Wednesday, April 23, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Women should not be judged by their looks

by The Charger Bulletin | April 16, 2014

Sarah - bwBy: Sarah Naji Alyasiri

Contributing Writer

Image is very powerful. It gives us conscious and unconscious impressions about any person. We may sometimes make quick judgments about the people from the way they dress; we may think these thoughts whether the person is wealthy or poor, conservative or liberal, well-educated or plain, businessmen, professors or doctors. The way the person dresses tells too much about him or her.

This applies to women as well. For instance, in the Middle East, there is a conservative culture that puts some restrictions on the way a woman looks and the way a woman dresses. It is rooted either to religious obedience or traditional customs. There are strict restrictions on the way the women dress, not in all, but in some countries of the Middle East. There are some liberal countries in the Middle East where women are free to wear anything they might feel comfortable with, there are some countries that are very strict or conservative about the way women dress, and there are some countries that are moderate.

Generally, the vast majority of the women there wear headscarves and some minority wear veils. These women in conservative, strict counties did not choose to dress in that way; they do not have the option. Some of them might be dressing due to religious reasons, but some of them are just abiding by the social customs or governmental orders that impose a particular way in dressing for women. They cannot rebel and dress in the way they want because they will look odd in the community or break the law.

Based on that, in these Middle Eastern communities, there is a kind of stereotype of how the women should dress that shapes the way the people judge the women. They make a big issue out of the way women dress and their looks. People judge these women, assuming that these women are decent and respectful or not at all (these would be the women who do not cover their hair by headscarf or their face by veil). The culture influences the way the people think and make a correlation between decency, morality and the looks of women by the way they dress.

Some people jump to conclusions about them based on the influence of culture which drives them to think in that way. These people might have pre-judgmental thoughts about women who appear to be very conservative and believe they are very decent, while the other liberal women are not. These people do not understand and are not aware about the spirit of women; every woman likes to look beautiful by showing her hair or her face.

The point is the women do not have to cover their bodies in a radical way to prove that they are decent and respectful; there might be liberal looking women who dress in very modern way, but are more decent and respectful than other women who cover their whole bodies.

Their behaviors determine their character, so people have to wait before judging, not jump to conclusions just because of the way a woman dresses. Decency and morality is not derived from a headscarf or veil; it stems from the spirit, character and attitude. Decency and morality have nothing to do with the way a woman looks.

Shakespeare once said, “All that glitters is not gold.” My analogy; “glitter” is the headscarf or veil from some people’s perspective, not to mention appearances can be very deceptive and it may give fake impression or attitude.

Image is very powerful and can manipulate anyone. We have to wait for one’s demeanor to shine through before judging their character, because no one has the right to judge women based on the way they look or dress.

 

8 Reasons Why I Need Summer

by Gabby Nowicki | April 16, 2014

Gabby-bw1. Adventures: I need the beach – day trips or week excursions. I need kayaking on the rivers and lakes that surround my house. I need fishing and swimming. I need hiking and getting lost in the woods, pretending to be Sacagawea. I need spontaneous adventures with my friends in the middle of night when it’s a cool 75 degrees and not a cloud to cover a single star. I need those spur-of-the-moment trips to Orioles stadium on five-dollar Fridays. I need trips to cornfields in the middle of the night just to see how scared we get. I need the county fair and amusement park outings. I need exploring new territory and trying new things – I need those adventures.

2. Healthier living: I need that natural glow of skin from countless hours spent outside or spread out on the beach. I need the natural highlights that make my hair look so much lighter. I don’t need a layer of makeup to hide imperfections, because my tan now does that for me. I need to be able to just leave the house with little preparation. I need those perfect, natural curls that fall around my face and freckles that cover my cheekbones. I need to go for a cleansing bike ride as it erases my winter coat. I don’t need to worry about how I look, I need to be confident – I need that healthier life.

3. Summer Food: I need that juicy slice of cold watermelon or those crisp handpicked strawberries. I need chargrilled burgers with a side of local asparagus and cool avocado. I need those Maryland blue crabs doused in Old Bay seasoning. I need to feel the icy sweetness of a big spoon of ice cream hitting my tongue. I need to contemplate which flavor of shaved ice will suit me best. I need refreshing summer drinks that cool down your body temperature on a humid day. I need farmers markets and vegetables grown in the home garden– tentatively picked and cared for by my parents. I need large BBQs like Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July. I need all that summer food.

