The 2021 Budget: A look into how government funds are going to be divided up this upcoming year.

With another year quickly approaching, the White House unveiled President Trump’s budget for the fiscal year 2021. This budget is a record $4.75 trillion.There are multiple cuts to many initiatives as well as increased funding to a few areas.

The proposed plan includes $2 trillion in cuts to safety net programs and student loan initiatives. In addition, these cuts also come with new work requirements for Medicaid, federal housing assistance and food stamp recipients, which are estimated to cut $300 billion in spending from those specific programs. The budget also includes cuts on federal disability insurance benefits by $70 billion and on student loan programs by $170 billion.

More specifically on student loans, the budget calls for eliminating the subsidized federal loans and ending the public service loan forgiveness, an incentive that allows teachers, police officers, government workers and other public servants to cancel their remaining federal student loans after a decade. It is important to note, however, these proposals were also in last year’s budget, but Congress failed to adopt them.

For Medicaid, the budget proposes changes that reduce spending on the benefits for the poor and disabled. However, the budget also has some expansions of Medicaid, allowing states the option to cover inpatient care for psychiatric care or drug addiction treatment.

In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will also see cuts by 9 percent, but there is a raise in funding levels for infectious disease activities, perhaps as a response to Coronavirus. The White House is attempting to ‘refocus’ the CDC on infectious diseases and opioid control.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is facing a 26 percent budget cut. The budget does not mention climate change, however, Republicans in Congress are planning on unveiling a climate change agenda that focuses on funding for innovation. Specifically, this involves development for carbon capture technology and batteries to store solar power. However, under the President’s 2021 budget plan, the Department of Energy that oversees research for these initiatives, would receive a 29 percent cut to all programs that are not related to defense and nuclear weapons.

Other programs that focus on foreign aid, public broadcasting and up to 50 environmental programs are removed under this proposal. However, there are increases for restricting immigration (such as $2 billion for the wall along the southern border and additional funds to develop weapons). Also, there is a budget increase for Veteran Affairs by 14.5 percent which includes suicide prevention, opiod addiction services, and healthcare.

Overall, President Trump’s budget seems to

reflect what he believes are the key issues he brought up in his own campaign such as immigration, military funding, and increased care for veterans, but cuts a lot of other programs to focus funding elsewhere.

 

Source: New York Times

New Adult and the Literary World: Why this genre is important and why you should care

If you walk into any Barnes and Noble, or preferably, an independently owned bookstore, you might be surprised to see that if you take a close look there might be a book on display among the hundreds that are there already. You might look inside a shiny, new and embossed cover to see a description. When you begin to read that description, you may see a quick summary about a protagonist in their early to late twenties dealing with the dramatic changes of adulthood. You might look a little bit closer at the cover, turn it in your hands and notice that it is categorized and labeled New Adult. You might think, well what exactly is this? There’s no designated section for it, but here it is.

You might be familiar with Young Adult (primarily for the age group of 12-18, although that can vary) and Adult fiction. New Adult, however, is a relatively new and emerging genre within the literary world.

New Adult is an emerging book market specifically for those in the roughly in age group from 18 years old to 25 years old. Some consider it to even go up to 30 years old. The genre was essentially created to capture the experiences of those emerging into adulthood who are thrusted into a life with a plethora of new responsibilities different than those experiences during teen years, as well as older adults who seem to have themselves a little more together with families, stable jobs etc. New Adult as a genre aims to capture the experience of those in between the stages of Young Adult and Adult.

It seems like a good idea (and it still is), however when the genre was established a decade or so ago, the plots were deemed as “Young Adult fiction with explicit sex” according to author, Kristen Kieffer. At the time, NA was filled with cliche greek life university plots and sometimes unnecessary explicit scenes where none of the characters became fully developed, failing to capture the essence of what it is like for those actually trying to adapt to adulthood in their turbulent twenties.

Although the genre started off rocky about a decade ago, it is striving in the right direction today, but it still faces a stigma for how it started, as well as push back from people who think it is too similar to YA or they think it’s an ‘entitled genre’ and too ‘millennial’. However, despite this, there is a need and a market for this type of book. Do you personally know anyone who had a very smooth transition into adulthood? Probably not. While YA does deal with similar themes as NA, the key difference in the storytelling is the perspective.

