Staff Editorials

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Celebrity holiday traditions set unrealistic expectations

BY CARLI UDINE

EDITOR IN CHIEF

As the holiday season approaches, celebrities have begun to flaunt their lavish holiday decorations and celebrations. Celebrities and television stars like the Kardashians, Ellen DeGeneres and Leighton Meester, who plays Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, set high expectations for the holidays for ordinary people when they show off their “extra” holiday spirit.

As seen on the hit reality television program aired every Sunday on E!, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” and on the social media pages of all the family members, the Kardashian family is known to go all out when it comes time to decorate and prepare for the holidays. The Kardashians, specifically Kourtney, Kim and Khloe, are constantly exhibiting their excessive decor on their Snapchat. As seen on their Snapchat “stories,” the Kardashians utilize the weeks prior to Christmas Day to decorate their houses and Christmas trees. One Christmas tree is not enough for the Kardashian family considering each family member has two or more trees displayed throughout their houses. In the season 14 “Holiday Special” of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the family was shown arguing over ornaments for their many trees. Due to their reputation for having extravagant holiday celebrations, the Kardashian family takes preparing for the holidays very seriously. As seen in the “Holiday Special,” Kris Jenner and her daughter Khloe Kardashian had a “bake off” to determine who would be making the desserts for their Christmas Eve celebration. Throughout the weeks before Christmas Day, fans of the Kardashians are able to witness the family’s festivities on both their television show and all over social media. This constant showing off of this family’s extravaganza gives individuals falsified hopes for what their celebrations will look like.

On her talk show “Ellen,” Ellen DeGeneres has been giving away gifts to individuals in the audience through her “12 Days of Giveaways.” Companies like Under Armour, Scotch and Starbucks are just a few companies that sponsor DeGeneres’ giveaway program.

DeGeneres’ mission is to use her popular talk show to give back to ordinary individuals who go above and beyond and also to those who are in need of help and support. By utilizing the holiday season to help others, DeGeneres’ “12 Days of Giveaways” segment has been getting the audience excited.

Fictionally, Blair Waldorf, main character of “Gossip Girl,” has an apparent love for the holiday season throughout the television series. Waldorf’s reputation for being “rich” and “snobby” gives viewers an explanation as to why she celebrates the holidays with no limit in her mind. Whether it be her persistence to have the holidays be a perfect time of the year, her expensive Christmas list or the decor within her penthouse in New York City, Waldorf creates the ultimate Christmas experience for herself and makes viewers want to mimic her means of celebration.

Although these celebrities often use the holidays to help those in need and their communities, they also set impractical notions for how the celebrations should be. Every family has a different manner in which they celebrate the holidays. However, with celebrities like the Kardashians exhibiting exaggerated holiday spirit, many viewers are let down when their celebrations are not as festive and flamboyant as the stars that spend excessive amounts of money on decorating their houses and preparing for celebrations.

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DACA termination appears like attack toward Dreamers

BY LEXI FLECHNER

ONLINE ARTS & ENT. EDITOR

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an extremely important government policy that grants citizenship to some children whose parents brought them to the United States illegally when they were minors. They can receive a renewable two-year period of amnesty where they will not be deported, and DACA also gives them opportunities to possess work permits. Currently 800,000 immigrants benefit from DACA, and these people can be doctors, teachers, parents, Internet personalities and police.

This policy was created in 2007, but was not implemented until June of 2012 from an executive order by former President Barack Obama. Congress had tried to pass the bill up until this point, but could never obtain the votes in both houses. As this bill took so long to pass, it was long overdue. It was time to give these immigrants the rights they deserved and President Obama recognized this. The program aids so many immigrants in living the “American Dream,” and is one of the most important put in place during Obama’s presidency.

On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump announced the upcoming suspension of the program. There will be a six-month delay in the termination, but the immigrants will be sent back to their home countries when the delay expires. The six month period was put in place to give Congress a chance to pass new immigration laws to help the Dreamers, who are the people benefiting from DACA.

Canceling this program is completely wrong. President Trump will be sending these people back to countries they have never known. The Dreamers moved from these countries when they were extremely young and have barely experienced life anywhere except America. To send them back to a country that is unfamiliar and possibly dangerous is just cruel.

The United States serves as a sanctuary to many people escaping a controlling government, and many of these immigrants came here for this reason. Sending them back could be fatal to those coming from countries in turmoil; they could be penalized for leaving in the first place or put in danger once they arrive back.

