Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Insomnia Strikes Down Students

By Kevin Pannhurst

Many students the college face the problem of falling asleep on a daily basis; sometimes lying in bed for hours on end with sleep far beyond their grasp. This is the horrible world of Insomnia.

It’s easy to spot someone who’s had trouble sleeping; they always have the same tired look on their face. After catering to an inability to sleep, cutting days short to lay in bed earlier to attempt to fall asleep can be very discouraging. These aren’t the people who stay up all night staring at their computer monitors, playing video games, and out late partying.

With personal experience I can say getting to sleep is a tough challenge. I could go to bed at 9:30 pm just to lay in bed until 10am. One would think that I wouldn’t have trouble sleeping the next day if I didn’t fall asleep at all during the day. That’s not the case; I’ll have just as much trouble sleeping later that night despite feeling exhausted.

“Over the summer I had a week where I had slept about 10 hours. It was hard to get to sleep and to stay asleep; I would wake up about after an hour for no damn reason,” said student Marc Astacio.

Insomnia can be caused by a lot of things. One of the main causes is stress from work or classes, which is why it happens to students a lot throughout the semester. Students also drink coffee and energy drinks to help them stay up through the day. However too much can be a bad thing, a crash can occur and cause the person to fall asleep during the day. And the obvious: it can also prevent you from falling asleep.

I’ve found that insomnia is affecting student’s college life by preventing them to going to classes. Many students have had to skip going to class due to lack of sleep and its affecting their grades. While discussing insomnia with a student Katelynn Weatherup she had a pretty bad week as far as sleep goes: “Over the past 3 days I’ve gotten about 3 hours of sleep. I don’t think that I’ll be going to my early class”

From my experience I’ve come up with a couple tips to help you fall asleep at night. About an hour before bed keeping the lights off would be a good idea. If lights are on your body will think it’s still daytime and you’ll have some trouble falling asleep. Another tip is to not take a nap during the day. Though this can be different for everyone, for example if I took an hour long nap I won’t sleep a wink later that night because I just won’t feel tired at all. It also helps to try to get a regular sleep schedule going, though there are outside powers that can throw this off such as work schedules or having classes at various times.

I’ve taken on the responsibility of trying the new sleep-aid called Zzzyquil. Plenty of people have put up reviews of this saying it didn’t work, but it did work for me. Directly after taking it I would lay in bed and feel drowsy and would fall asleep within the hour. Upon waking up I felt great, I wasn’t drowsy and I was alert; ready to start the day. So I would recommend it if you’re having some trouble sleeping.

Origins of Halloween

By Malcolm Williams

As October 31st closes in we all know what holiday is due to return, yes, it’s Halloween. This day is greatly celebrated in American culture as a day where people get dressed up in costumes and where kids across the nation go door to door asking for candy.

The most amusing part of this day, to most people, is the theme of horror and mystery. The most mysterious part of this holiday that many people may or may not know is its origin. How did this celebration all begin, and what exactly is it celebrating? To some people it may not matter but to others like myself they may find it very interesting.

The holiday we call Halloween was originally a day to celebrate the harvest. People from nations all over the world have rejoiced over this holiday to celebrate the fertileness of their land in providing crops and produce. What makes this holiday different among the nations is how the harvest was celebrated and what deities were honored for providing them with such a bountiful harvest and the way in which that particular deity or deities were honored.

Some middle eastern cultures would honor their goddess of fertility as being their provider, she was known by a few names, such as: Ashteroth, Ishtar and most commonly known as Easter. Some middle eastern societies would honor her during the fall and the spring, but here in the United States we celebrate the holiday of Easter mainly in the Spring.

The way most people celebrate Halloween today is most closely related to the customs and traditions of the ancient Celts, pronounced like Kelts. The only difference between today’s celebration in the United States and theirs, is the Celts celebrated this holiday more for a spiritual gain rather than today where we celebrate it more for self-gratification and the opportunity to just have fun getting dressed up. These people took it a lot more seriously.

Like most nations in the world, the purpose the Celts wore mask and/or costumes was to harness the spirit of whatever person or deity they were trying to emulate. It was believed by many ancient cultures that a mask could be used as gateway by spirits, so by wearing that mask or costume they would no longer be there self, it was hoped that they would be possessed by that spirit through invitation of wearing that particular costume.

