Pro by Lia Grabowski
Consider this: A criminal, for whatever twisted reason his dark mind spins, decides to commit a murder. Is he going to change his mind because guns aren’t allowed where he plans to go? If he’s in a mindset to commit a horrific crime, the illegality of his weapon in a gun-free zone probably won’t deter him. Is he going to choose a place where people could be armed or where civilians have no means of defending themselves? Average citizens are being set up for failure.
Those against the idea of concealed carry, especially on college campuses, often worry this allowance would create more gun-related incidents. However, the nationwide rules for owning and carrying a concealed weapon still apply on campuses. According to South Carolina law, this includes: being over the age of 21, completing a handgun education course, providing a complete set of fingerprints for a background check and renewing the permit every four years.
Although South Carolina has passed a bill that legalizes the carrying of firearms in certain establishments that provide alcohol, it is still illegal for a person to carry if they are drinking. With all of these considerations, those who choose to carry a concealed firearm would likely be qualified and using it for the correct purpose, self-protection.
Many states have already begun to change their laws. Five states specifically allow concealed carry on college campuses, and 23 states have left the decision to each university. Allowing concealed carry on college campuses certainly doesn’t mean that every person will carry; however, even the small percentage that would choose to would provide a much greater line of defense against any senseless acts of violence towards our students. If someone is considering attacking a student, he may think twice knowing that there are or could be other armed people nearby.
Con by Tilden Brighton
If the school shootings continue to be glorified on every media outlet accessible to mankind, somebody with a gun will do it again.
The proximity of both recent and tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Coastal Carolina University shake me to the core. My hometown is two hours away from Sandy Hook, Conn. and USC is only two hours away from CCU. Schools are losing recognition as safe environments for students and staff, who depend on higher learning for education and employment.
In regards to these recent shootings, the idea of concealed weapons on campuses gives me an uneasy feeling. It is difficult to distinguish who will use a weapon, like a gun, for defense purposes or as a threatening device. Many prominent authorities have been discussing safety in schools since December, and many seem to worry that another school shooting will happen in the near future. If something is not done to prevent the easy obtainment of weapons, it is likely that more shootings will happen.
No, I do not like the idea of concealed weapons on campuses. The shooters who had weapons in their possessions did not use and were not inclined to use their weapons for defensive purposes, but rather as threats and murderous tools. It may take a brave act of someone, other than authority, to show the country that having a gun can be used to prevent devastation and/or save a life. Until then, it is too risky to allow concealed weapons on school grounds.
When you find yourself at Williams-Brice Stadium in a sea of fans that seemingly belong, don’t let yourself stick out in the crowd. Accomplishing this entails hating a rival team that you’d never heard of until logging on to Ticket Return. It entails pretending to know those annoying cheers that you ignored at First Night Carolina. You have to do these things because football in the South is a way of life — and even if it’s not your way of life, you should pretend. Even if you’re just bullshitting.
Imagine this: One day a friend tells you about a great new job he has just started and would love for you to join, too. It’s part-time, you can set your own hours and in just a few short weeks you can be making big money. Sign me up, right? Here’s the catch: You won’t make the profits you were promised, and without doing any research, you could have absolutely no idea what you signed up for.
Scams are popping up all over campus lately, specifically designed to fool the average college student into investing money in a company that will fail to deliver its big promises. Some disguise themselves as cool new jobs, while others trick you into thinking you are getting a lot more bang for your buck than you actually will. Nobody wants to be that person who fell for a dumb scam while the guys on the other side are laughing. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of a few of the biggest scams and rip-offs we’ve seen on campus recently, so you won’t be that person. You’re too smart for that.
One of the biggest and most disconcerting scams on campus as of late is the “get rich quick” scheme or the pyramid scheme. You may have already heard of pyramid schemes before; think Bernie Madoff, the guy who was sentenced to some serious jail time for creating a company based on an illegal Ponzi scheme. These schemes generally hide behind names like multi-level marketing, referral marketing or network marketing.
Pyramid schemes operate by creating a network or “pyramid” of investors. Each person who invests in the company makes a set amount of money for each person they recruit, each person that person recruits, and so on. This marketing scheme is extremely lucrative for those located at the top of the pyramid, but causes a loss of investment to those at the bottom, despite the fact that those at the bottom will ultimately be doing all of the work. These schemes are illegal and inevitably collapse.
