Archive for: April 2014

What goes around comes around

ELIZABETH SIMS
Social Media Editor

I have noticed an issue that has branched out and affected more than just our cozy little Wesleyan family, touching visiting families and potential new students as well. I see it almost every time I go into Boyd, infecting my mood and frustrating me to no end. I am talking about the increasingly noticeable negative attitude coming from the Sodexo staff in Boyd. In asking the staff and the students what causes the stuffy, grumpy attitudes, I ended up with a triangle effect to the truth outcome. You know there are always three sides to a story.
When I talked to the staff, most said they really enjoyed working at the college. They like most of the students and have never really had problems. However, when asked what bothered them the most, the answer was almost universally the same: the rude treatment they receive from students. It seems that students have started taking advantage of hardworking staff, giving them attitude and even being outright mean. What’s up, students? Are we really being cruel? If so, let me be the first to say how disappointed I am. We are so much better than petty squabbles that act out because we do not agree with the portion size or the choice of cereal we have this week. Pull it together.
However, I have so much faith in the student body and I would like to assume that no one is in the dining hall having hissy fits and throwing plates of food, not that I have seen flying pasta anywhere. Though I admit, I would find that very entertaining. So, I posed the same question to the students: why do you think the Sodexo staff is always so grumpy? That got me quite a few varied responses. A large number of students say they have never seen any other students treat the staff with anything but respect. Now, that is an unabashed lie and if you believe it, you are excessively gullible. I have seen students demand more per portion from Mrs. Lena or get sassy at Russ when he asks what they want for breakfast. Stop. If you are the person that does that, you are being rude and it makes you look like a Neanderthal.
So, what it really comes down to, no matter which side of the story you believe, is common courtesy. It is a trait our generation seems to be lacking, and a quality we need to learn quickly. Otherwise, we will not get very far in life. I am not saying that it is all the fault of the student body. Trust me; I have seen a worker push a visiting family out of the way to wipe off the salad counter. However, if we, as students, grow up a bit and show that we can take the first steps toward being mature adults, then we show the workers that we are worthy of respect. And if we gain their respect, I guarantee we’ll stop seeing frowning faces and hearing rude remarks, but we’ve got to start the trend.

Putting the pest to rest

TAYLOR BOYD
Staff Writer

Spring is here! And with spring come the colorful flowers, the cleansing rain, the fresh green grass and all of the wonderful creatures that emerge from the ground, the skies and wherever else they come from.
I, for one, love the diverse wildlife that comes out during this time of year, and I am one of the first ones to stand up for their right to existence. But these sweet, furry critters and colorful crawlers can be a real annoyance on some occasions.
Here we have a diversity of wildlife, especially insects that seem to pop up where they do not belong. Sometimes it seems as if the ants and termites lose their way and wander the entrance halls of the dorms.
Their movement and numbers are enough to frighten and cause uneasiness to all those who glance at them. Still, I try my best not to step on them or cause them harm in any way, but that can be a real challenge.
Even the bees, which at least stay in their natural habitat of the great outdoors, wander from their hives and make homes of man-made objects.
Sometimes we can have close encounters with these striped insects at the trashcans, and when we throw away our trash we must do so quickly due to the fear of being stung. I am concerned for the people who have phobias of certain wildlife, as well as possible allergies.
I don’t like the word “pest” to describe animals, because I feel that it is disrespectful to nature.
However, it seems that some animals do need to go back to where they came from.
But the question is why? Why have they wandered from their natural habits? As I tried to figure out the answer to this question, I realized that we are on their turf and in their land. And by tearing down trees, and building our dorms and other buildings, WE have become the pests.
We have messed with a lot of animals’ habitats, and all they are trying to do is adapt to their changing world. So maybe we should do the same. Of course that is just a thought.
We could always just get rid of these “pests” using toxic chemicals that could rip the “flesh” off of these animals, kill them, and eliminate their species from the area for a certain period of time. But I don’t really like the idea of being a mass murderer either.
I know that sometimes insects could get in the way, and accidental eliminations can happen, but that is just life. To be honest, I feel that we should try to improve the environment of our school by creating a habitat where insects and people can live in peace.
Maybe we can just try different methods of preventing insects from sneaking into “our” territory, or try to create a new habitat for them with little to no human interaction in it. I know a lot of what happens between nature and humans is beyond our control, but I feel that maybe we could at least try.
The answer to the question on what to do is limitless, but surely it could be possible to come up with a reasonable and ethical solution to this dilemma.