“How these themes are explored and presented from both a teen’s perspective and the perspective of someone with a well-established adult life will vastly differ from that of someone newly thrust into the responsibility of adulthood,” Author Kristen Kieffer writes on well-storied. She is personally working on a NA novel of her own, Lady Legacy, that focuses on a 24-year-old who is trying to become a physician.

Kieffer makes a point in her article, “What is New Adult Fiction?”, that this group of people also need to be able to see themselves and stories similar to theirs. NA has come a long way since its conception, and although it may not have sections for itself in every bookstore, it is sought after. She argues that diverse New Adult fiction has the opportunity to help new adults navigate their own emerging adulthoods. This fact alone is just one reason why New Adult should be appreciated more because these experiences definitely matter and are revelant to many people today.

Next time you’re in a bookstore, ask your bookseller if they have any New Adult on their shelves. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a book that speaks to you as you try to navigate your own adulthood while showing support for a genre that is struggling to lift itself up into the spotlight.

 

Sources: well-storied

Eating a Balanced Diet as a College Student

I am not the most healthiest of eaters. When I’m stressed, I have a tendency to binge on my favorite guilty pleasure snacks: kettle cooked chips, popcorn, or cup noodles. However despite my lack of will power, I have tried as a college student to be mindful of what I eat and drink. Overtime, I have picked up healthier habits, but sometimes it can be troublesome being a broke college student access to a variety of healthy food. As a senior, I have learned a couple of tips and tricks here and there, so here are some of my own pieces of advice.

If you are looking to change your diet, it’s always best to not go cold turkey. If you gradually remove something from your diet, your more likely not to go back to it. For example, two years ago I decided to cut soda and fast food from my diet. Over the course of one summer, I progressively reduced the intake. By the time I came back for fall semester, I had phased both fast food and soda from my diet, keeping up with it even until now.

However, maintaining a balanced diet and progress you have made over breaks can be hard. If you’re someone who relies on a full kitchen to eat healthy, it can be hard to transition back to a small dorm room where it is hard to keep fresh fruits. One good practice that I would do before I had my car was that whenever I went to the Dining Commons, I would grab a couple of fruits to go, and keep them in my room. I would do this every three days. This way I always had some kind of healthy food or snack in my room.

One very important aspect of maintaining a balanced diet is making sure you drink plenty of water, and keeping a reusable water bottle with you makes this easier. During my freshman year, I’m pretty sure I drank more coffee than water, and when I would drink water I’m sure my organs were celebrating.

I think maintaining a balanced diet is always a work in progress, especially for the average college student. While we should strive to be healthier and take care of our bodies, don’t get discouraged if you slip up every once in a while. Be kind to your body, but give yourself grace at the same time.

Staying Healthy and Woke: How to protect mental health while exposed to a negative news cycle.

Receiving news has changed immensely within the past decade. News used to be more accessible through physical mediums such as newspapers, magazines or television, allowing people to somewhat regulate how much news they can consume. Now, the world is under a 24 hours news cycle where you can see what’s happening anywhere at anytime on any platform. You can find news without the intention of seeking out information simply from scrolling through social media.

While it is easy to stay informed, it is also easy to get overwhelmed and triggered with the negativity that is in the news today. However, many active citizens of the world still like to know what is going on around them. This can be a challenging line to walk.

It is important to keep in mind that even the ability to ignore news is a form of privilege. Many people cannot make this choice because it is their lived reality; they do not have the privilege of turning it off. With this in mind, how do we keep ourselves in a healthy mindset, while also staying informed and aware?

We can do this specifically by practicing newscycle self-care. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the news, I try to do activities that will take me away from my phone, where it is easy to get sucked into the continuous news cycle. I like to go for walks, spend time doing blackout poetry, or get absorbed into a new book. Any activity that can ground a person in their present reality, instead of the latest news frenzy, can be helpful.

Another way to do news self-care is regulating how much you check your news sources a week. If you find yourself checking the news every day and find it overwhelming, try reducing your news consumption to two times a week, or take a break on the weekends. In addition, reducing your social media consumption is also beneficial because it prevents you from news that may spontaneously come up on your feed. This ensures that you will stay informed on what’s going on in the world around you and stay in touch with those important to you, but also allow you to take care of your mental state too.

In addition to regulating your news consumption, it is also healthy to talk out some of the news you may find distressing with people who you trust. Those people can perhaps not only empathize with how you feel, but can help you begin to recognize the emotions you’re feeling and process them in a healthier way.