Spotting a pyramid scheme is actually pretty easy once you know what to look for. Companies that use pyramid schemes will promise big money in a short amount of time, and you might sense that they try a little too hard to get you to join in on this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” As a general rule of thumb, just remember: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s also important to use caution when booking a vacation. Whether you’re organizing a summer getaway with your friends or already planning spring break 2014, according to the National Association of Attorneys General, travel scams cost consumers $12 billion annually, and many of those victims are college students. To ensure that your vacation isn’t a scam, make sure you research the booking agency, be wary of heavily discounted trips, and run if an agency requires payment in only cash, check or money order.
Exercise caution when booking an all-inclusive vacation package, which in reality, might not feature all the great perks advertised. For example, those exclusive concert tickets might only be for the first hundred people who show up, and the free meals might be more along the lines of vouchers to Wendy’s rather than gourmet dinners.
Identity and Credit Theft:
Even though you may think you, as a broke college student, are immune to identity theft or credit card fraud — you’re just getting by on dollar beers after all — you are still very susceptible to fraud and theft.
Theft commonly occurs at bars where people keep open credit card tabs. All it takes is someone overhearing your name and they can claim drinks courtesy of you until you close your tab later that night. Carrying a limited amount of cash when you go downtown will completely prevent this problem, while also avoiding the inevitable “I spent THAT much money downtown?!”panic.
Avoiding scams and rip-offs isn’t always unavoidable, especially when you’re a busy college student on a budget; however, not getting conned boils down to common sense. Use your best judgment, and if it sounds too good to be true, then seriously, it probably is.
1. Always shred credit card offers before you discard them and be conscious of where you put sensitive personal documents and numbers.
2. Be mindful when ordering anything over the Internet.
3. Never share your important passwords with friends or roommates. And always make sure your passwords are complex with a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
4. Remember to regularly check your credit or debit card statements. Careful monitoring can help detect identity theft before it gets out of hand.
By: Alyson Russo
Bedding – Mattress Toppers
Sleep is just about the most important thing to college students. More than a sheet and pillow, adding bedding accessories can make the difference between a normal secondhand mattress and ultimate sleeping pleasure. Memory foam mattress toppers can get pricey, but they are well worth the price for the experience of a restful nights sleep.
While at college, whether minutes or hours from home, you are fully independent and responsible for yourself. Parents aren’t there to force you to eat healthy, nurse you back to health when you catch a cold, or worse, care for an accidental baby due to your poor decisions. Condoms are definitely not something to skimp on nor are they something to put back at CVS when the total is a little more than expected. Buying generic condoms may leave you with a much more expensive bill nine months later. Spend the extra few bucks; it’s worth the expense.
Everyone uses toilet paper. Some like it soft, some like it strong, some like it fluffy and others like it durable. There are options to fit everyone’s wants. However, the cheap option is not one many people prefer. First, it usually runs out quickly because it takes more paper to get the job done. Then, you end up spending more money because you have to buy new rolls every other day. Going all out on the top-notch toilet paper makes you feel good and saves you a trip to the store.
Whether going out to dinner with friends, walking to the store to pick up a few groceries or bar hopping up and down Five Points, getting a safe ride home after dark is a necessity. Living on a campus surrounded by a capital city presents certain dangers. Being in college means leading a low budget lifestyle and while no one wants to spend their spare singles on a cab, it’s for the best.
Most people grew up with parents who did the family’s laundry. In college however, we learn to do it ourselves. Laundry detergent may seem like a great product to try and save on because it all looks the same, but in reality, a good quality detergent will help your wardrobe look, and smell its best. Top dollar detergents keep clothing in their best condition, prolonging its durability.
Whether living in a dorm, apartment, or house, garbage piles up, making it one of the most dreaded chores. Cheap garbage bags are definitely something to stay away from for many reasons. To start, the smell will escape from the top of the bag that cannot close because of ties that were broken while trying to seal it. This disgusting aroma may also sneak out of potential holes that are likely to form due to the cheap quality. If garbage begins sneaking out through these holes, a mess will result, requiring more cleaning to be done. Because of holes, a mess and a stench that causes you to cringe, it’s in your best interest to spend the money on trash bags that are guaranteed to work.
Problem: USC is expanding its current tobacco policy to make campus completely tobacco-free. The current policy prohibits the use of tobacco products within 25 feet of university-owned and –leased buildings, vehicles and other property. The proposed policy change is an expansion to a blanket ‘campus-free’ tobacco policy.
Pro Tobacco Ban
By: Grace Kerley
The Carolinian Creed outlines standards that all students should strive to follow in order to maintain an environment of dignity and harmony. The current tobacco policy violates this because students that use tobacco on campus are disrespecting the rights and property of others. Personal property includes one’s body, and those who choose to smoke on campus are disrespecting our bodies.
