More than One

Today, to top it all off I showed up at my work study position at Riverview and find out my incredible boss Rena, had been layed off yesterday along with another employee in our department, Denisee and several other Averett Employees. I was informed that everyone I worked for at Riverview would be moving back to main campus to Averett Central. This situation broke my heart, everyone is in utter chaos at Riverview they are sad and they do not know what to do without their boss. They do not know what to do without their boss their to handle certain important forms that normally only Rena would handle, and she is not their for them to ask questions as they would normally do. They are completely on their own. Although, as one man said just as I was about to leave today, “We are all in this together” they must all stay strong for each other and work as a whole in order to fill the missing gaps in this missing time. Averett chose to lay off another important member of their staff, Donna Benz. She was the assistant of housing and residential life. She was the true definition of the Averett family, as some students said “I didn’t think she knew my name, but she did and I loved that.” These little things that Donna took the time to do made all the difference. Not all faculty members will take the time to learn the names of students when they are on campus. As students learned of her being laided off you can see a glossy tint in their eyes when they talk about the situation or as they sit their and process the information that is being told to them. Many students just sit there quietly, in disappointment with the University they once loved wondering how they could lay off some of their beloved family members.  As the University lays off faculty members, for financial reasons, the president and her board must realize it not only affects those being laid off and their families, but it affects the university as a whole. It affects those students who are close to the staff members who have been an listening ear to many students. These students may suffer in silence now, due to these staff members that they were comfortable with being gone. It affects those students who always received a hello or a good morning from those faculty members. If these students have a bad day, then no one will be there to greet them.  It affects those students who knew they could always go to those faculty members if they ever had an issue. They are now wondering who should they turn to if they have a problem. Many students understand the concept of lay-offs. They are simply apart of life.

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Take Your Chance

I am roughly one month into my second year of college. This year has already been an eventful one. I have had to take my roommate to the hospital, after she fell late one night. I have been blessed to find a church home here in Danville. My church family is so welcoming here they are willing to accept me and my roommate every Sunday, and are willing to allow us to help with their community service activities. I have given back to the community. During week to engage, I went to tutor children in Chatham at the boys and girl’s club, played Bingo at RENH, and set up for the Alzhamiers walk. I have also realized I am so blessed to have such an amazing job, and to have such an amazing boss. However, I was side-swiped when Casey decided to leave in the middle of September to further her career in vetenary studies. I have been shown in so many ways that becoming an orientation leader was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After becoming one, I was given the opportunity to become a member of the Student Conduct Board thanks to my RA Maria. I have also been given the opportunity to become a member of Sigma Alpha Pi, which is an honor society thanks to orientation. My hall has been crazy this year, we have had bathroom issues, the RA’s threatening to shut the bathroom down due to it not being properly cleaned and then the other night a freshman guy pulled the fire alarm at 2:30 in the morning. This caused a big hick-up in everyones night and made everyone mad. Today to top it all off I found out Averett had lay offs and my boss and several other Averett employees were gone.

Back to Normal

I have just moved back to school, and it is one week before school starts. I cannot help but think about how amazing it feels to be back to normal. When I went away to Averett as a freshman, I thought my school was not normal. I was scared to death, and I thought I should be at home with my yorkie instead of being in a small jail size dorm room, with a person who I had only talked to through text messaging. Little did I know I was completely wrong about the whole situation.

After getting more comfortable with being completely on my own, I loved being at Averett. I was able to make decisions for myself and handle a lot of “grown up” problems that would occur in my life. If I were having a difficult time in my life, or just completely stressed out I knew I had a lot of friends who were there for me.  These small traits may seem small to some, but they eventually made my college my home. It is what made going home seem like I was a stranger at times, and an abnormal thing to do.

For the average person, they would think their part-time or full-time job would be normal. However, my normal is working at my college for during the summer to help prepare students for school as an orientation leader. This is where I felt I was able to connect with my friends, coworkers, and employers to have an amazing experience for the students. Our work was not continuous throughout the summer, but when we came back together we were able to pick right back up where we left off just like we were getting back to normal. It is very hard for me to wrap my head around the idea, my part-time job is not normal to me. However, I know if I feel I am back to normal at my college job, then I am doing something right. It means I should stick with it and keep pushing in that direction and have faith that God is going to lead me in the right direction.

