Friday, August 31, 2012

Wasting loan money to waste time (by big spender)

So you took out loans to pay for school. Maybe you got a huge sum of money from a relative to pay for school. Either way you may at some point in your education have found yourself receiving more money than you needed to pay tuition and housing. For some the resulting refund check or extra cash is used entirely for necessities like food or basic clothes. There are plenty of people at UWW that do not need the extra cash for living means and spend it on frivolous wants and desires. What I am here to say is that if you are going to take out the extra cash spend it right.

Obviously the smart thing to do is to not take out more loans than you need or spend your money to pay for school on wasteful items. This is not to say that you cannot have fun or spend money on things you will enjoy.  Let me start with a simple story.

You go to UWW and start as a freshman. First semester you take out no more money than you needed to pay for you schooling. You do not spend more than $50 over the course of the semester so you hardly dipped into the savings you collected before starting the school year. Second semester comes around and you get a $1000 loan refund check. There would appear to be no need for this freshman to take the loan refund. So when this freshman does “just-in-case” deposit the check rather than choosing to return it the freshman ends up starting sophomore year with that same money. Kid was responsible in not just wasting it. The truth now becomes apparent that the kid can be safe to spend or return that money if the kid chooses. Let us say he spends it. Here is where a valuable learning experience or trouble can start.

The kid can invest the money or throw it away. The kid can choose to invest the money in something like stocks, bonds, or any other area where the kid thinks the return will be better than the interest the kid is paying on the money. Though this cliché idea of invest is obvious there are many other forms of investing that may not be thought of as investments. A car or car insurance payment can be an investment if that car is used as a way to get the kid to a part time job while the kid is in school.  A snowboard or longboard can be an investment if it is used as a healthy stress reliever and device to hone skills. The throw it away options are those choices that hurt the kid in the kid’s studies.
Using the loan refund in ways that hurt your school studies is worse than throwing away the money. By participating in buying things that hurt your studies you will waste not just the $1000 refund but the entire amount you spent on school. Those people who choose to drink alcohol or use drugs with the money may be just fine and model students. If that is the case I wish them the best. Likely though if you participate in buying items that disable the body you will find yourself giving less than optimal output in school. That is not to say that alcohol and drugs are the only poor choices. That car or board you buy can cause you to perform less than optimally if they only add increased continued costs on you financially and cut into the time you should spend studying.

The old adage “do in moderation” is really a summary of what I am saying. I just want kids to see that extra cash they get can be used in a way to teach them something or ruin their education. Of course some say the only smart and safe route is to never take more then you need from loans. While this may be safe the opportunity to practice spending sums of money can benefit some.  For those without restraints just tear that loan refund check up and get it canceled by the financial aid office.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What is up with the rental companies in Whitewater?? (by anon)

Rental companies in Whitewater need to treat their tenants better. Whitewater is a small town, so there are only a handful of companies to choose from that will rent to college students. These companies I feel do not treat their customers right but instead take advantage of us college students.

First of all the system of leasing is really inconvenient. Typically you move in the beginning of June and out the middle of May. What are you supposed to do those two weeks between? Anywhere else one would typically move out of one place and into another; however that is not an option in Whitewater usually. If you switch units through the same company then you will have better luck. Unfortunately when that’s the case, you often have 24 hours. Hopefully you do not have work or a life the day they call and tell you to move. Last spring I was homeless. I had to put my stuff somewhere so I had to spend extra cash to rent a storage unit. For a week I lived out of my car and crashed at friends. My old rental company said I had to be out and my new rental company was hardly accommodating in moving in early. It was extremely frustrating. My new rental company said I would be able to move early. However, they changed my move in date three times and could not give me a straight answer but continuously told me to call back. The same thing happened to multiple friends of mine.

Once I moved in I found more disappointment. The place was not thoroughly cleaned. Also maintenance had not been completed. I was told that soon after move in they would return to finish. It is now the middle august and they have yet to return. My family room and kitchen lights work for maybe two minutes and then begin to constantly flicker. The light bulb in my ceiling light in my bedroom is the wrong size so the cover won’t fit. My back burner on my stove still does not work. My back door screen is still hanging off. I even requested that the blinds be new before move-in, unfortunately when I moved in two different windows already had broken blinds. My shower head continuously leaks. Anywhere in the back of the house a constant drip-drip-drip can always be heard. Oh well I don’t pay for water, they do J.

