Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It seems our culture is starting to forget it's principles. We are free. When I was growing up, it was as simple as that. How many years of school did I spend learning about the "land of the free"? How many countless hours of social studies taught me the ideas behind the Declaration of Independence? Weren't we taught to be proud about our country's break away from England? Do we not celebrate the Fourth of July every year?

Yet somehow, our country has become "ban" crazy. We are banning EVERYTHING. First it was cigarettes in public places (Although, I do enjoy fresh air while eating -- but still, that was a crucial stepping stone in this never ending process.) Then, it was Four Loko. Now, the University of New Hampshire even went as far as to ban energy drinks on their campus. Come on now, really?

According to reports, the university decided this was in students' best interest after someone was sent to the hospital due to an incident involving energy drinks. Understandable, I suppose, except what happens when someone accidentally chokes in a dining hall -- are we going to ban food, too?

I understand with blogs and informational sharing as popular as it is, every university wants to keep a good image -- but let's get real. Many students who live on campus only have access to on-campus stores. I don't condone the consumption of energy drinks at all -- in fact, I never drink them -- but if someone wants to get all hyped out from them, that's their issue. If someone wants to smoke a pack a day, that's their issue, too. If an under age kid wants to drink so much Four Loko they nearly die, well, it's unfortunate... but we are free. We cannot ban one thing and expect nothing else to be banned.

Unfortunately, we allowed this awful trend to be started... the question is, are we ever going to be able to reverse it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Two Cents on our Hook Up Culture

So I've been back and forth about writing this post. It seems today that the Daily Collegian at Penn State has allowed some poor junior to write extremely controversial article about her sex habits. The thing is, it was most obviously a publicity stunt. A newspaper does not publish an article with the by line "We are Nittany Lions, and we are mounting everyone," without hoping to get some publicity out of it.

As a public relations major, I have to say, the stunt worked. Twitter is currently blowing up with the hashtag ""Mounting Nittany". However, what is this article saying about Penn State and the Daily Collegian?

Penn State cannot be a school that claims to build itself on traditions and yet allow the trashiest article ever to be written by their newspaper. Call me old school, but as a university, we just cannot have it both ways. So which are we -- traditional or "innovative" in our thinking? And if the answer is "innovative," I'm not sure I want to be.

As a person who loves to shout my views during times of controversy, I most readily put in my two cents about how embarrassing it is for an article to talk about a person having sex on the Lion Shrine. I fully plan on taking my kids there some day and now I'm going to have to make sure I remember to pack the Clorox. After reading my comment, somebody replied, "Thanks, Mom."

I can take it. What I cannot take, though, is the way our culture so readily accepts the ideas of random hook-ups. I do not care who you are, I fully believe that everyone feels a little dirty after going too far with someone they know too little. Call me old fashioned, or call me a mom, but at least I have morals. At least I don't have to write a sex column to get a little attention in my life.

Kristina Helfer, I congratulate you on your new life and I hope you know what you got yourself into... and Daily Collegian, I congratulate you on pulling off the biggest publicity stunt you've ever seen. But rest assure, when I lay my head down to sleep tonight, I won't be worried about whether the "Nittany I just mounted" will create a trending tweet on Twitter. I also won't be concerned about whether my future employers will see my sex history online. Lastly, I won't be the trashy girl that does not get called back after a hook-up in the closet of a frat. Cheers!