Posted by: lindseychristine | December 9, 2009

“Jersey Shore” Sparks Cultural Controversy

At the start of December MTV welcomed a new reality series, “Jersey Shore.” The show which has already gained much popularity follows eight young adults in their 20s living in a summer share in Seaside Heights, NJ. Like the hit show, “The Real World,” the show incorporates a “live it up” attitude which is spiced up with partying, drama and gossip, tanning, dating, and sex, where emotions are constantly running high and low. Unlike “The Real World” which casts a diverse group of people, “Jersey Shore” is an all Italian-American cast where the Italian flag is plastered throughout the set. The guys often refer to themselves as “guidoes” and the girls as “guidettes,” which are categorized as racial slurs for Italian Americans, according to an NPR report. NPR stated that at a March casting call for the show, MTV made it known that they were seeking “loud and proud” Italians. However, the focus and portrayal of members of this specified culture has angered several, especially those of Italian heritage.

Members of UNICO National, an Italian service organization which strives to “promote and enhance the image of Italian Americans” were incredibly offended and outraged by the show’s content that the group’s president, Andre DiMino, wrote an angry letter to MTV, according to NPR. The letter included, “In addition to the use of derogatory terms, the program celebrates and highlights incredibly offensive behavior and acts of young Italian Americans – in sum, the entire program is a disgrace and an insult to Italian Americans, and, in fact, to anyone!” The group’s efforts in expressing their anger was to demand for cancellation of the show. DiMino’s Twitter page reveals that he has and continues to make several television appearances to speak about the excessive stereotyping that appears on this program, such as Inside Edition and The Today Show. On the The Today Show DiMino expressed how the show is distasteful and makes Italian-Americans appear as “bimboeshere.

The New York Post described the “Jersey Shore” as, “The most hateful, anti-Italian-American show ever allowed on legitimate TV,” according to an Inside Edition report. The report revealed that MTV continues to back the program by stating, “Our intention was never to stereotype, discriminate or offend.”

The scandal and hype about the show has led Domino’s Pizza to stop advertising for the “Jersey Shore” according to TMZ. Domino’s has released this statement, “The content of this particular program is not right for Domino’s Pizza,” which was included in a NY Mag report this past Saturday.

Personally I have watched this show a few times and my gut reaction was that those living on or near the Jersey Shore would be most offended due to how people living in the area are portrayed. However, with the several recent news stories discussing how the Italian-American culture is negatively portrayed on the show I can certainly understand why such individuals would be offended.

Ultimately reality TV is to entertain. Americans cannot seem to get enough reality TV in their lives. I believe that the “Jersey Shore” controversy has allowed MTV to learn a big lesson – be extra cautious to not discriminate any ethnic groups when developing new reality shows in the future. What is funny to some may certainly not be funny to all, especially when it comes to cultures and values.

Posted by: lindseychristine | December 9, 2009

Pandora to “Jazz” Up Cars in the Future

The tunes we rock out to in our cars have progressed from playing from good ol’ car radios to CD players, and now satellite radio, iPods, and smart phones. Of course the growth in music technology isn’t going to stop there. The popular, Internet radio website, Pandora, may possibly find a new home, our cars, according to a report posted on Mashable today. Pandora which can now be utilized on computers and cell phones plans to hit the road with us in the near future.

Mashable reported, “Pandora CTO Tom Conrad says half of the Internet radio’s mobile users listen to Pandora in the car (like us, they just connect their phones to their stereos).” It was mentioned that incorporating Pandora into our vehicles will reduce the risky behavior of taking eyes off the road to scroll through songs on iPods and phones to locate our favorite tunes. Instead, Pandora would provide the option to program in our most enjoyed stations onto our dashboards for easy access while driving. The well known radio provider plans to begin collaborating with Ford in January.

Conrad told GigaOM that newly manufactured cars will include Pandora which will either be included in the car’s price or be an additional feature. GigaOM also reported that the number of Pandora subscribers via smart phones has significantly increased which has sparked the encouragement to approach the automotive field.

Being a big fan of Pandora and satellite radio, I would love to see Pandora move into new cars. Having a large variety of genres and artists to choose from while driving would be enjoyed by many. Since I enjoy discovering new music within different genres, Pandora provides me with the opportunity to hear new singers and bands which fall under my preferred music categories. Hearing non-stop music without static or commercials is of course a plus as well. Bring it on!
How often do you use Pandora?

