11 years later, why the chief still matters

Many students and faculty on-campus still miss the representation the University of Illinois had when they were growing up. Chief Illiniwek, the mascot for the Universities athletic teams from 1926-2007, last performed on February 21, 2007, but people on campus remember him fondly. With the topic of a potential new mascot in the news, many want nothing other than for the University to welcome the chief back with… you guess it, open arms.

Online Classes and Exams Make Cheating Easier

Online Classes and Exams Make Cheating Easier. College students are having an easier time cheating as more classes and exams are being administered online. Students have said they find cheating easier because they are able to look answers up online or work with one another in order to complete assignments. To get the reader interested I would possibly begin my article with an anecdote that a student told me about a time they or someone they know cheated.

I think I will find that a large number of the student population have cheated themselves or that they know someone that has cheated in an online setting. When I was going around asking my initial questions, every student responded that they thought it was easier to cheat online. They even listed ways that made it possible. I think that teachers will be worried that this is an issue and may not know what exactly they can do to stop it. Talking to people behind the scenes of online learning could be helpful. They may be developing new methods to decrease the amount of cheating that occurs. As online classes and exams become more prevalent, this is something to look into because it will only become a larger issue with time.

I need to interview more students in order to get the anecdotes I am looking for. I also need to talk to teachers to find out what they do in order to prevent cheating and if they think cheating is more prevalent in their online classes. I would also like to talk to someone in the online administration to find out what they do to prevent as much cheating as possible.

People to Interview:

Randy McCarthy (Faculty Director for ATLAS) faculty-director-atlas@mx.uillinois.edu

Jeffrey Tyson Trask (Professor for Community Health online) jtrask@illinois.edu

Jose Vazquez (Professor for Econ online and in person) vazquezj@illinois.edu

Other Students

Greek Life Faces Identity Crisis

The news is rife with reports of events connected to Greek Life. Unfortunately most of the news is not positive. With many Universities facing tough decisions on how to handle Greek Life on campus, I want to get an understanding of what students, both apart and outside of Greek life, perceive Greek life to stand for. I hope to find different perspectives and opinions on Greek life and its role on a college campus. I also hope to find personal anecdotes of experiences that people have had with Greek life, both positive and negative. The overall goal of this story is to get a perspective of what students on campus believe Greek life is and what is does compared to what the intended goal of Greek life is.  Additionally, I want to find information and statistics the show both the positive and negative effects of Greek life, such as hazing deaths and net money raised for charity.

Who: Students of UIUC and Fraternity Administrators

What: The perception and role of Greek life and the positives and negatives of Greek life

When: Greek life has never been under fire as much as today. I want to know the perception of Greek life in this current landscape, especially with hazing deaths being brought to light more frequently than the past.

Where: UIUC and other campuses.

Why: Many Universities are considering major restrictions on Greek life activities, and some are deciding Greek life isn’t worth having on campus altogether.

How: Multiple hazing deaths, in addition to the resulting lawsuits.

So What: Greek life is a huge part of many peoples’ college identity and experiences. Many people that join Greek life make lifelong friends and memories. Almost 25% of Illinois students are members of a fraternity or sorority  and a restriction or ban on Greek life could impact thousands of those students.

How Would I Tell A Friend:  By obtaining statistics on Greek life issues, such as hazing deaths, to present the problem College campuses have as a real issue. Getting accurate interviews is important as well. By having perspectives from people both in and out of Greek life I can obtain a true understanding for the perception of Greek life on campus and how fraternities and sororities are combating the situation.

-Ajla Husic: Ahusic2@illinois.edu

-Corey Hermann: Coreysh2@illinois.edu

-Ari Theodoropoulos: Apt2@illinois.edu

-Waseb Bajwa: Wbajwa2@illinois.edu

-Grant Miller: Grantmiller33@gmail.com

Potential sources:

Bradley C. Nahrstadt: Board of Directors – Sigma Phi Epsilon grand.president@sigep.net

Dr. Danita Brown Young: Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs dbyoung@illinois.edu

Statistics on Greek life suspensions: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/11/22/greek-life-suspensions-keep-coming-college-campuses-heres-all-them-2017/875699001/

Statistics on hazing deaths: https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2017-12-06/timeline-hazing-related-deaths-in-greek-life-since-2010

Mental Healthcare Hard to Access for Students

If I pursue this story, I think I will find that students have a hard time finding/taking advantage of mental health and counseling options at this school. More research could reveal time, staffing, and visibility issues related to these programs. I would like to continue finding people who have actively tried to go to the counseling center or Mckinley Mental Health, and ask them about their experience. Akiyoshi Komiya said in his interview that he had made an appointment, so I will contact him as well and see if he knows anyone or could provide more information. I also want to talk to someone at the counseling center or Mckinley to find out how many students take advantage of these programs.

