The Columbia Chronicle

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Disproportionate concern for model size

By Sophia Coleman

September 24, 2012

The weight debate of plus-size models is again making headlines in the fashion world.Australian model Robyn Lawley announced Sept. 19 on “Good Morning America” that she is the first plus-sized model to star in a campaign for high-end fashion designer Ralph Lauren.Media outlets around the world are covering this story as if it were some phenomenon, which it sort of is, considering the brand was notorious for severely ed...

Message for the seasonally challenged

By Sophia Coleman

September 10, 2012

The fashion choices of Chicagoans, like our notorious weather, are unpredictable. It’s a rare day when you put on that perfect outfit that is not only stylish but also shields you from every element that comes your way. Though it is hard to gauge what to wear day by day, normally it is easy enough to have some margin of comfort. But then there are the crazies: people who can wear heavy knits in the dead of summer and leo...

Unsuited for office

By Sophia Coleman

September 5, 2012

As if there weren’t enough reasons to throw Paul Ryan into outer space, he has committed yet another faux pas.This time he is offending the fashion world and—combined with his proposals to ban abortion and other attacks on women’s rights—it is truly a misstep that speaks volumes about his character. Mr. VP-hopeful is a child wearing a man’s suit, and though he may look young, he certainly isn’t as hip as he ma...

Leaders keep city commuters in Loop

By Alexandra Kukulka

November 7, 2011

The lack of sororities, fraternities and sporting events at Columbia may make it difficult to get involved around campus—especially if a student is a first-year commuter traveling to and from campus everyday.In an effort to build a sense of belonging and community for commuters, Columbia created its new Exploration Leaders program to connect those who live off campus to a strong student network that pursues engaging activitie...

Put effort into privacy

By Luke Wilusz

September 19, 2011

A hacker group calling itself Hollywood Leaks made headlines last week when it posted nude photos of Scarlett Johansson, which were apparently stolen from her mobile phone, to the Web.The FBI is currently investigating this intrusion, along with alleged hacks of several other celebrities’ email accounts, because apparently Johansson’s breasts are a national treasure and must be defended at all costs.All joking aside, though, this...

Cheap stunts ruin comics

By Luke Wilusz

September 12, 2011

DC Comics began a new project called the New 52 on Aug. 31. The project, which was announced in May, is a complete reboot of the DC Universe. The comic book giant is erasing the entire backstory of all of its series and starting fresh by re-launching 52 titles and renumbering them from issue one.This tactic is intended to draw new readers into the hobby and boost sales in a dwindling comic industry, but it seems like more...

8-bit education

By Luke Wilusz

September 6, 2011

I can’t imagine grade school without video games. I don’t just mean the ones I played at home, after school, on my trusty old Super Nintendo Entertainment System, although that did eat up hours of my childhood. No, I’m talking about the educational games they had on the computers at school when I was little. Some of my fondest memories from elementary school involve eagerly waiting for other students to leave one of the cla...

Encapsulating Columbia

By SpencerRoush

September 27, 2010

When I graduated from Cardington-Lincoln High School in my small Ohio town, my friends and I walked across the stage for our diplomas, tossed our caps in the air and received congratulatory hugs and praises. One thing we weren’t expecting was having our former eighth grade teacher hand out sealed letters we had written to ourselves four years earlier. It was our own miniature time capsule.When I saw her pass out the env...

Student loans cloud future

By SpencerRoush

September 20, 2010

It’s not rare for a recent graduate to travel back to their hometown with nothing to do but pay off a monstrous debt fromhigher education.As recent college graduates move their dorm-worn furniture into parents’ garages and basements for storage, it’s time for them to find a boring retail job to make payments on their student loans.The retail sales job at the mall is definitely not what their college education was prepa...

Welcome to Mortville

By HermineBloom

February 2, 2010

In a shantytown made up of rapists, murderers and forgotten people, heaps of rotten garbage block their doorways yet no one expresses disgust toward the pungent scent. Instead, the wildly eccentric people who live here—like a stripper with just one arm—are deceptively content living in squalor. This is Mortville---a haven for the misunderstood, the homeless and the creative-minded. Those who aren’t concerned with so...