The new age of news

VICTORIA LAUGHLIN
Staff Writer

Internet news media is undeniably growing at a rapid pace. For this reason, I’m not surprised that this year’s “State of the News Media” report, by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, told of the decline of the newspaper.
What I am surprised about is that newspaper websites like the Huffington Post aren’t our main source for news. Facebook has become the bulletin board of news stories, and getting information through status updates on Facebook has become the unfortunate norm.
I believe the move of news reporting to the Internet is to be expected eventually, just as the move of news reporting to television was expected. However, the system now in place blends news with the pool of fictions that the Internet has become.
The hard truth is we no longer look for news where news is supposed to be. I no longer see news stories in the objective environment that they used to be found in. Newspapers, like the Marlin Chronicle, have sections with expectations. Television networks have news shows with organized time slots and even all-news channels. But Internet news?
The Internet has web-like hyperlinks, which rely on the user to take the initiative of searching or clicking.
The “front page” doesn’t exist on the Internet since the front page is always Google or Facebook or Twitter. The age-old newspaper formula—prioritizing the front page, then the sections, then the articles—has changed into prioritizing the articles, then maybe the other articles that happen to be on the side labeled “Top News Stories,” then maybe the sections—if people even care, now, what section the story was written for.
In all honesty, I don’t think that this Internet formula is too bad of a thing. With the Internet, people who wouldn’t normally turn on the television or pick up a paper, now are able to view news stories effortlessly and sometimes even unwillingly with all the posts and links that pop up. However, there are large drawbacks to this formula, one of them being the attention game.
Why do silly viral videos seem to be so popular? They gain attention, and attention is prized within the world of the Internet, whether it is gained because of a strange photoshopped picture of a cat’s head on a human’s body, or a video parody on trailers or other entertainment. A satirical “news” website called The Onion is an example of how silly can get out of hand. The Onion is a website that parodies news stories, such as old magazines that told of alien landings and Britney Spears’s clone come to destroy us all. However, some misinformed people believe that these stories are real and post them on Facebook or other places in order to get reactions.
The goal of Facebook, of course, is allow people to socialize and discuss things in a forum with people they know—and to get reactions.
The Internet is a confusing environment where news can easily mix with fiction. People have to become active and critical in their thinking about things that they find on the Internet. However, that is too much to ask of everyone.
I don’t think being unconsciously informed by Facebook is very healthy in the long run, although the idea is marked with good intentions. People should stop relying on Facebook for news, just as people shouldn’t rely on Wikipedia for biographies.
It should be common sense not to idolize a single source anyway; people that only listen to what they want to hear become too sensitive to criticism of their own opinions. I believe that is the problem nowadays. News on the Internet is great for many people, but the Facebook “wall” does nothing but create a crutch for them to rely on.
Let’s hope that the news media can find a way to separate themselves from the entertainment media of the Internet.

He Said She Said

Is it possible to find your soul-mate in college?

