Fact or Fiction? Swimming through the world of Politics.

Scroll through your Facebook timeline right now – somewhere there is at least one passionate novel length status from someone who claims they are the end all guru of political wisdom.

It’s that time again, friends. Happy election year!

With this being such a vital year in American politics, there’s a wave of messages flooding media channels withpolipic ‘vital political information’. But how do you navigate the madness? How can you figure out who to vote for with confidence when one source about a candidate contradicts another source?

Never fear! Political literacy is here!

Political literacy, first and foremost, should not be confused with political ideology. While political ideology is great in directing you in seeking sources based on your values, political literacy and being politically literate is being able to evaluate information that is appropriate, credible, and overall reliable. You see it in Facebook statuses, biased media sources, and even just word of mouth – there is so much information out there but not all the information will be reliable because, well, anyone can produce ‘information’. A good rule of thumb is to spot C.R.A.P when you see it!

When looking at resources, you should consider the following things:

Currency – How recent was this resource published or updated? This is especially important when you are researching political candidates because a statement that they said in a speech ten years ago may be brought up for debate. That statement might not have the same meaning or reflect the same beliefs the candidate holds now.

Reliability – What kind of information is included in the resource? Does the author provide citations/ references for quotations and data? Where are you getting this information from? A lot of articles will use numbers to make their point. Figures like 43% of this or $2 billion of that are easy to throw around, but where are the citations?

A great resource for those who are seeking to be politically literate is the site http://www.politifact.com/. This site has a user-friendly “truth-o-meter” where journalists have researched “political facts” and statements as a reference for voters.

Authority – Who is the author/ creator of the resource? Are they credible/ reputable? One of the best ways to ensure whatever information you are getting has a reputable authority behind it is to simply go towards the source! Go to a candidate’s site and research what they have been working on/what they value. Go talk to your local politicians – often times you will be able to actually visit their personal office! Being politically literate is about much more than just choosing a president and you can’t get more authentic than the politician themselves!

Additional sources that would be helpful would be the NYTimes guide to the candidates, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/2016-presidential-candidates.html, and Baltimore Sun Voting Guide http://data.baltimoresun.com/voter-guide-2016/, since the information is specifically compiled from the survey information that politicians filled out themselves.

Purpose/Point of View – Is the content primarily opinion or is the information provided with as minimal bias as possible? Why was the article written in the first place? If there is one thing you must be wary about is the tidal wave of bias. Often, the purpose of a political message is to share a specific point of view – even if that means exaggerating/manipulating information. Taking the initiative to be politically literate sometimes means leaving your ideology at the door. We’ve all been susceptible to the phenomenon of the “filter bubble” – surrounding ourselves with people and following social media that reflects opolinemour own ideology. While aligning with a political ideology has its perks don’t forget to ask for the facts!

Wow, it seems like you have to navigate through a lot of C.R.A.P to become politically literate right? Don’t worry! You’re swimming your way towards political literacy by just questioning the sources of information you find!

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Student On-Campus Employees–It’s All About YOU!

Happy National Student Employment Week Tigers!

Did you know that there are over 3,000 jobs available on-campus for students and all departments are now required to posstudentemploymentweekt open positions on Hire@TU?

Students who hold on-campus jobs often have higher GPAs than their peers who work off-campus or don’t have a job at all. On-campus employment allows for flexibility in scheduling and convenience both of which aid in successful time management for class work and studying. As outlined by the NACE Core Competencies for Career Readiness (PDF), there are specific competencies employers in all industries look for in a candidate, which students should develop to be best prepared to transition to the real world post-graduation. On-campus student employment allows students the opportunity to develop these career readiness skills.

In addition to attaining desirable skills that can be translated into the real world after graduation, working on-campus has many other benefits. Rachel Ungvarsky, a marketing intern at the Career Center, shared with me how she benefited from working on-campus and how you, too, can benefit.

  • Career Ready Skills:

 “I’ve held jobs on-campus in departments like Housing and Residence Life, New Student Programs, and the Career Center. These experiences have helped me develop valuable time management, communication, and organizational skills. I’ve also had a chance to work as a team with peers and learn from others,” said Rachel.

  •  Convenience:

 Rachel explains that her favorite part of working on-campus is that on-campus employers “…understand that you are a student first. I’ve been able to juggle classes, involvement, and work schedule much easier because of this.”