Well how does trick or treating vary? Like mentioned before by wearing whatever costume they were wearing they were now possessed by that spirit, so if that person in costume went door to door asking for food it wasn’t for themselves but it was as an offering to the spirit or spirits being honored. In other cultures if they weren’t offering food to the spirits then they would offer another spirit to the spirits in the sacrifice of people.

Though there are people who don’t take this holiday seriously there are still many people who do take this day seriously in the United States and around the world. Some people who practice witchcraft, known as Wiccans, and some Satanist organizations in Manhattan may greatly honor this holiday in their own way. It is believed that during this time of the year and during the springtime the veil between the spiritual realm and the physical realm is at its thinnest. Therefore making it easier to call upon certain spirits.

Some would ask, ” Why would the veil be thinnest between the spirit realm during this time of the year and spring”?

Before I answer the question it is important to mention that nature is a prime staple of worship among those who practice witchcraft.

With that said, they may have considered the veil to be the thinnest during these times of the year because spring and fall are transitional seasons where nature is unstable. During these two seasons plant life is either going from death to life or life to death. So they may have believed that if the earth was unstable during these times of the year than maybe the spirit realm was also unstable.

Many people today including Wiccans claim there séances are stronger during these times of the year , but personally I don’t think it has anything to do with the seasons, but it may have been that there faith in those spells is stronger during these times of the year.

A lot of people may consider this time of the year as an evil time of the year that should never be celebrated, but many cultures celebrated this day for a number of different reasons, such as for the harvest, so in the end it really depends on what your celebrating it for, and/or who your celebrating it to.

“Plantanos y Collard Greens” Musical Trip

By Julio Avila

If you are a student who enjoys cooking and food, likes plantain’s (or as it is said in Spanish “platanos”), collard greens, or food in general, then this event is not for you! Do not let the name fool you.

“Platanos y Collard Greens” is actually an off-Broadway play written by David Lamb, and produced by Jamillah Lamb. The play is based on David Lamb’s novel “Do Platanos Go With’ Collard Greens?” which was published in 1995, and later managed to turn this novel into a play, made its debut on June 27, 2003. Lamb’s play first debuted in a small theater on Manhattan’s West Side, and began its first tour a month later on October 8 traveling to theaters, performing arts centers, and colleges such as University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which was the first university the play traveled to. The group has even traveled abroad to perform such as St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands.

The play is a comedic love story about two college students who fall in love at first sight, but come from different backgrounds; Freeman who is of African descent and Angelita who is of Dominican descent. Both kids face a culturally mixed New York City that consists of Blacks and Hispanics in Washington Heights who have to overcome the prejudices, and the struggles of their parents’ un-acceptance of their love.

It is a play you will not want to miss if you enjoy a good comedy, story of romance or a story about young people doing what they thought was right, and to negate the negativity spawned by those who were against their decisions. This play has even received positive reviews from the New York Times, The Daily News, the New York Post, as well as other media outlets and universities.

Students will be able to attend this play in the city on Saturday, Oct 27 which is being offered through the Campus and Activities office at the Grant Campus. Students must purchase their tickets which are offered on a first come first served basis at a price of $30 by contacting the Grant Campus’ Office of Campus Activities at 851-6702 or Multicultural Affairs Office at 851-6341.

Students who have purchased their tickets must meet at the Brentwood Long Island Railroad Station before 1:15 p.m. on that date to catch the train going to the city.

