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Spring 2020

Social Media Overload: Chains, Challenges, and Quizzes

Written by Kaelyn Spickler In the last week there has been an overload of social media posts, trends, and memes. For some, this may be annoying, but it’s important to remember we are all locked up in our homes with not much to do besides schoolwork, and we aren’t supposed to be seeing each other face-to-face. The first trends that started appearing were on people’s Instagram stories. Every story would consist of one of two options: the beautiful women chain, and the 10 push-ups chain. The beautiful women chain started to spread positivity amongst the COVID-19 chaos. A female would post a picture she felt confident in with a sentence or two on positivity and then would tag three other women to continue the chain. The 10 push-ups chain was started to get people active since the gyms are closed. Someone would do 10 push-ups, and tag three others to “see 10, do 10.”  Going off those trends came the “see a puppy, post a puppy” trend working the same way but with pictures of the user’s puppies, and “see a verse, post a verse” where users would post their favorite Bible verse for encouragement and tag three others. The “game face challenge” followed in their footsteps where athletes posted an action shot of them playing the game they love and tagging fellow athletes to do the same. As these trends faded out, in came the templates of “tag someone who” and “my fave things.” The first template consisted of a few personality traits and the user tagged one of their followers who possessed that trait. This trend was a small reminder to those that make a difference in our lives that they are loved and appreciated. The “my fave things” template was to be filled out with gifs and…

Maroons Talk Backety-Ack

Written by Alexis Meadows What does online school look like for you? Shannon O’Leary,  a Freshman from New Hampshire:  “Online school for me has been a lot of learning on my own. It takes motivation to not only complete the assignment posted on inquire, but learn and take notes from professors’ powerpoints posted. This method has made it harder to understand the topics since the professor isn’t there to explain and answer questions. It’s also challenging because not every professor uses the technology in the same way. A pro is that some things I can do in my own time. I miss Roanoke a lot and being able to be independent. I also miss my friends and the social aspect of college.” 

A Broader Scope: The Impact of COVID-19 Across the United States

Written by Devon Mitchell In the past two weeks, daily life has drastically changed for all Americans due to COVID-19.  Some places in America have closed all “non-essential” businesses. So, what does this mean for Americans, and how have statewide orders to stay at home affected daily life. It’s no secret that over the course of the next few weeks America will see new restrictions and guidelines, so it is important to stay informed and be prepared for when your state ultimately calls for “shelter-in-place”.  As of March 24th, seventeen state governors have ordered for a state-wide shutdown, leaving only “essential businesses” open. Beginning on March 19th, California governor Gavin Newsome became the first to urge residents to stay at home through a state-wide shelter in place. Since then, states such as New York, Washington, and Hawaii are just a few who have followed suit. Nine states have ordered restrictions in parts of the state. States such as Florida, Alaska, and Texas have opted for a partial shelter-in-place, leaving 24 states which have yet to order shutdowns. That is not to say states are not making restrictions and abiding by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. As of Sunday, March 22nd, forty-six states have closed schools affecting at least 54.5 million students. Additionally, nine states have decided to postpone their primaries to help abide by CDC guidelines.   States and their governors are taking the proper measures and have continued to assess the situation to ensure that citizens are safe and health care professionals can care for those affected by the virus. Keeping this in mind it is important to know what it means when there is a shutdown on all non-essential businesses. According to Business Insider, non-essential businesses are recreational in nature. This includes movie theaters, museums,…

Putting the Pro in Procrastination

Written by Joyelle Ronan I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t procrastinate. You already know this information because your professor told you two weeks ago when the assignment was announced. We’ve all been in this boat. The “this is due in two hours and I haven’t started yet” boat that crashes into the looming iceberg known as the due date. If you’re going to procrastinate (which I don’t necessarily recommend,) there’s a right way to do it. Now that we’ve all made the shift to online classes, you may find it easier than ever to avoid doing work, but here are some ways to give in to the procrastination temptations and still survive the semester. #1. Consider the Subject- If it’s your major or a subject that you’re pretty confident in, waiting until the night before the work is due may not be a problem. However, classes like INQs or something you’ve never taken before may require more time and effort. Give yourself some extra time to look up what you don’t know and maybe take a break for crying. #2. Citation Situation- Writing a three-page paper in a few hours may be easy.  Writing a three-page paper that requires six peer-reviewed sources from academic journals or books in a few hours? I’m getting secondhand stress just thinking about it. If you’re going to procrastinate on the paper, I would recommend at least finding your sources in advance. Plus, AI violations are not cute. #3. Learn From Your Mistakes- It takes time to figure out how long it takes you to complete an assignment and thus how long you can, realistically, avoid it. There are a lot of factors at play here- type, class, length. Once you show up to class with 2.5 pages out of a 5-page…

