Is Homework Pointless?

By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

Education is a journey that almost every American begins. Along with the rise of learning and teaching, comes homework. Homework has a negative connotation from when it is first assigned in beginning levels, up to college level. It is the classic “weekend killer.” Homework is assigned to supply the student with extra help and support with the content that is discussed within that day; however, does it actually help? 

The article entitled “Does Homework Help You Learn, on The Learning Network, stated that in 2008 survey, one-third of parents polled rated the quality of their children’s homework assignments as fair or poor. Four out of the 10 surveyed believe that the assignments were assigned as “busywork.” When a student brings home their homework, they usually receive help from their parents. It can be frustrating as a parent if they feel that the assignment is not helping their child’s education. The Program for International Student Assessment released in December 2011 that the Americans students are mired in the middle of international rankings: 17th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math. 

Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports a rule for students with homework. The “10-minute rule” is the maximum amount of time homework should take a student per grade. She expressed that just because a student does homework, that doesn’t mean they are going to perform better. She questioned, “does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework, correlation is not causation.” Vatterott believes instead of quantity of homework, the quality should be the main focus.  

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Principal Jackie Glasheen of Kelly Elementary School said in an interview with a local TV station, “We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.” Schools have been following along with this debate and eliminating homework. A New York City public school eliminated traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. There are those who were outraged; however, it earned a lot of support from parents and other education leaders.  

Schools should take the community into consideration when it comes to students’ educational plans. Teachers could also try less traditional homework styles to compensate for the ten-minute rule. Some teachers have been doing a “flip classroom.” I had a few teachers who participated in this style of teaching. It allows the student to read or watch videos about a lesson, and then do the actual homework in class. This allowed the students to get the quality leaning they needed in the lesson instead of having busy work. The students would review the material at home, then apply the learned material in class. Educators encourage the students and parents to become involved in the educational journey. They want the families to communicate with the teacher to see if they can provide a better style of homework or teaching that works best for that student. Overall, if a student can’t get their teacher to do the “no homework policy,” they should express to their teachers that they are struggling and create a new plan for their education.  

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Coast Guard Madness

By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

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A mass shooting is an incident that involves multiple individuals that involves firearms through Politifact California, an article entitled, “How is a mass shooting defined,” written by Chris Nicholas. Mass shootings have sadly become a common term that has arisen since Columbine and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012 in the United States. Mass shootings can occur because of bullying, religion, racism, politics, etc. They can even occur for no particular reason, which is one of the biggest mysteries behind these horrific events. About 40% of individuals in the United States have a firearm in their household. The U.S also has the highest manslaughter average to develop in the world cited BBC News on October 27, 2018.  

There have been over 90 mass shootings in the U.S since 1982, according to the investigative magazine Mother Jones. The mass shootings that had the highest death rates are Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017 with 58 deaths. Then, following second is Orlando, Florida in 2016 with 49 deaths. To put into perspective how much a gun actually cost, an assault rifle, the gun reportedly found in Paddock’s room, cost around $1500. A MacBook cost around the same thing. An individual that can afford to buy a MacBook for college, could also be buying an assault rifle. A handgun, also reportedly among Paddock’s arsenal and is used in most shootings, cost around $200. If a parent was buying their child a Chromebook for Christmas, they also could be getting a handgun.  

Politically, the country is divided in half on gun control and laws. Whether they are Democrats or Republicans, they are divided. The most common arguments are that the U.S should allow guns because it allows the individuals to be safer at their own cost. They also use the 2nd amendment, “the right to bear arms,” to protect their rights. Those who disagree express that at the moment in time that the Amendments were written, guns were not as advanced as they were now.  

Recently, there has been an individual who was going to commit a large-scale mass shooting on Democratic politicians according to CCN Politics. The individual was a Coast Guard lieutenant; he was arrested last Friday. Christopher Paul Hasson, 49, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested on gun and drug charges and allegedly wanted to conduct a mass shooting. The evidence received states that Hasson is a white supremacist who had a hit list of Democratic politicians and several journalists. His list included Alexandria Occasion-Cortez, Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, and Kamala Harris.  

