Saturday, September 20, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

An open letter to the professor who exploited his resources

by The Charger Bulletin | September 17, 2014

Dear Professor (who shall remain nameless),

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On behalf of the entire student body, I would just like to personally thank you for the email you sent out last week inviting my peers and me to join LinkedIn and, furthermore, be part of each other’s professional networks.

While I do not know whether or not it was intentional for you to send my peers and me a request on this form of social media, I’m going to assume that it was nothing more than an accident, a mere slip of the finger as you clicked send all on your computer. You never meant to send that email to any of the members of the student body, myself included, but, if anyone responded, it would just be an added bonus.

Nevertheless, I appreciate your offer, as well as the additional email to accompany the dozens of emails I can count on receiving from the University on a daily basis, but I must decline.

If, in fact, you did mean to send the email to the entire student body, I must say that I am flattered, as I am sure my peers are also. While, again, I have no interest in joining LinkedIn at this time, and therefore have no need to respond to your request and be a part of your network, I am touched that my fellow students and I were hand-picked by someone such as yourself to be friends on LinkedIn.

Is that what they call it on there? Friends? Like on Facebook? I have no idea, but I’d like to think of us as friends at this point, wouldn’t you? But I digress. It is so humbling that you would want to make a personal connection with me (and I guess my peers too, though I like to pretend that I was the only one who received your invitation for friendship), as well as a professional one, despite barely knowing me, if at all.

Yet, you were so warm and personable in your message, it made me feel like you really knew me: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” So few words, yet they hold so much. As a matter of fact, this almost makes me want to create a LinkedIn profile… alas, I’ll leave that for another day.

Once again, thank you very much for your consideration, and, despite the circumstances, I really do hope we can remain friends. If not, you should know that I’ll always look back upon our brief, but eventful, friendship with much happiness, and every time I open my student email account, I’ll be sure to think of you.

Sincerely,
Kaitlin

Yik Yak makes me want to Yak

by Kayla Katt | September 17, 2014

Move over Tinder; Yik Yak is the new number one app people are talking about here at the University of New Haven.

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Yik Yak, an anonymous gossip app that launched in November 2013. “The app was founded by two Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers, Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, who graduated in 2013 from Furman University in South Carolina,” says Yik Yak’s official website.

Yik Yak is like an anonymous twitter. The news feed consists of all the anonymous “yaks” that people have posted in your area. The “yaks” can be voted “up” or “down” and can also replied to—anonymously, of course. Droll, one of the founders and CEO of the company, designed it to be similar to a “college bulletin board.”

When creating an account for Yik Yak you are asked to agree to a couple of rules:
1.“You do not bully or specifically target other yakkers
2.You DO NOT bully or specifically target other yakkers
3.Zero tolerance policy on posting people’s phone numbers
4.Don’t clutter people’s feeds with useless or offensive yaks. If you see a useless or offensive yak make sure to do your part by downvoting or reporting it
5.If your yaks continue to be downvoted or reported, you willl be suspended
6.Ride the Yak.”

These rules very clearly state NO BULLYING. However, bullying still occurs, just like it occurs on every other type of social media.

The only difference is that on Yik Yak, it’s not personalized, meaning one person is not being targeted and you don’t know who exactly is firing the shots. Those being targeted are not individuals; instead groups of people are being attacked. This is still bullying and can still affect individuals. Groups like Greek Organizations, sports teams, dorm buildings and specific dorm rooms are just examples of the groups being targeted on Yik Yak.

These stereotypes and rumors are associated with these groups for a reason; however, not everyone in these groups fulfill the stigmas of the stereotypes. These groups do have their stereotypes, but they do not apply to every member and there is no reason to be a bully about it.

Maybe those who are yakking about these groups should actually try to meet some of the people they are targeting instead of hiding behind their shields of social media and firing shots about things they know nothing about under the promise of anonymity.

I wish I didn’t see the sign

by Gabby Nowicki | September 17, 2014

I am sure the fellow University of New Haven community has heard over and over about the latest editions to the school, including the three million dollar renovation to the run down freshmen dorm, Bethel Hall, and a glamorous new residence hall accompanied with classrooms and a new dining all.

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One renovation that went a little less noticed is the main focus of my article. Ever walk by the library at night and see a giant, florescent light screaming University of New Haven? Oddly, I did not until I drove past one night and it grabbed my attention. Not going to lie—it’s a nice sign.

But was it really necessary?

I think people are already aware that they are, in fact, at the University of New Haven and they do not need a giant sign to confirm that. Granted, if this school was perfect and did not need any other fixings, then sure, put as many signs wherever you want! But the fact of the matter is that this school is far from perfect and still needs a lot of work done. The money that was used to put up a fancy new sign could have been used for a plethora of other things across campus.

