In the spirit of Node your Home-work!
, here's an essay I passed in for the Multimedia course I'm taking this term of university. It may only make sense to those who read The Brunswickian
.. all 2 of you.
Newspapers use many things to both attract the reader's attention and to try to add to their knowledge. These items include images, out of the ordinary headlines and articles, and other things along those lines, but the question the reader might pose to themselves is, "Just what am I really getting out of all this raw information being shoved in my face?"
The Brunswickian is a newspaper published by the University of New Brunswick for its students. It's free and readily available, so all of the students, staff, and faculty can keep up on all of the events around them, but even though they are free, there is much thought put into each issue, but many people take news papers at face value. This essay will take nine different objects in this weeks paper, and relate how it 'spoke' to me personally, as a member of my social group, and as a member of our collective culture.
First of all I'd have to give you a bit of detail about each of those aspects. As for my personal opinion, I usually take things for face value. I also don't feel very strongly about many things, except computers, which segues into the next aspect: my social group. I'm a nerd, with many nerd friends who spend their time talking about computers; most importantly, I'm a university student. Now for the third aspect, I would have a problem. I don't consider myself as part of our collective culture (though one may argue that even though I don't think I am, I still make it up part of our culture by my beliefs), but I can tell you what other people would think as I try to stay attuned to the people around me.
The first social article I selected was the title story on the front page of The Brunswickan. It's titled "Access to student photos granted to profs, others." This article is about how photographs and even digitized copies of student's IDs will be made available to professors; it also gives a bit of information on how to opt-out of the program. Personally, this tells me that since the committee kept the decision a secret, I find it hard to trust them now, but I don't really care if my photo is shown to professors or not. As a student, I feel that they are almost infringing on my rights as an individual; it's all right to have an opt-out policy, but it should be publicized better that it is. As a member of our collective culture this shows me that we are a culture that crave information about, yet we want to hide our personal information from everyone else.
"UNB student accident trail begins Tuesday" was the second article I chose. It is also found on the first page, just under the before-mentioned article. When reading this, I'm left with a feeling of "Wow, that happened here?" because I'm from a small town, and things like that just didn't happen. Speaking from a student's point of view, I'm glad that students are able to try to get reimbursement for their loss, even though it will never really replace her leg. In a societal sense, I think that it's funny how people may have something very bad done to them, then corporations will either throw money at them or even have the audacity to go to trial over it. It's not like someone would want to lose a leg on purpose.
The final social item I picked was the picture of a man standing in front of a tank, on page 6. If you read the story that the picture accompanies you find out about all the devastation that the wars in Afghan are causing, but my personal reaction to this photo is that of relief. I am glad my country is not at war, and even more glad that if there was a war, I wouldn't be forced to fight for my country like so many new adults are in other countries are required. Many students in my cultural group feel really strongly about war, more specifically they are really into the Anti-war movements of today. They feel it's unjust and should be done away with because it's harming innocent people. Culturally, we accept war. It's all around us, and there's nothing we can do about it; we can try to mediate it, but it usually makes no difference and the war continues, or if we do manage to end a war, another one will just flare up in a very short while. It seems hopeless.
Continuing on, my first political article is located on the 6th page, to the bottom left of the article I just mentioned. It is about Sudanese women, and how the highest Sudanses court had temporarily suspended a decree that kept women from working in public, just so they would not come in contact with men. I feel this practice is very, very silly. Women are equal to men in all aspects, yet in some cultures, women are treated far inferior to men. That Just isn't right, and most of my peers would agree with me on that. Culturally, we most often treat women as they should be: equal, though sometime this may not happen because of other's misguided beliefs, but the law dictated that they are to be treated equally with men.
The second item I chose was one of the many articles about UNB's Government. It's located on page 15, and it's written on a grey background. It's titled "Ruggeri named Vaughan Chair." This article speaks about how Dr. Joe Ruggeri will try to strengthen our ties to the government and other agencies so that "we can develop research agendas that are closely tired to public policy needs." In other word, he's going to try to make more money for the university. Personally, I don't really care who runs what, as long as I graduate and live an idea life-style, yet as a student, I feel that this is good thing because it may reduce costs in the long run, and may better my education. Culturally, we see people like this come and go, much like politicians, so we are accustomed to it, and almost ignore it now as we don't find it necessary to know.
The final politics item I used was a letter to the editor, titled "Debunking Canadian fascist government propaganda," which is located on page 15. The article is very interesting, and basically puts down the 'White Man' for taking the native's land, and telling them what to do, etc. It's a very good article, but what's even more interesting is the image next to the article. The Native man is down on one knee, holding a wring quill close to his chect. To me, this represents the White Man's oppression, and how articles like the one that the image was included with, are one of the only ways the natives who feel they are being oppressed have to fight back. As a student, I am very aware of what's going on with these matters, and I'm also aware that there are student groups that support native rights and what-not. Culturally, this issue is a bit of a taboo. People don't like to discuss it for fear of being wrong, or singled out.
The first economics item I picked was "Basement Bar Gets a Facelift Food service in the Cellar Pub & Grill Soon." It's located on page3. Personally, I don't really care, but I know that a number of my fellow students would. Liquor seems to be a large issue on campus, one that students don't take very lightly; I can't imagine why. Culturally, we're accustomed to drinking and bars, so this is just another bar in another university serving the same old food.
My second economics item is an article titled "Over all UNB enrollment stable," also located on page 3. This many not look like a normal economics piece, but from the information given says that there are 6753 full-time undergraduate students enrolled in UNB. That translates to approx. $40,518,000 dollars per year, assuming tuition is $6000. Personally, I feel that this is quite a lot of money, but there are always fees to pay, and the money goes back into the university, which, in turn, benefits me (or so I am told). As a part of the student body, I think I can speak for most students when I say that the tuition fees are quiet expensive, even though most of the universities in the country can cost even more expensive.
My final economic item is an article titled "STU plans second building." Once again, this article is located on page 3. It outlines What the new administration building will be used for in STU, and also gives the price tag for the new project as $500,000 - $600,000. Personally, it doesn't really matter to me what STU does, because I'm a UNB student, but as a part of the student body, I can see how it would benefit some students (mainly those from STU). As a representative as my culture as a whole, I find that we are used to spending that much money on buildings and other structures without giving it much of a thought.
In conculsion, it is evident that even though articles are meant to convey the news, they often do more than just that. They can give us an insight into what we, and even what our peers, thing about the issues at hand.
I scored a B. :P