Find Your Silver Lining

Written by Vanessa Mutesi 2020 has come with energy that we never expected. For many, 2020 was going to be THAT year, but we didn’t know it would hit us with heavy curveballs. The world is in a state of frenzy because of a disease and we have lost a significant amount of people in such a short span of time.  Before entering 2020, I thought this was indeed going to be THAT year. I was already on a trajectory of growth and I was loving the direction my life was going. I was ready for this year where I do the most when it comes to achieving my goals. Although this hasn’t changed entirely, I realized that this was the year of growth in relationships and bonds. The beginning of this year took many people and, having lost family members, I was ready to give up on this year. I realized that what I put out is what I’ll get and I had to stop myself from being apathetic. In the midst of this madness , there was a beautiful silver lining. I came to realize that in the times where it was easiest to give up, the people who cared for me tightened their grip on me. What I mean is that we were truly being support systems for each other.  There’s a lot going on and the world just needs to take a breath, and honestly we all need a warm hug. But don’t forget to be there for each other, don’t wait for tragedies to bring you closer. This may even be a time to see what your true support system looks like and who’s really there for you. Love your tribe and love them hard. Tell your loved ones you love them, and tell them…

The EARN-IT Act: What You Need to Know

Written by Robby Mangum While the Coronavirus dominates the news, one thing you may have missed is a recent bill working through Congress with many ramifications for online privacy. The EARN-IT Act, crafted to protect children, could give the federal government the ability to force tech companies to build backdoors into their encryption software.  The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN-IT) Act is designed to protect children from “child sexual abuse material” explicitly related to internet services. The bill calls for the creation of a National Commission on Child Online Sexual Exploitation Prevention. The bill discusses how this commission would have the ability to outline the ‘best practices’ to prevent child sexual exploitation. Once these best practices are approved by the attorney general, companies that provide internet services, such as Snapchat, are required to review their applications to make sure that they comply with the best practices.  One major issue that the bill does not mention is encryption. Based on what is included in the bill, the best practices will require companies to be able to identify and stop child sexual abuse material happening on their platform. This potentially would include alterations to encryption systems. For example, iMessage on iPhones uses end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and recipients can view messages; Apple itself can’t view these messages. To be able to catch any child abuse materials, these companies would have to loosen their end-to-end encryption. The bill is very explicit about rooting out child sexual abuses. However, many acts designed explicitly to protect children online have had sweeping ramifications for tech companies and their users. The EARN-IT act could force companies to rewrite encryption systems that are used around the globe.

Roanoke College Reevaluates As COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

Written by Kaelyn Spickler Almost two weeks ago, on March 15, Roanoke College students evacuated campus to follow COVID-19 precautions, and on-line classes began March 17. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise, RC faculty, staff, and administration have been working hard to make sure students’ voices are heard and decisions are being made with everyone’s best interest and health in mind.  First, RC students came together to sign a petition led by, senior, Kelly Doran which accumulated signatures from 49.53% of the graduating class and 25.52% of the overall student body to keep graduation at its original date or postpone, but not cancel, the ceremony. Senior Week celebrations and graduation are something every student looks forward to here at RC, and the Class of 2020 came together to get their voices heard. “Their work, I feel, perfectly aligns with Roanoke College’s Live on Purpose initiative, and I feel this petition shows the successful work that each of you (RC administration), as well as the faculty and staff, have done in developing these students into responsible citizens,” Student Body President Senn Boswell said in a letter to the Roanoke College administration.  On Friday, March 20 President Maxey announced that after daily meetings, it had been decided RC will be continuing remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester. Additionally, while keeping in mind the requests of graduating seniors and the petition signed, it was decided graduation is postponed. “These are heart-wrenching decisions, and I promise you that we will select a date to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of the Class of 2020,” President Maxey said in an e-mail to the RC community.  President Maxey continued to assure seniors that Senior Week activities, Baccalaureate, and Commencement will be celebrated at a later date when everyone can, again, gather on campus. …