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Hasson was dedicated to his “practice” because he also hoarded steroids and human growth supplements to “increase his ability to conduct attacks.” His arrest was originally led by the Coast Guard themselves. They wanted Hasson to be investigated. There was evidence found by prosecutors that Hasson wrote a draft email stating, “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the Earth.” Another draft email that supports the Coast Guards claims states “We need a white homeland as Europe seems lost.” Investigators searched the phrases, “do senators have secret service protection.” “are supreme court justices protected,” and “best place in DC to see Congress people,” 

After the initial investigation, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant on Hasson’s apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland. They found approximately 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. It is assumed that Hasson accumulated firearms over the course of two years. The stockpile is estimated at thousands of dollars.  

Hasson was indeed enlisted into the Coast Guard, but he was also a U.S Marine. He was in the Marine Corps from 1988 until 1992. He attained the rank of corporal. From CBS News, the prosecutors from the U.S attorney’s office in Maryland wrote, “The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct.” He will appear on Thursday for his hearing at the U.S District Court for the District of Maryland states CNN Politics.  

Imagine if Christopher Hasson was able to perform this gruesome act. The world would be without more mothers, fathers, friends, and family members. This action was based on personal behavior with those individuals. He was completely suitable to complete this crime because he was military trained in two different branches of service. He was cold-blooded and would more than likely committed those crimes if he had the chance. It is important to keep in mind, regardless whether you agree or disagree with gun laws and their restrictions, should this man have had the access and ability that he did to even begin preparations on this shooting? How can the United States as a community, survive these destructive and heart-wrenching acts?  

School Policies and Limitations: CCC

By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

 At Cumberland County College, there are policies and rules. Each policy and rule can be found throughout CCC’s website and at the end of most professors’ syllabus. CCC gives students multiple options to give them the opportunity of understanding their policies. Each professor is given the ability to choose their own rules and guidelines for their own individual class. Some students disagree with professors’ rules because of the situation these students are placed in. The question is, should teachers be able to have personalized rules for their own classroom or should all professors have to follow a guideline.  

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There are some policies that are school-wide, such as the Academic Integrity policy. The Academic Policy states, “Plagiarism is cheating. Plagiarism is presenting in written work, in public speaking, and in oral reports the ideas or exact words of someone else without proper documentation. Whether the act of plagiarism is deliberate or accidental [ignorance of the proper rules for handling material is no excuse], plagiarism is, indeed, a “criminal” offense. As such, a plagiarized paper or report automatically receives a grade of ZERO and the student may receive a grade of F for the semester at the discretion of the instructor.” This policy is Cumberland County’s biggest priority. This policy is expected by every student to followed and respected. Schools are strict about plagiarism and they show the true results of plagiarizing. Students can receive zero credit for that assignment, can possibly be dropped from the class, or even worst being expelled from the campus.  

There is a lockdown guideline that is also followed campus-wide. That guideline states, “Cumberland County College values the safety and well-being of its campus community. Accordingly, strategies for lockdown preparation and drills have been developed to help guide behavior in the event of an actual lockdown. Instructors should discuss with their students the 2 roles and responsibilities each will have during the event of a lockdown using the college’s guidelines and postings.” This guideline is supposed to make students feel safe and secure while attending CCC. The State of New Jersey Department of New Jersey says that it is a state law (18A:41-1) for New Jersey to have at least one fire drill and one school security drill each year, preferably every month. This procedure gives the students the ability to feel secure while attending college. 

