Posts Tagged ‘college students’

Proof The Distraction of Electronic Devices Means You Aren’t Paying Attention: College Students Checking Phones During Class Have Lower Grades

January 11, 2019

While reading President Trump’s latest tweets may seem like a much better alternative than listening to liberal college professors drone on about politics, a new study suggests that constantly checking your phone during class could come back to haunt you during exam time.

According to a new study in Educational Psychology, students in college classes that are allowed access to electronic devices such as smartphones or tablets that include nonacademic vices such as Facebook or Twitter tend to perform at a lower academic standard compared to classmates attending lectures where such devices were banned.

Image result for using electronic devices inschool, pictures

In the study, researchers at Rutgers University compared two separate classroom environments for learning: one class allowed tablets and cellphones for student usage, while another class banned the use of electronics entirely during lecture.

In their findings, researchers noted that students enrolled in the class that allowed smartphones and tablets to be used that admitted to using them during class performed approximately 5 percent lower (roughly half a letter grade) on the end of term final examination when compared to the population of students in the class that banned electronics.

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It is also worth noting that students enrolled in the smartphone/tablet-friendly class who did not report using the devices during class performed better than their peers who chose to use the devices, but still did not perform as well as their peers in the class where electronics were banned, suggesting that such devices likely create a disruptive classroom environment that is detrimental to everyone’s grade, not just those who use devices.

The main author of the study, Arnold Glass, noted that while the usage of the devices were most detrimental to the grades of those individuals who were using the devices, the lack of rules banning their use almost certainly impact the information retention of all individuals enrolled in the class.

“These findings should alert the many dedicated students and instructors that dividing attention is having an insidious effect that is impairing their exam performance and final grade,” said Glass. “To help manage the use of devices in the classroom, teachers should explain to students the damaging effect of distractions on retention — not only for themselves, but for the whole class.”

John Patrick (@john_pat_rick) is a graduate of Canisius College and Georgia Southern University. He interned for Red Alert Politics during the summer of 2012 and has continued to contribute regularly.


Morning Prayer for Monday, December 17, 2018 — “Look How Great The World Is Doing Without God” — “Maybe We Should Pray”

December 17, 2018

The way of faith is for everybody who really wants to live. But many people can go through life without much of it. Many are doing so, to their own sorrow. The world is full of lack of faith. Many people have lost confidence in any meaning in the universe. Many are wondering if it has any meaning at all. Many are at loose ends. Life has no goal for many. They are strangers in the land. 

Avicenna developed ‘probably the most influential and interesting medieval attempt to show that God exists’, says Prof Peter Adamson. Photograph: Detlev van Ravenswaay/ Getty images

Meditation for the Day

“He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the just and the unjust.” God does not interfere with the working of natural laws. The laws of nature are unchangeable; otherwise we could not depend on them. As far as natural laws are concerned, God makes no distinction between good and bad people. Sickness or death may strike anywhere. But spiritual laws are also made to be obeyed. On our choice of good or evil depends whether we go upward to true success and victory in life or downward to loss and defeat.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may choose today the way of the spiritual life. I pray that I may live today with faith and hope and love.

From Twenty Four Hours a Day



 — (Prayer and Spiritual Practice and service to others help us to this)

Remember: Everything you feed your brain contributes to good mental health or your disorders… This is why quiet daily meditation and even prayer is recommended by many experts….

See also:

The Islamic thinker who ‘proved’ God exists



See also:

Aristotle’s argument for the existence of God

We just recently became interested on Aristotle’s “Metaphysics” after a professor we know said, “His is the inconvenient truth. Hundreds of years before Christ, Aristotle believed he proved the existence of God using logic from his teacher Plato. College students today don’t want to think — even though they cast out religion. Therefore, Aristotle is usually overlooked these days….”

Can’t make truth, ideas, monuments or God go away by refusing to accept them!