I’m a junior on campus, and having to live in Dunham can be pretty rough at times. What makes it worse is living in a room that registered at 87 degrees one night a few weeks ago. I would sleep practically naked, and doing anything, including just sitting in a chair and not moving, meant sweat would drip off my face.

So why couldn’t the money that went towards the sign be used to renovate Dunham, especially since upperclassman have to live there?

Being a nutrition major, I practically live in the rundown Harugari Hall. It is also just as hot as Dunham, so I practically want to pass out in class. Yet there are no air conditions units in sight. Each classroom just has a mini fan that I guess is supposed to cool off an entire room of 20 to 30 people.

There are multiple other little fixes that the money could have been used for across campus but instead the university bought a giant sign—which, by the way probably sucks up a lot of energy, as well. I pay a lot to go to this school and while I get a good education out of it, I would like to be living in a comfortable setting as well.

What I’ve Learned from Working Retail

by Jenn Harrington | September 17, 2014

You’ll hear anyone who has ever spent a substantial amount of time in the restaurant business or retail say, “Everyone should have this job at some point in their life.” It’s true. Working for a large clothing company for over two years has taught me several things that I can use in the “real-world.”

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Day in and out I am surrounded with customers who need me to find an item that may not even exist or create a discount they decide works best for them. When I say customers are crazy, they are. If you think this may be you, it probably is. Don’t be offended as I have realized that before I worked in retail I was these people as well.

Sales associates are hired to keep a store clean, find an item on the floor or in the stockroom in another size or color, and make sure customers leave the store having bought something. That’s it. We are not hired to create the discounts or promotions, sew the clothing together to form new items, or even feed you. When you walk into a store, the items and discounts displayed are all previously decided upon tasks taken care of by the big man in the shiny office building in an undisclosed location that are emailed to store managers at the beginning of every sales day.

From this, I have learned that the world does not revolve around me. There are actually other people in the world who have things to accomplish and limitations as well.

Managers are in charge of a lot. They have to maintain store operations, keep sales up, manage employees, make sure customers are being helped and make sure merchandise is being sold and not stolen from the sales floor. I’ve worked under some managers who can’t tell their left from their right but also under managers who have their business down to a “t” except when it comes to speaking to people. Here is the next lesson I have learned: the way you talk to people does affect the response you will receive. The idiom “kill them with kindness” serves a real purpose. You can effectively deliver a message when it is given in a polite tone, preceded with a please, and followed by a thank you. We all understand managers have a business to run but your employees will want to work with you if you treat them respectfully and in turn will treat customers the same.

The third lesson that I have found is that money may or may not be the worst thing in the world. Money is what makes the world spin. Stores are given budgets to meet each day: one for their hours, and one that projects what they should make to cover operating costs. The budget for hours comes first; the operating cost budget is second. If you’re a customer who steals you may think that one small item won’t hurt but it does because you are definitely not the only one. When the store loses money, so do employees lose hours. Items may become more expensive and discounts limited but it’s helping college students like me have some spending money. A manager may be happy they can supply the employees hours but they also have to then work toward the operating costs of the company adding a whole new goal to reach.

A final thing that has been brought to my attention is that people are never satisfied but you will always feel the need to fix their problems. On a good day we have 40% off the entire store and sometimes it’s still not enough of a discount for customers. There have been countless moments when customers come into the store to shop and expect us to mark down every item they find. Any interaction with a customer is guaranteed to be followed with a half hour of headache inducing conversation to explain store policies and that, no, I cannot throw in a bottle of free perfume with your purchase because you are unhappy that we don’t sell flip-flops in December.

At some point in your life you might want to own your own business and you might not understand all the ideas that go into running it but these are some lessons that may help. If you can, get yourself a job in retail. It’s a crazy environment and you meet new people every day but even days when I wonder why I ever got myself into this part-time job I can still find positives. I have to thank my retail experiences for showing me some vital life lessons and am definitely looking forward to the rest that come.

Who controls the music?

by Katelyn Clark | September 10, 2014

The other day, I walked into Grill 155 to eat dinner with my friend, only to hear rap music blasting through the speakers at a volume unheard of at an eatery. I immediately wanted to turn and run. Not only did I have to yell my order to the cashier, but I could barely hold a conversation with my friend sitting right across the table, or hear myself think.

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I have nothing against the type of music that was playing, but the fact that it was blasting at an unnecessary volume, making the music sound distorted and awful, was almost too much to bear while I was trying to eat dinner.