Since I have moved back into my dorm for the fall, I cannot help but think I am where I should be. I have thought something has been missing all summer, but I could not place it. Little did I know it was Averett. Moving back to school and being around my friends gives me a sense I am important, and I have a purpose for what I am going to do with my life.

Old Dominion Concert

I have been to a lot of concerts in my lifetime. However, the Old Dominion Concert was one like no other. The concert was a perfect mixture of country music. It had two great opening acts which broadened our horizons on the different types of country music, and allowed the crowed to get energized for the show. Old Dominion not only provided music as entertainment to the crowd, but allowed the audience to become a part of the show several times.

The band tried to incorporate local musicians with their opening acts. They had Jason Springs play as their first opening act. He had a voice like no other country musician I have ever heard. Jason’s voice is raspy, it is almost like soul music. He not only was a hometown musician, but he wrote songs about where he grew up. These songs were inspiring, especially since he sung them with so much passion in his voice. Even though he was the only person on the stage, Jason made it feel like there was a whole band of people on the stage with him.

Brandon Lay and his band were loved so much by the people of Danville at the Jake Owen concert, they were asked to come back to open up for Old Dominion the next year. Brandon Lay immediately started his act off by playing upbeat music. They got the crowd jumping and most of the crowd up on their feet. Many of the concertgoers were already drinking alcohol pretty heavily by this time, and were willing to dance to any form of music. Those who were a little on the tipsy side started dancing contests, and were encouraging others who were not standing up to get up and dance. For those of us who were sober in the audience, this gave many of us an alternate form of entertainment before the show started.  Brandon Lay was an excellent way to pump up the crowd for Old Dominion to come onto the stage right after them.

Old Dominion immediately followed Brandon Lay’s band and they immediately got the crowd jumping. They played a lot of their hit songs, and some other artists’ songs. One of my favorite songs they played was “Break Up with Him.” When the band started to play this song, the crowd went crazy, and started to sing right along with them.

The band allowed several members of the audience to come on stage with them at one point during the concert. When they began to play one of their songs, “Down Home Boys,” they searched the audience for people who looked like they wanted to party. One of my favorite songs that was played at the concert that is not normally sung by Old Dominion, is “Save it for a Rainy Day” by Kenny Chesney. However, they did help to co-write the song along with several other songs they played at the concert. When the song began to play Matthew Ramsey, the lead vocalist, began to walk around the pavilion to greet all of their fans. The crowd immediately went insane. Those who had lawn seats were fighting for a spot on the fence, so they could stick their hand out for the opportunity to let Ramsey touch it as he passed by. If a concertgoer was not fighting to have their hand touched by the lead singer of Old Dominion, then they had their phones up and ready to snap a picture of him as he walked by.

Those concertgoers who were enjoying their evening with the help of alcohol, were dancing a lot more than their fellow concertgoers. A few of them were even bringing some of their dance parties into the aisles of the pavilion. About midway through the concert, several members of the audience who were in reserved seating decided to leave their seats. They decided to go towards the stage and make a huge crowd at the stage. Things were getting so intense at one point; one girl threw her phone up onto the stage for the band to take selfies with. All of the members took selfies with her phone, and then just threw it back into the crowd of people. Throughout the numerous song changes during the concert, the band was always willing to take brief selfies with members of the audience if we were lucky enough to catch their attention.

Towards the end of the concert, the lead vocalist knelt down near the crowd of people at the stage and did a guitar solo for the audience. Those who were near the stage took this opportunity to record the solo. Sprung and Ramsey did a solo together for another song, and many of the concertgoers took the opportunity to take pictures and record the solo. When the concert was over, Sprung threw his guitar pick into the crowd of people standing at the stage. This sent people jumping and for a brief second, they were almost fighting over the guitar pick. After, seeing this controlled chaos occur, I knew the reserved seats were the right choice when going to a concert. They allowed those who were sitting in the reserved area to go as close to the stage as the rope would let them, which provided for an amazing concert experience. After Old Dominion’s last song, the audience was cheering so loud they had no choice but to come back out and play an encore for the crowd. It was just enough to make the crowd happy, but even after that song no one wanted the night to end.