China: Xinjiang Authorities Collecting Residents’ Biometric Data

December 14, 2017

Human Rights Watch has reported on a program which has gathered biometric data—including fingerprints, iris scans, blood-type, and DNA—on millions of residents in six regions in Xinjiang in 2017 under the guise of a free public health program providing physical examinations. HRW earlier this year voiced concern over a lack of privacy protections related to the planned expansion of DNA collection and indexing targeting vulnerable populations in  and other parts of China.  is the frontline of a long-running and highly controversial crackdown on terrorism that has been criticized by human rights advocates for targeting members of the Uyghur ethnic minority, and exacerbating ethnic tensions.

For all “focus personnel” – those authorities consider threatening to regime stability – and their family members, their biometrics must be taken regardless of age. Authorities are gathering the biodata in different ways. DNA and blood types are being collected through a free annual physical exams program called Physicals for All. It is unclear if the participants of the physicals are informed of the authorities’ intention to collect, store, or use sensitive DNA data.

“Xinjiang authorities should rename their physical exams project ‘Privacy Violations for All,’ as informed consent and real choice does not seem to be part of these programs,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “The mandatory databanking of a whole population’s biodata, including DNA, is a gross violation of international human rights norms, and it’s even more disturbing if it is done surreptitiously, under the guise of a free health care program.”

The biometric collection scheme is detailed in an official document called “The [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous] Region Working Guidelines on the Accurate Registration and Verification of Population” (全区人口精准登记核实工作指南, “The Population Registration Program”), available in full on the government website of Aksu city in Xinjiang (an unofficial translation is available below). […] [Source]

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Coverage of HRW’s report from Echo Huang at Quartz notes the lack of disclosure of the voluntary nature and particulars of the program reported by some Xinjiang residents who took part in it, and notes wider efforts by authorities to collect personal information nationwide:

The Physicals for All program stands out for the way it’s been characterized as a free benefit for a poor region, and important to stable development (link in Chinese). “What’s transmitted to the public via media and social media do not mention DNA collection in Physicals for All,” wrote HRW researcher Maya Wang in an email to Quartz.

[…] Although Physicals for All is touted as a voluntary program (link in Chinese), some residents told HRW that that wasn’t the case. One Uighur said his neighborhood committee demanded participation, warning that any absence would be considered “political disloyalty.” He added he had not received the results of his physical.

In recent years, China has been stepping up efforts nationwide to collect personal information—including intimate relationships, delivery records, and biometric data—from not only people it considers potential threats, but normal citizens as well. Government databases now include such data on tens of millions of citizens, among them , migrant workers, and college students. [Source]

Coverage from the Financial Times’ Emily Feng notes expert opinion that concern exists in Xinjiang that the data collected may be used to match organs of suspected criminals with potential recipients post-execution, and also that the Xinjiang program may be functioning as a pilot program for eventual nationwide rollout.

Following the criticism from HRW and subsequent English-language press coverage, state-affiliated tabloid Global Times covered official defenses of the program and castigations of the criticism:

In Yining, such information would be collected for a demographic database to help accurately identify people and for information-sharing among government departments.

China’s government has the right to take measures it deems as proper to protect national security, and the collection of such information is not harmful to the residents, nor does it affect people’s rights, Turgunjan Tursun, a professor at Zhejiang Normal University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Such measures, as well as the collecting of fingerprints in other cities in China, help secure public security, and claims of human rights violations are groundless, he added.

The organization has always made false statements on issues involving China and I suggested there’s no need to spend time on such remarks, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.

“Xinjiang has witnessed economic development and social stability, and the people there are living and working in a joyful mood, a scene that some people overseas might be unwilling to see,” Lu said. [Source]

Since 2014, Xinjiang has been the “frontline” of a nationwide crackdown on terrorism in response to rising incidents of violence in the region and elsewhere in China. The crackdown in Xinjiang has seen tightening security measures, the implementation of cutting-edge surveillance technology, and the mandatory installation of spyware on mobile phones; and has also included policies that appear to target  such as selective religious fasting banslocal and region-wide rules against “extremist behavior” including face veils or long beards, and a ban on “extreme” Islamic baby names. CDT Chinese editors recently drew attention to state media’s promotion of a primary school in Aksu, Xinjiang where Uyghur students were dressed in traditional Han dress as they recite Chinese classics“in order to feel the powerful charm and profound nature of traditional Chinese culture.”