The question I have is who controls the music at the dining facilities on campus? Is it Sodexo? Student Activities? Facilities Department? Why aren’t we using the resources available on campus to play music the students want to hear while they are eating?

WNHU, the University of New Haven’s radio station, would be a great place to start.

WNHU has a student only online stream called Charger Radio, which is all students, all the time. This stream should be what is playing through the speakers at the dining facilities.

Charger Radio is what students want to hear. And if you don’t like what you hear, students have the ability to join the station, become a DJ on Charger Radio and then YOU play what you and your friends want to hear.

If you are in doubt about putting WNHU/Charger Radio in the dining facilities, just take a look—or rather, take a listen—at the Rec Center. Over the summer, WNHU started a stream customized for the Rec Center and that is what you now hear playing over the speakers while you work out. The Rec Center utilized a resource straight from UNH, right on campus, which helps both parties in countless ways. So, I believe the dining facilities should do the same.

Whether it be the radio station putting juke boxes in Bartels so students can choose what song they want to hear, Grill 155 and Pandini’s streaming Charger Radio through their speakers so students can listen to their peers DJ their own shows, or a customized WNHU stream playing in Sandella’s and the C-Store; the options are limitless!

WNHU is a great resource that should not be overlooked, especially when it comes to what is playing over the speakers at the many different dining facilities on campus.

Don’t let social media ruin college

by Caitlin Duncan | September 10, 2014

Set the scene: it’s Friday night. Your roommates and suitemates are all out. You’re alone, sitting on your bed with a big bag of chips, binge-watching Netflix. Between episodes of Orange is the New Black, you check Instagram. You see a picture of your roommate with a big group of people who look like they’re having the time of their lives. You check your Snapchat story, and see videos from your suitemate of a party. Even Twitter reveals your friends dancing in a club with strangers.

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I have a feeling many of you know this scene all too well. Social media is the root of your disappointment and feeling left out, but I’ll let you in on a secret. Those nights are never as fun as they seem.

The next morning is usually filled with regret and embarrassment.

Now how do you avoid feeling disappointed on weekends if you aren’t out with friends? Simple: stay off social media. I know that sounds like a difficult task, but that is the reason you’re feeling left out, so just avoid looking at the constant updates from parties or club that probably aren’t even that fun.

If that seems too hard, here’s what I recommend:

1.Invite friends over for a movie night. Choose a film, send out a group message, but be sure to tell them BYOB, bring your own blankets, and have a fun night in.

2. Look up the Downtown New Haven shuttle schedule. Even if you’re not into the club or party scene, which is perfectly fine, grab some friends and head downtown for the night. New Haven is not all clubs and parties. Go explore what the city actually has to offer.

3.Invite a group of friends to a game. Play soccer out on Kayo Field and tell the losing team they have to buy the winning team ice cream from the C-Store. Pro-tip: it’s even more fun if the lights on Kayo are already turned off.

4.Adventure around the campus. There are lots of places on campus that people don’t know about. Go find them!

5.Take the Boston Post Road. The shuttle goes to the mall so see a movie; just make sure to check when the shuttle stops running so you don’t get stranded.

Instead of sitting in your room on a Friday night, obsessing over your social media accounts, and wondering why you weren’t invited to that party or out to the club, make your own plans. Either use one of my tips or think of your own. College is fun, but only if you make it fun. Trust me, worrying about social media in college will be your downfall. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you’ll have fun.

Nude pictures leaked

by The Charger Bulletin | September 10, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence. McKayla Maroney. Kate Upton. Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Kirsten Dunst. These are just some of the names of the victims of the celebrity nude photo scandal that broke last week.

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That’s right, I said victims. These women are victims of sexual violence, and, the last time I checked, it is highly taboo to blame a victim of a sex crime. So, what’s the difference between having private photos of yourself released for the entire world to see?

Many people have been taking to the media, shaming these women for taking naked photos of themselves and saying that they should not have taken the photos in the first place if they didn’t want them publicly released.

To put it bluntly, that is a stupid, antiquated manner of thinking. Just like you cannot blame a rape victim for what she wears, you cannot blame these women for taking naked photos of themselves and being deliberately attacked and stripped of their privacy.

Apparently, when people were outraged at the idea that the National Security Agency was violating Americans’ rights to privacy, the unspoken agreement was that the privacy of women was not included. These victims’ reason(s) for taking the photos do not matter, nor are they anyone’s business, but obviously, it comes down to a woman being comfortable enough in her own skin that she is willing to celebrate her body. For that, no one should be ashamed.