4. Friends: I need my friends. The ones I grew up with. The ones that know me best. I need my work friends, my high school friends, and that person that is more than a friend. I need to catch up on good times, listen to all their stupid, embarrassing stories and I need to tell mine. I need to hear about heartbreaks and love successes, reminisce on all the stupid and fun memories we made, and I need to make new memories. I need to tell them about the new friends I have and the ones I no longer care for. I need to vent to them and them to me. I need them to express how much we appreciate each other. I need to feel wanted – I need my friends.

5. Music Festivals: I need hot summer days spent amongst a crowd of thousands all gathered together for the same reason. I need to be close to people in a tight space, all bouncing back and forth because of a shared love for a particular band. I need to meet new people with different backgrounds, different lessons, and different outlooks on life –new people that are passionate about the same things as I am. I need the free propaganda from the non-profit organizations trolling the site. I need those food trucks with unique and flavorful food, all with a different purpose. I need to spend a solid 12 hours in the hot sun, traveling around acres of land, in search of my next artist and singing as loud as I can all within the presence of my friends – I need good vibes.

6. Carefree living: I need freedom. I need to be able to wake up whenever I want. I need my car to go wherever I want, whenever I want, without having to wait for anyone. I need to be able to run errands when I need to, as opposed to waiting for a shuttle, and I don’t need to worry about grades or annoying teachers that enjoy making students struggle. I need to be able to run around in just a bikini and not care, not confined in layers and layers of clothing. I need to sit in my enclosure reading some random novel, while an afternoon thunderstorm approaches. I need to cuddle with my puppy as we listen to that same thunderstorm. If I wanted to do something, I could do it – I need to be carefree.

7. Surge of money: I need my serving job and my second family whom I spend a majority of my summer with on those 8-10 hour shifts that make my feet burn and smile weary. I need to deal with those annoying customers that treat me with little respect, and those customers that make me forget about the annoying ones and remind me why I love my job, and with one nice gesture, make my night. I need that grumpy tiredness that arrives at the end of shift; only to become cheery again once I head out for my midnight adventure. I need that rewarding feeling of going into my shift with zero dollars and leaving with 50 (on a bad night). I need my bank account to be happy, not pathetic. I need to be able to comfortably spend small amounts of money without stressing, and have some to save. I need to feel like I am actually accomplishing something and can partake in the real world – I need money.

8. Happiness: I need all of the above. I need them for one end game. I need that overwhelming feeling that everything is good in life; yes, there will be stressful moments but when isn’t there?! I do not need winter blues or pale woes. I need my crazy parents, my fat cat and my wild puppy. I need my amazing friends and that certain someone that is more than a friend. I need my beautiful home state of Maryland. I need to feel that summer sun beating against my bare shoulders and the humidity in the air as a storm builds. I need it all – I need that happiness.

I love my school. I love learning. I love my friends at school. I love my Phi Sig sisters. I love my job at the rec center. I am happy. But I need summer. It’s a different kind of happy. It’s been a long and rough winter. I’m “schooled” out. I need to recharge my battery and a different kind of happy; a happier happy, I just need summer.

 

Bullying: Just Don’t Do It

by Kayla Katt | April 16, 2014

Kayla-bwThese days bullying doesn’t mean just getting in a fight at school or physically harming someone on purpose; bullying can be just calling someone a name or saying something about their outfit or their actions through your own voice or even, with today’s technology, through social media; cyberbullying.

Throughout middle school and high school, I was bullied a lot—maybe not to the extent of some of the stories I hear these days, but it was bullying nonetheless. There was always something to make fun of me for; even here at college. People always have something mean to say, and maybe it’s not as bad here as it was in high school, but it still happens. I know that I’m no exception; I have said mean things, but people have said things about me, too.

These days, kids can be really cruel. Sometimes, they don’t even realize what they’re saying or doing and the effect it has on others. Although they should not be saying or doing these things, sometimes it is ignored. Teachers and faculty may see this going on, but won’t take action until it is brought to them either by student or a parent.