The quality of service and their standards is too low. The quality of the living is low. The typical tiny oven that most of us have sucks. The food is burned on the bottom before the top is unfrozen. Trim along the base of walls really is not too much to ask for.
They overall do not treat their customers properly. To supply internet and then shut it off without warning is not fair to your tenants. Also their general disrespect is irritating. Many of my other friends have had problems as well. One reported a maintenance problem and when she returned from home a couple weeks later she found all her fans on. Opps maintenance forgot. Thanks for the increase in electricity !!! My previous rental company did something similar. After winter break I returned to find a new screen door on and my main door unlocked. Maintenance had come in felt the need to open my blinds and leave the door unlocked. I was thankful nothing was stolen. Also the fact that they entered without any notice was irritating.

I feel that the rental companies treat us poorly. They treat us as college students not actual costumers. They do not have to provide good customer service.  Space is limited and they will find people to rent even if they treat their tenants poorly. I feel incredibly taken advantage of. I would truly appreciate more respect and truth from my rental company. Even though we are college students, we still are paying our good money and deserve to be treated with some respect. I have rented from two of the larger rental companies and have been left very unhappy. Hopefully the next rental company I rent from will actually respect their tenants and provide good customer service.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why does all the money go to the Business School? (by anon)

Doesn’t it seem like Hyland hall is so amazing, and ALL the other buildings are way less than amazing?  I mean Winther is so old and gross it isn’t even welcoming when you walk into that building.  This also goes towards Heidi, Anderson Library, McGraw, and Hyer.  I don’t expect the school to make new buildings all around or anything, but at least make the buildings comfortable to be in.  Some of the chairs have to be from the 1950’s if not later, like the bright colored ones in Winther hall, what is up with that?  As well, why can’t they make the classroom have more comfortable chairs, better white boards, and higher technology computers like Hyland.  Hyland hall makes all of the rest of the buildings look cheap, and with simple updates to the other buildings the students would be living in a much better environment.  Even simply putting a food stand in all of the halls would make then more acceptable.  Sometimes I am embarrassed to take my friends from out of town into any building other than Hyland, because they just don’t look like they even look nearly as remarkable as Hyland.  They need to make all the buildings at least acceptable and welcoming to the students so I don’t always have to find joy in seeing the School of Business.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

F#@% the police! (by anon)

Why is it such a big deal if I drink while in school? I’m paying for my education, I should be able to choose how I want to go about it. Yes, the legal drinking age is 21, but whitewater takes this to an extreme. They will bust any party, and stop anybody on the streets if they think they might be drinking. Isn’t it innocent until proven guilty? If I am walking the streets and not causing any problems, why should police question me? This is college, everyone is going to drink! Underage drinking should be enforced, but Whitewater takes it to a whole new level. Just about every other college in Wisconsin is super lenient regarding teenage drinking. One night in the dorms, my brother was drinking. They were being respectful and kept the noise to a minimum. The dorms were scarce because just about everyone had left for the weekend. The RA’s were knocking randomly on the doors to try and bust underage drinkers. They knocked on my brother’s dorm, and walked inside without permission to try and find any evidence of drinking. They found an opened beer to the side of the room, and threatened to call the cops. He wrote down everyone’s names, and now my brother is on probation for a year and had to take a 3-hour online class, which cost $35. If he gets caught again he could get kicked out of the dorms, and if he reaches 3-4 times he will be expelled from every UW school for a year. This seems pretty severe, because they were just minding their own business. There is no reason RA’s and cops have to be such pricks and ruin college life for young adults. UWW cops suck and only want money from underagers.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friendship in a *click* (by anon)

Facebook is changing the world we live! Facebook was created to help people to stay closer to their family and friends. Social networking sites like Facebook have many benefits including: an avenue to initiate and maintain contact, more resources for relationships, convenient communication, easy group communication, and selective self-presentation. Even though there are many benefits, there are plenty of consequences.

The disadvantages of Facebook far outweigh the benefits. These sites are changing the way we communicate! People no longer need to write letters or pick up the phone when they can type and press send. In addition to changing communication, Facebook is changing how new relationships develop or do not. When meeting someone new, many people first check out their Facebook profile, and make assumptions. These assumptions may lead some to miss out on what could have been a valuable relationship. This simple mistake may cause people to judge too quickly and miss out on new relationships. 

Facebook can hinder possible friendships as well as reduce the quality of friendship. “Friends” on social networking sites are not always friends. A Facebook friendship requires one to send a friend request and after the friend request is accepted, the two are friends unless one chooses to delete or block the other. This concept has begun to change the definition of friendship today. Friends should be defined as someone who cares about and is affectionate toward another. However, Facebook has changed that definition to someone met one time. Many Facebook relationships are superficial. This illusion of friends only adds to the distorted reality that selective, full disclosure influences. Selective disclosure can include the relationship status. A new question today for couples is, “Are you Facebook official?” It is concerning that couples today feel that they have to click a button on Facebook to be in a relationship. A relationship should be defined by the individuals not Facebook.  Another problem occurs when users of social networking sites are corralled into uniformity. In a time like high school, many students are still finding themselves and are not comfortable being who they really are. Therefore, they may selectively display “cool” information to be like others. This does not lead to honest, true relationships but false, superficial ones.

