Tag Archives: Edith Erickson

STUDENTS RESPOND TO SMOKING SURVEY

December 5, 2008

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by Edith Erickson

“I will still smoke,” said Chris Eschlimau. “There should always be a smoking designated area. I mean, I pay money to come here.”

Not long ago, all students received an e-mail concerning a survey for a smoke-free campus. While students have not filed formal complaints about this hotly debated issue, students have a lot to say about it.

Jack Keeley said, “I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with smoking outside.”

Ashley Sudduth said, “I was surprised when I saw the survey in the e-mail. It’s a relaxation between classes.”

This student strongly discussed that smokers are already courteous by smoking in designated areas.

“They should relocate smoking areas away from the door. That’s probably why people are complaining. They should do it in an open area,” said Chris Yeager. “Maybe they could even get us a heated area.”

Clearly the possibility of a smoke-free campus is a concern for smoking students. This does not even take into account employees who smoke.

Dec. 1 was the last day for students to submit their opinion concerning this issue online.

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FLIRTING NOT CONSIDERED CHEATING

December 5, 2008

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by Edith Erickson

Men are less likely to consider flirting as cheating than are women.

Recently at Longview, students Heather Wilber, Kimberly Finley, and Shaunita Charles did research on relationship cheating for their General Psychology class. They surveyed 50 men and 50 women on campus.

The students’ hypothesis was as follows: If men ages 18-25 are asked if flirting with someone other than the person you are dating exclusively is cheating, more men than women will say that this is not cheating. In the research, their definition of flirting is defined as “holding hands, looking at someone affectionately, and being ‘touchy feely.’”

With this hypothesis in mind, they set out to research what professionals are saying about the cheating topic.

According to the website http://brainblogger.com, “Cheating implies some sort of deviation from the norm — staying faithful.”

But as new research suggested, the chances of infidelity in a relationship now varies between 40 and 76 percent; and this implies that infidelity itself could be the new norm. In adult life, in order to prevent commitment-phobia, many of these individuals in relationships cheat to reassure themselves of their own space and freedom.

As a follow up to the previous studies, two further studies revealed that the number one motive quoted as a reason for infidelity was a conscious will to distance oneself from commitment and one’s partner.

“In general, men are more likely to cheat for more superficial reasons, like the need for excitement, while women are more likely to stray if there is serious trouble in the marriage,” stated the website, http://www.menstuff.org.

“But those lines are blurring,” said Nancy Glass, PhD, author of “Not ‘Just Friends’: Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal.”

“In the past, there were significant gender differences,” said Glass. “The traditional male affair that was primarily sexual is changing because more men are having more emotional affairs (meaning their feelings for the “other woman” go beyond just sexual) with coworkers.
Meanwhile, women are having more sexual affairs.”

One reason: Women now feel more entitled to enjoy their sexuality, so if sex with their husband is not satisfying, they are more likely to look elsewhere than their mothers and grandmothers would have been. Another trend: With more men and women working together side-by-side, as peers, there is an opportunity for deep emotional connections that did not exist in previous generations.

“You always had the boss who ran off with his secretary, but now I see many men who are in good marriages and are not traditional philanderers who form these deep friendships,” Glass said. “They cross these lines and become more emotionally intimate than they are in their marriage. If there’s some sexual attraction and chemistry, that’s all you need for an affair.”

Although affairs can and do happen to “good” marriages, in general an affair is a signal that something is awry in the relationship.

“There are some cases when someone is just having sex with different people out of a need for variety, but most people really think before they go off in that direction. If you have a good relationship, you’re less likely to jeopardize it,” said Lonnie Barbach, PhD, co-author with David Geisinger of “Going the Distance: Finding and Keeping Lifelong Love.”

“Recent studies reveal that 45-55 percent of married women and 50-60 percent of married men engage in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship,” stated the website, http://www.menstuff.org.

Finally, the Longview students decided to prove their hypothesis and their research by conducting a survey at Longview campus of 50 men and 50 women. The survey confirmed that women ages 18 to 25 think flirting with someone other than the person you are dating exclusively is cheating, while men ages 18 to 25 are more likely to say that this is not cheating.

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STUDENT COMPLAINTS RECEIVE LITTLE ATTENTION

December 5, 2008

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by Edith Erickson

While Longview has a variety of excellent teachers, it is common for all universities to have teachers that are hard to deal with. It is true that a lot of hard teachers are excellent teachers. However, some teachers are beyond just having difficult classes and expectations. Their conduct toward students is not acceptable.

