All in Editorial

I sit at my desk, tapping my foot on the cold tile. 11:55 p.m. I hit the refresh button on the webpage. 11:57 p.m. I select the "Hofstra Online" option again, followed by "Show Details," and "Add/Drop Classes." 11:59 p.m.  My hand quivers as I reach for the select key. 12:00 a.m.

I viciously type in the Course Registration Numbers, worried that I won't get the classes I need. Someone will have typed faster than me. I'll get shut out. I hit "Submit," close my eyes and keep my fingers crossed that I will be web registered for all five classes I need.

I'm in!

It's my junior year. You'd think that by now, I wouldn't get so hung-up about registering for classes. But I can't help getting nervous the night of registration, nor can I deny the satisfaction I get when I'm locked into all of the classes I want.

However, this year was the first year that registration has ever gone so smoothly. In past years, I've struggled with class restrictions that made no sense to me, necessary classes closing out early because they only have one section, and a schedule with scattered class times because the upperclassmen had priority.

WARNING: Don't read this if you are easily convinced by mass media. Don't read this if you think ours is truly the land of the free; If you believe the media is impartial and true; if the mass media has you on lock.

Are you proud to be in a democratic state? Does the freedom and equality politicians preach prove practice in your life? I don't think so.  It's a lifestyle. It's an opinion. That's mine.

At my current radical and rebellious state in life, I see the people of America as a large class of stupidity. We cherish the idealisms of a democracy so much that we are too distracted to even notice if it is actually practiced. As great as it sounds to give our voice to society, the executive branch is doing an even greater job by brainwashing us to believe that we have some authority in this game of social class. To me it's no more than asking, "Hey, will you rule me?"

As we approach Halloween, a holiday that is nearly impossible to not have fun with, we prepare for a weekend of heavy drinking, silly and often half-done costumes, and eating all of the candy we meant to give to trick-or-treaters who "probably won't show up anyway, man."

If you're like me, you're probably also more than aware of the yearly onslaught of "anti-slut" rants, petulant and often misguided attacks on women who chose to wear costumes that border more on lingerie than your typical spooky ghost costumes. These women are portrayed as dumb, "sex-fiending" wastrels who de-legitimize an already silly holiday in a quest for sex. If that's the case, then I have to ask, what the heck is wrong with that?

Most of those crying out against "slutty" costumes probably don't realize that what they are engaging in is seasonal slut-shaming, though I imagine it carries on well beyond the ghoulish tradition. Essentially, by judging a woman based on how she is dressed, you are literally judging a book by its (skimpy) cover. And this isn't just a Halloween issue, either. By assuming that a woman should be ashamed of how sexually promiscuous she acts and/or dresses, you are violating her right to act and dress how she pleases. And does sexually promiscuity make her any less of a valuable human? If you answered yes to that question, then go ahead and add "misogyny" to your interests on Facebook, because that right there is pretty much textbook.

I assume all of you reading this are avid enthusiasts of my column.  This being noted, I can therefore conclude that you all welled with pride when you read of the Fright Night hosted by Hofstra.

Due to the fact that Fright Night has ceased to exist prior to my editorial beckoning for a Harvest Festival, the conclusion must be drawn that I directly affect Hofstra.  Stuart Rabinowitz is one of the aforementioned avid enthusiasts of my column.  

This may be a bit hyperbolic, but hey--it feels good to think that my ideas have the potential to make a difference; if these changes include a professional pumpkin carver, then all the better. 

This past week, President Obama announced the full withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq. It would seem that, after eight long years, the war in Iraq is coming to an end.

Ever since Saddam Hussein's capture in 2003, Iraq has been in a state of rebuilding, a process that has included establishing a new form of government. For a nation that had been under the same rule of governance for over 24 years, it is understandable that this process is crucial to the reestablishment of the nation take a substantial length of time. But has it been enough time? Is it safe to pull out the troops? What is at risk?

By pulling all of the troops out of Iraq, President Obama is not only putting Iraq in danger of an Iranian take-over, but also, subsequently, putting Israel in the direct line of fire if that invasion were to occur. No small risk by any means. But maybe after eight years, the fact of the matter is that pulling out now is as safe, or unsafe, as it will ever be, and thus, just as good a time as any. Or maybe, after nearly three years of the Obama White House, it is merely that time of year again in America: election season.

Shortly following the conclusion of the Spring 2011 semester, a shocking death rattled the Hofstra community. Dana Brand, a long-time English professor at the University, passed away last May at the age of 56. He was both respected and honored in his passing. English Department chairman Joseph Fichtelberg even dedicated a memorial scholarship fund that people can send donations to in Brand's name. With this, along with a memorial ceremony scheduled to occur on Nov. 9, Professor Brand has been given a proper send-off.  

