Tag Archives: from our perspective

From Our Perspective: Mike Anderson’s prison layaway special

An interview with Mike Anderson.
An interview with Mike Anderson. Image from CBS.

A man by the name of Mike Anderson is finally being sentenced to jail, 13 years after his initial crime of armed robbery, due to a clerical error on the part of the corrections system. Since then, he has lived an upstanding life, had four kids and started his own construction company. Continue reading From Our Perspective: Mike Anderson’s prison layaway special

From Our Perspective: Wherefore art thou, MH370?

The image Courtney Love tweeted with the idea she found the missing plane. Image from Mama Mia.
The image Courtney Love tweeted with the idea she found the missing plane. Image from Mama Mia.

What happened to that Malaysian airliner that went missing two weeks ago? Was it aliens, terrorists or just a fire that caused the plane to explode? In this brief podcast, we discuss what could have happened to the plane, Rachel gives away LOST spoilers and Kaileigh learns that the gods don’t cause weather. Continue reading From Our Perspective: Wherefore art thou, MH370?

From Our Perspective: Gun control and violence in the media

Cover image with the Boston bomber. Image from Rolling Stone.
Cover image with the Boston bomber. Image from Rolling Stone.

Welcome back to another episode of From Our Perspective! This episode was recorded in collaboration with Radio Free Radford so the sound quality is much better thanks to real recording equipment.

In this episode, we debate all of the rhetoric behind gun control and discuss whether or not video games have an influence on gun crime. Continue reading From Our Perspective: Gun control and violence in the media

From Our Perspective: Va Elections & Pro Life Club

Cuccinelli
Ken Cuccinelli. Photo from CBS News.

Welcome back to another scandalous episode of From Our Perspective. This is a direct continuation of the debate from last time, where we talked about St. Albans and Obamacare. In this episode, we’ve ramped up the controversy. We delve into the Va. gubernatorial elections, as well as the topic of abortion and the new “Radford Students for Life” club that opened on campus. Continue reading From Our Perspective: Va Elections & Pro Life Club

From our perspective: Truth-telling trumps storytelling

Two weeks ago, Mike Daisey admitted that parts of a piece he did called “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory” that aired on”This American Life” were made up. Host Ira Glass posted a statement to the site saying the story contained “significant fabrications” and that the show “can’t vouch for its truth.”

According to The Washington Post, Daisey did go to southern China and met with workers from Foxconn, but that doesn’t mean his story was fully factual. Continue reading From our perspective: Truth-telling trumps storytelling

From our perspective: All service members deserve protection

The Pentagon announced that an additional 1% of military jobs will be open to women within a few months, though most combat career fields will remain off-limits.

While we think this is a step in the right direction, some of America’s public figures argued against it. Continue reading From our perspective: All service members deserve protection

From our perspective: Happy meals aren’t always so happy

Like all fast food restaurants, McDonald’s promises quality food at an affordable price. Sometimes, however, I wonder if that reasonable price should come with a disclaimer. The quality and standards of the end product should never be compromised because a company is trying to reduce costs; a factor which is being compromised more frequently in the fast food industry.

Recently, McDonald’s made a press release stating that their burgers would no longer contain “pink slime.” Pink slime is comprised mostly of ammonia and meat trimmings, according toJulie Kennel, director of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University. Ammonia is a chemical, most commonly found in household cleaners such as Windex, Mr. Clean and Pledge. If inhaled or ingested, ammonia can have potentially serious health risks including fatigue, respiratory failure, burns or corrosive bodily damage.
Why would McDonald’s have had an ammonia-based meat product in their burgers in the first place? How do we, as consumers, know what else might be lurking inside one of these burgers? McDonald’s is supposed to be a place we all know and love. Its whimsical past, including Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Mayor McCheese, Hamburglar and many others, bring back memories of colorful ball pits and happy meals. Most of us grew up loving McDonald’s and the entire “eating experience” that has been provided by the golden arches for years.
When you think of McDonald’s as a brand, you probably think of the long tradition of beloved food, iconic symbols and lovable mascots. Releasing such a bold statement, such as the removal of pink slime (seeing how most people had no idea that something so dreadful could be hiding inside of their burgers in the first place), could hurt their reputation as a hallmark company forever.
The American public should demand better quality food. In discussing what should be done to make sure no harmful chemicals or toxins are in our fast food products, I came to the conclusion that the FDA or another federally funded program should be more heavily involved in the regulation of fast food. After seeing the various articles on pink slime, would that actually entice you to go out of your way to eat at a fast food joint? McDonald’s will, and should, get heat from consumers for an extensive amount of time to come, so hopefully some good will come of this.
If the FDA mandates a higher standard for beef in fast food restaurants, then maybe we will decide that it’s safe to eat at our favorite childhood eatery again. High quality fast food matters to me. How about you?
Graphic by Ashley Kincaid.