Rock your socks off with colleges first Battle of the Bands

By AnthoImageny Lucero
It’s a battle like no other; one that puts the musical talents of bands against each other to see who will rein supreme and be the champion of battle of the bands.  The Suffolk Community College Foundation will play host to its first annual: Battle of the Bands on Nov.2.  All students, faculty, staff and public are invited to part take on this event that will surly “rock your socks off” .It will we a night of live music and entertainment as MC Blue Jupiter (NYC’s premier a cappella group) hosts the event alongside a rocking judging panel of included guests such as long island’s own Frankie Dee from the WRCN morning show.
The Suffolk Community College Foundation is a non for profit corporation with its sights set on the progress of adding scholarships, programs, and other resources for our college students in need an deserving of these aids . Tickets start at $15 per person and $10 with current student ID. The event itself will be held on the Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood in the Health, Sports and Education Center on at 7:00 p.m.
So get your band together and come join in the fun as there will be prizes to the best bands along with title of champion of the colleges’ first Battle of the Bands. For more information on how to register your band or for more details about the event you can contact Leona Blatt at (631)-451-4941

The Sharks Want the Title Back

By  Cody Prawicka

After the 2011 season incident and now the 2012 season, the college’s men’s soccer team is now back on their feet as returning champs.

The team ended their 2012 season on October 11th with a phenomenal record of 14 wins and only two losses, which put them in the standing for the Regional Championship. In the quarter finals of the Regionals the Sharks went head to head with Dutchess Community College. In the first half of the game the Sharks put themselves in the lead with two goals made by Frankie Guzman; that was assisted by Andre Brown, and Cody Kaczetow; that was assisted by Frankie Guzman. In the second half the Sharks finished Dutchess Community College off with one last goal scored by Justin O’Connor with the assist by Tyrell Ippolitto, ending the game with a shut out of 3-0.

A huge fan and student of the college’s soccer team William Merschoff had this to say about the team’s winnings, ” All I can say is this was a crazy story, one year the team is basically taken out of the running to defend their championship thanks to a paperwork error, and now the next season they come back stronger than ever and are on their way back to the top, to me it’s very inspirational, and I’m very happy to have the rightful champions defend their title without any accidents.”

The next game for the soccer team takes place on October 24th and it is the Regional Semi-Final game against Hostos Community College. The Sharks previously faced Hostos earlier in October and defeated them 4-0, one of the college’s students and all around soccer fanatic Michael Steinmann gives his thoughts and predictions on the upcoming game, “I think that Suffolk will dominate this game completely. Not to be too arrogant, but we took care of Hostos pretty easily so I don’t have any doubt that it will be done again.” Steinmann also tried out for the college’s soccer team over the summer but failed to make the team; “I used to play soccer for my high school and I thought I was pretty good, but when I walked onto the field and saw these guys play I knew I didn’t have a chance. They are all truly incredible athletes and I give them my best wishes in the Regional Championship.”

The October 24th game will start at 2 P.M. at the Grant Campus. This story that the soccer team has been through for the past two years is nothing short of a motivational and touching turn of events. In 2010 they won the National Championships and were such a dominant force in the sport; however in the early 2011 season a fellow team mate Rafael Rajo lost his life at the age of 21 in an automobile accident. On top of that due to some paperwork errors by the hands of the athletic department, the team had to forfeit a total of eight games which destroyed any chance of them defending their title that year. Now in the 2012 season it seems that they are back on the right path with nothing in their way.

Another soccer buff and student of the college, Brett Goldberg; gives his thoughts on what he would feel if the team won regional’s and made it back into the national spotlight. “If the Sharks made it back, after what happened last season, to the National Championship, it’ll be a huge upset. After everything they have been through, losing a beloved and valuable team mate, to being unjustly forfeited in most of their matches, this would be one of the biggest comebacks I have ever seen in sports. Of course nothing can be said for sure now, but the way it looks now is that the sharks have their eye on the National Championship again.

One thing is for certain, nothing is standing in the Sharks way for that National Championship, so come support the college’s men’s soccer team as they try and make their run towards national gold for the second time in the past two years.

Horror/Sci-fi Club Bake Sale Next Week on Campus

By Kevin Clarkson

The Horror/Sci-fi club will be hosting its annual bake sale on October 29 in order to support Child’s Play, a charity that provides games for children with an illness.

Every year for the past five years, the Horror/Sci-fi club hosts its annual bake sale in order to give back to the community. Last semester, the sale was for JDRF a diabetes organization that helps spread the awareness, and knowledge of type-one diabetes. This year club president Christopher Paolano, visual arts major, chose Child’s Play.

Child’s Play seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals around the world through the kindness and the power of play and generosity of video game industry.

