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Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

Perspectives

Calling foul on paying college athletes By Ariel Crawford Staff Writer Every year a whole myriad of controversies come to surround college sports. One of the biggest questions continues to be whether or not college athletes should be paid for playing. This is a notion that, just like communism did, looks good on paper but would not work out so well in reality. I understand why people wish to pay college athletes for their efforts and I don’t think that they’re the problem in this equation so much as they are caught in the middle between the NCAA’s outdated system and their own schools. I’m not saying that student-athletes don’t need money. All college students are in desperate need of money. My point is that these students should be allowed to work jobs and be paid at those jobs, not for their extra-curricular activities. When you strip away the bright lights, pageantry and screaming fans, sports really are extracurricular activities no matter how large an audience they draw. When we consider that some athletes, especially at Division I schools, are given free rides in the way of tuition, room and board, it is clear that student-athletes are financially better off than many of their peers and perhaps aren’t in as dire a need of payment as some say. It is not outright stated anywhere in the NCAA’s rules and regulations that studentathletes can’t have jobs. However, there are often so many restrictions put on them by their institutions and the NCAA that players find their hands bound up in red tape and unable to hold jobs due to grueling practice schedules and other team-related commitments. The clearest reason to not pay athletes is simply because, as the NCAA states on its website, they are students first and athletes

second. While they represent their school, they are not employed by them and, therefore, not entitled to payment. On a legal level, if we pay college athletes for their efforts, we should then redefine what it means to be a professional. Athletes are not employed by a professional sporting organization. So, if you want to pay college athletes today do you also wish to pay an up-and-coming little league tee ball star tomorrow because he brings in a lot of money for a local league? If one wishes to pay student-athletes for the prestige, press and money they bring to the school, then every student who brings their school positive attention through their chosen medium would be entitled to a paycheck. Every editor at an award-winning publication, every fellowship recipient, the cast of every critically well-received drama production, the artist behind every successful gallery show and so on. Do institutions really wish to put out that kind of money? Paying athletes is also wrong because it denies the student not only the chance to earn a wage but also to gain the full college experience and prepare better for life after graduation. Let’s face it. When a recent college grad goes into an interview for their first job it might make them feel good that their interviewer can rattle off their batting average or number of total rushing yards but that will do little, if anything at all, to help them land the position. After all, according to the NCAA, only about one percent of all college athletes will go on to play professionally. So really it would be almost cruel to pay them. It would mean misleading 99 percent of these students into believing they have a future in their sport when in reality all you would be doing is denying them the chance to work jobs and internships in their chosen fields. Paying student-athletes opens a Pandora’s box of trouble for schools for other reasons too. A pay scale would have to be developed. Questions like, who would be

paid, how much and why, would all have to be addressed. There is no fair way to gauge these questions. Should players on the same team all be paid the same wages? Should different sports be paid different amounts? Do we pay men more than women because mens sports tend to bring in more revenue? Should athletes in lower divisions of play be paid less than Division I players? Are institutions ready to defend themselves if they are sued for racial discrimination if they pay a white player more than a black player? Do they have enough public relations people to handle accusations of sexism for paying a male player more than a female one? Can they handle the backlash they will receive for paying a player who is on academic probation or in trouble with the law? These are questions schools need to ask themselves. Lastly, there is the issue, which is truly at the heart of this matter. College athletes do not deserve to be paid because the institutions they represent are places of higher learning and sports do not, have never and never will have anything to do with learning. Five and 6-year-old children learn fundamental social skills like teamwork and problem solving from sports. A 21 or 22 year old does not. So, all we are left with is entertainment. We go to see a game and we feel happy, excited, angry or sad for a couple of hours. It takes our mind away from stress and lifts our mood but at the end, we haven’t learned anything. At the end of the day, college athletes are entertainers and college students who entertain us with their music, drama and art are not paid for their efforts so, why should student athletes be paid? Why are they more special than their peers? The three-ring circus that is college athletics needs to be shut down. Out-of-control star players need to stop being worshiped and start being made to attend classes and

