Phone stacking, a bathroom note & guns in America

What students are talking about today (January 18th)

1. I realize many people in my parents’ generation owned guns for hunting, but I can’t imagine more than a tiny minority of folks my age would ever buy guns. Not so in the United States. American University polled 4,266 high school and college students and found that 60 per cent plan to purchase a firearm at some point in their lives. “I think the major contribution of the poll results is to demonstrate that now is certainly the time to have a serious conversation about gun control since the next generation is no less likely to plan to own guns,” AU professor Jennifer L. Lawless told Policymic. Meanwhile, President Obama is trying to gain support for more gun control by having children read letters they wrote about guns.

2. Student journalists have been writing a lot lately about the dangers of smartphone addiction. Now, students in Edmonton are fighting back with a game called phone stacking. Julian Faid of the Grant MacEwan Students’ Association told the Edmonton Journal that it’s a shame when people are eating out and get distracted by their devices. That’s why he and his friends have followed the lead of one Reddit user. Everyone at lunch must put their phones in a stack on the table and the first one to touch his or hers before the end of their meal pays the bill.

3. Following the overturning of Quebec’s planned tuition increase and budget cuts to universities from the Parti Quebecois government, McGill will offer 100 fewer humanities and social sciences courses. However, rather than the budget cuts, Dean of the Faculty of Arts Christopher Manfredi told the Montreal Gazette that the decision was taken to respond to the demand to have more courses taught by full-time instructors. Devon LaBuik, president of the Arts Undergraduate Society, says he’s concerned for smaller programs like Industrial Relations and African Studies.

4. On Thursday, everyone was talking about Deadspin’s revelations that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was either the victim or perpetrator of a hoax involving the death of an imaginary girlfriend. Today, Huffington Post reports that radio host and former NFL player LaVar Arrington and co-host Chad Dukes are putting forward a bold theory to explain why Te’o may have done it. “Let’s hypothesize, he’s gay,” said Dukes. “He is a star football, college football player, with beautiful chicks surrounding him, propositioning him all the time with all kinds of media asking him ‘Are you dating chicks? Do you have a girlfriend?’ all the time.” That’s quite the theory.

5. A compassionate note apparently posted in a Canadian university bathroom stall was uploaded to where it has drawn plenty of attention from media. “In a girls’ bathroom stall at my university, girls have written about some of their most horrifying life experiences,” wrote Redditor chellylauren. “This week, someone replied.” It’s unclear who penned this letter:

To the girl who was raped: You are so strong. I cannot fathom the pain you must have gone through. The fact that you have the bravery to write it (even on a bathroom wall) gives me hope.

To the girl with eating disorders: I promise you, although I don’t know you, you are beautiful, you deserve your health. You deserve freedom from that hell.

To the girl with the alcoholic father: I am so sorry for the agony it must cause. Again, such courage is remarkable you must be such a strong person to see such pain.

To the girl whose father died: Missing them never goes away. The ache of their absence never goes away. ut the love they had, the memories you share surely must last. I am sure, out of the bottom of my heart, the people who have left you in this world are exceptionally proud of the person you are.

Everytime I see these walls, these confessions, I feel so blessed to know I have the priviledge of seeing them. Your moments, these secrets, are all precious even though they are sad. To all of you (including those I did not mention, and those who have not yet written)

-You are worthy.

-You are strong.

-You are brave.

-You are loved.

Somebody cares.