Mental Illness in College

We all know that college is a time of new experiences. College is really a test, it gives us a taste of the real world and at some points slaps us with reality. While going through college we learn a lot about ourselves that we didn’t know before, and one of those things is how well we can handle the stress of the real world. With the constant studying, assignments and impending due dates, college students commonly become overwhelmed and cannot handle the pressure of higher education. This can leads to mental health issues.  Mental health is defined as “Emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices,” (1). Throughout college students will commonly test the limits of their mental health and will potentially end up pushing themselves to the point of developing a mental illness. It is important for students to understand the importance of taking care of their mental health and to know how to when it is time to seek help when they need it.

The most common mental health issues found in college students are suicide and depression, stress and anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD,  and sleep disorders (2). There are many signs that can help determine mental health conditions before they worsen; unusual sleeping habits, low energy and ambition, change in hygiene habits, thoughts of harming yourself or others,  as well as feelings of worthlessness, helpless or hopeless feelings, and changes in appetite. When these signs are experienced its best to reach out to a counselor or advisor to seek help before it gets too out of hand.

An anonymous professor at Clarke University explained that he thought the most strenuous part about being in college that affects mental health is students being on their own. He explained that parents are not teaching kids to function on their own before they are thrown into the complexity of college. He explained that as a parent it is their responsibility early on to teach children the basics of independence. When asked for advice on how to help students deal with the struggles of sustaining mental health he recommended analyzing your week. Most college students when mapping out their week have too much leisure time, do not spend enough time studying or doing homework. For example, if you have four hours of free time, spend two hours studying then play video games. He also said that students feed themselves negative thoughts, in which he provided a hand out which allows for an individual to assess or challenge the negative thoughts in order to prevent them from altering one’s mental health. One would believe that the drop out rate would be high considering the stress that college can put on one with mental health issues, and this professor agrees. He stated that between three and four years ago about 5-10 psychology majors dropped out at Clarke during the spring semester because of depression and anxiety disorders. As a college educator, he has seen students experience mental health issues first hand. In his experience he said the most common signs of mental health issues that he has seen consist of continuous absences from class, late work, previously stellar work to more poor-quality work and the physical appearance of the student is different, students have baggy eyes, poor complexion, look sloppy in overall appearance and lack overall hygiene.

Liz Schuler, a Clarke instructor believes that mental illness is seen as a stigma but has also seen the powerful affects of mental illness. She says that so far from her knowledge about 3 students have already dropped out this semester. What some may find surprising is that Clarke staff do not have to go through training to be informed about mental illness or how to help the students who are struggling.

Mental illness is a neglected topic that most individuals are unknowledgeable about. To those who deal with a mental illness, do not be afraid to reach out, college is a mess sometimes. You shouldn’t have to be. Your mental health is not a stigma, and you are not your mental illness.

By Alexis Decker`

2)“College Student Mental Health.” Psychology, www.learnpsychology.org/mental-health/.

1)“What Is Mental Health?” What Is Mental Health? | MentalHealth.gov,www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health.

College lacrosse continues to spread rapidly in non-traditional lacrosse areas

College lacrosse is growing rapidly in the state of Iowa. While this is all fine and dandy, Iowa to this day has no varsity high school lacrosse teams. As lacrosse rises in popularity as a spectator sport, more and more colleges in areas lacking high school programs have begun to add collegiate varsity programs. This is both a brilliant athletic and academic recruiting strategy, which is almost guaranteed to increase out of state enrollment.

Not only has lacrosse become popular in the United States, but across the globe as well. Most teams are compiled of players from Canada and the United States, but it’s become common for players from Europe to appear on NCAA and NAIA rosters. Here at Clarke, the lacrosse team is made up of players from all over the United States and Canada. Freshman Canadian attack Drew Bannister had some comments to share on the topic of lacrosse and it’s rise in popularity.