Posted by: lindseychristine | December 7, 2009

Fears of Swine Flu Gone Overboard at UConn?

This semester UConn has taken appropriate measures to prevent the spread of H1N1 on campus. With an increase in hand sanitizer available throughout campus, flu goodie bags distributed at the Department of Health Services, face masks being worn by patients at Health Services to fight the spread of germs, it’s safe to say that the university administration is trying hard to prevent this widespread flu.

UConn President Michael Hogan poses with students at Midnight Breakfast in December 2008

The annual UConn Midnight Breakfast, a popular and well-liked gathering by many for the past 10 years has been cancelled this year due to fears of H1N1 spreading.

“We didn’t want to increase the chances of students catching the flu just as they went into final exams, and Midnight Breakfast would be the perfect place to spread the virus around rapidly,” said UConn President Michael Hogan on his blog.

Is there such thing as going too far in Swine Flu prevention? Of course I can understand the concerns the university may have and their efforts to be extra cautious. However, I simply find it to be a foolish action taken to eliminate an event in which many look forward. I like everyone else certainly do not want to get sick anytime soon. However, this large event which draws close to 3,000 students each year, according to President Hogan’s blog post, is just as comparable to many other daily interactions which take place between students and staff at this big university.

Thousands of students eat at dining halls, ride the bus, use public computers, sit next to others in large lecture halls, and attend social events such as sporting events and concerts. It’s a given that students have come to accept the fact that they are constantly in close proximity to others each day and must be cautious about the spread of germs around them. Students could easily “catch” the flu simply from their daily routines on campus. I do not think a Midnight Breakfast should be cancelled because of flu fears.

Students truly get excited to attend this enjoyable event because it gives them a much needed break to de-stress, relax, and unwind with friends prior to the final exam rush. If there were other reasons behind the cancellation of this event such as lack of funding or volunteers I believe students would be more understanding to their reasoning.

UConn’s Student Newspaper, The Daily Campus, reported about the large university funding budget cuts approved by the Connecticut legislature in a September article. “Three million dollars will be taken from the fund this year, followed by another five million next year.”

It appears that funding could easily be a factor in breaking this popular tradition. Eliminating an event with a flu-like explanation seems to be a weak excuse personally. Just like UConn fans have been cramming into Gampel Pavillion for basketball games all semester, cramming into the Student Union for some eats at a stressful time should not be a tradition to place a stop upon. What do you think?

Posted by: lindseychristine | December 2, 2009

So You’re Going to Pull an All-Nighter…

Although college students may not want to believe it, it’s indeed that time of year again, finals. Yes, that much despised F word. Exams are just weeks away, final papers and project deadlines are creeping closer, and then of course there’s holiday shopping to get done with the little free time in between it all. There’s no doubt it’s crunch time! Although minds may be set on the joys of winter break and the holidays, the clock’s tickin’ and the to-do list must be worked on. College students may spend hours studying and getting homework done in the library or in their dorms or apartments, but that does not always cut it.

Sometimes students must resort to pulling all-nighters when times are hectic to accomplish one or many assignments or to study for an exam. However, a study conducted in January 2007 by Pamela Thacher, a St. Lawrence University Assistant Professor of Psychology and clinical psychologist, concluded “…students who have never pulled an all-nighter have average GPAs of 3.1, compared to 2.9 for those who have,” according to a Fox News report.

Fox News reported that students often have a hard time retaining information after staying up all night to study since lack of sleep negatively affects concentration and performance levels on tests. “If I get less than six hours of sleep I just do not function at all,” said ChloJe LaFrance, a psychology and English major at St. Lawrence University.

On the flip side, depending on a student’s body and their sleep patterns, some may not find themselves overly affected by lack of sleep in regards to their classroom performance. Dr. Howard Weiss, a doctor at St. Peter’s Sleep Center in New York, argues, “Some people have different 24-hour body clocks than others, and may do better depending on class and testing times,” according to Fox.

This past January a Carnegie Melon University student placed a suggestion in the library’s suggestion box to offer sleeping bags to be checked out at the library, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. Though this may have brought a chuckle or two to the library’s staff, the suggestion ultimately led to the university’s library to remain open for 24 hours during the school week. Several other colleges and universities across the country have also come to value the importance of remaining open all night such as Villanova, Penn State University, MIT, and the University of Virginia which Erika Linke, President of the Association of College and Research Libraries and Associate Dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Melon, reported to the Post-Gazette.