All of these immigrants were brought by their parents to the United States. It is extremely unfair for them to be punished for actions their parents took. There was nothing they could have done to get their parents to stay, so they should not be punished for it.

These Dreamers are Americans and should be treated as such. To be treated as an American means to receive all liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, not be consistently attacked for supposedly taking jobs away and not live in fear of deportation. These people are legally allowed to be in the United States, and no one should be allowed to take that away from them.

Taking away a program that benefits so many, regardless of the policy, is absurd. Dreamers are embedded into our country at this point– it would be detrimental to others if they were taken from their jobs, relationships and family members who are citizens. Many Americans’ health could be left in danger as their doctors are deported. This is not only ruinous for the immigrants being deported, but all residents in their community.

This act feels like a blatant attack on immigrants on Trump’s part. His ideals have been centered around the fact that all illegal immigrants should be removed from our country, but these people are legally allowed to live in America. America was built by immigrants, and for our President to attempt to remove that essential part of our history is disturbing. Trump continues to kick these people out for the sheer fact that they are immigrants, and this is so wrong.

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Scan 7

Editorial: Celebrities use award shows as platforms to speak on important issues

Award show season is always a glamorous time. There are celebrities dressed in the best designer clothes and being recognized for their hard work in movies, TV shows, music and more. When any celebrity wins an award, they usually get on stage and thank their co-workers and their family. However, some celebrities took it a step further this year and chose to speak out about their opinions on trending issues today.

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Editorial: False advertisement creates problems for Chipotle

Just this year, Chorizo, a pork sausage, was added to Chipotle’s menu to help them get back on their feet after an E-coli outbreak set them back after being successful for years. After complaints that the chorizo did not have a flavorful taste, there has been yet another problem after an addition was added to their menu. According to My News LA, three Californians, in three separate locations, reported that Chipotle was misleading customers by not putting the correct calorie count on the stores menus. It was reportedly misleading to a customer because he felt excessively full after what was supposed to be 300 calories. The three Californians are now proceeding to sue Chipotle for being dishonest with customers by misrepresenting the nutritional value of the chain restaurants food products.

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Editorial: Social status should not determine treatment in the legal system

Shailene Woodley, environmental activist and award-winning actress starring in productions such as “Divergent” and “The Fault in our Stars,” was arrested as a result of trespassing and protesting the construction of an oil pipeline. Woodley described her treatment by the authorities as unfair due to the fact that some other protesters were allowed to leave the scene with no consequences following them. Woodley characterized the protest as “peaceful,” however, authorities refuted it saying it was actually a considered a “riot.”

The protest was originally orchestrated to act as a peaceful objection to the North Dakota Access pipeline. The sheriffs that arrived on the scene, however, viewed this in a completely different fashion. According to sheriffs on the scene, the protesters were seen as individuals encouraging others to break the law and stir up commotion.

Woodley’s arrest, followed by a court hearing, was viewed as one-sided, as her role in society may have affected her treatment and punishment.

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Editorial: 9/11 has lost significance in comparison to modern terrorism

Sept. 11, 2016 was a day similar to many others in the 15 years since the horrific terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. A day involving Americans coming together to mourn the loss of our citizens to terrorism. Although Sept. 11 used to be a sorrowful holiday to feel grief for all those who suffered 15 years ago, this day of remembrance simply does not mean as much to Americans anymore.

Terrorism has become a more and more threatening affair around the world. On Sept. 11, 2001, the hijacked airplanes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City marked the beginning of an era of unrest in the U.S. and around the world regarding terrorism. According to Uri Friedman from The Atlantic, reports of terrorist attacks from extremist groups such as I.S.I.S. and Al Qaeda are becoming more and more common around the globe. It seems that at least once a month there is news of another awful attack shaking the foundations of our nation. In the past year, France has been hit with two terrible terrorist attacks including the suicide bombings and hostage shootings in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, as well as an attack in Nice on July 14, 2016, where a truck driver ran over innocent people who were celebrating Bastille Day. It is hard for us as Americans to feel as much pain on Sept. 11 when remembering the attacks that happened 15 years ago, because similarly awful terrorist attacks are occurring in the present.

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Editorial: Millennials prove to lack patience

A situation alarmingly familiar to any Millennial: a Wi-Fi connection lost, the next episode of “Orange is the New Black” buffering, an angry teenager smashing a laptop keyboard searching for a purpose (and wireless Internet).