After hosting the South-South Human Rights Forum the month,  Xinhua released the full text of the “Beijing Declaration.” The declaration, which was signed by all representatives in attendance, devotes an article to religious minorities:

Article 6

States should, in accordance with their national laws and international obligations, focus on guaranteeing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of specific groups, including ethnic, national, racial, religious and linguistic groups and migrant workers, people with disabilities, indigenous people, refugees and displaced persons. States have an obligation to respect and protect religious minorities, and religious minorities have the same obligation to adapt to their local environment, and this includes the acceptance and observance of the Constitution and laws of their localities, as well as their integration into the local society. Everyone has the right to choose his or her own beliefs, including the choice of believing or not believing a religion, and the choice of believing one religion or another, without being discriminated. [Source]


Lorde of the Flies: Why College Students Reject Reason

December 10, 2017

Meet the poet who championed subjectivity and what is now called ‘intersectionality.’

The experience of being an outsider is central to the poetry of Audre Lorde. So it’s curious that Lorde, who died in 1992, has posthumously become the ultimate insider on American campuses, providing an ideological foundation for today’s social-justice warriors.

It’s hard to overstate Lorde’s influence. Each spring, Tulane hosts a “diversity and inclusion” event called Audre Lorde Days. The Ford Foundation’s president, Darren Walker, quoted Lorde in his 2017 commencement address at Oberlin, describing her as “one of my sheroes.” The University of Utah has an Audre Lorde Student Lounge, as well as LORDE Scholars, an acronym for Leaders of Resilience, Diversity and Excellence. The University of Cincinnati hosts an Audre Lorde Lecture Series each semester and is working on the Audre Lorde Social Justice Living-LearningCo mmunity, which will offer “gender inclusive” housing, activities, collective projects and a supplemental curriculum. The university’s LGBTQ Center director even has a tattoo of a Lorde quote on her arm.

Lorde has also popped up in several high-profile campus controversies. The University of Missouri’s student activists cited her as one of their inspirations, along with the Black Liberation Army’s Assata Shakur. Last December, students at the University of Pennsylvania took down a portrait of Shakespeare in the English Department, replacing it with a printout photo of Lorde. The swap was “a way of affirming their commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department,” its chairman, Jed Esty, explained. Organizers of Evergreen State College’s infamous “Day of Absence,” in which white people were urged to stay away from campus, included Lorde quotes in its promotions.

Lorde of the Flies: Why College Students Reject Reason

More fundamentally, higher education is obsessed with “intersectionality.” Lorde didn’t invent the idea, but her adherents believe she embodies it. The theory supposes that different forms of discrimination act together to compound oppression. Lorde, who was black and lesbian, claimed to write from the perspective of “those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference—those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older.” She described America as “a country where racism, sexism and homophobia are inseparable.”

In this hostile environment, she wrote, “your silence will not protect you.” For the multiply marginalized, she added, “survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

Lorde’s campus acolytes see the university as the “master’s house” and Western thought as his tools—which is to say that they espouse an ideology that rejects the idea of a classical education. Lorde claims to offer an alternative. “When we view living in the european [sic] mode only as a problem to be solved, we rely solely upon our ideas to make us free, for these were what the white fathers told us were precious,” Lorde wrote in “Poetry Is Not a Luxury,” a 1977 essay.

She continued: “But as we come more into touch with our own ancient, non-european consciousness of living as a situation to be experienced and interacted with, we learn more and more to cherish our feelings, and to respect those hidden sources of our power from where true knowledge and, therefore, lasting action comes. . . . The white fathers told us: I think, therefore I am. The Black mother within each of us—the poet—whispers in our dreams: I feel, therefore I can be free.”

In another essay, she asserts, “Beyond the superficial, the considered phrase, ‘It feels right to me,’ acknowledges the strength of the erotic into a true knowledge, for what that means is the first and most powerful guiding light toward any understanding.” She defines the erotic as “a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feelings.” If student activists seem irrational, they’re actually deliberately antirational, rejecting reason as “white” and “male.”