Another danger of Facebook is that it is easy to lie and deceive. When hiding behind a screen, people can be whoever they want to be. It is not difficult to make a fake Facebook. Facebook provides an alternate universe where people can act differently and be whoever they want to be. The concept of the ease of deceiving on Facebook can magnify cyber-bullying. Facebook provides many easy avenues to be mean allowing someone who never had the intent to bully to quickly become a cyber-bully. Drama and conflict can easily spiral out of control. Social networking sites often lead to unwanted contact. Anyone can send anyone a friend request including an ex-best friend or ex-boyfriend. A simple friend request can make the receiver wonder why the sender is thinking about them. Social networking sites are known to lead to jealousy and trust issues. Facebook causing jealousy in a romantic relationship is a common problem. A comment may be misinterpreted and cause the significant other to go on high alert. Moreover, social networking sites can make cheating easy. It is simple for someone to start snooping around out of mere curiosity, but this curiosity could easily lead to an affair.

In addition to cheating and lying, Facebook makes it difficult to escape the past, much less move on. Untangling the web of Facebook from an ex can be a difficult process. The past in never far away on Facebook. Facebook is making it harder to leave the past behind and causes harm to the emotions as well as unhealthy behaviors like creeping. Social networking sites can lead to an increase in socialness online and a decrease offline. Instead of actually doing something and spending time with other human beings, they sit in front of the screen. Therefore, Facebook may actually encourage loner behavior. In addition, if friends are present online, then there is no need to go out and make real life friends. Time online is time not spent with friends and family.  This alternative Facebook reality gives people the chance to be elsewhere at any point in time. Even when face-to-face interaction is present, some still choose the Facebook world. Social networking sites support the trend of quantity rather than quality. Today we have plenty of acquaintances, but how many people do we have in our lives that we trust and can count on for support?

People need to be aware of the benefits and dangers of Facebook so that relationships and loved ones can be protected. If people are aware of the fundamental shift of relationships that Facebook is causing, energy can be focused on real friendships and not the superficial world of Facebook.  If the dangers of Facebook are known, in the long run people can keep their true friends close instead of being left alone.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Getting to class fast - by wheels! (by anon)

I do not want to say that I am actually pissed off. I will say that I have a suggestion for improving UWW. As a student at UWW if you live on campus you probably already know what it is like trying to cut through the middle of campus. We have bike lanes on part of Prairie Street and in some other locations, but for the most part the heavily traveled areas of campus go without any sort of express lane for wheeled transport. As a biker and longboarder when I zip to class at double digit mph speeds I am not looking to put anyone at risk or scare people. I have no problem shouting “passing on your left” but this does not work for some of our students drowning in ear drum damaging music.  Even worse is when you say something and the person unwittingly moves into your path. I am not saying I am unwilling to cut around pedestrians. I just have trouble playing red rover at high speeds. When coming down a hill towards a group of six or more people walking straight towards you they would walk on just part of the sidewalk. No. They seem to be too busy playing battle march to be bothered to leave even part of a 10 ft wide path open. Sure I could speed right towards them, but typically I am forced to bail to avoid a last minute high speed bail or collision. If no express path of any sort can be made then I simply plead with fellow students and faculty to please be aware of your surroundings. I walk and try to move for faster walkers, bikers and boarders.

Some of you might say that pedestrians have the right away. I agree. A little foresight can help avoid collisions between the two groups though. So next time someone cuts around you I ask that you consider if you were checking to make sure no one was coming up behind you. When they pass ask if you or your group were taking up the whole path. Next time you try to pass someone I ask that you try making them aware and leave a comfortable distance.

