#MeToo Fights Sexual Assault In New Ways

This article was originally published in ZU News.

Whenever I go on my social media accounts and I see many people posting about the same thing in my news feed, it is almost always about one person: Trump. On Oct. 16, when I went on Facebook, it was the first time I saw dozens of friends posting about something different, something called #MeToo.

I had no idea what it was at first, since it was just two words preceded by a hashtag. But then I saw an old friend who wrote: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

This article is not about me telling my story of “Me too.” I did not post it. I just sat in silence and watched as I found out more and more of what my friends had gone through without sharing it until now.

According to an article from CNN, the #MeToo movement started over 10 years ago, led by an activist named Tarana Burke. Burke was a director at a youth camp in 1996 when she had a child ask to talk to her privately. The child told her about how she had been abused by her stepfather, and Burke told her to talk to someone else about it. Burke did not have the courage to simply say “Me too.”

The first thing I felt when I saw all the #MeToo posts was pity. I felt bad for all my friends that had gone through sexual harassment and assault. But after thinking about it, I’m glad that they had the opportunity to express their story.

Junior English major Emily Benedetta chose not to participate in the #MeToo movement, even though she has been a victim of sexual harassment in the past.

“I have experienced numerous accounts of sexual assault, in all forms starting from the young age of two or three going all the way to now when I’m catcalled while walking from my apartment to class,” Benedetta said.

For a long time, people would have been told to keep something like that inside. This could lead to depression or anxiety. On top of that, a lot of people just may not have had the courage to admit it.

Therein lies the beauty of #MeToo.

“I’m a little torn on the #MeToo. In one way, I think it is a good way to bring awareness to the fact that sexual assault does occur, and it occurs more often than people think,” Benedetta said. “It’s also a good way to acknowledge the fact that sometimes we don’t consider things ‘sexual assault’ when we should. [#MeToo] allows girls to look into themselves and see what they have faced, come to terms with it and see that others are experiencing the same things, so they shouldn’t feel alone.”

It is hard to be the only one standing in a room of people sitting. When you see other people standing too, it is easier to stay on your feet. It makes you feel like you’re not alone, and other people are there to help you out when you need it. They can tell you their story and you can say, “Me too.”

“To someone who has experienced sexual assault, I would want them to know that they aren’t alone and that they shouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath of it alone,” Benedetta said. “I would also say that they shouldn’t feel ashamed of it, because nothing that they did contributed to them experiencing this. I would encourage them to reach out to someone that they are comfortable with to talk about things.”

Benedetta focused on one key aspect of the “Me too” movement—the awareness that it brings to this uncomfortable subject.

“I believe that too often girls think they are not victims, because they did something to provoke the words or actions, and that’s very much a societal issue. ‘No’ means ‘no,’ period,” Benedetta said. “I would say that we need to start educating females to know their worth, which is something that needs to be instilled from a very young age. Social media is a good way to start, but this problem is a long fight for women both online and in person.”

Serial: Modern Investigative Journalism

This article was originally published in ZU News.

I recently decided to start listening to podcasts. Let me rephrase that. I recently decided to start going to the gym. While at the gym, I’ve been sifting through dozens of hours of podcasts accumulated on my phone, and working out a bit on the side.

I tried to listen to several podcasts that friends suggested to me from Pod Save America to Freakonomics, but none of them captured my attention nearly as well as Serial.

Serial is a podcast that deals less with news and current events. It delves into the story of two individuals with extremely curious cases.

Season one examines the story of Adnan Syed, a man who was arrested as a high school senior for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Syed claimed he was innocent from the time he was arrested in 1999 and maintained this claim until today. However, the jury in his trial found enough evidence to imprison him for life.

Serial goes incredibly in depth into Syed’s story. The host, Journalist Sarah Koenig, spent many months on this investigation. She interviews many of Syed’s friends as well as a number of people who provide insight to his case. The story is intriguing and great to listen to on the treadmill.

In the second season, Koenig tells the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who became well known for deserting his unit in Afghanistan. She interviews Bergdahl a number of times as well as many soldiers from his unit and high ranking military personnel.

Koenig tells this story with little bias and examines both sides of Bergdahl’s story. Bergdahl claims he didn’t leave selfishly; he did it for the greater good. It’s fascinating to hear his side of the story.

What I love most about Koenig’s podcast are not the stories themselves. Don’t get me wrong, they’re interesting and fun to listen to. But the most impressive part is how deep Koenig goes into her investigation.

In the age of fake news, click-bait and news sources racing to get the story out as quickly as possible, it is truly refreshing to hear quality investigative journalism. Serial just has that element of months of research and in-depth interviews that you will not find in most news stories anymore.

I’m struggling to keep my gym motivation up, but knowing that I have something good to listen to while I’m there is always helpful. Serial is a must-listen for any podcast fans out there. I give Serial 4 out of 4 Jon Wallace heads.

iWant Good Wi-Fi

This article originally appeared in ZU News.

It’s honestly pretty sad to say, but one of the things I looked forward to most going home over break was good Wi-Fi.

Of course I looked forward to seeing my dog and my family most, sleeping in my own bed next, but fast Wi-Fi was shockingly next on my list.

Friends and mom’s cooking followed closely, but I’m honestly just tired of slow Wi-Fi.

It’s hard to binge-watch “Friends” if you have to wait 10 minutes for each episode to load. Netflix is my study break, but it takes twice as long as it would with fast Wi-Fi. And it’s not just Netflix.

In a long distance relationship, I’ll FaceTime my girlfriend and the call will drop four or five times during a half an hour conversation. Or it will drop the Wi-Fi but keep going, eating up my limited data plan crazy fast.

I honest to God saw a girl post something on APU Buy and Sell asking everybody in UP to get off the Wi-Fi so she could watch a movie for class.

If that’s not a statement about our campus Wi-Fi, I don’t know what is.

The Wi-Fi isn’t quite as bad if you’re on a laptop, but I use my phone far more than my laptop most days. It’s just more convenient.

Anna Dean, a sophomore psychology major, shared this experience. She said she rarely has problems on the Wi-Fi while she’s on her laptop, but experiences frequent drops on her phone. She gave it a six on a 1-10 scale.

“I think the Wi-Fi should be improved at APU, especially in the living spaces, because the most people are on it in the living spaces,” Dean said. “You see that especially across the street in the sophomore housing because it’s a little farther off campus.”

Jonathan Davis, a freshman computer science major, rated it even lower, at a five on a 1-10 scale.

“I believe since we’re paying a good amount to go to this institution, we should receive what we’re paying for, in terms of Wi-Fi,” Davis said. “At home, it’s a lot faster. Netflix loads at the snap of your finger. Here I have to wait a lot.”

Davis even noted that when he’s Snap-chatting his friends, it can sometimes take a minute or so for the snap (picture) to download. This compares poorly to his home Wi-Fi where he said snaps download instantly.

Yes, these are First World problems. Yes, we should care more about real problems like what’s happening with Jeff Sessions. Yes, the Wi-Fi isn’t extremely terrible, but it’s also not great.

A five and a six on a 1-10 scale are not exactly stellar ratings. Think about it: If you got a 50 or a 60 percent on a test, would you be happy with that?

I agree with Davis, we do pay a lot of money to go here and there should be better Wi-Fi. This is one issue that nearly every student on campus can relate to; therefore, it is something that would benefit nearly every student at APU. There are very few things that could benefit all students across campus, faster Wi-Fi is one of them.

Now if you’ll excuse me, while I was writing this, my episode of “Breaking Bad” has finally loaded.