Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Trojan’

Thanksgiving stinks for vegans.  The holiday has lost its national significance, serving mostly as a prelude to Black Friday fervor.  The festivities involve family interactions that often result in a six-word stage play of sorts: “Eat pray love drink fight slap.”  And the best part of the holiday, its accompanying break from school, needs to be longer.

These are just a few of the Thanksgiving-themed perspectives college students have shared in recent days within their campus newspapers and magazines.

Rachel Arlin at the University of Massachusetts Amherst asks the big-picture question, seemingly on behalf of many students: “Does Thanksgiving matter anymore?”

As she writes in The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, “It is a known fact that America has turned into a materialistic country. . . . Black Friday is a significant factor in this materialistic movement. People are frantically worried about Christmas while Thanksgiving is pushed to the side, or in some cases, even ignored. . . . I was looking up ‘Thanksgiving’ under Yahoo’s search box and the first result that came up was ‘Walmart Thanksgiving Sale 2012.’  I don’t know about you, but this sickens me.”

State Press columnist Jonathan Fortner at Arizona State University agrees, noting, “Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas– the two most greedy and selfish of our nation’s pastimes– Thanksgiving is but a few days away.  In the upcoming days, shopping stores will open their doors as the sun peaks above the horizon. Hordes of consumers will stampede their way up and down shopping aisles, fulfilling the wants of their loved ones and even some of their own. . . . Over time, Thanksgiving has been reduced to a mere gluttonous affair where we stuff more than turkey. There’s more to this shortened work and school week than gorging on pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce– at least there should be.”

Meanwhile, DePauw University sophomore Ryan Konicek specifically takes issue with the shortness of the Thanksgiving school break.  As she writes in The DePauw, “[W]e are allotted a total of five days for our Thanksgiving holiday– three school days and a weekend. I do not believe that the amount of time given to us is enough. . . . I believe having a week off of classes to honor the Thanksgiving holiday is fair, especially for those that have to travel.”

Konicek’s strongest point in her push for a longer holiday respite: Many students, faculty, and staff are already checking out during the shortened pre-Thanksgiving week anyway.

The Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break are usually days where not much is covered in class because the teachers are just as antsy as the students to leave,” she writes.  “Papers may be due and then discussed, attempts at having an engaging lesson may be tried, but both the students and teachers know that it is useless. People’s minds are not focused on what is being taught in the classroom, instead their thoughts are about the holiday ahead and all the other people who are already out of school and on vacation.”

Yet, as Daily Trojan columnist Nick Cimarusti at the University of Southern California contends, the vacation itself is not entirely stress-free– often becoming “a cause of worry for many college students reluctant to discuss their college experiences.”

As he writes, “The communal aspect of the Thanksgiving meal invites us to share with others ideas and thoughts along with stuffing and cranberry sauce. For this reason, going home for Thanksgiving break invites the dreaded question: ‘So what have you been up to all semester?’”

To this end, Rocky Mountain Collegian reporter Bailey Constas at Colorado State University presents the following advice as part of a larger “Thanksgiving Survival Guide”: “Come up with three topics that you’ve learned in class to convince your parents you’re not just spending all their money on beer. It could be a new word you picked up when you didn’t understand that prompt on your midterm, that concept in philosophy that will go over your parents’ heads or a topic in sociology that you know your dad will disagree with.”

Speaking of sheer survival, Rochester Institute of Technology student Nicole Howley provides the vegan perspective on Thanksgiving.  As she writes for RIT’s Reporter Magazine, “I like the whole ‘giving thanks’ thing, but Thanksgiving seems to have become more about stuffing your face with dead things, animal products, and pie than being thankful.  And if you don’t want any of those foods, then what’s even the point?  Eating a few plain, steamed green beans and some pasta with mushroom gravy isn’t really a good celebration either.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Disappearing chivalry.  Twenty-first century virgins.  Girl flirting.  Lesbian chic. Hairy faces.  Lust at first sight.  Internet porn.  Two “Fifty Shades of Grey” smackdowns.  And one very expensive condom.

Below is a sampling of recent– or at least recently spotted– top-notch student press columns and features on sex, love, and other undergrad socialization tendencies.

Please email or tweet me to add your sex & love story to the mix.

The Golden Gate Xpress, San Francisco State University

Is chivalry dead? Maybe not, but it’s certainly on its deathbed. . . . It has been my observation in my years at SF State as a college student that this concept has skipped the latter of my generation. The act of holding doors open, pulling out chairs or buying one of those adorable vodka cranberries that girls love doesn’t seem to be important anymore.  Now, I don’t know if this is due to our interpersonal communication skills being jaded by advancements in technology where we can’t communicate without an ‘OMG,’ or if it is just how we grew up.”

The Daily Californian, University of California, Berkeley

This column is not about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ because, frankly, reading that book pissed me off. Reading about how undeserving a woman thinks she is of a prototypical alpha-male is not sexually arousing. ‘Fifty Shades’ did not provide any of the provocative mind-fucks I was anticipating. This column is about BDSM and the wonders of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism, which ‘Fifty Shades’ failed to mention.”

The Mooring Mast, Pacific Lutheran University

My main criticism of the novel, besides James’s apparent inability to write– don’t get me started on the ‘inner goddess’ thing– is her misrepresentation of the BDSM lifestyle and members of the community.  Grey frequently blames his need for dominance on an abusive childhood, referring to himself as ‘fifty shades of f—ed up.’  A 2002 study of 132 members of the BDSM community by The Guardian writer Pamela Stephenson, showed that only a few cases of adult BDSM practice were related to childhood abuse and participants in the study were generally not mentally unhealthy.”

