Practice Post

This project will employ the methods researchers refer to as field work; that is, the world around you is your field of study and the information you can take in first-hand, rather than by reading others’ ideas about that information, is your source material.

Specifically, field researchers rely on observations*, interviews, and surveys to develop an understanding about a topic, culture, or phenomenon, then formulate arguments based on what they’ve learned, which are expressed through a variety of written, verbal, and visual means. Because we do not have the time or resources during the course of this project to conduct statistically significant surveys, your field research will consist of observations* and interviews. Surveys will not be used in this project.

*Important note: “Observation” doesn’t mean something you happened to notice one day. It means that you went to a field site, spent a significant amount of time there, taking notes and learning about that field site, and most likely revisited that site at least once. In order to be considered valid research for this project, your observations must be conducted in this manner.

Your topic and focus will be up to you, but your project will go something like this:

1. Look around. (I suspect the best projects will deal with stuff on campus, since you’ll have access to your field site ongoingly.) Identify an issue or situation that raises questions for you along the lines of, “Why is xxxxx done this way? Is there a better way?” Or “What are we doing to solve this obvious problem/change this problematic practice?” Do not, under any circumstance, choose a project wherein you think you already know the answers to your questions. It is an absolute requirement that you formulate an argument AFTER you learn about the topic through your research, not before.

2. Schedule a specific time and place where you can observe your issue or situation taking place/existing. If you plan to conduct multiple observations, your initial one may be as short as an hour, but one hour total will not be sufficient for your field observations overall.

3. Conduct your first observation. Take loads of notes, pictures, video, whatever you have the means to collect and feel will be useful. Overdo it. Lots of photos may come in handy. Photos and videos collected using your cellphone or other sub-professional means will do fine. The point here is not technical perfection but great content.

4. Figure out who you can talk to about the issue or situation. You’re conducting research at a university, so you have lots of potential experts on hand. Likewise, if you’re researching an issue specific to this campus, you should find the administrator responsible for that area and attempt to schedule an interview with his or her office. And remember, people who’ve experienced something relevant to your assignment first-hand—witnesses—can be a valuable kind of expert, too. Conduct your interviews with professionalism, using the methods we discuss in class and that you read about in BallPoint. Audio or videotape interviews if subjects will permit you to do so.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as useful.

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Tradition, Reform, and Society (Final)

Today’s society is struggling maintaining tradition. As we move forward as a whole, some people want to grasp onto traditions while others want to let go. While there will always be two side to every argument, over time, people will switch sides, shifting the balance to one side or another.

 

Michael: As time moves forward, it becomes more apparent the public is taking a more liberal view over its previous conservative outlook.  As the the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X get older, so does the Millennial generation.  If one looks at political candidates and their campaigning strategy in the past few elections, they are starting to notice a large portion of Millennials are starting to vote at a younger age.  Because of this, political candidates must not only focus on Generation X and the Baby Boomers, but now they must also appeal to Millennials.  The Millennial generation is taking a more liberal stance overall, which makes it hard for conservative candidates to get a leg up in the race unless they add semi-liberal ideas to their platforms.

 

Zane: As of 2013, 56% of American adults and 57% of registered voters support gay marriage. Only 36% of both groups opposed. When you look at the age of adults in the United States in 2013, you see that 65% of adults, 18-29, support same-sex marriage and out of adults ages 65 +, only 39% supported gay marriage. As a millennial, I support gay marriage and see the growing number of young individuals supporting gay marriage, as a sign towards a less traditional stance and more towards a liberal one. You can see that as the demographic gets younger, the number of individuals that support gay marriage increase.

 

Hannah: Tradition is a confusing concept; some people believe certain aspects of society are tradition, while others disagree. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, tradition is a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by people. The idea of tradition is a grey area. There is no specific fine line, such as something must have happened for five years to be classified as a tradition. This creates much conflict about the idea of tradition, because it is such a vague concept. This generates an issue when traditions become an argument or important topic in debates such as rights of citizens (which typically happens in such disputes). One tradition that has become the forefront of legal battle in the past few years is the topic of gay marriage. Traditionally, marriage was to be only between a man and a woman. This concept is based off biblical views, which in Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination. This idea was and has been carried on through many generations, and is still present in the world today.  Many consider this a tradition and believe it to be an important part of today’s society. I think that with this topic, along with many others, it is important to understand the background and the past, whether it is considered tradition or not. Gay marriage is just one puzzling and complicated debate in which the world is moving away from traditions. Some push for this change in abandoning and moving away from tradition, while others hold on strong to the past and believe it should shape the present-day world.

 

Michael: A good point to touch on is how some conservative voters want the reform to be presented. Certain conservatives do want gay couples to have equal rights; they just do not want to use the two words “gay marriage.” Instead, they would like to opt for something along the lines of “civil union.” The reason this is being touched upon is because, going back to tradition and the bible, it states that, “marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman.” So, in essence, if you believe in the bible and nothing else, there can’t even be such a thing as gay marriage. This is why some people are pushing for the wording “civil union” instead. Honestly, in my opinion, I don’t see what the big deal is about calling it something different. As long as the civil unions have the same, equal, unaltered rights as marriages, I don’t see what the issue is. This equally satisfies both the gays’ requests for equal rights and the conservatives’ request to respect marriage as the covenant that it is. I think that people who wouldn’t be fine with this agreement and do want it to be titled gay marriage and not civil union are just stubborn and trying to step on people’s toes. They have equal rights across the board, they just aren’t named the same thing. Who cares?

 

Zane: Less conservative individuals would be happy if same sex marriage would just drop marriage and call it civil union or domestic partnership. More conservative people find the act of same-sex relationships as disgusting and unnatural. These people tend to be more stubborn and hate mongers all together. They believe that the traditions they were taught are the end all be all of the discussion. It is very hard, and in most cases impossible, to change the opinions of such people. Regardless of those who see gay marriage as “unnatural”, in my opinion, gay marriage is going to be allowed in all of the United States. It is also important to point out that those who are stubborn to be purely stubborn for all extensive purposes, won’t be swayed.

 

Hannah: It is also important to look at the people at the other end of the debate who are too stubborn to accept civil unions instead of marriages. Even if civil unions do exist as a compromise between those who agree with same sex marriage and those who do not, many people are not satisfied with this. People in support of gay rights may say that this is not completely fair. The idea of gay rights and of other people fighting for rights is that they are the same as other citizens. This is one of the main ideas that gay advocates fight for, to be considered the same even if they may be different. Creating civil unions instead of marriages gives homosexuals the ability to marry but does not make them the same as heterosexuals. Many advocates feel as though they are still being treated differently and that this is unjust. An example of this might be people going into a grocery store and getting a specific cereal. Every person who was a homosexual could only get the off-brand cereal when they came in. In contrast, every time a heterosexual came in, they would have to get the specific brand cereal, such as Rice Krispies. Assuming they both are exactly the same, this example is similar to civil unions and marriages. They are technically the same thing but are under another name. To many, it still may not seem fair that homosexuals have to have the off brand cereal, the civil union. I believe that these people have every reason to not be accepting of civil unions. It is not fair that gay people cannot be legally married and have to settle for some subpar form of a marriage. This discrimination is not only seen in prohibiting marriage, but also in other forms.

 

Zane: Since the formation of the Boy Scouts of America, there has been a ban on allowing homosexual scouts and scout leaders from joining the organization. On May 23, 2013, the national governing body of the BSA, voted to remove the ban on homosexual scouts from the organization. This will go into full effect January 1, 2014. Even though this is a step in the right direction, scout leaders are still denied membership from the organization. I believe that in due time the BSA will eventually allow all gay members into their ranks. For instances an Ohio mother Jennifer Tyrrell, was removed from being a Cub Scout leader because she was gay. She served as a den leader for her son for more than a year and was suddenly ousted because she was gay. It sounds a bit ridiculous to me, but cases like this have happened all over the United States. Scouts and parents from the troop are protesting against the BSA’s stance on homosexuals and protested outside of the local BSA chapter. A petition is being signed to allow Jennifer back into her son’s troop. Though action to try and stop discrimination within the BSA has been taken, nobody knows how long it will take the BSA to change their discriminative policies, but I believe change will come soon.

 

Michael: I think that’s absolutely insane to exclude someone from something like the Boy Scouts. That is something that every boy should have an opportunity to be involved in. Even scout leaders. What if a gay father wants to be a leader in his son’s pack? This is something that a straight father would have no problem doing, but because of the sexual  orientation of another boy’s father, he is not able. It blows my mind how prejudiced some organizations can be, especially one as big as the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Hannah: It is very interesting and somewhat alarming at how prejudice people are against homosexuals. This is very similar to women’s rights many years ago. This is another group fighting for their rights, and like any debate, there were and still are people very against this idea. It may seem unbelievable but yes, there still are people who opposes some of the rights women have been given. Traditionally, many people believed that men were superior and that they were supposed to run the government, work, and support their family. If we look into the past, most leaders have been males but as the years go on, more women have appeared in higher-ranking positions. We even had a woman attempt to run for president, the highest-ranking individual in the United States. Many years ago it seemed as though this would be impossible. In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John, who was attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia asking that he and all the other men (who were at work on the Declaration of Independence) to “remember the ladies.” John found this humorous and referenced that the Declaration stated “all men are created equal.” This is an example of how far we have come in women’s rights and there are many other events on the women’s suffrage timeline. In today’s society women have many rights they did not have before, such as the right to vote. This involved much debate and many people fighting for the cause, similar to gay rights. But as with any argument and fight for rights, there were many people against the idea who sought the “traditions” of the past. I think that in today’s society many women are still discriminated against. There have been many great things that have happened for women this year, such as the Title IX games being aired on ESPN. Along with these great advances, comes downfalls.  Such as women still continually being exaggeratedly photoshopped and being used in sexy commercials to sell products. Although we have been continually moving forward, there are still setbacks and it is important to continually fight for this equality.

 

Zane: It is common in the media to portray men as super masculine, strong, and violent individuals. This macho man image has become a major reason why violence has become a prevalent part of American  society. The men are supposed to be the protectors of women. They are supposed to be the breadwinner in their home and the head of the family. These are all common traits that many males, not only the United States, but around the world think they should have in order to be considered a “real man.” If a man in seen as being flamboyant in anyway or takes on a role that is normally associated with females, he is called a fag, queer, etc. If a man is seen as weak and feeble , he is called a  bitch, pussy, etc. We live in a society where being a macho man is the end all be all of what an ideal man should be. The reality is that this concept has made many men a statistic of violence. It is true that a lot of this violence is aimed at women, be it domestic or even rape, but the overwhelming victim to this outcome is mostly other men. When males have the idea of masculinity that is often portrayed in the media and society in general, they feel like they have something to prove. This often results in an act of violence. This violence can take many different forms and affect many different people. This common identity of masculinity often makes men feel like they are the protectors of tradition and the “American way of life.” This often leads to a misguided hatred to anything alien to the United States be it beliefs or ideology; or people in general, such as illegal immigrants.

