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Cristina Chang

9 Questions for Jefferson Bethke

The YouTube star just wanted to challenge the notion that Christianity is a religion. Then his video went viral

Jefferson Bethke didn’t expect the attention. But ever since he posted a YouTube video, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus,” he has received plenty of praise and scorn alike for challenging the religious stereotype of Christians as Republican and judgmental.

In the video, which has since garnered nearly 20 million views, Bethke asks in spoken word, “What if I told you that Jesus came to abolish religion?” He then goes on to say, “If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean. It’s not a museum for good people; it’s a hospital for the broken.” He calls Jesus the work of God and religion a man-made invention, where, “One is the cure but the other is the infection.”

Since then, Bethke, a 22-year-old Tacoma resident, has been attracting a following of young Christians skeptical of religion as well as receiving numerous speaking requests. On his Facebook page, he writes, “I love Jesus, I’m addicted to grace, and I’m just a messed up dude trying to make Him famous.”

Bethke has had his share of detractors, however, coming from both believers (who make no apologies for tying Christianity with religion) and non-believers (who insist that Christianity is still a religion and destructive to society) alike. One meme mockingly features him asking, “What if I told you Bin Laden came to abolish terrorism?” But despite the criticism, Bethke continues on in his campaign to change the way people view Christianity. He took a moment to talk to College News about what inspired him to make the video and how life has changed since.

CN: What drove you to make the YouTube video?

Bethke: I was prompted to make the video because I continually would come across people who equated Jesus with “hates gays, can’t drink beer, and no tattoos.” I remember thinking “is that really the core message?” So wrote the poem.

CN: Did you expect such a huge response?

Bethke: Not at all!

CN: What do you think are some of the misconceptions a lot of young people have about Christianity?

Bethke: I think they think it is all about rules when in fact it’s all about worship, intimacy, and a vibrant relationship with our creator. God’s not a buzzkill, he is in fact for our joy and we can trust him in that.

CN: How has the response been like?

Bethke: (Laughs) Just Google it and you will see the spectrum.

CN: Any negative responses?

Bethke: Again there are a ton, just Google them.

CN: How has life changed since you posted the video?

Bethke: It’s a whirlwind! Just riding the wave of God’s grace. Right now I’m speaking, traveling, and thinking about how I want to do more videos.

CN: What do you think the popularity of your video says about the next generation of young Christians?

Bethke: We desire authenticity and someone who is willing to be bold for what they believe in. Also we want more than just the facts. We want stories to complement those facts. I think that’s a main reason my videos sparked so much (attention) is because I was so honest about my struggles and Jesus’ healing in that.

CN: What do you think about how the “Facebook Generation” of Christians has changed from the generation of their parents?

Bethke: I think we have lost the art of quietness. We are too busy. We always want noise, or stimulation, and the Spirit shows up in everything, but he has a special spot for quietness.

CN: What would you tell young college students who believe there may be a higher being, but are skeptical of God and Christianity?

Bethke: Investigate Jesus. He’s a real historical guy and there is more evidence for that than there is for Caesar. So I’d say investigate him. He’s tangible. What did he say? Could it be true? Why did all the disciples die for it if it wasn’t? The credibility of the historicity of the bible and of Jesus is insurmountable.

"Play Me, I'm Yours" pianos spring up around Los Angeles

The street painos appear a three-week run, bringing the community together through music

It’s a sunny afternoon at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and everything seems ordinary, with students filing to and from class, preoccupied with midterms and the cost of textbooks.

Everything that is, except for the music.

Dr. Scott Dewey, an Assistant Director at UCLA’s Law Library, sits at a piano beside Bianca V. Hock, a second-year political science student. With an effortless stroke of his fingers, he fills Dickson Plaza with his rendition of Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer. “You want to start out a little slow, then a little faster,” he advises Hock.

As part of a three week run in Los Angeles, British artist Luke Jerram’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” project has placed 30 specially-decorated street pianos around the city, calling for random passersby to follow its simple instruction. Pianos have popped up everywhere from markets to bus stops, from UCLA to its cross-town rival, USC.