Because of all the tragedies that have occurred due to bullying, state governments are starting to create laws against bullying. It’s sad that we now have to threaten students with a law to stop bullying.

When bullying gets to the point where a person’s life is a stake, where are the adults in the schools? Yes, the students may know all the drama because they hear it through the grape vine, but teachers find out the same way too; they overhear students and some students confide in teachers to talk about these things.

When teachers see and hear things that they believe is bullying, why don’t they say something either to the bully or the person being bullied? If teachers actually started to try to be more active with this, I believe the bullying rate would decrease.

However, it is not just teachers; it also stems from how kids are raised at home. Parents have the important job of teaching their kids the difference between right and wrong, and sometimes, this is unclear. Even in high school, students think its ok to bully because everyone else is doing it.

 

Best April fool’s prank of the decade

by Kardelen Akkus | April 9, 2014

Kardelen Akkus-bwAs I’m on a long-distance call with my parents, we discuss and share all the hilarious reactions to Turkish Officials blaming the power outage during election night on a cat. The headline at Huffington Post for the story is, “Turkish Official Blames Election Night Power Outages On A Cat.” Who can take that seriously? I couldn’t keep quiet at the title alone.

The electrical blackout spiraled the country that firmly believes in the possibility of change. Following that, officials had the audacity to hold an interfering cat liable. Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on April 1, “A cat entered a power distribution unit. It was the cause of the blackout and it’s not the first time that it has happened.”

The BBC listed the four top April Fools Day trends, of which one was Yildiz’s comment. As bizarre as it is to announce this on April fool’s and expecting listeners to believe it, he did. Congratulations, we had a great laugh at the comments and pictures accompanied by them.

How fair can an election be if ballot boxes suspiciously disappear, are found burnt, and there are inconsistencies among the boxes and report sheets as well as in the computerization process? Fraud seems to be the accurate clarification. Many Turks, including myself, call for a recount. Opposition parties deposited to the higher election board (YSK) more than 2,000 appeals to recount suspicious boxes.

In all seriousness, who can take Turkey’s authority figures seriously anymore? Blocking Twitter and YouTube in a so-called democratic country takes integrity away as it is (let alone granting access again after a two-week ban). Corruption sweeps across parliament would have crossed the line, you’d think. General tremble in the Erdogan circle would’ve been it. Along with the results of the local election everyone seems to be in disbelief.

Erdogan’s political party is crumbling apart and serving nothing but smelly, rotten fish to its followers. There’s no trust to rely on, and he will be made fun of and revolted against until he understands the meaning of respect, transparency and democracy.

 

Spring is here—April Fools

by Gabby Nowicki | April 9, 2014

Gabby-bwI’ts 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, March 31. I peacefully arise from my slumber to look outside my window to find white puffs falling from the sky. I rub my eyes a little and then pinch myself to make sure I was not still sleeping. To my despair, it was snowing. Blizzarding, in fact. Hail and wind included.

I rapidly checked my email in search of something saying my 9:25 lab was cancelled. Instead, I get an email saying “Hey we know it’s really dangerous outside so be careful, but class is still on so good luck…may the odds be ever in your favor!” Okay UNH. Okay.

I stomp around my apartment like a toddler while making breakfast and getting ready for class—which I can’t skip. I anally check my email hoping for a godsend telling me morning classes are cancelled. I stare out the window, defeated, watching the white puffs fall in clumps from the grey sky, begging it to be a downpour instead.

My parents were just up for the weekend so I gave them my winter jacket, scarves, hats, and gloves—naively thinking it was supposed to be spring and all. As 9:15 approached, I geared up for what would be a terrible walk across campus, to the building behind Bethel Hall—where my lab is held. I mentally prepared myself to brace the storm and remember to walk carefully. Upon my first step outside my dorm, I slid. I was pelted with giant clumps of snow. The shoveling crew just got out there so nothing was shoveled yet. I was amidst a complete winter wonderland.