And if they seem self-absorbed, that is consistent with Lorde’s encouragement to turn inward. “Our acts against oppression become integral with self, motivated and empowered from within,” she wrote. Lorde also claimed that in an oppressive society, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Ergo, when students enjoy crayons and cookies in their designated safe spaces, it is a revolutionary act.

Moreover, Lorde claims that “in order to be utilized, our erotic feelings must be recognized”—and, if her comments in a 1979 interview are any indication, accepted unquestioningly. Lorde recounts how her interlocutor, the white feminist poetess Adrienne Rich, had once told her during a conversation, “It’s not enough to say to me that you intuit it.” Lorde insists: “Even at the same time that I understood what you meant, I felt a total wipeout of my modus, my way of perceiving and formulating. . . . I’m used to associating a request for documentation as a questioning of my perceptions, an attempt to devalue what I’m in the process of discovering.” Skepticism or demands for evidence are not only a personal affront but an example of the oppressive system at work.

Earlier this year, this newspaper examined test scores and discovered that at more than 100 American colleges, at least one-third of seniors were incapable of making an argument or weighing evidence, among other tasks of critical thinking. Lorde’s influence would seem to match her popularity.

Ms. Melchior is an editorial page writer at the Journal.

Appeared in the December 9, 2017, print edition.

Educated People through time have been seeking greater thoughts. U.S. colleges today may have to think about going back to real thinkers.


South African Police Fire Stun Grenades as Students Wanting Free Education Renew Protests — Protests have caused about $44 million in property damage

October 4, 2016


South Africa — Students in Johannesburg demonstrate against university fee hikes late last year, forcing a government U-turn. Photograph by Marco Longari, AFP, Getty Images

The Associated Press
October 4, 2016

South African police have fired rubber bullets and set off stun grenades to disperse student protesters on a Johannesburg university campus.

The clash occurred Tuesday at the University of the Witwatersrand, which had announced it was re-opening after closing because of sometimes violent demonstrations for free education.

Adam Habib, the university’s vice-chancellor, had said police and private security guards would be on campus to help “take back our campus” on behalf of staff and students who wanted to return to class.

Protests also continue at the University of Cape Town.

President Jacob Zuma says the protests have caused about $44 million in property damage and threaten to sabotage the country’s higher education system.

The government says it will cover the 2017 fee increases of many students who have limited resources.


The delicate little flowers on today’s college campuses

November 12, 2015

By  Jonah Goldberg

It seems like every week there’s a new horror story of political correctness run amok at some college campus.

A warning not to wear culturally insensitive Halloween costumes sparked an imbroglio at Yale, which went viral over the weekend. A lecturer asked in an email, “Is there no room anymore for a child to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?”

Students went ballistic. When an administrator (who is the lecturer’s spouse) defended free speech, some students wanted his head. One student wrote in an op-ed (now taken down), “He doesn’t get it. And I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.”

Washington Post columnist (and Tufts professor) Daniel Drezner was initially horrified by the spectacle but ultimately backtracked. Invoking Friedrich Hayek’s insights from “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” Drezner cautions outside observers that “there is an awful lot of knowledge that is local in character, that cannot be culled from abstract principles or detached observers.”

As a Hayek fanboy and champion of localism, I should be quite sympathetic. But this time, I think Drezner’s initial reaction was closer to the mark. The notion that the Yale incident is an isolated one defies all of the evidence.

Jonathan Haidt, a social scientist, and Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, recently wrote a sweeping survey titled “The Coddling of the American Mind” for the Atlantic, in which they cataloged how students are being swaddled in an emotional cocoon.

Taco bars at fraternity fundraisers are considered offensive. A group at Duke University deemed phrases such as “man up” too horrible to tolerate. And so on.

The suggestion that the tempest at Yale is an isolated incident reminds me of my favorite line from Thoreau: “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”

So what is going on?

Well, a lot. Many conservatives want to put all the blame on political correctness or cultural Marxism. And though I think such ideologies certainly belong in the dock, political correctness is now quite old.