 

Michael: A big question that was on everyone’s mind while Barack Obama was campaigning was: “what will be  done about immigration?” This is a very shifty topic as people that are already citizens tend to change their minds often. Whereas non-citizens would like to gain citizenship or not be deported. “While key tactical decisions are still being made, President Obama wants a catch-all bill that would also bolster border security measures,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Cabinet secretaries are preparing to make the case for how changes in immigration laws could benefit businesses, education, healthcare and public safety.” I think even if Obama’s attempts at immigration reform don’t succeed they will help Democrats next time around because people will remember that they were the ones that sent the bill through and not the Republicans.

 

Michael: Another major issue involving traditional values that has plagued today’s society is the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. Marijuana was originally  made illegal for the first time in California because of it’s use by Mexican farm hands. Utah shortly followed after Mormons brought some back from Mexico. Soon, the whole nation outlawed marijuana. Today, it is becoming more widely accepted, both as a medical device as well as a recreational item. Twenty years ago, if you would’ve gone around saying marijuana was going to be legalized, I’m sure you would get some crazy looks and doubts. Who would’ve known it would ever be legalized, and for recreational use at that.

 

Zane: When thinking about the amount of people who have gone to jail for marijuana possession, it’s disgusting. I mean when arrests for marijuana possession exceeds violent crime arrests, you know something isn’t right. We are arresting people for
having weed on their person and we are taking up the time of law enforcement that
could be spending their time going after real criminals. We have offenders in
prison because they were selling marijuana. We neither have the resources,
time, and space to put these kind of people away. They aren’t criminals and I
think it is time for the federal government to understand that. We have real
criminals who deserve our full attention and resources so that we can put them
behind bars. I still believe there should be restrictions on when and where a
person can use marijuana. For instance, a person who is under the influence of
marijuana should not be allowed to drive a vehicle. Obviously combining a
hallucinogen with driving  is extremely dangerous and puts everyone at
risk. That being said, doing marijuana in the safety and comfort of your own home
should be allowed. As long as nobody is put in immediate danger then this
should be allowed. I think that it’s stupid that so many people are forced into
criminal activity just because they want to get high get high. I believe that one day all states
will recognize how stupid it is to make marijuana use against the law. Having to
enforce the law on marijuana is not only a hassle, but a waste of time for
police and users alike. We all have more important things to deal with.

 

Hannah: It is very obvious that as the world changes and evolves, some traditions must be left behind. It is a confusing line between what is tradition and what is not, which further complicates many debates. People will continually fight for their rights and in opposition, people will stand strong to what are assumed to be traditions. I believe that in order for the world to continually move forward and improve, traditions are going to have to be broken. Michelle Obama was quoted in 2008 saying “…we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move to a different place as a nation.” This can be true of many aspects of our nation, but is very prevalent in all the topics we have covered. In order to progress our nation forward, traditions must be altered or changed. As more debates arise, there will continually be people standing behind what they believe to be tradition. It is important that when standing behind these traditions, we realize what traditions are truly important and which ones may not be able to withstand the test of time.

 

Michael: The world is changing every day as we know it, and politicians as well as everyone else in society is struggling to keep up. Unfortunately, some people aren’t as susceptible to change as others and wish to stick to their guns about their traditions, and not change their mind at all. These are the types of people slowing down progress in our nation and these are the types of people holding us back. Sure, not all change is good, but we can never know if a decision like the ones discussed in this article are good or bad unless we just go for it and try it. It’s not like we can’t just make it illegal again if things go south. Look at alcohol prohibition. It was legal, illegal, and then legal again. I think the nation as a whole needs to just have a more open mind towards new things so that everyone in the U.S. can experience what change is and how much of a positive outlook it can have.

 

Zane: As the world changes so do our traditions. We are constantly trying to revise those “old world” believes that we see as unfair, or just plain stupid. We try to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of our parents, and our children will do the same to us. Whether the change from tradition is good or bad, that’s a matter of opinion. I believe that the world is changing for the better, but the change is coming slow. People are reluctant to get rid of the old ways. Many people find comfort in their traditions and it makes the transaction much harder. Regardless of if you agree with the changes that are happening, they are happening. They will continue to happen and all we can do is try our best to do what we think is right. There may be many people who disagree with you, but when you see an injustice being done; you act by reform and hope that you truly are making the world a better place for everyone to live in.

Facebook is Losing Its Popularity (Final)

Thom: Facebook is the go-to social media source for teenagers and adults. While it began as a network for Harvard students, the website has played host to non-students and teenagers for years now. Throughout my teenage years and into adulthood, I have always used Facebook to keep up with old friends and look at pictures that all my Facebook friends posted. In middle school and high school, everyone had a Facebook. This included friends, other teenagers, parents, teachers, and pretty much everyone with internet access. In my first years of college, Facebook was still a valuable tool for looking up new friends, residence hall mates, and fellow classmates. But in the modern day, this social media is fundamentally changing.

 

People like myself and younger are the target audience of Facebook; teenagers and young adults. This audience on a free website is a goldmine for advertising, which Facebook has taken advantage of. However, there is evidence that this target audience is leaving Facebook for other forms of social media. Does this mean that Facebook could someday be replaced as the dominant form of social media?

 

Molly: Before Facebook became popular, there was Myspace.  Myspace was very similar to Facebook as you could also have a profile and keep tabs on all of your friends and what they were doing.  However, they had several different attributes that were unique.  This difference was what allowed Myspace to be popular for many years. During these years,  Facebook was being created and word of it was slowly spreading.

 

For a long time, facebook only allowed users with an .edu email. It was made specifically for college students. However when Facebook increased the age range of people allowed on their site, everyone flocked from Myspace to Facebook.  In the long run, Myspace failed to update their company to keep up with the times. Keeping your profile updated and using the other functions became tedious and boring.  Facebook was new and more convenient. Myspace went from the top social media to the very bottom.

 

I believe Facebook is on track with Myspace and has already replaced as the dominant form of social media. Facebook has lost millions of users each month. Although they are trying to innovate their site, there are so many businesses and adults on Facebook that I believe it’s driving the younger generations away.  Teenagers and younger adults want to connect with those their own age.  Some even move to other social media sites but still keep their facebook to keep in contact with their family members.  People are always looking for something new and with technology today, there are several new social media sites that are just starting out.  I believe people are going out in search of a new social media.

 

Thom: I definitely agree that there are several new social media sites that might replace Facebook. This is partially because Facebook has largely had a teenage/young adult following. But nowadays, parents and grandparents have Facebook too. Most young adults want to share their social life via Facebook, but find that challenging when their mothers might see pictures of their weekend escapades, or a chatty grandmother comments on some of their statuses. These older relatives often do not have Twitter, however. Older folks are just as sparse on Instagram too. For teenagers, these newer social media websites without parents are a haven to post their social media without fear of repercussion or embarrassment from their guardians.

Also, a growing number of underage children using social media further emphasizes the avoidance of parental supervision. According to many recent studies, children under the intended age range of social media often lie about their age to use such sites anyway. Most social media websites are limited to 13 years old and above. As with every generation, the younger children want to be like the older teenagers and use the same things they do. It is very easy to lie to a computer about one’s true age, so more than 80% of children lie about their age in order to use social media. On Facebook, this presents a problem for the underaged. Because many of their parents and relatives have Facebook, it is easier to get “caught” on Facebook than other social media. Facebook also suggests friends based on a number of factors, including surname. A parent might easily find their 10 year old daughter, posing as a 13 year old and with a relationship status set to “it’s complicated”, because Facebook suggested them as a friend. The underaged, however, can avoid this by using services such as Instagram and Twitter, where it is unlikely their parents will see their profiles and posts.

 

Molly:  Not only do these young adults have to hide these things from their family but also from potential employers.  Facebook’s privacy settings not only are complicated but they do not hide everything.  It’s easy for anyone to search a person and see that picture from weekend escapades or a post using foul language. Employers can see this as immature and can cost the person a job.

 

Several times, I have seen complain about their job on Facebook and Twitter.  What is different though, is that chances are, the company the person works for has a Facebook page.  Liking the page, or saying you work there, allows that page to easily see your statues.  The Facebook profile allows you to put such things like the company you work at, where you live, and what school you go to.  So when a person looks at your profile and sees you profanity or breaking the law, they get an image of the company you work at.

 

Other social medias,such as Twitter, have simple setting where someone can hide all of their posts from those who they didn’t give permission to.  Because of this, it’s kind of easy to see why people are starting to migrate towards other social medias.

 

Thom: As a student who will enter the career field soon, I too believe that Facebook can be a hindrance to finding quality employment. I, and many of my peers, have taken countermeasures to prevent Facebook from tarnishing our image in the professional world. Besides the obvious approach of not posting anything risky on Facebook, there are other ways of making your social media more appealing to the professional world. Take for example the professional-suited LinkedIn. This website allows users to post a profile picture (usually a professional headshot), a resume, career-related skills, and references. Not only are potential employers allowed to view my LinkedIn account, I actually want them to look at it.  I have pictures of myself performing many desired skills relevant to my field for potential employers to browse, a list of skills along with approval from the professors I learned from, and my full resume available for download. Many other young professionals exist on LinkedIn, allowing users like myself to create a network to make finding potential employers easier. For these reasons, it is no surprise that LinkedIn’s use is rising among professionals to seek employers, and among companies to seek employees. Young people like myself who are soon to enter the professional world often invest more time in LinkedIn than networks like Facebook.

I think another reason why Facebook is losing way to social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram is portability. When Facebook got “big” and began to replace MySpace, most people did not have smartphones as we know them today. While it is true that Facebook has an app for every cellular platform, the concept of the website is simply not well suited for smartphones. The Facebook app is less than spectacular for fast entertainment, looking at profiles, and looking through photo albums. The app more or less show status updates from friends, through a clunky and confusing filter. Twitter is much more adept at showing these quick status updates from friends and celebrities. Instagram is much better at showing quick glimpses of friends’ photos, again succeeding Facebook.

Molly:  I agree that that is a big reason why people do not spend much time on facebook.  People on their way to work or in between classes or school just want to look very quickly at what is going on in the lives of their friends.  Facebook’s new newsfeed is cluttered with rather trivial knowledge.  Someone wants to know if a friend got married or is having a child, not that they commented on their other friend’s picture of a cat.