The 24 hour news cycle can be hard to handle or manage, but it is also important to stay well-informed and aware about what is happening in the world and how it is impacting others. In order to stay well informed, but also take care of ourselves, we need to make sure that we utilize a self-care that is not only fitted to our individual needs, but helps us when we are triggered by a story in the news.

Celebrating Black History Month

#BLACKLIVESMATTER: The importance of Black Lives Matter and how they honor the lives of the victims, seek justice for them, their families, and the Black community, as a whole.

Trayvon Martin. Mya Hall. Mike Brown. Tamir Rice. Sandra Bland. Walter Scott.

These are the names that Black Lives Matter (BLM) members and supporters want us to remember and to recognize. These are the names of Black folks whose lives were taken from them. In a climate where the society devalues Black lives, the media vilifies victims, and the criminal justice system allows their killers to walk free, Black Lives Matter honors the lives of the victims and seeks justice for them, their families, and the Black community, as a whole.

While Black Lives Matter responds to injustice, it is also a proactive organization, working towards a society in which all Black people can live freely, without being individually or systematically targeted. In 2013, this work began by bringing more awareness with the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, which spells out an idea that should be universally understood but is not. Founders, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, created a network of chapters that operate with the same intersectional mission in mind: to empower Black communities, to create space for Black leaders that have historically been silenced, specifically those who are women, transgender, queer, undocumented, disabled, etc., and to shape a future where Black people can thrive. In the years since the organization’s inception, organizers and supporters have led marches and protests, had conversations with political leaders, and inspired Black people to continue to fight for true freedom. However, when a Black organization challenges the majority culture, they will be met with opposition.

“In the last six years many of us faced down tanks, rubber bullets, were forced to do jail and prison sentences, have been surveilled, lied on, called terrorists, been given false labels by the FBI, and some of us have lost our lives. These six years have been the most profound six years of my life and the most traumatic and destabilizing six years of my life,” said Co-founder, Patrisse Khan-Cullors.

This is not a fight without obstacles, criticism, or great sacrifice. You can be a part of the Black Lives Matter movement by getting involved with your local chapter. The chapter closest to Eastern’s campus is BLM Philly. You can contact them via email at blacklivesmatterphilly@gmail.com or interact with their social media accounts — they’re active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can also participate in Eastern’s Black Lives Matter Week of Action from February 2nd-8th. If nothing else, I encourage everyone to enter into these spaces with compassion and respect and to use your privilege to create space for Black people to share their experiences when we are ready. This quote by Dorothy Height inspires me to keep pushing for what I and other Black people deserve, and I hope it inspires you as well: “I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom… I want to be remembered as one who tried.”

Sources: Black Lives Matter

by: Jaime Dixon

 

Courage to be an Ally: How to utilize your privilege to support Black Trans women.

The following article discusses violence, death and subjects that can be potentially triggering.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released several reports documenting the fatal violence that disproportionately impacts Trans women of color, particularly Black Trans women. The intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and unregulated gun access deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and various other needs which create obstacles that put them at risk.  HRC demonstrates how anti-transgender stigma, denial of opportunity and increased risk factors blend to create a culture of violence.

In the 2019 HRC report, at least 22 Trans and/or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by some kind of violence in the United States. All but two were Black. They are often disrespected by the media by the lack of use of their correct pronouns. Due to this, the HRC noted that they “say at least because too often these stories go unreported — or misreported.”

Since 2013, about 111 out of at least 157 Trans and/or gender non-conforming victims of fatal violence have been Black, according to advocacy groups.

I am providing this information because I believe it is important to stay informed. As a white cisgender woman, I will never know the experince of being a Black Trans woman. With my identity comes the privilege of not being exposed to many hardships in addition to oppressive systems. During my time at Eastern, I have been taught time and time again to think about justice. I have been told to have courage and I have reflected on what exactly that means. I think a big part of having courage is using your own privilege to help others pursue justice. I also believe that as a Christain community, if we ignore the plight of Black Trans women, we are not following Christ.

I think often about this quote in Marie Claire from Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist: “Black people do not need allies. We need people to stand up and take on the problems borne of oppression as their own, without remove or distance. We need people to do this even if they cannot fully understand what it’s like to be oppressed for their race or ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion, or other marker of identity. We need people to use common sense to figure out how to participate in social justice.”