The Old Dominion Concert was a very refreshing concert. It allowed community members of Pittsylvania county and Danville City to come together for the evening to enjoy the sound of music. The band gave those who were very stressed with their careers a chance to sit back and relax. The music gave everyone the opportunity to test out their dancing shoes once the music got playing and the sun went down. The concert was also a great way for long lost friends to meet back up, and catch up. The breaks between singers provided the perfect amount of time for everyone to carry on conversations with those they had not seen in sometime.  The Old Dominion Concert was a perfect way to spend a Saturday night with friends, and I hope they come back to town so I can do it again soon.

 

CP

Should all Police Officers Wear Body Cameras?

There is a lot of debate in society over law enforcement procedures. However, the number one debate for communities around the United States is whether police officers should be required to wear body cameras. Many government officials have helped to push the body camera campaign, and many states have done several studies to see whether having body cameras on officers would be beneficial.  Working in law enforcement is a very stressful job. For many officers they work difficult hours, which causes them to be away from their families for a long period of time. Having body cameras on all law enforcement officers is beneficial to citizens and police officers, because they get rid of false claims, lower police misconduct, and provide valuable evidence.

Body cameras have many benefits to the community, but they allow officers to be accountable for the amount of force they use during alterations (Lawrence). Some law enforcement officers tend to get caught up in the moment of excitement, and forget how much force they are using on a suspect. This causes many people to get upset, due to the unnecessary roughness that police officers use when arresting individuals. For many of these individuals they find it is their word against the police officers, and in most cases the police officer is typically believed. However, with body cameras it allows justice to be served for the citizens who are mistreated while being arrested by law enforcement. One perfect example of body cameras proving who was wrong in a crime, is the arrest of Marcus Jeter in the summer of 2012 (Harvard). When he was arrested, he was charged with eluding the police, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault of an officer (Harvard). Like all meetings with police officers, some parts of the encounter were caught on the officer’s cruiser (Harvard). Jeter said when the officers were arresting him, they used excessive force on him, and he did not act violently (Harvard). The Police Department did an internal investigation on their officers, and found their officers did nothing wrong (Harvard). Like most police officer vs. citizen incidents, the officers that were involved in the accident were believed and Jeter was quickly to be seen as the bad guy. However, it later came out a second police car was involved in the accident, and had recorded the accident on its dash board camera (Harvard). The second car swerved in front of Jeter’s SUV, which caused him to hit his head on the steering wheel (Harvard). The camera also shows Jeter is sitting with his hands up, and not moving as he waits for the officers to approach (Harvard). When the officers approach Jeter’s vehicle, one officer is holding a pistol and the other has a shotgun and busts out his driver side window with his baton (Harvard). After busting out Jeter’s window, the officers proceed to rip him out the car and beat him with the baton (Harvard). After reviewing the footage, prosecutors dropped all the charges against Jeter, and indicted the officers that were involved in the incident (Harvard). This is one of the very many cases where cameras were able to keep a citizen out of jail for a long period of time, because prosecutors had hard evidence to prove the citizens did nothing wrong. Police officers are supposed to be held to a higher standard than the rest of society, because they protect citizens and up hold the law. If an officer fails to up hold the law, then it causes many of the citizens to question the actions of all law enforcement officers. Body cameras requires police officers to be held to that higher standard. If an officer starts to conduct themselves in an inappropriate manner, they are more likely to correct themselves due to having video footage of how they are acting. Many officers know if they are caught acting inappropriately, they are going to be subject to an investigation through their department, and they could possibly lose their job.