When it comes to individual teachers, they create their own syllabus that contains their own rules and procedures. For example, there was a teacher that refused to allow the students to use the bathroom within the class. He expressed that students should use the bathroom before or after class; however, that is hard sometimes because of the time frame given in between class. Alyssa Wilson expressed that it was hard to use the restroom sometime before class because her previous class was across campus in the science buildings, but she has to travel to the academic building. It was also difficult because the bathrooms, especially the girls, there is usually a line of 3 to four girls. There is also only two bathrooms in the academic building, one upstairs and one downstairs. She said, “it can be challenging because you don’t want to be marked absent just because it took you an extra two minutes in the bathroom, so now you’re forced to hold it because you don’t want point deducted from your grade because you have to excuse yourself for five minutes.”  

At this stage in our academic careers where everyone attending college is an adult. They know the consequences of falling asleep in class, texting in class, or even not showing up to class. Students are paying for their education. They are not being forced to be at college; therefore, they should have the choice to not pay attention if they choose. Wilson stated, “I am paying for my college; if I have to use the bathroom, I should be able to leave the classroom. I have a personal life just like others, if I have to text someone back or leave the classroom to make a phone call, I should be able to.” Wilson concluded, “I don’t understand why professors feel that they need to treat us like we are in elementary school as if we constantly need their permission when the students are the ones paying to be there.”  

I believe that students should be given access to spend their time in the classroom however they feel as long as they are not being disruptive in the classroom. I think the school should have class regulations to avoid professors from certain limitations. This could make college more reasonable and possibly more enjoyable knowing they are given more freeway.  

Is College A Stressor?

By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

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In 2019, mental health has become a common and more accepted topic to discuss publicly. This mental crisis has been receiving help and focus it has needed. Stress was referred to as something that only affected adults; however, it has been a fact that stress can affect all ages. Stress is a fixation on an object or thought that causes tension, according to Merriam-Dictionary. Teens who are graduating from high school and following their education path to a college have been feeling more stressed. According to ABC News, three out of every four college students reported at least one stressful life event in the past year. Twenty percent said they faced more than five stressful life events within the same time frame. These stressors can be relationships, schooling, work, etc.  

College students have an increase in anxiety, depression, and stress because they are being placed in a completely different atmosphere. They are meeting new people, have new schedules, some are in different states away from home. Students are removed from the comfort zones are demanded to adjust. For example, a new college student is in a new state, does not know anyone, and is forced to do an immense amount of homework. It can be extremely difficult to handle at times.  

Alyssa Wilson is a student at Cumberland County College. She is nineteen and in her third semester of her associate’s degree. Unlike some students, Wilson lives nearby; however, is paying for her education completely by herself. She is a full-time worker and has her own bills. She can be a student who struggles from stress because she is a full-time student, taking five classes per semester, squeezing in winter and summer classes for her degree, working forty hours each week at her job, but where is her free time? She is a student with an incredible workload that has to manage her time precisely to meet all her needs or it could lead to a failure. She says “having these responsibilities are definitely a stressing. I am constantly checking blackboard making sure I’ve completed everything. Being full-time at work and school can be really hard when your work schedule does not allow enough time for homework to be finished.” Ms. Wilson is putting her disadvantages aside and still succeeding. She is planned to graduate in May 2019 with her degree here at Cumberland County College. She should be proud of herself being able to deal with life, stress, and keeping herself motivated. She jokingly, “having a break time can be rewarding because I do not get them often” 

Understanding the difficulties of college and how they affect the mental brain, could revolutionize colleges. Since stress is becoming more aware of and expressed, colleges have been giving programs to help students with these struggles. There are hotlines and services for the students. Cumberland County has services and clubs to try to de-stress students. They have chess club, poetry club, to even math club. They have different activities for students to make college more enjoyable. An individual can seek stress or mental health support at betterhelp.com or call 1(800)-273 8225 hotlines 

The Do’s to College

By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

Every year, usually in the cold, crisp fall of September and below zero January, students are making their way to college to further their careers. They are sorting through acceptance letters, making decisions, and deciding where they would like to study for the next two-to-four years. After deciding a college they’ve deemed a perfect match, there is some information that other college students wished they knew beforehand.  