HE:
Do I want to find my soulmate and get married? Of course I do! Who would not want to get married? Ever since I was a little kid, I have dreamed of meeting that special someone, getting married, and starting a family. Do I want to get married today? Absolutely not!
I do not understand why so many college students are already settling down and making that big commitment. It is true that you can legally get married once you are 18, but just because you can get married does not mean that you should.
For multiple reasons, your college years are the worst time to get married. First of all, you are fresh out of high school and have just begun to distinguish the difference between actual love and a teenage crush.
Now that is not to say that you cannot meet your partner while you are in college. You might have already met that person in high school. You could meet your partner at any time in your life. You just need to make sure that you are at a mature and responsible age before you make it official.
Secondly, most college students are not fully independent. They are learning how to live on their own and many of them still depend on their parents for money. Do they really want to get married when they barely know how to take care of themselves? Why would they want to get married before they had a steady income?
Lastly, many college students, myself included, are in a long-distance relationship. My significant other is miles away. We only see each other during breaks and maybe an occasional visit. I would not feel as if I were actually married if I only saw my wife a few times a year. I would rather wait until we had both graduated from college before getting married. That way we could actually be together as a married couple.
So, then what is the youngest age at which someone should get married? It really depends on the individual, but I guess once you are done with college you are ready. It takes about a year to plan a wedding, which means you could get engaged as a senior if you wanted to.
I know a lot of college students are getting married today. I am not trying to criticize or put down any relationships. What you and your significant other decide to do is none of my business. But as for me, I am going to wait until after college to settle down.

-MICHAEL WILLSON

SHE:
I believe that finding your one true love is possible (not trying to sound like a Disney movie, but I believe it’s true). I also believe that you will experience the wave of emotions that
will come once you find your “other half”, and that you will experience a love that is romantic yet spontaneous, and unexpected, yet everlasting.
This concept I believe in is called having a soulmate. It is an ideal that has been transformed and shared over centuries among cultures. But to me, a soulmate is someone with whom you have a spiritual and unspoken connection, in which both parties understand that their meeting was never by chance but by fate.
This relationship with your other half will gradually manifest itself as becoming a physical and emotional one, in which the good feelings will outweigh the bad. I also feel that your soulmate will understand you better than anyone else, love the current “you” and also the “you” that you can become, and make your days brighter because you found each other.
For a long time, I have believed in the concept of soulmates. My view of this is that fate has allowed us to have the option of choosing whom to spend the rest of our lives with. I feel that it is up to us to choose to be in a long, committed relationship, a short one, a polygamous one, or even a life that just involves us singly. However, fate wants us to find our soulmates and
puts us in situations in which we can find each other, but the decision is ultimately ours.
I also believe that even though there are many people from whom we can choose to be our life partners, there is only one for each of us who is 99.9% (no one is perfect) our true match. And I, for one, hope to find that person.
My opinion on finding one’s soulmate at college is that anything is possible, but we must keep our eyes open so that we may be able to spot our potential soulmates.

-TAYLOR BOYD

Munchies for Marlins on the go

MICHAEL WILLSON
Staff Writer

It is Saturday evening. You are hungry from a long day of shenanigans and you need food. Not just snacks from the vending machine, but real food. You need an actual meal but the dining hall and the Grille are closed. How about Cook Out? Oh, that’s right; you do not have a car, and you cannot find anyone to give you a ride. Well, I have good news; in a few weeks, food trucks will be coming onto campus to serve Marlins who have the midnight munchies.
When I say food trucks, I do not mean ones from generic companies with everyday food. I mean legitimate restaurants on wheels with menus that we all know and love. Like most Marlins, I am more than excited to hear this news. We are college students. College students do not have normal schedules. We might feel like having a meal at 2 a.m. It is good to know that soon we will have options here on campus, instead of trying to find a place in Norfolk that is open.
However, there is a catch. The food trucks are only going to come on the weekends. I guess this makes sense, because the weekend is when most students are up late partying. However, the weekend is not the only time students are up late. When you are pulling an all-nighter, a warm meal sounds really good, right? It will be especially useful during exam week. You cannot study on an empty stomach.
I would like to see this go another step forward. It would be great if more restaurants opened up in Batten. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with the dining hall or the Grille. They both serve very tasty and nutritious dishes (I personally love the Grille’s chicken tenders), but it would be nice if we could have more options here on campus. The situation would not be as bad if our campus was in a more convenient location, but because our campus is pretty much an isolated, gated community, it is not easy to find restaurants that are within walking distance. True, we have restaurants like Cook Out down the road, but they are neither convenient, nor safe, to walk to.
Having more restaurants on our campus would also help bring in new Marlins. When I was a senior in high school looking at different colleges, the tour guides would always show off the different restaurants. Longwood University had a Sweetfrog. Radford had an Austin Grill. West Virginia University had a Burger King. I am not saying that we should bribe students with restaurants, since good food is not the sole reason to choose a school, but it can certainly be a contributing factor since all of these schools are fairly large.
But for now, I am content with the food trucks. Good things happen one step at a time. These new food trucks might be the first stepping stone to getting a plethora of food choices on campus.