Dewey first spotted the piano shortly after it was installed next to UCLA’s Royce Hall. He felt surprised and confused at first but was encouraged by the message “Play Me, I’m Yours” written at the top of the piano.

“It took a little while for people to decide whether it was okay for them to play the piano, but by mid-day, some people had begun to hang around the piano and play it,” Dewey said. He heard different styles of music and playing, from pop to blues to classical. Some people played their original compositions while others improvised.

Despite the occasional memory lapse, the pianists received encouragement and support from the appreciative community forming around the piano. Passersby who hadn’t known each other before began talking with each other, sharing in their enjoyment and appreciation of the music. At least one student wound up skipping class to play the piano and listen to the music.

Since Hock first discovered the street piano, she alternated between playing a few songs to sitting down on Royce steps to listen to people play. She said that the music is a universal language that evokes emotions that words may fail to capture.

“Music on the radio nowadays is becoming more and more electronic,” she said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to have a spot where we can listen to music that is truly produced by people and is completely free.”

Isaac Solomon, a fourth-year math student at UCLA, said it had been years since he’d played until he discovered the street piano. He said the piano provided a rare experience for him to enjoy live music coming from people who can play exceptionally well.

“The street piano in front of Royce Hall did bring people together in a very nice, good-natured way,” said Dewey. “Now I’ve seen it happen, and so I take my hat off to Luke Jerram for coming up with the street pianos idea.”

What Makes the Jeremy Lin Story so Captivating?

‘Linsanity’ ensues as social media is buzzing about the Knicks’ star

All stars typically don’t come out of nowhere. They’re vetted, hyped, and make their entrance into the court with high expectations.

Then there was the New York Knicks’ 6’3 point guard, Jeremy Lin. The Knicks had just lost two straight games with an overall 8-15 record. On top of that, two of its best players, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, had to sit the game out. That left Lin, a point guard who had spent much of his time in the NBA on the bench, to fill the vacuum. But since his first game of considerable play, Lin has led his team to five straight victories, scoring 20 to 38 points a game, and unleashing a wave of puns- “linsanity,” “lincredible,” and “lin-ing.”

Lin is no stranger to low expectations. Despite leading his high school team to a state championship title, he was rejected from hundreds of college basketball team. He eventually chose to go to Harvard, where he led the team to its first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 64 years. His record at Harvard did not make him immune to criticism, and he learned to shrug off racial slurs and jokes. In one game against Georgetown, a spectator shouted ‘”sweet and sour pork” from the bleachers.

In 2010, Lin left Harvard undrafted but his performance at the NBA Summer League games impressed a few teams. His hometown Golden State Warriors signed him onto the team, making Lin, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, the first Chinese American player in the NBA and a cult sensation overnight. Nevertheless, he was given little playing time, averaging 9.8 minutes on the court and 2.6 points a game. By December, Lin was waived by his team, briefly picked up by the Houston Rockets, before being cut again.

When Lin was finally picked up by the Knicks, he was living on his brother’s sofa and making a six-figure salary in a field where it isn’t uncommon for some players to make tens of millions. Then the Knicks faced off with New Jersey Nets, a game where Lin scored 25 points and led the team to a 99-92 victory. Some have even likened him to basketball’s Tim Tebow, an overlooked player who comes from behind to lead his team to victory. And like Tebow, Lin is unabashed about his Christian faith, having considered becoming a pastor before entering the NBA.

With all the extra media attention, the Knicks store has started selling Jeremy Lin jerseys and Adidas rolled out ‘Linsanity’ t-shirts. The buzz has also spread throughout social media sites and to Lin’s Youtube account (TheJlin7), where he video blogs about how to get into Harvard and a day in his life as a basketball player.

With all the buzz surrounding Lin, some are left wondering how long it would last. But with five back-to-back victories, Lin has proven that he isn’t a one-hit wonder. And perhaps more than anything, it’s his story that captivates the most people.

