Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

April 2012

You are browsing the archive for April 2012.

Doing Damage Control to Your Online Rep

April 26, 2012

Attention college students – unfortunately that sad, sad time has come. There are officially a finite number of days left to grab a beer at your favorite bar, attend that themed frat party and haze some freshmen just to remind them that even though they survived their first year of college, they are still the low man on the totem pole – at least for a few more days. Because along with April showers come April tears… tears over the fact that your year at college is fast coming to an end and all that’s left to comfort you is the Big, Bad Real World and rent for that stuffy studio apartment.

For some of you (and for the lucky ones), summer will mean a time in which you can throw dodge balls, compete in Color War games and chaperone camp socials, as you are still young enough where it is not totally frowned upon to spend the glorious summer days outside, basking in the sun as a camp counselor.

With Missing Kids on the Rise, Schools Revisit Notification Policies

April 24, 2012

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – and the type of news that sends a shiver down spines – he/she hears these four piercing words; your child has gone missing. From abductions to runaways, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that almost 800,000 children (younger than 18) go missing in a one-year period, or an average of 2,185 children a day.

And in the case of Sierra LaMar’s parents, the nightmare is not yet over.

I'll Take an Order of Textbook, Please Hold the iPad

April 19, 2012

Let me paint you a picture of what is undoubtedly occurring on college campuses all over the world these next few weeks. Students are rushing to their campus bookstores, shooting the breeze as they wait in line with their peers to sell back their hefty textbooks. After all, if their parents were so kind to shell out $150 in the first place to help pay for their books, surely they would be fine with their kids pocketing the $25 they receive after selling back their text books.

The scene is chaotic as students will be haggling to the last dollar to get the most bang for the buck for their barely used book because, let’s be honest, senior week, formals and beach trips are on the horizon.

In Memory of those Lost in the Virginia Tech Shooting

April 17, 2012

While many college students around the country most likely spent this past Monday bogged down prepping for final exams and feverishly preparing for pending job interviews, those students at Virginia Tech had a far more daunting and emotional task to complete – get through the day of classes as for the first time in five years, the university held classes on the anniversary of what quickly became the country’s deadliest mass shooting.

The Virginia Tech massacre, a school shooting that took place on April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., was perhaps one of the most harrowing and disturbing events that has taken place in recent years. That day, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior English major at Virginia Tech, fired on students and faculty all over campus, killing 32 and wounding 25 in two separate attacks approximately two hours apart, before ultimately committing suicide. Cho, who prior to this shooting had been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, was responsible for the second-deadliest act of mass murder at a school campus, behind the Bath School bombing of 1927, according to reports.

A New Major is in Town and its name is Social Media

April 12, 2012

If you are a college student about to embark on the daunting journeyof gainful employment (hopefully), you are probably busy day in day out scouring the job listings in search of your dream job – or at least one that pays just enough for you to move out of mom and dad’s house. Some of you will find a job right in line with what you majored in: a job at a hedge fund for the economics major, a position at an art museum for the art management major or a role as a project manager for the construction management major.

But if you majored in journalism, or even more specifically magazine or newspaper, you might find yourself pounding back glasses of wine as you nervously notice a trend; there are scarcely any jobs for print publications out there even though you just spent four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars learning about how to create a killer FOB (front-of-the-book for all you non-magazine majors) and in-depth above-the-fold feature story.

What you are noticing instead is the plethora of job listings for positions such as “Social Media Manager,” “Social Media Consultant” and “Social Media Assistant.” You might be thinking ‘Is this for real?’ ‘Can I really make big bucks tweeting and Facebooking all day long?’ And the answer is yes.

AT&T Moves Up the School Popularity Chain

April 10, 2012

When it comes to technology giants out there, many have emerged as popular kids on campus.

Of course, there is Apple who probably has way more clout than that varsity basketball player or president of Greek life as the empire paved the way for tablets in school and introduced Siri whose job, amongst other things, is to coordinate “Thirsty Thursday” plans. Then, of course, there is Amazon which made it easy to buy coveted school supplies, eReaders and, perhaps most importantly, provided an alternative way to purchase college textbooks to save a few bucks for those beers. 

Will Past Facebook Dalliances Hamper Your Entrepreneurial Path?

April 5, 2012

In my almost seven years as a Facebook user (disclaimer: a seven-year period marked by a typical number of Facebook status updates, picture stalkings and wall postings), I feel comfortable in contending that users often fall into one of four categories.

First there’s the “Extroverted, Every Day” user. C’mon, we all know this user. You know, that person who isn’t afraid to share his/her every thought to the world – even if that includes posts lamenting the fact that he/she bombed that business presentation or social studies test – and is often the first to “like,” “join,” “share,” and “tag” on the social networking site. 

Administration's Response to Teacher's Facebook Posting Extremely Troubling

April 3, 2012

What started as an innocent joke between two co-workers on Facebook has resulted in the loss of two teaching jobs and the murmurs of others asking “Is nothing we do on social networking sites safe?”

In past weeks, headlines have dominated the news feeds proclaiming that prospective employees are being forced to log in to their Facebook accounts during job interviews, that kids are being expelled for using expletives on social media accounts after school and in the privacy of their own homes, and that social media monitoring is taking on a whole new life in the schools.

Case in point: Kimberly Hester, a grade school teacher’s aide in Michigan, became the latest victim of this hyper monitoring after a parent saw an image displayed on Hester’s Facebook page that did not sit well with the individual and reported it to Frank Squires Elementary where Hester was employed, prompting the investigation. So what was kind of picture was deemed so inappropriate that it warranted an investigation?