While the Georgetown University Class of 2013 revels in their upcoming graduation with Senior Week, recent employment numbers may put a damper on their celebrations. Frighteningly high unemployment numbers for young college grads from the month of April indicate a need for more federal assistance to students. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has responded with a reexamination of student loans and debt.
The current job market for college grads is unsurprisingly terrible. The April employment data show that, while unemployment for 18-29 year-olds is officially 11.1 percent, adjusting for young workers who have given up on looking for jobs raises this number to 16.1 percent.
“It is a rough time to be a young person in America,” President of Generation OpportunityEvan Feinberg said. “The effective youth unemployment rate is 16.1 percent, and with about 2 million college students graduating this month, there is no sign of an economic recovery for my generation. Half of all graduating seniors aren’t going to find meaningful work in the coming months.”
In November, Mike Trummel (COL ’10) won a $3,000 Reimagine Georgetown Grant from The Corp, co-sponsored by GUAFSCU and The Hoya, to start DC Students Speak, a grassroots student advocacy group. “Because there is little interaction with other DC students, there is consequently little opportunity to organize and have DC students’ voices heard,” Trummel wrote in his original project proposal.
Now, DCSS has launched their website, which Trummel said is the first step to achieving their goal of better connecting D.C. college students to lobby for student interests, like addressing 61-D violations.
“Our vision of this website is that it can be used as a tool for students to better understand the challenges that students collectively face,” writes DCSS. “More than just raising awareness, DC Students Speaks also strives to be an advocacy organization, with the aim of mobilizing DC students to work together towards common goals.”
The site, which launched on Tuesday, aggregates content from student publications at five area schools, American, Catholic, Howard, George Washington, and Georgetown, and it is looking to expand to include Trinity and UDC. On their events page, you can join their listserv, become a student representative for your school, or look for information on how to get involved in their events, like their first annual conference of area students at Georgetown in September.
“If we work together, we can become a voice that students use to make sure their concerns are heard,” DCSS says. “It’s time to organize.”
Was it the Georgetown education? Years ago, as a freshman at Georgetown University, current junior and economics major Cole South lost a week’s worth of beer money in a poker match against some friends. Frustrated, he went to the library to check out a few books about how to improve his poker game. Now he’s a world-traveling poker whiz who’s won over $3 million in online poker since the start of 2010 alone.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of luck on my side, and am very fortunate to have had such a strong start to the year,” South told PokerListings, an online poker strategy and news site, in an interview about his super-successful year-to-date. “I have put in a lot of hard work away from the tables and it is certainly nice to see it paying off.”
Besides pursuing a degree in economics—a study that’s like “a never-ending poker game with a lot more variables”—the 22-year-old South is now an instructor and well-trafficked blogger for the online poker teaching and forum site CardRunner.
South’s behind in school because he took a three-year hiatus to play high-stakes poker both online and at the felt, three years that paid off. He posted wins of over $2 million in 2009 on the poker site Full Tilt alone.
According to his blog and PL interview, South, who declined to speak with Vox, has been busy traveling in the past few years too. He’s been to over 30 countries on six continents, and that includes spending this past Thanksgiving in Hong Kong.
South told PL that he didn’t expect getting a 9-to-5 job when he graduated, but one thing’s for sure—that Career Center survey, which usually reports that business school students have the highest average starting salaries of the four schools? South’ll probably skew that figure for the class of 2011.
Photo by Flickr user Jam Adams used under a Creative Commons license.
If MTV’S The Real World has become known for one thing in its thirteen seasons and counting on air, it’s the hookups.
It must be a law of nature that if a bunch of attention-starved twenty-somethings shack up in an expensive house together and you set them loose on the bar scene of an unwitting major city, the result will be grainy, nightvision bedroom footage, be it housemate-on-housemate or housemate-on-random-city-dweller, that makes for reality television gold.
So when The Real World brought its cyclone of debauchery to D.C. for its latest season, many of us here at the Voice (except for wet blanket Chris Heller) were hoping for a cast member to get some on-screen action.
Well Georgetown, meet your latest celebrity student, Alli, a senior in the SFS.
In Episode Four, which aired on January 20, Alli is the love interest/intended sexual partner of Andrew, one of the season’s oddest and most annoying cast members. Though he claims to have slept with over ten women, his consistent lying and general weirdness (he’s the one who spends much of his time on air wearing the panda hat) have all of his housemates, not to mention all of America, convinced that he’s a virgin. In this episode, he even goes to Panda Charm School where he gets bra-unhooking lessons from his female housemates and Mike.
This week, in an episode perhaps tellingly entitled “The Princess and the Panda,” he set out with a vengeance to disprove us once and for all.
Last night, students and faculty gathered in McNeir auditorium to discuss something that isn’t usually talked about at events sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry: hooking-up.
In the first of a four-part series on “The Sacred and the Sexual,” Donna Freitas (COL ’94), author of Sex and the Soul and an assistant professor of religion at Boston University, discussed her findings about the impact of “the hook-up culture” on students’ spirituality.
Freitas defined hooking-up as any kind of intimacy in which the encounter is transitional or temporary and involves shutting off one’s emotional side in order to engage in purely physical activity. She said her research shows that students are participating in the hook-up culture not because they enjoy it, but because it’s a norm they feel obligated to conform to.