 

  • Makes Finding an Internship/Full-Time Position Easier:

 Reflecting on her on-campus experience she said, “I’ve also had a much easier time getting my first internship since I’ve had these work experiences on my resume. I highly recommend all Towson students to consider being an on-campus student employee. There’s a lot you can learn and experience by working on campus.”

 

dochireTo the students who are currently on-campus employees, join the Career Center this week for the following events (with lots of free food and giveaways) in order to celebrate and recognize your hard work and dedication:

 

 

Make sure to wear your department t-shirt/nametag or be prepared to pull up your online timesheet, as these events are only available to current on-campus student employees. If you are not yet a student employee and are interested in available positions, check out Hire@TU to find your on-campus job today.

Thank you for all of your continual hard work and dedication, TU student on-campus employees!

Amanda Sands
Marketing Intern
Career Center

Who’s Got Time for That?

As college students, you have multiple things that you are juggling all at once. Whether you are a student-athlete, in the marching band, a member of a campus group or organization, or just an involved student within your degree program; finding time to fit EVERYTHING in seems almost impossible most days. The purpose of this article is to help you find that balance and provide you with a few time management strategies that could alleviate some of the stress that comes from being so busy!

  1. Prioritize your time: Make a list of all your obligations and prioritize them how you see fit.7
  2. Find an organization method: Write all of your obligations in a weekly or monthly calendar/planner so you can see where all of your time is being spent. Heck, you could go a step further and even color code the different commitments so you know how much time you’re spending per area. Include your school assignments.
  3. Reminders: If you have a smartphone or electronic calendar, make sure to set up reminders to go off either 30 minutes before or a day before, depending on your short and long term memory.
  4. Limit distractions: How often do you find yourself taking a break from studying to check out what’s going on in the social media world? Next thing you know, an hour or more has passed. Put a timer on your phone for 10-15 minutes and then start looking through your social media apps or shopping websites. When the alarm goes off, you know it is time to get back to work! Also, put 10your phone on airplane mode when doing school work so you don’t get distracted by emails, texts, social media notifications, etc.
  5. Just DON’T do it… naps: It can be very tempting to take a nap for an hour in between your two classes. Although this sounds good at the time, there is sometimes room for error. Maybe you forget to set an alarm, or set it for PM when it was supposed to be AM. If you skip the nap you can maximize your day time hours and get your work done. Ideally you should be able to get to bed at a decent hour in order to get a solid 8 hours of sleep at night.
  6. Online classes: It is easy to forget sometimes that you have to be reading or doing assignments for online classes since you aren’t physically going to a classroom to be taught the material. Make sure you schedule designated times and days to focus on those online classes so you don’t fall behind.
  7. Get in the habit: Imagine waking up to go to class and when you get there, nobody else is there. At that moment, you decide to check your email and Blackbtimeoard. Sure enough, your professor sent a last minute announcement saying class was cancelled. Doh!!! Checking your email and Blackboard at certain times throughout the day could help you avoid added stress like this.

These are just a few suggestions for managing your time and obligations as a busy college student. Good luck!

Elysa Newman, Director for Athletic Academic Achievement

The Rookie and The Veteran: Reflections on Campus Jobs

While many students decide to work on-campus for the financial benefit, there are even more reasons to do so. We wanted to share those benefits with you as we reflect on our experiences of serving as Student Academic Advisors.hero-friends

The Rookie:

In seventh grade, my life changed completely when my social studies teacher, Mr. Deering, told me that I could become great if I channeled my energy in the right direction. Mr. Deering expressed to me that I had an enormous amount of potential. “There will always be time to play, but these next few years of your life are very critical to where you will end up in the future,” he advised.

Since that moment, education has grown to be one of my greatest passions. The following year when I was in the eighth grade, I earned straight A’s all four quarters. Mr. Deering saw potential in me that I did not see in myself. I carried this motivation from Mr. Deering into college.

From the conversation I had with Mr. Deering many years ago, I was inspired to become a Student Academic Advisor. Through this role I have become a positive role model academically, motivated other students to achieve their academic goals of obtaining a competitive GPA, and connected students with on-campus academic resources to sharpen their academic skills.  I want to impact students in the same way Mr. Deering impacted me; I am blessed to have this opportunity. Being in this role as a Student Academic Advisor has enhanced my personal educational interest and allowed me to be successful academically.

The Veteran:

Reflecting on my freshman year at Towson, one of the best decisions I made was to become a Student Academic Advisor. From the moment I started the position, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and began attaining experience that I would be able to translate into the real world. As a Student Academic Advisor, I am no longer afraid of public speaking and have developed essential interpersonal skills.

