Kony 2012 ignites armchair activism

By: Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor
Activism has always been a part of human nature. Whether righting a wrong, helping someone or raising money for a worthwhile cause, there is always something for those who want to be involved. By definition, “activism” is the intentional effort to promote, impede or direct change, and comes in many forms ranging from letters written to Congress members to rallies and marches. Then, there is the trend of “bandwagon activism” or being apart of something simply because it’s big and cool, and “armchair activism,” or being a part of a cause strictly through technological means. 
One recent example is the “Kony 2012” campaign, to make Joseph Kony, a name already infamous in many parts of the world, well-known in order to raise awareness to the cause. The surge of interest was a result of a 30 minute YouTube video released by the non-profit organization Invisible Children on the problem in Uganda. Joseph Kony began his reign of terror in Uganda in 1986, which resulted in the enslavement of over 66,000 children, who became sex slaves or soldiers in the Lords Resistance Army, and the displacement of over 2 million people. In 2005, he was indicted on charges of war crimes by the International Crimes Council, but has evaded capture. From the United States, in 2008 President Bush signed a directive to provide assistance to Uganda, in 2010 President Obama signed a bill that made it American policy to capture or kill Kony, and in 2011, Obama signed another measure that deployed 100 special forces to the area.

21st Century Activism needs basis in fact not fiction

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Activism has always been an important part of American culture. Whether it was the forefathers standing up to Great Britain, African Americans standing up in protest of segregation and prejudice, or even now the 99 percent standing up to the one percent of Wall Street.

In this way, activism holds a special place in the hearts of Americans, as it gives them the opportunity to show their frustration over the direction their lives have been pushed.

However, how does one determine if a cause is just or an ill-considered manipulation? Many have the right to be angry at the way Wall Street has abused their financial power, yet standing up to the problem Wall Street represents causes an even more substantial problem.

What happens if the 99 percent wins the battle and financial reform takes place? People who rely on Wall Street and financial institutions for everything from housing to retirement funds to savings accounts would be affected.

Just thinking about the amount of hard-working individuals who would lose their jobs is staggering. Action without thought is careless. Does something need to be fixed? Yes, but does it need to be fixed blindly? Probably not.

Occupy Wall Street seems to have been a fad, signs of dissent have all but faded from the public eye as interest and exposure have dwindled to tiny droplets falling from a shutoff valve.

The public has moved on to a new target and a new problem that began decades ago in Uganda. The name of the movement makes it seem like people want a rival of a hotdog or the Coney Island boardwalk.

Kony 2012 is a movement started March 8, to stop the forced military servitude of children in the Lord’s Resistance Army that is based primarily out of Uganda.

Should this newest activism issue be dealt with? Yes, but the question underlining all of these actions are why now and not before? These two issues have been around for many decades and now people seem to be dancing like puppets.

The answer of course is the outbreak of social media and the greater ability for people to propagandize issues, giving more hands the ability to stir the social beehive into irrational directions.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged Dissent, Kony, Occupy, Propaganda, , Wall Street

Teachers Using Social Media

By: Narges Taghavi, Feature Editor

A few years ago, the notion of integrating social media into the classroom was considered laughable. Services, such as Twitter and Facebook, were thought of as distractions, with no place in a learning environment.

Today however, it seems that now more and more professors are taking advantage of the benefits of social media and discovering that they can better educate with the help of technology.

For instance, the use of the Word Press website allows professors to post class lectures and graphics, for students to view.

Word Press isn’t the only way teachers are using technology in the classroom. Many professors use D2L to post class updates, home assignments, and lectures.

“Several semesters ago I decided to record my lectures and place them on D2L so that if a student missed class they could easily catch up by going to D2L to listen to the lectures; And though they may not have been occupying a seat in class, they heard the same lecture as their classmates who were in class.

“I am happy to say the response has been overwhelmingly positive and students also appreciate the opportunity to be able to go back again and again if they wish to make sure they understand the material.” Dr. Michael W. Lovegrove, professor of history, said.

The combination of social media and education will continue to grow, provided the social media continues to be a true educational tool.

“I am mixed in my thoughts regarding social media as a teaching tool, but I would never rule out any new and innovative teaching techniques provided that they are effective,” Dr. Lovegrove said.

Word Press is there for every student to take advantage of and can come in handy for those who miss class, especially now that flu season is right around the corner.