Lamentations about it were commonplace when I was in college 25 years ago. Does anyone, other than a few campus hotheads, actually believe universities are more intolerant, bigoted and racist than they were a generation ago?

What has changed are the students. Yes, there has been a lot of ideological indoctrination in which kids are taught that taking offense gives them power. But, again, that idea is old. What’s new is the way kids are being raised.

Consider play. Children are hard-wired to play. That’s how we learn. But what happens when play is micromanaged? St. Lawrence University professor Steven Horwitz argues that it undermines democracy.

Free play — tag on the schoolyard, pickup basketball at the park, etc. — is a very complicated thing. It requires young people to negotiate rules among themselves, without the benefit of some third-party authority figure. These skills are hugely important in life. When parents or teachers short-circuit that process by constantly intervening, to stop bullying or just to make sure that everyone plays nice, Horwitz argues, we take “away a key piece of what makes it possible for free people to be peaceful, cooperative people by devising bottom-up solutions to a variety of conflicts.”

The rise in “helicopter parenting” and the epidemic of “everyone gets a trophy” education are another facet of the same problem. We’re raising millions of kids to be smart and kind, but also fragile.

And what happens when large numbers of these delicate little flowers are set free to navigate their way through life? They feel unsafe and demand “safe spaces.” They feel threatened by uncomfortable ideas and demand “trigger warnings.” They might even want written rules or contracts to help them negotiate sexual relations.

In other words, this is the generation the mandarins of political correctness have been waiting for.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook.


Just the ticket for the GOP: Cruz and Rubio

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Passion near a bus stop: Hong Kong police arrest mainland Chinese student, 19, as video of 45 minute marathon goes viral

April 2, 2015


Spring Break For Hong Kong College Students

By Clifford Lo
South China Morning Post

The couple (left) allegedly had sex had a bus stop (right) in Ho Man Tin. Photos: SCMP Pictures

A 19-year-old mainland university student was arrested today for indecency in public after a video clip went viral of him apparently having sex with a woman on a Hong Kong street.

Police are searching for the woman in connection with the alleged offence, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a HK$1,000 fine.

“We are told that the woman is also a mainland university student and aged about 20. It is alleged that she has returned to Beijing,” a police source said

The source said that officers were still establishing the woman’s identity and trying to contact her.

It is understood that the pair study at two different universities in Hong Kong.

The source said it was only the second time the pair had met on Tuesday night when they were among several mainlanders who gathered at a pub in Kowloon Tong to celebrate the man’s 19th birthday.

The couple drank heavily during the party before the man took the woman home to Fat Kwong Street in Ho Man Tin at about 4am on Wednesday.

Police received a report at 4.10am when the couple were accused of having sex on the pavement at a bus stop on the street.

When officers arrived, the pair – who apparently had put on their clothes – were found sitting on the pavement with the woman holding the man around his waist, according to police.

“When they stood up, the woman’s trousers, which had not been properly put on, fell down,” the source said. “It appeared she was drunk.”

A police spokeswoman said that when officers arrived, there was no illegal behaviour and police failed to locate witnesses at the scene. The pair were allowed to leave after a police investigation. No arrests were made at that time.

On Wednesday afternoon, crime-squad officers were assigned to investigate the case after online video clips showed the two mainlanders having sex on the pavement.

One of the clips, which lasted for more than one minute, showed the woman, whose trousers were off, apparently performing a sex act on the man.

A photo which circulated on the internet also showed the man climbed on top of the woman after their trousers had apparently been removed.

That night, police telephoned the mainland man and asked him to go to Kowloon City police station.

On Thursday morning, he came to the police station where police arrested him for indecency in public. He was released on bail and is required to report back to police later this month.

Detectives from the Kowloon City police district are investigating.

A veteran police officer believes this is the first indecent incident to happen in Hong Kong in such a public place in recent years.

“It’s happened under staircases, in alleys or in country parks, but not on a pavement,” he said.

The South China Morning Post decided not to publish the photos or video on the grounds of decency.