I am writing this because I believe that as Christians, we have a responsibility to advocate for social justice, especially if we have privilege. We can do this in several ways. First, by listening. You do not try to steer their narrative. You help support by hearing and listening to their stories. Through this, you can start to become educated on particular issues. However, if there are cracks in your knowledge, It is not the responsibility of Black Trans women to fill them.

Seek out the answers to your own questions. Do the research. Use the information you learn to educate others. If you come from a privileged group, use your newfound knowledge to reach privileged populations who ignore the voices of Black Trans women. Speak up about their rights even when they’re not in the room. Have courage to risk your unearned privilege. Black Trans women do not have the ability to choose.

Support legal protections for Black Trans women and donate to Black-Trans-led organizations like TGI Justice Project, SNAP CO, BreakOUT, TAKE, GLITS Inc, Transgenders in Florida Prisons (TIFP), Marsha P. Johnson Leadership Institute, Kween Culture, New World Dysorder, St.James Infirmary, TAJA’s Coalition, Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, Black Trans Media and Trans(forming).

Now ask yourself: Do you have the courage to take action?

Sources: CNN, Human Rights Campaign, Mashable, Marie Claire, and TGI Justice

by: Nicole Markert

Top 5 Albums On Billboard’s Top 100: A look into the popular music of the moment.

If you are interested in discovering some new and popular music, check out these top five albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart! Currently, these are the albums that are performing the best in terms of streams, physical sales and digital sales. The albums listed below are representative for the week of Nov. 9.

1. Jesus is King by Kayne West

This album by Kanye West is only about 27 minutes long, but it is doing exceptionally well due to West’s die-hard fans and listeners. On this record, West takes a more experimental route on his ninth studio album. While it still features Rap and Hip Hop (one of his staples), it has prominent Christain themes.

2.Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone

This is the third album by Post Malone featuring many artists such as DaBaby, Future, Halsey, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott, SZA, Swae Lee and Young Thug. This album so far has been on the chart for 8 weeks, showing phenomenal success in terms of sales. This body of work proves that Post Malone is a music powerhouse that is not going anywhere anytime soon.

3. Pony by Rex Orange County

Pony is the third studio album by this British singer and songwriter. The album falls into the indie category and debuted at number three this week. This album was released after several single releases from the singer. It features the songs “10/10” and “Pluto Projector.”

4. Al YoungBoy 2 by Youngboy Never Broke Again

This Rap and Hip Hop album is the 14th mixtape by Youngboy Never Broke Again. The mixtape featured the singles “Self Control” and “Slime Mentality,” which were also both in the EP titled, The Continuance. Although it falls to number four this week, it debuted at number one, and it is YoungBoy’s first album to top the chart.

5. Over It by Summer Walker

This album is by an upcoming R&B and Soul singer. It is Walker’s debut studio album. It debuted at number two, but after a few weeks has fallen to number five. The album has spawned the notable singles “Playing Games” and “Stretch You Out”. It also showcases a remix of Walker’s “Girls Need Love” featuring Drake.

Sources: Billboard, Genius, Wikipedia

Check out These Classes Being Offered in the Upcoming Semester.

Faith and Politics: 

This spring semester class is for students interested in social change.

Although Spring semester registration has come and gone, many students are left looking for classes to fulfill credit needs or major/minor requirements as classes are often in flux semester to semester. One of the most exciting classes offering itself to students this upcoming term is POLI-415 Faith and Politics. This class will be offered this upcoming spring as both an elective or major requirement depending on the student’s field of study.

This class is based primarily in discussion, as it pulls apart the nuances of faith applied to political theory in the modern day. The interaction between faith and politics is a fascinating one, and a class worth taking not only for political science majors, but for any student interested in social change and faith. Many pre-law, sociology, economics and social work students are encouraged to take this class as an elective due to its nature of conversation and debate. POLI-415 helps hone the practical and vitally necessary skill of productive conversation and communication, especially from a faith perspective. Additionally, it helps students to look at politics through the lense of faith, instead of as separate issues.

Much of the dialogue in this class surrounds hot-button foreign and domestic policy issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, education policy, abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment and public policies of economic redistribution. Applying traditional Catholic and Protestant thinkers to these modern issues makes for a very interesting class and conversation. The goal of this class is to better understand the interest of wealth and power as it interacts with faith in the realm of politics.