“Jeremy Lin is an underdog and who doesn’t love a good underdog story?” said Eugenia Beh, a fan from Texas.

The Roommate From Hell

How to keep your head, and your property, when stuck with a terrible roommate

When Juan Espinoza’s roommates refused to sign the roommate contract, their decision served as a warning sign of what was yet to come.

At first, everything appeared fine. Then Espinoza came back one day to find his drawer opened and found his pencils and pens taken without his permission.

One roommate would eat Espinoza’s food, bring guests over late at night and leave the room a mess. The night before Espinoza’s midterm, that same roommate came back drunk and loudly made love to his girlfriend. Later in the year, when the roommate told him that he would need the room, Espinoza was “sexiled,” a term used for people forced to leave the room because their roommate is having sex.

The other roommate was hardly any better. Since he had transferred, Espinoza introduced him to his group of friends. Although he appeared friendly, the roommate began to talk behind his back and concoct ways to exclude him from group events.

The exchange of roommate horror stories has become a tradition on college campuses. Whether the roommate is messy, promiscuous or too much of a party animal, their lack of consideration has pushed countless students to the limit.

In graduate school, Victoria Namkung roomed with a body builder who would engage in Tae Bo kickboxing workouts at 5 a.m. and go on cycles of binging and purging. Although Namkung’s friend attempted to mediate a talk between them, the roommate wasn’t interested in changing.

Namkung’s experiences led her to co-found the website My Very Worst Roommate, where users can anonymously vent their roommate horror stories.

“If you answer an ad for a roommate, you may face some factors that you don’t sign up for,” Namkung said.

Most of the stories on the website revolve around hygiene issues, mold and dirty dishes. Some roommates shirk on paying equal rent, while others steal. Namkung’s favorite story involves an art student who moved to New York City. During her two-week stay, she met an interesting cast of characters, from a chain-smoker who wore her clothes without permission, to a Columbian drug lord.

Most people don’t want to terrorize others, Namkung said, but some may be very narcissistic or may have been brought up in a household where someone always cleaned up after them. They may not have had boundaries growing up and not realize how much they’re affecting their roommates.

For Espinoza, his parents had him adhere to strict rules in his household, cleaning up after himself and apologizing when he made mistakes. But he acknowledges that many roommates come from different customs and backgrounds.

In dealing with a roommate conflict, communication is always the best policy, said Kathryn Williams, author of “Roomies: Sharing Your Home with Friends, Strangers, and Total Freaks.”

“If your roommate is messy, ask nicely if they can clean up after themselves, or at least contain their mess to their own space,” Williams said. If the roommate is noisy or inconsiderate, talk to them about how it affects you. Ask to set up designated quiet hours and take parties elsewhere. While it may not be for everyone, rooming with people of different cultures or backgrounds can be a wonderful experience, said Williams. However, she also stresses that it’s important to feel comfortable and accepted by your roommate, not just tolerated.

“Don’t just stew silently as you clean up after them or let roaches take over because you refuse to wash their dirty dishes. If they still don’t respect your request, it may be time to get passive-aggressive,” she said jokingly. “Or find a new roommate.”

One key point is not to wait too long to discuss your frustrations and expect things to get better, said Susan Fee, a professional clinical counselor and author of “My Roommate is Driving Me Crazy!”

“Although it can feel awkward, the best thing to do is sit down with your roommate immediately and discuss lifestyles and expectations,” she said. “Everyone defines ‘messy’ or ‘loud’ differently.” She also advises people to give examples and be specific.

Also, don’t take the roommate’s behavior personally.

“Start with the assumption that the other person is merely ignorant rather than malicious,” Fee said. “Students have come from all sorts of homes and families, you may be offended by something that the other person is clueless about. That’s why early (face-to-face) communication is necessary, otherwise, you’ll be missing out on a critical skill of how to address conflict.”

Eventually, Espinoza’s roommates moved on and he had his room to himself. But in spite of their lack of consideration, Espinoza said he still wouldn’t have changed his rooming situation.