Presenting “The Microwave Generation.” Instant gratification is the newest fad; impatience is all the rage. Children and young adults yearn for immediacy at the touch of a button.abby editorial

Dating is no longer a laborious process, as flirting is accessible with a swift slide into someone’s messages, a stark contrast against past generations’ suitors performing calculated moves for long periods of time. Rising musical artists and DJs crank out mediocre, sonically saturated tunes faster than they can say “new single,” designed to please the masses. Everything is just a click away, and according to America’s youth, that’s the way it should be.

Millennials are often the butt of a generational joke. But they should not be underestimated. Contrary to popular belief, they have not tainted society with their presence. In fact, the 21st century has been fruitful with accomplishments that would not exist without Millennials, including same-sex marriage. Today’s youth is intelligent and both culturally and politically aware, fighting political apathy with a log onto Twitter to live-tweet a presidential debate. They are on the front lines for change, utilizing the technology that has been placed in their hands to fight injustice in different communities of minorities. Race and police brutality became a worldwide issue with the help of a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) and the Syrian refugee crisis was brought to 4.6 million followers on the Instagram account @HumansofNY, where creator Brandon Stanton went to Syria to document and ultimately help fund multiple refugees with a crowd-funding link to donate. It is inspiring to see a new group of young adults grab life by its horns with a zest for social progress, all while clutching an iPhone in hand.

With that said, this emerging behavior is breeding society into restless human beings, but Millennials don’t know any better. They are born and bred into a generation of rapid receipt of information and entertainment; it’s hard not to blame them. This thought process is created with a more connected environment. Children hold and navigate iPhones before they can read the alphabet, immediately weaving new relationships between them and the efficiency of an industrialized, technological world. These connections are the only form of communication that today’s adolescents have been exposed to. Old habits die hard, especially when they’re clad in shiny colors and are preloaded with new episodes of “House of Cards.”

The pleasure of the process is one worth basking in. If today’s youth demands everything immediately, there is no fight. No accomplishment to wear proudly after a series of losses. A reward is more satiating if earned after a cycle of successful and unsuccessful attempts, no matter if that reward is a quickly loading Netflix episode or a new relationship blossoming on the promise of patience.

Convenience is not futile; it should definitely be clutched and appreciated. But in a world where restlessness is advancing, it is important to remember that patience is a virtue. It teaches empathy, generates a positive attitude, and makes gratification all the more satisfying. So, the next time a journey presents itself as an opportunity: don’t take the shortcuts. In the end, it’ll be just as rewarding as finishing a season of “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix.

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Editorial: Anti-bullying campaigns should continue throughout year

Throughout every high school in the US, some students pretend to be “tough.” They push and shove their way through the halls. They don’t apologize or even care who they hurt.  Instead, they just demand that other students turn over their lunch money, or worse, their dignity. This type of behavior must not be allowed to continue; as a school we must come together.

On Oct. 15, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) conducted their annual “I’m Against Bullying” campaign.  Using the social media app Snapchat, students and others were asked to use a geo-tag to share the message with everyone they could. Celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Ellen DeGeneres, tweeted and posted videos promoting the hashtag “Spirit Day.” Most of the time, however, we just post or scroll numerous messages without considering the true meaning behind the post, or even thinking about the vast resources that social media offers.

While having an “I’m Against Bullying” Campaign is a fantastic first step, just one day of “awareness” is definitely not enough.  This momentum must be broader and expanded to the other 364 days of the year.  Bullying takes place everyday and has become a widespread issue that should be stopped.

The “I’m Against Bullying” Campaign must do more than posting pictures or getting people to retweet catchy slogans and wearing purple on the third Thursday of October every year.  This is simply not enough to stand up to bullying.  Through peer counseling programs or a positive word at a key time, our fellow students must know that they are not alone. By giving our fellow students our support, they will have the confidence to report incidents to the proper authorities.

A notable case of bullying was with teenager Brittany McMillan, whose bullying case received much attention. She turned being a victim into being a victor after she realized what was going on in her life was wrong and wanted to make a change.  Since then, she started the “I’m Against Bullying” program in 2010.

According to stopbullying.gov, 20% of high school students experienced some form of bullying; this includes physical mental or cyber bullying.

Not only do people bully in person, but people also bully behind a screen. Now, rather than hiding behind big muscles, bullies hide behind their computer monitors.  “Cyber bullies” use their keyboards to type mean things to hurt others.  They post unnecessary tweets about them or even pictures of them.  Bullies even make fake profiles to hurt teens.  One example of this was Amanda Todd, who was a cyber bullying victim.  She was forced to expose herself online in a provocative manner and was personally humiliated. After posting a YouTube video describing her experience with flashcards, she could not live with the humiliation and committed suicide. Since then, over 17 million people have viewed her video, which received international attention.

