USC Has Utterly Failed Its Students

USC Has Utterly Failed Its Students

They care more about the money than the actual students.
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The #MeToo movement, Times Up, and many more actions have penetrated every sphere of life.

Whether you are on Twitter, watching a TV show, on Facebook, on Instagram, getting extra training from your work, everything comes down to the fact that sexual assault is still a problem. A while ago, I wrote about how appalling it was to see that sexual assault is still a rampant problem, even though, we have infinitely more knowledge and understanding that it's wrong.

Most women I know have been sexually assaulted, harassed, or had other inappropriate, uncalled for instances happen to them. I realized I am one of them when the #MeToo movement happened.

What saddens me most lately, is that my own university didn't protect it's students, like Michigan State didn't protect theirs. They took the word of a man over a woman. They cared more about the money and image of what running a "business" like USC is like instead of protecting what it was actually established for "a place of learning."

The LA Times has been covering the story constantly for the past five days. Dr. Tynell was a gynecologist at USC for more than 30 years. It's standard protocol for a male gynecologist to bring a female nurse or witness into the room to make sure the women there feel and are safe. For years, there were complaints by the nurses in the rooms and the women on the table but guess what: NOTHING WAS DONE.

All of the complaints were handled independently by the last director of our health center. The last director blatantly ignored the comments and let more and more be in danger. Since the opening of hotlines to gain tips about what happened with Tynell, 200 people have called. That's over 200 people who might have been victims or know a victim.

How are students supposed to trust USC to handle these problems?

How are students supposed to feel safe at USC?

This is just one of many scandals that have happened within the past year, but this one hits close to come. Many of my friends and peers have gone to the health center, trusting that they would receive the best care. We should be able to trust in the health professionals and professors vetted by USC to work with its students.

Title IX did a five-year investigation into how USC handles sexual assault and we passed the inspection within this past year. Turns out, USC shouldn't have.

I don't trust USC to handle these problems anymore.

The professors of USC don't either. A petition has been circling since this happened and over 200 professors have signed. They want President C.L. Max Nikias to resign immediately because he should have protected students far better than he did. Nikias is great about finding money for the school but not much more. The professors are more willing to see the need and how it should be fixed than the trustees, who only care about the money Nikias provides.

Students should be able to trust in their school to help them when things go wrong and we know of at least 6 women from this situation that weren't helped. How many more are there?

How is the university going to fix this?

I have no idea. Is the first step to fire President Nikias, maybe. But this is for USC to figure out, not it's students. They have wronged us, not the other way around.

Can USC even figure it out because their lack of competency to take immediate actions is part of what got them into this mess?

Ultimately, USC has failed their students.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

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Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

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5 ways To Survive Trying to ace a summer class

It is like I am going insane.

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I mean, I am taking rigorous classes which allow me to devote a lot of my time towards them, but still...it is only two classes. By the time I get done, I have a whole half of the day full of nothing. I end up just sitting on my phone for most of the day instead of doing something practical.
So here I have compiled a list of how to keep yourself from not going crazy!


The whole point of summer is to enjoy your life, even if it does mean taking a couple of classes. Do I wish I was on a cruise heading towards some tropical island? Ugh, duh. Do I wish I was sitting on the beach with my dog? Yeah. Do I wish I just wasn't here taking classes? Um, of course. But it just didn't work out that way for me. Instead, I am trying to make the most of my time here this summer, because I only have a few more years until I hit the real world. Yay...can't wait to adult some more!

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Pexels

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