A major decision: By Chelbi Mims Staff Writer Progressing through my sophomore year in high school I came into college knowing that I wanted to major in communication. I was one of the few people that came into freshman year and knew exactly what I wanted to major in. It may have been because while applying for schools my mother made me decide on a major to ensure that I choose the best school for myself. I choose communication not only because I love to talk and am a people person but also because the summer of my junior year I interned at a local theater company in Houston, Texas. During my internship, my boss asked me constantly what I wanted to major in college. I always blew her off because I figured I would just major in theater because I was talented and I loved it. My last day of work she called me into her office and told me communication was the best major for me. I looked at her with a blank stare on my face because I knew I didn’t want to be a news anchor. She told me that all major companies had communication departments. Nonetheless I can do a lot more with a communication degree than a theater degree and that would be a great major to fit my personality. When determining a major it is best to have a mentor or someone helping you through the process. If it wouldn’t have been for my parents and my previous boss my eyes wouldn’t have been open to the vast possibilities of a communication degree. It can be a teacher, family member,

coach or any person in your life. Analyze your talents, aspirations and goals and from there, determine a major. When thinking about your strengths and goals in life this will make picking a major

“If it wouldn’t have been for my parents and my previous boss, my eyes wouldn’t have been open to the vast possibilities of a communication degree.”

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College football stars like Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, seen here, mean high spirits and big bucks. But how much is that worth?

hold jobs. Coaches and other team leaders need to be paid a reasonable salary. There’s just no amount of locker room pep talks in this world that are worth six figures a year. Institutions need to be held accountable for keeping their programs in check and the NCAA should ease up on the limitations they put on players. So, institutions of higher learning, please do not begin to pay your student athletes. There are so many more productive things that could be done with those funds. Revamp an old residence hall; buy instruments for the music departments, purchase new computers, buy the chemistry department a new lab, sponsor cultural and artistic trips and events, build a new parking garage. There are so many better places to spend the money and it is high time coaches and administrators stopped feigning ignorance to that fact. aac55@cabrini.edu

Shaping your future now

The Loquitur Yo u s p e a k , w e l i s t e n

easier and not so forced into a particular field. It is also best to not jump into a major until you are completely positive. You will spend the rest of your years in college studying this subject matter and your adult life doing something in this field. Don’t randomly pick a major just because you do not want to be undecided anymore. Many people ask why I traveled from Texas to go to school in Radnor, Pa. I give them all the same answer: because the Cabrini communication department gives you a hands-on experience of all venues of communication. I visited nine schools my senior year of high school and although those schools offer an immense amount of partying and sororities none of their communication programs stood out to my parents and I. I knew I wanted to pursue communication in college and I needed to be at the best place.

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Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

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Perspectives

Business on the other side of the border Until you meet the person behind your steaming, aromatic morning cup of Fair Trade coffee, it is nearly impossible to envision the day-today agenda of those coffee farmers who work tirelessly to produce a single pound of java beans. This was the case Thursday, Sept. 16, when Rigoberto Contreras Díaz, a representative from Catholic Relief SerBy Katie Parks vices (CRS), paid a visit to my AdGuest Writer vanced Spanish Conversation class. As a Spanish major, former Starbucks barista and an equal rights advocate, I was very anxious to hear what Díaz had to say about his job as a coffee farmer in Santa Rosa, a city located within the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Little did I know, Díaz was about to convey a history that only Fair Trade farmers in another corner of the world could understand. My classmates and I had our questions for Díaz prepared, but his responses delved into a scope beyond what we could have ever imagined. In many of my classes, I had learned a great deal about Fair Trade, and the benefits of equal labor on both the producer and the consumer. What I did not know is that Fair Trade also enables the families of these producers, like Díaz, to stay with their families in their own home countries. Each year, thousands of immigrants from South America venture to make the treacherous journey across the U.S.-Mexico border but few live to tell their story. What is even worse is that more and more, it seems like less immigrants receive the respect and dignity they deserve for their hard work. Where this part leaves off, Fair Trade comes into play. Fair Trade, or “comercio justo” in Spanish, is a system in which the producer of a product—in Díaz’s case, coffee—is involved with a system that seeks to attain equality and partnership between international traders through a system of ideals. As defined by the Fair Trade Federation, these ideals include granting “fair wages, creating opportunities for economically-deficient producers, ensuring the safety and

kelsey kastrava / editor-in-chief

Rigoberto Contreras Díaz is a living testament to the value of Fair Trade for both consumers and farmers.

