North Carolina state university

Social media campaign by enlightened college women showcases true female empowerment

As liberal magazine editors from Cosmopolitan paid male models to entice North Carolina State University females to head to the polls Tuesday, nearby conservative college women stood up for true women’s liberty.

This group of female students from Elon University, about 45 minutes away from N.C. State, took to social media to showcase what real female empowerment looks like – and it’s not scantily clad male models who swoon young women into voting by riding with them on a party bus to the voting booths.

They posted pictures of themselves on Facebook and Twitter holding written statements such as: “We are students, not consumers,” “No Cosmo, I don’t want a shirtless model. I want LIBERTY,” and “I don’t need a party bus to vote.” CosmoResponse1

The gals, myself included, wanted to send a message: Women are not pawns who can be easily swayed by an attractive model.

Our counter campaign was undertaken by members of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) chapter at Elon. As president of the chapter I can summarize our main message: Cosmopolitan’s party bus was absurd. Women vote because they care passionately about the issues. The exploitative nature of Cosmopolitan’s effort was degrading and disgraceful.

Our campaign aimed to demonstrate women are a diverse electorate who vote regardless of whether they are on a bus with a model or not, and our posts gained traction and received a lot of traffic, reminding the North Carolina community and the nation that women will make it to the polls without a party bus and hot guys.

Feminism today often voices this popular notion: “Value me for my mind, not my body.” Yet it’s clear liberals at Cosmopolitan magazine do not value women for their minds—they view women as sexual objects who will vote at the sight of chiseled six-pack abs.

CosmoResponse4On Tuesday, Republican Thom Tillis defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.

The message is clear: Conservative women will vote for the best candidate, they don’t vote down gender lines.

What’s more, conservative students have a voice. Conservative students will not settle. Conservative students are voting and the 2014 elections and have helped demonstrate that a “party bus” of models is an insulting mechanism to entice young voters.

Yet, North Carolina State University is part of North Carolina’s 4th congressional district, where incumbent Democrat David Price won re-election in the U.S. House of Representatives last night. Did the party bus – hosted by a magazine that openly endorsed Democrats – play a role? Let’s hope young women saw through the degrading ploy, regardless of the election’s outcome.

So Cosmopolitan, try all you would like to support liberal candidates and to entice young women voters with models. But keep in mind, North Carolina conservatives are working hard and playing hard.

College Fix contributor Diana Stancy is a student at Elon University and president of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) chapter at Elon.

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IMAGES: Courtesy of Diana Stancy

Assailed by feminists for selling a product, implying rape is ‘the woman’s fault’

Even as detractors argue that college women shouldn’t have to proactively defend themselves against sexual assault, four undergraduates at North Carolina State University are making progress on their efforts to develop a nail polish that can determine when “date rape” drugs are mixed into a drink.

After a summer of fundraising, Undercover Colors announced in late September it had raised enough money to hire a second chemist for its nascent product. It had said in August a second chemist would “double our R&D efforts.”

“Thank you for your support as we strive to bring our product to market as quickly as we possibly can,” said the company, founded by students Ankesh Madan, Stephen Grey, Tasso Von Windheim and Tyler Confrey-Maloney. Backers can continue to donate to their work, though the company raised a giant chunk from a single investor – news it hasn’t shared on its social-media accounts.

Undercover Colors also made the semifinals for NC IDEA’s fall grant cycle, along with 18 other North Carolina-based startups, the nonprofit said last week. NC IDEA, which “bridges the gap” between product development and venture funding, will give up to $50,000 each to four to six recipients when it announces winners in December.


The nail polish that Undercover Colors plans to develop will change color when it interacts with drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax and gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). The idea is that a woman will stir her drink with her finger and her nail polish color will change if it detects such drugs, according to The Washington Post.

“We wanted to focus on preventive solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use,” Madan told Higher Education Works, an organization that advocates for investment in North Carolina higher education, in June.

The undergraduates’ idea won the Lulu eGames student competition last spring, sponsored by NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which challenges students to design working solutions to real-world problems, Higher Education Works said.

“We’re focusing on technical development and market testing. We plan to focus on business development and refining our prototype before going to production,” co-founder Madan said.


A writer for the blog Feministing wrote a snarky post about the company in August, arguing that alcohol is the substance most likely to be used in date rape.

“Are you at all worried that by overstating the prevalence of date rape drugs, your product might give its users, who are no less likely to become victims of other kinds of sexual assault, a false sense of security?” Executive Director-Editorial Maya Dusenbury said. She also faulted the company for “selling” a product, rather than “giving” women “the power to do something.”

A rape support nonprofit, Rape Crisis England & Wales, told Newsweek that the company’s idea was “well meaning” but such a product “implies that it’s the woman’s fault and assumes responsibility on her behalf, and detracts from the real issues that arise from sexual violence.”

But a chemistry professor told The College Fix a nail polish that detects date rape drugs would provide positive results in an emergency.

“The hardest thing about testing for date rape drugs is that by the time a person gets to the hospital and is tested the drugs are almost out of their system and it’s hard to figure out what’s wrong with them,” Ariane Jansma of Point Loma Nazarene University said by email.

