Women’s rights may have been key deciding factor in this year’s election

Women’s rights may have been key deciding factor in this year’s election

Elections yield more results than just the next presidential candidate. The decision to elect comes down to deciding on economics, foreign policy – even the rights of women.

With women feeling the strain of having their rights impacted being one of the largest faces of the election this year, many are likely wondering what the recent results of the election will do for them.

Democratic nominee President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney both faced the challenge of what they would each do for women and whether or not they would be the candidate to take federal funding away from family planning services.

Marie Rose, a sophomore at Michigan State University, feels that the outcome of the election held two very different possibilities for the future of rights for women.

“I think that since Obama won, it’s a huge relief for women, especially for women’s issues,” said Rose. “There’s no more threat against Planned Parenthood. For many women, this means they get to keep their health care.”

Under President Obama, the family planning service Planned Parenthood, which received much attention this election, will see a budget of $104,790,000 for teen pregnancy prevention, according to Planned Parenthood’s website. This hot topic issue was the source of seeing a potential cut by Romney. 

Jordan Shawver, a sophomore at Western Michigan University, believes that whether or not Planned Parenthood would be affected played too large of a portion in which way women voters would swing.

“I feel as though some of the issues were blown way out of proportion,” said Shawver. “In my opinion, I believe in less government. I believe the fewer funded programs the better.”

Shawver, a sales and marketing major, felt that although women’s rights were a large part of the debates that occurred throughout the fall, monetary and fiscal policy would have remained at the highest concern.

Paul Abramson, political science professor at MSU, values the difference between each candidate and the different places they each held within the realm of women obtaining their rights.

“I think the type of nominee Obama will make will be substantially different than Romney would have made,” said Abramson.

Abramson said that Obama held the power to impact women’s rights with his Supreme Court nominations over the last four years, though it is too early to see if Obama’s next term will impact women’s rights.

“What you’ve had are pro-choice nominations that will fly under the radar as to their position on ‘Roe versus Wade’,” said Abramson

Roe v. Wade, brought to the Supreme Court in 1971 according to appeal records, solidified current laws allowing abortions to take place.

“We know women were substantially more likely to vote Obama,” said Abramson.

Rose, a social work major with a minor in women and gender studies, feels passionately for the Democratic Party’s stance on the rights of women.

“If Mitt Romney were to shut Planned Parenthood down like he said, that would force a lot of women to even lose access to cancer screenings,” said Rose. “I think we would lose a lot of access to women’s reproductive rights.”

Rose, said she believes that women need to have control over their reproductive rights, the face of the women’s rights issue, and that it should be federally funded to an extent.

With Republican Party members crafting comments on pro-choice versus pro-life, most notably Congressman Todd Akin’s (R-MO) comment about legitimate rape against illegitimate rape, the issue of abortion could not escape media attention.

“I don’t know why it has been blown up so much lately,” said Rose. “No woman wants to have an abortion. People who are pro-life don’t understand that. I don’t know how people can call themselves pro-life when it can potentially kill the mother.”

Although the issue of abortion is not the only issue in the realm of women’s rights, it seemed to be the face of the debate.

“I do not believe that this position of life versus choice will change anytime in the near future,” said Shawver. “Nor do I see congress taking steps in changing it at all.”

While it is well known that social issues typically align more with the Democratic Party platform rather than the Republican Party’s, the issue holds importance for all involved.

“I feel as though many more women voted for Obama to protect their rights, especially on the reproductive side,” said Shawver. “With some of the Republican pressures on women, it seems as though they felt like they were being attacked and, rightfully so, they voted oppositely.”

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Attacks in Libya may affect November election in U.S.

Attacks in Libya may affect November election in U.S.

The darkest of nights seem to happen farther from home, approximately 20,465 miles in the town of Benghazi, Libya.

The U.S. consulate in Benghazi became alight with antiaircraft weapons and rocket propelled grenades the night of September 11, 2012, leading to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, along with three other Americans.

Stevens was found dead in a Benghazi hospital the morning after the attack. Radical militant group Ansar al-Shariah is being held responsible for the four deaths, along with 15 members of Libyan security.

Yussef Magariak, president of the Libyan National Congress, apologized for the attack by his fellow countrymen. Magariak stressed that Libya wants to work with the United States to resolve the issue of radical militias.