“I chose to host this event, it is always good for a club or organization to give back,” said Paolano. “I believe people really get into it, it’s exciting to see some other foods. There will be treats like cupcakes, brownies, cookies and really anything people want to bake. This foundation is used to get games, toys for children all year round in hospitals. All the money we raise will be going to them.”

Last year alone, Child’s Play rose over $3.5 million dollars! With the help of the Horror/Sci-fi club’s bake sale, and with the support of the student body, this year’s bake sale can also be a huge success.

Dr. William Burns of the English department is the club adviser, and discussed the some of the aspects of the club.

“We try to do an event that can help benefit a charity and the community. We want to combat this idea that people who are fans of horror and Sci-fi are mean and scary. We want to help the community,” Dr. Burns said. “How can you be evil if you’re doing a bake sale?!”

The bake sale will be held in the main lobby of the Babylon Student Center, on October 29 between 9:30 am and 3 pm.

The next event for the Horror/Sci-fi club will be in November when they try to get together a food drive with non-perishable foods and canned goods. All of the food collected will go to a local food pantry for Thanksgiving.

The purpose of the club is to share the passion for horror and Sci-fi, and explore all aspects of the genres through film, television, or literature. The club is always drawing fans, and is already five years old. Also, they are looking for new members and volunteers for both events! The club usually meets Wednesdays during common hour, in the Islip Arts building, in room 203.

If you would like more information about the bake sale, the food drive, or the Horror/Sci-fi club please contact Dr. Burns in his office or by email If you would like to make a donation to Child’s Play or need more information visit their website

Do It Yourself Tutu for a Unique Costume this Halloween

By Alyson Feis

A variety of Halloween costumes are available this year, but how can you make sure you won’t match your classmates? One student suggests creating a DIY tutu! A tutu can serve as the base to almost any Halloween costume when you pair it with the right accessories!

Christin Kmetz, a photography major, at the college says there are a few things to consider before purchasing the materials. She suggests visiting stores like Hot Topic, Icing, and Party City before choosing a costume.

“You find all the cool stuff you want to wear with your tutu and then you decide what the tutu will look like,” she said.

Once you’ve gotten an idea of what you want your costume to look like you can decide what colors your tutu will be and begin gathering materials. All materials can be found at a local fabric store like JoAnn’s, in West Babylon.



Measuring tool

4-6 yards of Tulle


After gathering the materials you can begin crafting your Halloween Tutu by measuring and cutting the materials.

The ribbon will serve as the waist of your tutu, and it will be tied in the back in order to secure the tutu in place. Before cutting make sure the ribbon is long enough to be wrapped around your waist and then tied in a bow.

The length of your tutu (from waist to end) will be determined by the size of the pieces of tulle you cut. Note: Each piece should be twice the length of your desired tutu. For example, if you desire a tutu that will hang eight inches from your waist you should cut your tulle into pieces about 2-4 inches wide by 16 inches long.

Once you have cut all of your materials you are ready to create your tutu.

1. Take a piece of tulle and fold it in half, making a “U” shape.

2. Holding the tulle above the ribbon, grab the ends of the tulle and pull them around the ribbon and through the “U” shape.

3. Pull the ends tight until you notice the tulle is knotted around the ribbon.

4. Continue knotting tulle around the ribbon in the pattern of your choice, always working from the center, outward.

The amount of tulle you use will determine how thick or thin your tutu is. To achieve a fuller, more fluffy look, push the tulle closer together and add as many knots of tulle as possible. If you desire a thinner, lower hanging tutu, leave some space between each knot.

So become a bumble bee by pairing your yellow tutu with a black leotard and adding insect wings. Or borrow your cousins ballerina slipper’s and become a ballerina! Whatever you decide to do with your DIY tutu, you can be confident that this Halloween, your costume will be as unique as you!


Campus Counseling Center making a difference!

By Ally Lashley

Students attending any college can always relate to feeling alone when it comes having a Mental Illness. Whether you are 20 or 60, mental illness of any kind can have your mind in shambles. Mental illness ranges anywhere from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, to anxiety and depression. Our college has a comforting outlet for students who need assistance, through the Campus Counseling Center. Personal Growth Workshops, Personal Counseling, and Mental Health Community Resources are only a few of the helpful resources found around our campus for students in need.