To anyone who has been hit by a rider on wheels I say this. I am sorry. One of the first rules of riding is to not ride outside your ability.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holes in my wallet (by anon)

The cost of living at UWW is pretty ridiculous.  First off, you pay outrageous prices for your courses. I only took 6 credits over this past summer and it cost me $2,100. Being a college kid I already do not have money to waste on pointless things. My second pet peeve is dorm life. You pay just about double than if you had your own apartment, and only have a quarter of the space. To top it off they make you purchase a meal plan. This makes life easy, but it definitely burns a huge whole in my wallet. Everything is overpriced at the markets and the food itself is par at best. I do not see why I have to buy dining dollars when I can just buy my own groceries at a local store. If I’m over 18, I should have the right to choose what I want to do. They make it seem like everyone is there to help you, but they really only want your money. After all this and many other taxes are added you come up with a total cost of about $14,000 per year. It only cost $90 per year to attend my high school. How is this even possible? The government should step in and try and reduce costs so Americans can further their education.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dare to be great! (by anon)

Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble,Marie Curie, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, Charles Goodyear: what do these people have in common? Obviously, they are regarded as great people, influential people who have shaped our understanding and management of our world. There is something to be said for the human standing in the shoes of the first person to say “Hey everybody, look at this!” We all know the pleasure of being that person at one time or another. There is however a difference between being great and standing in the shoes of greatness. Mrs. Rudiselle, my fourth grade teacher, was great. You likely don't even know who she is. Nonetheless, she is great. She made the world understandable for me. In fact I can remember talking to her about this subject some 22 years after the fact. 
We were learning about Leonardo Da Vinci and the subject of being a genius was on the table. I asked her what it meant to be a genius. She said that Da Vinci knew a little about a lot of things. He knew art, history, philosophy, science, engineering, etc. He was not a specialist (one who knows a lot about one or two subjects). I've lead my life under this impression of genius and it does not fail to please, as I am always ready to take on the next challenge regardless of whether it is in my “area of expertise” or not.
So what of Goodyear, Curie, or Einstein then?  They were specialists. Expertise in a single area is what we now know them for. Einstein was no doubt a genius, and had knowledge in many areas, but why does the Mathematics of Physics stand out? Because it is useful to US. You and I have the advantage of the use of the theories or inventions of “great people” and therefore we extend the greatness of these advances to the very name of the person credited with saying “Hey guys look over here, I found something!” I do not wish to belittle the entirety of any great person, because I am certain that even by my definition, most “great people” were really and truly great people. 
So what is “my definition” of great then? I have in my mind the cliché “standing on the shoulders of giants.” The giants are those we regard as great. But really we are speaking of the height attained. If I could stand on a rock and see as far, I would not consider the rock as great but merely as having been the only thing it could have been. The choice to be great is the choice to hold up your fellows. The choice to increase the knowledge and ability of humanity or even just one other person is what it takes to achieve true greatness. So, why am I talking about this? Who even cares? Well, I want you to be that giant. 
I was speaking to one of the faculty at the college here and they informed me that some of the professors are more research oriented and don't particularly care for the teaching side of their profession. When pressed on this some even claim that the students here “aren't up to snuff” basically saying “they're too dumb to waste time on.” WELL, that's going to solve the problem isn't it? The people making this claim are deliberately avoiding the choo-choo-train to greatness. They don't want to be the giant, but rather the people standing on the ground next to the rock. If their research happens to cure cancer, I say “hooray!....but you still suck.” In fact the chances of someone bringing about such a medical advance are purely dependent upon two things: luck and the education of the pool of people. If you teach those around you to be excellent, you yourself are lifted up in the current toward greatness. So I issue this challenge to you: Dare to be Great.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Campus parking just sucks (by anon)

Finding a parking spot on campus is not an easy thing to do.  Many students pay $70 bucks or so a semester to have a parking pass. Unfortunately, it seems that UWW is lacking parking. For students going to class, the best options are the Center of the Arts, Upham, Hyland, and Heidi parking lot.  These parking lots have parking pass and metered sections. Parking on the street is an option if you have an 8 am class and arrive before all the spots are gone or if you get lucky later in the day.  Parking spots in Heidi and Upham are rare unless you drive around and stalk for fifteen minutes. I have found that it took me longer to get to class when I drove and had to find a spot then when I walked.  Many days I found my parking pass useless because there were no spots to be found. There were countless days that I had to dig out my change to plug a meter even though I did pay for a parking pass. 
Another common dilemma occurs when a student with a parking pass is running late. They do not have time to drive around ten minutes looking for a spot.  So the student plugs the meter for as long as the limit. Unfortunately, the meter runs out during the last twenty minutes of class and the student returns to find a ticket. This feeling sucks! I personally feel that the Heidi side of campus needs more parking. Finding parking when going to the Health Center or Roseman building for an appointment is terrible. If your appointment is mid-day do not bother wasting your time looking for a spot just park by the volleyball nets be the gym. 
Another problem area is the area of Hyer and the Library. It would be nice to have somewhere to park when you have to run into the financial aid office quick or drop off a check at the cashier’s office. I bet if there was easy access to the library even more people would use the library. I will be walking to class next semester and avoiding the stress of finding a parking spot. 
It is sad that with all the stresses of being a college student, finding a parking spot before class was a main one.