The change to keep library doors open longer at Carnegie Melon was also implemented due to continual requests from students to who were not thrilled with the 3 a.m. closing time, according to the Post-Gazette. Library staff also chose to keep the lights on in the wee hours of the night to ultimately provide students who are pulling an all-nighter with an appropriate workspace.

“It’s being surrounded by people who make you realize you’re not the only one who’s up studying…When you’re home, it’s so comfortable. Your bed is right there. You can jump right in. But here, everyone is in the same mode,” Rebecca Kim, a chemical engineering major from Carnegie Melon told the Post Gazette.

Of course excellent time management is indeed the best solution to staying far and clear from having to deal with the stresses that come with pulling an all-nighter. However, excessive college workloads causes all-nighters to happen to the best of us, regardless of where our GPAs stand.

If you’re going to be a night owl and watch the sunrise as you type away at a paper or study, keep the tips listed below in mind which were reported on Suite 101’s College Student Survival Tips for All Night Study Sessions post.

Plan! Write a detailed list of everything you need to accomplish and prioritize.

Choose a space that will allow you to be as productive as possible. Maybe you work well at your desk in your dorm or apartment. Others need to get out of their room to escape distractions and work best at the library or other locations on campus that may be open throughout the night. Wherever a student chooses to go, it’s important to make sure they are not too comfy. This will prevent from any dozing off or finding your head in a book in the morning.

Careful on the caffeine consumption! “Caffeine can help, but you really need to use it in moderation. After binging on caffeine, your body crashes, which means you might be in terrible shape later in the evening or during your exam.”

Put on the tunes low! Be sure to choose music that’s not too calm or distracting.

Allow yourself a short 5-minute study break every hour. Get up, stretch, take a walk to clear your mind.

Don’t eat too many carbs. Instead eat foods rich in protein. Carbs help with increasing energy, but foods high in protein will provide a greater source of energy to help keep you alert and productive throughout the night. Choose snacks such as nuts or cheese.

Drink up the H20! Staying hydrated helps with much needed stamina.

Stay and think positive! Try to calm yourself down by reminding yourself “I can do this.”

Get more all-nighter strategies with this quick Howcast video here.

Posted by: lindseychristine | December 1, 2009

Got the Résumé Writing Blues?

Just like we would add more college gear and free t-shirts to our closets and bureaus, as college students we must continually be updating our résumés. With tough economic times and high competition for jobs these days, it’s truly important to stay on top of this frequently revised document to remain a strong candidate for the job market.

Ultimately a résumé serves as a marketing tool where you’re selling your experiences and skills to prove you are the most qualified candidate and “best fit” for a job or internship. “You are promoting yourself and if you have any hope of turning your résumé into a marketing tool, you will need to make an investment of time and effort. And that won’t happen unless you know what you want your résumé to accomplish. The purpose of a résumé is to get the job interview by catching the attention of the person that is screening it for a fit,” according to THINK Energy Group’s report on Secrets for Turning Your Resume into a Marketing Tool.

Working as a Career Resource Assistant at the University of Connecticut Department of Career Services, I critique student résumés and make résumé writing presentations to student organizations on campus and first year students. There is not one right way a résumé should look. What matters most is that it is well organized and follows a consistent format. Whether you’re applying for a full or part-time job, internship, or grad school, highlighting your experiences and strengths on a résumé can be a challenge. Here are some key components to keep in mind and sections to include to help your résumé rise to the top of the pile! Okay, here goes…

Think 1! Résumés should be 1 page, 1 font size, and have 1-inch margins. Ideally a résumé should stay on 1 page, however some majors such as nursing and education may be more than 1 page due to required related experiences which must be included on this document. Font size is typically 10-12.

Tailor your résumé to the job or field you’re applying. Keep in mind which skills or related experiences (if any) you wish to emphasize to employers that are relevant to the field.

Avoid using abbreviations. Not all employers may be familiar with organizations, such as student organizations.

Don’t include personal pronouns. Example: “I” or “my” should not be included. Résumés are objective and written in a professional tone.