In a survey she conducted of nearly 600 students, 41 percent reported negative feelings about hooking up (and used descriptors like “used,” “dirty,” “empty,” and “disgusted”), 23 percent expressed ambivalence and 36 percent said they were more or less fine with it. While those numbers don’t seem too skewed, Freitas said there were very few students who were really positive about hooking up—those who said they were fine with it were really lukewarm.
“Living in the context of hook-up culture made them feel exhausted and empty and spent,” Freitas said.
The study reports that 90 percent of college counselors said they have seen a rise in the number of students with mental health problems and the severity of their problems. In 2007, for example, the 15 percent of college students had been diagnosed with depression, up from 10 percent in 2000.
While the increase in reported mental health problems among college students seems troubling, it may actually be a positive trend. The authors of the study posit that increase probably doesn’t mean that our generation is more troubled, but rather that we know where to turn for help with mental health issues.
Newfound understanding of psychiatric problems paired with a 50 percent increase in prescribed medications over the past ten years have helped people to know what mental health issues look like and recognize the resource available to address them.
The Department of Education just released statistics about how many students defaulted on their loans during fiscal year 2007, and the results are rather depressing: the national default rate rose to 6.7 percent, up from the previous year’s 5.2 percent. That means 225,300 defaulted, out of the 3.3 million people whose first student loan repayment was due between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007.
Although the situation nationwide isn’t encouraging, Georgetown students certainly have something to cheer about: our default rate remained at the mindbogglingly low .2 percent. Only six of the 2,075 Georgetown alums whose loans entered repayment during FY 2007 ended up defaulting.
Our default rate isn’t just a fraction of the national average, it’s also significantly lower than the average for four-year private universities, 3.6 percent. Private schools overall had a default rate of 3.7 percent—significantly lower than the rate for public schools (5.9 percent) and for-profit schools (11 percent).
Georgetown’s default rate was also lower than that for Washington D.C. as a whole (4.3 percent). George Washington University’s default rate was 1.2 percent and American University’s was 1.8 percent.
A new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that binge drinking, drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths among college students rose over the past decade. Among the troubling findings:
Alcohol-related deaths among 18- to 24-year-old students increased from 1,440 in 1998 to 1,825 in 2005.
The percentage of students who admitted to recently engaging in “episodic drinking” (also known as binge drinking) rose from 42 percent in 1998 to 45 percent in 2005.
The percentage of students who admitted to driving drunk in the past year rose from 26.5 percent in 1998 to 29 percent in 2005.
The problem behaviors—binge drinking, drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths—rose among 21- to 24-year-old students but not among 18- to 20-year-olds.
According to lead researcher Ralph Higson, the findings are particularly troubling since the trend towards more dangerous drinking behavior has persisted despite improvements in education about alcohol abuse.
“”The fact that we’re not making progress is very concerning,” [Higson said] … “The irony is that during this same time period, our knowledge of what works as far as intervention in this age group has increased. That knowledge isn’t yet being put into place.”
With intern season officially upon us, it’s about time the local blogosphere came out with its annual anti-intern novelty blog (because what’s a D.C. summer if not a chance to hone your superiority complex?). Last year, it was the short-lived but stupendous M4Intern (“D.C.’s most common sexual preference”), a compilation of the best intern-directed Craigslist solicitations. This year it looks like the mantle will be taken up by Spotted: DC Summer Interns.
The blog got off to a rocky start, initially plagiarizing from the brilliant Look at My Striped Shirt! in its intro post, earning demerits from DCist (the intro has since been re-written), but it seems to have bounced back from the false-start by relying on crowdsourced intern call-outs.
Posts range from stories of unmerited self-importance (“Intern 1 to Intern 2: ‘Aren’t there places for staff like me to watch the House floor, you know, where I don’t have to sit with the general public?’”) to sartorial snark (“[T]he worst of all was the Skintern wearing a zebra print tank top, with soaking wet hair. I guess she spent so much time on her Friday-night-going-to-McFaddens-makeup that she didn’t have time to dry it?”) to tales of woeful ineptitude (“We asked an intern to summarize a book we received for the Member … The summary he turned in three days later was off the inside of the book’s jacket. Verbatim.”).
Of particular interest to Georgetown students, though, might be this post from yesterday afternoon:
People come from all over the country to work on the Hill, but a good chunk of Hill staffers attended college right here in the nation’s capital. Georgetown interns: yes, we all know your school is hot shit, and it goes without saying that Georgetown is the top name school in Washington, DC.
However, before proceeding to rip mercilessly on GW, AU, and CUA, you might want to do a little research to see if any of your superiors attended GW, AU, or CUA. There’s a good chance at least one if not a few of them did.
Photo from Flickr user jGregor, used under a Creative Commons license.
A recently released AP-mtvU poll of 2,240 students at 40 different four-year colleges shows us as a remarkably happy bunch, a little more than half of whom are concerned about the economy. Paradoxically, this year’s poll shows students happier than they were last year, but also more stressed.
Conducted from late-April to early-May, this year’s poll included many more questions about students feelings about the economy. Fifty-two percent said the economy had contributed to their daily stress and 58 percent said they were worried about finding a job after graduation (keep in mind, though, that the survey was of college students of all levels, not just seniors).
Interestingly, 7 percent of respondents (or 10 percent of those who reported having student loans) said they’d had difficulty having their student loans paid because of their banks’ own financial problems.