Within my role as an SAA I have really discovered myself. My high school counselors are the reason that I was able to attend Towson University, and I knew I wanted some type of career in which I could repay their support. While advising at a university is different than counseling in a public school setting, this position allowed me to determine that my ideal career would be in an academic setting and that Psychology was the best major for me.

Although I love working in a university setting and providing college students with academic guidance, I have decided on becoming a professional school counselor to help low-income students become college bound. After graduating this May, I will be attending Johns Hopkins University to obtain my Master’s in School Counseling and applying the conversational and interpersonal skills from my time as an SAA. I would not be who I am or where I am today without my education at Towson University or my experience as a Student Academic Advisor.

 

Alex Alli, Student Academic Advisor

Amanda Sands, Student Academic Advisor

Academic Advising Center

Be the Leslie Knope of Your Career

You might be just a college student right now, but soon enough you’ll be entering the real world and launching your career. You may not choose to consume an unhealthy amount of waffles or make hundreds of binders to organize your ideas, but there are still so many ways that you can be the Leslie Knope of your career and your path to getting there.

careerles Have a strategy. Set realistic goals for yourself of what you want to achieve and when it’s most feasible to do so. Set aside time each week to work on career development, whether that’s searching or applying for a job, attending a networking event, or editing your resume.

Be persistent and dedicated. As Leslie once said, “One person’s annoying is another person’s inspiring and heroic.” Push yourself to be all that you can be in every aspect of your career preparation. Learn to write an effective cover letter, fine tune your interviewing skills, and strengthen your LinkedIn profile. Ask as many questions as you can of career advisors or other professionals who can give you feedback.

Network, network, network. Meet everyone that you can within your industry and learn from them, whether they are a recruiter at a company you’d like to work for, an employee in a role you’d like to have someday, or your career idol. A great place to gain some networking experience is at Towson’s Mega Job and Internship Fair on March 23 from noon – 3 p.m. in SECU Arena. With over 200 employers, you never know, you just might meet your very own Joe Biden.

Never lose sight of who you are and what you want out of life. Gearing up for the job search process and careerlesknopetackling the unknown can feel overwhelming, especially in such an important life transition period. It’s easy to feel defeated or worried, but just know that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel (and probably some waffles).

 

Rachel Ungvarsky
Marketing Intern
The Career Center

Lay the Smackdown on Your Next Paper!

Thriving Tiger blog, The UndertakerYou have The Undertaker of all papers, a formidable foe to challenge your intellectual pro-wrestling (erm, or pro-writing) skills–what do you do? How do you take on such an opponent? Check out this handy guide we put together to help you clothesline your next writing assignment—informed, of course, by The Rock.

The Rock says this: “You Will Go One-on-One with the Great One!”
(Academic translation: know your audience and understand your assignment)

Before The Rock even steps into the ring, he learns his opponent’s moves inside and out. In order to take down your next paper, you’ll have to find out exactly what you’re up against: What is the purpose of the assignment? What are the requirements? Think about the skills your professor wants you to demonstrate through the assignment. For instance, some want to examine your ability to form your own argument; others want you to synthesize current research. Don’t forget to consider your audience – The Rock didn’t become popular by ignoring what the crowd wanted! And, if you don’t understand something, ask!

The Rock says this: “Can You smell what the Rock is cookin’!?”
(Academic translation: narrow your topic)

Even in the Royal Rumble, The Rock can’t fight everyone at once; he has to fight one opponent at a time. Likewise, in the writing arena, you can’t tackle multiple large topics in one paper. Writing about mental health for your term paper is excellent—but how can you write about all aspects of the subject in 10 pages? Entire books are written about specific mental disorders! A more manageable research paper would focus on, for example, how marijuana affects the development of bipolar disorder in 18-22 year olds with predispositions to the ailment. Asking questions–like who, what, when, where, and why–can help you start to wrangle your topic.

the rock v the undertaker

The Rock says this: “The Rock will take you down Know-Your-Role Boulevard and Check you Directly into the Smackdown Hotel!”
(Academic Translation: research your topic)

One of the reasons The Rock can lay the verbal smackdown is that he has the muscles to back it up. As a writer, you need to bulk up: in other words, get your research on. Whether your paper requires formal research or informal methods like self-reflection or interviews, be knowledgeable about the topic you’ve selected. If your assignment requires you to use scholarly sources, take advantage of the great resources available through Cook Library. Keep in mind that the first sources you come across may not always be the best for your paper; be thorough and take your time.

