T.J. Chiang – Staff Writer
Currently, there is some hatred between the citizens and the police because of police brutality. A solution proposed by many is community policing. In short, community policing is where a police officer is stationed in an area and gets to know the community members. Placing an officer in a school is an example of community policing. This type of community policing works. However, it is not the best option. There is a much more effective way of community policing that can involve the citizen. This means that the citizen gets directly involved in police activities in their own town. Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper had that idea in mind. If implemented widely, community policing could resolve and improve police relationships with its residents.
When Stamper was still a Chief in California, he dealt with multiple LGBT hate crime incidents by holding a meeting with the people in the community affected by the hate crime. He wanted the people to work together with the police to catch the criminals. The people knew best because the people knew the area very well, what was going on, and where it was happening. It was a success. The criminals were caught with the citizens’ help. This helped the police do their job and made the citizens trust the police. Trust is an important step to a harmonious relationship.
Therefore, the police and the citizens should hold a meeting every couple months. In the meeting, the police could discuss and explain to the citizens what they are doing to make the community safer. Then, the locals could offer suggestions for the police to implement because they knew the area well. Sometimes the police know what the members of the community want because sometimes they are wrong.
Moreover, this type of meeting format has worked in the past in a different context. Many towns currently have general town hall meetings where the town council members tell the general public what the town council members are doing, such as in regards to budgeting and legislating. Furthermore, some towns even allow for each resident who attended to speak for a couple minutes to express grievances. That way there will be no misunderstanding between the members and the residents.
If this meeting style were carried over to policing, it would be an increase the symbiotic bond between police officers and the citizens. Furthermore, because the citizens work with the police very closely, they will get to know the police officers by first name and know them as a person, and not as a person in uniform. Citizens will feel at ease with the police and the police will be more approachable. Currently, the police and the citizens only interact when something is going very wrong, not in a casual, one-on-one setting.
A good police and citizen relationship requires mutual understanding, which could be achieved through community involvement. This goal could be achieved through this type of community policing, which requires the police and the citizens working together.
Colleen Heaney-Burcher – Assistant Opinions Editor
I attended Catholic school from grade one to grade 12. Throughout my years, we were encouraged to be unquestioning and dutiful Catholics dedicated to Church and authority. In religion classes we were told that everything taught was infallible. Asking why things were the way they were was unheard of. Asking why we knelt during prayer or why we believed that the eucharist and wine was literally Jesus warranted the answer, “Because that’s the way it is.”
This background leads directly into the phenomenon affectionately deemed by those who have experienced it as “Catholic school guilt.” Catholic school guilt comes in different degrees. It can range from a mild slightly irritating feeling of shame to soul crushing pain that gnaws at your brain until judgement day. Some ways that Catholic guilt manifests itself can be simple and others dangerous to wellbeing.
The mild versions are the moments of sheer panic as you peacefully eat your lunch and you remember it is a Friday, only to realize that it isn’t even Lent and you’ve been a vegetarian for four years. Another mild version is the pang of regret when you are unable to finish all the food on your plate and hoping your lunchroom monitor doesn’t come around and yell at you for wasting valuable food.
While some experiences are definitely light-hearted and honestly ridiculous, there is an insidious side to this guilt. What specifically comes to mind is sexuality. It is no secret that the Catholic church is not exactly the most supportive environment when it comes to LGBT issues. When children are educated in institutions that do not support inclusivity, they are set-up for a lifetime of mixed feelings and possibly self hatred. The same thing happens in public schools, but the feeling of being taught in a classroom that homosexuality is inherently wrong and unnatural is exclusive to private schools.
I have seen the guilt of not being able to express oneself carry over into adulthood. I went to school with people who were afraid to come out because they were worried that their hyper-religious parents would disown them or their teachers would look at them differently. Being in a classroom where an open discussion on why marriage equality is dangerous and seeing a teacher adamantly agree is confusing and frightening. The feeling of guilt is further reinforced, because if a respected teacher agrees, then it must be wrong.
Guilt trips in Catholic schools, and the education system in general, is the wrong way to teach children. The saying of would you rather be feared than loved should never be implemented in a learning environment.
Pearl Lee – Managing Editor
The shallow concern of policymakers in Seoul, South Korea was magnified on Aug. 5, 2012, when the government passed the “Special Adoption Law.” This law was passed in order to serve the best interest of birth-parents and adoptees. The irony behind this law is that it actually does not suit the “best interest” of birth-parents.
Though the law may serve to benefit curious adoptees who long to identify and locate their birth-parents, it violates the rights of the parents who desire to relinquish their children anonymously. Parents who desire to put their child up for adoption clearly do so because they were a product of an unwanted pregnancy or because the parents lack the resources to care for and raise a child.
This law disregards the whole point of putting a child up for adoption. The law requires birthparents to legally register their babies under their family registry before putting a child up for adoption. To register a child in one’s family registry, putting down a birth-parent’s government issued identification number is required.
