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Money for College for Volunteers Under New Obama Service Bill

A priority of President Barack Obama‘s administration has been community service, and he is very near making that campaign promise a reality. Obama is set to sign a bill Tuesday that will triple the size of AmeriCorps, giving the service organization $5.7 billion through 2017.americorps

This bill will increase opportunities for people to be more involved and help within their communities. Obama has suggested that he’d like to make college costs more affordable, in exchange for service. During the campaign Michael Dannenberger of the New America Foundation said “Obama’s message to families is, ‘We’ll give you more financial aid to help you with college costs, but your kids are going to have to help others.’”

In an article at last year, we mentioned Obama’s community service plan for students: (more…)

Seniors Should Stay Focused on Studies Pre-Graduation

senioritisI was looking at my calendar today, trying to figure out a study schedule for my IB tests and realized, for the Senior class of 2009, there is exactly one month of school left until our last day. I cannot believe that my high school career will be over in only a month. During freshman year, it seemed like four years was such a long time, but looking back I realize those four years flew by in one big blur and have seemed to slow down in the last couple of weeks.

Realizing that there is only a month left, also makes me realize how much more there is to finish not only in the month, but within the next couple of weeks because of IB testing. In two weeks, I will be sitting down to take IB HL World Literature Exam, which will kick start the long month ahead for all IB kids. (more…)

School Safety Legacy of Columbine on 10 Year Anniversary

The 13 victims of the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

The 13 victims of the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the devastating shooting rampage that took place in Columbine High School in Columbine, CO. Two student shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, tore through their school on April 19, 1999 with guns killing 12 students, one teacher, and injuring 24 before killing themselves. Their intentions were far grander, and it is fortunate that their plans to plant bombs in the school, potentially killing hundreds, were never realized. Their frightening plan was to cause more devastation than the Oklahoma City bombing, the anniversary of which was a day and four years prior to this incident.

The legacy of that devastating day is that school safety is more of a priority than it was before. It forced schools and government to put in place more stringent policies and standards for keeping students and faculty out of harms way. The fact that the Columbine shooting took place in an affluent neighborhood forced the realization that these events are not predisposed to happen in less fortunate districts. Overall, there is a sense that these types of incidences are less likely to happen now. Other violent school shootings have happened in the wake of Columbine, but in-school homicides are down in the past ten years. (more…)

Graduation is Right Around the Corner

graduation-capJust this last week, Josten’s came to East High to deliver our caps and gowns. Upon receiving the graduation attire, it made graduation so much more tangible for the anxious senior class. We have been counting down the days to Senior’s Last Day for nearly two weeks now and getting the cap, gown, and graduation announcements made it seem like graduation and our last day as students in the halls of East High are that much closer.

It seems that all of this is rather bitter-sweet. Sweet in the sense that we have less than 30 days until Seniors Last Day. Almost a month until graduation. Bitter then considering it may be the last time we see some of our friends, knowing we are going to part ways and go down our own paths. All of us say we are ready for last day and graduation, but it makes me, and I’m sure a lot of other people, wonder about what the future holds for us. Considering the next step in the college process is letting our schools know where we plan to attend, makes everything also so much more tangible since it comes before Senior’s Last Day and graduation. (more…)

Softball Season is in Full Swing

softballTonight I had my second night of double headers for softball. This last Friday was the start of the actual season again. Looking at last year’s team and comparing them to this year’s team seems unfair. This year, I am on a team that gets along great and is always striving to do their best and work their hardest. The past couple of years, a lot of the players have been relatively lazy and haven’t tried to play to their full potential, thus bringing the entire team down.

After losing both games to Hutchinson, we knew the West High games would be even more important to the team. Since this is coach’s first year as a coach in Kansas, she is still learning and knows very little about the city teams. Thankfully, the older girls who have played a few years have been able to help coach with knowing other teams, umps, and just general rules of the game. (more…)

Half of High School Students Victims of Hazing

The stories of hazing have long been associated with the lifestyle of college co-eds, often in the form of initiation tactics. But a new study has found that 47 percent of high school students have been the victim of some form of hazing (in a previous study, 48 percent of high school students who belong to a group or organization had been hazed). No one sub-set of students is involved either, finding that athletic groups, the performing arts or even yearbook staff have been hazed. lonely-teen

Hazing is defined as “subjection to harassment or ridicule,” and in the case of these students it can take the form of childish pranks to drinking games, of which eight percent of students say they drank to the point of passing out. It’s all a part of that peer pressure to feel part of the in crowd, and the study authors say students often find themselves a part of situations they wouldn’t otherwise.

“That group dynamic can lead to the escalation where you have the hazing that’s been reported in the news, some horrendous incidents,” says Mary Madden, co-author of the study from University of Maine‘s College of Education and Human Development. (more…)

Avoid the Freshman 15 with The Healthy College Cookbook

Books, midnight study sessions, beer and a few extra pounds – that is the reality that millions of college students all around the country are faced with, whether they live in the dorms or in an apartment. But gaining that inevitable Freshman 15 does not have to be so, well, inevitable.healthy-college-cookbook

The Healthy College Cookbook is the gold-standard when it comes to helping students keep their weight in check as they pour over books, exams, and the occasional draft pitcher. The cookbook hit the stands about 10 years ago and has become a classic among college-bound students who are eager to eat healthy and stay fit. Its latest edition features more than 300 recipes plus tons of new helpful hints for how to stay slim on campus. (more…)

Linux Use Illegal at Boston College

A student was targeted by police at Boston College… for using Linux? A warrant for search was issued after student Mr. Calixte sent an email stating that another student was gay. Reports say he was targeted because he uses Linux. The computer science major is employed by the Boston College IT department (has since been suspended), and the warrant application states that he is called a “master of his trade among his peers.” From Calixte police seized his computers, flash drives, digital camera, iPod, cell phone, and an Ubunto Linux CD among other things.

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the warrant application:


Mr. Calixte's arrest warrant. (via Electronic Frontier Foundation)


Student Credit Card Debt Rises With Tuition Hikes

credit-cardIt’s a correlation no one can deny. As college tuition and fees continue to rise (up 50% in the past 10 years), so does credit card debt. As fewer families have the cash to support college students, more students are charging their tuition, books, fees and other living expenses just to get by.

According to Sallie Mae, the average undergrad has a credit card bill of $3,173, up a startling 134% from $2,169 in 2004, and the highest amount since the organization began tracking in 1998. It seems that tenure in school correlates to debt as well, with seniors owing twice as much as freshmen.

This new study from Sallie Mae uses March 2008 data; due to the state of the economy since then, they warn the actuals for 2009 could look worse. (more…)

Facebook Users’ Grades Worse than Non-Users

For college students spending too much time on Facebook, the results will show on your report cards, according to a new study conducted at Ohio State University.facebook-profiles

The study’s co-author, Aryn Karpinski, clarifies that there are “many third variables that need to be studied,” but defends that a relationship does exist. Her study found that students who use Facebook tend to have GPAs in the 3.0-3.5 range and study one to five hours each week, while those who do not use Facebook have GPAs in the 3.5-4.0 range and study 11 to 15 hours each week.

She says Facebook might not be the guilty party, that this could be an indicator that students who in general study less and enjoy their free time will see a hit to their grades. The study also found that those who have jobs spend less time on Facebook, whereas those involved in more social activities and organizations are active on Facebook. (more…)


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