The current tobacco policy requires that students smoke 25 feet away from all University of South Carolina buildings. Besides the fact that very few smokers in the Carolina community follow this rule, the policy needs to be changed because it is not the buildings that are being harmed by tobacco users, but peers who face the long-term consequences of secondhand smoke.
Tobacco use on our campus needs to be banned because the current policy contradicts the very doctrine that binds our community. When students are called into question about their academic integrity, professors and faculty often reference the Carolinian Creed. Why is it that student smokers are given a pass to break the rules? We don’t need to change the current tobacco policy because we’re tired of sitting next to people in class that reek of smoke. We need to change it because the only way we will grow as a university is by challenging every member of the Carolina community to not only follow the Carolinian Creed, but to respect it and make sure other students do as well.
Con Tobacco Ban
By: Joybelle Barlow
As a student who doesn’t smoke, my first thoughts regarding the tobacco ban revolved around the thought, “Who cares?” I certainly don’t. Smoking on campus has never bothered or affected me, and in fact, I hardly ever notice it. Taking a closer look though, this ban isn’t just going to affect those who use tobacco. It will take a toll on all USC students, faculty and staff, and perhaps the community as a whole.
1.) In order to enforce this university-wide tobacco ban, USC police will be on foot, patrolling campus looking for the use of tobacco products. So, if you love seeing police throughout the day, this ban is perfect for you.
2.) Tobacco is legal for people 18 or older. Why can’t people who are of age be allowed to consume a product they have every right to? It is a matter of personal liberty to use a legal substance as long as you don’t affect other people. Essentially, the ban is an infringement of personal rights based on people’s personal beliefs.
3.) The tobacco ban will change our current policy of being 25 feet away from university owned or leased buildings to a blank campus-wide smoke-free policy which bans all forms of tobacco. One of the objectives of this change is to get rid of second hand smoke. However, chewing tobacco, which doesn't even affect bystanders, would be banned under this tobacco-free policy. As products such as chewing tobacco are subject to free will, how is eliminating tobacco products that don't even affect bystanders relevant?
The fact of the matter is that we have it correct to start with. The current policy is enough and trying to ban all tobacco products might cause more problems than solutions. Anyone on campus, regardless of being a student or visitor, would have to adhere to the tobacco ban under the watch of police patrolling the campus. Why fix what isn’t broken?
Should USC keep the option for 8 a.m. classes?
Con by Blake Welch
As a senior at USC, I’ve had just about every type of class schedule possible. From stacked Tuesday and Thursdays to really spread out, with only two to three classes a day, I’ve tried them all. While I’m sure there are those that will oppose any university wide changes, consolidating class schedules and pushing back morning courses, should have a great impact on both our academic and outside lives.
1.) Not offering Friday classes creates a sort of balance between taking classes on MW or on TTh. There’s no doubt that parking on campus is worse on certain days compared to others and only having to come to campus for class twice a week instead of three times would mean a lot less parking lot jockeying. Increasing the amount of MW classes available would distribute the number of students coming to campus across every day of the school week instead of packing the majority in on Tuesday/Thursdays. Not to mention, erasing the anxiety of attempting to create a course schedule each semester without the dreaded Friday classes.
2.) For students that have jobs in addition to attending school, requiring certain types of classes to be held on specific days of the week or at a specific time of day will make it easier to create cohesive schedules. Instead of having to rearrange your work schedule, or in some cases find a new job altogether, you can more easily set aside those three or four days for work from the days you have class.
3.) Everyone hates 8 am classes. I don’t care if it’s a Tuesday or a Friday, it’s never fun. While pushing classes back thirty minutes may not be the best news I’ve ever heard, I certainly won’t complain about the new schedule. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned during my time at USC, it’s to take your time to rest whenever and however you can, and sometimes even thirty minutes can make a big difference.
While altering the system may not be the perfect answer for everyone, it will prove to be far more efficient for the student body as a whole. A system that makes parking easier, gives a more consistent schedule and the chance to go out with friends on Thursdays? If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Pro by Julia Heinz
At first thought, having classes start later across the board (from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) and eliminating Friday classes seem like the best thing ever. But after giving it some thought, there are a multitude of complications that could result, making the proposition seem not at all attractive. Here are my top three reasons why USC should leave the current class scheduling system alone:
1.) 8:30 a.m. start times would throw off the entire class schedule.
Current 8 a.m.’s last for one hour and fifteen minutes, meaning new classes starting at 8:30 wouldn’t get out until 9:45. This would inhibit the ever popular 9:30 a.m. class from existing because everything would have to be pushed back 30 minutes. The result would be a confused student body and a later ending time for the last normal class (at 5:15 p.m.). No thank you!
