Sexual Assault on College Campus

“What If Bears Killed One In Five People?” the new “It’s On Us” campaign asks. The public service announcement of the White House was meant to grab people’s attention and make them realize how prevalent sexual assault is. The benefit of this campaign is that it targets all audiences; whereas generally, the only people who care to learn more about sexual assault prevention are not the problem. In fact, there are a lot of problems.

One of the problems with sexual assault is that people like this exist and would say,

“Time and time again we have seen young men expelled or suspended following alcohol-soaked, highly ambiguous sexual encounters that didn’t involve force or the word “no.” We have seen errors of judgment derail a promising future because, in the world of campus sexual assault, all punishments go to 11” ( Kaiser and Dillon).

I am absolutely dumbfounded that the Los Angeles Times would publish this. Yes, some people are ignorant and don’t realize that the only thing that means consent is “yes” itself and one should ask, but these are educated writers for a paper in a largely populated city and they are encouraging the very rape culture they profess to hate. Clearly, the first problem to address is awareness of sexual assault, what it is, how it happens, and how to prevent it. Sexual assault should not be swept under the rug by universities but should be brought into the light on campus, in the eyes of parents, and in the world. Once the world is aware of the problem, universities will have more social freedom to stop it.

In regards to the quote from the LA Times article on punishment based on severity, the first issue is that it wants me to praise a sexual offender for not lurking in the shadows, drugging a girl, and raping her while she’s unconscious… yes, congratulations, you almost treated a woman as a human being but not quite, perhaps try again next Saturday night. If consent is not given, IT IS RAPE. Yes premeditated rape is worse than ignorant rape, but ignorant rape is still rape. Perhaps ignorant rapists should only be suspended for a year or two so that their victim can recover and their life doesn’t have to completely disassemble, however premeditated rapists should be expelled. A minimum sentence for a sexual assault isn’t preposterous as this article tries to make it seem like overkill, a year suspension as a minimum makes perfect sense in regards to protecting the victim. There needs to be a minimum punishment so that people aware of the definition of the crime have incentive to not rape someone. That being said, ignorant rapists are easier to deal with than psychopaths, and the easiest way to deal with an ignorant rapist, is to prevent him or her from becoming one.

If we consider the stance of ignorant rapists as a legitimate one and do nothing to prevent ignorance, we are the most ignorant of all. Universities need to step up and educate all students on the vitality of consent. There should be mandatory seminars, discussions, in-person confrontation of the issue; students shouldn’t have the option of hiding behind the computer screen and filling out 3 multiple choice questions that they aren’t even paying attention to. All students should be forced go to seminars and check in before they can register for classes. They will all go. Also, include steps to take if you or a friend gets sexually assaulted because most students have no idea. Their nightmare goes unreported, and then becomes a reality for yet another person.

Finally, the biggest issue is that universities are very careful to guard their image, to do everything they can to appear prestigious to attract the best student bodies they can. It’s perfectly logical, but is it ethical when sexual assault is swept under the rug to protect athletes and school image? No. Sexual assault happens at all campuses, and some statistics say it will happen to one in four women before they graduate. Do parents know this? No. This is why the first college that actually deals with sexual assault will suffer bad press and fewer applications… because no one talks about it, no one ever will. There need to be more awareness campaigns that target everyone, so that parents can be informed and universities can deal with things appropriately without fear of being socially punished.

Students need to be educated yearly on what sexual assault is and how to do deal with it. Universities won’t educate students or punish offenders if parents still think it isn’t a problem everywhere. The public must be made aware so that the college that first deals with this issue will be celebrated as heroes for finally cracking down, instead of being declared unsafe and suffer repercussions for years.




Romney 4 years later is still a problem

The GOP so despises Trump and Carson that they are considering luring Romney back into the race. Yes, you read that correctly. Even if Romney conceded, would he realistically have a chance? Probably not.

“[S]ome in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting [Mitt] Romney,” reported the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Robert Costa on Friday. “Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest”  (Silver).