Mainland couple caught having sex in the open outside Hong Kong college


Two mainland Chinese students were spotted having sex in public outside of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for an impressive 45 minutes before getting shooed off by police.

Footage circulating online showed the two in the throes of passion near a bus stop on Fat Kong Street in Ho Man Tin. One video clip showed the woman kneeling in front of the man, while another showed him on top of her, according to Coconuts Hong Kong, citing an Apple Daily report.

Apparently the two went at it for 45 minutes without intervention, until police finally arrived and kicked them off the street. Neither one of them was arrested.

The man was reported to be from Inner Mongolia and his lady friend from Beijing. Apparently the two had a rollicking night together celebrating his 19th birthday at a bar, and unable to control themselves, decided that the sidewalk was a perfectly acceptable place to knock boots.

All that was left in the wake of the act was a used condom.

Spring Break “Not As Dangerous As Joining ISIS” — But It Isn’t Safe Either

March 20, 2015

Naked female spring breaker pictured wearing just a necklace of beads and surrounded by males ‘may be in danger,’ Florida police warn

  • Pictures surfaced on Twitter on March 11
  • They show a young woman naked surrounded by men
  • Police have not identified the woman or where she is
  • ‘We want to make sure she is OK,’ a Bay County Sheriff’s official said

By Joel Christie For

Police in Florida are aggressively searching for a young woman currently on spring break who has appeared in party pictures on social media drifting around surrounded by men.

Bay County Sheriff’s officials have not been able to identify the girl from the photos, and there is not enough in the images to make out the location where they were taken.

However authorities remain concerned for her well-being.

‘We want to make sure she is OK, check her well-being and make sure the pictures were consensual,’ BCSO spokeswoman Ruth Corley told The Orlando Sentinel.


Ongoing search: Police in Florida are avidly searching for this female, currently on spring break, who has appeared in party pictures on social media drifting around surrounded by men. Authorities are worried

Ongoing search: Police in Florida are avidly searching for this female, currently on spring break, who has appeared in party pictures on social media drifting around surrounded by men. Authorities are worried

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Ongoing search: Police in Florida are avidly searching for this female, currently on spring break, who has appeared in party pictures on social media drifting around surrounded by men. Authorities are worried

Corley added: ‘We aren’t trying to get her into trouble.’

‘We want to make sure she isn’t in trouble.’

BCSO was alerted to the photos after they were posted to Twitter on March 11.

In one of the pictures, which have since been removed from Twitter, the nude female appears to be bent over dancing at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

In another picture, the scene is more aggressive.

The girl appears to trying to get out of the frame but is surrounded by shirtless men.

One of the men is grabbing the necklace around her neck.

Hi jinks: A spring breaker takes a shot of tequila during a pool party at a hotel in Cancun March 8, 2015. Two people have already died at the annual jamboree this year (stock photo)

Hi jinks: A spring breaker takes a shot of tequila during a pool party at a hotel in Cancun March 8, 2015. Two people have already died at the annual jamboree this year

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Anyone with information on either of the cases is asked to contact the Bay County Sheriff’s Office at 850-747-4700 or Crime Stoppers at 850-785-TIPS (8477).

It has already proved to be a dangerous and reckless spring break, with two deaths so far.

A 21-year-old woman fell from a hotel balcony on South Padre Island on Wednesday.

She died from the seven-floor plunge.

A 24-year-old man from Katy, Texas, also died at a private condo on the island over the weekend.

His death is still under investigation.


Read more:


Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Woman on spring break dies after falling from South Padre balcony

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – A 21-year-old woman enjoying spring break has died on South Padre Island.

Authorities say a woman celebrating spring break fell to her death from the seventh floor balcony of the Padre South Hotel.

“It is believed that she was perched on the balcony wall, kind of resting and moved to adjust herself and slipped and fell to her death,” says Chief Randy Smith, with the South Padre Island Police Department.

Authorities say Nereida Cruz died immediately.

“It was, you know, instantly. Once she hit, she was gone there, like two seconds,” says Bennie Ochoa.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

“And it’s sad that it did happen. But, it has happened before in hotels with high rises and so it’s always something that people need to be aware of,”  said Chief Smith.

