All in Editorial

In these past few weeks at Hofstra, I have encountered a significant amount of diversity among students and faculty. Meeting people from right here on Long Island, my home state of California, and all the way from England or Afghanistan, has been a very rewarding experience.

The "D" of the Hofstra P.R.I.D.E. principles is "diversity and community," which includes students learning to accept people of all different backgrounds and ethnicities. Hofstra takes pride in the wide range of people who attend this university, but this intense concentration may lead some to speculate that the school tries too hard to maintain its reputation as a diverse school.

With full awareness of how over-the-top this sounds, let me express this sentiment: Getting rid of the New York Times on campus is the dumbest decision Hofstra has ever made. Ever.

Ignore the seeming hyperbole of this statement and imagine yourself as me, an impressionable eighteen year-old from Northern California visiting Hofstra's campus for the first time. Yes, the flowers and statues were pretty, the dorms were nice enough and the school's dining options were overwhelming.

But without exaggeration, the first thing I did when my mom called to hear about my tour was to share my glee in that paper copies of the Times were scattered all over campus.  

All I have to say is thank goodness the "Create Your Own Sandwich" station is back. I was practically outraged when I walked into Dutch Treats for the first time of this semester and saw that the most prized feature gone. No more 3 a.m. sandwiches? What would students do?

   Whether it was because of a delay in opening or a slew of complaints, Dutch Treats has renewed the long-loved tradition and with that, I have to say that I'm satisfied.

   The newly renovated eatery does, in fact, look much better than it did. Instead of squeezing your way through only two aisles of food and rubbing shoulders with someone browsing the cereal section, you are now at liberty to travel pretty freely throughout.

Think about all of the reasons that you decided to come to Hofstra. There were aspects of the school that impressed you enough to ensure your attendance. Maybe you liked the dorm rooms or the diversity of the student body.  Maybe it was a scholarship that you were offered from the school. In any instance, Hofstra showcases plenty of benefits to you as a new college student. The military also includes a multitude of benefits that guarantee a higher enrollment.  However, the Pentagon's budget is being challenged by Congress, which could lead to potential cuts to one of the most enticing benefits.

Netflix, the DVD rental and movie-streaming giant which since 1999 offered a flat-rate subscription for an unlimited number of rentals, announced on Sept. 18 that they would no longer be offering DVD rental services.

Instead, the company intends to create a separate entity called "Qwikster" to handle all of their physical media rentals, while Netflix will still remain a movie- and television-streaming service. Unfortunately, for those who made ample use of Netflix's streaming and physical DVD rental services, the new service "Qwikster" will require an additional website with a separate account and, worst of all, an additional bill every month.

The Sept. 7 debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in California was all about the two-man battle between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. The two governors fought with memorized sound bytes, patriotic anecdotes, and soft economic factoids about their own experiences. Although it was entertaining, the debate was neither informative nor particularly helpful for voters.

   Gov. Perry took center stage last Wednesday, taking hits for forced Gardasil inoculations, cutting education funds, and the death penalty. He also fielded a few comments about illegal immigration. Despite the debate's focus on Texas in connection to the Mexican border, Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave the two most prominent responses to the question of restricting illegal immigration.

Gov. Rick Perry rose from newcomer status to a viable presidential candidate during the Sept. 7 debate. Facing the most questions out of all the candidates, especially regarding his actions as governor of Texas, Perry deferred to federalism when addressing healthcare and the death penalty.

Despite having a personal bias towards Perry, I admire his ability to actually take a stance on issues rather than dance around them like other politicians.

There is nothing quite so thrilling as finding yourself standing high up in the air, a crisp wind whipping around you as you gaze down on a new city never before seen from this perspective. From this height London looks, with its sprawling grey mass of ancient domes and spires and its murky brown river snaking lazily through the heart of the city, every bit as impressive and old as you are led to believe. From the top of Saint Paul's Cathedral you can make out the London Eye, its huge white wheel peeking out over the top of some new office building. You can see the Houses of Parliament hiding behind a new tower everyone is calling the Glass Shard, soon to be the tallest building in Europe.

This summer I worked on a farm. I'm a vegetarian. I like granola. I say this to develop a certain crunch-bias off the bat. That being said, this semester I moved in to a house. This means dealing with the schedules and habits and various lifestyles of more than just myself -- which is harder than anticipated. It is very difficult to dance the fine line between "economical" and "pompous jerk."

The dishwasher shouldn't be run for two plates; a reusable K-cup should be used as opposed to plastic; and when there's a breeze outside, why waste air conditioning energy? Again, a fine line to dance. But I make these suggestions to better my house because I think that we can make a difference. If I didn't, the struggle seems worthless. Every person's efforts should not be deemed futile.

Let the car run while you go into the store, or use nine Poland Spring bottles a day while I pretend like I'm a better person and less of an ass while I ride my bike with my Nalgene. Because that's how our interactions work.