Trump and Carson are such nightmares for the Republican party that they are considering backing Romney in hopes that he will stand by their agenda, since no other candidate seems to hold the same beliefs. Could this work out? Well, in the course of history, no. Late candidates who entered earlier  in the race than Romney would have been absolute disappointments, well maybe not disappointments because there was no real hope for them, so we will call them atrocities.

Trump and Carson’s misfit for the party might be the only thing the GOP agrees on, but again, they are the front runners and sending in a new 11th hour candidate sounds absolutely foolish. There are a few arguments against history for this case, such as the temporal reign of Trump and Carson, that in the end the stable party candidate will stand firm. However, if that is true, why introduce a new candidate? Give the most established candidate, Rubio a chance. The belief that this circumstance is different and Romney could flourish is also ridiculous because the party would be splitting itself and disregarding potential cross over candidates. I could get into more theories, but honestly, writing this annoys me because I’m frustrated with how ridiculous this is.

Burning Bush?

Is Jeb burning out? All signs say yes. Bush is down 28% since June, 23% more than the average republican candidate. Despite having the name, and the most finances, Bush seems to be failing miserably.

But while I don’t think Bush’s demise is a fait accompli, I definitely agree that he’s in serious trouble. Bush isn’t going to win any primaries if his popularity among Republicans continues to plummet.

Bush has no public support, and his republican supporters are backing out, even some of his financial supporter are giving up on him. The main issue is that the party doesn’t see him as a republican, so in turn none of them care what he does. As he opens his mouth more, the party disagrees with him more, and it will only get worse over time.

Bush’s falling favorability is, of course, a very bad sign for his candidacy. It suggests that Bush’s fall in the horse-race polls isn’t merely due to other candidates doing better. Instead, Bush seems to be doing worse. Put another way, the more Republican voters get to know Bush, the less they seem to like him. Attacking other candidates, such as when Bush went after Marco Rubio on Wednesday night, is unlikely to solve Bush’s problem.

Bush should call it quits. He has stooped in tactics, compromised campaign promises, but also overly stuck to his guns on controversial things and proved to be only stubborn and foolish. He needs to cut his losses and bail. He has lost his shot with the republican party by not at all being a republican. I don’t think he will actually bail anytime in the near future, and I don’t know if this is sad or amusing.

Carson, no experience, pro or con?

Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon, is a top candidate, trailing only behind the real estate giant, Donald Trump. Should we worry or celebrate?

Initially I was as concerned as you probably are at the fact that Ben Carson has absolutely zero political experience. “HOW COULD THAT BE A PRO?” you may ask. Well, we aren’t completely misguided in that that sounds like a terrible idea, but hear me out that it might not necessarily be a con.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, meanwhile, is the most electable, the most presidential, the most pragmatic and the most trustworthy with his finger on the nuclear button — all characteristics befitting a candidate now leading the GOP horse race in Iowa. Noble

The GOP has consistently nominated white, wealthy, political powerhouses, and also, consistently not gained a ton of support or had many results. Is it more of a risk to give a new guy a shot, or to chose the same ineffective party pawns that have been gaining no support and making no changes? I honestly thought in writing this I would develop a strong opinion on whether or not this was a good thing, but all I have resolved is that it is not a guaranteed terrible thing. Carson, unlike Trump, is intelligent, even socially aware, a great leader, and unlike the other quasi-rational republican candidates had popular support, making him an actual threat.

So I ask you to consider and think for yourselves as I mull over it more, is playing it safe with a traditional candidate really the safest bet for the GOP?  As Carson gains party support, it would appear as though the republican party is becoming more and more open to the idea that the “risk” of an outsider could reap the greatest reward.

“It’s crystal clear that a majority of Republicans think the bigger risk is to keep electing insiders who will deliver the same results,” Selzer boldly declared.

Is Kindness Still Relevant?