“The traders have good intentions, because they know how hard everyone works to produce the coffee. Fair trade is not lucrative but those who make the products have the right to obtain the fair price for the product.” rights of children, promoting proper environmental awareness and procedures, as well as respecting and instilling the integrity of the producer’s cultural identity.” Many people do not realize that Fair Trade is still a growing movement and that many industries still fail in promoting and strengthening these ideals between them and their producers and consumers. Díaz, a founding member of the Yeni Navan cooperative, has worked for 15 years in formal leadership and now works as the director of sales and marketing within the cooperative’s program. While Díaz is a fine example of what

Fair Trade can help farmers attain, he still believes there are areas of Fair Trade that still need improvement. “To cut the distance between the producer and consumer, change the process of transforming the material into a product and creating a better way of treating the crop” are all Díaz’s thoughts on what can be improved within the Fair Trade system. But he still feels that there are strengths and good intentions abound in the Fair Trade system. “The traders have good intentions, because they know how hard everyone works to produce the coffee,” Díaz said. “Fair Trade is not lucrative but those who make the products have the right to obtain the fair price for the product.” Díaz also pointed out the danger of big-name corporations, like Nestlé, invading provinces in Mexico where Fair Trade thrives. “You cannot compete with a company like Nestlé. They will ultimately overtake the entire province and everything will become a monopoly,” Diaz said. It is crucial to consider, even as an economy on the rebound of a recession, what Díaz points out about the importance of Fair Trade on world relations. If America utilizes the power of Fair Trade instead of opting to purchase coffee, corn and other products at cheaper rates from places where the employees are hardly paid for their trouble and work in backbreaking conditions, it seems possible for the U.S. to become a headstrong advocate of Fair Trade. Furthermore, it would minimize the issue of labor inequality in the U.S. and in other countries. As Americans, we give immigrants a rather unfair chance but by advocating change through Fair Trade, we can enable these strong individuals to support themselves and their families. Fair Trade gives these farmers and employees the tools to be productive—ultimately, a chance to be successful. Isn’t that what everyone deserves? When you drink your next cup of Fair Trade coffee or tea, hopefully you find yourself saying a quiet “thank you” to those farmers, like Díaz, who work so hard to bring such a rich product to you. It is only when you are completely grateful for such small things in life, like coffee, that they truly taste so sweet. kap87@cabrini.edu

The thin line between social and stalker By Jeny Varughese Staff Writer In today’s society, social networking is a big part of our everyday life. With so many different sites out there to choose from, this has become a growing trend over the past decade. However, has this huge trend gone too far or is it merely an obsession, one which we can’t get ourselves to back out from? Many of us run on a busy schedule with school, work or both. As a result, no one has time to keep in touch with friends and family, so the next best thing is social networking. Social networking sites have made it possible for a person to find someone they have lost touch with and get reconnected. It also allows users to connect to people who aren’t in their friend circle. Social networking sites allow users to connect based on their common interests, religion and nationality. It is also a place to share different views and opinions about certain issues. Meeting new people and connecting with them through shared similarities and interests has become less awkward and easier through these websites. Although it might be less personal, many people today are comfortable making friends with someone over the internet even if they haven’t physically seen each other. It’s also a place to share different views and opinions about certain issues. Social networking has created a huge buzz worldwide. Now with so many sites

to choose from, you might wonder how to know when to stop. This really depends on the individual person and what that person’s view is. I think it’s safe to say that I myself am a part of this growing trend. I have an account on several networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, LinkedIn, hi5 and orkut, a Google powered networking site. However, I barely have time to check all these sites so I just stick to the main two, which for me are Facebook and orkut. Also, I know several people who have accounts in multiple networking sites but don’t really have the time to juggle them all at once, so to speak. They mainly just stick to checking one or two sites, which to them is the most important. I don’t believe anyone has the time of day to sit down and go through every social networking site they own to see what’s going on with their friends and families. So then what is the reason behind it? We all feel the need to be a part of the new trend so when a new site comes out we immediately sign up for it. Another reason is because we get invited to join these different sites so we just accept the invitation and create an account without really thinking it over. Many people don’t realize that the information we put out on these sites are accessible by anyone so it’s very important to be selective when posting personal information on the web. It’s important to stay cautious and to limit the amount of information and time spent on these sites. Social networking sites started as a trend for the younger generation but today it is also being used by older adults.

The popularity for social networking services have doubled over the last year for Americans over 50, according to the New York Times. If we look at it in a school setting, not only do the students have accounts in MySpace and Facebook, but so do the professors. It’s no wonder why networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become

immensely popular. This trend of social networking is something that cannot be stopped. With the immense growth in technology, new sites are sure to pop up all the time. With so many different sites out there to choose from every group of people will be able to find sites which are more suitable for them to use. jav83@cabrini.edu


Issue 05