This is the second death of a spring breaker in less than a week on the island.

According to KVEO, authorities are still investigating the death of 24-year-old Ruben Diaz, who died at a private condo over the weekend.


Revelry: Cancun is regularly one of the top picks for American Spring-Breakers and is said to be the most popular choice of destination for students this year

Hong Kong: The students who daren’t voice open support for Democracy, Occupy

November 2, 2014

Students careful who they talk to about pro-democracy protests on Guangzhou’s campus, where showing support risks widening gulf with mainland classmates

South China Morning Post

For Leo, one of about 5,000 Hongkongers studying at Jinan University in Guangzhou, the democracy movement feels achingly distant but its effects ripple through his daily campus life, widening the gulf with mainland students.

Leo often travels home on weekends to visit his family and has seen the street skirmishes up close.

He strongly supports the protest but, back on campus on weekdays, he’s careful about how he shows his interest. He shares photos about the movement with mainland friends but they express little interest, he says.

Organising a social activity, even one as benign as a Christmas get-together, is frowned upon by the campus administration, so a gathering with a political bent is out of the question.

“Many of us [Hongkongers] support and understand the students who remain in Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok,” said Leo, whose full name cannot be used due to fears of possible reprisals by the school. “So far, we haven’t felt a taboo on talking about it on campus. But the conversations are usually only among the Hong Kong students.”

Jinan has the most international student body of any mainland university. Nearly a third of its 35,320 students come from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or overseas countries.

Guangzhou’s Jinan University is home to about 5,000 Hong Kong students.

While everyone may sit together in lecture halls, there are fault lines running through the social life of the campus. Hong Kong students say they are friendly with their mainland classmates but remain isolated. They live in separate dormitories, and immerse themselves online in their own media culture, dominated by TVB dramas and Hong Kong newspapers.

“We have different habits, experiences and beliefs compared with our classmates from the mainland. The mainland students are smart, practical and [rooted in realities],” said Alex, another Hong Kong student at Jinan. “They only care about job opportunities and preparing for civil servant exams or overseas studies.”

In the eyes of some Hong Kong students, the Occupy movement has put into starker relief than ever the differences between them.

“Some are curious and come to ask what’s happening in Hong Kong when they see the pictures we spread through WeChat,” Leo said. “But they just view the movement as useless political and social unrest. They say ‘take care’, but that’s it. Few want to know anything more about why so many young Hong Kong people have taken to the streets.”

When approached for their opinion on the movement, two mainland students said it was best to call the propaganda office of the university.

To avoid becoming unpopular with classmates or teachers, the city’s students consciously avoid taking a stance on Occupy, said Yau Chun-man, the head of the Hong Kong section of the Students’ Union.

They would never consider putting up politics-themed artwork or posters in campus buildings. “After all, we are studying at a university in the mainland. It’s not Hong Kong,” Yau said. “Many of us just want to be neutral.”

At a protest area in Hong Kong, people take pictures behind a cutout of Chinese President Xi Jinping on which pro-democracy protesters put goggles and a yellow ribbon. Photo: Reuters

Jinan is a popular choice for Hongkongers seeking higher education. According to official data, about 70,000 high school pupils graduate in Hong Kong each year, but only about 25,000 find a place in the city’s universities and colleges. Others are forced to go overseas or seek places in mainland universities.

The tuition and living costs on the mainland are affordable and parents like the relatively short time it takes their children to go home. The university is about 120km from Hong Kong.

Yau said it had always been hard for students from the city to get approval to hold any campus activities, let alone one expressing support for such a sensitive political movement.

“University authorities raised objections when we wanted to hold a Christmas party and introduce Hong Kong companies to recruit our graduates. We were told the activities were either ‘too religious’ or ‘too commercial’. In the end, we had to repackage the events as a dance party and a Hong Kong alumni reunion party.”

It’s not unusual for science or business majors to pass over political affairs. But even in the university’s journalism department, interest appears muted. “No one made it a homework topic or brought it for class discussion,” said Fred, another student in the programme at Jinan.