Paid to play?

CONNOR KING
Staff Writer

The National Collegiate Athletic Association faces mounting pressure from current and ex-student athletes to provide salaries for collegiate sports players.

Ohio State University wrestler Logan Steiber won the 141-pound weight class wrestling national title, earning a hefty $18,000 prize because of “exceptional athletic achievement.”
Although he deserves his prize, Steiber will not see a penny of the cash he was awarded. Gene Smith, the athletic director at Ohio State, will casually pick up the bonus because the “exceptional achievement” occurred while he has been serving as director. Welcome to the world of college sports under the governing body we call the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Considered a “non-profit organization,” the NCAA makes around $800 million annually, with president Mark Emmert taking home a whopping $1.7 million every year. Last week, not for the first time, Emmert made headlines for his disapproval of players wanting to unionize, calling the effort “grossly inappropriate.”
“They are student-athletes. They are not our employees, they don’t work for us, they are our students, so we don’t pay them,” Emmert said back in February of 2011, and his stance on the issue has not changed since.
The hypocrisy in his comments can be found rather quickly, though, as pointed out on Twitter this past summer by ESPN College Basketball analyst, Jay Bilas.
“Go to, type in ‘Manziel’ in upper right search box, hit ‘enter.’ This comes up,” Bilas tweeted in August, with a screenshot of four No. 2 Texas A&M jerseys for sale, the same jerseys that Johnny Manziel, a “student-athlete,” made popular during his Heisman-winning season in College Station.
“They call us student-athletes, then they take us away from our school,” Shabazz Napier told reporters after his UConn Huskies won the 2014 NCAA title in basketball. “We as student-athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely best to get a scholarship to our universities. But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed.”
It’s no surprise that college sports have turned into big business, with the national championship for basketball being played in the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium, setting a new attendance record of 79,238 people.
Marc Edelman, an associate professor of sports and anti-trust law at City University of New York reported, “Alabama’s athletic revenues last year, which totaled $143 million, exceeded those of all 30 NHL teams and 25 of the 30 NBA teams.”
Alabama is not even the most profitable college athletic program, with Texas bringing in $165 million, $109 million of that just from Longhorn football.
Kain Colter, a former quarterback at Northwestern, leads the charge for the next wave of student-athletes and their battle against the NCAA. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern football players have the right to unionize, in a case that had to prove that these athletes were employees of the university.
An “employee’” is a person who is under contract of hire to perform services for another, subject to the employer’s control, and does so for payment.
In the case of a NCAA Division I football player, he signs a letter of intent to play football for a certain school, which is binding to such an extent that a school can refuse to release a player to go to another school. The coach who recruited the player acts as the employer, and the player performs the sport as an act of work. The payment would be the player’s scholarship, which, as Napier pointed out to the media, isn’t always enough.
On top of this, the NCAA restricts athletes by forcing them, even NCAA Division III athletes like those here at Virginia Wesleyan, to sign waivers granting the right of using athletes’ names, likenesses, and images to the school, conference, and NCAA. With such a waiver, it would be illegal to use an autograph on a picture of an athlete, or any jersey with an athlete’s number, to make money.
In a separate case against the NCAA, Ed O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball player, argues that this waiver breaks athletes’ right to publicity, or the right to control the use of one’s identity. The O’Bannon case at first also involved EA Sports and College Licensing Co. because of their involvement through video games like NCAA Football ‘14, but they settled for $40 million.
The battle for student-athletes has just begun, but a small victory has already been won. On Apr. 15, it was proposed that Division I athletes gain the right to unlimited meals on their respective college campuses.
Apr. 24 is the date for the NCAA board of directors to vote on the proposal. If approved, the measure will go into effect Aug. 1.