“It was a good experience not because it was hard, but because it [taught me] there are a lot of different people out there, and not everyone is as nice, not as neat and not as disciplined as you,” he said. He also credits his experience to encouraging him to apply to be a student leader in order to help other students with their housing experiences.
Espinoza advises students to set boundaries from the beginning, being as specific as possible and making sure that their roommate understands. They should also be clear and straightforward about their needs, like when they need to study, and keeping open communication.

Lastly, he appeals to the golden rule, “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”

Students feast at newly-renovated dining hall

UCLA’s FEAST Promises Home-Cooked Memories for Students

When UCLA students step into the Pan-Asian-themed Feast at Rieber, they’re welcomed with greetings of “ni hao” and “gozaimasu.” They choose from a buffet of menu items that include Japanese ramen, Korean kimbap, Chinese BBQ buns, and Indian vindaloo curry. And the high demand for entry has already led to long lines outside the door of the dining hall, which holds up to 600 patrons at a time.

Feast recently opened to students after $5.1 million renovation and now comes equipped with terrazzo flooring, bamboo accents, a stone oven for cooking flatbreads, and new cups and plates of different geometric curves and sizes. Flat panel television screens broadcast shows from different Asian countries. And over 1,000 recipes from China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, and Hawaii have already been planned for the menu, with each meal featuring cuisines from two countries. To prepare these dishes, the chefs visited ethnic restaurants in Southern California and enlisted student taste-testers to test for authenticity.

The concept for Feast was also based on the presence of multicultural communities in Los Angeles as well as the presence of Asian and Asian-American students at UCLA, who make up about 40 percent of the campus demographic.

On one particular lunch, Janice Lin, who preferred not to use her real name, picks up a plate of teriyaki shrimp and a taro bun. Using chopsticks to pick up her rice, the Chinese international student says she has been here about “sixth or seven” times, and that much of the food tastes authentic, while other times it resembles more fusion cuisine.

One of the goals for Feast was to provide home-cooked memories for students. For Lin, everything from the tea cups to the candy reminds her of home in Asia. She says she comes as often as she can, and she’s still waiting for it to be open for dinner.

“When (students) look back at their college experience, a big part of the memory is the social experience of who your friends were and where did you eat,” said Peter L. Angelis, assistant vice chancellor of housing and hospitality services. He added that by adding these new dining options, patrons can also expand their social and cultural awareness.

For more information: http://www.feastatrieber.org/

Building the network: from Facebook to face time

College students are building business relationships to give them an edge in the job market

Like many students, Matt Bojanic is introducing himself to campus alumni, collecting business cards and sending out his resumes.

The UCLA student is networking, the act of meeting and forming relationships with people in your field to gain an advantage in the job market. Last year, he attended an entertainment networking night sponsored by the campus’ student alumni association. He talked to panelists in the industry, exchanging contact information and asking them for tips on interviewing.

In the current economy, jobs are becoming harder than ever to come by for college graduates. Which makes networking all the more important.

“Success revolves around building the who-you-know network, because the job market has and always will be about who you know,” said Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD, executive coach and author of The You Plan.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one in ten jobs come from a personal referral, whereas one in 219 comes from a job board, like Monster.com.

Woodward advised students to target their network based on the field or business they want to explore. Students should then get to know them by attending professional associations, community events and local chapters of a professional group.

Social media has also enabled students to make more connections than ever, with websites like LinkedIn and career networking apps on Facebook. Woodward recommends students use social media to whittle down to the key players and form targeted relationships. He also said students need to book “face time,” this is, picking up the phone to arrange a local meet up with the people their network. From there, members of their network will get to know the student personally and give them a better understanding of their job.

After finding their network, students should find an internship to test drive their career and develop an inside track, he said. Furthermore, many companies hire their interns and use the internship as an audition. Students will also be able to form a connection with the employer or colleagues, who can then link the student up with a job, he added.