Look Out, It’s Engagement and Wedding Season

Written by Kaelyn Spickler The temperatures and rising, the sun is shining (or at least trying to), and the flowers are blooming. With that comes, not only allergy season, but wedding season. Two or three years ago this wasn’t as relevant to us, but now that we are college-aged, it is more relevant, and it can be a scary thought. For those of you with a ring on your left ring finger, congratulations!  If marriage isn’t even on the radar for you (yet), here are some ways to stay calm amongst the wedding madness. Don’t compare you or your relationship status (or non status) to others. Don’t even go down that road, and especially don’t go down that road while we are in quarantine . It is only going to add stress to you.  If you are in a relationship, don’t rush your partner down the marriage path because you see others are getting engaged and married. The timing is right for everyone at different points in life. Rushing the relationship will put added pressure on your partner and the relationship, and that never goes well.  If you are not in a relationship, keep doing your thing. Again, the timing is right for everyone at different points. Take this extra time on your hands to focus on yourself- get your priorities in check, do some crunches here and there, and drink a lot of water.  Take comfort in knowing the average age to get married in the U.S. is rising with women getting married, on average at 28 years old, and men getting married, on average, at 29 years old.  If it’s something that is causing you to lose sleep at night, find one of your trusty pals to make a marriage pact with. Make sure to shake on it…

Ten Feel-good Shows for Easy Stress Relief

Written by Joseph Carrick The world seems to be losing its marbles right now with the new coronavirus spreading from China all the way to our front door. However, the stress associated with the sudden change in living arrangements should not simply be repressed! Gather your friends and family together and settle in for some fun entertainment as you let your problems melt away.  To start our list, why not travel north to our friendly Canadian neighbors? The comedy series Letterkenny is totally Canadian, from its slang to its deadpan sense of wit, but don’t think for a moment the show will be unrelatable. The writing and timing is perfection, you’ll have no trouble falling in love with Wayne, Daryl, Katy, and Squirrelly Dan. This show can be found on Hulu. Taking it back to the States, how could this list not include It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Absurdist humor and crazy antics keep three best frenemies together, even though most of their strange schemes fail. The lessons learned are endearing, the writing is perfect, and it also has Danny DeVito. What more could we want in these pressing times? Perhaps an egg? (if you know, you know). This show can be found on Hulu. Enough of the live action comedy – what about some classic animation? Luckily, Adventure Time is here with its tales of adventure, excitement, and weird childish sketches that still manage to appeal to adults. Let Finn and Jake take you back to a simpler time where the greatest threats were only to be found in that magical land of Ooo. This show can be found on Hulu. To end the Hulu list I was not sure if I should recommend another classic animation like Futurama or Rick and Morty or bring it back to live…

Day by Day

Written by Zoe Manoukian We are deep enough into this pandemic and still left with so few answers and so little to do. We are all together here, in our respective homes, cycling through the same information over and over and over again. The same FAQ pages, the same mental health navigation tips, even the same conversations. In this time, we are all looking for a connection and an answer that we can’t have. While a lot of us smile through it and remind one another to bask in the positives, this void of explanation and antidote and restoration only sucks us in farther as it is our classes that shift to online, our restaurants that shut their doors, our jobs that are deemed unessential, and our cities that now operate under a shelter in place (or more brutally—lockdown) policy.  Though by now we have probably read up on the mental tax that today’s circumstance is taking on us, it is crucial that we continue to check in with ourselves as well as our loved ones.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, social distancing and quarantine can lead to feelings of anxiety, concern, uncertainty, loneliness, anger, boredom, and ambivalence, and can aggravate pre-existing symptoms of depression and PTSD. Some doctors expect that the absence of human touch might prove to be detrimental. Thankfully, many mental health services are finding solutions to remain available to patients remotely during this time.    There are some obvious and simple ways to give our minds the order and motivation that they need right now. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America asks that we each develop a daily routine, fit in 30 minutes of exercise, and eat nutritiously. These are all great tips by which to abide at all times, but…