although some New Yorkers don’t particularly care for Santacon, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “It’s what makes New York New York, there has been some rowdy activity by a small handful of people.” Over the years Santacon has gotten a little out of hand but the event’s organizers were quoted in the article saying, “With a little elbow-grease from the elves, a little patience from the community, and just a pinch of holiday magic, Santacon can spread joy.”

Being someone that has attended Santacon in New York City I agree that although it may get a little out of hand at some points throughout the day, it is a really happy and cheerful way to kickstart the holiday season. Some people just get a little too carried away with public intoxication but those people usually get stopped by the NYPD and face consequences for their rowdy behavior. If you tried to cancel Santacon, the people of New York would still gather in the city dressed as santas, elves, and other holiday-themed characters.

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School Shooter

Ana Cabrera, Chelsea J. Carter and Tom Watkins wrote an article for CNN titled, “Dead Colorado School Shooter Wanted ‘Revenge’ on Faculty Member.” The article talks about a student who opened fire inside a Denver high school after having a confrontation or disagreement with a faculty member. The shooter, Karl Halverson Pierson, was said to be seeking revenge on the particular faculty member and he shot one student before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life. A janitor form the high school was quoted in the article saying, “It just looked weird, he went in and I heard two pops. That’s when I knew. I said, ‘They are shooting in the school.”

The amount of school shootings that have been occurring recently is disgusting. Just because someone has a confrontation or disagreement with another student or with a faculty member does not give them the right to bring a gun into the school and begin shooting. There are many other ways that an altercation can be resolved; peoples lives don’t need to be taken to solve a problem.

Social Media

Kaitlyn Klein wrote an article for the UDK called “Social Media Stamp Affects Employment, Admission.” The article talks about how many employers and colleges are starting to “google” peoples names who are interviewing for job positions or an acceptance to their University. Many employers and universities are beginning to google peoples names because they want to make sure the person is someone they want working for them or attending their school. The article gives the readers many different tips on how to improve their social networking pages in positive ways so if someone does google them, they find positive things rather than negative ones. Erin Worlfram, an assistant director of the university career center, was quoted in the article saying, “I would like to assume most students would rather get the job, than post an inappropriately funny photo.”

I think this article is extremely useful especially to college students and students applying to colleges. Recent college and high school graduates should know how to use their social media sites to help them in their future rather than hurt them. Michael Thronbrugh was quoted in the article saying, “I feel like it’s a good thing because what you post to other people out there should be viewed that people you would work with.”  

Giving Tuesday

Cody Kuiper wrote an article for the UDK titled “#GivingTuesday Initiative Promotes Charity.” The article explains what Giving Tuesday is and the reason why it was created. Cody describes Giving Tuesday in the article as “a movement created by the United Nations foundation to create a national day promoting charitable activities and donations, similar to how Cyber Monday promotes online shopping sales.” Giving Tuesday takes place the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving  and had an extremely successful debut in 2012. The University of Kansas took part in this event because they wanted to emphasize the importance of giving back to the community. Joshua Lamont, a senior director of communications for the UN foundation was quoted in the article saying, “this time of year is about giving, and not just in the gift wrap sense, but in the charitable sense. Giving Tuesday is a way for people and nonprofits to connect to a bigger movement and inspire supporters to donate and give.”

I think Giving Tuesday is an incredible idea especially this time of year because if people donated the amount of money to charities as they spent at shopping centers during Black Friday and online shopping websites on Cyber Monday, charities would acquire thousands of dollars. Thanksgiving is a time where most people reflect on what they have and to “give thanks” for the things and people in their lives and I find it funny that so many people participate in such events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday after spending a night with their family being thankful for things that they already have.

It Can Wait

Jennifer Slava wrote an article for the UDK titled “Lawrence Mayor Declares ‘No Texting While Driving Day’.” The article talks about the reasons why Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever declared September 19th as “No Texting While Driving–It Can Wait Day.” By doing this, he wants residents in Lawrence to take the “It Can Wait” pledge which is an AT&T initiative to prevent people from texting and driving. The article quoted the proclamation “A driver who sends a text message while driving not only jeopardizes his or her safety, but also the safety of passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.”

