MPA is a Mixtape

It’s finally the time of year when you leave your apartment around eight in the evening or so and can still see a few shades of orange and red peeping from behind the tower and surrounding foliage. Clouds of purple come down to bid farewell to the sun for the day’s work and the dark, blue night creeps behind you.

I always try to look at Austin as if I’m looking at it for the first time all over again. I remember driving up Mopac with my family for the first time and noting how great the rolling hills looked. And yet, it barely sank in today while at work that I really am leaving. As much as I planned for it and knew it was going to happen, the finality of it never really occurred to me.

Sometimes, it is hard to put  into words everything one feels (no matter what the articles my psychology friends send me say). Fortunately, while the English language fails me, I still have music that is able to convey how I feel when words cannot. So, Austin, Texas MPA, here we go: Continue reading MPA is a Mixtape

Can Spring Break Last All Year?

Back in day when I skated competitively

Greetings from Spring Break 2012! I know many of my fellow MPA’s were on vacations much more exciting and exotic than mine, but I thought I would share my experience anyways.

I spent my first weekend home for Spring Break not lounging out in the Texas sun, but in a below freezing ice rink judging a local figure skating competition. For those of you who don’t know, I am a US figure skating judge and help judge at a handful of competitions each year. This particular competition I judged at was Showskate 2012 and was different than most figure skating competitions because the skaters are allowed to skate to music with lyrics and use props to help them interpret the music. The competition is great fun for everyone involved, and is very entertaining, thanks to the crazy routines skaters performed.

I love judging because I was a competitive figure skater for 12 years, and judging allows me to stay involved with the sport. I am a huge figure skating fan. Continue reading Can Spring Break Last All Year?

Spreading Light

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been shocked and dismayed at the news reports of our military’s horrific treatment of Afghans. The recent outbreak of these stories on top of an onslaught of reports regarding the poor treatment of US citizens at the hands of fellow Americans causes me to ask the question, “Is America becoming heartless?”

The Economic Collapse Blog certainly thinks so. The article, “19 Signs that America is Becoming a Heartless Place,” argues that as America has fallen on tough times with the down-trending economy and seemingly endless wars in which we are engaged, Americans have become more cynical and heartless. It then backs this claim with 19 recent American news stories.

The business world especially faces claims of being “heartless.” There are numerous frauds, Ponzi schemes, and immoral decisions led by business professionals that have led to the public perceiving business as “heartless.”

The thought that our country and the business world have become heartless makes me very concerned for the future. Obviously, my peers and I only have so much control in changing the future of our country. Yet, I do have faith in our ability to turn the tide and make the business world a more caring and considerate place.

I say this because McCombs instills the importance of ethical decision making. We value the needs of company stakeholders and community participants. Continue reading Spreading Light

Kony 2012- Illustrating the Power of Social Media

I’m sure almost everyone has a friend who has posted a link to the Invisible Children’s video promoting the “Kony 2012”campaign on Facebook within the past week or so. This video has started a worldwide debate on the situation with Joseph Kony and the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in central Africa and has proven the viral power of social media.

Invisible Children’s video was posted on Monday, and has garnered an astonishing 55 million views as of the last time I looked. As the video gained momentum on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, it was picked up by news organizations, bringing more awareness to it, and further increasing viewings.

What makes the fact that this video has gone viral so astounding is that, historically videos about humanitarian and social injustices do not typically spread in this fashion. The fact that this video is 30 minutes long makes its viral nature especially interesting, because a main rule of making a viral video is keeping it “focused, consistent, and SHORT.”

So what was it that made this video viral? Most people I have talked to say it’s because of the power of Invisible Children’s message. However, as Curt Hopkins said, many other non-profits have launched video campaigns full of good messages, but they haven’t caught on anywhere near to the extent of “Kony 2012.” Continue reading Kony 2012- Illustrating the Power of Social Media

The Fisher Case

With midterms swamping me, I just now had the opportunity to read the case that flooded people’s Facebook feeds everywhere. It is an interesting case, to say the least. However, the implications are quite ambiguous, and the outcome will more than likely depend on the temperament of the Supreme Court when they review it.

Anyway, here’s the way I see this case:

What didn’t happen

With all due respect toward Ms. Fisher, let me be very clear that the University of Texas did not, in any way, shape, or form, discriminate against you. Texas is one of the original eight “Public Ivy League Schools,” and if you were not able to gain admittance to Texas by being in the top ten percent of your high school class, then you certainly would not have gained admittance to the actual Ivy League schools to which we compare ourselves. (That is, I’m not sure Harvard accepts many people who graduate outside the top ten percent of their class either.) Furthermore, if you had put in a comparable good faith effort into trying to get into the top ten percent of your high school class, then I am sure your Personal Achievement Index, which is very clearly outlined in the case, would have reflected that. Therefore, as hurtful as it may sound, you were not accepted into the University of Texas because you did not meet the admission standards, not because you were discriminated against in any way.

What may happen

What may happen is very tricky because most of the laws that we are dealing with were intended to be temporary. In Grutter, the case that Fisher’s case relies very heavily upon, Sandra Day O’Connor writes that she hopes many of the affirmative action-type laws will be temporary and unnecessary a generation from now. The idea is that the discriminatory way of thinking would disappear by then. That being said, the Top Ten Percent Rule will go away at some point in the future. The question is when and whether we expected this day to come so soon. Continue reading The Fisher Case

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