The Campus Counseling Center has many counselors ready and able to help students with any problem they may have. Sitting in the waiting room at the counselor center a student can take pamphlets and informative sheets on various mental illness issues. Within these pamphlets, there is helpful advice for anything from emergency contraception for rape survivors to anonymous HIV testing.

For students unaware, the Counseling center is located in the Ammerman Building on the second floor in room 209. When entering the counseling center students can let their guards down and prepare themselves to receive helpful advice. During homework and testing time, life may become difficult, but there are many workshops available to get students through their rough times. Workshops at the center range from time management, stress reduction, and test anxiety and are all at the student’s fingertips to explore.

I caught up with PhD and Dean of students Thomas S. Tyson to learn more about the type of counseling help available for students attending our college. “We provide free individual counseling for students, because we know how stressful college can be.” When it comes to advice on mental illness, Tyson and his team see the big picture of the issues each student has to deal with. Six counselors are available at the center for students seeking advice, and of these six counselors, three are trained to be mental health counselors. “We are objective, and our mission is to help the student. We are here to help, and we are always confidential.” Dr. Tyson is a licensed psychologist, and is available to students for any advice concerning mental illness.

It is understandable for students to feel afraid at first when it comes to expressing their emotions freely to a counselor, but once a student starts counseling they will feel relieved. Dr. Tyson reminded me if students don’t want to be a counseling center regular, they can always just stop by a few times when they need to, “We provide short-term personal counseling for students in need”. Students can also take advantage of the workshops available on campus concerning mental illnesses or issues. “Recently a student came in for advice concerning domestic violence, so I referred them to a workshop on healthy and non-healthy relationships,” Tyson commented. Attending a workshop can give students lots of information on an issue they may be confused or worried about.

The most common issues for students to be dealing with are relationship issues; whether the relationship is romantic or parental, this is still an ongoing issue for many college students. “Adults and students alike are always having issues with all types of relationships, and we know the added stress level for families, especially during the beginning of the semester. Our counseling center is here for all.” Students with panic disorders, anxiety, mood disorders, and suicidal thoughts can enter the counseling center with their guards down, these adults are genuine humans, and are licensed in helping you with your issue.

Students must come to grips with the fact, you are not alone. Thousands of humans deal with mental illnesses and mental issues every day, and the counseling center is always there to help our Suffolk students. The counseling center is available to students seeking mental illness advice Monday through Friday during the day, and making an appointment at the window in room 209 will get you started for counseling. Tyson leaves me with some inspiration for students, “Don’t be afraid, things can be a lot better than they seem to be, and we are here to help.”

Social Media Dependency: We Need an Intervention


Let’s make up a scenario: You meet a new friend at a party over the weekend. You get along, share a few laughs and interests, and decide to exchange numbers and information to keep in touch in the future. Awesome! So now what’s your next step? Do you call the person or meet up with them the next day? Or better yet, do you show up at their front door in order to get in contact with them? That was okay in 1930 but now it’s just creepy. More than likely (and I’m sure many can agree) you are sending the classic text, “what’s your last name, lol?”  Yeah, okay, you can act all non-chalant but we both know where this is heading.   Soon you’re adding them on Facebook followed by a few texting conversations. Shortly after these conversations that involve no emotion but rather words typed out into sentences on a glass screen, you might stalk them via other forms of social media like Twitter, Tumblr, and who could forget Instagram.   Eventually the first official day comes that you two hang out face-to-face, and you’re sitting there knowing you can probably tell this friend their whole life story along with what color shirt they wore to their Aunt Teri’s 25th wedding anniversary in Minnesota last summer from stalking their websites.  And that is something I do not like.

The use of internet and the media in our current society deprives us its uses of face-to-face communication. When the written language came out thousands of years ago, society experienced a new way of living. Ancient philosophers believed this new era of written language to be demeaning to oral communication, stating that it would deprive us of genuine conversation resulting in people to become less intelligent.

A parallel argument exists today yet on a much greater scale.