It’s also cluttered with different ads for pages and companies.  In this article, it describes how facebook has updated the newsfeed to help spread information of businesses to users.  Since Facebook has recently become a public company instead of a private one, they have increased the ads on their site.  This gives them a higher profit which helps in the stock market.

Facebook has also started to copy other social medias.  Using such things like the hashtag, that was first introduced by Twitter, Facebook seems to be trying to change to modern times but by replicated what other’s have done.  Not only are the hashtags unoriginal, they do not seem to have a purpose.  Unlike Myspace, Facebook is changing but instead of being unique like Myspace was, Facebook appears to be following the in crowd.  As time goes on, I believe Facebook will become very unpopular and just like Myspace, will no longer be used as a common social media.

 

Thom: Just because it is losing popularity, I do not believe Facebook will entirely go the way of MySpace. When MySpace began to fade out, there was a direct alternative (Facebook) which did everything better and replaced it entirely. Facebook today does not have the same problem. The social media website is still used by millions to stay connected with friends and see what is going on in their social circles. Some of its popularity is waning among teenage groups that want instant gratification on a mobile platform, along with privacy from prying parental eyes, but that does not mean Facebook is second-best at what it is meant to do. The website is meant to find friends, stay connected with people you may not see regularly anymore, and keep track of events like birthdays and weddings. Instagram and Twitter, for all their convenience, are not as accomplished for these purposes. Adults are more interested in staying connected with old friends than teenagers, who are still in the process of making friends. Thus, Facebook will remain best at what it is designed for and likely have an older audience than it once did, but will not fade from the public eye like Myspace.

Facebook is losing its way to other social networks in many aspects. I think it will remain the dominant social media for awhile though, even if it is among an older crowd than it originally targeted. Even though other outlets are more convenient in a smartphone world, people will probably continue to use their home computers for social networking as well. In the home computer social network, Facebook is the best option. While it may decline in popularity, Facebook will be used as a way to find friends and reconnect for years.

Sports Talk- Ryan Knuckles, Nick Vallier

Ryan:

There are many differences between a professional athlete and your regular average Joe. Of course a lot of these differences have to do with athletic ability, money and things of that nature. One aspect of being an athlete at the professional level that sometimes gets overlooked is the team aspect of things. When an athlete gets drafted onto a team that team becomes his family, and there are a lot of things that teammates do behind closed doors that the public doesn’t get to see. What I mean by this is that when the cameras are turned off professional athletes do things that might not seem normal to everyone else, but it is normal to them. This includes things like pranks, jokes, and one thing that I am going to focus on and that’s dialogue. Teammates in general talk to each other different than they talk to everyone else. I know this because I have been apart of many teams and have had many experiences where I say things to my teammates that I would never say to my parents or even my other friends. There are certain bonds you make with teammates that are not made with anyone else.

Nick:

The way people talk to one another varies between who the person is talking to. If a person is talking to a teacher or an employer (most of the time) or an elder of theirs, they may talk really formal and not joke around as much. But when it comes to people talking to their friends, well this is a whole new story, they may use nothing but slang talk. I played sports all growing up from when I was roughly 4 years old to when I was 19 years old so I witnessed joking, and “shit-talking” amongst friends of mine everyday. When you see a buddy of your’s or a teammate you may greet them, most of the time, by saying things like “what’s up p****” or “what up B****”. This was just common, at least for me, while growing up and it still is today. I still walk up to my friends and say hello this way, it is just what is normal now. If you are not someone who talks like this around your friends or even ever you may be alarmed by what you are hearing.

 Ryan:

This also changes when you are with the same teammates for a long period of time. When you are first put onto a team that has been together for a long time it is going to take a while for you to be on the same “level” socially as the rest of the members of the team. They might have inside jokes or situations have happened to them that you were not apart of so you are not incorporated into the team moral the same way as the guy that has been on the team for a few years. That is the beauty of a team and team moral though, newcomers are immersed into a family that is going to take them under their wing and make them one of their own. Soon the new teammate will feel equal to everyone else on the team. This concept of everyone being equal on a team is something that plays out in the dialogue of the team. A newcomer to the team will likely be the butt of the jokes and pranks and things like that. Sometimes this can get out of hand and a teammate could take exception to the way he/she is being treated. This can lead to many problems especially when it comes to the professional level because if these situations get leaked to the press people get in trouble.

Nick:

In recent sporting news, Richie Incognito, a guard for the Miami Dolphins, was accused of harassing a teammate of his, Jonathan Martin. The reports show that Incognito called him a N*****. Now I personally do not know if he was purposely harassing his teammate in a mean bullying kind of way or not, but based off what I have experience all my life through sports, I do not believe Richie was calling Martin names in a non-friendly way. What I believe happened is Incognito was just basically saying “what’s up” to Martin and someone heard Richie call him a N*****, and they blew the story out of proportion. I do not believe Martin was offended by the comment nor do I believe Incognito said it out of hatred.

 Ryan:

Team pranks and the way they talk to each other is something that people that are not apart of that team will not understand. This is when professional teams get into trouble because the media gets ahold of something that one teammate said to another and it turns into a nationwide issue of respect. Even though these teammates might call each other names on a consistent basis as soon as a person outside of the team gets involved the situation get blown way out of proportion. Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins got into serious trouble for calling a fellow lineman the N word on a voicemail he left at his house. Now this seems bad and all that a person would do that, but the thing is if Jonathan Martin the other lineman would not have gone to the media about this it would not have been a big deal. There are many examples of how Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito felt about each other and it was not negative at all. This whole thing turned into a big deal because instead Jonathan telling Richie to knock it off he told the media and now Richie is out of a job. The thing is situations like this happen all the time in professional sports people say mean things, but in a joking way and if the get taken out of context and just shown to everyone at home it seems very repulsive and mean. It is just like talking to your best friend and calling him a pussy for not doing something, if you take it out of context and other people hear that it sounds awful, but you two know that it is a joke and you do not think twice about it.

Nick:

This example of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin is an example of how the media and public can take a story and make it bigger than it truly is. I do believe this sort of behavior is wrong, although it is common among friends and teammates. Yes this sort of talk should stop being a commonality between friends and teammates but the media also needs to know that Richie was not doing this out of hatred toward Martin.

 Ryan:

This is a situation where there were legal allegations and actions taken immediately to get rid of this problem. Sometimes there are things that happen within a team that cannot be taken care of right away. These types of things are usually like when two teammates do not get along well together, but have to play together because the team needs them. This happened with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. These two teammates were instrumental in the Lakers success in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, but the two could not stand each other. Once again this is a terrible thing, but it was taken way out of context when Shaq kept talking to the press to stir things up. If this issue was just resolved in the locker room were everyone understands what is going on this would not have been such a big deal. Now the two are friends and have no problems with each other. This is just another example of how locker room chat can be blown way out of proportion if the media or anyone else on the outside gets involved.

Nick:

The Shaq and Kobe example is another prime example of how things get taken way out of proportion. When these two teammates were playing together the public got the impression that the two of them were not at all friends but instead enemies that just had to play on the same basketball team. Yes it is also true that they talked some shit about one another to the media, which obviously made it seems as though they were not pals. But who’s to say they weren’t just doing this to get attention and after all they were maybe best friends. I think this is definitely a possibility because now, years later, they are just fine with each other. If the media would not have blown this whole situation way out of proportion then it would have “cooled” off early and nobody would have ever though of them as enemies. That is just a possibility though. The way the two talked about each other to the press was pretty dirty, but this was all from some talk the press heard from the locker room so they wanted to explore the situation a bit further.

Ryan:

There are many things that can go wrong when dealing with locker room chatter. No matter if the media hears something and runs with it, or maybe a player goes to the media to out another teammate it all sounds worse once dialogue behind closed doors becomes public. There is no possible way other than if you were apart of the team that anyone could fully understand exactly what is going on in the locker room behind closed doors. The media tries to do their best in getting an idea of what the players are thinking and talking about, but that will never tell the full story.  Locker room talk and gimmicks should be left there, in the locker room, not brought out to the public by media or professional athletes. Nothing good comes out of making something public that was meant to be kept private. There is also nothing good that comes out of a player outing another player through media those issues should be resolved behind closed doors because no one, but the players and coaches around that team, will be able to understand what is going on.

Nick:

What goes on in locker rooms is between the team and the organization itself. The fact that the media thinks they have to go in and stir up some drama between two players. Lets say a player has a bad game and another player expresses this to that teammate but in kind of a constructive criticism kind of way and the media hears about it and takes it way out of context. I am sure this happens all the time. Nobody truly knows what is said or at least meant by what is said in a locker room unless you are a part of this team or organization. The press/media likes to take these kinds of stories and expand them into something that is totally not needed and they make the public think there is something seriously wrong when in the end it is really nothing. The media can also ruin a player’s career or life by what they blow out of context. I believe the Incognito thing is not what they make it to be but because they have blow the situation out of proportion, Richie is catching some hell from it.

Who has access to our social media accounts?

Tonilee: In a world with instant access to the World Wide Web and knowledge about what the person sitting next to you is doing, we see social media as both a blessing and a curse. Instant communication and the opportunity to express our views can be great things, but when we use them inappropriately we may find that it can affect us both in school and/or in our careers. Because of laws, or the lack thereof, employers and school administration can exercise the right to ask for our social media account information.

According to an article by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), some employers and public colleges and universities are asking employees and students to “turn over” their account information for social media sites. While some employers can argue that it is necessary to protect their trade secrets, financial information, and other information, many see this as a major invasion of privacy. There are now laws being put into place all over the country regarding these privacy restrictions and/or grants, but none of the states seem to agree.

Employers use social media often to do more than protect their company’s private information. They use it to check out future and current employees and make judgments about them based on statuses and photos they post. The same goes for students, whose eligibility for school or sports teams may depend on their social media usage. The questions we need to consider are Who has access to our social media accounts? and Where do we draw the line?

Aaron: When you apply to a college or a job it is important for that organization to know what kind of person you are.  The New York Times reports that numerous small universities now use social media to “scout” their applicants that are applying to the school.  Schools need to know that you will fit in with their environment and their current students.  They want diversity but also need stability.  This has also become very common for employers to have their human resource people use social media to gain more familiarity on the applicant.  These future employees need to mesh with the current employees and the management.  There have been many instances where these departments have found that the applicants are very different from what was on their application.

There are also a large number of instances where people have lied on the application and the HR person has found this out while probing them.  Many people feel that this is an invasion of privacy.  I see that it is important for organizations to use this because an interview or an application is not always enough.  You cannot find out enough about a person to make a good judgement decision from just an application and an interview.  These decisions are to important to not take advantage of every piece of information.  This is even more true when you consider that people now often lie about the qualifications that they may or may not have.  It is important for these people to try to find the truth.