The United States Center for Disease Control reports, “suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year.”

Teens need to feel safe while going to school and should not have to worry about what a bully might say or do to them. They need to be aware of a safe environment and this can be accomplished by defending others when witnessing bullying.  Being a bystander is just as bad or worse than being the bully.  If we just watch these situations, they will keep repeating themselves.

If we “Stand Up Against Bullying” every day instead of just once a year, there will hopefully be change.  Wearing purple for one day is not enough to take a stand against bullying; people need to start taking more of an action every day to end bullying once and for all.

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Editorial: Adidas raises bar with James Harden signing

As James Harden recently signed a contract with Adidas, reportedly worth $200 million over 13 years, Adidas obtained an NBA All Star and reigning MVP frontrunner who will be big for this company.

Adidas seems to be climbing its way up the endorsement ladder.  With this signing, Adidas now has some top-tier NBA players endorsed who are all entering the prime of their NBA careers including: John Wall, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard and newly acquired James Harden.

Although this contract involved an absurd sum of money, this signing is really going to promote the brand and help brighten the future.  A bright future is something that Adidas needs, considering the fact that after they signed Derrick Rose to a five-year $95 million dollar contract in 2011, Rose was plagued by injuries the following three years. He was sidelined the second half of 2011-2012 and all of 2012-2013 with a torn ACL, and a good chunk of the 2014-2015 season with a torn right meniscus. Adidas has clearly been in need of a new face of its brand, and that is exactly why it made the Harden signing.

When Harden entered the league in 2009, he trademarked the slogan “Fear the Beard.” Harden is on the rise, and has been ever since being traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012.  He has finished top five in scoring, all of the past three seasons. Harden had never eclipsed 20 points per game in his tenure with the Thunder.

It has been a tradition for some players to grow out a playoff beard, but Harden’s thick beard has always gotten special attention.  Fans have worn fake beards to games in support of Harden.  This is great for Adidas because Harden’s beard helped him become more recognizable and well known around the league.

Besides the ability to grow a long and luscious beard, Harden also cares about the way he looks and dresses.  When it comes to promoting a brand, fashion is always a huge factor.  Because of his fashion sense, Harden may be able to come up with some new and improved ideas for this company.

In 2014, Adidas fell behind Under Armour to number three in sportswear market sales and Nike recently took over the Jordan brand. They realized they needed to take a risk.  Obviously there is more competition in the market now, and that risk can lead to reward for Adidas.

Most importantly, James Harden is a great role model and great competitor.  It is not often that a high-caliber, high market player hits the endorsement free agency.  Adidas acted fast and made a great choice.  Although $200 million dollars sounds crazy, it was a great investment for its future.

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Opinion: Social media users fail to fact check

While on social networks including Twitter and Instagram, users may have recently been noticing an influx of rumors and fake promotional offers circulating on their timelines. With social media usage becoming increasingly popular every year, knowledge of what is fact and what is not is beginning to fade away.

Everyone likes to hear about freebies and giveaways, or so it seemed recently when a rush of fake airline accounts flooded Instagram. Claiming to give free one-way tickets to the first 15,000 followers, fake accounts were created on behalf on Delta, JetBlue and American Airlines. Fact checking should be a priority for those interested in a particular issue.

With the recent presidential campaign, Tweets, YouTube videos and images all affected the public’s thoughts toward the candidates such as photos published by Time magazine of vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s workout, or the viral YouTube remix version of President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment.

Every time a political debate was aired, biased sources or social media users would spin what the candidates said in an attempt to create controversy. This led to more and more people spreading these exaggerated rumors.

Gossip and scandals can largely affect the public’s opinion regarding someone who was looked up to as a hero or an inspirational figure. Recent rumors about Lance Armstrong cost him his seven Tour de France medals, and even a month later, his name has been all over the news due to his decision to step down from the Livestrong Foundation. As a reaction to all of this, people have left negative comments on his personal accounts without understanding the full story.

Many people believe what is being fed to them only because they see it is trending or because people are posting their thoughts about it. Although the oversaturation of information floating on the web creates a difficulty for users seeking the truth, it’s a better bet to rely on verified Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts than third party sources. And, in the case of a scandal, where the particular celebrity would have bias, fact checking with verified news sources is best. With this system implemented, false statements about people, companies and events could easily be avoided.

 

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