“Lacrosse really is on a rise in the US and across the world, which means more players like me will be coming to the U.S. for school and lacrosse”, says Bannister. These sorts of opportunities mean more and more kids from across the world are starting to pick up a lacrosse stick in order to try out this amazing sport. For many, the draw of lacrosse comes from the finesse and aggression found within the sport that’s similar to hockey or soccer. It’s fast, skillful, brutal, and downright fascinating to watch.

Clarke University has recently taken on a new lacrosse coach. Coach Morhac, who heads both the Men’s and Women’s programs, is currently starting his second season with the University. Last year he led both teams to school records for most wins in a season. Morhac, along with Louis Deeny, a student assistant, was happy to give some insight as to why so many programs are popping up around the Midwest.

“The answer is primarily enrollment, with the exception of some schools with excess funding”, says Deeny. This essentially means schools will continue to add programs for financial gain.

Morhac agreed, adding “Schools like Saint Ambrose University had club teams then made the choice to add varsity programs due to the boom in high school lacrosse.”

If schools are willing to dip their feet into the water on new sports and take a risk, they clearly have to believe in the growth of the sport. This faith in lacrosse and it’s inevitable popularity extends to women’s teams as well.

“On the women’s side, lacrosse is introduced as a low budget and high enrollment option to balance out Title IX,” says Morhac. Essentially, this means that schools are introducing the women’s game as a way to comply and balance out scholarships with Title IX, a civil rights law which ensures fair financial treatment between men’s and women’s sports.

The lacrosse world by no ways is in ideal condition, but with more growth worldwide and in the college game on both the men’s and women’s side it will soon reach the level lacrosse fans have wanted it to be.

 

By Tucker LaBelle

 

Fall Into Art 2018!

On Friday, October 5th, a wide variety of art students from nearly every department showcased their work at the Smokestack in downtown Dubuque. The event, entitled Fall Into Art, is an annual art show that strives to present the newest or most coveted work done by those pursuing art majors and minors. From graphic design to abstract sculpture, the pieces being shown illustrate a number of ideas and concepts. 

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Clarke President Joanne Burrows and Professor Jessie Rebik observe student work displayed at the Smokestack.

Hannah Ingles, a junior graphic design major at Clarke, displayed a redesign of a vintage matchbox cover. The project was originally assigned as a means of challenging students to re-conceptualize and modernize old outdated advertisements. Hannah’s work, which depicted the brand Scissor Safety Matches, featured a number of textures and detailed, Victorian era ornamentation. 

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Piece by Hannah Ingles

In addition to a number of printed graphic design pieces, a series of full body drawings were displayed, having been completed in a life drawing class from the 2018 spring semester. Charlotte Rodewald, a junior graphic design major, presented a depiction of a skeleton, showing her ability to accurately portray different perspectives of the human body. 

“The assignment really helped me understand how the body moved,” said Rodewald of her piece. “It’s so important to understand where certain bones and muscles are [as an artist].” 

If you want to see new student work, keep an eye out for art department events around campus. From December 5th to February 28th, sophomore and junior art students will be having their review, exhibiting their pieces in the Quigley Gallery at Clarke University. 

To keep up to date on any events hosted by the Clarke Art Department, click here

 

 

Top 5 Shows On Netflix You Can Binge Right Now

Too much homework? Need a mental break from all those studies? Well, then take the time to binge a new TV series on Netflix! Regardless of whether you’re mooching off your parents account or if you’ve got your own, here’s a list of the 5 best shows to binge on Netflix when you’re not in the mood to cram.