Cumberland County College is a community college located in South New Jersey. It is home to many surrounding communities. It provides the first stepping stones to most students who are advancing their educational goals. Cumberland County College offers scholarships such as School Counts! and New Jersey Stars. It supplies most of these students with their Associate Degrees in whatever they desire. Most students who transfer to CCC are coming from nearby cities such as Millville, Vineland, Bridgeton. These cities are not the only attending students. Some students travel all the way from California, Pennsylvania, or Maryland to become a part of Cumberland’s sports teams. Overall, the following students wanted to share their knowledge with you about your initial college experiences. 

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Imani Gaines attended Millville High School and continued at Cumberland County College. She noted that when your high school allows dual credits for colleges, take the chance. “Something I wish someone told me before attending college was to take dual credits.” Gaines emphasized how if she took dual credits, then it would allow someone to have more finances and more time for herself. Gaines says “It helps a lot when you go to college.” Taking dual credit courses have fees ranging from 75$ to an exceeding $400. Dual credits can affect an individual’s college transcript without them fully even attending college yet. For example, if Gaines received a D in a psychology class that allowed dual credits, she would automatically receive a D on her college transcript. Also, not every college will accept every dual credit. It does take an individual to research and ask questions to make sure all their credits are fully accounted for. If the credits can be transferred without a problem, it can save a paying student money for tuition, books, and their own valuable time.  

Morgan Starcher graduated Millville Senior High School, however, did not attend college at Cumberland. Her key factor on the “do’s” for college is to understand and accept that you may change your major not once, but multiple times. Starcher said, “You will change majors, but accept the change because it is completely normal.” In Borderzine article, entitled “College Students Tend To Change Majors When They Find The One They Really Love,” written by Yuritzy Ramos in 2013, said on average 80% of college studentin the United States change their college major at least once. These major changes could be from parent influence or not truly understanding what they want their careers to become. However, some students will know exactly what they believe is best for them. If students seek a success plan, they can be provided for them through their schools. At Cumberland County College, students can seek advisement help when picking a schedule and major that is designed specifically for their goals and needs. Colleges also can provide freshman seminars and development classes for students to help simply for their career paths.  

Alyssa Wilson is a Millville Senior High graduate as well. She currently attends Cumberland County College and is in her final semester for her AssociateDegree. She believes that high school is not like college. “High school does not prepare students for college,” Wilson commented. She expressed that the workload that college gives students is nothing compared to high school. She believes that students should take High School more seriously and provide more time and energy into it. Since High School and college are different in the amount if work you receive, she believes to stay on top of everything. Her biggest rule is to not procrastinate.  

College is a new experience for students. It can be amazing and difficult but it also can be memorable. From former and current students, newcomers should be focused, understanding, and persistent. Seek help if you are struggling. Almost every college has special services for their students. Cumberland County College has tutoring, mental health services, and financial support. When a student is considering attending any college, a student should take the previous information into consideration. They should be aware of the different change that is about to occur, they should procrastinate, and should seek help. You will never know until you try.  

Should Birth-Control Be Sold Over the Counter?

By: ASHLEE CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

Why does the term “birth control” send red flags to individuals? The term birth-control is defined as a practice of preventing unwanted pregnancies, especially by use of contraception through Webster Dictionary. Although it is, in fact, a tool to prevent those actions, it is also a vital tool for other health factors for women. Birth-control has multiple benefits for individuals; it regulates the menstrual cycle, reduces the risk of uterine cancer, reduces the risk of ovarian cyst, reduces the physical pain from a period, and many more. From the source WebMD, a social benefit is reducing society’s biggest fear, “PMSing.”

