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(EDITOR’S NOTE: David Chartrand is the writing coach for a class of student journalists at Benedictine College. The following editorial piece is a sample of some of the students’ work.)

Social media, and depressed teens: A dangerous formula

by Adam Przybylski
Senior
Journalism and Mass Communications
Benedictine College

The Internet is a dangerous place to wander, a maze filled with strangers and hostile people.

David and Normal Walker of Dallas learned just how dangerous after the suicide last Christmas of Sadie, their 15-year-old daughter. The Walkers learned that Sadie had recently, and secretly, created an account on the social media website, Instagram, to connect with other teens about suicide and depression. Continue reading

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: David Chartrand is an adjunct and the writing coach for a small class of student journalists at Benedictine College where I’m an adjunct. The following editorial piece is a sample of some of the students’ work.)

Eating disorters

by Nora Bingaman

Eating disorders are among the cruelest diseases, afflicting many but outwardly visible to few.   Like the characters in science fiction movies and novels, the victims of eating disorders are trapped inside a world of misleading and fake images, unable to save themselves from the villains of these deceptions. It is nearly impossible to form a healthy self-image

 in a world that shows us that every flaw and failure can be easily fixed by Photoshop, a diet, or workout craze.

Society obsesses over perfect bodies. The obsession is fueled by technology in general and the Internet in particular. It began years ago with Photoshop, Adobe’s wildly popular, and expensive, photo-editing software. Nowadays any number of inexpensive smartphone apps can import a photo and remove every blemish, every wrinkle, and every double chin. In the way popular trends are turned into verbs, the act of digitally altering one’s appearance is now referred to as “photoshopping.” Continue reading

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: David Chartrand is an adjunct and the writing coach for a small class of student journalists at Benedictine College where I’m an adjunct. The following editorial piece is a sample of some of the students’ work.)

Sex Trafficking

by Katherine Hollcraft

Benedictine has announced a spring 2016 initiative to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment. The plan is praiseworthy but will remain incomplete without attention to the growing epidemic of sex trafficking. It’s not too late for the college to amend its plans.

Under federal law, anyone under 18 years of age induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of whether the trafficker uses force, fraud or  coercion. It’s clear that students and faculty need more specific information about how to recognize and rescue victims of sex trafficking. The attention Benedictine has given to this issue is a good start, but more can be done. Continue reading

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: David Chartrand is an adjunct and the writing coach for a small class of student journalists at Benedictine College where I’m an adjunct. The following editorial piece is a sample of some of the students’ work.)

Smoking Bans

by Hannah Wensel

Benedictine College has taken a leap into fresh air. The debate over     smoking on campus can finally be put to rest, with some clarifications.

Staff, students and campus guests are no longer permitted to use tobacco-filled product on campus property. The ban, which took effect July 1, includes, but not limited to e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, smoking pipes, and cigarettes. Those who wish to breathe in a little smoke can do so, off of school property. Free maps are available to anyone needing a definition of “campus property.”
Continue reading

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From The Salina Journal

”I think people had this great fear of these massive cuts and layoffs and program reductions and service reductions. I think they’ll find that this is really not that big of a deal.”

— Kansas Budget Director Shawn Sullivan

Sullivan made the above comment Thursday as he announced a $63 million, robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul fund-shift to shore up the state’s 2016 budget. And he’s right. This wasn’t particularly painful.

But there also was no realistic, structural change in the budget that will allow the state to avoid this again when the Legislature cranks up again in January.

Even if the state hits its revenue numbers, and that’s been a problem of late, it still will face a budget shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars. Continue reading

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Kansas shows us what could happen if Republicans win in 2016

By Catherine Rampell
The Washington Post

No more pencils, no more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks.

Usually this is an anthem of celebration, of respite from the angst-inducing strictures of K-12 schooling. But this year, across Kansas, the jingle is coming a little sooner than expected, and with mournful undertones.

At least eight Kansas school districts recently announced that they’re starting summer break early this year, and not because kids have already learned so much that they deserve a few extra days off. It’s because these schools ran out of money, thanks to state leaders’ decision to ax education spending midyear to plug an ever-widening hole in their budget. Continue reading

Tribute to Olathean Jim Smith

My mentor and my student

From the blog of Austin Myers
(Submitted by his grandmother, Linda Myers)

In most forms of media, the reader or viewer will encounter a character of a specific archetype, known as “the mentor.” The purpose of the mentor character is to guide the protagonist, (or protagonists) and teach the necessary lessons they need to learn to overcome various obstacles throughout the story. However, sometimes the mentor also becomes the sacrificial character, either to protect their students or for a greater good. Common examples of this archetype include biblical characters such as Moses, Jesus, Elizabeth, and even God himself in some instances served as a mentor.

In modern media, mentor characters include Zordon from the long lasting Power Rangers series, Obi Wan from Star Wars, Mufasa from the Disney film The Lion King, and finally Mickey Mouse and Master Yen Sid from the popular video game franchise Kingdom Hearts. The mentor character also serves to assist in the growth of the main characters, with the latter sometimes becoming mentor figures themselves. This archetype does not exist merely in fictional media, but in the real world as well, as humans are constantly being taught by others and passing down the knowledge they learned. Continue reading

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