Editorials in The Maroon

Jessica was promoted to Editorial Editor at The Maroon in January 2014

As Editorial Editor Jessica pitches topics, manages columnists, designs two pages in Adobe InDesign and writes the Editorial every week

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Thursday April 27, 2014

Editorial: One in five women in the U.S. are victims of sexual assault or rape

At Issue: An inside look into The Maroon’s decision to print the name of a Loyola student arrested on an aggravated rape charge

The room was tense as the The Maroon editorial board decided how to best report the sexual assault of a Tulane student, and the recent arrest of a Loyola student in connection to the case.

Nearly an hour of deliberation and gut-wrenching details from the police report led us to decide to print the name of the student charged and arrested by the New Orleans Police Department Sex Crimes Unit. In “Student faces aggravated rape charge”, we identify Loyola Mass Communication Senior Jonathan Cepelak with his arrest for aggravated rape on Friday, March 28. NOPD found enough evidence to arrest and charge Cepelak for the crime.

Note that nearly a week before this story’s publication in The Maroon, WDSU released Cepelak’s name. We also want to remind readers that if the crime was of a slightly different nature, such as attempted murder, there would be no hesitation in printing the name of a student charged. Aggravated rape and attempted murder are treated equally in terms of punishment. We would print the name of the accused of an attempted murder charge, how could we reason that it is right to withhold the accused’s name in the present case?

Cepelak’s charge is as serious a nature as a crime that could result in the death penalty or life in prison, according to Louisiana state law.

Imagine the consequences of witholding the name of George Zimmerman after he was arrested for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The first outcry from the case was not toward reporters for releasing the name of Zimmerman before his trial ruling. The public responded to the life of young Martin and the crime committed against him. Let us also remind you that Zimmerman was found not guilty and still, the immediate backfire was not toward journalists for releasing information about Zimmerman.

While this case was racially charged, keep in mind that the sexual assault and rape of women and the public response to it is charged by gender discrimination. There is no basis for treating these cases differently because doing so perpetuates this prejudice.

By a majority vote we decided to refrain from printing a picture of the accused.

Our reasoning during this discussion was as follows: The Maroon feels that Loyola’s small size could lead readers to believe that Cepelak is guilty as charged. While NOPD has found enough reason to arrest Cepelak, his case will be determined in court and not by our newspaper. We believe in reporting the facts and The Maroon is not in any position to judge Cepelak’s guilt or innocence.

We recognize that unfortunately victim blaming is an unholy trend in the media. The Maroon, nor any other news organization, has the right to blame the victim for anything that has happened to her just as we cannot persecute the accused. Neither you nor us were there at the time of the incident or were involved, there is no way to justify slants at the victim. It must have taken the unnamed victim an incredible amount of courage for her to report the assault to the police and we fully support her actions and we commend her.

Our desire to maintain journalistic integrity and our mission at The Maroon holds that we want to simultaneously report news objectively yet critically. We honestly feel that the most important part of this case is not the possible perpetrator; it is the victim’s story.
In the heat of the debate, we could not relieve our minds of the police report. At one of the most popular bars visited by our students two men reportedly brought a woman in to a closet where they forcibly assaulted her.
We treated this story with empathy for not only the accused but for especially the victim. We cannot even begin to imagine how this woman must be feeling or how her life might have changed since Wednesday, March 19.

A 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study prepared for the U.S. National Institute of Justice concluded from their research that the majority of sexual assaults occurring while women are incapacitated are due to their use of substances, primarily alcohol, and that freshmen and sophomores are at greater risk for victimization than juniors and seniors. The same study also found that more than 35 percent of women victim of sexual assault or rape said that they did not report the incident to police. The likelihood of reporting the assault is even less likely when the victim is familiar with her assailant.

We’d like to take this moment to shed light on the horrors and realities of sexual assault of women in the U.S. One in five women in the U.S. have been victims to sexual assault or rape in their lifetime, according to The White House Council on Women and Girls 2014 report, “Rape and sexual asault: A new call to action.”

According to a research report by the U.S. Department of Justice “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” for every 1,000 college women, nearly 40 of those students are victims of sexual assault or rape in a given year. Taking this statistic into account, consider that at a university of approximately 5,000 undergraduates with 58 percent being female students then it is possible that over 100 of those female students fall victim to sexual assault or rape in just one year.Rape is about power and not pleasure. Rape is about humiliation and not adoration. By shaming those victims who have come forward in the media, the public continues the cycle of power and humiliation that the assailant started.

We call for all students to get educated on the reality of sexual assault on campus. Get educated about what it means to “blame the victim.” Encourage anyone you know that has been a victim of sexual assault to report the crime immediately. Show your support of victims of sexual assault and of rape, their strength deserves nothing less than love and understanding during recovery.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Editorial: Having a global mindset means the world to us

At Issue: Are Loyola students actively challenging their own perspectives?

