Self-Defense Should be a Main Focus on Campus

Written by Onyx Hall, Staff Writer

My friend brought it to my attention that someone needs a concealed weapons license to carry a taser. She had to take hers home because they said it was against the law for her to have one. I could see how this could have been potentially dangerous but I do not think it is fair, especially in light of all the dangers in the world, especially to women. If a woman was to defend herself against a potential predator, for example, a rapist or a sex trafficker, and use a taser, she could still be charged with having an unlicensed concealed weapon. Women and especially young girls cannot be expected to always have a concealed weapons license to carry a taser.

 Jason Pope was arrested in October of 2019 for alleged sex trafficking over 700 black girls. There are many cases in the past year where people have been trying to catch predators kidnapping girls and boys from places like the mall and the grocery store. People defending themselves against potentially deadly harm should not be a crime. Another example could be the case of Cyntoia Brown. She fought her attacker and killed him and had to spend 15 years in jail because of it. The options should not be get raped or sex trafficked or go to jail. Either way, the victim, who is usually a woman, loses.

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The Illusion of the American Dream at Furman

Written by Anonymous, Contributor

Many college students hold fast to their hopes of the American Dream; the enticing idea that anyone, regardless of where they began, can work toward a better quality of life. It is the reason why we invest absurd amounts of money in education and put forth long hours of effort and time. However, the American Dream is truly a fantasy for a large portion of Americans.

In 2019, sixteen parents, including Lori Laughlin from Full House, faced charges in the college admissions scandal that had already caught dozens of high-class individuals. “Overall, 50 individuals have been charged in the scandal—33 of them were parents allegedly seeking to boost their children’s admissions prospects through doctored standardized tests and bribes to college athlete coaches,” (Nevada Public Radio). This highlights that money and privilege can override the work ethic and diligence that the American Dream is so fundamentally built upon. Furman University is, unfortunately, also an accurate representation of the illusion of the American Dream by reinforcing structural barriers.

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Furman Has a Culture Problem and It’s Bigger Than Greek Life

Written by Evan Myers, News Editor

I am not a fan of Greek Life at Furman. Although I am friends with many people in fraternities and sororities, my three years on campus have led me to believe that Greek Life’s domination of social life at Furman is quite negative for our campus culture. But before you disqualify my perspective, given that I am not involved in Greek Life myself, allow me to explain my argument. In essence, I think that Furman offers remarkably few formative social alternatives to participation in Greek Life, and many of us that choose not to join fraternities and sororities spend four years seeking community in the shadowy corners of Furman’s social scene. Shadowy in the sense that they are underappreciated and overlooked, not that they are dark and dingy.

Perhaps you disagree that Furman offers scarce few alternatives to Greek Life, pointing me to Furman’s major non-Greek institutions: Shucker Leadership Institute (SLI), the Furman University Student Activities Board (FUSAB), the Student Government Association (SGA), and Orientation Staff (O-staff). Allow me to point out, however, that these organizations are more selective than Greek Life, and are inaccessible for most Furman Students.  There seems to be a general feeling that SLI, FUSAB, SGA, O-staff and many of Furman’s other major non-Greek student organizations are monopolized by an over-involved, high-achieving, popular class of students occasionally referred to as “Furman Famous.” The fact that many of these organizations hand-pick their members only perpetuates the perception of exclusivity among the rest of the student body. 

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How to Survive Freshmen Year at College

Written by Onyx Hall, Staff Writer

I’m still a freshman so I may not be the most credible source when it comes to giving freshman advice. However, my first tip would be to look at YouTube videos about freshman year. Look at what other people have done as far as tips on packing and studying. The best advice I received was not from tour guides or administrators or parents, but from people who were in the same position as I was. Make sure you get the truth when it comes to college. I would also keep in mind that you might not only struggle with adjusting to college academics, which they emphasize a lot at Furman. You might struggle finding real friends who you can relate to. 

You must keep in mind that even though you all may be the same race or have a lot in common, it still may be hard to find people you really connect with. Diversity does not just refer to skin color but also refers to economic status and personality. My other point of advice would be to try to think about what you’re interested in before you come. It is good to be open minded and to be okay with not knowing, but also remember that you do not want to be in your senior year without a major or not really sure about what you want to do after graduation, because tuition is expensive. 

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Urban Innovation is Essential to Greenville’s Future

Written by Sawyer Rew, Contributor

A typical commute from Furman to downtown Greenville takes about 15 minutes. Although the commute is short, it is not particularly enjoyable. Poinsett Highway is a four-lane monstrosity flanked by poverty and filth. The roads are spotted with potholes, people walk along the medians and vacated buildings rot on all sides of the street. Once we reach our destination, we forget the sketchy drive and opt to enjoy the beauty of downtown Greenville.  