Tonilee: Although interviews may not be enough to know a person, and a lot of dishonesty can be hidden through them, that is where the need for personal references come in. When applying for a job, a reference should provide that outside source from either someone the interviewee has previously worked for or someone else who knows the interviewee personally. While, yes, there is a potential for bias within this, it provides a deeper look into his life without invading his privacy by going through every message he has ever sent on Facebook, every post on Twitter, or looking at every stupid picture he has ever taken with his friends. These all say something about a person, but does it all speak directly to how a person will perform at the job they are interviewing for? Do spelling errors on a social media profile really indicate that someone would be incompetent and unable to be professional in a job where he never has to write out a word? As much as I cringe at the incorrect usage of “there,” “they’re” and “their,” I still have faith that a person who writes these things incorrectly online could be great at his job.

While I do agree that as the age of non-existing privacy continues and worsens that people need to be more careful about what they post, I also think that everyone makes stupid choices and deserves some grace. Like the two Famous Dave’s employees and Taco Bell’s contest gone wrong, there are many people who make mistakes using social media in regards to their workplace. It is important to have consequences for your actions, and I firmly believe that stupid choices need punishment to help establish to the doer the stupidity of his actions, but should we go as far as to take away a person’s job that potentially provides for him and maybe others in his family because of one stupid choice? The punishment seems a little harsh.

Aaron: The problem is it is not usually spelling errors and minor things that these Human Resource departments are finding on social media.  There are an increasing number of people that are posting pictures of themselves drinking (even underage kids), doing illegal drugs, or even posting things of a sexual nature.  Recently Facebook changed their privacy settings so that more people will be able to view things that you post or comment on.  There is no way to stop this unless you undo these settings.

These setting changes are letting more institutions and HR people view your profile without you knowing it.  While grammar errors were still a reason for them to reconsider the applicant (which I see a little extreme) the highest percentages, which can be found in the previous article, for reconsideration was illegal drug use 83%, sexual post 71%, and profanity at 65%.

If I was running a business I want to make sure I am hiring someone that will represent my business in the best way.  I do not want someone that could be taking pictures of himself, doing illegal activities or putting other things on social media that I don’t consider proper.  What if this person was wearing a company shirt or some other item that might show that the person works for your company?  Imagine the negative publicity that would bring to your company.  It would be bad for business and bad for you.  I would not want to risk my reputation or all the time and money I put into my business for it to go all away with a bad employee on social media.

I understand sometimes when you are hanging out with friends you sometimes do stupid things and post things you should not.  Things like this happen that is why it is important to make sure that you do a “spring cleaning” on your social media profiles. It is important to do this several times throughout the year but even more important when applying for anything that might use social media to check you out.  Some people have even taken down their social media profiles during these processes. Then once you have been hired/accepted you can put your profile back up.  I have noticed more and more older college kids doing this with there social media sites.

Tonilee: When thinking about “spring cleaning” and taking down social media profiles, I wonder how much of the items actually go away for good. Although mistakes happen, I think we need to start educating people to avoid certain things on social media all together because, as pointed out in an article that provides tips for students who are using social media, “your online reputation can live forever.”  Making wise decisions about what we include in our social media profiles to begin with can avoid the need for “spring cleaning” and deletion as well as embarrassment or trouble later on in life.

Once a picture is online it most likely never can truly be private again, and it also can spread like wild fire. One teacher took a picture to teach her students internet safety and how quickly photos can spread, but they learned an even greater lesson when the picture got passed around and edited inappropriately by others.

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Once something is out there that people can use, it is a free-for-all. People can manipulate it and turn it into something that it was never meant to be. If it isn’t manipulated, an inappropriate picture can still come back to haunt you even if you deleted it.

The issue to address may be more of the need for education and prevention rather than cleaning and deletion.

Aaron: I agree in going forward it is critical that we instill in people how to properly use social media.  Almost all professional sporting leagues now have all of their incoming rookies take a class to teach them the importance of properly using social media.  But I feel like this is too late and is only the smallest percentage of people.  I think that this should at least be taught in college and maybe even in high school when it all really begins.

You may have noticed many college players have started to get in trouble over the past few years for tweets they have been sending out.  No one is more known than, Heisman trophy winner, Johnny Football, who has been under much controversial the past several months. He has sent out many controversial tweets and was later forced to delete them. There are several players that have just completely deleted their accounts because they were scared about saying something wrong.

I think that high schools should teach a mandatory class on the suitable use of social media.  This would be good because it would teach a lot of people about the magnitudes of a single post.  But then again I sense that many students would not pay attention to this.  It really comes down to self-responsibility and often times people think that a single tweet/post really will not have that big of an impact.  They do not take the time to think about after a few shares/retweets the number can quickly grow to thousands.

Tonilee: Having classes on proper use of social media would be beneficial in any arena, but when children are starting to use social media at younger and younger ages we see the need to start education even earlier. Research has shown that many children between the ages of 11 and 15 lie about their ages on social media. A child may indicate that he is 18 years old without any need or means for verification. Shouldn’t we start educating children about social media, how others can access their information, and the consequences that can come from improper use of it?

Some argue that we should monitor children’s use of social media. While this may be appropriate at times, I believe that education may prevent the need for the invasion of privacy and monitoring. There are stories of children committing suicide from cyber-bulling, and other students indicating on social media that they are going to end their lives. There is now technology that schools can use to track certain key words on social media in order to prevent cases like these and possibly even save a student’s life. CNN asks the question, “Does monitoring social media violate student privacy?” Maybe it does, but saving a life is saving a life. So it all goes back to the question of where we should draw the line. Should parents monitor their own child’s social media accounts? Should schools? The government? To what extent? Should no one monitor them?

As with everything, there is a cost to monitoring social media. As easy as it seems to just watch over and protect everyone, (disregarding privacy rights,) there is also a very high cost to doing so. Many school districts and universities can’t afford to have each one of their student’s social media accounts monitored, nor can businesses constantly track their employees’ online behavior due to the extreme costs of hiring companies to do this or buying the technology to do so. Government tracking costs money as well, and the money has to come from somewhere. If online safety has a cost, what does this say about the cost of our privacy? Are we going to have to start paying for people who monitor us and then pay again to get our privacy back?

Aaron: We live in a society where people will post very in depth information about their lives and then will complain about not having any privacy.  It is time for us to say that we no longer have the privacy that other generations had.  It is something we will never be able to enjoy.  According to Peter Cashmore, CEO of Mashable a widespread blog writes on CNN that Today privacy is dead and social media is the one holding the gun.  Flickr photos are public for everyone,  On Twitter you will very rarely see anyone with a private account, and Facebook is pushing more and more to public post.  There is even a company making a camera for someone to wear around their neck to capture the person’s whole live.

Whether we like it or not, we do not get the luxury of privacy.  It is now the social norm to share more personal information with a larger group of people online, according to the found of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.  These changes have just happened in the last five years.  When Facebook was first created people asked why would I want a website and share information on it. Today you would be considered a caveman if you did not have some type of a social media account.

It is not just regular people violating other people’s privacy nowadays.  Recently people found out that the United States was spying on American citizens and even on major political leaders around the world, with the NSA program.

We now live in a world that is pretty much completely transparent.  Back in the day if something bad happened in a business or school they would try to keep it in house.  Today that does not fly because everyone has a cell phone and social media accounts.  If one gets on Yahoo and just clicks through some of their stories one will see that there is an increasing number of these that are first reported through a social media site.

Tonilee: I believe most people would see privacy as a privilege, but it shouldn’t have to be a luxury. In our discussion we have seen many different situations where the right to privacy is questioned, and even the amount of that privacy. Because of this ever-changing world and increases in the availability of instant communication, social media users need to be educated about how to use it appropriately and the effects that inappropriate use can have on their lives, as well as have caution when using it and what they are using it for. Using social media accounts does limit our privacy whether we like it or not, so if we choose to use it we must accept that we are putting our privilege to privacy at risk and may be turning it into a luxury.

Same-Sex Marriage

Dalton: In this day and age everyone makes a huge deal about everything, but one of the biggest controversies that is highly debated in our society is same-sex marriage. It seems like every day I see something new about the movement. Go to any of your gay friends Facebook’s and then scroll through their old profile pictures I bet one of them is a little red equal sign but it wasn’t only the gays it seemed like almost anyone was changing their picture before congress passed their vote on how gender should play a role in marriage back in March of this year. And even just yesterday, December 2nd, as famous Olympic diver Tom Daley came out as bisexual he is already facing major discrimination throughout the LGBT community itself, we are  rushing to label him instead of just being happy that he has found someone that he truly loves. Today people are so worried about what others are doing, especially celebrities, and finding out if they are in fact gay, or not. The question is, why does everyone care so much about things that have no effect or bearing on their lives? And some people just have no respect for him at all, tweeting horrible things about him, saying he just wants a medal for being gay, amongst other things.

Red-Equal-Sign

Haylie: Society has changed immensely on how they view homosexuality culturally. It used to be that you never heard anyone discussing even the topic of homosexuality, let alone the topic of gay marriages. Today in our society events such as marches, protests, and parades are being held for homosexuality equal rights. Also, many more people are now open about their sexuality today because the norms of society have been altered over the years. We now view homosexuality as something that is happening and growing whether we like it or not. This has caused many Americans to just accept it and welcome that lifestyle into our culture. Many people look at the situation as they do not mind it as long as it does not affect them and the way they live their lives. The rights of homosexuals are not being fought for and they want the discrimination to cease. All they ask is to be accepted into society like any other person.

Biying: According to USA today, the total amount of Americans who support same-sex marriage has been increasing. In the middle of 1990s, opinion poll showed, at most 1/4 of people supported gay marriage. Research by Micheel Klarman, who is a Harvard law professor, wrote From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the struggle for Same-sex Marriage. It states that people’s mind would change and open when time goes. Everyone is equal and have the right to choose their own love. There are more than 15 years to a September poll by Bloomberg, which found that 55% of Americans support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The national poll found 36% were against. It clearly supports that more than half American people think gay marriage is acceptable.

Dalton: I have heard some of the most reasonable arguments for why there are no real reasons to oppose gay marriage, and if there are, they are all invalid. Comedians love to talk about gay marriage, and they are often right in a hilarious way. Why is everyone so concerned about it? If I got married to man, it doesn’t affect anyone’s life except for my own, but still today people insist that they need to “protect marriage.” In reality, the only thing that is really a threat to marriage is divorce; so many marriages today end in divorce.