The Rock says this: “Just Bring It!”
(Academic translation: organize, organize, organize)

The Rock never goes into the ring without a plan. Pre-planning can help you formulate a strategy to take down any intimidating writing assignment.Think about your most important points and examples and organize your paper accordingly. Quickly outlining your ideas before you start and reverse outlining after you finish writing are effective methods of making sure you’re staying focused. It’s okay–and even encouraged–to revise and reorganize your paper as you write and learn more about your topic.

Thriving Tiger Blog, the rock picture

The Rock says this: “Layeth the Smacketh Down”
(Academic translation: Get it down on paper!)

Well, you’ve set the foundation for your paper by researching and organizing. Time to write! An important thing to remember is that your first draft is going to be less than perfect; it’ll look like The Rock when he wore fanny packs. The good thing? Your first draft always has the potential to turn into The Rock as he is now! Trust the process and the hard work you’ve put into your paper so far and just write. Have faith–the cream will always rise to the top.

Take your draft
The Rock says this: “I am the People’s Champ!”
(Academic Translation: you are the Writing Champ!)

Before The Rock can claim his victory belt, he has to execute his signature finishing move, The People’s Elbow, and pin his opponent. You’re now in a similar position. You’ve done the prep work. You’ve written your first draft. You’ve endured countless wrestling metaphors. Now it’s time to finish off The Undertaker and become a WWE champion! So, how do you do this?

Check your organization, make sure you have evidence to support your ideas, look for grammatical and spelling mistakes, and take your draft to the Writing Center! Doing these things can transform your paper from a roody poo draft into a polished piece of academic magnificence. Oh–and don’t forget to collect your championship belt after pinning The Undertaker.

http://www.towson.edu/writingcenter/index.asp

Tyler New, Michele Calderon, Miranda Rennie, and Jessica Reyes
Towson Writing Center
LA 5330

BIPE: Promoting a Positive Body Image on Campus

“I can eat this piece of pizza as long as I go to the gym later”; “I feel so guilty for eating that cookie”; “If I don’t eat all day, then I can drink later tonight”; “Once I can see my six pack, I’ll be happy”; “I’m not big enough”; “I’m not small enough”; “I hate my body”

Our relatioawarenships with our bodies and with food can be very complicated. The line between dieting and an eating disorder can quickly become blurred when we are unaware of what an eating disorder actually is. One of the foundations of an eating disorder is disordered or distorted thinking about our bodies, and about food. Some of the above statements may seem harmless, especially in a culture that encourages a balance of diet and exercise. But what does a healthy balance really look like? Unfortunately, for about 40% of college students, dieting behavior is actually an eating disorder. Furthermore, those without eating disorders but who are dieting may still be engaging in some disordered thinking or behaviors.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (2/22-2/25) is dedicating to not only bringing awareness to others about the dangers of eating disorders and disordered thinking about food, but also sponsors activities to encourage body positivity and increase self-esteem. The Body Image Peer Educators (BIPEs) will be offering several events all during NEDA to promote awareness about what eating disorders are, the bipetreatments available for eating disorders, and the importance of a healthy body image. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit the BIPEs at any one of the events below. You can also visit http://nedawareness.org/ for more information and ways to get involved.

Get Screened

Eating Disorder Screening Event: Individual relationships with food and eating can be complicated. If you’re concerned or curious about your relationship with food or your body, come get a free screening on Monday 2/22, 11am-1pm in the Union.

Get Help

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fat Talk: Come hear Jaime Kaplan, Psy.D, and Ashley Wood, MA, for a discussion on body image and eating disorder risks and warning signs. Learn how to approach this sensitive topic with friends and loved ones and how to best support them as they get the help they deserve and need. Tuesday 2/23, 6-7pm in CLA 4310

Get Healthy

Smash The Scale: Healthy is not a size or a number. Come take a hammer to a scale and smash away the ridiculous body ideals. Wednesday 2/24, 12-3pm, Academic Quad

Yoga for Body Acceptance: Join Carrie Miller for a 1 hour yoga workshop designed to promote body acceptance. Please bring your own mat if possible. Wednesday 2/24, 6-7pm, UU Potomac

Alexandra Shiflett, Body Image Peer Educator Graduate Assistant

Counseling Center

 

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