Not too long ago people knew their neighbors, not just their names or how many pets and kids they have, but they knew about their lives. People cared for people. People said hi to people they passed on the street. Folks were friendlier, more patient, and kinder to more people. Now people are looking down at their phones so much that they literally run into poles, trees, even fountains. If someone smiles at you or says “hi”, you assume they want something from you. Culture has become more selfish and detached. Everything is all about whatever gets you ahead, don’t think about the cost or who you step on on your way, as long as you come out on top. This is what the world tell us. It tells us to hurry, focus on ourselves, and don’t stop for anyone. Although there is nobility and productivity in efficiency, to what cost? People need to realize that genuine kindness and sincerity are still relevant and important because if not for the principle, it boosts our moods, improves our health and that of those around us, as well as from a business stand point increases productivity, employee morale and motivation, and most obviously customer satisfaction.

Kindness, by definition, is good or benevolent. It is being considerate, helpful, friendly and gentle. You’ve all seen it, we’ve all done it. We pay more attention to the devices in front of us than the human beings around us. There is no questions that smart phone exacerbate already existing issues of shyness, inability to approach strangers, technological dependency, lack of intimate human relationships, and short attention span. As our dependency on these devices increase, our ability to interact with people well decreases as well as our attention span, patience, and genuineness. Societally, we may be more “connected” but socially we are more disconnected than ever. Studies show that adults make eye contact 30-50% of the time during conversation when at least 60-70% is required to make an emotional connection. We may have more friends than before but we are also more isolated. Studies also show that people are more willing to interact with complete internet strangers than people they actually know and are in close proximity to. Plus, our manners have gotten worse due to the lack of face to face interaction and anonymous online possibilities. As a culture, we have become calloused, making kindness even more valuable.

Socially anxious people think that smart phones are a benefit to them because they prevent some interactions, when in actuality they are a hindrance to healing. Research that the very thing they fear can be improved simply by being kind. Studies prove that people who do small kind acts often have not only a more positive mood, but an extreme decrease in the amount of social avoidance as well as an increase in relationship satisfaction! Acts of kindness release the hormone oxytocin, it’s the “warm fuzzy feeling” hormone that causes emotional connection. Kindness not only releases this in the giver, but the receiver as well, and every single person who views the act of kindness! Oxytocin also increases emotional bonding, trust and generosity, serenity, and strengthens the immune system. In addition, the release of this chemical more often over time can increase your life span! It also lowers your blood pressure, which pretty much everyone would benefit from. Kindness also stimulates the production of Serotonin which makes you happy, calms you down, and even heals your wounds. It also causes you to release endorphins, which are 3 times more powerful than morphine. Kindness literally kills the pain. Kindness also increases serotonin production in the giver, the receiver, the witnesses and three degrees of separation after that! Science also supports that compassionate people don’t age as rapidly and produce about 23% less cortisol, the infamous stress hormone. It is an undeniable scientific fact that kindness is healthy for everyone.

It’s no secret that customer service is important, but do companies honestly take customer service seriously and pursue excellence as much as they do efficiency? What if customer satisfaction was the highest standard of efficiency? It is fact that about 25% of customers leave reviews and about 70% of customers read reviews before they decide to make a purchase. If there isn’t outstanding, intentional, positive interactions that people will want to write about and share, the only reviews that will be up will be negative because people are passionate about negative experiences. It is imperative that customers are not one time customers but loyal, repeat, customers that are passionate about your product because a happy customer is the best marketing you can have. It’s been said that a customer will tell one to three other people about a positive experience but anywhere from nine to fifteen about a negative one so it is crucial to make sure customers not only have not terrible experiences, but great ones. Also, doing things right means you won’t have to fix it later. There will always be some negative reviews and damage control is important, but doing the job well means minimizing the cleanup in which everyone wins. Customers are people too, they want to feel valued and important, they are paying for your business, should you not treat them like royalty for employing you? These are things to be mindful of always as you interact with guests. It is important to train all employees at all levels in guest interaction, in a way that doesn’t make people feel like they’re being read a script that will only make things infinitely worse.