When you are bogged down with countless hours of school and extra-curricular activities, it can be difficult to think outside of your immediate environment.

It seems to us that it often takes incidences like an airplane disappearing for students to know that there are oceans outside the Gulf of Mexico.

We believe that students need global perspective. Having a global perspective is to be able to remove your own cultural bias from your understanding of the world and your place within it.

There are significant problems with keeping your beliefs and motivations limited to your own country’s mentality. The U.S. is incredibly powerful on the global stage and has a lot resources to do good. Unfortunately, citizens are not as engaged in international issues as they are with Kim Kardashian’s baby.

Take this into consideration: Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. has been sending unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — to strike villages, frequently traveled roads and remote areas in Yemen and Pakistan. “Living Under Drones,” a New York University and Stanford University project suggested that while the intention is to kill the Taliban, realistically casualties result from indiscriminate shrapnel or from simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, consider the last time you read about an accidental casualty from a U.S. drone strike reported in the news. Then, consider the last time you read something about a Western celebrity, such as Amy Adams.

We feel that a sickness in our society is evident when people are completely removed from their government’s actions and over-invested in superficial events. Ignorance can kill and the disengaged citizens are to blame.

We call for students to explore news outlets that report from different countries such as Amnesty International or Al-Jazeera — and not just Al-Jazeera America.

Culturally rich and magnificent places outside of the U.S. do exist. We encourage students to study abroad and to specifically seek programs that give the local experience of being in a different country. When you go abroad, you are not only adding to your resume but also expanding your understanding of the world.

We want students to look for classes that provide in-depth analyses of cultures dissimilar to ours. There are courses are available in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences that give students a rich historical background in various cultures that have existed and some that still do.

The College of Business can give students an opportunity to expand their global knowledge by offering international business and international marketing classes.

We commend this year’s Loyola Student Peace Conference for actively engaging those with a global mindset. We encourage all students to attend the last events of Loyola’s Peace Week today. Through student panelists and keynote speaker; the conference has successfully challenged the perspective of U.S. college students. The last events will be a panel and a guest speaker from the Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition Drone Task Force, Ken Caron.

Get involved. Get informed. Go global.

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Thursday March 27, 2014

Editorial: May the best candidates win

At Issue: We want transparency and outreach from SGA next year

The Maroon editorial board would like to express our strong support for Student Government Association presidential candidate, political science junior, Martin Quintero.

Quintero has expressed to The Maroon that he wants to take initiative during his term to get SGA working autonomously from the Office of Co-Curricular Programing. “Our first obligation should be to answer to our students,” Quintero said.

In our experience in working with student government representatives, we feel there have been numerous occasions where information has been strategically withheld from our reporters. We have also found that representatives are being advised to withhold information by the Office of Co-Curricular Programming.

When SGA refuses to speak to The Maroon reporters, they are also failing to speak to the student body.

We believe that Quintero wants to actively strengthen the relationship between The Maroon and SGA. More importantly, we see Quintero as the candidate that will push SGA away from the control of administrators and back into the hands of students.

We would also like to recognize Quintero’s experience and credentials. He has had positions in SGA as well as served as president for the International Students Association. Like various organizations, ISA has fallen victim to recent budget cuts. We applaud Quintero for his perseverance in leading an organization facing the same struggles as other members of the community during these cuts. We believe that this experience not only demonstrates his leadership capabilities, but also his dedication to cultural diversity and his loyalty to Loyola students.

While we salute Quintero’s opponent, business administration sophomore, Bud Sheppard for his campaign efforts, The Maroon editorial board does not believe Sheppard will act as the necessary driving force to make SGA a truly autonomous student-run organization.

The Maroon editorial board has also decided to endorse SGA vice presidential candidate, Nate Ryther, economics sophomore. Ryther has proven to us that he is eager to work closely with The Maroon to keep students informed.

As a senator, Ryther diligently worked with Information Technology on repairing wireless Internet connection issues on campus. He has shown excellent outreach efforts and demonstrates a confidence in student voices. Ryther has been an aggressive senator that has worked hard to perform in the interests of students.

Deciding not to endorse vice presidential candidate Allison Cormier, political science junior, was difficult. She showed us that she is passionate and very serious about her work in SGA. We also believe, however, that approachability is crucial for the immediate future. In the interest of keeping students invested in the actions of SGA, we ultimately believe that Ryther will actively nurture that relationship.

We choose to support — and to vote for — the candidates that will put students first. Quintero and Ryther are a combination that we believe will both liberate SGA from administrative influences and will have open communication with Loyola students and The Maroon.