Just as a man who forces a woman to have sex with him is a rapist, the 4chan hacker who took the time to target specific, powerful women in the media and release their private photos is a sex offender. There is no difference between him and your regular, run-of-the-mill voyeur who takes photos up women’s skirts and peers into their windows late at night.

People who share naked photos, whether they’re of a celebrity they just hacked, an ex girlfriend, or just some girl they don’t even really know, are preying upon women when they are at their most vulnerable. We live in a world where the sexualization of women is more than just commonplace—it is expected. With apps like Snapsaver, which allows the recipients of your photos save them undetected (yes, that’s very much a thing), the ability to fully humiliate someone and invade her privacy is becoming more common.

While my opinions of pornography can be saved for another article, I will say this: the fact is, there are millions, if not billions, of photos and videos of consenting, naked women out there, much of which is free. So why do people still insist on invading the privacy and ruining the lives of non-consenting women, and why are these actions illegal in only twelve states?

The answer appears to be that, no matter what the circumstances, there is a universal belief that women, and only women, are obliged to be anybody’s personal porn outlet, even if they do not want to be. Even if it mars her reputation and forever changes the way her family, friends, and strangers look at her. Even if it changes the way she looks and feels about herself.

Think about that when you’re staring at naked photos of an underage Olympic gymnast.

 

One week without Instagram

by Elissa Sanci | September 10, 2014

I spend so much time flipping between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; I scroll through my feeds and once I get to a place where pictures or statuses or tweets begin to look familiar again, I refresh the page, hoping to find something new.

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It’s an addictive and slightly destructive habit. I waste my time, phone battery, data plan and emotional energy on these social media outlets in a vain attempt to feel a part of something when most times, I just end up feeling left out.

For the majority of my life, I’ve suffered from anxiety and feared missing out. Social media, especially Instagram, has never relieved my anxiety; rather, it’s always made things worse.

It has either proved that I was, in fact, missing out on something or made me feel that if I didn’t check to see what everyone else was up to, I would never know.

It’s no coincidence that once social media became a big influence on our generation, my anxiety heightened. For a while, I had everything under control, but after going through a breakup, it came back with a vengeance.

Where was he? Who was he with? Was he having more fun without me?

Social media began to run and ruin my life. I used to scroll through every single picture and intently study it. I took things to heart and a lot of what I saw really bothered me. Instagram was the first thing I checked when I woke up in the morning and the last thing I saw before bed.

Last week, while scrolling through Instagram, my favorite of the social media apps, I found myself holding my breath as I refreshed the page.

Would he be in the next picture that loaded? Would his name appear under the comment section of someone’s picture or would he like one of the most recently uploaded pictures on my feed?

It was in this moment, the moment where my breath was held in fear associated with the potential of seeing a certain username, that I realized how ridiculous I was being.

I was letting my fear of missing out manifest in a social media addiction and my mental wellbeing was at stake. I decided then to challenge myself: For one week, I went without looking at my Instagram feed.

Initially, my plan was to stay off of the app completely, meaning no posting, no viewing and no liking. However, I realized how impossible it was to give up Instagram cold turkey. Just like any addiction, I had to wean myself off slowly.

Although I wasn’t able to keep myself from posting my own pictures, I was able to keep from scrolling through my feed to see what everyone else was doing. At first, it was awful. I spent the entire first day opening the app, then immediately closing out of it.

Most times, within the first two days, I would find myself absentmindedly scrolling though my feed: pictures of beaches and amazing meals and bikini bodies. I was a zombie, going through the motions.

I woke up on the third day after dreaming that I was feverishly scrolling through Instagram before someone could stop me. I was having withdrawals, which I know seems ridiculous. I know it’s only an app, yet I treated it like a way of life

On the fourth day, I’d clicked the app open and stared at the first picture that loaded on my screen, wanting to scroll down but resisting. I wanted to know what was happening.

I needed to know that everyone was as bored as I was. Not knowing whether or not someone was having more fun than I was gave me an uneasy feeling in my chest.

By the fifth day, though, something amazing happened. I didn’t feel the need to look through my feed. I didn’t care what anyone was up to.

I didn’t feel like anything online was important for me to see. I felt as though the elephant that sat on my chest for the majority of my life got up to stretch his legs for awhile.

While I was successful at keeping myself from seeing what everyone else was doing, I was, however, unable to stop posting pictures. I was having fun and I wanted others to know.

Although seeing what other people posted was the source of my uneasiness and discomfort, I should have made a greater effort to refrain from posting my own photos.

Sometimes, it’s as though my good times aren’t validated without plastering them on every social media outlet for others to see. It’s ridiculous.

Not using Instagram taught me a lot about myself and about this generation.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way when scrolling through my feed; a study conducted via poll by the University of Salford last July showed that 51 percent of people surveyed feel that the impact of social media on their lives is negative.