  1. Grey’s Anatomy- Love drama? How about hot doctors? Well then you have come to the right place. The show follows Meredith Grey, who is starting off as an intern at a hospital in Seattle. Not only do we watch her struggle with maintaining relationships with her colleagues and trying to keep a lid on some family drama, she finds herself in a forbidden romance as well. With 14 seasons posted on Netflix, with number 15 on the way, this show will have you drooling for more.greys-anatomy-memes-long-live-grey-s-5b1ed102fa6bcc0036c4d53b.jpg
  2. Stranger Things- Full of sci-fi and 80s culture, this thriller follows Joyce as she investigates the disappearance of Will, her 12 year old son. As they investigate Will’s disappearance, they come to unravel a series of conspiracies, exposing the details of government experiments and the collusion of supernatural forces.  With Stranger Things seasons 1 and 2 both on Netflix, it will keep you hanging on the edge of your seats. There are, of course, jumpscares. You’ve been warned.1464696-strangerthings-1500797978-936-640x480.jpg
  3. Daredevil- Are you a Marvel fan but you can’t wait for the next Marvel movie? Daredevil is the perfect watch for breaks between films. It will also get you hooked and transition you into a Marvel Defender. By day, Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer, trying to fight for the little guy in court. At night, he hunts the dark streets and alleys of Hell’s KItchen. With his senses heightened, Murdock takes on mobsters and villains alike. With season 3 on the way, Daredevil will open up a new world of fantastic Marvel characters for you.daredevil-netflix-190285.jpg
  4. The Office- Based off of the originally British television show, The Office is a documentary style show following the co-workers of Dunder-Mifflin and how they run their business as well as the shenanigans they get up to. With 9 season now added to the platform, it’s perfect to binge watch when your trying to study. MDot-TheOffice-640x360-MP.jpg
  5. Friends- Rich with 90s pop culture, this sitcom follows 6 friends living in New York City and the crazy twists and turns of their lives. With plenty of relatable characters and great stories, you’ll be laughing on the sofa with a cup of coffee.0091876_0.jpg

Feelings of Neglect Among Pride

Is Clarke University considering anything and everything for its athletics? Some students on campus, specifically student athletes, feel as though their respective sports are being overlooked by administration, thus, making them feel unimportant.

Decorated teams like Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field all been competing off campus since each of their inaugural seasons. Baseball competes at A.J. Spiegel Park in Peosta which is about a 20-minute drive. Softball competes at Veteran’s Memorial Park which is a 7-minute drive, and Track and Field have never even had home field advantage as they are always on the road. These teams, along with two Lacrosse teams, two Golf teams, two soccer teams, and potentially our new football team will have to share one indoor facility throughout the year, the Gantz Center, which is also a 7-minute drive from campus. Clarke does not provide transportation to these off-campus facilities.

Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field have been exceptionally successful in the past few years; however, a number of student-athletes feel as though they have nothing to show for it.

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Photo Credit: College Consensus 

Campus is changing, and some concerns are coming to light. There is little word from the administration regarding what exactly these new facilities are going to look like. Students can visibly see the plethora of space there is on campus, and that there is a lot of room for possible facilities for sports that seem to have been forgotten.

In a conversation with All-American baseball player, Michael Lopez, a junior from Rancho Cucamonga, California, he expresses his discontent with the current facilities stating, “I feel like our team is consistently successful, however we still get the short end of the stick having to drive 20 minutes to practice every day. A lot of us are from far away states and don’t have cars at our disposal.”

Lopez continues with expressing frustration stating, “It just sucks because student-athletes work as hard as we can to represent Clarke and what has Clarke done for us? Now that they are taking trees down, I can see that there is definitely room on campus for a baseball field or even an Avila type facility which is a full length make-shift football field, soccer field, softball field, and baseball field…I know I am not alone by saying there is room for this type of facility at Clarke.”

Clarke softball players also express their frustration and feelings of neglect. Ally Renforth explains the softball field is less than conducive for competition and practice, “…we have to haul all of our equipment from Gantz to [Veteran’s Memorial Park] to the school. It’s a constant struggle having to chase down equipment.”

Renforth continues to express her frustrations with the actual field, “We play at a community field. Kids ride their bikes across it and even run onto our field during practice. We have to put up a fence in order for our field to be regulation, we have an extremely small dugout for our team, and we have a scoreboard with broken pegs for plastic numbers that fall off. In all of my four years of college softball we are the only team I’ve seen with less than satisfactory facilities like ours.”