If you’re looking for an additional class to add to your Spring semester schedule, perhaps this class is the one for you. Professor Alexios Alexander’s analysis of the interaction of faith and politics in POLI-415 is an exciting, discussion-based class great for students interested in social change!

by Kay O’ Keefe

 

Writing for Publication:

Inside the class being co-taught by Professor Gidjunis and Professor Todd.

This spring the English department will be offering the course Writing for Publication. Writing for Publication is a writing course that specializes in helping students learn the ins and outs of the publishing world—including the more non-traditional routes. Students will learn how to craft cover letters and how to deal with rejection in all areas of publishing. According to Professor Rebecca Gidjunis, this course was designed specifically because she found that while the advanced writing courses Eastern offers help students hone their skills and passion, they don’t exactly provide any paths to publication. Thus, she and Professor Katrina Hayes put their brains together to develop this course for students who want to go further with their creative writing. Both of these professors have experience in the literary world and wanted to share that experience with their students.

This spring, Gidjunis is excited to ‘team’ teach with Professor Sarah Todd who brings to the table experience in novel publication.

“With my experience as a poet and managing editor of a poetry press and Professor Todd’s experience as a former bookseller and current fiction writer, students will learn a variety of revising, editing, networking, workshopping, social media postings, and submission techniques in regard to publication,” Gidjunis said of her expectations for the class this spring.

Students who want to pursue their creative writing talents in more concrete ways are encouraged to take the class.  The class will be offered this upcoming spring (2020) and the meeting times will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. Those interested in taking the class must have passed at least Creative Writing (or one of the other listed writing courses) before they can register for the class.

by Cait Wooten

 

Psychology of the Family:

Learn more about the class being co-taught by Dr. Turner and Dr. Stoppa.

Eastern offers a lot of diverse and interesting courses, but not many are co-taught by two professors. Fortunately, one class offered every spring is Psychology of the Family (PSYC 319), a course designed to introduce students to theories and practical approaches to working with families resolving issues affecting family systems. This course is taught by Drs.Turner and Stoppa, and one of their goals is to expand undergraduate students’ thinking about working with families.

“When people think about counseling, they typically think about the individual,” Dr.Turner said.

Many do not realize that when counseling a family, there are different approaches.. One of the main elements taught in the course is how to apply psychological theories to understanding and analyzing family issues. Students not only learn this through class discussions and reflective assignments,   but through watching videotaped family therapy sessions and thinking about what they are learning within the contexts of families in real-life.

In the beginning of the course, there are several activities to help students break out of the traditional thinking of what a family is and look at concepts with fresh eyes.

Next semester, the class will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays. The class requires a grade of “C” or higher in PSY 100 and PSY 205, 206, or 207. Although the class is full for the upcoming spring semester, the class is offered every spring, so if you could not register for it this upcoming year, keep it in mind for the future. It is a class that will not fail to open you to new perspectives.

by Nicole Markert

 

Interpersonal Communication:

Inside this class where students sit in a circle in order to learn about the topics in-depth in a more personal setting.

Communication, which seems simple, is something we all participate in every day. What if there was a class offered that is geared towards improving your relationships, improving your communication and understanding the way others communicate? Luckily, such a class exists. Dr. Julie Morgan, a professor in the communication department (who is also the Interim Department Chair this semester), teaches the wonderful course. COMM 201 (Interpersonal Communication) will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m.

Why should you take this class? Well, for starters, it is a requirement for communication majors with an interpersonal concentration. For other students with communication majors and minors, the class counts as a communication elective.

“It’s one of those classes that will have an immediate impact on your life,” Dr.Morgan said when asked why students should take the class.

When taking the class, students take turns presenting different topics that are discussed in the course textbook. Rather than being lectured by Dr. Morgan, students sit in a circle and discuss the topic in depth. While this class is one that actually requires you reading to understand the concepts, these readings will change your life,  the way you look at your relationships and your communication style.

I took this class last spring, and I am happy to say it is a class that truly impacted my life. I find myself applying topics from this class on a daily basis. Due to the deep discussion-based style of the class, I have genuinely made some amazing and supportive friends in the class whom I would have never otherwise met. If you have some space in your schedule and want some positive change in your life, take interpersonal. I guarantee that you will love it.

by Lillie Allen

Spooky Season is Upon Us: Check out these events nearby to join in on the fall festivities.