2.) 30 extra minutes won’t make a big difference in attendance. If USC thinks that college students will rejoice over 30 extra minutes of sleep and show up for a class they’d otherwise skip, they are surely mistaken. People who skip 8 a.m.’s will probably be just as unmotivated to get up for an 8:30 a.m. class. When it comes to waking up, 30 minutes seems like a drop in the bucket and that alarm clock will be just as annoying at 7:45 as it is at 7:15. Now, an extra hour is a different story...
3.) Cutting out Friday classes = jam packed days.
Sure, having consistent three day weekends seems like it would be relaxing, but that time off has to be made up somewhere else in the week. This means longer classes, tighter schedules and less time to study and do homework during the day. Consequently, Friday would be filled with catch-up work. This situation would also complicate schedules for anyone holding an evening job or lab, because packed days allow for very little flexibility.
Basically, a mess would ensue if USC changed start times and cut Friday classes. Instead of complaining about getting up early and having to go to school on a Friday (GASP), we should be thankful of the opportunity to be here, gaining an education.
The semester’s almost over! We all know what that means: Christmas presents, a break from schoolwork, home-cooked meals, and unlimited sleeping hours. But the one thing standing between us is the most stressful part of the year: exams. Between going to class all day and studying all night, how do we stay stress-free without resorting to desperate measures? Well, here are a few stress relievers that will keep you calm, cool and collected without breaking the bank.
How you feel can directly relate to what you eat. Some foods will keep you feeling energized and awake while others will just make you want to take a nap. Leafy greens, hot tea, and fruits like strawberries or blueberries have been proven to help retain memory and improve learning capacity. All of these foods help retain memory and improve learning capacity. Now, I know nobody wants to eat healthy, especially cramming in the middle of the night. It’s actually been shown that milk chocolate improves visual and verbal memory. So go ahead, grab the discount cosmic brownies and candy bars.
Why not use resources that you’ve already paid for? The Thomson Student Health Center, along with other places on campus, make it easy for you to stay calm and keep at ease. When was the last time you got a massage? Most spas charge around $35 for a massage but why venture far from home when you can stay on campus and get a better deal? On the 3rd floor of Thomson Student Health center, massage therapy is available to students for $20. Although it’s not free, it’s definitely worth the money. Massage therapy produces endorphins, which will keep you energized and relaxed. Several studies suggest that the obesity problem in the United States is linked to the decreasing amount of hours that people are sleeping.
Feeling mentally and physically exhausted? Head over to Yoga Masala for the “hot yoga” class. Yes, you read that right. Basically, they leave the room around 95 degrees for the duration of the class which not only protects your muscles, but releases endorphins, helping to reverse the negative effects of stress. Yoga Masala is on Bluff Road, down the street from Williams Brice, and introductory classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 PM and Wednesdays at 5:30 PM. Once you master those, there’s a whole list of classes to choose from every day of the week. It’s only $5/class for students and a great way to stay calm and collected (not necessarily cool…). Now guys, I know yoga might not be your thing, but you’re in a room with a bunch of girls doing “hot yoga.” Enough said.
Between work, homework, studying and sleeping, how many of you guys have time to play video games? (Those of you who procrastinate doing your homework till the morning before don’t count!) A study done by students at ECU shows that playing video games from time to time can reduce psychological tension. Now don’t go out and buy every new game you see, just try and beat the ones you already have.
Instead of heading to Starbucks every morning, why don’t you make your own Chai tea for half the price AND half the calories? Studies have shown that Chai tea can lower stress, relieve tension, and foster a clear mind. All you need is 2 tea bags, water, a stick of cinnamon, a piece of ginger, milk to taste, brown sugar, and some black peppercorns. Add everything except for the milk, tea and sugar to a pot and let it boil. Let it steep for about 10 minutes off the burner, then put it back on the burner, add in the tea and let it steep again for another 5 minutes. Just add sugar and milk, voilà - custom Chai tea for free.
In case you haven’t heard, according to some scientists and historians that have studied an ancient Mayan calendar, the Long Count Calendar, the world will supposedly end on December 21, 2012. With the date fast approaching, how do you plan to spend your last days?
1. Your sister calls you on a Tuesday night at 2 a.m. She leaves you a voicemail in tears because her boyfriend has broken up with her. You:
a. Call her back immediately–poor thing!
b. Decide to call her back in the morning. She will be more rational then, and you need to sleep.
c. 2 a.m.? You don’t have time for that—you are still out with your friends.
