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www.theloquitur.com

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010

Perspectives

Sex, drugs and Amsterdam By Laura Hancq Staff Writer “Peace, Love and Amsterdam” reads a popular women’s T-shirt. With about eight prisons being shut down in the Netherlands because of lack of inmates, many would agree that this motto holds true. The United States has the largest amount of documented incarcerations in the world. Many researchers, critics and citizens claim that the United States should be ashamed of this statistic. Instead of blaming the criminals, people from all over the world blame the too-strict American law. What happened to the days of world government officials looking to American government as the paramount? Well, it all depends on the way you look at the issue. Yes, many prisons are closing in the Netherlands and yes, many prisons in the United States are overflowing. But does a lesser amount of inmates mean a safer society? After all, the point of a prison is to provide a place to keep criminals from hurting others while they repay their debt to society and can hopefully be released as better citizens. So does the fact that the Netherlands has to close prisons mean their society is overall better and safer than ours? Is everyone walking the streets of Amsterdam as a lover, not a fighter? That would be unrealistic. There is obviously a direct correlation

between the small amount of laws and the small amount of prisoners in the Netherlands. After all, an individual can only be punished for a law they have broken. If that law does not exist, they are not guilty. As ESPN is “the worldwide leader of sports,” Amsterdam is the worldwide leader of sex and drugs. In Philadelphia, on a typical Sunday night in Oct., friends may pile into a local bar, get a round of beers and watch the Eagles. In Amsterdam, anyone can go into what they call a “coffee shop,” order up to 5 grams of marijuana and watch their favorite prostitutes get ready for a day’s work. Of course, both the drugs and prostitution are legal. At least for now. “Peace, Love, and Amsterdam” aside, it is much more dangerous to live in a society where this behavior is typical and legal. Even though the coffee shops are allowed to sell marijuana, they have become places for underground drug trafficking. That

never ends well. Would we want our children growing up in a society where they could walk into a store and buy enough marijuana to stay high for about a week? How about them walking home from school on streets lined with prostitutes? Most parents would not want this for their child. Obviously, American prisons are more crowded but at the same time they are crowded because we have laws that protect us from dealing with those situations. Sure, some American drug users might wish the United States could emulate the freedom to smoke whatever, whenever and wherever they’d like. However, recent news about Amsterdam leads citizens of other countries to believe that they are definitely better in a society that has drug laws in place. Dutch officials may actually take a second glance at their society and shockingly revert back to the days of looking to American law for guidance. Most prisoners in the United States

The Dutch may be proud of thei low prison rate for now but they are not going to be proud of the amount of heroin and cocaine users that develop in the young generation.

have not been locked away for drugs and drugs alone. In the Netherlands, cocaine and heroin usage is at an all-time high. Hard drugs lead to harder crime. Murder, violence, abuse and stealing, along with dropping out of school and losing a job, are all common with the usage of harder drugs. When a society does not outlaw the gateway drugs, the harder drugs follow,and hard drugs do not better a society. The Dutch may be proud of their low prison rate for now but they are not going to be proud of the amount of heroin and cocaine users that develop in the young generation. Just about every country in the world struggles when it comes to creating drug laws. It is a constant battle on how much marijuana is legal and if it has positive or negative effects. There is no perfect answer. Drugs are part of this world and they are never going to go away, whether it is legal to possess a certain amount or not. The Netherlands has already stated that the 5 grams sold in coffee shops may be too dangerous and that 3 grams should be the new standard. It sounds like the Dutch officials may start to further examine all of their relaxed policies. That’s not to say that their prisons may start to fill back up soon. But do not be surprised if “Peace, Love, and Amsterdam” does not last forever. lch23@cabrini.edu

What I wish I did as a freshman

Follow your instincts, get involved and do not let your roommates, friends or significant others play a part in your future. Make the most of your four years at college. kh733@cabrini.edu

By Kelly Hannan Staff Writer

As a current senior at Cabrini College, looking back on the last three years I have spent here, time has only made me realize what I have missed out on. I think about the clubs I did not join, what activities I did not get involved in, what classes I should have taken and why I waited for my mom outside Xavier Hall almost every Friday with my hamper of dirty laundry. With more than 50 student clubs and organizations offered on campus, the one that has always caught my eye has been the Campus Activities and Programming Board. CAP Board’s main purpose on campus is to unite the student body by offering a tremendous amount of opportunities for students to become involved. The board hosts a variety of events to get students involved. One of their greatest purposes is to get students to stay on campus during the weekends. They offer affordable college-priced tickets to Wayne’s movie theater as well as Fast Track into Philly tickets. The activities are not just held on the weekends but also during the week. Bingo, Cabrini dances and there are Phillies tickets for Cabrini night at the Phillies game are a few of the options you can choose. When you purchase tickets for any of these events, you do so in the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership,

