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Red, Blue & You: Young voters must overcome apathy

With the midterm elections taking place next week, voter turnout could play a major role in impacting the outcomes of the different elections.  Since the start of the school year, multiple Ohio University clubs have made an effort to register students to vote and encourage out of state students to apply for absentee ballots. Their efforts are especially important considering how low of a turnout college-aged voters have at the polls each year.In the 2010 midterm elections, 24 percent of adults aged 18-29 voted, according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. For comparison, 51.4 percent of adults aged 30 and older voted in the same election.A lack of participation from younger voters is not new. Although people like to claim our generation is lazy when it comes to voting, the younger demographic consistently has a low voter turnout rate. The New York Times reported, “In 1976, when boomers were between 18 and 30 years old, their turnout rate was 50 percent. In 2008, 51 percent of millennials — ages 18 to 28 at the time — voted.”Although much of the blame is placed on voter apathy, there are multiple factors that have lead to such low numbers in this demographic year after year.Between classes, jobs and extracurricular activities, some college students find it difficult to find the time to make it out to the polls or research the candidates.Another factor to consider is the absentee ballot for out-of-state students. Though the actual act of acquiring an absentee ballot is not difficult, it can be enough of a hassle to deter a student from voting.One of the biggest factors influencing voter turnout is whether a presidential election or midterm election is taking place. According to, “In the U.S., about 60% of the voting eligible population votes during presidential election years and about 40% votes during midterm elections.”Midterm elections might not seem as important to students because they are not covered as thoroughly as presidential elections. The press coverage for the presidential elections basically starts a year after the previous election, and rumors are constantly being discussed about whether someone will run or not, and what will help or hurt a candidate.But in reality, midterm elections are just as important as presidential elections, and even though they don’t receive as much press, it’s still important for voters — especially young voters — to show their support for the country and vote.It’s easy for college students to brush off elections with the mindset that one person will not make an impact. But in order for democracy to work, the people must have a say. We are given our voice through the power of voting and although it seems like something that has been emphasized since the beginning of time, every vote counts, and it is important to exercise our right as Americans to make an impact on our

The Post

Guest Column: Gunfire scare brings out Bobcat pride

HallOUween really lived up to its reputation this year. What a blast Saturday (and by extension, the entire weekend) was! The Block Party was as rich with great bands, creative costumes, splendid merriment and entertaining people-watching opportunities as ever.

Luke Furman

Amplified Observations: Playlists at Ping should get pumped up

Not much can compare to the feeling of getting a good workout in. Whether it’s dead-lift day, leg day, triceps/chest day or the ever-popular elliptical day, knowing that you’re doing a good job to keep strong and healthy leads one to feeling at least a bit happier, coupled with the fact that you can pretty much eat whatever you want for the rest of that day and get away with it.

Grant Stover

Nurturing OUr Nature: Sustaining the earth should be a top priority

I have always been fascinated with nature. It’s a force that dictates how we live on Earth — it’s the alpha and the omega. Nature affects all of us: It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, how much money you make or anything else. On any given day, what I do is heavily dependent on weather and what I might have to prepare for. So why does it feel like most people who inhabit our planet don’t take this into account?

Bailey Breece

Societal Sexism: “Basic Bitch” gets a break down

According to Urban Dictionary, a “Basic Bitch” is defined as: “Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech and likes. She is tragically/laughably unaware of her utter lack of specialness and intrigue.”

Cassie Fait

AfterTASTE: Ads sexualize products, stereotype buyers

In the early years of advertising, promotions showed the benefits of a certain product. Then advertisements became more sensationalized. Consumers no longer wished to hear just about the product, which resulted in companies selling “the feeling” associated with the product instead.By eliciting feelings, advertisements become aimed towards a target group. But those promotional materials can be extreme. The media promotes gender and cultural stereotyping in food advertising, and those stereotypes create problematic depictions.Sexualization in food advertisements run rampantly in various media outlets. Fast food restaurants especially display sexual images. In a Carl’s Jr. ad, Glamazon bikini-clad Paris Hilton is holding a burger with the words “She’ll tell you size doesn’t matter. She’s lying,” plastered beside her head. That sexual innuendo is so unnecessary for a burger ad.Other companies similarly sexualize women. Sometimes women are posed as faceless individuals and nothing more than a physical bombshell. In an Arby’s ad, two burgers are posed as breasts, with two hands grasping the burgers with the words “We’re about to reveal something you’ll really drool over.” The ad creates an unnecessary placement of burgers and words. There is absolutely no connection between burgers and sex.It’s not just fast food companies, but also soda companies that fall into stereotyping. In a Coca-Cola Zero ad, the can is supposed to be shaped like a man who’s wearing red swim trunks. Coke is selling the idea that men can get fit and be beach-ready if they drink the beverage. Along those same lines, actress Sofia Vergara is drinking a Diet Pepsi in the new skinny can in an ad. Diet Pepsi is suggesting that if women drink Diet Pepsi, they can look like the actress. The problematic gender stereotypes show how the media places people in molds.In contrast, men are pushed to be extra masculine in ads. Anything else is considered feminine. In an ad for whipped-flavored Pinnacle vodka, a man in a kitchen cutting onions, with the words “Whipped so good,” underneath. He is considered “whipped” because he’s placed in a non-masculine role. He is being feminized since he is working in a kitchen, a stereotypical “woman’s environment.”Advertising doesn’t just stereotype gender but also cultures. A Lipton Tea ad displays an offensively painted Asian man for their herbal tea line. Lipton crossed the line of acceptability here. The man in the ad was completely typecasted. That ad reflects an ignorance in representing a group of people.Magazines, television and the Internet employ ads as a basis for survival and revenue. But the misconstrued messages should call for a less problematic atmosphere.