Haylie: Also in Illinois a terminally ill woman was granted the right to be married to her partner as her last dying wish. This was before Illinois officially passed the marriage equality law. The two women were together for over 5 years and one was only given weeks left to live because of being diagnosed with terminal cancer. A lawsuit was then filled to let the couple immediately get married before the woman died. Many other cases such as this one have been granted across the United States.

Biying: I personally think gay marriage is acceptable. I have gay friends around and they are really nice. My first American friend is also gay, but I don’t feel he is different, he helped me a lot and just as normal as us. I think choosing to be a gay or not is just like making other decisions we make in our life. It’s not a big deal. So I think gay marriage is reasonable. We should support and respect their choices.

Dalton: Another thing opponents like to use is the bible, they say the bible says it is wrong, but there is only one problem. This country was built on the idea of separation of church and state. What the bible says has no bearing on the laws of our government. Even if it was, then doesn’t the almighty God say that he is the only one that can judge you? Many Christians would agree that God is the final judge, so if that is true then why are you going around doing all the judging for him? In addition there is a really awesome video by a popular Youtuber that dispels some of the Bible’s passages against homosexuality. He talks about how the word translated for homosexual in Corinthians is earlier translated in Timothy to mean pervert. Is the Bible even a good source? Nobody is even sure of the true authors for every book.

Haylie: Many other people in the United States and the world argue that same sex marriage would violate God’s laws. They bring up certain passages and scriptures in the bible talking about how one man should not lie in the same bed as another man. In this article protestors argue that same sex marriage goes against the laws of God that this nation was founded and built upon. These Americans are upset and believe that we need to follow all of God’s intended laws because he created the this world for us.

Biying: We all know that there could be some religious problems about gay marriage. For example, Islam and Christian do not support same-sex marriage. They think it’s opposite with the nature. The total amount of people of these two religious counts a lot in the world. It’s one of the main reasons that why there are some people do not support gay marriage. Personally, as a Buddhist, I think it’s totally fine. We respect each different choice that everyone makes.

Dalton: Another event currently affecting the LGBT community are the Sochi Olympic Games coming up this February. Russia currently has an anti-gay propaganda law in place, which is threatening to the Olympic Principle 6 which states that sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise. The company American Apparel has partnered with at least 34 Olympians so far to oppose the games. The craziest part is that in some parts of the world the LGBT community is not only denied the right to marry, but they are denied their basic right to live as they are. But, currently 16 other countries are allowing same-sex marriage. So in the end I think it is time for the United States to live up to its motto Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave.

Haylie: There are 16 countries around the world that have legalized same sex marriages so far. They are England and Wales, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Uruguay, Denmark, Argentina, Portugal, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The first country to legalize same sex marriage was the Netherlands in December of 2000. This law gave same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce, and adopt children. Their legislation now reads, “A marriage can be contracted by two people of different or same sex.” The most recent country to adopt this law is England and Wales. They just passed it on July 17th of this year. The law will come into complete effect by 2014 giving any same sex couple the right to marry. However, unlike the other countries who have passed this law, England and Wales still prohibits same sex marriage in the Church of England to honor “the traditional understanding of the institution of marriage being between a man and a woman.”

Biying: As an international student, I would like to talk about something about our native country. China is a big country in the world. In political side, China is a Communist country. In religious part, most Chinese people don’t have any believes. It seems like there should have a lot of people support gay marriage in China. However, a poll conducted in 2009 that there is about 30% people support same-sex marriage in Beijing. (Wikipedia: Recognition of same-sex unions in China) The others are unsure. According to CNN news: In China, activists fight for gay marriage, it is really hard for traditional Chinese people to accept same-sex marriage. A Chinese socialist named Yinhe Lin said, gay people still can’t make their voices heard and they have no representation in the legislature. Compared to the US, probably China has to take a longer time in the way to legalize same-sex marriage.

Dalton: Although there has been a lot of progress in the United States, currently 16 states allow same-sex marriage, 33 have bans on same-sex marriage, and 1 state, New Mexico, has no laws on same-sex marriage. Although this is better than nothing, still over half of the United States does not allow gay marriage, which I see as a problem. Even now in Indiana the House Joint Resolution 6, which if passed, would prevent future legislators from allowing same-sex marriage by adding an amendment to the constitution of Indiana that would ban same-sex marriage permanently. Currently the bill has been passed through the Senate, and if it passes the House of Representatives, then it will go to the popular vote in the fall of 2014. It is sickening to think that the state I was raised in is trying so hard to deny my human right to get married.

Haylie: Marriage equality was granted for Illinois and now many want Indiana to look at the changes they have made to possibly pass a similar law. Illinois believes that in order to have a state that is progressing and continually making changes for the better, they cannot deny the changes that our happening in today’s society; such as gay marriage. They claim that these people have nothing wrong with them and they should not discriminate against people who are just as talented and qualified as any other person who is not homosexual.

Biying: According to the news, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act in June opened the door to an explosion of activity by gay marriage proponents. Gay marriage is now legal in Hawaii after Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a bill in Illinois. Until now, there are 16 states, including District of Columbia, legalize the gay marriage. (Marisol Bello, USA TODAY)

Dalton: There is a really cool video made popular by Upworthy that sheds light onto how everyday homosexuals actually relate to the lives of their straight counterparts. Gay couples like to do a lot of the same things that straight couples also enjoy. The bottom line is that marriage is a lot different today than it was even just 100 years ago. Just because someone seems normal, doesn’t mean they always are, but shouldn’t you grant this handsome young man the right to marry his boyfriend?

Haylie: Gay marriage is a controversial topic in our society today. It is not seen the same as it was many years ago in our society. It used to be that the norms for our society were opposite sex marriage; same sex marriage was frowned upon and rarely happening. If it was happening, it was never public as it is today. A young boy by the name of Duncan McAlpine Sennett in Portland speaks out during in his Bar Mitzvah about his opinion on same sex marriage. “Today, in the United States, marriage is very different,” he said in his speech. “No longer do fathers arrange marriages, and women can marry whoever they want. The traditional definition of marriage is nothing like what we think it is today.” This child spend about a year preparing for his Bar Mitzvah and this specific part of his speech by learning Hebrew and studying the Torah and other scriptures. His speech spread all over YouTube and was eventually featured on the Huff Post. This proves that no matter your age or title in the world, you can make a difference in something you truly believe in.

Biying: I’ve found a video that given by a boy who was raised by two lesbian women. (Video: Zach Wahls speaks about family) He talks about several reasons why people should support gay marriage and how he was treated when he was growing up. He graduated from University of Iowa just like any other teenagers who are from normal families. Actually he did better than most of them. He scored in the 99th percentile on the A.C.T. He is also an Eagle Scout. He put up with his opinion that he is not different with the others at all. He thinks the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other, to work through the hard times. The point he was trying to make is that the sexual orientation of his parents has had zero effect on the content of his character.

Dalton: Just recently former Fear Factor host released a podcast about gay marriage. He stated that anyone who is against gay marriage are “weak ass bitches,” and that being against it is “so stupid its hard to believe.” I think it is people like Rogan, straight allies, who will help get gay marriage passed. The more people we have on our side, the closer we get to legalizing gay marriage. For example, I bet a lot of guys look up to Joe Rogan, and if they see him supporting it then they might also change their views. This goes for any famous celebrity, such as Josh Hutcherson, who recently appeared on the cover of OUT describing what he thinks about sexuality.

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Haylie: Then there are people such as the Croatians that have a constitution that does not specifically define marriage. Recently 65% of the Croatian population voted to ban gay marriage. This was a major victory for the Catholic Church-backed conservatives in the European Union’s newest nation. This vote was to amend the constitution by placing an official definition on marriage as “union between a woman and a man.” Many people such as the liberal groups argue that this infringes on everyone’s basic human rights. Over 700,000 votes were collected for this vote by the conservative party. Many people that are a part of the conservative party base their opinions, arguments, and decisions on what the scripture contains in the bible. That one man or woman shall not lie in the same bed as another man or woman. They believe that God created these laws and that since he was the one to create the land we live on today, we should honor and respect those laws. Although not all people that believe in the word of the Lord believe that this referendum was a good thing. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic labeled it as “sad and senseless” and voiced hope that it was the last vote on this issue. He finds it to just be another excuse to argue on a topic that defies social norms. He sees it as something that gives them a reason to boast about their opinions.

Biying: Everything has two sides. If you got someone support you, there must have someone against you. Since there are about 55% American people support same-sex marriage. There still have almost half amount of people against same-sex marriage. Some public figures could also against same-sex marriage, or even slam gay people. For example, former “Saturday Night Live” star Victoria Jackson slammed “Glee” in a column after the hit series aired a kiss between two gay characters. Based on the Huffpost Gay Voices, there are 17 famous public figures said something against gay in public.

Dalton: There are always two sides to every issue, as Biying pointed out, but at this point the country needs to come together and stand for what is a right I should have as a human being to marry the person I love, no matter who that is. I think slowly the tides will turn, eventually people who support gay marriage will greatly outweigh those who oppose it and that is when then change will come.

Haylie: Many people believe that if they can pass one marriage as a dying wish to one couple, that is should not be any more difficult to pass the law for marriage equality in all states. This is only a problem in our country for some people because this is not what our society is used to or how it began. The matter of the fact is that our society changes all the time. This is just another thing in our society that we must accept and make changes around. Just like something such as a war or education tactics, we must be able to accept and adapt to the changes our society is going through. These changes are going to happen no matter what we try and do to stop them. This being said, we must embrace these changes and accept them and the people they affect in our society.

civilunion

Biying: Same-sex marriage is probably the most controversial topic in today’s society. People from different countries, religions, or educational levels could have different opinions about it. Obama—President of the U.S. once announced that he believed marriage could only exist between men and women. However, he changed his attitude now and supports same-sex marriage. He also granted some gay and lesbian couples many of the same rights as married heterosexuals. There are around 120, 000 legally married homosexual couples in the US. CNN even claimed that shifting public opinion and old fights over judicial power are at the nexus of possibly the most important social issue the high court has addressed in recent years. That’s same-sex marriage. I believe that everyone would have their own opinion, but no matter what, we should respect others’ choices.

NSA: Should we Sacrifice Privacy for Security?

With such great advances in science, things such as the Internet have become very intertwined with our daily lives. We find ourselves using technology more and more as the year’s progress, we become more and more dependent on it. Texting, calling, web surfing, T.V, gaming systems, are all ways we communicate with each other in the modern era.  All of these new innovative ways to stay connected with each other have changed the way we socialize and how we view the world around us. Even with all of these positive changes, we must be aware of the true power the government holds controlling all of this information, and though you may feel you have nothing to hide; there might be some aspects of your life that you don’t want your government to know.