The internet and world-wide-web possesses many different forms of entertainment, leisure and activities through the use of instant messaging, e-mailing, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and Tumblr.  Instagram provides the newest and trendiest way to stalk every single person we know through pictures! “I’m going to Instagram my Starbucks latte next to my philosophy textbook and use a vintage filter with the caption ‘Tuesday night relaxation, finally!’ People will totally think I’m smart and complex even though I hate philosophy… oh my gosh that cute guy from my class liked it! Score!”

It truly shapes our way of interacting with one another as well as what we believe is true and logical. It allows us to literally have everything we need at our fingertips to view on a screen and as a result, we’re slowly but surely losing that primitive lifestyle of social interaction that once was so innocent and genuine.

I know what you’re thinking, not everybody is electronically dependent and uses computers and cell phones to go about their lives. That may be true, but take a look at these statistics. According to, Asia is the leading region of internet users. With a total population of roughly 1-trillion, about 111-million are internet users and use technology in their everyday lives. Now, let’s view this on a wider scale. With the world population of around 7-billion, 4-billion use the internet and are technologically-savvy. That may not seem too drastic to you, but the numbers only continue to rise as our technology advances, and that is simply outrageous.

The first forms of entertainment and media began with books, followed by the radio, telephone, recorded music, and the stereo. Although they provided us with new forms of entertainment, they did not change our social interactions with one another. Perhaps it provided new topics to cover in conversation due to the new distribution of information among a large audience, but it didn’t deprive us of that genuine face-to-face interaction. Humans still communicated orally and personally, which in my opinion, was and still is the most genuine form of communication and most beneficial to everyone in the end.

With access to the internet, you basically have everything at your fingertips. Because of this our society gets involved in media stories, celebrity gossip, and other issues that may not be as important to our everyday lives as it seems to be at the time. With texting, emailing, social networking, blogging, and mobile devices providing us with all of this on the go, we have become an addicted society that needs a smart phone and computer within reach in order to be content.

Sam, a senior in high school discusses the use of technology and smart phones amongst her friends as a casual routine that occurs every day.

“My friends are always talking about who they’re texting and their latest Facebook activity, who commented them, or  who “liked” a picture of theirs.  Sometimes I find myself sitting in a room with three of my friends and it’s completely silent. Nobody is speaking, and if you look around, we are all either on our phones or laptop- communicating with others via silent instant-messaging without speaking to each other in the same room,” she said.

Sam continues as she sighs with a smirk on her face.

“Now that I think about it, it’s as if being face-to-face with someone isn’t enough and it’s more entertaining to do it hidden behind a phone or computer screen. I am completely guilty of doing this, and you know what? It’s sort of sickening.”

Sam is a perfect example of why I believe we are getting way too comfortable, and in ways addicted to both the idea of the media age as well as its uses for us in our everyday life.

Admitted that although it’s taken advantage of, it definitely does bring the population together when looked at on a larger scale. It does help us positively when used to communicate through written words, images, and pictures so any information that needs to get distributed quickly can be done right away.

On the downside the sad truth is, we seem to use it more at our leisure.  We end up getting wrapped up in it- becoming more focused on the scandalous lives of celebrities, constantly checking how many “likes” our newest Instagram picture got, what pictures our friends or current crush were “tagged” in on Facebook, and the most up-to-date pictures of Snooki’s baby. Please thoroughly explain to me how any of this affects your life at the end of the day before you go to sleep? I promise you, you can’t.

We should all learn to appreciate life outside of technology. Some examples include exercising, dancing, taking a walk alone or with friends to get some fresh air, attending a concert at a live music venue, cooking, or simply sharing stories and laughs with a friend or family member while leaving all technology in a separate room, allowing you to avoid distractions and more genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I ask you all to try one of these activities as a self-test, and notice the differences of how you’ve interpreted your situation and surroundings without the bother of technology. New advances in the media age are beginning to rob our society of true and genuine communication. Is it convenient? Absolutely, however face-to-face communication will always be the healthiest way to interact with one another rather than through instant messaging, emailing, and texting. Wake up, people, and notice how beautiful the world is when viewed from outside your bedroom window with a laptop on your desk and a smart phone by your side.