One anonymous student shared about an experience last semester with one of her teachers. She had gotten A’s on all of her homework and at the end of the semester she was given a B. When she brought this up to the chairman, she was told that the teacher could grade however she wanted to. This student even had all of her homework to prove that she had earned an A. One might speculate that perhaps the final test grade counted as the course final grade, but that should have been in the teacher’s syllabus.

The teachers tend to have a good relationship with their superiors. Therefore, when students have valid complaints about a particular teacher, students tend to find that those superiors may not do anything about the problem.

On another occasion, a different student complained about teachers testing large sections of material not covered in class. This student brought this complaint to the chairman of that department. The student also described a teacher’s unprofessional behavior. This teacher often told students to “shut up,” made degrading comments toward some

people, and made sexual jokes which did not relate to the class content.

The chairman responded to this student by saying that she was overreacting. He said that he would mention something to the teacher after the semester, and that students normally waited until after the semester because there was a possibility a teacher may give a student worse grades because the student had complained about his or her teaching. Does this not sound unprofessional? What is the point of going to a superior, if the student’s concern is not considered important to the superior? One can speculate that perhaps it would be too inconvenient to have to fire a teacher or lose a teacher and then have to go find a replacement.

I readily admit that I have not done extensive research on this topic. That this would happen even on a small scale however is repulsive to me as a student. I would hope that in most cases students are taken seriously when concerns about teachers are expressed. It is only professional for the chairmen and the dean’s department to look after students enough to confront teachers and challenge their behavior without any fear of being degraded.

This does not mean that students should not bring unprofessional conduct or unfair practices to the attention of the appropriate leadership, but they should know that this may not lead to the answer they are looking for.

I hope and expect the departments here at Longview to hold their teachers accountable to a high level of professional behavior and grading as they are also holding students accountable to a high level of behavior and class work.

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Campus considers smoking ban

November 6, 2008

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by EDITH ERICKSON

 
Recently the Chancellor of Metropolitan Community Colleges, Dr. Jackie Snyder, put forward the initiative that all of the MCC campuses should become smoke-free. 

In line with that directive, the leadership at Longview is considering the pros and cons of a smoke-free campus, and they are in the process of researching the experiences of college students at campuses that are already smoke-free.

MCC leaders know this may cause strong reactions on both sides of the issue, and they want to hear the opinions of students.

Keet Kopecky, advisor of the Longview Student Government Association, said, “About half of Missouri’s community colleges are already smoke-free, so MCC would join a growing list of smoke-free colleges if this initiative passes.”

One of the main things they are asking is what is the most efficient way to do that? There is also a concern for employees that do smoke–especially because they are required to be on campus all day long.

Dean Janet Cline said, “We support education. For us to continue to allow smoking that we know is harmful is irresponsible on our end.”

It has been suggested that if MCC chooses to switch to a smoke-free environment, it will lose its smoking students. As a comparison, Cline brought up the fact that the school has never allowed alcohol on campus. Also, there are many places that are already smoke-free.

She said, “The college would be just one more place–they should be used to it.”

The overall concern and reason behind the push is the welfare of the students. Cline sees this as “an opportunity to help them learn, grow, and change.” While Cline is not looking forward to the possibility of disciplining students who would get caught smoking, she certainly cares for students and desires to provide resources that will help students deal with the smoking habit.

According to Eugene Fenster, a nutrition teacher, “Cigarettes and tobacco, when used, are a directive kill.”

This means that from the first puff or first chew, these products begin killing you.

Even second-hand exposure to smoke is harmful to an individual if it is continuous. It is especially harmful for those with respiratory and allergy problems.

A smoke-free campus would benefit virtually everybody. The goal is not only a smoke-free campus, but rather more smoke-free students. The MCC leadership is aware that they are going to deal with people with strong addictions to smoking.

Longview President Fred Grogan takes this problem seriously. Having been a smoker himself for 20 years, he knows that it is hard to quit. In fact, he did not stop until the birth of his first child. It has now been almost 30 years since he quit smoking. Since he understands, he fully intends to provide programs that will help students quit should the time come when Longview becomes smoke-free.