Mischief at the Mutter

by Kay O’Keeffe

The Mutter Museum will be holding its fifth annual Mischief at the Mutter night on October 31, from 6:30 p.m.  to 11:00 p.m. just in time to enjoy some creepy medical anomalies while the air is still static with Halloween energy. The event will include pop-up performances, collaborations with local artists, spooky snacks and a costume contest with prizes. Tickets to this event comes with late-night access to the museum and surprise performances throughout the night, promising a truly eerie experience for your enjoyment.

For people native to Philadelphia, the Mutter Museum brings fond and sickening memories of walking through tight halls of medical oddities, anatomical specimens, and chock full history of the most disturbing medical practices known to humankind. The Halloween season brings no relief from these gruesome yet fascinating exhibits. In fact, the infamous museum goes out of its way to make its viewers cringe during this spooky fall season.

If you’re wondering what to do Halloween evening in the spirit of spookiness, a trip into Center City for Mischief at the Mutter might be just the activity for exploratory and seasoned veterans of Philadelphia’s most sinister museum, alike. The Mutter Museum is also open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are several permanent displays of atrocities hosted throughout the building, as well as special exhibits each season for your viewing pleasure. The Mutter Museum offers a student and military discounts to those with ID, as well as a low-traffic rate for Mondays and Tuesdays.

Source: Muttermuseum.org

 

Lancaster County Farmers Market

by Cait Wooten

Fall is the time for fresh air, warm, drinks and cozy outings. This is why the Famer’s Market on Lancaster Avenue, a mere five minutes from school, is a perfect fall activity. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, in fact for the first semester I spent here at Eastern I didn’t even know it existed and I passed it weekly, but when you finally make it inside the place greets you with warmth, smiles and the welcoming smell of homemade Amish pretzels. The market itself offers a variety of produce and products. When you walk in, directly in front of you is a large fruit and vegetable section which is homegrown on various vendor’s farms. Throughout the rest of the space, there are vendor stalls for flowers, meats and cheeses.

Many of these stalls feature samples so before you make your choice, you can accurately decide which homemade product you would like to purchase. Some of the more ‘fun’ (not fruits and veggies or particularly healthy produce) items for purchase are various dips for your chips and an array of delectable pastries ranging from amazingly unique cupcakes to actual cakes, including adorable personal size cakes. No, not a cupcake, an actual personal sized cake.

Additionally, there are various stalls that sell ready to eat meals. I stopped for a sandwich, which included apples, goat cheese, walnuts, honey and turkey. If one is looking for a fuller meal, the market features a restaurant in the back corner that serves breakfast and lunch. Their breakfast menu features typical breakfast items and also a variety of crepes! One can even find sushi at one stall in the market. There truly is something for everyone.

Those who are not hungry can still enjoy the market as there are a few stalls that sell non-food products. From reusable market bags to pajamas, the products range in necessity and uniqueness. Lastly, on your way out, you can grab a handmade Amish pretzel and apple cider as a snack for the road. Lancaster County Farmers Market is a must for your fall activity list.

 

The Bates Motel

by Nicole Markert

In Glen Mills PA, there is a horror attraction that embodies the halloween spirit and mayhem we all crave during this time of year. The Bates Motel, which shows the darker side of Hollywood. This attraction is filled with special effects, soundtracks and special lighting. It is an experience that is up close and personal with actors who put their all into giving its visitors a scare. Dubbed as one of the best haunted houses in America by Fangoria and CNN Travel, it focuses on giving their customers a realistic and haunting experience. As you continue through the attraction that makes you feel like you stepped into another universe, you will see supernatural spirits, creaking floorboards and moving pictures. This is so terrifying that they do not recommend that children under 8 attend, as well as people with heart conditions.

The Bates Motel is not the only spooky event you can attend, but they also have a haunted hayride which includes over 75 actors and up to 25 scenes. It has been mentioned in various publications including USA Today and Hauntworld Magazine, listing it as number one. It is definitely worth the money, as the ride is 25 minutes, features a plethora of actors covered up in professional makeup with the assistance of props and digital FX. This year they are featuring the Headless Horseman, which they claim is a customer favorite. In addition to the Hayride, they also include a Corn maze, Zombie Laser Tag and Double Edge Ax Throwing (along with a professional coach to help you master the craft).