No periods needed. Résumé writing includes bullet points and phrases. There is no need to include periods since sentences are not being constructed.

Résumé Headers:
Contact Information: Include your name, address, city, state, zip code, telephone number. Increase the font size of your name. Your name is the only piece of information that should stick out from the rest of the material. Including just one phone number is often encouraged, just be sure to state if it’s a cell or home phone. Also writing both current and permanent addresses and specifying which one is which is also helpful.

Objective: A short phrase that states the position or field you’re applying and 2-3 transferable skills you can apply to that job. You can make it as specific as you would like, such as including the company’s name in it. In regards to the skills you include in the objective, think about what skills someone who works in that field should have and list them in order of importance. The skills you include in your objective statement should be supported throughout your résumé.
An example: Seeking a fall internship in the field of education utilizing interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills

Education: Write out your college, location, degree (write out fully like it would appear on your diploma), minors, date of graduation. GPA is also included and written out such as, 3.50/4.00. Typically I encourage students to include a GPA if 2.5 or higher. Anything 3.0 or above should always be included. If you choose not to include a GPA on your résumé, be aware that an employer may inquire about it at an interview. Also, if you studied abroad be sure to include the school’s name, location, and dates attended.

An example:
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, May 2011
Minor: Spanish
GPA: 3.23/4.00

Relevant Coursework: List 4-8 upper level (200+) related courses to the field you’re applying. Simply write out the course names, listing in order of significance.

Skills: Include skills that fall under categories such as computer (typically Microsoft & Mac programs listed), language (fluent or conversational), certifications. Depending on your major or field you’re applying, decide where you think it would be best to place the Skills section higher or lower up on your résumé. For example, a business student may want to place their Skill section higher up to emphasize their computer skills and knowledge.

Work Experience: Write the organization name, location, position held, months and years worked. Be sure to begin with the most recent job worked. Create bullet points to show what tasks you were responsible for completing. Start each bullet point with a strong action verb. In a bullet point discuss the task, how you did it (did you work independently? collaborate with a group?), and the result (ask yourself, What did I accomplish by completing that task?). Also, it’s essential to include different skills that you either applied or were able to acquire by working at that job. Be sure to write in the correct tenses. If you currently work at a job write in the present tense and if it’s a past job write in the past tense.

Example of a work experience:
Bertucci’s Restaurant, Boston, MA
Hostess, May 2009-Present
-Provide quality customer service by greeting and seating customers for lunch and dinner

If you have related work experience in your field, be sure to create two categories such as Related Experience and Additional Work Experience.

Activities & Volunteer Experience: State the organization, position (member or leadership role), months/years involved. If you were very involved in an activity or would like to describe your involvement feel free to create a bullet point or two.

If space allows…Interests: An optional section if you need to fill up your résumé to 1 page of content. Include hobbies or topics of interests which you feel would be appropriate conversation starters at an interview.

References available upon request. Reference information does not need to be included on a résumé. Employers will ask for them if needed. Instead, type a reference sheet with 3-4 references to bring to an interview.

Got 10 minutes? Check out a helpful Résumé Writing Overview presented by two former UConn Career Services’ employees who graduated last spring.

Posted by: lindseychristine | December 1, 2009

Gossip Gone Too Far?

When exiting our high school graduations in our caps and gowns we certainly left many aspects of our young adult lives behind, such as high school football games, proms, and the gossip carved and written on bathroom walls. Writing comments on bathroom walls may be a thing of the past, but immature, vicious gossip is certainly present and on the rise on college campuses nationwide. The bathroom wall nonsense is now plastered on online gossip sites for all eyes to see.

Adding fuel to the college gossip fire has certainly been kicked up more than a couple of notches these days. College students from schools across the country are publicly posting anonymous personal attacks about individuals (where first and last names are often included) on online gossip sites such as, College Anonymous Confession Board. Gossip websites where students choose to rant and vent about people and issues have been categorized as an “electronic bathroom wall” by Beverly Low, the dean of first-year students at Colgate University, which was published in a Time Magazine report at the start of November.

In just seconds students can access their school’s own personal giant gossip message board after choosing their college or university on the home page. Students have the option to browse or post comments on categories which include advice, sex, issues, and academics. Time Magazine reported that such posts are often filled with distasteful racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks.