Chancellor Snyder also cares a lot about the students’ opinions. Seth Alley, president of Longview Student Government, said, “Sometime shortly after Nov. 4, the survey will be brought forth to the campus and administered to students in the cafeteria.”

If at that point, the survey results give an overwhelming amount of “yes, to go smoke free,” the chancellor’s cabinet will start the “three year” process toward a smoke-free campus.

Dean Cline said, “The survey is being done by the district; they are looking at all MCC campuses.” An MCC campus on-line survey has already been made available.

Alley said, “Right now we are in the mode of finding different effective ways of helping students with this. The goal is not to repeat any mistakes that may have been made in the past by other groups who have tried to go tobacco free.”

There is a possibility for an important change in the future at Longview. Input of the students is crucial for the decision that is coming up.

A move in that direction has already been made.

In an Oct. 8 e-mail to the staff, Cline announced, “At the request of students and employees who prefer to read, relax, or enjoy a meal in a smoke-free environment, two locations on campus have been designated as Smoke-Free.  The locations are (1) the Education Center patio – located on the east side of the Ed. Center entrance; and (2) the patio behind the Campus Center Cafeteria.”

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PATTERNS OF OVERDRAFTING CAN LEAD TO DEBT

November 6, 2008

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by EDITH ERICKSON

Many college students go through school with much debt. This is no surprise when college students are expected to pay for tuition, books, fees, school supplies, gas, food, and much more.

This is just the basic list and does not even include expenses for recreation. The majority of students are in the hole. What is the way out?

Drew Erickson is a student at Longview who has been a U.S. Bank employee for over a year. One of his jobs entails working with overdrafts. While doing this, he has learned the pitfalls and solutions to help keep college students out of debt.

He suggested:

*Take subsidized loans from the government, not unsubsidized loans from a bank.

*Avoid credit card debt by paying off your credit card each month.

*Do not spend money that is not in your account.

*Balance your checkbook.

*Find out when the checks you deposit will be available.

*If you have credit card debt, a balance transfer may be an option

*Use internet banking carefully; it is not as reliable as getting your exact available balance from a branch.

Erickson has seen over and over again the unbelievable: Redbox debt!

Erickson said, “You will not believe how many college students get overdrafts over a Redbox rental.”

At this point, Drew recalled several memories and laughed. He added, “Redbox is not worth it if it will cost you over $30. You don’t know how many times I’ve seen that.”

From experience at the bank, he said, “If you get overdrafts (especially if it’s the first time), make sure to talk with a bank manager to see if some of them can be refunded. Banks may not promote this, but it is likely that they will work with you if you ask them.”

Rachel Block, a former employee of Allen Bank and Trust Company, said, “We charged $25 for an overdraft.” She also said, “We have a lot of college students who will overdraft on school payments, fast foods (McDonalds, Burger King).”

Different things can contribute to overdrafts. Block said, “People got stuck with peer pressure. They felt like they had to go to the movies, otherwise they would be out of the loop.”

The best thing to do is to keep track of all your payments.

Block said, “Check your online banking.”

Either way, students who want to be safe are better off by completely staying away from credit cards or by paying off debt each month. This is the best way that college students can build up good credit for the future.

Erickson said, “At some point, you will need to buy a house and could use better rates on loans.”

A lot of these pointers are obvious. Still it is surprising how many college students simply do not follow them. These pointers will help students save hundreds of dollars each month.

Many college students have a pattern of paying over $100 of overdraft fees each month.

Any student who would like additional help with any of these pointers should visit the financial aid department. They are there to help students figure out the money options for school.

The counseling department can also refer students to professionals in the community. These professionals will work with anyone on their personal financial problems. The experts say to take advantage of professional help and be debt-free.

MONEY SAVING TIPS

1. Write a list before you go shopping–and then STICK TO IT!

2. Instead of a cookbook, plan your meals around what’s on sale at the grocery store.

3. Buy video games that you can play over and over again- and don’t buy another one until you’ve mastered what you have.

4. Give up expensive habits like cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol.

5. Clean your car’s air filter. A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7 percent, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average vehicle.

6. Cancel unused club memberships.

7. Wash your hands frequently (you won’t get sick often and thus won’t need to go to the doctor).

8. Don’t go to stores or shopping centers for entertainment (chances are you will spend more money).

9. Brown bag your lunch.

10. Create a visual reminder of your debt (This will remind you where you are, and you will see the progress toward eventually being debt free)

 

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