Exceptional customer service is vital to a stable company, but it doesn’t start on the front lines with the lower tier employees. Kindness needs to come from the top to have the greatest impact. Today’s society seems to value toughness in leaders over kindness. I agree that firmness is necessary for productivity, efficiency, and effectively communicating goals, but I do not think fear, threats, or intimidation should be used to “motivate” workers because it will always have the inverse effect. Humans by nature are more responsive to positive reinforcement and grow from it, so why have we decided to use scare tactics? Kindness builds better relationships; it bonds people. It makes work more pleasant when there are people who care for each other and enjoy each other’s company, and customers can tell when there is tension in the workplace. Happy employees enjoy work and it shows in the way they interact with customers! Showing warmth at first and then being tough is proven more effective than immediate pressing demands, and kind leaders make employees feel more confident to speak up, ask questions, share ideas, and support each other. This builds a stronger team unity and happiness, and it is also proven that people would rather be happy than have more pay. Leaders need to be tough and results driven but also kind and people driven for optimal results. A lot of time stress or competition can cause leaders to bad talk others and be selfish but other employees see this and respond negatively, become less motivated, and question the leadership of that person. Short cuts to get ahead always lead to being behind. Leaders need to embrace, practice and exemplify kindness to their employees to create a more welcoming work place environment, to make a more productive company to make more customers more than satisfied with their service so that they keep coming back for more.

Kindness is contagious, it spreads like wildfire; and, if not for the principle of it, kindness is important for health, healing, relationships, and business. It effects and leaks into every area of our lives if we let it. It’s 2015 and kindness still counts. So let’s be kind to our coworkers, neighbors, friends, family, and ourselves.

Is Bush out of the woods yet?

When Jeb Bush announced he would be running for President of the United States of American, there were several different reactions. Some thought, “wait, there’s another one?” others thought, “he’s a shoe in” and others still thought, “no way I’m voting for him”. His name recognition is his biggest weapon for and against him. Well, the race has been going for a while now but he is only at 8.8%… that is considerably lower than expected, what’s going on?

Why should Republicans choose Bush? He’s not particularly conservative. But usually the more moderate candidates are at least more electable, and it’s less clear that’s true for Bush (Nate Silver).

Jeb is very moderate, which will make it difficult for him to get endorsements from the GOP. Although, he already has the most of any republican candidates, he hasn’t received a new endorsement in a very long time, whereas Rubio has received three recently. Jeb has been running Ads but not rising in popularity with the general public. The lack of success now indicates he will likely continue to struggle with popularity. The only thing really on Bush’s side is his finances. Bush has many financial supporters backing him, the trouble is, it’s rumored a lot of his support might bail on him if they don’t see a rise in popularity in the coming weeks. I’m confused by this because, simply, it’s October. They need to calm down because historically moderate candidates do better in the general election, also other Republican candidates are still looking for support and Bush is set.

Bush’s main contender is Rubio who may or may not be a huge threat. Rubio has recently been receiving endorsements and gaining public support, but he is very conservative. He, if nominated, would be the most conservative nominee of the GOP since 1964. He does bring about a different image than the stereotypical GOP candidate however, so that could benefit him if the party is looking to switch things up a bit. Right now, I wouldn’t say Bush is losing to Rubio, but he definitely isn’t winning. Jeb should be concerned and rethink his strategy but he doesn’t need to freak out. His supporters need to calm down and continue to provide him with the main advantage he has.

The Population Problem

As a citizens of the third most populated country in the world our concerns are usually over population, but what about the countries that are struggling with a shrinking population? As the third  largest country we are lucky to benefit from the effects of a large population. These includes a large labor force, which intern boosts the economy. Another benefit from a large population is a large military force, this helps strengthen and determine the countries political power. However, countries with low population often have a small military power and a struggling economy.

According to the 2015 World Data Sheet the countries with the lowest fertility rates include Bosnia, South Korea and Portugal (Chart).

Other countries that are struggling with a declining population include Japan, Russia and Germany. These countries are trying desperately to boost up their fertility rate by providing incentives to young families. The problem with this solution is that by only relying on boosting fertility rates you have to wait for the children to grow up and become contributing forces.

This is why countries with declining populations should rely on two different kinds of strategies to solve their population problems. The first is to increase fertility, this process is slow and may never fully work. The second strategy is to welcome in immigrants, especially refugees.Right now with the situation in Syria these countries have the very unique opportunity to increase their population by welcoming able body workers that can contribute to their work force, economy and military force.