Women of all ages are forced to go through a doctor and pharmacy to get their birth-control, unlike the male gender who can go straight to a drug store and buy a “rubber.” Yes, a pill is something that is digested and consumed unlike a condom; however, women should be able to seek the same regulations and needs males have acquired. Birth-control should have the ability to be served over the counter. This would allow for a lower pregnancy rate in teens. Speculators assume having an over-the-counter birth-control would make teens more promiscuous, less likely to have yearly doctor visits and an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. These are true concerns; however, these assumptions should not restrict females from the capability of receiving birth-control. A similar over-the-counter drug is Plan BPlan B is an emergency contraceptive; it is used immediately after unprotected sex is committed. Plan B has a higher dosage of the supplements than the most common birth-control, states MedicalNewsToday.

If the supplements have the ability to be sold over-the-counter, what is stopping big companies from changing their regulations? Through the research, the answer is not solemnly based on the science aspect; however, based on whether companies and manufacturers want to take the time to get it approved for retail. An individual cannot overdose on this pill, it has slim to no harmful effects on the body. It would also allow individuals to choose their own brands and make their own choices on what they feel best suits their body.

Through recent research, there seems to be progress for birth-control to be sold over-the-counter. Dr. Daniel Grossman, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, believes the first over-the-counter birth control pill will be a progestin-only pill, he states in Teen Vogue. This type of contraceptive has the least side effects compared to birth control that contains estrogen as well. Although this type is safer because it does not have the risk of the blood clotting, which happens in about every 10 women for every 10,000, it does require the consumer to take it more efficiently. It must be taken in the three-hour window every day, says Planned Parenthood.

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This advance for women’s health is a change that must be seen in society. Women should be granted access to have the contraceptive as an over-the-counter drug, similar to the way condoms are distributed. This would cause a higher benefit to women’s health and give them the equality they deserve. To seek more knowledge on pregnancy, birth control, and Plan B, visit www.plannedparenthood.org.

Season of Giving: CCC’s Adopt-a-Family & Celebration of Lights Events

Each year since 2002, campus personnel and students come together to donate food items to be included in a Thanksgiving basket for 24 to 30 area families in need. Various schools throughout the community identify these families. This occasion has become one of our most rewarding and cherished events.

In late October, an email will be sent out to CCC staff and students requesting them to “adopt” a family with a suggested shopping list attached.  Large plastic tubs are provided to those wishing to adopt a family. There will be 6 families from each school with each family identified only by first name, gender and age. Baskets are due by the Monday (11/19) before Thanksgiving delivered to the gym.  Schools will pick up all of their baskets and deliver to each family on Tuesday (11/20). 

Email from one of the schools:

Dear Jean, Keith and CCC Volunteers,

I would like to thank you all for the bountiful Thanksgiving baskets and your time. You constantly amaze me with your generosity and thoughtfulness. Thank you for thinking of Sabater School once again and I look forward to seeing all of you at the Celebration of Lights program.   

Sincerely,

Kenny Smith

Sabater Elementary School

Social Worker

On December 12, 2018, during this festive time of the year, the college, in cooperation with area schools, identifies 24 young children from needy families. Each child will have 4 tags placed on the Christmas tree and CCC staff and students select one or more tags to purchase a Christmas gift for each child (2 toys, a coat & shirt & pants).  Also included is a special visit from Santa and his elves that pass out the wrapped gifts to each child.  The entire college community looks forward to this favorite and heartwarming event in the Luciano Conference Banquet room between 12:30 to 2:30pm.

During the celebration, the young students will each receive a large plush stocking filled with candy and other miscellaneous stocking stuffers. They will have a chance to visit various stations and learn about different holiday traditions from around the world.  

 

Celebration of Lights includes:

• Face Painting 

• Children’s craft station 

• Boxing Day 

• Hanukkah 

• Kwanzaa 

• Winter Solstice

• Traditional Christmas

• Christmas Around the World with Vets 

• Three Kings Day 

• Story Time 

• Carolers and live music

• Food samples from each cultural holiday