When I got to my first set of stairs, I clung for life to the railing as I climbed each step slowly. I slid a couple more times and watched many others struggle around campus. It was not until I got to Campbell Street where I actually fell. Covered in snow, pissed off and annoyed, I entered my class to find only like eight out of the 20 students show up.

A majority of them are commuters and therefore could not even get to the school. The two hills on campus were blocked off by police cars! The shuttles from off-campus housing stopped at Shoprite and made the students walk the rest of the way. After talking to multiple people later on, I heard that they, too, had difficulty walking around campus and many fell as well. It was Monday morning madness.

The snow had stopped by 11 a.m. and by the afternoon, most of it was melted (which I attribute to global warming). It was completely unexpected and it was absolutely ridiculous that the school did not cancel morning classes. Was it because we missed so much before?

Is the risk of students falling and car accidents of professors and commuters not as important? All they had to do was cancel classes that started before 11 a.m. If they checked the weather beforehand and saw the storm was actually going to affect us, then the shoveling crew could have been out there earlier and had the sidewalks done for when we actually had to use them! All in all, Monday morning sucked. I was an angry individual that day and was not happy until it the sun was shining and actually felt like spring again!

*As a side note, if it snows one more time, I am quitting the semester and moving to Fiji.

 

Why joining Greek life was the best decision I’ve made yet

by Elissa Sanci | April 9, 2014

Elissa-bwNot unlike many sorority girls before me, I came into my freshman year with a negative view of sororities and fraternities. All of my preconceived notions of Greek life were based off of what the media had been feeding me since I was old enough to watch an American Pie movie. That, coupled with the occasional horror story featured on the nightly news about hazing gone wrong, was more than enough to keep me far away from anything emblazoned with a letter from the Greek alphabet.

But throughout my first year of college, I saw how the sisters and brothers on campus interacted and supported one another, and so, after a horrible freshman year, which left me friendless, alone and mildly depressed, I decided going out for a sorority would be my top priority for the fall semester of my sophomore year.

I was nervous, apprehensive and completely in the dark with what to expect from the process, but as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. From the very first night I spent with the girls I now call sisters, I knew I had found my place, and since then, I’ve never been happier.

What they tell you in movies? Totally not true. Movies, television shows and even books are only exaggerated versions of the social aspects of sororities and fraternities—and some of what they feed us is not true, not even in the slightest. I’ve been a part of my sorority for almost two semesters, and not once have I experienced even one second of hazing. I’ve never been made to do anything that has made me feel uncomfortable in any way, shape or form. The media does a good job of giving Greeks a bad name, and forgets to highlight all the things that a sorority or fraternity actually consists of.

What the media fails to mention is the ample community service done by the brothers and sisters of fraternities and sororities, the strong bonds built between the members of the organizations and the leadership and networking opportunities presented. Most importantly, the media can’t convey, not even in the slightest, what it’s like to look at a group of people and feel immediate support, love, admiration and pride.

I’ve had the best year of my life, and that’s saying something considering that the few bad things that have happened to me during this year have been pretty devastating. Without my sorority, I’d be exactly where I was last year—in my dorm room, sad and all alone, this time without even my then-boyfriend.

Without the support of my sisters, I would have missed out on some amazing opportunities and people. Joining a Greek organization is more than a few pairs of pretty letters on the front of a t-shirt or going to parties. Joining a Greek organization means always having someone to fall back on, to rely on, and to be there for you. It means finding a home away from home. It means becoming the best version of you that you can possibly be.

Joining a sorority was, hands down, the best decision I’ve made thus far in my collegiate career, and that’s because it’s helped me so much in every other aspect of it. Being apart of an organization as influential as my sorority has made me strive to be the best I can be. I try harder in my classes, because I want to make my sisters proud. My endeavors with extracurricular activities and community services have doubled since recruitment week. I’ve become more comfortable in social and professional situations because I know I have people in my corner rooting for me. Even my writing has become better because I know I will always have sisters who will support and read my work.

I wear my letters with pride because, to me, they mean so much more than just a phi and two sigma’s. My letters represent an organization that has been around for a century, the ladies who have given me the confidence to be the person I am today, and a promise to my sisters and to myself to be the best I can possibly be. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

 

Is there really no such thing as a stupid question?

by Kayla Katt | April 9, 2014

Kayla-bwThe relationship between students and professors goes both ways; students should be respectful of their professors and professors should be respectful of their students.