Quintero is diplomatic, passionate and consistent in expressing his belief that SGA needs autonomy. Quintero also recognizes the necessity for open and accessible channels for students and SGA to communicate. Ryther can make SGA approachable and give them an accessible presence to students.

We call for all students to vote this Monday, March 31 on OrgSync. Your student government representatives give you the microphone; they are your direct and powerful link to administration.

When students protested in the Peace Quad this past February, the organization that could have prevented the outcry — regarding department cuts — was SGA. When you don’t seriously consider who you want to represent you at this university, you are forfeiting your voice, your choices and your ideal Loyola experience. So apart from just voting, vote for the candidate that will empower you and the voices of all Loyola students.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Editorial: Up in smoke

At Issue: It is time to change the precedent of Louisiana having some of the harshest laws against marijuana

Imagine a student is sitting in Buddig Hall at the end of the day after completing a week of exams. They suffer from severe migraines but rather than popping a few pills, they discretely light the end of a small pipe they keep for special occasions.

Then comes a bang on their door.

Someone on their floor could smell it and soon enough Residential Life is searching their room for evidence. When they find it, Loyola University Police escorts them from the building — possibly in handcuffs — and passes them along to the New Orleans Police Department.

They had less than half a gram of marijuana in their room, but between paraphernalia and possession, they are looking at university penalties, a large fine, losing their federal financial aid and possibly jail-time.

The fear of getting caught with marijuana in New Orleans is certainly merited. The cost of the offense, even something as simple as having one joint, is $500 or six-months in prison, sometimes both.

Revising marijuana laws may mean many things to Louisiana, such as unclogging our prisons. Various news sources report that Louisiana incarcerates approximately 400 people a year based upon a simple charge of marijuana possession, with sentences of 1.5 years on average.

Two bills proposed by state representatives may prove that there is hope for changing marijuana laws in Louisiana. So don’t throwout that roach just yet, there is still hope for the state.

State Representative Aaron Badon’s bill proposes softening the punishment of possession. Representative Dalton Honore’s bill proposes to legalize the distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients.

From the viewpoint of students at a university that stands for social justice, we support these bills. But we would even like to take it a step farther to say that the minor movements proposed in the bills are not enough. When 40 percent of the U.S. has at least decriminalized marijuana, we in New Orleans are frustrated with how far behind Louisiana is.

The social and economic costs of supporting marijuana users in prisons is nonsensical in comparison to the $3.5 million in marijuana tax revenue and fees that Colorado reported for the end of the month on January 2014 alone.

We believe that students in New Orleans express to our government the dire need to loosen regulations. There is no reason that marijuana users should be considered so much of a threat that a five-year prison sentence is as easy as pounding a gavel. According to Louisiana law, mixing poisonous substances into a drink with intentions to harm a person results in a prison sentence of no longer than two years.

So, let’s say that John gets caught trying to put a roofie in your drink. Meanwhile, Jane is caught smoking marijuana for the second time. John gets a two-year prison sentence and Jane gets a five-year prison sentence. This is justice in the eyes of the Louisiana judicial system.

Passing a bill for medical marijuana is a step toward lessening the cruel and unusual treatment of marijuana crimes. Lessening the punishment of offenders has been proposed and passed in other conservative states such as Mississippi and Kentucky. Why is Louisiana so far behind?
New Orleans is known as a liberal anomaly in Louisiana; simultaneously New Orleans is also regarded as having incredibly high crime-rates in the U.S.

Despite the positions of its residents the New Orleans Parish Prison is overcrowded with minimal offenders like marijuana smokers. Under that habitual offenders law in Louisiana people can go to jail for life for engaging in recreational activity that is legal or decriminalized in 20 states — that is 40 percent of our country.

We call for students to register as voters in the state of Louisiana and to have a voice in this debate. Changing your residency is incredibly easy. All you need to do is apply for a Louisiana state identification card and then submit an application on la.gov.

As students at Loyola, we are tied to this community for at least four years, and it is our prerogative to make our voices heard. Vote for leaders that may want to lessen the harsh laws and penalties, relieve our over-crowded prisons and demand true justice.

Vote to get the gears cranking toward making this state as fair and profitable for all — now pass along that joint-effort.
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Editorial:With two months left of the semester, students need to start making early career moves

Congratulations, you’ve survived the debauchery and mania that is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. By this time, the beads draped in your room serve only as a faint reminder of the carnival season.

Unfortunately, by the end of this week you’ve likely realized that Mardi Gras break has left you with no time to gracefully ease back into your studies. Most of us have already had projects and papers due this week. Sorry to break it to you — but classes end in less than seven weeks from today. So drink that caffeinated drink, catch up on that sleep and stay in on the weekends. Now is the time to evaluate your workload for the rest of the semester and hit the ground running with your professional development efforts.