Renforth continues to state, “don’t get me wrong, we are content with the facilities that we have, but now that Clarke is making new facilities for a team that doesn’t even exist yet, it kind of hurts feeling as though we have been totally forgotten about.”

In closing with Lopez he expressed, “Clarke is doing a lot of things right, but they are also doing a lot wrong. The university should be caring thoughtfully about their current students and student-athletes because we are the best chance they have at generating donors. Instead, most of us are unhappy and envy schools like Georgia Gwinnett, University of Dubuque and the facilities that many teams in our conference have. I understand sports aren’t everything in life, but Clarke is wasting the chance to bring a championship culture across all sports to campus.”

Personally being affected by this, it seems like Clarke is jumping the gun on some of the decisions they make. This article is not meant to be taken offensively. I think Coach Regalado is doing a great job recruiting a team and getting the Clarke community excited about football. Administration is doing a great job in supporting football on the Clarke campus. The soccer and lacrosse teams are all equally deserving of benefiting from these future facilities. All of these things aside, it still doesn’t hide the fact that current student-athletes feel neglected for a shiny new object when they have put in the blood, sweat, and tears in order to make their sports worthy of respect.

 

By: Jamie Deering

Why We Need Love, Simon.

When I first realized I liked girls, I was only ten years old. I had been watching Teen Titans, a show on the Cartoon Network one Saturday morning when the character Starfire came on screen. She had bright red hair and an outrageously animated body, but the way her character spoke had made my chest feel warm.

Being a child, I shoved the feeling away to analyze at a later date, unable to recognize how much that moment would shape my young life. The time for analysis never came. Instead, I worked my way through middle school, developing crushes on girls in my grade, but all the same shoving the infatuation away because of course, it was wrong. Unnatural. After all, it was Rose that fell in love with Jack, and it was Edward that fell in love with Bella, and that was just the way things were.

The way everything was.

download.jpegRecently, however, the film Love, Simon has challenged this heterosexual status quo, the movie hitting theaters internationally, acting as a shock to the largely straight system of cinema. The film has earned mixed reviews from people both within and outside of the LGBT+ community. A majority of the reactions have been positive, celebrating the success of one of the first, widely released young adult films that features a gay protagonist.

However, some critics have picked the film apart, discrediting every cliche and dismissing every cheesy one liner, all the while posing the question of whether Love, Simon was necessary.

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In a society completely saturated with films based around teen stereotypes, it surprises me that only now is the necessity of high school rom coms called into question. Films such as Fault in Our Stars, Twilight, and Ten Things I Hate About You, which all feature heterosexual, high school couples, have had the honor of becoming classics among the millennial generation.

Yet, now that a film of the same formula has taken the box office by storm with a gay main character, Hollywood has suddenly “run out of ideas,” repeating the same narrative and pandering to “PC culture.”

I understand the frustration with Hollywood’s monotony. Love, Simon is by no means a cinematic masterpiece. At times, the writing heavily relies on stereotypes audiences may be tired of, and the use of clichés sometimes pushes the narrative right over the line of cheesy. But that’s what makes Love, Simon so crucial in the fight for representation. Finally, the LGBT+ community has gotten their own Twilight, just… with less vampires and more rainbow motifs.

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Image from Trailer Addict: https://www.traileraddict.com/blue-warmest-color/poster/1

To give context to why a film like Love, Simon is so important, it’s necessary to understand the current state of LGBT+ cinema. One of the most popular movies ever to feature a gay couple is the French film Blue is the Warmest Color. The movie illustrates a relationship between a nervous 18-year-old named Adèle and an older, free spirited woman named Emma, who is implied to be in her 30’s. Their relationship is taboo and secretive, which eventually causes a rift between them. Eventually, Adèle is left behind by Emma, and, with the love of her life gone, Adèle spirals into depression while her ex moves on to a more mature, stable relationship. To make matters, and the film as a whole, even worse, spliced between scenes of emotional manipulation and angst are vulgar, bordering on pornographic sex scenes between Adèle and Emma.