Having body cameras on police officers has greatly reduced the number of civilian complaints (Harvard). Many people do not want to be seen as the bad guy on camera, so they act politely towards police officers. Body cameras lowers the rate of police misconduct too (Harvard). Police officers realize with the body cameras being worn on their chests, all of their actions are being constantly monitored. If they do something that is questionable; they know it will be immediately reviewed by their department, and their police department will have video evidence to decide whether or not they acted properly. Placing body cameras on all police officers, benefits the police officers by helping to better train police officers across the nation (Lawrence). This not only benefits law enforcement, it helps citizens when the officers respond to different incidents, they will be better trained and know how to respond more accurately. When these officers respond to different confrontations and resolve them smoother than before, it makes the streets safer for everyone. There have been many instances of the body camera’s potential to reduce officer-civilian conflict, but the most commonly known is the Rialto study (Ramirez). This study took place in Rialto, CA where, several officers were randomly selected to wear body cameras. The results of the study showed the numbers for use-of-force incidents were down by 59 percent. Also, the number of citizen complaints were reduced by 87.5 percent (Ramirez). This is proof citizens are more likely to react violently towards police officers, when they are not wearing body cameras than if they were to wear a body camera. California is not only the only state that has seen a reduction in the amount of people responding violently to police officers when an incident occurs. In Connecticut, body cameras have discouraged people from filming unfounded complaints against police officers (Cigno). In 2014, a survey was done on the officers that had a complaint filed on them, and only 10% of them were wearing body cameras (Lawrence).  This survey shows officers who wear body cameras are more likely to not have a complaint filed on them, than officers who are not wearing the body cameras. President Obama announced in December of 2014, the federal government would allow $263 in federal funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase body worn cameras, and improve training (Harvard). This gave police departments the much-needed boost to get their departments started by placing officers with body cameras. Providing body cameras on all police officers also provides valuable public relations benefits to the agency. When police officers are wearing the cameras, citizens know they are on camera. This causes them to be less likely to commit crimes on camera. They are more willing to be friendly to law enforcement and come up to them and ask them how their day is going. These benefits everyone as a whole. When citizens are friendlier towards police officers it means, they trust them. If an officer comes into a neighborhood to respond to an accident, they know they can rely on the friendly citizens in the neighborhood to tell them the truth about what happened before they arrived. If the police officers have a witness they can rely on, they are more likely to put the bad guy in jail. This helps to clean up crime off the streets, and helps to make citizens feel safe in their community.

Body cameras also greatly reduces the number of assaults on police officers that are committed by civilians (Thomas). These cameras provide evidence, and allow prosecutors to review the evidence to see who started the altercation. This is very beneficial, and can make the difference in winning a court case in some instances. The footage that is obtained by the body cameras that is worn by police officers, helps police officers gain a confession. The video evidence shows the prosecutors, the confession a suspect gave was voluntary, searches are consented to, and physical descriptions are matched (Harvard).  When police officers obtain evidence from suspects it is often questioned in the courtroom by the defense attorneys. The defense attorneys will provide questionable doubt for the jury, about whether the evidence obtained in the pursuit was originally there or put there by officers. However, with body cameras on police officers it allows the questionable doubt to be taken out of the courtroom. The prosecution, defense, and jury can clearly see the evidence was there before an officer found it. The confessions that are gained by police officers often come into question due to many prosecutors not knowing whether the suspect was persuaded into giving the confession. In order to give a confession, a suspect voluntary give the confession. However, with many police interviews, the suspect must know their rights before they can be interviewed by officers. The use of cameras helps the prosecution to know a suspect’s rights were read before the interview was started. If the suspect still chose to state a confession after their rights were read, then it would be legal confession. Body cameras also helps prove searches are consented to; they show video proof the citizen is giving the officer permission to search through their personal property. This helps to use any evidence that is obtained in a search in the courtroom, because it cannot be argued it was obtained illegally. Having body cameras on all officers helps to ensure physical descriptions on suspects is correctly matched. This helps the justice system put the right person in jail, and keep those who are good out of jail.