2. The first time you heard anything about the 2012 theories you thought to yourself:
a. If the world ends, at least I will go with no regrets.
b. How long could I survive on that jumbo pack of ramen noodles in my pantry?
c. I can’t wait for this killer Heaven and Hell party.
3. In times of crisis, you usually:
a. Are calm and collected. Surely things will work out in the end.
b. Are panicked and worried—you just wish you could control the situation.
c. Whatever. You just want the weekend to get here.
4. Quick! There are a few minutes before class starts, you:
a. Reach for your phone to call Mom—you needed to check in with her anyway.
b. Crack open your textbook to brush up on material for next week’s exam.
c. Review your event invites on Facebook – class is boring already.
5. You heard there is a huge toga party this weekend. You decide to:
a. Go for a little bit—you can always go home if it turns out to be lame.
b. Stay in; you don’t want to be tired tomorrow, and you haven’t known about it for long enough to have planned out the rest of your weekend accordingly.
c. Be there no matter what it takes.
6. Your go-to TV show is:
a. Everybody Loves Raymond; you can never get enough of that crazy family.
b. Anything on the Discovery channel, MythBusters blows your mind every time.
c. Jersey Shore—you can so relate.
Mostly A’s- Family First
For you, family always comes first and you will be spending your last days alongside those who truly care about you. You are a very appreciative, caring person and those qualities have given you a great perspective on life. You will relax, enjoy being with your loved ones and keep your cool during this time of crisis, and that will pay off for you as you spend your pre-apocalyptic days graciously and happily.
Mostly B’s- The Doomsday Prepper
You are someone who will spend the 21st of December indoors, surrounded by your surplus of emergency supplies. You’ve triple checked your store of water and have enough batteries to power a small colony for several months. No matter what it takes, you are determined to survive the impending disasters.
Mostly C’s- Party Planet
With only a few more weeks, you intend to live it to the fullest! You are more likely to hit up the craziest bash in Five Points than to spend your last days huddled in a bomb shelter awaiting “the end.” There is no doubt that the parties leading up to December 21st will be wild, and you are not planning on missing a single one. So give in and go have fun; spend time with your friends and consider this your last opportunity to have a blast...before the blast.
by: Kenny Clarke
We'd love to have written a highly enlightened political piece on the 2012 election and the promising (or not so promising) term of our newly elect. We could have analyzed the pros and cons of having our chosen president for the next four years, broken down the goals of the new administration and continued arguing about our poor fiscal policy or shook our fingers at the ne'er-do-wells who didn't even take the time to vote. Unfortunately the logistics of making a magazine didn't allow. So instead we realized that you probably had heard enough about politics from someone else throughout this election race and decided you might have some opinions of your own to express with a political mad-lib (see our issue). And to make a statement, the only thing not debated in politics is their controversial nature so, instead of telling you what you should think about some highly debated topic or another, we have a few key rules of thumb to keep in mind for when politics take over.
Things Students Should Know Before Engaging In A Political Argument:
-Media is biased. Don’t believe everything you hear from political analysts.
Whichever outlet you use, whether it be Fox News or MSNBC, there’s always a great chance that it will be slanted right or left in order to appeal to viewers’ opinions. Remember, there are two sides to everything.
-Twitter is not a reliable source for political information.
When you see a trending political statistic next to “#ReasonsIDumpedYoAss”, don’t trust what people are tweeting, unless it refers you to a reliable news source.
-Pick your battles when it comes to arguments and be educated about what you’re arguing about.
You never know who you’ll ignite, and that could end in poor taste for you if you don’t know what you’re talking about. You also don’t want to start fireworks. If you’re a left-winger, you might not want to boast your opinions to your radical republican uncle during the holidays. That’s a perfect segue into the next point.
-Save the political junk for appropriate times
Don’t argue with family members during Thanksgiving dinner. To be honest, politics are important, but the chances that everyone cares about what you’re arguing about are slim. Don’t trade jabs with your buddies while at church or at work, either. You won’t sound cultured and intelligent; you’ll sound arrogant and brash. Do, however, argue on Twitter as much as possible because it can be entertaining for your followers.
-Celebrities aren’t politicians either, so don’t believe everything they say.
As cool as they are, musicians have views too. But they’re only views; just like ours.
-Just because a politician affiliates his or herself with a certain party, does not mean he or she agrees with every single part of the party’s platform.
There are republicans who are pro-choice and there are democrats who are opposed to gun control. Before you make a generalization, make sure you know what the person stands for politically.