Jordan: I’m all about protecting the people of our country from foreign threats but I must say what I’ve been seeing in the news has really got me thinking about the decisions are government officials are making, and how completely oblivious everyone is to it.  I think we mistake questioning the actions of the government as some kind of act terrorism, or disloyal to your country.  There must be a time where we as people stop and ask ourselves how much are we sacrificing in order to feel protected? There should be some things our government doesn’t know about us.

Andrew: The snooping of emails is nothing. Has anyone else noticed how specific and tailored ads on the internet are to you as an individual? Now, I’m a saxophone player, and some days I like to YouTube myself some Charlie Parker and Google some $8,000 saxophones and just dream of a day I might be able to afford a Selmer Mark VI alto sax. Now, after these sessions of lusting after saxophones, it’s not uncommon for me to get ads about saxophones, or reeds for my saxophone, or mouthpieces or what have you. I’m willing to bet most of you reading this have never seen an ad online for a saxophone ever, while I do. How do they know though? Well, it’s simple; Google “reads” our emails. And by “read” they really mean search for keywords to sell to advertisers to make money, it’s what email providers do, and most people don’t have a problem with it. Now if we compare that to what the NSA has been doing, it really can’t be much different. There’s no way to read a countries worth of emails, so key word searches would be essential, and computers processing information in my emails doesn’t exactly feel very intrusive to me.

A lot of attention is being drawn to all the things the government snoops on that they don’t have any business snooping on, but what about the information the government might not be allowed to disclose that has helped protect the people and ultimately save lives. Now, I’m not a nudist, and I keep blinds on my window, so don’t get me wrong, I like my privacy, but I understand that in order to keep a larger group of people safe like the government does, they might have to look through a lot of people’s emails. For the safety of others in this country, if I was one of those people that the NSA looked at, I can’t say I really mind, it doesn’t bother me. For example, imagine if there were emails sent about 9/11 between the people in the United States and the people they’re working for back at al-Qaida. Imagine if that event could have been stopped by catching some of those emails and taking action against them, surely people would be willing to give away some of their online privacy to be able to prevent that tragedy.

Jordan: True, terrorism is a very real thing; there are groups of individuals that try to harm innocent people for the sake of their greater good. And yes, we have had history have attacks on us such as 9/11, World Trade Center bombing, Boston Bombing, I will not deny that. But when you look at the consistency of these attacks you will see that they are not often, or common. But there has been a steady increase of National securities annually every year since the first of the attacks, and now they watch for “terrorism” has made its way into your house, school, and workplace, anywhere with accessible electronics or cameras.  Everyone is a suspected target, and I don’t know about you but that makes me feel uncomfortable, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Your cell phone information is constantly taken, record, and stored in huge databases by the NSA.  Every conversation you have had between whomever this year has been recorded and is accessible at any moment by the government.

Andrew: Think about the last conversation you had through texting. Maybe you are one of those people who talk about juicy gossip to your friends. Maybe you had a very serious conversation with your significant other. Or maybe it was just texting your friend asking them where they are because they are late to lunch. What’s it matter if someone were to read those texts? Now imagine maybe the most serious conversation you’ve ever had on the phone or through Skype or even through text. So what, there is someone in some room in some building, the likes of whom you will probably never know, or never see. This person has no idea who you are, and wouldn’t even know you if he ran into you on the street. This person you statistically will never know, is reading you’re texts or listening to your phone calls. This doesn’t really cause me to feel invaded, especially if it is being used for the good of the people. I feel like the only person who should be bothered by this are people who have something to hide, and if you aren’t one of those people, I don’t see why you’d be concerned. If you are one of those people, I would throw away your cell phone, as that’s being traced, but again if you’re not, I don’t know why this news would make you feel anything but safe.

Jordan: Im sure people have heard that they NSA and other agencies have been storing there information for a few years now, but I fear that they lack the full understanding of how much they are being monitored.  And even with the small bit of information the average person has about the NSA, most people do not like the idea of their personal information being viewed and store by domestic and foreign intelligence. They find it too be very intrusive, and feel that even though they have nothing to hide they should have a right to some privacy just to themselves. 54% of people believe that their government is intruding them on, but many of them do believe it is justified. I am okay with it to an extent but when it completely undermines the basic freedoms of our nation, I feel compelled to at least want to know what they are doing with this information.  If that makes me come off as radical, I’m sorry, but I just believe we should be asking more questions.

Edward Snowden
Picture of Edward Snowden

What do you do with all that information? Take a look at the people that have spoken out about the over-extension of surveillance capabilities by the government, that have worked within those agencies that are doing the surveillance themselves.  Take Edward Snowden for example, he worked for the NSA and spoke out against them, saying that what they were doing was indeed unlawful and unconstitutional. The information he provided came as a surprise to most people, as it should, because almost everyone had no idea their government even possessed such power.  Now it had became clear to everyone that internet websites such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and Microsoft have been releasing our information to the government for years. Though when confronted with this they all deny it of course, but the evidence is clear. The American people are being lied to about where their information such as health, financial, etc. are being sent and stored. Why would the government lie to us about that?

Andrew: Technology is rapidly changing and life as we know it is so different from that of even just 10 years ago. I do not support the way the NSA went about retrieving information, in private, without any input from the public. The NSA already has a showed that a government operation running in complete secrecy can’t be trusted (as they broke the rules they themselves set). Flat out an agency that is run in top secret that directly involves the American public should not exist. However, if the NSA would have just come right out and released a statement when they started that they are going to be monitoring online interactions closer for the better of the American public, I don’t believe there would have been as negative of a reaction. If in the future, now that we as a public know what the NSA is doing, we can better keep track of them, and vote in officials who will help keep the NSA’s power in check with the American public’s liking.

The War of 2013

INTRODUCTION

INTRO: For the past two decades there has been a war raging, a bloodthirty and cutthroat war, not a war overseas but a war on the home front. Many people in the country are involved and they don’t even know it. That war is the war between Apple and Windows. These two companies have been going at it ever since they first got started and haven’t stopped since. Even when The founder of Apple  Steve Jobs passed away they were still going at it trying to make the best software, the best computers, the best tablet money could buy. Many do not know which one is better but that is why my partner Joe and I are here to let you know which one is worth your money and your time.

USER INTERFACE

Spencer: Growing up I remember having a Windows computer. You all know what I am talking about, the really big, clunky looking computers that weighed like fifty pounds? Using that computer as a child I thought that it was the coolest thing ever. the classic Windows desktop had the start menu, task bar and the windows. Well in today’s technological world that OS (operating system) is a thing of the past. Windows new software, Windows 8 is probably one of the biggest changes ever to come out of Microsoft. It is clear that Windows is trying to leave the classic days behind and I am here to tell you that the future looks bright. Windows 8 is a touch friendly UI (user interface), that has a touch screen menu and is perfect for people that like that kind of capability. But for some users it just doesn’t work out many business professionals think it is awkward. The new OS was hard to use with a mouse and keyboard and many people voiced their concerns with the program. Well Microsoft took that into consideration and combined the classic with the future and designed something everybody can enjoy.

Joe:  Growing up everyone had a big, old PC that everyone in the house had to share usually downstairs in the basement somewhere.  Macs are a relatively new idea and have taken the computer software industry by storm.  Unlike Windows, Mac does not make drastic changes when it comes to their user interface, instead mac has new upgrades every year or so.  The Mac interface as the basic finder app (Application), the launch pad, and the app store.  Like Windows mac has a name for the different types of updates, hence the jump from windows 7, to windows 8.  The most recent OS for the mac that just became obsolete was called Mountain Lion.  Mountain Lion brought in the introduction of the notifications center, the messages app, and the automatic app updates.  A new OS that just came out about a month ago called Mavericks makes it possible for the Mac user to multi task with ease with the use of the Icloud Keychain instillation, and the ability to support multiple work spaces and work tabs.  For the simplicity of mulit tasking for the new Mac OS system, Mac wins in this category.

PERFORMANCE

Spencer:  With the Mac Books steadily on the rise Windows needed to make some changes PRONTO! Which they did in the Windows 8 OS. Windows has worked very hard to make sure that their new OS can and will  work on all types of technological equipment ranging anywhere from tablets to phones to PC’s, this makes the versatility something that everybody wants and needs.  Lets be honest most people have an iPod or an iPad and have your ever tried to run an app or program on either and it wont let you? Windows 8 can work on low powered ARM (Advanced Risc Machines) and Intel’s atom chips to the beefed up Core i7’s. Which is the main supporter of the Mac Books, to turn that into something everybody understands it can run on any type of processor. That being said I feel that there is a clear winner here and that is Windows 8 due to the fact that they can run on just about everything.

Joe:  Over the years Mac has dominated when if has come to performance, however Windows may have started to give Mac a run for their money.  Windows has stepped up their game when it comes to performance, causing Mac to retaliate back.  Apple make all of its own hardware and is more ruthless when it comes to cutting off hardware support compared to Microsoft.  Only devices that run OS X 10.6 or above can upgrade to Mountain lion, which manes nothing released before 2007 can officially use the latest OS.  The forthcoming Mavericks release will be compatible with the same hardware.  Windows does have a bit of a upper hand when it comes to performance due to the ability of having anything run off of Windows, while Mac has a select few.  However when it comes to the battery life of the two OS’s Mac blows Windows out of the water.  In a recent Pro review an OS S battery life of 10 hours and 34 minutes, but when ran on a Windows software the battery life depreciated to a whomping 4 hours and 32 minutes, making Mac the obvious winner when it comes to battery life.

SECURITY

Spencer:  When I used my the Windows computer we had back in the day it always seemed like I was waiting for days on the Anti virus software to either run its programs or to download so that I could play a game that my parents deemed unworthy. My biggest problem with windows (and it pains me to say this) is the fact that the security is terrible if not taken care of correctly. Everybody knows that PC’s get hacked more often than Macs, When buying a PC make sure you install an anti virus software so you will be able to withstand a hit. The recommended program is the Microsoft Security Essentials. The MSE does three things: 1. it has a comprehensive protection that defends you from worms, Trojans, viruses, and other nasty bugs that may attack you. 2. It’s easy to get and easy to use, because its FREE 3. It’s quiet. The MSE runs smoothly, runs in the background and schedules a scan when you are more than likely to be idle. Also you see alerts when you need to take action.

Joe:  Unlike the windows the Mac does not have your waiting for days on the Anti virus software.  The Mac actually has an app. attached to it called the Mac Keeper, and its main function is to clean up your software from viruses, and unnecessary junk with ease.  There have been times where viruses have struck Macs, however it’s not all too common and it is way less than the number of virus hits Windows takes.  Compared to a Windows Anti virus cleaner you have to download the software, and that could take you anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.  With the Mac it automatically cleans up your computer with the help of the Mac Keeper making security more efficient and less time consuming for you the user.  Once again, the Mac has out down its self and Windows as a whole.