Cry for Help Ignored: The Amanda Todd Story

By Julio Avila

The death of 15-year-old Amanda Todd from Vancouver, Canada, was the result of online cyber bullying attacks. The only difference with this story is that it has hit the major news networks, as well as many people across the internet sharing the story on social media sites such as Facebook where groups in memory of Todd have appeared.

Her death was sadly the result of pedophilia, bullies but also dumb mistakes that were made on her part. Mistakes that once they are made, can never be undone, and in her case the consequences will last until the internet ceases to exist. Each of us has experienced a time in our lives where we have made stupid mistakes, and have had to pay the price for them. In some cases, the consequences of our mistakes may have been severe in that they may have lasted for a while. One of the places a lot of us may have made mistakes, especially in the digital age, would no doubt be the internet, and on sites such as Facebook.

Is there a picture that you have taken of yourself and it looks embarrassing, insulting towards yourself, degrading yourself and drawing negative attention? Then time passes, you realize how embarrassing, humiliating and insulting the picture is that you want to remove the picture and hope it will be the end of all the negative and lewd comments your picture has received? This is mainly the case of those who post sexually lewd pictures on themselves but whether the person shows up covered or not, most of us get the message the person is trying to spread.

If you think it’s the end, then you need to get your head checked! Sadly for some, Facebook has the option to share pictures with others. Even worse, someone could save a picture onto their computers and share it with the rest of the internet and there is no way you could possibly get that picture back. And while we’re at it, let us not forget those “nice and friendly” pedophiles on the internet that may have stumbled upon your picture and are doing god knows what with it.

As you may recall, one reason Amanda took her life was because of a 32-year-old man who she was talking to in a chat room. That was mistake number one she made, going into a public chat room with people she has never met and has no idea that they are or what they could be capable of.
I am not saying people shouldn’t socialize online but to what extent should people be seeking opportunities to talk to just anybody? We have been told since we were kids and it should even be common sense that not everyone online is who they say they are, and some people do have negative intentions.

The man Amanda was speaking to was 32 years old; this is mistake number two she made. There cannot be a reason why an underage girl has to talk to some random person who is nearly 20 years older than she was.

Mistake number three she made was the most detrimental. The 32-year-old man asked her to reveal herself to him, and she complied. Did she not have any natural instincts to realize that there was something wrong with this?

Normally, humans have a natural tendency to realize when something is wrong and when we’re fitted into tight corners, but Amanda had no instinct whatsoever that she let this sick man see her revealed chest. Even worse, the guy took an on screen photo of her only to share it around the internet. The photo reached her friends, millions of other people and eventually found its way back to Amanda.

Why she did not tell her parents or law enforcement about the man soliciting her sexually is beyond me. From childhood, most of us are told if a stranger is insistent on wanting to talk to us to the point of harassment, we need to tell an adult and perhaps law enforcement if the situation is dire. It’s like the saying goes, “what goes around comes around,” and did that picture definitely come back around to everyone she knew which lead to her fellow classmates bullying her which even included cyber bullying.

Agreeably, this is the pedophile’s fault in coaxing the girl and spreading the picture. It’s no surprise that these kinds of people are lurking on the internet and because of this we have organizations such as Perverted Justice, a nonprofit group based in California and in Oregon whose purpose is to find and bring online child predators to justice. Also, this is why shows such as Dateline NBC’s segment “To Catch a Predator” are on TV.

To those who have not heard of this show, I highly recommend watching it as you actually see what can happen on an online chat room and who could possibly be engaging in conversation with your underage siblings or children. While there are students at the college who have younger siblings, myself included, and those who have children, we are skeptical at what they may be doing online which is why, as the grown up setting the example for our children, we need to keep an eye on their online activity. Heaven forbid they ever do end up in a situation like Amanda was in.
The only difference between real life and the show “To Catch a Predator”, the child predators on the show actually get brought to justice after being interrogated by Chris Hansen, the host of the show.