“Some of our Hong Kong classmates used it for news-writing exercise, but never handed the pieces into teachers. We worry that it could be evidence against us in future.

“Students from the mainland say they do not have a channel to read or watch news from Hong Kong. But actually we are a good way for them to learn more. But few have come to us for the actual details,” he said.

“They read state-run media editorials every day and hold opinions about the movement that are highly consistent with the authorities’.

“One of our teachers talked about the incident once in class for about a minute. He said the movement had badly damaged Hong Kong’s economy and they had no right, reason or power against the central government,” he said. “All the students from the mainland agreed with him.”

A woman displays a piece of paper with a messages of support for pro-democracy demonstrations on a wall in Hong Kong. Photo: Reuters

Alex said he mostly avoided talking about the rallies on campus but he would argue his views with mainlanders in chat rooms.

“It’s easy to find online posts and chat rooms talking about the Occupy movement on popular websites, like and Online, most mainlanders express strong anger and disappointment over the sit-ins in Central and Mong Kok.”

Mainland students believe Hongkongers are ungrateful, have betrayed the motherland, and are simply jealous about the mainland’s economic achievements, said Alex, adding: “I can’t help but get into arguments with them online … in the end, I gave up. They don’t know the truth but have already judged Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong: Riot Police End Peaceful Student Pro-Democracy Demonstration

September 27, 2014


Leader of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy college students, Joshua Wong, is taken to jail by riot police, September 27, 2014.


HONG KONG (AP) — Riot police in Hong Kong on Saturday arrested scores of students who stormed the government headquarters compound during a night of scuffles to protest China’s refusal to allow genuine democratic reforms in the semiautonomous city.

More than 100 other protesters, however, showed no sign of leaving the area surrounding the square where the government complex is located, and chanted at police to stop arresting their colleagues.

The dispersal followed a night of scuffles between police and about 150 protesters who forced their way into the government compound, some scaling a tall fence. Police on Friday night responded with pepper spray to push them back, but about 50 had remained inside the gated premises.

A student is taken away by policemen at the government headquarter  in Hong Kong, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Riot police in Hong Kong on Saturday...

A student is taken away by policemen at the government headquarter in Hong Kong, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Riot police in Hong Kong on Saturday arrested scores of students who stormed the government headquarters compound during a night of scuffles to protest China’s refusal to allow genuine democratic reforms in the semiautonomous region.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

At least 29 people have been injured since Friday night, police said.

Hong Kong Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok told reporters that police acted appropriately and gave students sufficient warning before starting the process of clearing the square.

The scuffles came out of the end of a weeklong strike by students demanding China’s Communist leaders organize democratic elections in 2017.

Tensions over Hong Kong’s political future have risen significantly since control of the former British colony passed to China in 1997.

China’s leaders have promised universal suffrage for the city, but last month ruled out letting the public nominate candidates, instead insisting they be screened by a committee of Beijing loyalists.

Hong Kong’s young people have become vocal supporters of full democracy in recent years, fueled by anger over widening inequality.

Thousands of university and college students who had spent the week boycotting classes were joined Friday by a smaller group of high school students.

Organizers said those arrested at government headquarters included Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old leader of the activist group Scholarism, who was dragged away by four officers. Wong, a recent high school graduate, gained prominence two years ago after he organized protests that forced the Hong Kong government to back off plans to introduce a Chinese national education curriculum that some feared was a form of brainwashing.

“Our movement is peaceful and does not use aggression,” said University of Hong Kong students’ union president Yvonne Leung. “Students who decided to storm inside (the government complex) knew about their legal responsibility.”

The student protest was organized independently of Occupy Central, an alliance of pro-democracy activists planning to blockade Hong Kong’s financial district to call for genuine democratic reforms.

On Saturday, several Occupy Central members joined students protesting outside the square.

Benny Tai, a key leader of the movement, told reporters that the group would “stay with the students until the end and risk getting arrested ourselves.” Tai criticized the amount of force police used on students.

Occupy Central has hinted that its blockade will begin Wednesday, China’s National Day holiday.

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