 

These distressing themes are commonplace within LGBT+ films. Characters tend to either be hypersexualized or broken apart, a happy ending out of the question. For a young member of the LGBT+ community, it can be frightening to look towards media for reassurance, only to be told that the kinds of relationships you may be looking for can only end in tragedy. Love, Simon takes these thematic elements, these pornographic scenes, and flips them on their head, instead creating a sweet but inspiring tale that seeks to empower teenagers who are just starting to explore their identities and sexualities.

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In fact, even members of the cast of Love, Simon themselves have been inspired by the film, the lead actor Keiynan Lonsdale (pictured right) coming out as queer just after shooting for the movie was wrapped. Reflecting on what it was like to play a closeted gay character, Lonsdale said to the Hollywood Reporter on March 16th, “Representation matters, and it’s just the truth. You watch something, and depending on how the story is told and how these characters feel to you, it influences your life, it influences how you feel about yourself and people that you meet.”*

Stories like Lonsdale’s unfold every day– kids coming out to their families and friends all the while never knowing exactly what kind of reaction they’ll get. Lonsdale acknowledges that he was lucky to come out in an environment that was so immediately accepting, though he admits that, regardless of knowing he’d be met with nothing but support, it was still a terrifying experience. Love, Simon was created with the purpose of quelling some of that inherent fear. By giving an honest, yet lighthearted look into the life of a gay teenager, Love, Simon has become an invaluable resource for queer kids who are terrified of making themselves known. Seeing the main character find peace in his own skin gives kids within the LGBT+ community an example to look towards, letting them hope for their own happy ending.

By Mimi Ottavi

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/love-simon-keiynan-lonsdale-talks-coming-set-1092851

 

Connect and Serve

There is a small group of students on Clarke’s campus who participate in a program that is not widely known by other students. This program, “Connect and Serve,” began in the spring semester of 2016, and consists of Clarke students partnered with students just across the street at Dubuque Senior High School. These Clarke students mentor the Senior High School students through a program adapted from the University of Minnesota’s Check and Connect program which works to improve the graduation rates among high school students.

This semester, eight Clarke University mentors were each paired with at least one Dubuque Senior High School student and met weekly with their mentees. We developed academic goals to improve grades through academic supports, improved behavior at school, improved the students’ attitudes towards academics. Of these eight Clarke students, four are volunteers and the other four are in the “Connect and Serve” course instructed by Clarke Sociology Professor Rachel Daack. This one-credit hour course meets once a week to discuss each mentee’s progress in the program and to provide support and ideas that can improve the mentoring experience and outcomes of the high school student mentees. Clarke students also explore social research and participate in community organizations with goals similar to Connect and Serve.

Clarke University hosted a visit event on campus this spring semester for the Senior High mentees. The student mentees ate lunch in the cafeteria with their mentors, toured campus, and participated in a Q & A with Clarke mentors about college life. The high school students thoroughly enjoyed the unlimited lunch buffet in Clarke’s dining hall (especially the ice cream sundae bar), the opportunity to see a dorm room, and hearing from their college mentors about what college life is like in comparison to high school. Many of the student mentees left campus with new considerations of attending college after high school and programs they may be interested in participating in. Overall, the event successfully opened the student mentees’ eyes to life beyond high school, which has in turn motivated the students to do well in school in order to attend college after graduation. The mentoring program will continue into next year as new mentors are being recruited in order to grow the program.

 

By: Caroline Herrig

Dubuque Police Monitor Social Media for Threats

 


The Dubuque police department monitors social media to track and respond to threats in the Dubuque area.