“Dolce far niente” is reserved for the Italians, meanwhile we live in a country where the pleasure of doing nothing is looked down on. So get back on that workhorse and push your hardest to end this semester strong, because you really have to. You can do this, we are so close to the end.

Some of the seniors know that they have their work cut out for them. We want to remind you that every assignment missed and class skipped, only increase the chances that you may need to stay an extra semester. For seniors, it’s your last few months of college, the last few months before you have to give in and start feeling like an adult. The urge to go to the bar is powerful. We know you want to set aside your textbook and start a week-long affair with your Netflix queue. With the job market as it is, get ahead of the game and start applying for jobs and securing your references. This is not just
a word of warning to seniors; all students need to be paying attention to accumulated absences and tardies. We know that no one wants to be stuck in a class they’ve already taken.

Honestly, now is even late to be getting your self together. We think that the next step is to reach out to the Career Development Center and to add your recent projects to your resume. Find an internship, apply for jobs and set goals for yourself such as leasing a car or adopting a puppy. If you don’t aspire to go abroad this summer, you can set rewards for yourself that will help propel you towards a successful end of the semester.

We call for students to hit the books at the library, stay in for a few weekends and to attend Emerging Professional sessions with the Career Development Center. Get a step ahead and volunteer, take risks and have confidence in your potential — you are in college getting a degree so you must have done something right so far.

We have seven weeks until the end, and now would be the worst time to give up on this marathon we’ve been training for our whole lives. Most of us have dedicated our academic lives towards getting our degrees, so don’t slack off in these last two months — own it and prove to yourself and everyone you know, that it was worth it, and that you could do anything you put your mind to.
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Thursday February, 27, 2014

Editorial: Students need their voices heard

Loyola is in the midst of pivotal reform that will determine the fate of our university. Sacrifices are being made. We believe that everyone has a responsibility to be transparent and receptive during budget reductions.

From our point of view — as students especially invested in the university’s reformative actions ­­— it is hard to keep cuts and layoffs in perspective. Considering the small size of Loyola, we are feeling the resonating effects of recent changes as we feel the university shrinking beneath our feet.

With professors taking severance packages and others not having their contracts renewed, students are affected in a big way. Classes are sacrificed. Bonds students have made with their professors over the years make it very difficult to watch our university let people walk out the door.

With the information that has been relayed to us thus far, we don’t know which of our beloved professors will lose their contracts at the end of this year, and we don’t even know which colleges specifically may see their faculty leave more than others. While we understand that this is sensitive, even to most engaged students it doesn’t feel like the “big picture” has been effectively revealed by administration. Students want to know the factors that the administration is considering while looking at ways to clear the bill, and rightfully so.

When the first cuts and reductions were made in December, students expressed — in letters and on social media — that they were shocked and confused about recent changes.

Cissy Petty, vice president for student affairs and associate provost, said that administrators have chosen the Student Government Association as their top resource for student voices and as their sole outlet for relaying information. We believe that students feeling excluded from the cutting processes is largely due to this choice.

The theater students’ demonstration exemplifies the frustration we are feeling and should be a clear message to SGA that they have not been open enough with students. This should also be a sign to administration that their outlet is obviously not passing information along effectively. If administration is willing to be open and receptive with their budget reductions, we need SGA to take a larger school-wide initiative to make sure that students from outside of their office have their voices heard.

The relationship between The Maroon and SGA needs to mend itself into a joint effort toward making sure that students don’t feel like they are not involved in these difficult budget decisions. The Maroon has a responsibility to act as a megaphone for student voices just as it can be a megaphone for SGA to explain what has been discussed in the vice president and provost meetings.

We call for administrators to consider additional organizations rather than just relying on SGA as a communicative channel. The fact that the SGA has attempted to remove its own vice president from office is another signifier that they may not be unified or organized enough to fulfill the role administration has given them.

We want to honestly and frivolously work towards our mission “for a greater Loyola.”

We call for SGA to work with The Maroon transparently. We are not simply members of a large and powerful campus organizations, we are students.

We call for all students to attend SGA Senate meetings on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the Audubon Room of the Danna Student Center. At these meetings, students can be sure that their opinions are directly heard by representatives.

We call for students to take the time to fill out Student Satisfactory Inventory surveys we’ve received in emails. Petty confirmed with us that she and her team review these surveys as they consider possible cuts.

From the students’ point of view, we have applied, auditioned, worked and paid a great sum for the full program and curriculum experience.

We demand that administration improve their outreach efforts. We demand that SGA turn up the volume of their megaphone and begin to see us as an asset rather than an enemy. We demand that if students claim to want more proactive accesses to budget considerations, that they get out and use both SGA, and The Maroon as channels received by administration.