There was a time when all of Greenville looked like Poinsett Highway. Luckily, the downtown area has made a comeback and Greenville looks forward to a bright future. We must find ways to share downtown Greenville’s prosperity with its orbiting communities.  

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Physical Activity Requirements Are Essential in Obesity Crisis

Written by Anne Kirby, Staff Writer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.5% of children and adolescents between the ages of two and nineteen in the U.S. currently struggle with obesity. Trends show that this prevalence also increases with age, indicating a likelihood of these children facing obesity later in life as well. The health risks of obesity are life-threatening. Recognizing this, the U.S. government has begun to prioritize policies for reducing childhood obesity. The most influential of these policies directly impacting children falls under the category of physical activity requirements in schools, and yet, there is still no federal mandate to ensure that this is happening.  

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Greek Life Should Consider Fall Rush

Written by Evan Myers, News Editor

This August, before any first year students even arrived on campus, I overheard a sorority president tell another student, “I wish you were on O-staff (orientation staff), it would be great for recruitment, right now it is a Chi-O (Chi Omega) and Pi-Kapp (Pi Kappa Phi) fest.” The comment surprised me. Although I have never been in Greek Life myself, I was under the impression that Furman had deferred (spring) recruitment. On paper, we do.

As Ashley Hall, president of Furman’s Panhellenic Council, clarified, “the University’s administration prefers delayed recruitment… because it allows first-year students the opportunity to settle into college life before adding such a commitment to their schedule.” Ashley Baudouin, Furman’s new Associate Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, echoed Hall’s message, saying “I am a proponent of deferred recruitment as it allows first-year students to first adjust to the University’s academic rigor as well as explore all aspects of the campus community and involvement opportunities prior to focusing in on the fraternity and sorority experience.”

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Impeaching Trump is the First Step Towards Change

Written by Ashley Frost, Staff Writer

Impeachment is the formal process of inquisition, investigation, and trial (both in the form of voting and formal hearings). 

Donald J. Trump is facing an official impeachment inquiry as a result of whistleblower allegations, incriminating the president with abuse of power in attempting to draw Ukranian assistance in his reelection. According to a non verbatim transcription of a recorded phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump requested investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. This information calls into question the validity of the 2016 election, as well as the potential for international interference in the upcoming 2020 election.

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Exposure to Diversity is an Intentional Choice

Written by Anne Kirby, Staff Writer

Throughout our time here at Furman, we are all growing and developing into complex individuals with a wide array of experiences. It is a time where we can discover the things that pique our interest and spark passion inside of us. The goal is to come out on the other side of the four years, a more holistic person— one who knows him or herself and has had the types of rich experiences that “The Furman Advantage” promises to offer to prepare us for the future. But this is not just handed to us. In order to develop into an active contributor to the greater good of the world, we must be intentional about the kinds of situations we put ourselves into. We must open up doors to experiences that diversify our perspectives and force us to consider thoughts and views that differ from our own.  

One of the ways that we as students at Furman have the opportunity to expand our world outlook is through volunteering to serve individuals who do not have the same kind of privileges that many of us do. There are many chances to do this and in various capacities, whether it be tutoring kids after school in a low-income area, being trained to advocate for sexual assault victims, or checking in patients at the Free Medical Clinic. Exposure to others lifestyles and the challenges they have faced is sure to enhance our sense of compassion for other individuals. It also guarantees an understanding that not everyone has the same opportunities that we have had, but that does not make us inherently better than them. Their opinions and thoughts are just as valuable to listen to.  

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Seniors Need to Know We Don’t All Have a Plan

Written by Abbey Morelli, Opinions Editor

Stop asking college seniors what their plans are for next year and deterring those that have an idea from exploring it. We need to be told that everything works out. We want to hear that you support us and that taking time before further education or rejecting graduate school completely is still a sensical and personal choice. We do not care to hear your thoughts about what we should be doing if we already have something in mind that sounds interesting.

Hearing that our plan for the next step is not financially feasible or that we are asking for a career of boredom and dissatisfaction is less than helpful. While being realistic is necessary, it can also cause an overwhelming feeling of disappointment when someone does not think your goal is feasible. It is true that grad school applications will not always result in an acceptance. It is also true that we may apply to over fifty jobs and hear back from none of them. That is where you can help us. We need to hear your support, and we are more than happy to accept your help with connections and application reviewing. We want to hear about your college transition and know that it is not worth spending thousands of dollars on graduate school for something that no longer excites us. 

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