Photo credit: Julia Grippe

East Lansing is a far way from the tragedy held in Benghazi on September 11, yet that does not mean the MSU community remains immune from being affected.

Myles Baker, 20, a political science junior at MSU, felt empathy for the townspeople of Benghazi, along with the nation of Libya.

“This is a worldwide topic that hits home,” said Baker. “These are the circumstances that start wars.”

Baker is feeling the strain of the recent attack on Libya, even from East Lansing.

“My major has the potential to be impacted by this attack and by what the United States decides to do,” Baker said. “I do feel like this was more of a political attack than an attack on America.”

Students across campus have reacted to the U.S. response to the Libyan attack in a variety of ways.

Courtney Poli, an international relations sophomore, tried to justify the attack and the response that followed.

“[Libyans] have a lot of built up resentment towards the States. I don’t necessarily disagree with the response to the attack – the U.S. has made mistakes in the past, but rarely takes responsibility. It’s time someone did,” Poli said.

Poli, originally from Singapore, looks at this attack as a possible detriment to her future career.

“What worries me is that I want to take the diplomacy route after graduation,” she said. “It could affect my future, which is what frightens me the most.”

With the November 6 election soon approaching and the criticism by both Republican and Democrats on how the attack was handled, many may wonder how it will affect the election’s outcome.

“[Criticism of the Libyan attack] could potentially help Obama,” said Baker. “His stance on less involvement could be keeping not only himself safer, but the whole of the United States, and us here in East Lansing.”

Although the attack on Libya is present in the minds of those in and running office, it might not be as prevalent to students around Michigan State in regards to the election.

Photo credit: Julia Grippe

“Students can skew it any way they want to for it to fit into this election,” said Poli. “As an international relations major, I want to vote for whoever knows not to step on every countries’ toes. To do this, you need to read multiple sources to gain all the facts; many of my peers do not do this.”

According to The New York Times, President Obama sent out tighter security for all American diplomats, in addition to sending 50 marines to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to assist the American embassy located there.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney disagreed with Obama’s reaction to the attacks, accusing Obama of treating the attack with minimal response.

“I personally don’t believe Obama’s response was wrong. In retrospect, these four lives aren’t enough to start a war over,” said Poli. “The consequences of a rebuttal attack will affect all of us career wise, and make our finances more of a struggle once we graduate. America can’t monitor the whole world.”

The direct cause of the attack has not been identified, yet the Libyan newspaper Albawaba has reported from the front lines of the attack. Albawaba reported that Stevens had been preparing for American troops to enter Libya, which could have been a possible trigger.

Also reported to be a cause of the September 11 attack in Libya came from an American made video entitled, “The Innocence of Muslims,” depicting the Islam prophet Muhammad as a homosexual child molester, furthermore insulting the Islam religion.

“The video was horrible. I would say this could have stemmed the attack due to blatant disrespect,” said Baker. “But they [Ansar al-Shariah] chose the wrong outlet to describe their dislike.

With the attack being on the date of September 11, the issue has arisen that the attack was a glory kill to remind Americans that al-Qaeda is still alive.

“It was twice the insult to attack an American embassy on the date of the worst attack on American soil,” said Baker. “Almost a reminder that it could happen again.”

The impact of 9/11 is still upon many students at Michigan State, and the most recent attack on the American embassy is drawing many students back to the memorable day.

With the response to the attack still in the works and the Ansar al-Shariah militia now disbanded, Michigan State students can assist in working to create a progressive future where America might not have to be subdued with foreign attacks.

“This could really affect the future of International Relations,” said Baker. “This will be falling back on our generation – we have to be ready to pick it up.”

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Tweeting to the Professionals

Tweeting to the Professionals

By Cait McKeon

Twitter, a social media phenomenon created by software architect Jack Dorsey, has swept its way across the world on the back of the little blue bird they hold as their logo.

As an easy access social media site, Twitter has recently been recognized for playing a practical part in the lives of college students. It cannot be compared to the camaraderie of Facebook or the wishy-washiness of MySpace–Twitter has been holding its own. This once small, podcasting company is now helping to secure the future of many college graduates, as well as students still currently enrolled and grasping at their future job prospects.