Instagram, and social media in general, was created to connect with peers, but it has transformed into a competition of whose life is better. It depresses us to compare our own lives to those on our phone screens, but many of us fail to realize that everything is not as it seems.

Instead of crying because your heart is broken and everyone else has a significant other, realize that just because someone looks happy in a picture doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have problems.

Instagram is a collection of photos that you choose to edit, filter and post to represent your life; of course you’ll only pick photos that make your life seem most interesting, just as you’d only include your best pieces of work in your professional portfolio.

Why show your weaknesses if you don’t have to?

We get so caught up in a petty competitions of whose pictures can get more likes, which then translates into whose life is better, that we fail to enjoy the experiences that the photos depict. We’re so concerned with making sure everyone knows how much fun we’re having that we often forget to have fun.

I’ve recently learned that sometimes, ignorance is bliss. I’m happier not knowing what’s happening with my peers because in reality, knowing what they’re doing really has no positive effect on my life, nor does it change the course of my day.

Social media gives people a reason to be miserable; it allows us to take our unhappiness and increase it tenfold. Why give a mobile app so much power over you?

You, and only you, are in charge of your own happiness and no amount of likes on an Instagram photo can validate a happiness that doesn’t exist.

Freshmen or Freshmeat?

by Caitlin Duncan | September 3, 2014

 

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The beginning of a school year brings lots of new things to the University of New Haven’s campus. This year we have a brand new residence hall, a new parking garage, new professors, new friends, and of course, a new freshman class.

What baffles me is why some upperclassmen think it’s okay to make fun of freshmen. Who cares if they get lost on campus? They’re in a completely new environment; it’s expected that they will get lost a few times before they figure out where exactly Harugari is.

Who cares if they wear their lanyards around their neck? Let’s be honest, most of us thought we were so cool the first week of school when we wore our lanyards around our own necks. And to be quite honest, I still see upperclassmen doing it.

Who cares if they act like they’re the best thing to ever walk this campus? They’ll learn soon enough that they’re just one of the thousands of students on campus who pay tons of money to go here. Unless they’re a celebrity of some sort, just let them act out and make themselves look bad.

We were all freshmen at one point, and we all felt the same way they feel. We were terrified of getting lost, and we thought it was okay to wear our lanyards around our necks, and we just wanted to fit in. We all learned though, and they will, too. Cut them some slack.

We all remember how tough it was to be a freshman. It was difficult trying to adjust being away from our families for, probably, the first time ever, and it was incredibly hard sharing a room with strangers, and it just wasn’t easy trying to figure out where we belong. They’re all going through that transition right now, and the last thing they need is for upperclassmen to make fun of them about all of this.

I’m not saying that upperclassmen need to be best friends with them, but just leave them be. Making their adjustment to college harder than it has to be isn’t fair to them. And let’s be honest, all of us have much better things to worry about than the new freshman class on campus.

Never listen to upperclassmen

by Kaitlin Mahar | September 3, 2014

While freshmen may primarily benefit from these five key pieces of advice, anybody is welcome to use them as their own personal guidelines for navigating the treacherous jungle that is college, particularly the classroom.

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1) Never drop a class. Dropping the class comes off as being weak, and your other professors, both present and future, will smell the pungent stench of fear emanating from your pores and prey on you in future classes.

2) Don’t do your homework. This is related to number one, as doing one’s homework also signifies that you are subservient to your professors. Assert your strength and dominance by refusing to partake in such a belittling act of tyranny. Bonus points if you tell your professor to do it for you.

3) Don’t GO to class. Unless you find it inherently interesting or you’re undergoing hallucinations and have no control over your actions, going to class is a big no-no. Why go to class when there are inherently more important things to do, like sleeping, eating, and watching Netflix (all of which are necessary for one’s physical health and overall survival… Ask your doctor if you don’t believe me)? Besides, not going to class completely eliminates the prospect of numbers 1 and 2 from even occurring, so it’s actually even better for you.

4) Talk to your professors. If you’re still truly concerned about your grade, email or set up an appointment with your professors, and then promptly whisper in their ears that you are in love with them and that this is not just any ordinary meeting – it’s your first date. Your declaration of love will send them into a manic frenzy (either positive or negative, depending on your level of attractiveness), and your A will be guaranteed!

5) Cheat. This one should speak for itself… Why do the work when you have other people (and Wikipedia) to do it for you? It’s simple, and far less of a waste of your time than actually working.

Just follow these tips and, before you know it, the first semester will be over, and you’ll have passed all of your classes with flying colors! Good luck!

 

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