Together, we can make these sacrifices as transparent and painless as possible.
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Thursday February 20, 2014

Editorial:Behind every Loyola student is a faculty or staff member cheering us on

When we started at Loyola, most of us didn’t know who we were or how much we could experience in just four years’ time. We believe that at Loyola, behind every successful student is a professor who embraced our potential and challenged us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those professors who have shaped our college careers thus far — the ones that want nothing more than to see us triumph in the world.

We appreciate those professors who are brutally honest and still give us encouragement. We love you for teaching with us and not simply at us. Thank you for finding joy in our grasp of theories and ideas, for letting us believe that we’ve absorbed just a snippet of your intelligence. The following professors have done all of this and more for us,

Jon Altschul, assistant professor of philosophy, thank you for awakening the philosopher within us that we never knew we had.

John Biguenet, distinguished professor of English, thank you for never failing to teach us something new about literature, life and ourselves.

Brad Petitfils, director of campus planning, teaches his students to think independently. Thank you for opening our eyes to the rest of the world.

Lisa Martin, mass communication professor, thank you for having higher expectations of us than anyone has held us to before. You’ve made us strive to be better writers without the fluff. You showed us that we are individuals who make our own success. Thank you, we admire you greatly and still have your words written in our hearts.

Judith Hunt, associate dean of the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, and Richard Wilson, senior academic adviser, we thank you for meeting with us when we get ourselves in a rut. Sometimes we really need that extra push.

Michael Giusti, Maroon adviser, thank you for believing in us and our writing and always having an answer. You have never once said no, never once closed your door. You’ve always let us know that the sky’s the limit, that anything is possible, and that our capabilities are endless.

Artemis Preeshl, associate professor of theatre and dance, thank you for taking a chance on us and showing us the good there is in the world. You have challenged us to take the world and flip it on its head just to get a different angle. We cannot thank you enough.

Lewis Lawrence, associate professor of psychology, you have encouraged us to make the most of our love of psychology and French. You’ve always been supportive and available to us, even when you should be resting and we love you for it.

John Clark, philosophy professor, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, we thank you for teaching us how to live and love in communities and that they are as important as we are. We will miss you.

Connie Rodriguez, associate professor of languages, thank you for having such a great sense of humor and for being one of our nicest professors on campus.
Behrooz Moazami, professor of history, we thank you for remembering our names and always stopping to ask how we are doing. We might have only been in one of your classes years ago and you still brighten our day every time we see you.

Roger White, interim dean and professor in the College of Social Sciences, Thank you for letting us believe, even if it’s for 50 minutes, that our arguments, ideas and class banter is equivalent to participation and worthy of a grade.

Laura Murphy, associate professor of English, we are in your debt from helping us go abroad and readily sharing advice to get us where we need to be. Thank you for changing the way we think about the world and how we write about it.

Frank Jordan, biology professor, thank you for showing us how cool fish and science can be. We love your pop culture references and teaching style.

Barbara Ewell, professor of english, thank you for awakening our inner feminists, and expanding our social justice awareness from literature, to pop culture, to real life.

We will never forget the amazing university employees who impact our Loyola experience. Thank you to all of the staff members that empathetically work with students, get to know us and readily improve our college affairs.

Eldon Ahrold, technology coordinator, without you mass communication students would suffer daily heart attacks from server crashes. We thank you for always answering our calls and finding ways to get what we need working again.

Mark Bush, assistant director of the University Sports Complex, thank you for acknowledging that the athletics department would not be able to function properly without your work-study students and other employees.

Joe Deegan, associate chaplain, we are so glad to have you leading our community outreach program, the Loyola University Programing Board. Thank you for making us brave and encouraging us to change the world.

Miss Annette, who works for Sodexo in the Orleans Room, we want to thank you this time “baby”, for making our dining escapades that much better and always smiling regardless of what may be going on in your life.

Kate Adams, professor of English, for hugging us on our birthdays when you’ve only known us for one month. Thank you for encouraging us in writing about our truth in memoir form.

In general, we want to thank WFF Facility Services workers, Sodexo employees, and the Physical Plant for aiding our university in its day to day function and capabilities. Our appreciation of you goes beyond words.

Loyola has exceeded our expectations. It really helps to be recognized as individuals by everyone from the post office workers, to the custodial staff and our advisers who’ve counseled us each time we decided to change our majors, minors and career paths.

By the end of four years, Loyola faculty and staff members have put faith back into our potential and pushed us to evolve into passionate adults. In the face of recent and unfortunate cuts, we want you all to know that we appreciate you and Loyola students need university employees such as yourselves to make our college experience great.