Photo taken by Ron Brown

Kevin Burrows, a broadcast journalism sophomore here at Michigan State University, has discovered a way to use Twitter to his utmost advantage. After following his idol, news anchorman Vic Faust of Channel 7 Action News Detroit, on Twitter, Burrows decided to take the opportunity and contact Faust about following him on a job shadow.

“I just tweeted at him, ‘Hey what do you think about me doing a job shadow with you, it’s a requirement for my JRN 200 class’, then he asked me to call him,” Burrows explained. “The opportunity definitely made me realize that this was exactly what I wanted to go into.”

For Burrows, this opportunity was one that may have placed him on the map for future job prospects in the field that he truly aspires to be in. Across the country, students, professionals, and everyday citizens are using Twitter to grab at small and large breaks for their careers.

“Start by having a professional Twitter account – think of your future employers. Follow people of your professional interests so they can tell that you’re serious about this career. I followed Vic, but also many of his co-anchors and also many larger anchors such as Katie Couric,” said Burrows. “Think about what’s important and what you want to say. The first tweet should be simple but meaningful… that first tweet is crucial.”

While many of us are currently still getting into the swing of Twitter, companies are using it to their full advantage to see who is available to them, and also how they can make themselves available to their consumers.

Lauren Simonetti, a recent advertising graduate of Michigan State University, uses Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with companies that she has a personal or professional interest in.

“Twitter can be a great resource of information. Companies I followed would often post job opportunities on social networking sites before I found them using another resource,” said Simonetti.

Twitter offers a particularly easy and acceptable way to be able to stay in contact with opportunities one might be interested in.

“I used Twitter to connect with professionals and companies that I had previous interaction with. I made it a point to connect with professionals via Twitter after we had met at a career fair or through any of my internships,” Simonetti explained.

The ease and availability that Twitter is able to offer to college students, as well as the general public, is something that works well in the favor of those who are using the social media tool for professional reasons.

“Twitter is more legitimate than say, Facebook, because it’s more personal,” said Burrows. “You know it’s them and that you’re contacting them directly; anyone could pretend to be someone. Think of twitter as being trustful for professional interests.”

Twitter is a social media of give and take – what you put into Twitter is what you will get out. When close to 65 million tweets are being pounded out of computers, iPads, iPhones and other electronics daily, to be noticed, one needs to stand out from other generic tweets that are being tweeted by millions of people around the world.

“Demonstrate that you are engaged in the industry you are studying and people will take notice! Even if it doesn’t gain you an interview, it may play a significant role in getting you the [right] job,” said Simonetti.

Bonnie Bucqueroux, a journalism professor at Michigan State, uses Twitter as a learning tool in her classrooms to expose her students to social media.

“I encourage my students, rather beat them over the head, to use Twitter as crowd sourcing. Here are your story leads and where you build connections,” said Bucqueroux. “They need to begin following those in different communities to build connections, promote their stories, and gather better leads.”

Twitter does not stop being beneficial once college has come and gone away, but continues throughout when graduates search for more professional opportunities.

“Twitter has continued to be a great networking tool now that I have began my professional career. Many of the prospects we target come to us–a marketer’s dream–because we are providing relevant, compelling information that they want,” said Simonetti.

The help that Twitter lends does not stop with helping to secure professional opportunities, but also keeps people in tune with the most current and up to date proceedings of news, events, and promotions. While learning of news happenings in America, one can also hear the comings and goings of news all of over the world as Twitter is currently international and able to be read in sixteen different languages, expanding the marketplace for professional opportunities that much more.

While Twitter is a fun and interactive social media site, it can be used to a much higher potential by students and employers alike.

“Like you’ve been told by every professor at Michigan State University, human resource professionals pay attention to who you are on social media sites,” said Simonetti.

With this advice said, students should remember to keep their Twitter as professional as possible.

“Jay Rosen, a professor at New York University, once said that on Twitter there is mind casting and life casting,” Bucqueroux said. “Life casting is when you always tweet about how you’re going to grab a latte. Mind casting is tweeting about how making a latte works, news about recent events surrounding the latte, rather than just the latte itself. In this, you can deal with serious matters on twitter, not just use it as a marginal communication device.”

Your teachers were never pulling your leg about professionalism and your future, and now Twitter can truly help and secure that position you once thought was out of reach. With the help of professors and peers, that small blue bird may one day take a hold of the current job market and transform it into something much more futuristic than this world could have imagined.

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