“If the creators can create a means of immediate diagnosis of these drugs then that will make it that much easier on the hospital’s end to determine the best way to treat them,” Jansma said.

“Through this nail polish and similar technologies, we hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught,” Undercover Colors says on its Facebook page.

The Triangle Business Journal reported that Undercover Colors raised $100,000 from a single investor, citing a securities filing, but the company hasn’t made that known on either its Facebook or Twitter pages. (Its own website is just a landing page for its social media accounts, email and donation page.)

The company noted in late August, after that $100,000 investment became known, that while it has “raised over $10,000 from personal donations … more is needed for adequate and timely development.” Undercover Colors did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

College Fix contributor Samantha Watkins is a student at Point Loma Nazarene University.

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IMAGES: Facebook, Undercover Colors

A recently published study claims that the push for healthy, home-cooked family meals – pressure coming from famous “foodies,” public health officials and First Lady Michelle Obama – is actually a “moralistic … elitist … burden” on poor and working-class mothers.

First Lady Michelle Obama has made health food and exercise programs for children her signature issue. The study says she has been “influential in popularizing public health messages that emphasize the role that mothers play when it comes to helping children make healthy choices,” but that advice shames mothers into “unrealistic standards of ‘good’ mothering.”

The North Carolina State University study contends the notion of healthy, home-cooked meals is an “alluring” but “tasty illusion, one that is moralistic, and rather elitist, instead of a realistic vision of cooking today.”

The study further contends home cooking represents an “elite foodie standpoint,” as many of the working-class families the authors spoke to lacked necessary kitchen space, reliable transportation to the grocery store and functional appliances.

It’s also sexist, the study’s authors suggest, noting that “intentionally or not, it places the burden of a healthy home-cooked meal on women.”

Researchers spent 18 months conducting in-depth interviews with 150 black, white, and Latina mothers, as well as spent more than 250 hours in observation of 12 working-class and poor families to determine their results.

The end result was that they questioned why reforming the food system has to be in someone’s kitchen.

“The emphasis on home cooking ignores the time pressures, financial constraints, and feeding challenges that shape the family meal,” the study states. “Yet this is the widely promoted standard to which all mothers are held.”

The authors used a series of anecdotes to show the “pressures” of cooking. A working-class, black mother of three had just spent hours cooking up $80 worth of ingredients to make a Fourth of July meal, only to find her family completely disinterested, for example.

“Romantic depictions of cooking assume that everyone has a home, that family members are home eating at the same time, and that kitchens and dining spaces are equipped and safe,” the study states. “This is not necessarily the case for the families we met.”

As a solution, the authors recommend a revival of monthly town suppers, healthy food trucks and schools offering to-go meals to families that can easily be heated up on weeknights.

“Without creative solutions like these, suggesting that we return to the kitchen en masse will do little more than increase the burden so many women already bear,” the study reads.

The study, however, fails to mention whether mothers said they had good experiences cooking at home for their families.

A University of Michigan study from 2012 calls into question the allegation that the cooking meals falls squarely on women. The report found that men from Generation X are increasingly involved in shopping for food and cooking, more so than the previous generation.

Men were found to go grocery shopping more than once a week and cook an average of about eight meals per week.

“I was surprised to see how often GenX men shop and cook,” said Jon Miller, the author of study. “Women, particularly married women, are still doing more cooking and shopping. But men are much more involved in these activities than they used to be. The stereotype that men can’t do much more in the kitchen than boil water just can’t hold water, as it were.”

What’s more, the ongoing economic recession has prompted even more men to spend time in the kitchen.

“Compared to 1970, men have tripled the amount of time they’re spending in the kitchen today,” Food Channel reports.

RELATED: GWU Professor Calls Out First Lady’s Anti-Obesity Group For Link to Big Business

College Fix reporter Michael Cipriano is a student at American University.

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IMAGE: YouTube Let’s Move screenshot

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more unintentionally hilarious, along comes (North Carolina State’s) Technician’s Mary Anna Rice complaining about those “insensitive” Caucasians once again “appropriating” another racial group’s culture:

“All About that Bass” joins the ranks of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” MAGIC!’s “Rude” and Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” as songs involving white performers adopting black culture as their own. Whether it be the use of an artificial African-American vernacular, the unabashed commandeering of reggae music elements or the utilization of black dancers as props to, shall we say, prop the lead singer up, we have it all!

But we’re discussing “All About that Bass” specifically. In addition to using a dialect that is decidedly not natural to her, [Meghan] Trainor surrounds herself with people of color from the beginning of the music video. Her primary back-up dancers, two black women, are shown flanking her in multiple shots throughout the video, lending her support and approval. Read: credibility.

The black women in the video have no purpose outside of encouraging Trainor, a white woman. In this way, they are effectively rendered props to be used by her as she pleases. This is not OK.

