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Today's word on journalism

March 17, 2009

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1863-2009

"Can Seattle's oldest newspaper be successfully transformed into a child of the information age? The Northwest is a land of big dreams. With the demise of the Soviet Union, one quipster noted that Puget Sound is now home to three empires still bent on global dominion: Microsoft, and Starbuck's. If the stars align properly and with a quality product, Seattle will show the way to a new model for journalism of the written word."

--Joel Connelly, columnist, in today's final print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

To live in the dorms or in town? Learning from the old man on campus

By Ammon Torres

February 20, 2009 | Many students at Utah State University enter the university living in on-campus housing, yet very few of these students will stay on campus once they have graduated. Still there does exist a silent minority of these students who have decided to stay on campus after their first freshman school year and one must ask why?

I did things a little bit backwards, where most students live on campus their first year at the university I lived off campus first and then moved on campus. I remember feeling left out my first year as all of my new friends lived in "the dorms" --the accepted vernacular is, "on campus housing" and if you ask anyone affiliated with USU Housing they will be sure to correct you to this -- and while they all lived on campus I lived at Oakridge.

Now don't get me wrong Oakridge is a nice place to live, and when I checked it out before my Freshman Year at Utah State University it seemed to me that it was just a mere saunter from the main campus. My naivety could not have been more palpable because as I would soon learn, at USU one mile off campus is akin to living in another city. Every day I lamented more and more my sojourn to and from campus, especially when the weather got bad, and in this way I began to appreciate living on campus early

The benefits to living on campus are well known. The UC Merced website states that living on campus offers all the conveniences of independent living coupled with support, learning, and safety structures. This is a nice tagline for a parent to read but most students do not think about it so definitively.

"I live on campus because it is so convenient, there is something beautiful about waking up ten minutes before class and still being able to make it to class on time," said Emma Dyer, a senior liberal arts major.

Dyer is not alone; another student Lily LaButte claimed, "I know for a fact that I would have totally failed my first year at Utah State if I did not live on campus."

Notwithstanding the obvious benefits to living on campus why do students leave? Brian Morrison, a Residence Director over the Living Learning Community at Utah State University said, "most students do not leave because of a bad experience as much as there is a stigma that on campus students are freshman and that moving off campus is a rite of passage for upperclassmen."

He continued, "those students who stay on campus are usually those who find and value the benefits of staying on campus."

Being one of those aforementioned students who found value in living on campus I must say something. A lot of my friends wonder why it is that I can stand to live on campus. I will admit that at times the generation gap can be burdensome; as Matthew McConaughey would have said, I get older they stay the same age. Being in my late twenties and most of my neighbors still not even within a year from being able to legally drink alcohol I can admit sometimes it can be unnerving. But on the same coin living off campus I still saw the stupid immaturity, the only difference was that the people I saw expressing it were older than a person acting that way should have been. I guess what I am saying is that when one of my neighbors acts up it is easy to discount it to immaturity and lack of life experience. But when you see someone who is older and lives off campus act in the same way, and if you are honest about it you will admit that it happens everywhere, your gut reaction is to recommend a good psychologist because if they could not grasp these things by now they may never will.

There are different strokes for different folks, and while I have my reasons for living on campus many people could object to it quite easily. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics there is nothing safer and according to opinion there is nothing more convenient. But in this economy sometimes it is cost and not value that we appreciate.

That said for my money it is great and it is what I call home.



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