 

 

Interviews:

Avery Davis: Senior Advertising Major, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.”How could the school make its mental health programs more visible?”

Akiyoshi Komiya: Junior Computer Science major, 20, from San Jose, California. “Could the school improve its mental health services and accessibility?”

What Really Hinders Efforts to Prevent Spread of Disease?

Daniel Abel – Sophmore – College of Business

Christel Thompson – Freshman – Creative Writing

It was discovered that many students don’t take general safety precautions due to a general feeling of apathy. It is worth finding out what the consequences or fixes to this problem exist.

Who: Students of UIUC who have gotten very sick, who haven’t gotten sick.

What: Generally ignore or outright reject measure to prevent the spread of disease and getting sick.

When: During this current Flu Season or any high-risk time for disease.

Where: Here at UIUC and the immediate surrounding area.

Why: A general belief that it isn’t that important and that there aren’t really any consequences to the actions.

How: Simply ignoring basic health and safety tips.

So What: In times of high infectivity of disease, not getting a vaccination or avoiding heavily crowded areas presents people with a high risk of getting sick. Depending on the type and scope, this can seriously render a person unable to complete school work and threaten their college career.

How Would I Tell A Friend:  By interviewing a plethora of people both that do and don’t try and actively stay healthy, I can present to the reader the risk vs. reward of the situation. By interviewing people who have gotten seriously sick I can show the consequences their actions can have. It’s an issue that’s always talked about but usually only by health organizations that always say just try and preach to you.

Aditional Sources/ Supporting Material:

  1. Online articles and websites – i.e https://health.gov/nhic/,  https://symptoms.webmd.com/cold-flu-map/avoid-cold-flu
  2. Aditional student interviews with more pointed questions.

Are Students Really Safe on Campus?

Students think that because of masculinity, pepper spray, and walking with someone else they are safe on campus.

Contact Campus Police, regard crime maps.

Online Classes and Exams Make Cheating Easier

Online Classes and Exams Make Cheating Easier

I think I will find that a large number of the student population have cheated themselves or that they know someone that has cheated in an online setting. When I was going around asking my initial questions, every student responded that they thought it was easier to cheat online. They even listed ways that made it possible. I think that teachers will be worried that this is an issue and may not know what exactly they can do to stop it. Talking to people behind the scenes of online learning could be helpful. They may be developing new methods to decrease the amount of cheating that occurs. As online classes and exams become more prevalent, this is something to look into because it will only become a larger issue with time.

People to Interview:

Randy McCarthy (Faculty Director for ATLAS) faculty-director-atlas@mx.uillinois.edu

Jeffrey Tyson Trask (Professor for Community Health online) jtrask@illinois.edu

Jose Vazquez (Professor for Econ online and in person) vazquezj@illinois.edu

Other Students

Public transportation on campus is not completely safe

Many students who use public transportation on campus have come across instances in which they felt threatened or unsafe. These incidents are not recorded as crimes, causing them to go unnoticed. Students’ scariest experiences or situations on the buses or even with SafeWalks/SafeRides would provide a first-hand account of frightening occurrences on the school’s public transportation systems. This is important to address because threats or feelings of danger are not statistically recorded, and the article could bring awareness to this issue. People can assume that on-campus buses are safe because they are part of the University, but students’ stories show that this is not always the case.

In order to create a more complete story, I will need to interview more students who have felt unsafe on public transportation. Asking MTD officials or bus drivers would also provide a different perspective on the issue, as some drivers might have difficult or scary experiences that they have come across.

“Tell me a story about the scariest experience you’ve had on campus.”

Steven Ma, freshman in Engineering

Ariana Ademi, freshman in LAS

Jane Kim, freshman in Media

Additional sources:

  • Interview more students (random) about any scary experiences on the school’s public transportation.
  • Regular bus driver(s): contact MTD = https://www.cumtd.com/ (217) 384-8188