 

From Our Perspective: Standardized tests are lowering standards

In the typical college classroom, students are judged on whether they know the material by using a scantron bubble sheet and a number two pencil to choose the best answer. The staff at Whim believes this method of measurement is not the best answer to help our failing schools.

Standardized tests only allow for one type of learner to succeed and do not engage students. Standardized tests force teachers to cram only the pieces of information that are going to be on the test into a semester. This causes the teacher to be unable to experiment with different ways to teach the class because they are too busy worrying about fitting in all the material they need to cover in order for the students to pass the final exam. This unfortunately results in the majority of students becoming bored over the endless PowerPoints and the monotonous drone of the teacher’s voice reciting mindless facts about the subject area.

Standardized tests provide only one way to measure a student’s ability to learn. Standardized tests do not take into consideration the student that does not do well on multiple choice, fill-in-the blank tests.

Scantron. Photo from Creative Commons.

Standardized tests only measure the student’s ability to commit to memory the specified information that will be covered on the test for a short period of time, just long enough for the student to pass the test. This leads to lowering the standards and the expectations of students. If standardized tests continue to be used as a valid measurement of learning, students will only receive an education in memorization and not in learning content needed to be successful.

Fast forward to college, where students are expected to already have knowledge for the professors to build on. When they have spent their entire time learning to the test in grade school, it causes problems.

Professors expect us to know how to read, write and at least do basic algebra and geometry. Since so many of us got through standardized tests by memorizing things, or using the old “plug and chug” method, we are dismayed when we have to actually know things.

Rage comic. Photo from Creative Commons.

The problem isn’t that students are getting less intelligent, it’s that the standardization of our education didn’t allow for growth. Sure, there are advanced classes in high school, but those are only for students who show an aptitude for the specific subject.

Because most of us weren’t challenged in public school, we have a difficult time understanding what our professors want from us. This is where it all falls apart. Professors are forced to go back to the basics that we should already know, rather than covering new, more advanced material.

The staff at Whim urges Radford University’s students to understand that their professors aren’t being rude when they expect more from their students than they’re getting. We also hope that in the future standardized tests will be a thing of the past, so that public schools can send off students that are prepared for college.

From Our Perspective: The problem with the drinking problem

Many colleges across the United States, including Radford University, are declaring themselves “dry campuses,” meaning that no one on campus may have alcohol. The rules differ slightly from school to school, but the basic idea is the same. Decision makers aim to cut down the growing problem of binge drinking at college. While their ideas are admirable, the way that this legislation is implemented on RU’s campus leaves too much gray area and too many loopholes for students to not question it.

Photo from Creative Commons.

The alcohol policy on RU’s campus is strictly hammered into students’ heads throughout the year. Along with alcohol education, RA programs and the gossip that so easily flies across campus like dead fall leaves, students are well aware of the repercussions of consuming alcohol. If you get caught drinking, you get a strike. Three strikes means you get kicked out of school.

What most people fail to realize is that even if you’re not drinking you can be charged with “accessory,” which means you were aware that there was underage drinking going on and you didn’t report it. Walking by a frat house with 50 drunken freshmen hanging off the porch one night? Accessory. Your roommate has friends over on the weekend and they pull out a bottle to take shots? Also accessory.

These regulations crisscross back and forth, blurring the lines of Virginia laws and university conduct. A huge part of college is about building strong peer relationships that last for the rest of your life, right? RU encourages this positive behavior. But the second one of your good friends sips from a Solo cup, you’re supposed to turn them in and permanently scar their record? Seems a little unrealistic to me.