The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board.
Give a shout-out to the faculty and staff members who have made your Loyola experience great by posting a tweet or status using #thankloyno

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Editorial: The WIFI in residential halls is a problem that needs to be addressed with more urgency

The Loyola Internet connection, particularly in residential halls, has been everything from shoddy to inaccessible, and students are growing increasingly frustrated.

The Internet has become a necessary tool for students to succeed, but recently it seems that Loyola has neglected the importance of this relationship.

On Tuesday, Feb. 4, residents in both Biever Hall and Carrollton Hall experienced an Internet blackout starting at around 9:30 p.m. and extending to at least 2 a.m.

“The most recent issue was caused by a failure in one of the four wireless controllers that impacted two residence halls,” Joseph Locascio, director of computer and network services, said in an email.

Students operating the network from their residential halls were livid without Internet, and this was far from the first incident.

Carrollton Hall’s Internet functionality has been an issue since at least early December.

“The one thing, Loyola, that has been consistently horrible throughout my time here has been what you call the Internet. The dreaded Loyola-Net buffers any time two people dare to use it, and sometimes it just stops working,” Maya Schacker, political science junior, said in her Dec. 5 Letter to the Editor about Carrollton Hall’s WIFI
This is a serious problem. Every student living on campus pays $225 per semester for network maintenance and full informational technology support.

Our curriculum also requires that we use the Internet for class.

Let’s say that you are working on a timed Blackboard exam or downloading your 180-page text book from Amazon, but then suddenly the Internet cuts out. Sure, you can email IT from your phone and wait until they are back in the office and going through their emails, but what happens when you need Internet now?
Students shouldn’t have to deal with the loss of connection as frequently as they do on top of all other everyday university demands and sources of stress.

IT recognizes that there is a problem with Internet in residential halls and is aware that, “It will be necessary to continuously improve our wireless services,” Locascio said.

Locascio also said that the WIFI was updated over winter break, but obviously this has not answered the immediate problem.

A majority of students are expected to live on-campus for at least two years, meaning two years of sporadic Internet.

Loyola’s Online Records Access is known to shut down during registration, and Blackboard does the same during exams. While it may be expected that the overflow of network users may lead to connection problems, after several semesters we demand that this be taken more seriously.

Unfortunately, despite the frequent problems, the best way to contact IT for help is by email. We need this to change. When the Internet is acting up, there needs to be more urgency from IT in trying to fix the problem. We are living in an increasingly Internet-dependent society. Our university is supposed to ensure that we have the tools necessary to succeed, and with the network as terrible as it is right now, Loyola is not fulfilling its end of the bargain.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Editorial: New Orleans made the right decision to shut down the city

Students seemed to have mixed feelings about whether Mayor Mitch Landrieu should have called for a shutdown of the city for last week’s snow days New Orleans resembled a ghost town on Tues. 28 and Wed. 29. Considering our lack of ability to stand freezing temperatures, the safest thing to do was stay off the roads. If you did happen to go for a drive, you likely recognized at least these two things: that the interstate was covered in a layer of ice and that there was no way New Orleans had the resources to address the ice.

Loyola students come from all different parts of the nation– and the world– where this kind of weather is a normal winter occurrence. Cities such as New York and Chicago are readily equipped to handle a storm much larger than what we experienced here. Subsequently, some have become confused why our city needed to shut down entirely- even including Popeyes and McDonalds.

Call us the sovereigns of drama, but we are glad to have had our local government recognize the risks of being ill prepared for a storm.

Atlanta received attention due to their lack of a similar “rather be safe than sorry” attitude. As a result, children were stuck on school busses and classrooms overnight and the roads resembled parking lots rather than freeways.

New Orleans is familiar with the devastation a storm can cause. While it was not a hurricane that we were facing this time, our humility in the face of nature has left New Orleans essentially unaffected. Our university, schools and roads were back to their normal functions by Thurs. 30. Meanwhile, Atlanta was stuck in the ice and road lock for several days following the storm.

Regardless of what other parts of the country face, our city was not equipped to deal with the sudden ice storm while simultaneously maintaining the full-function of a city.

We are glad to have taken the preemptive route in addressing the storm and we hope that it can be an example of how to face future threatening weather.
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Editorial: Social media is being used as a means to hurt students on our campus, and it needs to stop

The millennials — the social media experts and computer wizzes — have the guilty pleasure of remaining faceless on Facebook.

Some say that social media is a tool to bring people together and is used to defy physical borders between us. This is the deeply embedded irony of our generation.

“Facebook is about sharing and connecting — connecting with friends, family, communities and the issues and causes that you care about most,” said a strategic partner manager at Facebook, Libby Leffler, to Forbes.