A trip to New York City on the tenth anniversary of a tragedy so great in impact may seem like a risky thing at first thought. For both native New Yorkers and Americans everywhere, such an excursion may procure images of billowing flames, falling concrete, and a seemingly endless amount of gray rubble, not to mention the horrified countenances of both New York City workers and other American citizens scattered across the nation. However, many others see the tenth anniversary as a day of renewed hope and anticipation for a brighter and more beautiful future. The countenances we now look upon are not merely ones of despair, but are of hope for a more secure and thriving America, one in which our children's children go on to lead successful, prosperous lives.  

Almost every college freshman looks forward to that time where they finally get out of the house and embark on the next journey in life. People travel near and far to start on this adventure.

For me, it all started in Amish country, Ohio, a place so small that everyone knows each other's names. I have wanted to leave that place for the longest time and go somewhere completely different, somewhere big. That is the whole point of college, right? When the time came around to apply for college, I felt that New York was calling my name! I was accepted into Hofstra and was beyond excited. The chance to leave my small town for somewhere so close to New York City was both exhilarating and nerve-racking. A high school graduate of a class of only 15 people, I knew it was going to be different coming to such a big school. I did not realize, however, quite how different it would be.

For the fall semester, Hammer Lab has introduced a few new gismos in order to up its ante. From the computers to the printers, the software has been updated and, debatably, improved. However, no longer are student employees gathering papers from the printer and separating them for your convenience.    

Upon entering the lab for a quick print between classes, I noticed that every computer was occupied. There were Computing Service's technicians wandering around, assisting frustrated students. When I was finally able to hop onto a computer, I realized why.

When someone begins a game of telephone, the end result is a manipulation of what the speaker said. By changing a single word, the meaning and intention is altered. This altered quote could lead to unrest, hurt feelings, and even conflict that is completely unnecessary. If one is to be quoted at all, then the messenger should pass the complete unedited message along rather than creating confusion with paraphrasing.

After accepting admission into Hofstra, every first-year student is highly recommended to attend a summer orientation session. Two years ago, I remember meeting some of my closest friends at orientation, and vowed to be an Orientation Leader one day. Free food, my own suite, and a large stipend made the position even more appealing. However, I wanted the job so that I could positively promote Hofstra and all its resources to first-year students.   

It's a campus without an identity, a glorified commuter school, run like a shopping mall. We go to a little school with a quirky history, a frustrating present and a murky future.

It's a campus of contradictions. A beautiful arboretum on one side of the highway, a dysfunctional 80s architecture nightmare on the other. A strip of bodegas and shamefully destitute neighborhoods with clusters of satellite bars to the west. Desolate commercial nothingness to the east.

But this has been my home, this inane circus of Long Island nepotism and mindless departmentalism. And barring any sort of Hofstra-typical paperwork error, I'll be graduating on the 22nd.

That makes this my last editorial.

As politicians vie for attention and elections grow more prominent in the American mindset, I find the amount of stimuli in our environment that escapes our conscious attention fascinating.

I still remember sitting in an Introduction to Psychology class sophomore year as the professor played a clip of students playing a ball game. We were asked to count the number of times the ball was passed between players. Given the speed with which the ball switched hands, that single task easily assumed my whole attention. At the end of the clip, we were asked if we had noticed anything strange in the video. After a second viewing I was shocked to see an imitation gorilla cutting across the court. It was impossible to miss, and yet I had done just that.

Much like I found myself writing my first editorial, I write my last atop my terrace soaking in the Tuscan sun. Ah, the metaphorical circle of it all: how deeply satisfying. But, despite the moderately (contrived) cyclical nature of my editorials, am I really where I began? Nay. And so, we delve into: Michaela's European Discoveries.

Over the course of about three and a half months I have spent time in six countries. While that's fewer than other abroaders, and I'm no Alexi Knock (Hofstra's own Odyssea), I think I garnered a good feel for each place, observing nuances of the varying cultures. However, what I found at large was how bizarrely similar many places are. There are just some universal things.

The most obvious of these things is a universal love of pizza and kebobs. They are ubiquitously available. Every country I visited not only had pizza and kebobs accessible, but readily available. Multiple places within a short distance to the point where it was impossible to ignore.

In contrast to past years, the accessibility to the New York Times on the Hofstra campus has diminished. Free copies were once available near the library and student center, but have now been limited to Dempster Hall and the Honors College office. Access to the Times has become even more difficult with the pay wall they have now installed online.

The country's fragile economic state has not been able to complement online journalism's rapid growth. With blogs and citizen journalism becoming even more prominent, and the demise of print journalism, questions are continually raised about how to fund publications that expand their presence online.

A little over a year ago, Newsday decided to set up a pay wall for its online content, making it one of the first non-business newspapers to do so. According to the New York Observer the pay wall required subscribers to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, for full access to The site, which went through a nearly $4 million renovation, had only 35 subscriptions in its first three months.

Just after arriving in Russia, I walked around the Kremlin with my friends Katya. As we jaywalked in heels, and listened to old Kino, we spoke about our respective experiences in school: my 10 months as an exchange student in Ukraine, and her life as a student in a small town outside of St. Petersburg. Both contrasted greatly with our present life as students in the first and only liberal arts school in Russia, Smolny College of St. Petersburg.