Campus Life Blog: Handguns on Campus

March 3, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Posted by Elena Harding
eharding@smu.edu

Tuesday, a Texas bill that would allow people with a concealed handgun license to carry a gun on college grounds, was referred to Homeland Security and Public Safety. It is tailored for community colleges and would not affect schools like SMU.

The reason other institutions of higher education are not included is not clear in the bill. However, in a press release its author, Rep. Van Taylor, said the reason is due to “very different atmospheres” from four-year universities. He was basically suggesting that four-year universities are safer than two-year colleges.

I disagree. I transferred in to SMU from a community college and I felt just as safe there as I do at SMU. Nor would I have felt any safer surrounded by a bunch of armed classmates.

There is another problem with this bill. It sounds like it could open the door to allowing concealed handguns at any institution of higher education. Quotes in the press release from an NRA representative suggest it and that would definitely not make me feel safe.

If approved, the act will take effect in the 2011 fall semester.

Campus News Blog: Workouts on a Time Crunch

March 2, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Hanna Nelson

We all know the importance of working out not only to stay fit, but also to keep your heart healthy. When you’re in college it’s sometimes difficult to make time for a workout. Lucky for you, fast, effective workouts have been posted on the internet, some even come with videos.

Real Simple created five 15-Minute Workouts to keep you fit, but not jeopardize your time. All of the exercises use an exercise ball which can be purchased at any fitness store. The series includes pushups, core and leg workouts.

Self Magazine’s 15-minute workout has a video to go with it. For this you need small weights, but they suggest using soup cans if you don’t have weights.

There are more videos online for quick workouts. You can choose between yoga, pilates, or a quick boot camp!

Campus News Blog: Watch Out For Credit Card Build-Up!

October 25, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Gwen Sullivan

For a college student, squeezing a little extra cash out of Mom and Dad is sometimes impossible.

Now that college is more expensive than ever, cutting down on spending or getting a job are the most logical answers.

One thing to watch out for? Credit cards.

In 2009, the average balance due for college students was $3,173!

Sallie Mae’s national study of usage rates and trends, 2009, shows how college students get sucked into credit card debt without realizing it, according to cnnmoney.com.

Credit card companies aim for college students since most of them don’t know the side effects of building up debt and bad credit.

Interest fees are another bad side to credit cards. The more you spend and don’t pay off, the more you get charged as time goes by and money hasn’t been paid off. Know your bank’s policy on interest rates before you spend.

Here are some tips for college credit card users!

VIDEO: Career Center in Demand

May 3, 2009 by · Comments Off 

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Campus News Blog: Government Might Simplify FAFSA … Finally!

April 16, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Rachael Morgan

Forty percent of all college students don’t submit the FAFSA form each year. This form gives colleges financial information that helps them give need-based financial aid. What’s one big reason why students fail to complete the form?

The Ithacan Online says it is the six page form that includes over 100 questions and can take over an hour to fill out.

The Ithacan Online gives other reasons, too. Many of the questions only affect a small percentage of applicants. Sometimes schools don’t give final options for need-based financial aid until after the applicants have to make their decision because of the complex formulas. Students often just won’t enroll at all.

The Department of Education is considering simplifying the FAFSA application by pre-entering information so that more people will apply for financial aid, and then more people will end up enrolling in colleges. Two ways to do it could be pre-entering information from families’ tax returns and using simpler formulas to determine need.

I definitely wish they had simplified it when I filled it out a few months ago. Simplifying the form could get more people to take the chance and fill it out, as well as possibly make it easier to get aid because of the new formulas. Both would help in this economy.

Campus News Blog: Students Can Suffer from Withdrawal Symptoms of Caffeine

April 10, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Tiffany Adams

It’s 8 a.m. and those students who weren’t fortunate enough to schedule their classes after 11 a.m. are dragging across campus toward their first class of the day. Many students can be seen with a caffeine-induced beverage in hand, whether it is a Starbucks coffee, a diet Coke, or one of the mighty Monster energy drinks.

These morning juices, though great for giving students a boost in waking up, may be detrimental to your health, a recent CNN article reports.

If consumed too much, students may become dependent on the caffeine and experience withdrawal symptoms if they do not get their daily fix.

Symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, sleepiness, inability to focus, irritability, depression, and anxiety, and can begin after skipping just one cup of coffee a day. The worst cases tend to be those who drink caffeine heavily and then decrease that intake significantly.

Experts say the best way to prevent these withdrawal symptoms, or at least reduce them, is to slowly cut back on caffeine, rather than abruptly quitting altogether.

Suggestions for cutting back include reducing caffeine intake by somewhere between a half to a whole cup per day, substituting tea for coffee, or drinking replacing a few cups of caffeinated coffee with decaffeinated coffee.

Here at SMU, students can find alternatives to coffee right on campus. At Java City, baristas can make a variety of teas or smoothies.

The problem isn’t just with college students, though. Experts estimate that 80 to 90 percent of North American adults and children consume caffeine daily. So even after college students graduate, they still need to watch their intake of the powerful stimulant.

Campus News Blog: College Students Can Stay Healthy

February 20, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Tiffany Adams

A recent health story on the Dallas Morning News health section has me thinking: is it possible to be a full-time college student and be healthy? Well, if business owners and parents Charlie and Jackie Haas can, so can we.

The fit couple left us some advice on keeping in shape while maintaining a busy lifestyle, some of which can be applied to university living.

For example, the cafeteria at Umphrey Lee can leave one a little less than fully nourished, with night after night of greasy corn dogs, unlimited cookies, and bottomless cups of fountain drinks. The Haas family suggests taking a multi-vitamin pill daily, to keep you covered nutritionally, Vitamin A to zinc.

Similarly, to help prevent weight gain (think freshman 15), the couple suggests eating smaller, more frequent meals as opposed to sticking to a big, three-meal-a-day schedule. This will help keep your metabolism going and is easily accomplished with an unlimited meal plan, which a lot of on-campus residents currently have.

As far as working out goes, keep on track by enlisting support: have your friend or roommate hold you accountable. That way, you have someone checking up on you, making sure you don’t come up with lame excuses for skipping a day of crunches.

And finally, the Haas solution to those would-be-gym-goers-who-just-don’t-have-the-time? Kill two birds with one stone. That said, for college students, walk on the treadmill while reading Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Or, outline your paper in your head while benchpressing 290.

If nothing else, drink lots of water. Carry a water bottle around with you from class to class. That’s a no-brainer.