Woodward said that students should not expect their network to do the work for them. Tell them what you’re interested in and know the questions you ask and what you want to get out of it, he said. He advises students to think of networking as a long term strategy, where a relationship can be beneficial down the road. With many workers in the company network getting laid off, it’s better to keep the network in the loop and update them with short and simple messages. An email once every three months could be reasonable. For instance, an aspiring writer can send their network links to the work they’ve done and ask for input on an article. One can even put up a schedule on when to keep in touch with the network and go through old emails to see who they may want to contact.

Once students meet up with a member of their network, they have to know their brand package and deliver that in a simple yet impactful sound bite, Woodward said. The three key elements are credibility, value and what makes the person stand out. For instance, someone can say what school they’re attending and what honor programs they’re in to establish legitimacy. To show value, they should research what their network is looking for and tell them how their past work relates to it. And third, they say something about themselves that separate them from most people.

It is never too late to start networking, said Katharine Hansen, associate publisher and creative director at Quintessential Careers.

Her favorite technique is informational interviewing, where students “interview” a professional about their job.

She said these interviews provide a way to develop a deeper personal connection with someone inside an organization and give them inside information that can later be used in the job search. Some of those interviews can also lead to contacts, jobs, or internship offers.

Hansen added there’s a misconception that networking is about “using people.” But people enjoy giving advice to people. And there are also plenty of people that students can network with, such as peer students, parents, parents of friends, professors, advisers and coaches.

For Bojanic, his connections with UCLA’s Alumni Association came in handy when an alumnus offered him an interview for a marketing internship for traveling stage shows.

Although he felt intimidated by networking at first, Bojanic said that ultimately the panelists at networking events want to talk to students and help them find jobs.

“The worst they can say is they’re busy, and rarely are you going to find someone who is rude,” he said.

Relying on sugar daddies to pay off tuition

A growing number of students are going online to find sugar daddies

Faced with rising tuition costs and the bad economy, female college students are turning to everything from working part-time jobs, commuting from home and even logging on websites to find a sugar daddy.

Sugar daddies are men who seek out sugar babies, women who are typically younger, and assist her financially in exchange for anything from a date to sexual favors.

Brandon Wade is the founder and CEO of Seekingarrangment.com, a dating website that claims to be for “those seeking mutually beneficial relationships.” He said that users can register as a sugar daddy or sugar mommy for a monthly fee, while sugar babies can use the website for free. Users fill out a profile that states what they can offer in a relationship and what they expect in return.

On his website, the average age of sugar daddy members is 35, and the average age of sugar babies is 25. There are also about 10 female sugar babies for every sugar daddy member. The average sugar baby asks for between $1000 – 3000 a month from her sugar daddy, with some receiving upwards of $10,000 or more. Wade said that some of the sugar daddies on the website also belong to the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in the world.

“Single students who are actively dating anyways may choose to use SeekingArrangement.com because our dating website can match them up with very successful, generous and wealthy people who may help them in achieving their goals,” Wade said.

Although these websites have been accused of promoting prostitution, the legal lines are blurred for these websites.

Simply advertising yourself on the site would not be illegal, said Ronald Weitzer, a professor of sociology at George Washington University. However, if the person makes a direct statement that it will cost a certain amount of money for a particular sex act, then it could be against the law. He added that this is hard to track down, as “paid dates” are legal and users could use euphemisms. For instance, a sugar baby may say that their minimum rate is 500 roses or gifts.

What exactly goes on during a date between a sugar daddy and sugar baby can land on different ends of a spectrum. A sugar baby could possibly pay off her debt and meet an interesting sugar daddy, Weitzer said. On the other hand, she can meet men who become obsessed with her and ask for more than she is prepared to offer. Some sugar babies who enter these arrangements for an extended amount of time may be allured by money may have trouble disengaging, especially given the tight job market, he added.

Based on the number of sugar babies who have an .edu email address, 35% of the users on seekingarrangement.com are college students. So while many of the users may be college students, they may compose the minority of sugar babies, Weitzer said.