Design/Customization

Spencer: As the years went by Macs kept changing  and PC’s well they really haven’t . This is the one area where I wish PC hit hard. Everything looks the same. The design of the PC just doesn’t cut it. But one area that puts the PC on the map and above the Mac is the ability to be customized. When it come to a Mac being able to upgraded is darn near impossible, with a PC on the other hand you can swoop out just about anything you want from the hard drives to the graphics card. If the user wanted to build their very own PC from the ground up they could. I believe PC’s win this round.

Joe:  Although the PC is more customizable than the Mac is, the Mac has many factors that I believe make it a winner in this category.  The Mac integrated one of my most favorite features ever, called the touch pad.  The touch pad is one of the coolest features you can find in the Mac book pro series.  The touch pad gives you the ability to customize your touch with ease, for example; three fingers will change which tab you are looking at, and two fingers will work as a right click.  All these “touches” are interchangeable and really give the user an edge when it comes to simplicity.  However, unless you are Steve Jobs him self, building a Mac from the ground up is no easy task compared to a PC.

AVAILABILITY

Spencer:  Going to buy a computer is stressful enough as it is but when you have to add in all the different companies that make PC’s it just makes it that much worse. That is another problem with PC’s is that there are so many options but those options can help you in the long run. you can go to a store and pick the company you like then turn around and buy all kinds of bells and whistles and different speeds and sizes. With Mac you have a pretty narrow search base that may not be what you are looking for. With the PC so many options are available you can not go wrong!!

Joe:  As Spencer said previously shopping for a computer is stressful enough, why have to worry about all the different types of models PC has to offer when you can have a much more refined search with quality you are looking for.  The mac is much more newer than the PC so yes, there is less of a choice when it comes to a mac, but the mac is so elegant and trustworthy that it doesn’t even matter.  I remember when I first went out shopping for a computer, the mac immediately caught my eye with it’s elegant design HD screen.  Since the Mac is fairly newish you can find one so much more easier than a PC now a days.  PC’s are less abundant and are in a fewer demand, thus causing the macs to fill up the shelves leaving the PC’s in the back of the store untouched, and unnoticed.

MAC VS. PC

PRICE

Spencer: I’m sorry Joe but we all know who the winner is here. The PC!. The low prices were the main reason we my parents always bought PC’s when I was a kid and even today. Lets say that you walk into Best Buy with five hundred dollars, you could walk out with a pretty nice PC or desktop. But if you walked into an Apple store with five hundred dollars you wouldn’t be able to buy a desktop or a PC. Maybe an iPad if you wanted one but you would still need at least another one hundred dollars to buy a Mac mini which is supposed to help transition PC users to Macs. Me personally? Save your money!

Joe:  I can’t argue about this topic with you Spencer this time.  The price for an apple product is absolutely ridiculous most of the time.  My Mac book pro that my parents bought for me before I went off to college cost damn near around $1200.  They could of bought me just of as useful of a PC for around $600, but I do believe that the Mac is pricde more than a PC for a reason.  The Mac is an all around better product, which is going to cost more in the long run.  I do agree that the prices are most of the time absolutely absurd, but Mac’s will always cost more than a PC due to their amazing abilities.  Also, a Mac is more destined to last longer and be more “bang for your buck”.  I hate to break it to yah Spencer!

THE FUTURE

Spencer: The future looks bright for the PC’s very bright. If the user has windows 8 then they are in luck because Microsoft wont be ending their mainstream support anytime soon. All the way to January of 2018, and their extended support wont run out till 2023. That means that you will be able to run Windows 8 as long as you want even though other OS have been brought to the stage. Apple will more than likely have Mountain Lion and Maverick for awhile also but but you can only upgrade if you have good hardware that costs money. Microsoft will continue to advance due to the fact that their machines are able to be maintained and supported for over a decade. As I said before the Future looks Bright and that shining light is Microsoft.

Joe:  I will agree with Spencer that Microsoft does have a brighter future in this constant battle as of right now, but only for the reason that Macs are damn near perfect already.  PCs have a lot they could still be improving on, and the minute that PC makes the move to finally better than a mac, mac will come out with something completely different that will blow the PC out of the water once again!  As much as Spencer hates to admit it, Mac will ALWAYS be one step ahead than Microsoft will.  Sorry to you as well Bill Gates!

THE FIGHT CONTINUES

VERDICT

The final verdict is that Microsoft is the winner.  Even though Joe did put in some valid and hard fought arguments, Spencer came out on top.  Apple OS X does have the better apps, security, and simplicity, but Windows  wins because it’s actually more useful for business, small traders, and creative people.  Even though the final verdict had Microsoft barely inching it’s way past Mac, the final argument should come down to the user preference.  People who are more into business, and more easy to understand technology should go with a PC, and people who are technologically savvy and like to edit videos, photos, and other types or artistic categories should go with the mac.

Casual Sex : Final

Emily Maurer

Walter Edwards

Emily: Casual sex is a topic that many are uncomfortable talking about, while it is a very common occurrence among men and women, especially in society today. Sex has always been recognized in movies and books as a part of “college culture,” casual relationships, and a key component in most romance stories, but how are the people involved really looking at it? Many people have different opinions about sex and how seriously they take it. Some are not open to the idea of sex at all unless they are married, but that, in this century, is rare. Others are only open to having sex if they are in very committed relationships. Then there are always the infamous “hook-ups,” “one-night-stands,” and “friends-with benefits.” The topic here really is how college kids in 2013-14 perceive sexual relationships.

Walter: Many people believe that discussing something like casual sex would make them feel quite uncomfortable because it is not considered an acceptable behavior of a young adult.  This, however, is not the case at all.  Contrary to what many people may believe, “one-night stands”, “quickies”, and “hookups” are not a new occurrence.  People were doing the “nasty” way before the era of “twerking” and grinding.  They may not have been as open about it as many young people are today, especially in a college setting, but let it be known that the deed was still done.

Many movies, books, and songs today encourage people to further explore their desires.  One movie called “American Pie Beta House”, specifically describes college as one big party, filled with naked girls, alcohol, and a lot of hookups.  Although this is not necessarily an accurate portrayal of the average lifestyle of a college student, many do follow this ordeal.  They try to party, drink, and have fun for as long as they can before they get old.  This generation of college students are especially more open to having friends with benefits, and less common to judge others in their personal life decisions.  But what is it that makes this generation of college students think so differently?  Perhaps it is the constant development of new technology and certain events that are breaking precious racial and educational limitations.

Emily: It’s hard to determine how the majority of college students interpret this topic, just because there are so many different opinions. Also, it’s very possible that someone can feel one way just based on the type of (or lack of) relationship that they are involved with at the moment. Although, from experience and conversations with others my age, it seems that most are completely open to the idea of having premarital sexual relationships. This does not mean, though, that they have several partners. This is where the idea of “casual” sexual relationships comes in to play. It seems that being open to having casual relationships is prone to have its negative consequences if not handled correctly. Although, there are ways to understand how to respect yourself and be content with your actions, and still fulfill your sexual desires without being committed.

A common topic that relates to casual sex is the amount of women that have become more open about their sexual encounters. According to an article in Marie Claire, there have been concerns about how “college age women” are partaking in casual sexual encounters. The article is a review of a story in The New York Times. Marie Claire has the same idea as most college women that I know: it’s not a big deal. The author of the NY Times article seemed to be confused by the “news” of so many women partaking in sexual acts, when really it isn’t news at all. Although many more women are open about their sexual experiences than in the past, the amount of college age kids participating in sexual activities has actually decreased in the past 10-20 years.

Although the numbers have decreased, the women that are involved have realized the change of eras and become more comfortable being open about their sex lives. The only reason that it seems to be such a surprise, is because it is just now becoming more acceptable for women to admit their secrets, while men have always seemed to have the opportunity, and were willing to do so. Again to the NY Times article, many women are more focused on obtaining their goals and focusing on their own future, rather than finding a husband. As a career minded young woman, I completely agree. According to Arielle Pardes, the girl interviewed for the NY Times article, she was not so pleased with the way that the article portrayed her interview responses. She says yes: she does wish to complete her career goals. But No: she is not trying to play any sort of “games” when it comes to casual sex. She says that sometimes she just wants to have sex to have sex. “What’s wrong with that?”

I do find it more important to complete your own goals and understand that “WE WOMEN CAN LIVE WITHOUT A MAN,” but there are obviously downsides to uncommitted sex. Being in a “sex only” relationship is something that takes extreme strength and understanding of the situation. There have been many studies showing the negative effects on emotions when it comes to hook up and friends with benefits. It seems that “having sex just to have sex,” may not be as simple as it sounds. An article in The Huffington Post reviews an article that concludes: “College students who had recently engaged in casual sex reported higher levels of general anxiety, social anxiety, and depression compared to college students who had not had recent casual sex.” The review also states, though, that these results were only “correlational” which means that people who already had higher anxiety levels were the ones seeking out sexual relationships in the first place. So, it’s hard to say whether or not it will actually effect the person’s anxiety if they are in a casual relationship, but the possibilities are there.

Walter: The real topic isn’t necessarily how individuals within “friends with benefits” relationships feel about their situation.  It is more so geared toward discussing the reasoning behind the desire for these types of relationships as opposed to a stable one-partner relation or a marriage.  Some say that no-strings-attached is the easiest way to go because neither party would then be required to feel too “deeply” for the other.  This is a lot harder than it sounds because with physical relations come emotional attachment, especially with females.  This is the reason that relationships such as these are always doomed to fail.

For people looking to get into one of these relationships, they should set some ground rules in order to avoid heartbreak.  These rules include things like making sure that the person that you choose is someone that you wouldn’t normally date, telling them that things wouldn’t be complicated, and only texting that person for sex.  Like I said before, these relationships are doomed to fail, so setting yourself up for the worst is the best option.

Emily: The Marie Claire article seems to be on the track that I find most important about this topic: safety. Whether or not young women choose to have sex (in or out of a relationship), I feel that having safe sex is most definitely the key factor. In the article, I was unhappily surprised by the fact that only 50.83% of women use condoms every time. Many of them are probably using the excuse of “other forms of birth control,” but pregnancy isn’t the only consequence of unsafe sex! This specific factor is what would casual sex unappealing to me. Even if condoms are used, there are still possibilities of mishaps, and if the encounter that happened previous to mine was unprotected, then I could very well have put myself on a train towards bad news.