Jessica Ensley

Lean In Further: Feminists may need to conform

This past weekend I spent time at a conference entitled “Feminists Working Weekend.” When I walked into the high-rise conference room overlooking the Manhattan skyline, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew what a privilege it was for me to be there and that a lot of activists and people who want to help in social change would not have the same opportunity I did. The weekend was dedicated to helping us make financial investments, how to fit into different work environments and figuring out what to do with the rest of our lives. It was much more inclusive than I expected, with speakers that ranged from white, cis-gendered women, to women of color and members of the LGBTQ community.The last presentation was discussing how we can improve our resumes and what feminist employers look for in cover letters. A fellow female attending the conference raised the important question as to why we were learning how to conform ourselves when it’s something we, as feminists, fight so hard against in almost every other aspect of life.Resume and cover letter templates are something everyone must use when applying for jobs. We use these templates to fit into an image that is expected of us. Images that are conformative go against most feminist thoughts and theories. So how can we, as activists who want to go into the professional field to create change, accept this type of conformity? Is playing into the system to attempt to change the system really worth it? These are questions I ask myself frequently. Respectability politics is the concept that one must conform to society’s ideals. Those ideals include wealth, whiteness, maleness, ableness and gender roles. I dislike the idea that we must be like the society that keeps us down. I realize that in order to create change in this society that a platform to speak from is needed. While we can create our own platform (like F--kRapeCulture did) the broad aspect of national and international feminist discussion is furthered through larger organizations.Getting hired is important to simply being able to survive. The focus this past weekend was on feminist positions, but one important lesson I learned was that we can create our own feminist space no matter what work we’re doing. You don’t have to work for a nonprofit or create a grassroots movement to make change (although it’d be cool if we did). Say something when a coworker or boss says something sexist. Let your colleagues know you’re a feminist — if you are one or not, see my past column explaining what feminism means — so that they don’t view feminism as a man-hating movement.I’m still juggling my position between a feminist who wants to take down the system and start a revolution and a feminist who wants to be able to work to feed herself. While I do that, think about the messages we send people when we ask them to state their value on a sheet of paper. Each of us is more than what we present to employers, so what can we do to change the conformist ideals? Because right now, I’m at a loss.Jessica Ensley is a senior studying journalism. Email her at


Post Secret: Long-distance couplings need well-balanced lives

I’ve written about online dating before and how I met my partner via OKCupid. Since he lives in Columbus, we are now in a long-distance relationship.I know a lot of people who are or have been in long-distance relationships while in college. The circumstances of college often allow you to expand your social network beyond just your campus, or perhaps you might be attending college far away from your hometown. Though many people think long-distance relationships are bound to fail, I think in many cases, they can be great learning tools for communication, trust and respect. They’re only doomed to fail if you’re not up for the challenge or mature enough to handle it.As I love lists, here are my tips for making a long-distance relationship work:Communicate … About Everything: Seriously, you need to have prime communication skills in order to make something like this work. Not only do you need to keep your partner in the loop, but also you should establish a communication plan that you can both agree to stick to. Otherwise, it can get easy to become too busy or too obsessed that you focus all of your time and energy in on them. Talk about your level of comfort and coordinate your schedules to figure out what sort of communication styles are going to work the best. If you have at least some privacy, scheduling phone or Skype calls is a great way to stay in touch and hold one another accountable.See Each Other As Often as Possible: Just like you should make time to communicate, you should make time to see each other in person. Obviously, it will depend on how long the distance is between the two of you. There are also the other factors of money and freedom: what are your class and work schedules like? How much does it cost to get to one another and who is going to pay for those expenses? Where are you going to stay when one of you visits? How are you going to eat? What are you going to do together? These are questions you should talk about before visiting.Pursue Other Interests: As hard as it is not to obsess or want to know exactly what the other person is doing, force yourself to step away from the computer. Find hobbies or activities to do on weekends when you’re not together, hang out  with friends or just go for a workout. Having time to miss each other is important, but in order to do that, you can’t be thinking about someone constantly or foregoing activities in order to spend time with them. Have an Endpoint: When entering a long distance relationship, you need to think about the end game. The fact is that if one of you doesn’t move to where the other one is, or you both don’t relocate together, the chances of your relationship making it for the long term are very slim. You’re probably not going to want to have a relationship filled with emails and Facetime forever, so you need to figure out what the end is going to look like. That doesn’t mean that if you can’t end up together realistically, you shouldn’t pursue the relationship. It just means you’re going to have to figure out what the end point is. A lot of people think there is no point having a relationship that doesn’t have the potential of forever, but I disagree. You can learn a lot from relationships of all kinds and besides, how many people really stay with their college sweetheart until they’re 80? The bottom line is: long-distance relationships are doable, but like everything else, they won’t work unless you do, too.Erin Fischer is a senior studying women’s and gender studies. Email her at

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