Students or employees?

Former Northwestern Quarterback Kain Colter throws the ball in a game last season. Colter supports the unionization attempt and is proud of what his team has accomplished. Photo taken from www.chicagonow.com.

Former Northwestern Quarterback Kain Colter throws the ball in a game last season. Colter supports the unionization attempt and is proud of what his team has accomplished. Photo taken from http://www.chicagonow.com.

As a Chicago-native, the National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to unionize Northwestern University’s scholarship football players piqued my interest more than it may have piqued others’. After a Board official ruled that the players were employees last month, the team voted Friday, April 25.

 

Northwestern officials strongly oppose the formation of a union and many players feel as if they would be betraying the University if they approved the proposition. Others, however, feel that unionizing would eliminate sports-related medical bills and losing scholarships to injuries.

 

Although it is not expected to pass, union supporters are glad Northwestern has broken the ice for potential schools to follow.

 

Almost the moment the story was broken, I immediately began to hear opinions regarding the proposal. These comments came from friends who attend the University, political pundits, and my family. While part of me does not want to accept a reality in which college students are literally paid to go to school, I understand some aspects of the union argument. I believe that a form of guaranteed insurance for all players, rather than unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, and a portion of the sports department’s revenue, would be a better option.

 

Like many modern controversial ideas, the debate will likely fall down party lines, but I think all Americans will agree that college players deserve to be kept healthy before all else.

“Let’s (not) take a selfie”

With Ellen’s historic Twitter-crashing image, President Obama and Vice President Biden’s most recent snapshot, and even Pope Francis getting in on the action, there is no question that 2014 has become the year of the selfie. Galvanized by the invention of front-facing smartphone cameras, the “selfie” has gained a dominant presence on almost all forms of social media.

President Obama and Vice President Biden, Pope Francis, and Ellen DeGeneres accompanied by a host of other celebrities have all joined in on the selfie trend. Each of the above pictures is sure to have earned thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of favorites, likes, and retweets, promoting the self-indulgent nature of the selfie. Photos taken from nbcnews.com, entertainment.time.com, and philly.com.

President Obama and Vice President Biden, Pope Francis, and Ellen DeGeneres accompanied by a host of other celebrities have all joined in on the selfie trend. Each of the above pictures is sure to have earned thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of favorites, likes, and retweets, promoting the self-indulgent nature of the selfie. Photos taken from nbcnews.com, entertainment.time.com, and philly.com.

 

Whether the subject is simply frustrated while studying for an exam or participating in #selfiesunday on Instagram, a selfie seems appropriate in just about every situation. In fact, it has become so prevalent, that Bryant University in Rhode Island has had to issue a statement banning graduates from snapping a picture while accepting their diplomas.

 

In my opinion, the advent of the selfie directly correlates with the growing narcissism, which stems from posting pictures on social media. According to data from Samsung, selfies make up one-third of all photographs taken by people aged 18-24, 36% of these are admittedly altered, and 14% are digitally enhanced. These pictures are posted simply to garner the greatest number of likes, favorites, or praising comments on social media sites.

 

While I admit I have taken my fair share of selfies, I do not approve of the mindset they are promoting in young adults. They are increasing the imagined need for approval by as many Facebook “friends” as possible, which, in turn, is creating a generation of adults with low self-esteem.

 

I believe that other organizations, businesses, and financial institutions should follow Bryant University’s lead in this situation and prohibit the next poor quality, open-mouthed photo shared on the Internet.

Greek week fling offers groupings a chance to shine

In Greek Week’s final week, the groupings showcase their acting, dancing, and singing abilities at Jesse Hall Auditorium in their Fling performances. Tonight at 6 P.M., five groupings will display their theme, a movie with an abnormal genre, in a 15 minute skit. Lucie Williams, a fifth-year Senior at the University and Director of Fling and Finance for Greek Week stated,

“I think it [Fling] is an event that really showcases all the varied talents in the Greek community. [Last night,] it was cool to see the different groupings come in ready to go and work really hard on stage.”

 

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Greek Week Director of Fling and Finance Lucie Williams assigns roles to other members of Greek Week SteerCo before the second night of Fling performances Tues., April 15, in Jesse Hall Auditorium. Williams expected the performance, which began at 6 P.M., to run as seamlessly as the previous night.

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Fling performances are held in Jesse Hall auditorium April 14 through 16.

Cut

Former University of Missouri wide receiver, Dorial Green-Bechkam, was dismissed from the team Monday following a statement released by head coach Gary Pinkel. Green-Beckham has no plan as of yet for what to do prior to his dismissal.

Former University of Missouri wide receiver, Dorial Green-Bechkam, was dismissed from the team Monday following a statement released by head coach Gary Pinkel. Green-Beckham has no plan as of yet for what to do prior to his dismissal. Photo taken from http://www.cbssports.com

Not only professional athletes, actors, and singers have been facing situations which involve potential criminal charges in recent news. Unfortunately, former University of Missouri football player Dorial Green-Beckham was suspended indefinitely from the team Monday and dismissed Friday, after police arrived to a Columbia apartment complex, which had reported Green-Beckham forcing his way into a woman’s apartment and pushing her down several stairs. This was not the college player’s first brush with the law as he was arrested in January for marijuana possession. The temporarily grounded rising star plans to attend counseling during his break from the Tigers.

 

When asked to release a statement regarding his dismissal, Green-Beckham declared that he was “young and dumb.”

 

This worrisome trend of college-level athletes having multiple run-ins with the law should send a message to universities nationwide. The centers for higher education should take more care to ensure that their athletes are aware of their occupation. Each and every incident that involves a player breaking the law tarnishes that specific player’s reputation as well as that of their alma mater and even the reputation of the institution as a whole.

 

“Young and dumb” cannot be permitted as an excuse for athletes such as DGB when small children previously admired him as an accessible public figure.

The Evolution of Spring Break

When I was younger, Spring Break was always a time to escape from school, relax, and gear up for the end of the semester. Most of my breaks consisted of my family and I traveling down to Florida to either visit my grandparents’ condo or spend several days in Disney World. However, after I entered college, I realized that Spring Break no longer seemed like a time to rejuvenate and spend time with family, but instead, consisted of hordes of students caravanning down south to party for a week straight.

 

While I do not judge what anyone decides to do with his or her time and I do plan on spending at least one Spring Break with my sorority sisters, it is extremely interesting to me how drastic the contrast is between high school and college breaks.

 

College students on Spring Break enjoy a concert on the beach in Cancun, Mexico. Every year, thousands of students descend on popular tropical destinations for a week-long party on the beach. Photo taken from http://www.studentcity.com.

College students on Spring Break enjoy a concert on the beach in Cancun, Mexico. Every year, thousands of students descend on popular tropical destinations for a week-long party on the beach. Photo taken from http://www.studentcity.com.

The influx of students to Florida, Alabama, Texas, and even Mexico has led some popular destinations to enforce strict rules to curb wild behavior. Although some parents believe my generation is the most immoral yet, warm weather locations like Fort Lauderdale, Florida, cracked down on Spring Breakers in the late 1980s. More recently, Cancun, Mexico began requiring students to sign a code of conduct upon entering the country.

 

I see nothing wrong with students wanting to let loose after a demanding first half of the semester, but I believe more locations should consider following Cancun’s example to prevent potentially dangerous situations that occur when thousands of college students descend on a beach.