Sure, we all would like to think that Facebook is being used solely to help bring people together, but the Internet has given users more than just the ability to connect. Plato would be surprised to see that today, people have their own “Ring of Gyges”: the gift of invisibility through anonymity. Certain Loyola students are guilty of abusing this power.

The page, Loyno Confessions, has quickly evolved from an innocent page of a forum for discussion into a vulgar, borderline pornographic monster with no face but many heads.

The cause of this unprecedented platform of hate and petty comments may be at the fault of our indulgence in anonymity; however, there is also blame to be put on the administrators/creators of the page for letting gutless people broadcast their tactless comments and words of abuse.

The most popular posts are often the ones that inspire the most outrage in others for being offensive and mean, but those posts are not deleted and the victims are left to be humiliated forever on the Internet.

CollegeACB and JuicyCampus have both been shut down following a combination of campaigns and lawsuits. Both sites were in the same spirit of Loyno Confessions but much larger, and despite their popularity, even those administrators could not control the abuse and hatred coming from the anonymous submissions.

Entering college can be a terrifying experience. Most of us know to look up our college choices through sites like Facebook. Younger generations are being mislead to believe that the Loyola community is exactly as they see it on Loyno Confessions.

Consider whether you would want your younger sibling attending a small school with a Facebook page used to openly bash other students. According to various news soucrces, Erin and Shannon Gallagher are sisters who committed suicide on separate occasions as a result of cyber bullying on another anonymous website, ask.fm.

The consequences of harassment online is well-known and by the time we reach college one would think that we have matured beyond such irresponsibility. Loyno Confessions is a danger to our students and to our community image.

The page is not monitored or controlled by psychologists or professionals, the administrators are students that are neither making the right, nor the responsible decisions in managing posts. They are at risk for being a liability to the university and we demand that they either re-examine their methods or that they shut down the page.

They need to realize the great things social media can do for us and stop using it to cause more harm than good.

Consider how students across the globe have been able to use Facebook and social media as a way to overthrow an oppressive regime.

There is a problem in our community when the Loyola University Community Action Program page, an on-campus organization dedicated to helping others, has less followers and participants than Loyno Confessions.

It is possible to use Facebook as a method for generating peace and understanding. Loyola students need to get it together and re-introduce dignity and compassion for others into our social media choices.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Editorial: It’s Time to Make Summer Plans

For some, hitting the end of the third week of the 2014 spring semester means a week closer to Mardi Gras parades. For others, it means midterms are around the corner and you haven’t even bought your books yet. Be that as it may, most of us simply aren’t thinking enough about our summer plans.

Loyola is among the top universities in the nation for its study abroad participation, according to a report released by the Institute of International Education. Despite our small campus in New Orleans, we have connections with universities around the world and ample opportunities to travel.

While deadlines for a summer abroad program may seem a ways away and much less demanding then your every day work, by the time your March deadline comes around you suddenly realize there are two essays, a letter of recommendation and copy of a valid passport for each program application. Save yourself from the smack on the head when you realize that scholarship deadlines end, some before the program deadline.

Traveling this summer doesn’t have to mean study abroad- an internship in New York or Paris would be nice too. If you haven’t started your search for the perfect opportunity yet, you could be out of luck. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency’s internship programs stopped accepting summer applications on Oct. 15 and the State Department’s deadline was Nov. 1. Some of the more prominent journalism internships such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News have fall application deadlines as well.

The best thing to do with this time in the semester is to make those summer plans and save yourself, your parents and professors from the headache of applying for programs in a rush to make the deadline. Save yourself money by looking at scholarship opportunities in your college or program of choice. Start letting professors know now if you need a recommendation letter. Bring your resume to workshops and advisors at Employola. Make an appointment with the Study Abroad office or just sit down and Google it.

When you want a great summer in a different country or an internship that merits bragging rights, the most effective way of getting there is by starting now.

If you don’t begin to look at your options now, the process can be overwhelming and near impossible without careful planning. The last thing any of us want is to return in the fall, and realize that everyone and their mother has gone abroad or had a cool internship— everyone but you.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Editorial: Support for a campaign shouldn’t have a price tag

At Issue: College students shouldn’t be exploited by electoral campaign efforts

Local and citywide elections are quickly approaching with the primaries taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 1. Positions held by District City councilmen and women, as well as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, are either up for re-election or facing new candidates.

With bigger budgets and strategically positioned signs, every year campaigns are becoming more aggressive than the last.

Over the past two weeks, going back to school has meant facing clipboards and sweater vests stopping us on the way to class asking, “Hey, do you want to make $11 an hour?”

Before accepting the job to go door-to-door handing out surveys and polls, consider how your beliefs compare to the candidate you are being paid to promote.

According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2010, 14 percent of recent college undergraduates faced unemployment after entering the job market. Considering this, $11 an hour is an attention-grabbing offer.