How You can Get Involved Aamber lajeunesse / submitted photo

One of the first on campus events of the season, Hypnotic Intoxication, mixed fun and education. (SEaL). The SEaL office is located on the first floor of the Widener Center right behind Jazzman’s Café. I of course was not aware of this until at least my sophomore year. It’s an office I wish I had visited in the past. I would have enjoyed my freshman year as a college student a heck of a lot more if I participated in at least two of the activities. I should have taken advantage of a Fast Track to Philly pass which is sold at the very low price of $2. Habitat for Humanity is another example of an extraordinary organization on this campus. It is an incredible way to get involved in the community and help out those less fortunate than you. I know I would not only of gained experience for my resume but had a more open outlook on life itself. Marketing was the major I declared my freshman year. Had I only known my inter-

est was going to be in the field of communication, I would have enrolled in classes such as radio, video production, journalism and a few others. Instead, I was taking classes to try and make a dent in my required core curriculum. As a freshman, not showing my interests towards the communication department, I had no knowledge of how magnificent the communication program really was. I wish when I was a freshman I was more mature and took the initiative to educate myself on what my college had to offer and did not focus my attention on my aunt. She is a pharmacutical sales rep with a bachelor of science degree in marketing, who makes a lot of money. I knew she had a great job with a beneficial salary, so I decided I would try and follow in her footsteps by majoring in the same field as she did.

1. CAP Board - Cabrini’s programming board. All the events and trips go through the board. You could plan one too. 2. Student Government Association- Have your voice be heard in the hub of all campus activity. 3. Student Diversity - The Office of Student Diversity balances fun events with education. 4. Sports - When the Cavaliers are on a roll, the whole school comes out to see. Rowdy fans make games more fun. 5. Your department - It might sound lame but diving into your classes and seeing what groups are active in your major can help you get ahead academically and socially.


Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010

www.theloquitur.com

page 7

Perspectives

No more pencils, no more books, is all you need the Nook? By Eleni Antipas Staff Writer These days, video rental stores have suffered a slow decline due to the rising popularity of things such as the commitment-free Redbox kiosks and the convenience of Netflix. The friendly smile of the cashier has been replaced with selfcheckout machines. Soon, your campus bookstore may swap their textbooks for iPads, Nooks and Kindles. Currently, textbook publishing companies like McGraw Hill are converting college textbooks into a digital format. I believe this trend will continue to expand. No one enjoys lugging heavy books around campus. Not to mention the tediousness of waiting in line at the college bookstore. However, nothing makes me cringe more than when I hear how much textbooks cost. Downloading an E-textbook to your laptop rarely takes more than a few minutes. The average laptop weighs between 5 to 7 pounds compared to 3.5 pounds for a single textbook. However, for those of you looking to lighten your load even further, the iPad, the Kindle 2, the Kindle DX and the Nook each weigh less than a pound. Digital readers typically cost less than a semester’s worth of printed textbooks. The iPad sells for $499, the Kindle 2 is $259 and the latest version the Kindle DX holds 3,500 books and sells for $489. The Nook, manufactured by Barnes & Noble, is reasonably priced at $220. In addition to being economically priced, lovers of the printed word will also be able to appreciate the positive impact digital readers will have on the environment. According to Cleantech, the production of 140

printed books generates roughly 1,074 kilograms of CO2, while the Kindle only produces approximately 168 kilograms of CO2 over the course of two years. In 2008, the Book Industries Study Group reported that Apple had sold one million iPads in the first four weeks of sales. In 2009, the total revenue of the digital book industry was $40 million. Despite already own- E-readers have become the new hot gadget and electronics companies have a full slate of products. ing a laptop, I Online retailers like Zinio and Cours- more difficult for them to pace with their definitely find eSmart save students an average of 50 younger classmates. However, using the the convenience of a digital reader to be percent on digital textbooks. Individual latest technology in the classroom will betworth the cost and their popularity seems chapters are also available for $1.99 from ter prepare all students for the competitive to be on the rise. iChapters. job market. According to Dr. Roger Von Holzen, diDigital readers will enhance the learnCharles Jones, an influential speaker, rector of the Center for Information Teching process with 3-D imagery, which is once said, “You are the same today that you nology in Education at Northwest Missouri especially useful for science courses. Usare going to be in five years from now exState University, within three to five years ing these devices, professors will be able to cept for two things: the people with whom printed textbooks will be virtually obsolete update information instantly by correcting you associate and the books you read.” In on most college campuses. In a few years, inaccuracies and providing supplemental this case, I don’t think it’s the books that I believe professors at Cabrini College will information. There are also features that people read that will change, but the way be instructing their students on which eallow students to highlight and take notes in which we read them. textbooks to download rather than which textbooks to purchase at the campus book- that can be shared in real time. Many learning institutions are conepa722@cabrini.edu store. This will significantly lower the cost cerned that this type of technology may of required reading materials for college be unfamiliar to adult students, making it students.


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