Anytime you’re meeting someone online, you don’t know if they’re being honest or not, said Mike Woodward, author of The You Plan. Furthermore, these arrangements are not constructive career-wise, may inflict a psychological strain, and come with a stigma attached. Instead, he recommends college women who consider using these websites to seek alternatives.

In the long term, it’s better to turn to your networks of family and friends, meet with people working in the job market, and build up your career, Woodward said. Students can consider freelancing, taking an internship or taking social investments, where investment groups can provide them with a loan.

Whatever the impact of dating a sugar daddy, the growth of these websites shows no sign of slowing. Since 2007, the number of sugar babies on Seekingarrangment.com has grown 350 percent.

Peace Corps: After the acceptance letter

Volunteers discuss their experiences getting in and working for the Peace Corps

Frances “Baby” Housman from the classic film Dirty Dancing aspired to join the Peace Corps. Baby’s dream, in turn, has inspired Tiffany Jaimes, a 2008 California State Polytechnic University graduate, to pursue her dream of making a difference by joining the Peace Corps. And Jaimes is just one of over 7,000 young Americans working in the organization that sends volunteers to over a hundred different countries.

Like Baby, Jaimes fell in love with the idea of traveling to a different country and learning more about different languages and cultures. Now, as a youth development officer in the Federation of Saint Kitts & Nevis — a two-nation island in the Caribbean, her focus lies in enriching the lives of young girls by building their leadership and interpersonal skills. She also works for a peer mediation program at a nearby campus, teaching conflict resolution to students.

Jaimes considered the Peace Corps as a marriage between two of her passions: traveling and service work. In late August of 2009, she began her two-year commitment at Saint Kitts & Nevis and found the island to resemble little of what she had anticipated. While the island itself was beautiful and well-developed, pollution, joblessness and lack of education posed several issues to the community.

Unlike the usual nine-to-five workday in America, the Caribbean pace is less rigid and structured. About ten months ago, Jaimes went to town for her Friday errands dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, while others around her were dressed quite formally. Her lack of formal dress surprised a group of kids playing by the road.

Jaimes says that the best part about being in the Corps was the moment when she felt truly integrated and embraced by her village. In early July, a tropical storm hit the island and it rained for days. Streets were flooded, fences were knocked down and cars were swept away. Immediately after the rain, the community began to clean, and within a day or two you would not have known much of the damage existed, she said. She checked on her neighbors to make sure they were all right, and some of the Peace Corps volunteers helped rebuild fences and clean up the damage. It was a good feeling that her neighbors thought to include her in what was going on and the process of decision-making, she said.

For those aspiring to join the Peace Corps, Jaimes recommends that they throw all of their expectations out the door. For her, the experience has defied expectations in many ways. For instance, she never thought she’d miss American food so much nor have so much difficulty communicating to English speakers on the island. She added that while there are many challenges and adjustments volunteers have to make, it’s a positive thing because it forces them to apply themselves and see things in a different light. For Jaimes, the experience has taught her a lot about herself, and she feels like she will always have a home on the island, as though she was a part of the family.

Danae Paterson also dreamed about joining the Peace Corps since she was 13-years-old. The soon-to-be UCLA graduate was recently accepted and will begin her service next February in Francophone Africa. Her parents were nervous but supportive of her decision.

“It’s a huge transition” Paterson said. “You can go from a fast-paced, modern lifestyle to something on the extreme other end. [You’re] adjusting to a new way of seeing the world and a new language.”

While her stint in the Peace Corps will likely be a huge change for her, Paterson thinks she can handle the challenge.

“I want to leave knowing I made a difference in someone’s life.”

USF launches transgender housing program

The pilot program aims to build a safer environment for transgender students

Transgender students have long been asking for a solution to the many problems they face in residential halls – from hostile roommates to being placed with residents of the gender they don’t identify with.

But in the upcoming school year, transgender students at the University of South Florida will be able to check a third option, “transitioning,” on their housing application.

“We want to create a welcoming environment so all can take advantage of the residential experience and remove perceived barriers to student success,” said Ana Hernandez, dean of Housing and Residential Education at USF. The idea for the pilot program began after a transgender student expressed difficulty in navigating the system, which assigns residents to their birth gender.