As a science major, I have come across some great professors who intently care about students’ success and learning, and others who are not so great.

When you enter an intensive science course, it is already very intimidating because you are already expecting not to do well and are praying just to pass. So for these classes, I try to take the most recommended professor. This doesn’t always happen, because sometimes, only one professor teaches the course or the section you wanted to take was full by the time you finally got through your 6 a.m. registration process after the website crashed three times. This not only goes for science majors, this goes for all majors and courses; I am just speaking out of experience.

Here at UNH, not all professors are the best—lets be real, there are many terrible professors. Whether they really care and just can’t get the information across to the students clearly because of the content, or they can’t get information out clearly because of their accents or simply because they don’t care and believe we are idiotic college students who don’t care and don’t try or want to learn so they don’t care either, a bad professor is a bad professor.

I personally have experienced a little bit of everything throughout the first half of my college career, and I appreciate professors who care to get to know your name and care to make sure you understand the information. These professors are the ones who understand that we have a lot of other things to work on so they try not to give a terrible amount of outside class work. I understand when a professor has a hard time getting across to their students for whatever reason.

My biggest pet peeve is when a professor talks down to you, ultimately making you feel stupid, because you don’t understand the information or the purpose of something. I was always taught “no question is stupid,” but in recent classes, I find that statement false.

I’m afraid to ask a question because my professor may think that I don’t have the intelligence to be in the class or may answer in a demeaning way, making me feel more stupid than I already do. Not wanting to ask questions because I feel this way negatively affects my learning, because then I don’t understand the information to my fullest ability.

This has occurred a lot in my labs, probably because it’s putting your lecture knowledge in use, and this is difficult, but as a professor, it is his or her job to guide you and help you understand the material; not just to supervise you.

It’s just frustrating because I do pay to go here and I don’t think that every professor does their job to their fullest ability, yet I’m expected to do my job to my fullest ability. Of course I try my hardest because, like every college student, I want that A.

However, no matter how terrible a professor may be, I still feel that, as a student, I should give them respect because they are giving me my grade, after all. That sounds terrible to say, but its true; students often give up their personal dignity for a good grade in a class. GPA is everything in college.

 

Plastic bags belong in the trash

by Patricia Oprea | April 2, 2014

Patricia Oprea-bwOne Tuesday morning (Feb. 26, to be exact), I woke up at 8:30 a.m.; not too unusual. I proceeded to open up some blinds, letting in nonexistent sunlight on a dreary winter morning. When I looked out the glass, about 50 feet away near the dumpsters stood a dumpster truck, also not unusual. At first, I thought that the trucks that say “All-American waste” are solely for garbage, and this one was thus committing a terrible act by picking up recyclables. I then learned that the All American Waste trucks pick up both the trash and recyclables, and do so separately. It wasn’t picking up both trash and recycling, just the latter. So combining the two this wasn’t this morning’s problem.

Ever so slowly, the truck lifted the mini dumpster up and off the ground, and then put the container back on the ground. A minute later, the truck once again advanced towards the recyclables, lifting the dumpster up, tilting it backwards, and dumping everything into its bed. A pile of supposed recyclables all in white plastic garbage bags flooded out. The truck claimed all the single stream waste as its own, crammed together in bags, probably ready for the landfills.

The University of New Haven does not recycle any type of plastic bag. If recyclables are placed in a plastic bag, and then in the dumpster for recycling, the entire batch of recyclables is now unusable, not to mention that the university gets a fine. All that recycling was futile, all because it was in a bag. Some places do recycle plastic bags, but our university does not. As unfortunate as this is, we students are made clear of that.

This ongoing problem is not the school’s fault. The “no plastic bags” rule has been mentioned in The Charger Bulletin, on our school’s radio station, WNHU, and it is available on the Newhaven.edu website. There is also a green sticker slapped on the front of all recycling dumpsters saying NO PLASTIC BAGS. Is it really so hard to not use a plastic bag if it is for such an important cause? The more technology and inventions this society has, the more they seem to be disabling us. We are unable to do anything without some tool to make the task easier.