The second thing that seems to be an issue, specifically for women, is the lack of pleasure that an uncommitted sexual encounter really gives someone. In the article “In Hookups, Inequality Still Reigns,” Natalie Gadinsky speaks of her less-than-exciting sexual encounters with men whom she was not committed to.  The article suggest that, considering it takes a little bit more effort for women to receive the same amount of pleasure as men, the odds of someone who is not attached to you may not care as much to be sure that you are enjoying yourself as much as they are. By the end of the article, she seems to be more on the side with having a committed relationship, because the sex is going to be a lot better. The research in the article proves that women who are I committed relationships have better sexual experienced than otherwise.

Walter: I think the main reason that people are drawn to relationships such as these is because they think that they are the easiest way to satisfy their emotional needs.  Women aren’t in the relationships because of a physical desire.  It is highly possible that they are looker for a deeper connection through their companion in the given moment of the hookup.  In other words, for women, hookups are used for psychological pleasure in women other than a means to achieve an orgasm.  They get brief satisfaction in the moment, but afterwards they feel horrible.

Emily: Although I am completely open and supportive for women who are involved in casual sex, based on research and experience, it doesn’t really seem worth it. I think that it is very normal for young women to be curious and learn what they do and don’t like, but most of the time, casual sex isn’t on the “like” side. The College Crush seemed to have said it the best: 1. Sex Confuses Everything, 2. When you Refrain, The Indulgence is Better, 3. It’s Hard to be Free When You’re Uncomfortable. So,  feel free to enjoy the “freedom” of casual sex, but do not forget the consequences.

Rough Draft: Tradition, Reform, Society.

Hannah Simpson

Michael Harris

Zane Fisher

 

Today’s society is struggling maintaining tradition. As we move forward as a whole, some people want to grasp onto traditions while others want to let go. While there will always be two side to every argument, over time, people will switch sides, shifting the balance to one side or another.

 

Michael: As time moves forward, it becomes more apparent the public is taking a more liberal view over its previous conservative outlook.  As the the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X get older, so does the Millennial generation.  If one looks at political candidates and their campaigning strategy in the past few elections, they are starting to notice a large portion of Millennials are starting to vote at a younger age.  Because of this, political candidates must not only focus on Generation X and the Baby Boomers, but now they must also appeal to Millennials.  The Millennial generation is taking a more liberal stance overall, which makes it hard for conservative candidates to get a leg up in the race unless they add semi-liberal ideas to their platforms.

 

Zane: As of 2013, 56% of American  adults and 57% of registered voters support gay marriage. Only 36% of both groups were opposed. When you look at the age of adults in the United States in 2013, you see that 65% of adults 18-29  support same-sex marriage and  out of adults ages 65 +, only 39% supported gay marriage. As a millennial, I support gay marriage and see the growing number of young individuals supporting gay marriage, as a sign towards a less traditional stance and more towards a liberal one. You can see that as the demography gets younger, the number of individuals that support gay marriage increase.

 

Hannah: Tradition is a confusing concept, some people may believe certain aspects of society are tradition, while others disagree. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, tradition is a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by people. The idea of tradition is a grey area. There is no specific fine line, such as something must have happened for five years to be classified as a tradition. This creates much conflict about the idea of tradition, because it is such a vague concept. This generates an issue when traditions become an argument or important topic in debates such as rights of citizens (which typically happens in such disputes). One tradition that has become the forefront of a legal battle in the past few years is the topic of gay marriage. Traditionally, marriage was to be only between a man and a woman. This concept is based off of biblical views, which in Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination. This idea was and has been carried on through many generations, and is still present in the world today.  Many consider this a tradition and believe it to be an important part of today’s society. Gay marriage is just one confusing and complicated debate in which the world is moving away from traditions. Some push for this change in abandoning and moving away from tradition, while others hold on strong to the past and believe it should shape the present-day world.

 

Michael: A good point to touch on is how some conservative voters want the reform to be presented. Certain conservatives do want gay couples to have equal rights, they just do not want to use the two words “gay marriage.” Instead, they would like to opt for something along the lines of “civil union.” The reason this is being touched upon is because, going back to tradition and the bible, it states that, “marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman.” So, in essence, if you believe in the bible and nothing else, there can’t even be such a thing as gay marriage. This is why some people are pushing for the wording “civil union” instead. Honestly, in my opinion, I don’t see what the big deal is about calling it something different. As long as the civil unions have the same, equal, unaltered rights as marriages, I don’t see what the issue is. This equally satisfies both the gays’ requests for equal rights and the conservatives’ request to respect marriage as the covenant that it is. I think that people who wouldn’t be fine with this agreement and do want it to be titled gay marriage and not civil union are just stubborn and trying to step on people’s toes. They have equal rights across the board, they just aren’t named the same thing. Who cares?

 

Zane: Lesser conservative individuals would be happy if same sex marriage would just drop marriage and call it civil union or domestic partnership. More conservative people find the act of same-sex relationships as disgusting and unnatural. These people tend to be more stubborn and hate mongers all together. They believe that the traditions they were taught are the be all end all of the discussion. It is very hard, and in most cases impossible, to change the opinions of such people. Regardless of those who see gay marriage as “unnatural”, in my opinion, gay marriage is going to be allowed in all of the United States. It is also important to point out that those who are stubborn to be purely stubborn for all extensive purposes, won’t be swade.

 

Hannah: Even if civil unions do exist as a compromise between those who agree with same sex marriage and those who do not, some people are not satisfied with this. People in support of gay rights may say that this is not completely fair. The idea of gay rights and of other people fighting for rights is that they are the same as other citizens. This is one of the main ideas that gay advocates fight for, to be considered the same even if they may be different. Creating civil unions instead of marriages gives homosexuals the ability to marry but does not make them the same as heterosexuals. Many advocates feel as though they are still being treated differently and that this is unjust. An example of this might be people going into a grocery store and getting a specific cereal. Every person who was a homosexual could only get the off brand cereal when they came in. In contrast, every time a heterosexual came in, they would have to get the specific brand cereal, such as Rice Krispies. Assuming they both are exactly the same, this example is similar to civil unions and marriages. They are technically the same thing but are under another name. To many, it still may not seem fair that homosexuals have to have the off brand cereal, the civil union.

 

Zane: Since the formation of the Boy Scouts of America, there has been a ban on allowing homosexual scouts and scout leaders  from joining the organization. On May 23, 2013, The national governing body of the BSA, voted to remove the ban on homosexual scouts from the organization. This will go into full effect January 1, 2014. Even though this is a step in the right direction, scout leaders are still denied membership from the organization. I believe that in due time The BSA will eventually allow all gay members into their ranks. For instances an Ohio mother Jennifer Tyrrell was removed from being a Cub Scout leader because she was gay http://www.glaad.org/scouts/equalityscouts. She served as a den leader for her son for more than a year and was suddenly ousted because she was gay? It sounds a bit ridiculous to me, but cases like this have happened all over the United States. Scouts and parents from the troop are protesting against the BSA’s stance on homesexuals and protested outside of the local BSA chapter. A petition is being signed to allow Jennifer back into her son’s troop. Though action  to try and stop discrimination within the BSA has been taken, nobody knows how long it will take the BSA to change their discriminative policies, but I believe change will be coming soon.

 

Michael: Echo about gay scouts

 

Hannah: It is very interesting and somewhat alarming at how prejudice people are against homosexuals. This is very similar to women’s rights many years ago. This is another group fighting for their rights, and like any debate, there were and still are people very against this idea. It may seem unbelievable but yes, there still are people who opposes some of the rights women have been given. Traditionally, many people believed that men were superior and that they were supposed to run the government, work, and support their family. If we look far into the past, most leaders have been males but as the years go on, more women have appeared in higher ranking positions. We even had a woman try and run for president, the highest ranking individual in the United States. Many years ago it seemed as though this would be impossible. In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John, who was attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia asking that he and all the other men (who were at work on the Declaration of Independence) to “remember the ladies.” John found this humorous and referenced that the Declaration stated “all men are created equal.” This is an example of how far we have come in womens rights and there are many other events on the women’s suffrage timeline. In today’s society women have many rights they did not have before, such as the right to vote. This involved much debate and many people fighting for a certain cause, similar to gay rights. But as with any argument and fight for rights, there were many people against the idea who sought staying with the “traditions” of the past.

 

Zane: Echo about women in workplace

 

Michael: A big question that was on everyone’s mind while Barack Obama was campaigning was: “what will be  done about immigration?” This is a very shifty topic as people that are already citizens tend to change their minds often. Whereas non-citizens would like to gain citizenship or not be deported. “While key tactical decisions are still being made, President Obama wants a catch-all bill that would also bolster border security measures,” the Los Angeles Times (http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/07/nation/la-na-immigration-20121208) reported. “Cabinet secretaries are preparing to make the case for how changes in immigration laws could benefit businesses, education, healthcare and public safety.” I think even if Obama’s attempts at immigration reform don’t succeed they will help Democrats next time around because people will remember that they were the ones that sent the bill through and not the Republicans.

 

Hannah: Echo about immigration

 

Michael: Another major issue involving traditional values that has plagued today’s society is the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. Marijuana was originally  made illegal for the first time in California (http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/) because of it’s use by Mexican farm hands. Utah shortly followed after Mormons brought some back from Mexico. Soon, the whole nation outlawed marijuana. Today, it is becoming more widely accepted, both as a medical device as well as a recreational item. Twenty years ago, if you would’ve gone around saying marijuana was going to be legalized, I’m sure you would get some crazy looks and doubts. Who would’ve known it would ever be legalized, and for recreational use at that.

 

Someone echo about marijuana

 

Gun laws

 

Echo about gun laws

 

conclusion/closing words

 

Hannah: It is very obvious that as the world changes and evolves, some traditions must be left behind. It is a confusing line between what is tradition and what is not, which further complicates many debates. People will continually fight for their rights and in opposition, people will stand strong to what they believe to be traditions. I believe that in order for the world to continually move forward and improve, traditions are going to have to be broken. Michelle Obama was quoted in 2008 saying “…we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move to a different place as a nation.” This can be true of many aspects of our nation, but is very prevalent in all the topics we have covered. In order to progress our nation forward, traditions must be altered or changed. As more debates arise, there will continually be people standing behind what they believe to be tradition. It is important that when standing behind these traditions, we realize what traditions are truly important and which ones may not be able to withstand the test of time.    

 

gay/cub scouts

women in the workforce

marijuana

immigration

Michael topics-immigration reform, Marijuana reform, gay marriage reform

Hannah topics-gay marriage, traditions in society

Zane topics- gays/cub scouts, regulation of gun laws, women in the workforce