So USF Housing began to ask about the student’s experiences in residential living and researched other campuses that have offered accommodations for transgender students.

USF students who identify as transitioning will now be permitted the option of living alone or with a mutual roommate of any gender. However, some critics point out that students may still be randomly assigned a transgender student without prior notification.

Hernandez said that the transexuality of a student is not shared with roommates beforehand just as any other demographic information would not be disclosed without the student’s permission. The university is also not seeking out individuals who would not mind rooming with a transgender student.

Transgender students living on campus have been tormented and teased and their resident assistants couldn’t do much to help them, said Ashley Gunn, vice president of internal affairs of the USF PRIDE Alliance.

She said the new provisions will allow transgender students to feel integrated and safe, and she hopes that it will accomplish more understanding and equality.

“There are people who disagree with it, but we’re not hurting anyone, not changing your life and turning your world upside down but making the world safer for (transgender students),” she said.

The gender neutral housing option also helps all students who feel unsafe based on their gender expression, said Vincent Villano, communications manager of the National Center for Transgender Equality. About 90 percent of transgender peopl have faced harassment and violence, and schools can counter this by building more inclusive spaces, Villano said.

“The challenge here is that housing options are sex-segregated and when you ask a transwoman to live with other men, that is asking them to live in a way that is inconsistent with their gender identity (and) asks them to compromise on who they are,” he added.

Transgender housing has gone up from about 50 campuses last year to over 75 this year, according to the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.

Is college worth it anymore?

Current economic conditions fuels the debate on if college is worth the cost

It’s the fundamental question: Is a college education worth it?

Given the current economic climate, with a mixture of high unemployment rates and steep tuition hikes, critics charge that a college degree may not be worth the cost.

Most of the critics who argue that college is not worth the cost are economists, said Mike Rose, a professor of education at UCLA and author of “Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us.”

Critics point out that there are a lot of mid-level skilled jobs that are available right now that only require a certificate program or graduation from a community college, Rose said. They claim those jobs, which include nurses and technicians, can provide a decent wage and are unlikely to be outsourced. Furthermore, they argue that it is not worth racking up a huge debt of $80,000 to $100,000 and only come out of college without having learned anything job-specific.

However, Rose believes that a four-year college education is still worth the cost. He said that on average, college graduates will earn more money than their peers who did not graduate, with students coming from a low income background standing to gain the most. Graduates are also more likely to vote, participate in civic organizations, and be healthy, although he noted that this was correlation and not necessarily causation.

Most importantly, Rose said, going to college opens the possibility for students to discover new things and find a new interest or career path. Students also develop “bodies of knowledge” from meeting people from all over the world with different backgrounds and points of view.

Rose noted that a four-year degree doesn’t automatically guarantee students an entry into the labor market, as opposed to a couple decades ago, and students can walk out of a certification program with a good chance of finding a job. However, he pointed out that there are still certain jobs that look for people who can write well, conducting research, and analyze sources, skills that are developed in college.

There is also another reason Rose is optimistic. “At some point, the economy is going to shift at some point and at that time, maybe a four-year degree will be more marketable,” he said.

Marty Nemko, a college consultant and author of The All-in-One College Guide, feels that students would gain more from a short-term career preparation program at a community college, an apprenticeship, or on-the-job training.
While Nemko said that while the current economy has not made a college degree irrelevant, there has been an oversupply of college graduates from previous generations and hiring costs have increased significantly. He added that college makes the most sense to students who are motivated to study hard, do well academically, and take a major that would impress employers as opposed to doing something else, like starting their own business.
Rosalind Peppy, a third-year music student at UCLA, doesn’t regret her choice of going to college over attending a conservatory.

Peppy said that college has helped her not just academically, but socially as well. She said college helps student connect with a diverse group of people, break stereotypes, and “see more of life in general.”

“Once you have a degree, you can go out on the real world, people will look at you different, and you don’t want to be the only person on the job market who doesn’t have one,” she said.