Student engagement tops college, student priorities; Flagler responds

By Haley M. Walker |

“Most Involved” used to be a title held only by someone considered a nerd. However, this title is becoming much more desired on college campuses around the nation.

Colleges are not only being ranked today by academic standards or by the population of attending students, but are now being evaluated by the amount of students participating in cultural and academic features of their school.

According to a recent article in USA Today, The National Survey of Student Engagement is offering an alternative way for prospective students to look at colleges and a different way for schools around the nation to be ranked.

Students reach out to teens

By Eli Nuzzi |

Stephanie Snyder, a recent Flagler graduate, leads the College Reach Out Program, which encourages students to excel in their classes, and has about 100 students from St. Augustine High School.

Krista Purcell, a senior at Flagler College, helps about 20 students and personally tutors five of them.

“[The students] meet at the Flagler campus student center on Saturdays,” said Purcell, who has been in this program since late September.

Club UNITY gets approval from Abare

By Brittany Hackett |

After being denied by Student Services last month, the proposal for Club UNITY has now been approved on appeal by Flagler President William T. Abare, Jr.

Chris Lauth, Club UNITY’s executive director, said it’s “wonderful” to finally have official club status on campus. The club’s focus is to “create a safe and supportive environment” for gay and lesbian students, and promote unity regardless of sexual orientation.

“It’s a relief,” Lauth said. “A lot of us are that much happier with Flagler. We went from feeling kind of pushed aside, not feeling validated as students, second-class students, to now feeling as if we’re in the crowd.”

Under the influence

Photo illustration by Charlotte Cudd
The use of date rape drugs is growing around the country. “It’s no longer the era where we can just go out and party,” said Valerie DeVille, sexual assault program coordinator for the Betty Griffin House. DeVille said she has seen an increase in the number of victims who say drugs were used to facilitate their rape.

Date rape drugs and how to know when they are being used on you

By Brittany Hackett |

Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine, more commonly know as “date rape” drugs, have been urban legends in the past. Little pills that can cause huge consequences, often spoken of but almost never seen. Until now.

The use of date rape drugs is on the rise in St. Johns County, according to Valerie DeVille, the sexual assault program coordinator for the Betty Griffin House, and those who use them are smarter than ever.

Flagler College’s Student Services Office even sent out a mass e-mail to students last month warning of use of date rape drugs in the area and the need to be more vigilant when going out.

Supreme Court’s relevancy to students

By Julie Hirshan |

Recently, Time Magazine asked America, “Does the Supreme Court still matter?” The question for college students is whether or not they know the role the Supreme Court plays in our society.

Students in the political science and pre-law programs learn about the Supreme Court and its purpose, but what about the rest of the student body?

Dr. Tracy Halcomb, chair of the Communication Department, discusses the Supreme Court in great detail during her Ethics and Law in Mass Communication class. But she says she doesn’t assume any knowledge, even though it’s a 400 level class. Once the students obtain a grasp of what the Supreme Court does, the class can move along faster and more smoothly.

Presidential primaries moved up, tax reform on the ballot

Voters of all political parties will come out to voice their opinion on Florida’s tax reform bill when voting in the national primary elections in January 2008.

The tax reform bill is suspected to bring out many voters because it “hits the pocketbook,” said Stephan Kira, chairman of the Republican Party of St. Johns County.

In May, the Florida Legislature approved by a large majority an election reform bill, which included moving the state’s primary date to the last Tuesday in January.

Instant, 24-hour news leads to less depth in journalism, Novak says

By Brittany Hackett |

Veteran Washington reporter Robert Novak began his career 50 years ago in an age without 24-hour cable news channels, cell phones or the Internet, but that doesn’t prevent him from having an opinion on the technology.

Novak will be speaking at tonight’s Forum on Government and Public Policy, where he will talk about his recently published book, The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington. In the book, Novak shares memoirs of his career and the people he has encountered.

Flagler basketball gets thrust into national spotlight when Saints take on Div. I National Champion Florida Gators

By Devon Jeffreys |

When their bus pulls into Gainesville on Oct. 31, the Flagler Saints men’s basketball team will be in for a treat.

The Saints will get their shot at the two-time defending national champion Florida Gators at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville on Nov. 1.

Although the game is a big deal for the school and the program, it is an exhibition game and Saints head coach Bo Clark is not interested in who wins or loses.

Club UNITY proposal gets denied

Student Services turns down club after it passes through SGA

By Brittany Hackett |

Student Services has turned down a proposal for Club UNITY, a club that focuses on promoting a positive image of the gay and lesbian community. This is the second time in three years that a club focused on such issues has been denied.

Chris Lauth, president of Club UNITY, said those involved with the club are “very disappointed, but not too surprised” with the decision, which was announced Oct. 9.

The club was denied because its “purpose does not fall within the realm of the mission of the college,” according to the official denial letter written by Dean of Student Services Dan Stewart. No elaboration was given in the letter, and Stewart would not comment on how the purpose of Club UNITY conflicted with the mission of the college. Stewart said he had no comments on the issue in general.

Studies show mixed results on organic food

Pesticide-free produce may not provide added health benefits, according to European research

By Kayla Hrynyk |

America’s cultural retaliation against expanding waistlines has launched a number of alternatives for the health-conscious consumer. While we may easily disregard the phrase “healthy fast food” as an oxymoron, the subject of organic foods comes packaged with some surprising controversy.

To many, the word “organic” is simply synonymous with “healthier.” College students on a budget usually tack on an alternative meaning: “pricier.”