News

Read blogs in our news category to find the latest news that interest college students.

How to Improve Your Political Efficacy

As 2016 gets nearer and the presidential election looms closer, it is more and more important for voters to be informed. For many college students, it is the first time that they will be able to vote in a presidential election. It is thus very important to be informed to make sure that you are voting for the candidate who reflects your views and who you believe will do the best job. Here are some ways to become more informed about politics on the main stage.

Join A College Political Group

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Most colleges have political groups for many different interests. These offer an opportunity to talk with like-minded individuals, increase political knowledge, and attend political events and speeches that many others would not have the chance to. These groups can have varying levels of involvement so check before joining or do a trial to make sure it is right for you.

Figure out your Own Stances

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Spend time reading over each topic in the internet or watching on television in order to figure out what you believe and your personal views on topics. Often your view may change slightly after reading more information and learning more about the topics.

Learn the Candidates’ Stances

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Charisma is an important trait, but most elections come down to stances. In order to figure out who you want to vote for, you should take a look at each politician’s stances on issues that are important to you. This can help separate out the candidates that you would like to be president from those who you think would be wrong.

Attend Political Speeches and Debates

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It is much easier for college students to gain access to political speeches and debates. Try to gain access through school affiliations first of as it may be the cheapest and easiest way to get in. However, events that are not affiliated with schools also tend to allow students to attend, sometimes for a small entrance fee.

Net Neutrality- Open Internet Approved

Net Neutrality RegulationsThe Federal Communications Commission approved the policy of net neutrality for open access to the Internet.  It was a 3-2 vote. Internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, and among others can now be regulated by the Federal Government to abide by new net neutrality rules. These rules would require all legal content to be treated equally by these providers.

“The Internet is the most powerful and persuasive platform on the planet.  It’s simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

With net neutrality, Internet service providers cannot favor or block certain websites.  Net neutrality means open Internet and allows for small business and start-ups to advertise their services with a fair playing field.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Not sure you really understand it? Read What is net neutrality and what does it do for me? on www.USAToday.com.

President Obama Proposes Free Community College

Free Community College

President Obama announced his proposal for community college to be free for two years for responsible students. “Higher education should not be a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s an American issue,” Obama said. If the plan becomes fully implemented in the future, full-time community college students would save an average of $3,800 per year. Students would be eligible for free tuition if they attend the community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make progress toward their degree, according to White House officials. Obama’s proposal could benefit up about 9 million students across the nation, each year. The federal government would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college and participating states would be expected to contribute the rest. “Students who started at community college during those two years and then go on to a four year institution, they essentially get half of their bachelors degree free,” Obama said, “It can be a game changer.” The White House stated that this plan would cost $60 billion over a span of 10 years. President Obama pitched his plan during his speech at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn.

For more information, visit here.

Sony Pulls “The Interview”

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Sony Pictures cancelled the Christmas day release of the controversial movie, “The Interview” amid recent hacker’s cyber attacks and threats.
In response, Sony pictures made this statement: “In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to the show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, or of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatergoers.”
The comedy, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is a about a fictional plot for two journalists to kill the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.   In recent weeks, Sony Pictures has been the targeted by hackers, in which private emails from executives and other important documents were leaked to the public. There has been speculation that North Korea was responsible for the hacks as a form of retaliation for “The Interview.”
There are currently no plans to even release the movie on DVD or video on demand. Movie posters and billboard for the “The Interview” have been taken down all over Hollywood and Los Angeles immediately. Sony has come under criticism from Hollywood for this decision. Actor Rob Lowe said, “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them.”

Campus Activism – Demonstration and Action

It is time to talk about campus activism. On November the 25th, the announcement was made that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, would not be indicted. College students across the country spared no time in displaying their vexation as there have been no shortage of protests, sit-ins and walkouts. Students have taken to the quad with their hands up and have gathered inside and in front of administration buildings. Others have stiffly laid down on the ground of student activity centers while student leaders have taken to any available podium to deliver fiery soliloquies on the value of black lives. It appears the spirit of activism is alive on the college campus once again.

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While this generation has the Ferguson Decision to rally around, campus activism is nothing new. The 1960’s saw numerous protests in opposition to the Vietnam War while the late 2000’s saw student disapproval to the War in Iraq. While campus activism doesn’t necessarily have to be focused on worldwide or national issues (tuition increases always seem to spark at least a petition), this writer distinctly remembers the activities that took place on his campus in regards to Hurricane Katrina.

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In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina literally tore apart New Orleans. The issue that led Kanye West to declare that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” however, was the government’s lackluster response to the tragedy. As the Interfraternity Council president, I was part of a collation designed to provide aid to evacuees. These efforts started out wonderfully with a front page article in the September 13th, 2005 edition of the campus newspaper. 14 days later, the efforts all but stopped as the headline “Student Participation in Relief Efforts For Katrina Victims, Lower Than Group Expected” replaced the words of activism and calls to action that graced the cover just two weeks earlier. While attending rallies and providing sound bites were easy enough, campus interest began wane once the time for action came. By October there more effort was given to selecting Halloween costumes than participating in food drives.

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In no way is this article suggesting that demonstrations are frivolous. On the contrary, demonstrations are an extremely important tool in the process of “change”, as they are key for bringing attention to a situation. A student may not be aware of the fact that tuition is increasing until he passes by a group of protestors on the way to the student activity center and reads their signs or their leaflets. With social media being so engrained in our lives, many students become aware of issues online. However, while Twitter may be the new CNN, students must not let college activism die after 140 characters.

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While demonstration is important, it is only the first step. The real change comes once the TV and newspaper cameras have been shut off. If demonstration is where change begins, then action is where change happens. Now that you have the masses behind your cause, what action will you take to make real change? In the current Ferguson issue, there is a plethora of action that one can initiate. Perhaps action is working with local law enforcement to host a campus workshop where students can learn their rights and proper procedure when interacting with officers. Maybe action is you and your brothers or sisters volunteering as a peer mentors for younger students on the high school and middle school level. Then again, action could take the form of you and your dorm mates creating or participating in existing after-school activities to provide a safe environment for younger students to seek refuge in. Or perhaps action looks like something completely different than all of this. The point is, while demonstration serves as a great reactionary response, it is action that will continue to spread the message past the first 14 days and will ultimately lead to the change which one seeks.