Brett and Butter

By Brett Marlow

May 11, 2009

Late one evening, as I was about to head out of my apartment and sign offline, my Gmail notifier chimed its usual alerting noise-I had a new e-mail.Logging into my account before leaving, I found a new message from a member of my family. There was no subject line, so I thought it was just the usual checking-up-on-our-college-student-relative e-mail and I could respond later when I got home.Turns out, e-mail is an acceptable form these days for immediate family members to tell you your grandpa has cancer.I didn't respond.I left my apartment. I didn't know what to say. I thought maybe since I'm 1,200 miles away they didn't want to frighten me, but then I saw the whole family had been put into the "To:" box. You would think for things like that you would pick up a phone and call to wholeheartedly and regretfully tell me that my grandfather is really ill.But, that's not the only situation I, or others close to me, have been put in due to this new attitude toward communication. When did it become acceptable to deliver or send heartfelt or important messages  via the most impersonal mediums out there?Technology is convenient, yes-but having the thought and feeling behind hearing or receiving a message is better. We've succumbed as individuals and have forfeited our voices for keyboards and keypads. In offices, workers no longer gather in break rooms. Instead, they chat via e-mail with their co-workers and have conferences in virtual reality. Neighbors down the street from each other chat through IMs rather than face-to-face.In an effort to solve problems, or create them, we use e-mails, IMs and text messages as a force field to protect us from having face-to-face arguments, confrontations or serious "chats." It's easier to confront someone online or via e-mail because there's a barrier. We've forfeited personal connections and surrendered to numbness of other people's feelings.People break up via text message, e-mail or change their social networking site "statuses" to alert others of their being. Shows have already poked fun at it by having characters break up with others on sticky notes, but it's true, and it happens.You may say it's obvious that these ways are easier, but it's a double-edged sword. With the convenience of all this communicating technology, its makers have made it easy for a few other things too. No longer do we have to remember phone numbers-the phone stores them and can even one-touch dial them too.In my eyes, there's no excuse for using technology as a crutch for communicating. For simple things, maybe catching up with long distance friends, your night minutes haven't kicked in yet or you're dropping a little cute note to your significant other. But when it comes down to the heart of the matter, sending an e-mail shouldn't cut it anymore.It seems as a culture we've allowed machines, technology, signals and radio waves to take the place of our own voices, substituting abbreviations in SMS language. Well, I'm no longer JK.

Que sera, sera

By Sara Harvey

December 8, 2008

Most of you reading this will have already moved into your new dorm room or apartment. Some of you will have met your new roommate, too. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship-or not.I remember how excited I was when I found out I would be sharing a space with a roommate, my first one ever. I was unpacking my things at the University Center, putting sheets on my bed and hanging up clothes in the closet. A girl walked in with members of her family following her. She was carrying one small box with a pillow in it. It was my new roommate.But before I could say "Go Huskers," she ran out of the room bawling, and I never saw her again. So much for a first roommate.For the first two months of school, I had a high-ceiling suite all to myself. I shared a connecting bathroom with two other gals (hey, Mercedes and Luisa!), but that was it.In late October, I got a note under my door on UC stationery. I'd be getting a new roommate, who I'll call Roomie No. 2 for the sake of this column.The first few weeks after she moved in passed by pretty quietly. She took up more space than I thought she would, though she wasn't around all the time. She had followed her boyfriend to Columbia, and he sometimes stopped by the room so they could go to the cafeteria together.Sharing a room is easy, I thought. No worries here-just make sure you're courteous and friendly, and things will be fine.It wasn't until my suitemates pointed out something green on the wall that I started to wonder about her.I don't mean green paint. I mean snot. Green, dried crust on the wall in the bathroom. It had to be the new girl ... but why would she wipe snot on the walls when there were tissues readily available? Was she drunk, or did we do something offensive?Then, as I was staring at the hard green chunk on the wall, I realized we had.Weeks before, according to my suitemates, Roomie No. 2 frequently returned to the room with her man while I was gone. They fought and made "loud banging noises," though I was never around for the spectacle. There was blood in the bathroom. Suffice it to say my suitemates were freaked out."We have to do something," they said. So we did-we arranged for a mediation and confronted her. Roomie No. 2 was pretty upset about it, I guess, and that explained the booger warfare.It was the beginning of a tumultuous relationship in which I came home to see posters torn from the wall and woke up to Roomie No. 2 and her pal slamming the door at 2 a.m. My friends thought I was crazy to put up with it, but I'm more of a lover than a fighter: I would have loved to put something vile in her John Frieda shampoo or sprinkle itching powder on her sheets.I put up with it until about December, and she was kicked out by the UC for one of her indiscretions. I was afraid about who they might give me next.Someone up there must love me, because I got Monique, the most down-to-earth, laid-back person I'd ever met. She moved in with her Ikea futon, a fridge, a TV, an Xbox, incense and some John Butler Trio albums.I haven't seen Monique since we moved out during the last week of classes. But I learned something crucial: Roommates can help you become more tolerant, diversify your interests and that things can always get much, much worse, but they won't ever stay that way.

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