According to WWLTV.com, Landrieu had $1.2 million on hand to spend on his campaign at the end of the last reporting period.

A large campaign budget allows an even larger market for soliciting support from unemployed and “in-debt-up-to-our-eyeballs” college students.

By approaching students with a temporary paying job, the “sweater vest clipboard holders” are soliciting support for a candidates campaign by exploiting the unemployment crisis our generation is facing.

Support of a government official, and votes cast by citizens, should reflect the views and hopes for the future of the community. By approaching campaigning purely as an economic opportunity, our voice as individuals is devalued into being a mere product.

When you don’t consider how your beliefs align with the candidate you are rallying support for, then you are recklessly endangering the possibility of having a powerful community voice.

For example public policy reform held by elected office can change the fate of children in the New Orleans education system. The National Center for Education Statistics ranked Louisiana as the second-worst state in the country for public education.

“He who controls the [statewide evaluation] formula controls the fate of our public schools,” said Steve Monaghan, head of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, to the Advocate.

There is a dire need for a creative candidate that can address these issues such as education and more.

When you are too easily bought into campaigning and do not consider where you side in the election the opportunity for progress can disappear
The next time you are approached by a campaign-goon for $11 an hour job offer, know what you stand for and decide what kind of New Orleans you would like to see emerge as a result of the election.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Editorial: We demand more transparency

On the morning of Monday, Dec. 16, more than 40 faculty and staff members anxiously waited in line, some for up to 70 hours, to elect themselves into the university’s voluntary severance program.
Our much loved professors and staff camped in the corridors of Mercy Hall under the impression that if they were too far back in line, they would lose their opportunity. In the end, 100 percent of the applicants were accepted, and there was room for even more. In other words, there was no need for the sleepless nights spent on campus by people over the age of 55.

We believe that this situation was instigated by the informational package, sent to the faculty and staff members eligible for the program, which said, “Participation in the program is not guaranteed. For each category of eligible employees, once the Program’s dollar cap is reached, no further participants will be admitted to the program, even if they so elected.”

Considering the university’s budget crisis reached national news this past summer, it is not surprising that the opportunity prompted those eligible to adhere to the first-come-first-serve condition– almost too literally.

The result of the severance program left students and other uninvolved parties scratching their heads. Why were faculty and staff members allowed to camp over night, meanwhile the demand for the program was not as highly anticipated? The Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., Wildes expressed that it was best legal practice to determine those elected on a first-come-first-serve basis.

We agree that the best way to have determined those elected into the program was through this non-discriminatory method the University followed.

We also believe, however, that the process lacked sufficient transparency for those involved. Wildes did not express his willingness to propose a larger cap to the severance pay available– not until the rush for the program was already over.

As of now, students and non-participants in the program have not been given the names or departments that have been elected to leave.

The university has declined to release the names of those who have accepted the program as a means to respect the privacy of these individuals.

All things considered, we still believe the university should not lose sight of how measures taken such as this one will affect it’s students. The deficit Loyola is facing is also very public and it is safe to assume that cutting back will be difficult to swallow.

We call for students to demand more transparency in the steps the university is taking to address the budget crisis. The information we need is not being said while the process is on going. It seems to us that information is only coming after the fact.

We also want to take a step back from the legality of the processes to thank the faculty and staff who accepted the severance program for all they’ve dedicated to Loyola and its students. We will miss you.
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Editorial: Know where your aid goes

At Issue: When donating it is important to know how your aid is going to help the most

Typhoon Haiyan pushed though the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 7, the category 5 storm killed more than three thousand people, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

International news outlets such as CNN show us images of people crowding into homeless shelters, desperate for food. Our natural response is to want to help. It is important to realize, however, that we cannot help these people overseas blindly. Different types of aid are helpful for various disasters and their different stages.

Typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes are all the same type of storm—their only difference lies in where they form. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization defines a typhoon as a storm that forms in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

A cyclone forms in the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, while hurricanes form in the Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific Ocean.

Since we live on the Gulf Coast, where hurricanes are frequent, it is easy to assume that we know a lot about the situation in the Philippines. However, it is important to remember that we live in a different country and have a different culture.

Our storm experiences are not the same as those of the Philippines, although they also have frequent storms.

We must not rely on our own knowledge of storms when we are deciding how to help the victims of Haiyan. We cannot compare what is happening in the U.S., a first world country, to what is happening in the Philippines, a developing nation.

In the early stages of a disaster, it is usually more helpful and cost efficient to send money instead of supplies. Make sure that you know where your money is going, and take the opportunity to educate yourself about not only the disaster in the Philippines but also Filipino culture.

We all want to help our neighbors in trouble. Let’s make sure that we do it as correctly and as efficiently as possible.

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