However, there are instances in which death is used for personal gain. The most blatant and apparent form of this practice occurs in the music industry.

 Remember the line, "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings" from It's a Wonderful Life?  For record companies, the line becomes "Every time an artist dies, we cash in like there's no tomorrow." 

For those of us freshman hailing from morally humble backgrounds, college life may be a shocking experience. No, it's not as if we were previously unaware of what happens on a Saturday night behind sock-adorned doorknobs. It's not that we were ignorant of what's inside those plastic red cups given out at frat parties.  It's just that we didn't previously expose ourselves to it.  We didn't care and perhaps, still don't. Maybe now, we are merely curious.

Ever wonder who those guys in the blue and yellow jackets walking around campus were? They are Public Safety's student escorts, who provide services for any member of its community.

These escorts are required to take special training, carry walkie-talkies, and help Public Safety Officers monitor any suspicious activities. While they do not receive their own vehicles, the student escorts provide Hofstra members with someone to safely bring them to their car or dorm on campus. Overall, the students escorts are a helpful resource for members of the Hofstra community. They also give students on-campus job opportunities and experience.

Do you like to dance? I do. I can't do it very well, but I try. With a bit of arm flailing, twisting my hips side to side, and maybe wiggling my leg every time I think I've caught the beat. Wait, nope, missed it. It's the effort that counts right?

I don't mean to brag, but I am very good at one dance. Fantastic some might say. I've been doing it for years now and only recently found out that it's more common than I thought. Can you guess what it is? It's the "Hofstra Shuffle." It packs all the same moves I use, though for some reason it's not as fun. Oh wait, that's because I am paying obscene amounts of money to do it.

Around the country, Americans are doing their part to promote breast cancer awareness month. The month stresses the importance not just for the women in our lives but the men also to be checked regularly because early detection is best. Being aware of family history is also very important, as breast cancer can run through the family.

Dedicating one month out of the year is a way of showing how important it is for woman to be giving themselves self-breast exams or getting a mammogram when necessary.

Breast cancer awareness month is particularly important here on Long Island due to high number of women with the disease. On Long Island, 1-in-9 women is diagnosed with the disease. This past weekend, more than 55,000 Long Islanders walked in American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Jones Beach. The event raised a total of $2,900,000 towards breast cancer research and the donations are still coming in.

For the U.S. Army, October signifies National Depression Awareness Month. Just last week, Hofstra observed National Depression Screening Day alongside other schools and organizations around the country, by providing information about common mood concerns and mental health issues.

Most students forgot about the screening day, and overlooked the table because of a hectic day's schedule. However, the significance of the day and this month as a whole should not be undermined.

Life does not always include easy-breezy days and nice easy breezes. We all face hard times that make us feel like no one else suffers like we do. I remember experiencing that feeling in high school, where the struggle for popularity collides with the pressure to perform well academically.

On Sept. 17, 2011, in Lower Manhatten's Zuccotti Park, a muddled yet vigorous movement known as "Occupy Wall Street" was borne. It is a motley crew of protestors consisting largely of young, jobless and discontent Americans, frustrated with the with the swelling income inequality that threatens the very existence of the middle class. It has since spread from its New York hub to more than 25 cities across the nation.

The protest-driven movement clearly has its merits. It is a public outcry by the vigilant masses against a woefully inefficient and ineffective government that has failed to serve and protect the people by permitting a crooked corporate culture to exist. Ultimately, their unyielding vitality and resolve to redress the ills of our nation is admirable.

Weeks ago, a 14-year-old boy committed suicide in Buffalo, N.Y. after he was tormented online and in school for being gay. Though the acceptance level may be rising, it's apparently not high enough. Suicide shouldn't have to be an option for students – especially when there is the potential for so much support. But are there really enough safe spaces at high schools and colleges worldwide?

When I hear of stories like this, I wonder how people let bullying get so far. The ridicule is in plain sight – on news feeds, wall posts and statuses – and yet, there are many that do nothing about it. Whether it be because they're a friend of the bully or because they think someone else will take care of it, they step away. But it's ignorance that leads to tragedy.

Two of the P.R.I.D.E. principles that Hofstra preaches are Diversity and Community and Respect for Self and Others. Apparently, our country does not seem to value these principles as much as Hofstra does. A primary example of this is our mistreatment of illegal immigrants. Even though they are not technically citizens, we must recognize that these are still people. They are not the unwanted gum that attaches itself to the bottom of our shoe. We need to respect what these people contribute to our country day after day in a foreign land. Overall, America could use a little Hofstra P.R.I.D.E.  