State Press Magazine, Arizona State University

Compliments are the universal language of females. As long as they are genuine, we melt in their presence, automatically intrigued by the girl who has graced us with such a beautiful gift.  Use and abuse this power to your advantage. Instead of getting jealous of that super- cool girl on the street with impeccable style, walk up to her and ask her where she acquired her taste.”

State Press Magazine, Arizona State University

The Daily Trojan, University of Southern California

[I]t’s impossible to ignore the strange backlash that many virgins receive.  But that would only be an issue if today’s virgin didn’t go through such a dramatic transformation. Say goodbye to the diminutive, austere virgin of yesteryear — the 21st century virgin is a force to be reckoned with. Though some still fit the stereotype of a Bible-wielding puritan, there has been a rise of young girls and guys who are in no rush to get between the sheets, yet also have no problem having the time of their lives.”

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, UMass

According to, ‘lesbian chic’ is in vogue right now. By making lesbianism a fashion statement of wearing Doc Martens and having a pixie cut, it is reducing the choice of sexuality to a passing fad. In reviewing ‘lesbian chic,’ reported women preferring to wear flats and sneakers instead of high heels and the incorporation of baseball caps into everyday outfits for women.  Citing the beginning of a sexual revolution as the moment women choose not to subject themselves to a night on the town in four-inch stiletto heels seems a bit egregious to me.”

The Connection, Cosumnes River College

[M]arket branding everything has reached a new all-time height with the Luis Vuitton condom, yes I shall repeat myself Luis Vuitton has a condom line.  At $68 per condom, yes folks per condom, it is the most expensive condom currently in the world beating out channel 21’s condom line which sold at $279 a dozen.”

The Daily Nexus, University of California, Santa Barbara

In sex, there is virtually always an active role and a passive role. . . . In normal, coital sex, the active role is assumed to be the male and the passive role by the female. And thus in a single sentence I have managed to identify exactly what is problematic in our contemporary formulation of sexual power– that the passive role is passive, and the active role is active. In this terminology, power is inherently unbalanced, and it casts the woman in an immediately weaker light.”

The Towerlight, Towson University

“Alright, so picture this: you’re a guy.  You’re hanging out with your girlfriend, drinking peppermint coffee and snuggling under blankets staying warm from the crisp November weather.  Your snuggle time is escalating when suddenly you realize-she didn’t shave her legs.  Well, you wanted to cuddle with your girlfriend, not the enchanted forest.”

The Daily Toreador, Texas Tech University

[M]ost college women don’t know what they want, just like most college men don’t know what they want.  Actually, let me revise this further to say that we may know what we want, but we just don’t know how to get it. Most women want someone who reminds them of their father in regards to how they treat them. They want someone who is masculine, financially secure and who will take care of them and secure a future for them.  Most men want a respectable woman who may remind them of their mother, though it should be noted that most men would not want to see their mother in a club dancing on the stage every weekend. Neither gender, however, seem to be chasing these types of people.”

The Middlebury Campus, Middlebury College

I turn off the lights and open my laptop. I begin browsing. What will it be this time. Amateur? Three-way? Anal? It hardly matters. Women scream. Men grunt. Cum sprays across stomachs, backs and faces. Everyone looks miserable. They even cry out in semi-erotic shrieks, as if to indicate their torture.  Don’t get me wrong, the nudity and the visual impact arouse me, but my repulsion supersedes my lust. . . . A major change has occurred recently, however the advent of the internet, which has increased the pervasiveness of pornography exponentially, affects our communal sexual psyche.”

The Spartan Daily, San Jose State University

It is said to be ‘love at first sight.’  But is it really love in that moment of first laying eyes on someone?  I like to call it ‘lust at first sight,’ only because if you love someone the instant you meet them, you are probably just as creepy as Robin Williams’ character in ‘One Hour Photo.'”

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School and team officials are increasingly ordering the student and professional press to refrain from reporting on college football player injuries via observations made or information obtained during team practices.

As a respected adviser at an A-list student newspaper shared yesterday on a popular college media list-serv, “My sports editor just told me that our football beat reporter was approached at practice by the team’s sports info guy and ‘informed’ that the [paper] was not to report on players’ injuries anymore.  As in, we see a guy walking around in a cast, we can’t report that. If we do, the football coach will freeze the paper out of mid-week availability.  Which is completely ludicrous, of course.”

Ludicrous, but not unprecedented.  Daily Trojan editors at the University of Southern California noted in an editorial last week, “USC now prohibits the reporting of injuries observed during in-season practices– much like conference foes, such as Oregon, UCLA, and Washington, which have recently enacted similar policies.  The trend is one in which journalists are discouraged and even prevented, by the threat of banned access, from reporting on certain subjects.”

The editors, understandably, are not fans of the increased restrictions.  The editorial’s close: “As a publication looking to report the objective truth, the Daily Trojan does not agree with the continued efforts of the USC athletic department and institutions around the nation to keep publicly relevant information behind closed doors.  Organizations should aim to level the playing field with transparency rather than keeping facts in the dark.”

This factual darkening is, alas, becoming standard practice on many campuses.  A separate college media adviser notes, “This is a national trend right now.  We have dealt with it this year, as have many, many professional reporters. . . . This is trickle down, as the NFL has been asinine about this stuff for years despite league mandates on injury reports.  It’s typical coaches being paranoid and controlling. . . . Our policy right now is going along to get along, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but also gives us the option of picking our battles.”

Bottom line: Can you truly keep an injured player from the press?  A college media adviser at a Division 1 school rightly explains, “The difference between a student journalist and a professional journalist, in this case, is that the student journalist may have class with an injured player or may see that player on crutches in the cafeteria.  The coach can hide a player from the professional media, but not always from the eyes of student sports writers.”

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