Perverted Justice was founded by Xavier Von Erck in 2003 who was chatting with a person on an online chat room and both noted how there were people in these rooms deemed creepy that would make abusive solicitations towards others. When the site launched, it was slow at first with no actual budget plan, but once other websites linked Perverted Justice to their sites, they got viewers checking out their site and accumulated volunteers who have also wanted to help out in capturing online child predators. The organization has received lots of positive attention and recognition such as Dateline NBC (in which both would be working together for the “To Catch a Predator” segments), law enforcement and from politicians such as Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

As for Amanda getting bullied online, cyber bullying is nothing of a surprise as many children do fall victim to it. It is upsetting to see the sorrow that comes from a child’s face when they see their Facebook page bombarded with insulting comments, abusive photo-shopped pictures, random IM’s poking fun and untold abuses.

According to Internetsafety101, a subsidiary organization of “Enough is Enough” that helps give parents, educators and kids thorough information about cyber bullying, 95 percent of teenagers who have witnessed cruel behavior on social networking sites say they have seen others ignoring the mean behavior while 55 percent witness this frequently.

Fortunately as stated, 84 percent have seen other teenagers defend the person being harassed which gives me the notion that there are good-hearted teens that don’t want cyber bullying to be an epidemic. What is scary is that 52 percent of parents are worried their child will be bullied via social networking sites which is leaving a huge chunk of parents out of this equation which seems to be telling us some parents are doing a horrible job parenting when leaving their kids accessing the internet and social sites.

While it may look like a large portion of parents may not care, the same youth that cyber bullying affects seem to be doing a good job watching over each other. Sixty-eight percent of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem with today’s youth and perhaps explains the defending of other teenagers mentioned earlier.

According to teenagers surveyed, cyber bullying is done because some teens want to show off to friends, to be mean, to embarrass them and for fun or entertainment. The largest reasons for cyber bullying, each with a statistic of 58 percent was to get back at someone or because they deserved it.
Not only did Amanda make the mistake of showing the 32-year-old man her chest, she ultimately gave him an opportunity to make her the target of bullying. But what about the other behaviors she admitted to such as sleeping with other guys as well as cutting herself? She claimed she did these things as a solution to her depression?

Her parents thought that perhaps moving to another town to attend another school would do the trick, which worked for a while until her past caught up with her and she was notified by police that her degrading picture was still circulating as well as receiving the same abuse she did from these students as from before.

Anyone could try running away from their problems and their past but they know deep down the truth and what happened, but in today’s age where anything can be archived and spread through the internet, there is really nowhere to hide.

This brings us to her telling the world about her hard and troubling life in a nine minute YouTube video that went viral where she explained all she went through and the torment she was plagued with. Like I mentioned before, she admitted what she did as her fault in that video. Tragically for her and her parents, she took her life on Oct. 10 by hanging herself. It is truly sad when someone dies by suicide that at that moment, you forget all the bad and focus on the good and the fact that someone died. She did not deserve this end as she was still young and had a whole future ahead of her and the ones to blame are the bullies who taunted her towards her demise.

Her angst from all those who abused her pushed her to the limit to commit this act and because of this, she could even be seen as martyr for those who have to constantly suffer from abuses they face online or in real life. Many send their condolences; I included and no doubt the people at the college who have heard of her story.

The media and social networking sites have given this story widespread attention and it does deserve this attention as sadly, another person has become a statistic and it needs to remind us that action needs to be taken to combat this problem. But how much coverage is really needed? It seems like the media and people on networking sites are going too in-depth in the Amanda Todd story by making it sound like a large scale tragedy. There are starving kids dying in poor countries, soldiers dying in the Middle East defending our freedom, even political prisoners being executed for speaking against the unjust North Korean Government.

Don’t these people deserve as much TV airtime as Amanda Todd is getting? Perhaps more?
Though this loss is tragic, learning of it could help save the lives of many more children from falling victim to bullying and abuse. The prevention however will need to administered by grown-ups. Safety measures put in place for all to follow to respect one another and set aside differences and who knows, it may lead up to legislation by governments.

Only in a perfect world would this exist and with the world having a population in the billions, it won’t be easy to prevent cyber bullying, abuses, or attacks from child predators. Even for us at the college, keeping an eye on our siblings and children is a start in protecting our children from the dangers lurking on the internet and from real life situations so they do not have to become a statistic and a symbol of negligence.