Although I sometimes text and drive, I feel like promoting the “It Can Wait” pledge in Lawrence is a great idea. According to AT&T’s website, “each pledge made to never text while driving is a symbol of commitment to be a part of a movement that helps everyone make safe choices with their wireless devices on the road.” In my opinion, texting and driving is almost as bad as driving while intoxicated and should be taken more seriously by people, especially teenagers.

Rate my Professor

Jenna Jakowatz wrote an article for the UDK titled “Rate My Professors Helps Students Choose the Right Class.” The article describes the popular website http://www.ratemyprofessor.com and how it allows students from multiple universities to type in the name of any professor for any class and get other students opinions on him or her. The article said “Rate my Professor boasts it is the “highest trafficked site for quickly researching and rating 1.7 million professors from colleges and universities around the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.”

I use Rate my Professor every semester before I enroll for classes and although I have never posted anything about professors that I’ve had, I know some people who have contributed to the ratings and comments of multiple professors. I feel as though this website is helpful to the many students who use it because it helps them enroll in classes that other students have ranked as helpful with professors who were ranked very well.

Are Cellphones a Distraction?

Harrison Davis wrote an article in the UDK titled “Students Admit Cellphones Distract in Class.” The article is about a survey that was conducted in 2012 by Bernard McCoy after realizing that many students were more interested in their cellphones than they were in the class lecture. The survey concluded that over 86% of students text in class, 68% admitted to being on social medial while class was in session, and over a fourth of students that were surveyed admitted that it hindered their learning and class performance.

We’re in college not high school so if students want to pay thousands of dollars to sit in a lecture hall and text they should be allowed to. Granted, it is extremely disrespectful to the professor and the students that may be surrounding them but it is entirely up to the student if they want to waste their tuition instead of benefiting from it.

Drunk Driving

Jessica Tierney wrote an article for the UDK called “New Drunk Driving Laws Take Effect.” The article talks about the new drunk driving laws that have been implemented in Kansas. The article describes the law and the consequences someone will receive if they refuse to take a breathalyzer test. Defense attorney Jay Norton was said, “what this new legislation would like to do is add thousands of more people to the county jail system at a cost of $2 million and congest the court system.” The article also explains the severity of drunk driving and how it is considered as such a serious offense in the state of Kansas. 

I don’t think it’s wrong to charge someone $1,750 for refusing to take a breathalyzer test because there’s no reason that someone should be drunk driving. There are many different ways someone can get home from a night of drinking without having to get behind the wheel of a car. People who do drunk drive, and get caught for it, should deal with the consequences because they are putting their lives, as well as other peoples lives in danger. 

MySuccess

Marshall Schmidt wrote an article for the UDK titled “MySuccess Program Tries to Personalize the Classroom Experience.” Marshall explains how some teaching assistants and professors at the University of Kansas are starting to utilize a new program in the classroom called MySuccess. The program is described throughout the article and many different students from the University gave their feedback on MySuccess and whether or not they think the University should continue to use it. Andrea Samz-Pustol is a teaching assistant here at the University of Kansas and she was quoted in the article saying, “MySuccess is an early warning system for students who are struggling to be alerted, it’s like the ‘check engine’ light  of their academic car.”

Personally, I think the MySuccess program is an extremely useful tool if students actually sign up and use in the classes that it’s offered for. Students will be able to keep track of their grades and know if they are failing or doing well because the program sends out e-mail alerts from the professor. Amy Carlisle said, “I had been forgetting to do online quizzes and now I am reminded to do them.”

Sleeping Pills

“Sleep Medications Are on the Rise Across Campus” is an article in the UDK that was written by Elly Grimm. The article talks about how many students are starting to turn to sleeping pills so they get enough rest when dealing with odd schedules, taking medications that may contain stimulants, and depression from stressful studying. Loree Cordova, a physician at Watkins Memorial Health Center was quoted in the article saying, “I think a lot of times college students are interested in a quick fix for insomnia, because when you actually have time to sleep you really need to sleep because your days are so busy and you have so much to do that a lot of times you can’t sleep.” She also states, in the article, that it’s best to avoid sleeping medication because it can negatively affect students in the classroom, at home or at work.

I don’t think that students should take any type of sleeping medication unless it is prescribed to them by their physician. A lot of college students want a quick fix for their problems, such as lack of sleep, and they are willing to take pills that they aren’t prescribed and they usually don’t consider the harmful side effects. The sleeping medications that were described in the article were said to be habit-forming and Dr. Cordova said they should be used very rarely.