Glancing at my own university’s “wall,” posts ranged from titles such as “Sororities and their current reputations…post away!”, “Easiest girls to take home, please name away,” “Ugly new freshman whores you have to watch out for.” This gossip driven phenomenon appears to have been trigged by Juicy Campus, a former popular college gossip site. This college gossip central website shut down in February after losing advertisers and an investigation on violation of consumer-protection laws began by two state attorneys, according to Time.

The founder of CollegeACB, Peter Frank, a Wesleyan sophomore, runs the website right out of his dorm room in Connecticut. The elimination of Juicy Campus sparked much desire to strengthen the traffic of CollegeACB for Frank. “He contacted Juicy Campus’ founder Matt Ivester, who personally emailed him and agreed upon a five-figure deal to have all of Juicy Campus’ traffic redirected to CollegeACB. CollegeACB’s traffic increased from 60,000 hits a day to half a million overnight,” according to a report in The Wesleyan Argus in February. The report revealed that there are currently 500 colleges and universities represented on the site.

“Although the ACB can devolve into cruel gossip, Frank believes it serves as a sounding board for students and a unique opportunity for people to open up and have provocative and meaningful dialogue,” The Wesleyan Argus reported.

It is not surprising for Frank to receive 40 requests from individuals asking to remove insulting and harmful posts, according to Time. It was also reported that the site does not have anyone moderating or policing the content posted. Frank said that he will take down a post that included an individual’s name per requested. He has also received hundreds of requests from college officials to remove material and even to remove their college from the site permanently.

Students should have an outlet to share their thoughts with others in regards to their own particular college campus life. College students enjoy online interaction with friends and peers with the use of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. These websites have proven that it’s certainly beneficial for students to have an opportunity to share what’s on their minds with others. However, posting anonymous nasty comments about particular individuals is incredibly childish and cowardly. There’s a big difference between a place to vent maturely and a place to just post trash about others.

Although other non-controversial college related content is posted, let’s face it people are typically not visiting CollegeACB to find out the best pizza place on campus. Certainly some of the material is not overly negative and was intentionally posted for amusement. When it comes down to it, college students must be conscious about drawing the line between what is considered funny and what can be significantly damaging to one’s reputation and well being.

Posted by: lindseychristine | November 16, 2009

Caution: Fattening Drinks Ahead

42-19227921Thirsty? When it comes to choosing a drink we may be less likely to consider the amount of calories, grams of sugar, carbs, and fat content a beverage may have in comparison to the foods we choose to eat. Let’s face it, a person is much more likely to consider the fat content in a Wendy’s junior bacon cheeseburger rather than the fat content of their morning coffee beverage they’re ordering.

However, the drinks we choose to drink each day may have more calories than we may think, which can certainly add to our waistlines overtime. The average American takes in 450 calories daily from consuming beverages, according to a health study conducted by the University of North Carolina which was reported on Yahoo! Health last April. The report revealed that such calorie intake from drinks forces our bodies to work off or gain an additional 23lbs each year.

gal_drink_fat_glass_ad_cokeThe New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene took powerful steps to spread public awareness of consuming beverages high in sugar and calorie content. In October the organization developed a three-month long visual ad campaign called “Don’t drink yourself fat.”

This health group’s eye-catching ads displayed sugary drinks being poured from a bottle into a glass where the contents instantly turned into fat. “The ad implies that excess sugar turns into stored fat in the human body. This process is scientifically referred to as “lipogenesis“, which is the synthesis of fat from carbohydrates or sugars,” which was reported on the Brooklyn Excelsior in October.

With the modern trends of eating healthy and organic foods and drinks, popular beverages on the market today that appear to be “healthy” may in reality not be as nutritional as one may think. Don’t be fooled!

The nutritional lowdown on the drink shelf from the highest to lowest calorie content…
(The following beverage nutritional facts were reported in Men’s Health Magazine which were included in a Hartford Courant unhealthy drink report and on a Yahoo! Health report.)