The pricing for the Bates Motel is $15, The Haunted Hayride is $20, The Corn maze is $15 and the combo special is $40. They also offer VIP passes starting at $75. Right now they are offering a 5 dollar off coupon on their website, and if you bring a student ID, they will give you a $10 student discount off of the combo special. It is a great deal, and an amazing way to get into the Halloween spirit!

Source: Thebatesmotel.com

Rural Gun Control: Why legislators need to consider more inclusive gun control

Ever since the tragedies of Parkland and El Paso, and the many gun violence related incidents before them, tension is mounting in America. Many people are calling for mass gun reform, especially younger people who are frustrated with lawmakers for not putting legislation for this on the forefront. According to the Atlantic, America has 4.4% of the world’s population, but almost half of the world’s civilian-owned guns. More than ever before, people are losing their lives due to unprecedented violence that can most likely be reduced by common sense gun reform. However, gun reform itself is complex, and different forms of it are needed for different areas. While gun reform is important, there tends to be more of a focus on urban or suburban gun control, but rural reform is just as important and dangerous, and unfortunately less discussed.

People in rural communities tend to have more benefits of gun use. According to Vox, “People in rural areas are far more likely to grow up with guns, and to use them for hunting and recreation. They might also face longer police response times, and so feel an increased need for a firearm in the home as a matter of personal safety.”

Due to these reasons, guns  are way more   accessible in these areas. Gun accessibility, though, can have its consequences. For example, death by suicide using a gun is more likely to occur, and it accounts for most gun deaths in rural areas. Unfortunately, this has been largely disregarded in the public talks about gun control. While these incidents are not usually declared national tragedies like mass shootings, they are still lives lost that may have been prevented if there was more gun control in rural areas.

Although there are not a lot of proposed solutions to this particular rural issue, there is some push for “firearm choice” laws which allows for people to voluntarily put themselves on “do not sell-to” lists. This is a popular choice because it allows for people to make their own decision to waive their own rights. It is an option that people may take if they believe they are a possible risk to themselves or others.

For the future when people consider gun control, especially on a national scale, it is important to consider the lives of not only specific communities but all communities, and how they may be impacted by gun violence differently.

Sources: LA Times, Vox

Welcome Home, Eastern!

On Oct. 12, many Eastern alumnx, parents, and current students gathered on campus to attend Homecoming, a weekend filled with dancing, fundraising and celebrating.


During the week of Oct. 6, Eastern graduates and current students gathered to celebrate the homecoming of the alumnx. To start off the festivities, the weekly chapel on Wednesday was homecoming themed with alumnx, Ruth Gilson Fox ‘78, Mar ‘84, taking the lead. For 18 years along with her husband, were missionaries in Thailand. Ruth is now the Regional Consultant for Education to Southeast Asia, India, China and Japan, showcasing just one example of what past Eastern graduates are up to today. 

Later in the week on Friday Oct. 11, The St. Davids Golf Club inducted new members, while there was also an Eastern Arts showcase, which is one of the more popular events for Homecoming, which featured spectacular performances by Music, Dance, and Theater students, alumnx, and faculty. 

To start off the weekend, there was an alumnx reunion brunch to honor the Alumna of the Year, Barbara Burger ‘71, and the Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year, Jonas Dorsett ‘16. There was also a Fab 50+ Reunion for alumnx from the 1950’s and 60’s. All these events led up to the Homecoming Fall Festival, where Over 20 student organizations set up a variety of booths. 

Some included food and baked goods, while others offered merchandise. It was also family friendly, including a moon bounce and games. The Eagle mascot, Beaker, was also found flying around for cute and funny pictures. This festival allowed for alumnx to support the current student organizations through donations and sales that were and currently still on campus, allowing them to take a fun trip down memory lane. Some notable tables included the Encatus table with Chick-Fil-A, Refuge selling club shirts, as well as a table selling jewelry for and by Black artists. The funds raised will help support the clubs for the remainder of the year and into the spring semester. 

Along with the festival, some sports games were happening during the same time, allowing home goers to enjoy a field hockey game VS. Kings, a women’s soccer game VS. DeSales and the men’s soccer game VS. DeSales. While the event was lively to some extent, the festivities seemed to have less attendance than previous years, probably due to Fall Free Days which occurred the following weekend, lessening the amount of attendance for parents who currently have students enrolled. 

Overall, Homecoming was a success, attracting alumnx from far and wide, who all came to celebrate one shared experience: their unforgettable time spent at Eastern University, that undoubtedly shaped who they are today, and what they still hope to become.