How did the first settlers of America obtain their land?  Some of our ancestors, the founders of the America that we live in today, were illegal immigrants who stole land from the Native Americans, the rightful owners.  Subsequently, they forced the Native Americans to move further and further West until they were cornered into sometimes inadequate reservations.

Hofstra follows a typical co-ed dorming system, which involves having both young men and young women living in the same residence hall or floor. But in other colleges, a new concept of co-ed living is allowing people of the opposite sex to live in the same dorm rooms or suites.

It is possible to argue that in today's society, anything should be allowed because it is our "basic rights" as humans to do whatever we wish. Because college students are adults now, they should be able to live with whoever they want, right? Most colleges restrict girls and boys from being roommates, but should they be separate?

The temperature has finally dropped and in the air is the inviting essence of autumn. Homework has finally hit hard, but the beams of October sunlight shining through your window make getting up in the morning just a bit easier. The aroma of that pumpkin spice latte you grabbed from Starbucks on your way to class will keep your calm. Chilly nights are spent writing last-minute term papers, while overly long lectures allow your thoughts to drift to what you will wear at that Halloween bash next week. No matter how difficult a task or busy your schedule may be, the rich red hues of the leaves outside will supply you with inspiration.   

Take advantage of autumn's regenerative energy and bundle up to catch an afternoon train from Mineola to Penn Station, just as the city lights begin to glow. Sit down to an elegant dinner at Telepan on 72 West and 69 Street. Then head over to Greenwich Village's Chess Shop on Thompson Street to get a free chess lesson. 

Lately, it seems like the uniting factor binding Hofstra students is their overall disdain for Hofstra. Despite the constant proclamations by administrators for an effort to create school spirit, it simply does not exist here. The other day I saw a boy wearing an NYU sweatshirt around campus. The fact that he felt he could do this at Hofstra is reason enough for me to believe we have neither a campus identity nor soaring school pride. I joke...but really.  The only pride we have is a bunch of bronze lions we're not allowed to climb placed at various entrances to our University.  Oh, the irony of it all. 

As some of us know, a ragtag band of protesters have assembled outside Wall Street, almost a thousand in strength, decrying Wall Street's influence over the political process in this country. Called to action under the initial demand of a presidential commission to end Wall Street's sway over politicians by an anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, the protesters now call for many things: a 50 cent surcharge on stock trades, ending the Federal Reserve, raising taxes on the rich and the corporations, etc. Amongst their midst are libertarians, conservatives, socialists, progressives, and anarchists who have all gathered because they know this country is headed in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong place to protest.

The problem with protesting on Wall Street is that government actions aren't carried out by Wall Street, they are carried out by Washington D.C.  Perhaps the protesters believe that government actions are the result of Wall Street, but practically, the U.S. government officials that could even possibly be affected by the protest are the New York senators and the 4 or 5 representatives from the areas surrounding Manhattan. With such small percentage of congressmen affected, how much legislative change can reasonably be expected? If you take out the New York Congressmen already relying on Wall Street, then, by my calculations, you'd have no Congressmen willing to take the case to Washington.

To those of you under 21, look away now, as this article concerns drinking. Of course we all know you are responsible college students who wouldn't dream of abusing your newfound freedom by touching alcohol so long as it remains illegal to you.

For everyone older and wiser, I wish to tell you what a wonder it is to drink in London. Quite simply it is the bee's knees, the dog's bullocks and other colloquial turns of phrase which will make less and less sense to you.

Now to the admittedly small group of you who know me, you know I am not much of a drinker. I mean yes, I've gone out on a Thursday before, mind you, but only when I haven't had class the next day.

But I am here to tell those of you crawling along the Turnpike on weekends, slipping from one noisy, poorly lit bar to another that you really ought to come here. It's loads more fun, and safer to boot.

The iPhone 4S made its grand appearance this week but did not perform as well as expected in the market, causing a three percent decrease in Apple shares according to the Wall Street Journal.  

Many anticipated Apple's big announcement would highlight the iPhone 5, only to be disappointed by unexciting news on how to upgrade the iPhone 4 with the same A5 chip in the iPad 2.

Most of the time, you cannot think for the fervor surrounding the new Apple product, despite its costs. There are long lines at Best Buy and Radio Shack filled with customers wanting to get anything new stamped with a lowercase ‘i' and a half-eaten apple.