Recyclables can (and should) be taken out loosely. All this means is that you pick up your garbage pail/bucket/container, walk it to the dumpster, dump the recyclables out, then place it back in your home, no plastic bags needed. We are students now, in the peak of our physical and mental states (well, most of us at least), so such things should be easy. Is convenience really worth damage to our natural environment?

Next time you take out the recycling, hopefully you do, make sure a plastic bag doesn’t go in too. Spread the word, and correct someone if they don’t know, because awareness of these causes is so simple and so vital. Even though it is not springtime, this doesn’t mean our campus can’t be a “green” place to live.

Pricey Meal Swipes at Jazzmans

by Kayla Katt | April 2, 2014

Kayla-bwEvery Monday and Wednesday on my break between my 8 a.m. statistics class and my 10:50 a.m. organic chemistry class, I go to Jazzman’s and get my caramel latte and everything bagel with cream cheese. This costs about six Dining Dollars; that’s a lot for a bagel and a coffee, especially when I go twice a week all semester.

Jazzman’s has great food; however, it can get pricey when you go in there just to get a muffin, soda, or a tea. After a while, it adds up. Jazzman’s is no different than the other food locations on campus like The Grill or Pandinis or Sandellas—they all can be pricey, and it adds up. However, other than the food choices, there is one major difference between Jazzman’s and these other locations.

Jazzman’s does not use the $5.80 meal swipe if you are there during meal plan hours; it just uses straight dining dollars.

I understand Bartels is right downstairs and is open during breakfast, but what if I want a ham, egg and cheese sandwich or a latte instead of a regular coffee? I can’t get any of that from Bartels at any given time; however, I can buy them at Jazzman’s anytime.

Also, Jazzman’s is a huge hangout spot, not just for Greeks, but also for the entire student body. People want to hang out with their friends throughout their very stressful, college days. Having to go to Bartels to make sure you use your meal plan swipe instead of going to Jazzman’s and using dining dollars just adds more stress to an already stressful day, and subjects you to having to walk down the “judgment” stairs; which is always awful, especially if you fall.

If all the other food locations on campus use the meal plan swipe why can’t Jazzman’s? I spend all of my dining dollars at Jazzman’s, but my meal plan swipes are untouched. It would be nice to use my entire meal plan, not just my dining dollars, since I do pay for them. I consider this a waste, and if Jazzman’s accepted meal swipes, I would be able to save some of my dining dollars, which, like most of the student body’s, deplete quite quickly.

 

Gypped by UNH—the Usual

by Gabby Nowicki | April 2, 2014

Gabby-bwEach semester, each student is given 18 dollars on their ID card dedicated to only printing money. I repeat, ONLY printing money. So this means that if you do not use this designated 18 dollars, 36 dollars per year, it goes directly to waste. Maybe it will benefit some part of the school, but certainly not you.

Many will just say that 36 dollars is nothing, but those same people probably do not have to pay off loans or other daily costs. To me, and others, I could use that money for groceries, gas, or clothes. As a poor college student, every penny saved is vital.

Because I have my own printer, I rarely need to use the printers at the school. The only time I do is when I need to print large projects or use a lot of color. So by the end of the year I use approximately five out of the 36 dollars. This is such a waste and I feel like I can put this money to better use.

There are some simple solutions to this issue. For example, the money could be transferable. So the 36 dollars can be used for food, drinks, and laundry. The 18 dollars per semester should start out as Charger Cash— I’m unsure why it is even put in a separate account to begin with. The school could also just make the printing money an option. Since many students already own printers, they do not need to travel to the library. Just like having a meal plan, students could choose how much money they wish to have for printing money. Also, there are places on campus that offer free printing; so in reality, the designated printing money is a total waste. Sometimes, there are not even enough computers to print from!

It’s bad enough that we have to pay so much for low quality things; the meal plan, another issue of its own, is overly priced and all the food options are too. We need as much money as possible to go toward things that we actually use.

For those that do use up the 36 dollars, keep in mind there are free printing places and I am sure you can find someone with a printer. If this school expects a donation from us when we are alumni, then they better stop piling on our loans now.

 

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