Mid-song, Trainor states she’s “bringing booty back.” Under the current connotation of the word “booty,” it is not Trainor’s to bring back. The term evokes a stereotypical image of a sexualized black woman, and has, in the past, been used to misrepresent black women as sex objects who don’t have the ability to say no.

Are folks like Ms. Rice too “sensitive?” Should they “get over it?”

“Um, no” she writes. “We no longer live in a civilization where this should be considered even remotely acceptable” (emphasis mine). And how dare white singers “appropriate” what black singers and rapper do. After all, “it is not theirs to do with what they want,” Rice says.

eminemWord is Eminem’s next album is titled Who, Me Appropriate?

kennygKenny G: Amorally appropriating jazz since 1973.

Read the full article here.

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IMAGES: YouTube screenshot; Ivan Bruno/Flickr; Prayitno/Flickr

When I graduate in a few months with a degree in political science from North Carolina State University, I will have completed roughly one-third of my required hours over the Internet within the comfort of my own home.

My experiences with distance education have made me rather skeptical of some in the academic community who label distance education as the incestuous offspring of trend and convenience. It’s not.

For one, participation, exams and papers—they are all part of the distance education model. You don’t get out of them because you’re taking the class online.

But participation and human interaction (or the lack thereof) is often the go-to criticism for distance ed detractors. For example, a column written by a fellow college student recently stated as much, but the complaints were largely focused on how online education diminishes extracurricular, outside-the-classroom face time.

And while the column also rightly points out that online class discussions can become flaccid, and that the lack of human interaction can detract from the overall learning experience, does this not also describe the experience many have in traditional classes, too?

Especially for those enrolled in a large university, many lower-level classes take place in a stadium setting, with two or three hundred students copying notes from a Power Point presentation.

Even if a student attends a smaller school, most have been in at least one class where attendance was the lone measure of class “participation.”

On the flip side, most of my online classes require large amounts of student interaction.

As with live classes, online class professors also set the rules of engagement for participation, as well as the required frequency. So a class—live or online—that is limp-wristed in its participation requirements is a negative reflection on the course design rather than the course location.

My experience in distance education participation requirements run the gamut: forum posts; phone calls; video chat; interviews, surveys.

Heck, last spring I completed an entire lab section via distance education delivery. And per the professor, my lab experience is precisely the same as those who took the lab on campus.

But the most prominent method of interaction is class forums. Most courses require students make a certain number of original posts and respond to classmates’ original posts each week. These forums aren’t for students only, though. Instructors and TA’s often jump in the mix to steer discussion just as they would in an on-campus class.

Another qualm that those opposed to online courses raise is that of professorial interaction. And it’s true: the student does not have immediate access to a professor during class time.

This isn’t a problem for those comfortable with self-teaching, but again, I’ve had this issue in live classes due to class size or structure. I’ve had a professor who stated he didn’t want to take questions during his lecture, but would never leave enough time at the end of class to answer all questions, for example.

Professors still have office hours in online classes, and they still respond to emails. So while the student may not be in the presence of the professor, the student still has their attention.

And let’s not forget the positive aspects of the online delivery method, such as scheduling flexibility and 24/7 access to class materials. The benefits are very tangible. I can pause, rewind and rewatch parts of a lecture that I need more time internalizing.

Online classes also allow me to travel without fretting over missed coursework. In September, I will be attending a conference in Denver hosted by the State Policy Network—a network of free market think tanks in all fifty states.

On the one hand, I will completely miss a week in my brick-and-mortar class. But for my online class, I will miss a whole heap of nothing (so long as my luggage stays with me).

The flexibility of the online model will allow me to take advantage of a unique opportunity that will undoubtedly give added texture to my scholastic experience, while not skipping a beat in “the classroom.”

And that is the ultimate draw for many students: How can I intersect my academic goals with the rest of my life? Certainly the distance education approach isn’t perfect, but neither is the on-campus model.

As for me, the comfort and convenience of distance education trumps the classroom.

College Fix contributor Clark Connor is a student at North Carolina State University.

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IMAGE: Hillary/Flickr

Heads up, Wolfpack: A Twitter account is displaying snaps of passed out drunk North Carolina State students. Many have no clue that their mug may be among the images. WTVD in Raleigh reports:

The disturbing photos display many students face-down or half-dressed, many unaware it’s all being caught on camera.

Similar Twitter handles have popped up at college campuses across the country.

“I feel like it’s embarrassing,” said NCSU senior Jarami Bond. “We’re out here trying to get jobs and advance our careers. This is not a good way to portray yourself. Drinking on college campus shouldn’t be glorified.”

“I would be completely humiliated,” said NCSU graduate Joelle Purifoy.

NC State senior Drew Warash uploads pictures to the site weekly.

“I think it’s kind of funny,” said Warash.

Paul Cousins, Director of the Dept of Student Community Standards at NC State, says that the school doesn’t condone what Warash does, but it can’t take any action against him:

“It’s a hard lesson for them to learn that we don’t have control over the web. That’s not ours to manage, and by and large, the stuff that’s out there is free speech.”

Read the full story here.

h/t to Phi Beta Cons.

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IMAGE: Chinen Keiya/Flickr