Coffee Alternative:
Starbucks’ Venti White Hot Chocolate
640 calories
28 grams of fat
76 grams of sugar

Energy Drink:
Rockstar Original (16 oz can)
280 calories
62 grams of sugar

Minute Maid (20oz)
250 calories
68 grams of sugar

Sierra Nevada (12 oz)
210 calories
20 grams of carbohydrates

Iced Tea:
Arizona (16 oz)
200 calories
25 grams of sugar

Sunkist (12 oz can)
190 calories
52 grams of sugar

“Healthy” Drink:
VitaminWater (20oz bottle)
130 calories
33 grams of sugar

“Light” Beer:
Sam Adams Light (12 oz bottle)
124 calories
10 grams of carbohydrates

Although drinking these beverages in moderation never hurt anyone, be sure to get in enough calorie-free H20 each day. Are you surprised at all by which drinks contain more calories in comparison to others?

Posted by: lindseychristine | November 11, 2009

Chewing Gum Linked to Heightened Test Scores

“Dirty mouth? Clean it up with Orbit!” Many chewing gum companies promote their products by convincing us of the gum’s long-lasting flavor and the joys of acquiring minty clean breath. However, what they don’t advertise is an excellent perk of chewing gum in general, earning higher test scores and an overall stronger, academic performance.

A research study involving teenage gum chewers at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in April 2009, confirmed “an increase in standardized math test scores and their final grades were better compared to those who didn’t chew gum,” which was conducted by Craig A. Johnston, Ph.D., according to Wrigley. The study revealed that students who chewed gum in the classroom and while doing homework for 14 weeks increased math test scores considerably.

gumball-machineThe boost in academic performance from gum is caused from jaw and tongue movement when chewing, which enhances “feedback to the brain-just as if you were doodling,” according to a medical blog post composed by Dr. David Clark, a Functional Neurologist from Dallas. Dr. Clark explained when feedback is boosted in the brain, stimulation is also increased which assists the brain to be better committed to focusing on a task, such as math. This neurologist advises his patients who are diagnosed with ADHD or with learning disabilities, like Dyslexia, to chew gum while completing homework or studying to strengthen brain activity and increase blood flow for a greater concentration level.

It’s rather ironic that I’m currently blogging about gum while chewing my favorite gum, Orbit Peppermint. It certainly has become routine for me to chew gum when I want to “get down to business” with my schoolwork. Like caffeinated coffee beverages, gum is an essential for helping me focus while taking notes in class, writing papers, studying, and at my workplace. Ultimately, my frequent gum chewing to “keep me going” and committed to completing such tasks has become an unconscious habit. I am not surprised by this interesting medical research given that I can personally relate to the academic and concentration benefits of this sweet treat. I’ll definitely be sure to pop a stick of gum in my mouth before my math test this week.

Are you a more concentrated student when chewing gum?

These student gum chewers tell all…

Posted by: lindseychristine | November 8, 2009

When the Wounds Never Heal: The Harsh Reality of Violence Against Women

rhianna1The talented, beautiful, pop icon, Rihanna, publicly addressed the horrific night her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown, violently attacked her following a post-Grammy celebration in February to Diane Sawyer on Friday’s edition of 20/20. A text message Brown received from an ex-girlfriend which aggravated Rihanna, ultimately led Brown to viciously shove her against the car window, punch her left eye, bite her ear and fingers, put her into two headlocks so severe she struggled to breathe, and threaten to kill her.

Confirming the painful events that transpired that evening from police reports, viewers could surely detect the immense pain Rihanna was experiencing from her eyes which displayed dire disgust and distress. She justified to Sawyer that when you’re beaten by a man the scars on a woman’s body may heal, but the internal scars do not heal, which was reported on the Examiner on Friday.

When Sawyer asked Rihanna why she would feel ashamed about seeing the photo of herself beaten and battered by Brown, she responded, “I fell in love with that person, that’s embarrassing. That’s embarrassing that that’s the type of person that I fell in love with, so far in love. So unconditional that I went back.” Rihanna explained that being passionately in love with Brown, her “best friend” and first true love, powerfully brainwashed her to go back to him and blame herself for his incident of rage.

The prevalence of intimate partner violence has caused the medical treatment of battered women to make up 15-30% of ER visits in this country, according to a Violence Against Women on College Campuses report by the Feminist Majority Foundation. This organization emphasized that violence against women being so widespread may cause a woman to not “think twice” about leaving their partner. The Feminist Majority Foundation reported that women who are abused may stay with their partner for a variety of reasons which include, “emotional, physical, or psychological coercion, financial stability, and love.”

domestic_violence_080207_msThis young pop star has certainly brought much awareness of violence against women into the spotlight, which is unfortunately so prevalent in this nation and throughout the world. Domestic violence is the main cause of injury to women in the U.S. where approximately 5.3 million women are abused annually, according to the American Institute on Domestic Violence. This organization reported that about 1,232 women die annually from being abused by their intimate partner.