If your roommate chooses to bring alcohol into the room and an RA discovers it, you can both get in trouble. There’s no way to prove whose alcohol it is, so even if you choose not to drink and would rather spend your Friday nights watching movies or studying, you can get in trouble for this. RUPD encourages students to report the alcohol to an RA. By doing this, you keep yourself out of trouble. However, you have to live in that room for the rest of the year. Roommate issues (and we’ve all been there) are probably categorized as one of the least fun parts of college. Do you think your roommate will like and respect you when you’ve just directly caused them to receive a conduct charge? Probably not.

Photo from Creative Commons.

The dilemma is this: RU’s policy tells students that we must report any alcohol consumption, or else we face charges on our own records. However, the AlcoholEDU test that students are required to complete in order to register for classes details very specifically the ways in which a person can take care of someone with alcohol poisoning. Isn’t it more responsible to make sure your friends are being taken care of (even when they choose to drink) than to leave them at a party by themselves? Police officers routinely patrol the streets at night, but they don’t walk down the sidewalks banging on every door that has loud music and people scattered outside. If RU’s policy is to report any and all underage drinking, why not go door-to-door?

This issue is a direct parallel to the abstinence vs. safe sex debate. High schools that preach abstinence as the best policy don’t prepare their students for reality, or for safe sex. By preaching abstinence, but also the proper use of contraceptives, students are better equipped to deal with real-life situations. When RU preaches “dry campus” and requires students to report any drinking activities, it’s not preparing students for reality at all. If RU were to better emphasize the ways to consume alcohol safely, (know your limits, travel in groups and pour your own drinks) then students would be better prepared for university life.

From our perspective: Professors should be held accountable

Professors should follow their own rules. Graphic by Alex Morgan.

At the beginning of the semester, we have to sign course contracts in most of our classes. These contracts outline the rules of the classroom, including attendance policies, office hours and exam information. Students are expected to follow these rules or else they won’t pass the class. But what happens when professors don’t follow the rules? We at Whim feel that our professors should be held accountable for upholding their end of the course contract and should treat their students with respect.

To start, attendance policies should apply to everyone in the class, including professors. Some of us have had professors who, if going by their own attendance policy, would’ve failed their own class due to poor attendance. Skipping class without notifying your students gives us two ideas: the first being that it’s OK if we skip class without notifying you, and second that what you teach can’t be that important if you don’t feel the need to show up. Obviously emergencies happen and occasionally a good professor will have to miss a class without notifying his or her students beforehand, but when this happens frequently we’re pretty sure it’s a sign of an irresponsible professor.

Some of us have noticed that professors have had problems keeping their office hours. There’s nothing more frustrating than crossing campus to track down a professor just to realize they bailed on their office hours. It isn’t always convenient for us to make it to the office hours they set. So when we miss another obligation to meet with them at a time that’s supposedly more convenient for them, it’s extremely annoying when they don’t show up. We understand that our professors are busy, but it’s not like we sit around and do nothing. Many of us have multiple jobs, leadership positions in organizations and plenty of other classwork. Please be courteous to your students and be there when you’re supposed to be. The only thing more frustrating is when you make an appointment with them during those office hours and they forget about it.

When professors have an assignment due or give an exam or a quiz in class, they–understandably–expect us to show up on time and know the material. This isn’t too much to ask of us. But we feel that if we show up and take the exam on time, why can’t professors return our exams in a timely fashion? If we hold up our end of the bargain, why can’t they fulfill their part and give us our grades back quickly? We don’t show up for a quiz and say, “Oh, sorry, I forgot to study. I’ll be ready for it next week–let’s do it then.” Therefore professors shouldn’t show up to class and say, “Oh, sorry, I forgot to grade your exams. I’ll have them ready next week–I’ll bring them in then.” When a professor says they will give something back to us by a certain date, they should give it back to us by that date. It’s nice to know how we’re doing in a class and what we need to improve on, and we can’t do that if you don’t give us our assignments and exams back.

We don’t think we’re asking too much of our professors–just that they be held to the same standard that they ask of us. If you don’t take your class seriously, we won’t take it seriously either; we shouldn’t have to.