The fear here is linked to the idea that if one were to give up their number, in the near future, someone will find out about a past child born out of wedlock. Since adoption agencies turn away unregistered children, parents are left to their last resort: leaving their children elsewhere. The government failed to recognize that in a country where face-saving is one of many core values, this law prohibits the safe, anonymous abdication of babies.
The South Korean society focuses heavily on saving face. On top of this, there is a stigma attached to single-parenting and children born out of wedlock. Currently, there are many babies being abandoned in the bustling streets of Seoul. To reduce the number of unsafe abandonments occurring in Seoul, a pastor, Lee Jong-rak, built a box into the side of his home. With heating and padding provided inside the box, Pastor Lee asks those who are unable to raise their children to come anonymously and leave their child or children safely. Upon the arrival of an infant, he or she is generally sent to a children’s hospital to begin the process of being placed into a foster home.
However, recently Seoul’s Children’s Welfare Center and Children’s Hospital stopped accepting babies from Pastor Lee’s baby box. Their reasoning was not clearly provided.
Detractors argue that Pastor Lee’s baby box perpetuates the abandonment of babies. What these people fail to recognize is that if the Special Adoption Law was ineffective, and children could be placed for adoption anonymously, babies would not be abandoned to start with.
Although baby abandonment is occurring in South Korea, and globally, it is not our place to say that parents are at fault for neither having safe sex nor caring about their children. There are many factors that we must consider before pointing fingers at Pastor Lee. We cannot just look at Pastor Lee’s mere baby box. We must consider all the factors before passing judgement.
The new social media outlet sweeping the nation, Yik Yak, fosters problems on college campuses. The app allows college students to anonymously attack each other’s race, individuality and sexual orientation. For example, at Eastern Michigan University, an open discussion on Yik Yak occurred regarding a professor teaching in a lecture hall. The posts were sexually explicit, crude and hurtful. Although the professor complained to administration, no punishment was imposed, due to the nature of Yik Yak’s secretive content.
On a more serious scale, American University in Washington, D.C. has faced immense criticism. An increased number of students have posted incredibly racist and threatening language aimed toward black students. The university denounced the racist comments and held a forum discussing race relations on their campus. Student body outcry has been prominent. But, the Yaks have continued, and tensions are running high.
Why does this matter occurring 230 miles away affect Drew students? Well, we at The Drew Acorn are worried this negative trend will infest Drew. Already, we have a few choice Yaks, just from last Thursday: “can you fuck your way into college? that’s the only explanation for the students in some of the classes I have” and, in response to a few Yaks about someone’s sexual endeavours, “sluts. You’re all sluts.”
Although this may seem innocuous and funny to some, trends spread quickly and the situation can and will escalate. If an inclusive institution such as American can harbour threatening and demeaning language, so can Drew. When given the opportunity to be cruel without the threat of punishment, people will take it. Yik Yak provides a forum where even people who act kind offline show their true colors online, with none of the social or institutional consequences.
The app has privacy policies that do not allow users’ information to be shared unless they have a court order. Yik Yak has cooperated with authorities in the past when it comes to threats of violence being made, but when it comes to racist, homophobic or other derogatory language, they remain deathly silent. In the comfort of secrecy, thoughts are placed online that would never be spoken aloud. Yik Yak provides a deterrent to this language, but it’s a paper dragon: when someone attempts to post a certain buzzword, such as “bomb” or “Jews,” Yik Yak asks if they really mean what they are about to post. Clearly, this does nothing. People post with immoral and hurtful abandon.
Yaks require better monitoring. Those containing harsh language need to be taken down immediately, or better yet, not allowed on at all. Repeat offenders should not be allowed to access the app.
With the implementation of harsher anti-bullying and anti-derogatory policies, less people will feel inclined to post harmful language. The hope is that if the trend of racism and sexism on Yik Yak reaches Drew, there will be swift action to take down these posts and not tolerate cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is illegal in the state of New Jersey, but it goes beyond laws. What is happening on Yik Yak is wrong and it needs to stop.
The Drew Acorn Editorial Staff understands: people will use Yik Yak to talk about their perceived “sexual conquests,” homework blues, professor problems and as Tinder 2.0. On top of that, no matter how many articles we publish, people will continue their cattiness and downright meanness. While Drew students have to be responsible, so do the creators of the app itself.
Taylor Tracy – Student Life and Arts Editor
What is Asexuality?
“I honestly do not know what it means.” Jael Estrada (’18)
“It’s someone identify with a sexual romantic preference.” Ivana Mitic (’17)
“I don’t know the exact definition…without sexuality?” Bishoy Awadalla (’16)
“Someone who doesn’t experience sexual attraction.” Katie Marak (’19)
“Asexuality is a gender identity that people align with which essentially means that said a person does not wish to engage in sexual activity with others regardless of a reason. This, however, does not mean that they would not get into a relationship.” Hector Maldonado (’19)
“We have to unite with the asexual people because their concerns are similar to ours. It’s having little or no sexual attraction or wanting to engage in sexual behavior.” Andy Bates (’19)