Unlike Rihanna’s case, numerous women who are victimized by their boyfriends and husbands often go unreported. The National Center for Victims of Crime confirmed that only 20% of women who are abused report it to the police. The reality that women are being violently abused and is kept hush hush and under the radar is incredibly disturbing.

domestic_abuseOne and five college women will experience some type of dating violence, according to a Live Strong report. The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, reported, “Females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group at a rate almost triple the national average.” Thus, 60% of 500 females aged 16-24 who were surveyed, reported that they were currently in abusive relationships, according to the Live Strong site. In May 2001, the Bureau of Justice also confirmed that 60% of young women who were raped identified their rapists as boyfriends, friends, or acquaintances.

If there was one piece of information that truly stuck with me in regards to women who unfortunately find themselves in abusive relationships it was Rihanna’s mature words of wisdom at the conclusion of her 20/20 interview. Rihanna exclaimed, “I will say that to any young girl who is going through domestic violence, don’t react off of love… Come out of the situation and look at it in the third person and for what it really is,” which was provided in an exclusive by Good Morning America.

UConn’s Women’s Center provides additional information on dating violence here.

Posted by: lindseychristine | November 5, 2009

Lay off the Texting, Keep Your Eyes on the Road!

texting2All of our lives the message of “don’t drink and drive!” has been drilled into our brains. Last year, intoxicated, impaired drivers killed approximately 11,773 innocent lives in the U.S., according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. We’ve been told again and again to not drink and drive, but what about texting? How often are we told to refrain from replying to those texts and focus on the road?

Those couple seconds of taking your eyes off the road to look down at your cell phone can easily and quickly lead to a horrific accident, even a fatal one. Just like drunk driving kills, the simple act of texting can too.

In November 2007, 24-year old, Victoria McBryde of Oxford, England, a talented fashion designer out of college, was hit on the side of the road where her car had broken down and was killed by a texting driver, according to The New York Times on Sunday. The Times reported that McBryde was hit by Phillipa Curtis, 22, whose cell phone flew onto the road after the accident. Curtis’ phone revealed that about two dozen text messages were exchanged within one hour prior to the crash and had one, new unopened text that was sent to her just seconds before the crash.

In February 2008, Curtis was sentenced to 21 months in high-security prison for “death by dangerous driving,” which falls under new British governments policies that advises those who text or drink while driving to four to seven years jail time. The Times provided a valid point, “The case reveals the tensions that arise when law enforcement and the courts begin to crack down on a dangerous habit that has become widespread and socially acceptable. Is texting while driving bad judgment, or a heinous crime? And what is the appropriate punishment?”

phoneAlthough texting does not impair us cognitively like alcoholic beverages, texting is a big, big distraction to our driving. “For every 5 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road. This makes texting the most distracting of all cell phone related tasks,” according to a Car Accident Cell Phone Statistics report by Edgar Snyder & Associates Law Firm.

We may not even think twice about our actions of texting while on the road, but we truly should. Texting behind the wheel is risky and places those around us, surrounding cars and pedestrians, at severe danger. Yet, approximately 50% of drivers ages 18-24 admitted to texting while driving, according to this Pennsylvania law firm.

A NY Times and CBS News poll revealed that almost all Americans believe sending texts while behind the wheel should be illegal. 50% believe the punishment for texting while driving should be comparable to those who are found driving drunk, according to a NY Times report last Sunday.

notexting2009The Governors Highway Safety Association confirmed that 18 U.S. states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit drivers from text messaging. States are beginning to crack down on this dangerous habit, but is the message clear to tech savvy drivers who just can’t seem to put their phones down? It’s truly a harmful activity that we must control ourselves from taking part in and become conscious about.

How would you feel if you caused a car accident that injured others and yourself because you made the decision to reply back to that text?! Ultimately texting while driving is a selfish act. Protect yourself and others by choosing to pull over if you need to text.

Don’t become a statistic or let this happen to you…


A driver texting causes this brutal collision this past May

Americans speak their minds on this issue here.

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