Having body cameras on all police officers will benefit everyone. Police officers have a lot of stress on them from day to day. They are constantly being watched by the public and every move they make is questioned. The use of body cameras gives law enforcement officers the opportunity to have proof they followed legal procedures when arresting a subject. These body cameras not only protect the officers, but they help to protect the citizens. Officers are able to learn new training techniques through video and are able to better react to situations. This helps to make the difference in resolving situations that arise while on street for different communities, and makes the communities safer in the long run. Body cameras also help other branches of the legal system. They provide the much-needed proof for the prosecution to use while in the courtroom to win a case.

Works Cited

 

 

Cigno, John T. “Truth and Evidence: The Role of Police Officer Body Cameras in Reforming Connecticut’s Criminal Justice System.” Connecticut Law Review 49.1 (2016): 293-326. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 July 2017.

 

Lawrence, Mindy. “Lights, Camera, Action: The Age of Body Cameras in Law Enforcement and the Effects of Implementing Body Camera Programs in Rural Communities.” North Dakota Law Review 91.3 (2015): 611-32. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 July 2017.

 

“Considering Police Body Cameras.” Harvard Law Review128.6 (2015): 1794-817. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 July 2017.

 

Thomas, Ethan. “The Privacy Case for Body Cameras: The Need for a Privacy- Centric Approach to Body Camera Policymaking.” Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems 50.2 (2017): 191-228. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 July 2017.

 

Ramirez, Eugene P. “Report on Body Worn Cameras.” (n.d.): 3-22. Web.

 

 

 

 

Molly Ivins’: Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns

There are various opinions across the nation about whether or not guns should be banned. Molly Ivins highlights several key points on why guns should be banned in our nation in her essay “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns.” Ivins is attempting to persuade the reader in her essay by giving them insight to the increasing number of guns in America.

Molly Ivins writes a persuasive essay in an attempt to show her readers, we have an increasing number of guns in America and we do not need them. She trys to persuade the reader by telling them she supports the Second Amendment. She also gives her readers who are wondering what they will use for protection a solution when she states, “a general substation of knives for guns would promote physical fitness (273).” However, for many Americans they will not be happy with using simply a knife for protection. Ivins is wrote her essay on a highly controversial topic, which seems to always be in the news. Many Americans have different opinions on the subject, and when something bad happens involving a gun they some want guns taken away, while others do not. Ivins implied this when she stated “the argument that “guns don’t kill people” is patent nonsense (274).” She is showing how guns do kill people and something does need to be done about them.

Molly Ivins wrote a highly controversial and persuasive essay, “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, But Get Rid of Guns” in order to show we do not need guns in America in order to survive. She wanted to show her readers we can have a peaceful society without guns in it, and have minimal weapons we would function much better.

CP

Work Cited

Ivins, Molly. “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns.” The Little Norton Reader(1993): 273-75. Print.

William Buckley’s: Why Don’t We Complain

In America, today many people often see things that need fixing, but do not speak up to get the problem fixed. Most of these people think someone else will speak up for them, so there is no need for them to speak up to resolve the issue. William F. Buckley Jr. points out we should be more willing to speak up when there is an issue with something in his essay, “Why Don’t We Complain?”

William Buckley’s purpose for writing “Why Don’t We Complain?” was to motivate readers to become more active in telling others their opinion. Buckley wants readers to tell our leaders when something is wrong, so they will fix the problem and make America a better place to live. He wants one to understand if we fail to tell someone about something that is broken, then not one person will suffer from the lack of communication. He gives us an example of this in his essay, “The movie ended, as it had faces in a variety of contortions to accustom the eye to the shock of normal focus. I think it was safe to say that everybody suffered on that occasion (66).” Buckley uses formal language to help persuade the reader to state their opinions in America. He talks about different situations where things are broken such as a railroad car’s air conditioner is broken and a movie theater’s movie screen is out of focus to help persuade the reader to speak up things are broken in life.

Many Americans prefer to sit back and let others act on the issues they have a problem with rather than speaking up themselves. However, the purpose of William Buckley Jr.’s essay is to persuade readers to speak up and voice any problems we have in society. He wants us to know it not only affects us, but it affects the country as a whole when we fail to act on our issues.

CP

 

Work Cited

Buckley, William F., Jr. “Why Don’t We Complain?” (n.d.): 64-70. Print.