The police department will now focus some attention on social media in response to the alleged shooting threat directed toward Dubuque Senior High School on February 22. This allows the police department to not only respond quickly to confirmed threats but also to control any hearsay about discredited threats. The Dubuque community and its institutions benefit from the police department’s efforts to monitor social media.

For special circumstances, like the Dubuque Senior High School shooting threat, the police department will assign an officer to monitor social media for threats, according to Joe Messerich, a Lieutenant on the Dubuque police force. However, the police department does not staff specific police officers to oversee social media for threats. Instead, the police department has intelligence officers who gather vital information and relay it to the police officers.

Although, Lt. Messerich said all officers are expected to act as intelligence officers to find trends on social media – whether it involves underage house parties, gang-related posts, or possible threats – and relay the information to the department.

Another way officers monitor social media is during their own time when they are off-duty. If the officers peruse their social media accounts and come across something alarming, then they are expected to use their judgment to consider if it is a threat. “It doesn’t matter who you are,” said Lt. Messerich. “You’ll find information on something on social media.”

To report any threats, call the Dubuque police department at (563)589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at (800)747-0117.

Lt. Messerich said the now-discredited Dubuque Senior High School shooting threat was a rumor that “spread like wildfire” because social media users would share the story without any credible sources.

The rumor forced the police department to follow more leads and investigate more individuals, to which they dedicated one police officer to sift through social media for information on the possible shooting threat. This assigned officer would then contact people to see if the threats circulated were credible.

The Walk Out on March 14 was another circumstance that compelled the police department to monitor for threats. Those who participated in the Walk Out to protest gun violence left the safety of their school/building to march to Washington Park. The latter location is an open area which exposed individuals to possible threats; so, the police department had to take all precautions necessary to protect students and community members involved.

The police department monitored the “National Walk-Out Day – Dubuque” Facebook page and analyzed users’ comments to determine if they were possible threats. The police department needed a solid understanding of the threat-level during the Walk Out, and they turned their attention to Facebook to analyze the situation.

Lt. Messerich said, “We must know if 50 people from Loras or 2,000 people from the community are going to determine the level of safety.”

The police department monitoring social media for threats benefits the community and its institutions. Clarke University, a private Catholic university, benefits from the police department’s examination of social media.

Sister Joanne, Clarke University’s President, showed excitement and support for Dubuque monitoring social media. She said, “Lots of people and groups monitor social media. Clarke does. People are naïve if they think their texts and tweets and whatever are not being monitored. Given the pervasiveness of social media and the increased incidents of violence, I think the monitoring of social media by law enforcement is increasingly necessary.”

Sr. Joanne continued, “Such surveillance could provide our campus community with an advanced warning about a potential threat of violence or alert us to any abusive behavior being perpetrated by or directed at a member of our campus community.”

Laura Naber is a Clarke University student directly affected by the Dubuque Senior High School shooting threat.

Laura said, “As a student teacher at Dubuque Senior High School this year, I was affected by the supposed shooter threat in late February when classes were canceled for an entire day. While the administration and police handled the threat with the utmost concern and professionalism, the incident caused me to reflect on my future career in education and the influence of social media in the classroom and society.”

Laura continued, “While social media can be a great tool for communication, it has also become a negative pool where people post ignorant comments and bully others through an LED screen. Because this is becoming more and more of an issue, I think it is

important for police officers to monitor social media posts for potential violence and threats. If there are serious issues and concerns circulating the internet, law enforcement should be made aware so that immediate action and protection can be taken to avoid any detriment to innocent people.”

Caitlyn Ambrosy is a life-long Dubuque resident who attends Clarke University. She said, “In a society where social media is an ever-growing presence to which many believe there is a sense of anonymity and lack of consequences, a law enforcement presence is necessary. In the instance of the threat towards Senior High School, having a police presence on social media allowed for a quick, tactical, and thorough response to investigate the threat and protect the students.”

 

By Kyle Majerus