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LGBTQIA community Wakes Up and Speaks Up

Lisa Huynh | Layout Editor

October 31, 2010

Filed under Lifestyles

Within one month, six teenage suicides occurred across the nation, all of which allegedly occurred because of bullying based on sexual orientation. According to English professor Amy Schlag, she was shocked and startled by the news headlines on TV. As the faculty advisor of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning Intersex Ally (LGBTQIA) Resource Office, Schlag sent out a mass e-mail asking for the help and support of students, faculty, staff and community leaders in planning a rally and vigil that would stress the crisis at hand, as well as commemorate the deaths of these teenagers."Let's not let this moment pass without letting our students know we are aware," said Schlag in the e-mail. "We care, and we are here for them."The next morning, her inbox was flooded with responses, emotional declarations and sympathetic sentiments. One week later, people from all different organizations on campus and in the local community came together out of respect, rage and sorrow at UNCW's Amphitheater. It only took two weeks for members of the community to implement the rally and vigil titled "Wake Up, Speak Up" that took place Thursday, Oct. 14.At the rally, the teen suicides were remembered and mourned, including: 13-year-old Seth Walsh, who died from trying to hang himself from a tree in his backyard after years of taunting over his sexual orientation, Texas teen Asher Brown, who shot himself to death after enduring bullying over his sexuality, and Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi who jumped off the George Washington Bridge following a video posted online by his roommate of Clementi having a sexual encounter with another man. Students and faculty members gave testimonials of personal experiences with bullying and the societal difficulties of "coming out." Community organizations such as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Wilmington Health Access for Teens (WHAT) and Coastal Horizon's Rape Crisis Center also offered their support and services to the LGBTQIA population.Since then, the Student Government Association has enacted a resolution entitled the "Tyler Clementi Memorial Resolution," which officially "condemns all acts of hate such as cyber bullying," and promotes "support of all students regardless of race, color, age, religion, national origin, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.""It is imperative for students, faculty and members of the community to understand that it truly is time to wake up," said At-Large Senator for SGA and author of the resolution, Keith Fraser. "Silence is acceptance, and if we don't speak up we are just as guilty."Furthermore, the recent events and community efforts into forming the vigil spawned the creation of a new survivors' group at the Rape Crisis Center. Designed as a safe haven for LGBTQI victims of sexual assault and abuse, the group announced its first meeting will be in January.According to Schlag, her future plans include the celebration of October as the LGBTQI History Month. Featured on the events page is the "Dialogue on Suicide Prevention," where nine LGBTQI youth talk about the suicide epidemic that is occurring with gay and lesbian teenagers across the United States. Jim Dolan of UNCW's Counseling Center was also present at the event, held on Oct. 21, in the Randall Library auditorium. For more information on the LGBTQIA Resource Office, visit www.uncw.edu/lgbtqia/.

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Students register for free at MyEdu

Sierra Scellato | Staff Writer

October 31, 2010

Filed under Lifestyles

With spring 2011 class registration just around the corner in November and midterms looming, planning for the future can sometimes be frustrating and stressful. Fortunately the website MyEdu, formerly Pick-A-Prof, provides pre-college and college students with applications to create successful schedules, manage credits, view professor ratings, compare textbook prices and more.When MyEdu was founded in 2008 students were required to pay a small fee to access the services. Now, for the first time, UNCW students can create an account for free."At first, it was not financially possible to give away access to all of the information, but it has always been our goal to be 100 percent free. I'm glad we are now able to help students for no charge," said Chris Chilek, one of the company's founders.Another element of MyEdu is its willingness to reach students. Starting Oct. 25, an Apple TV will be given away Monday through Thursday for six weeks, and an iPad will be given away every Friday. To be eligible, students can follow three simple steps: become a member of MyEdu, connect with Facebook through MyEdu and plan a schedule for next semester with at least four courses listed.By taking advantage of MyEdu, students will also be able to access the newly launched "magic" schedule feature which automatically generates schedules based on time of day and professors' average GPA and rating, so students can adjust their schedule based on work or other activities. The website stands as the only free resource that provides the official grade records directly from UNC Wilmington. The new schedule planner also integrates with Facebook, making it possible for users to see who in their friend lists are also taking the class."As a transfer student, MyEdu has been very beneficial in figuring out transfer credit equivalencies. It has helped a lot in choosing classes for future semesters," said sophomore Geordan Vakos.MyEdu is a provider of academic information and applications for students, parents and advisors and houses the largest warehouse of course, professor, degree and college information in the United States. To learn more visit: www.myedu.com

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Fallout: New Vegas leads to long game play Videogame Review

Ricky Davis | Staff Writer

October 31, 2010

Filed under Lifestyles

Two years ago Bethesda Softworks released "Fallout 3" and took the gaming community by storm. It won numerous "Game of the Year" awards and was hailed as one of Bethesda's most celebrated video games. Now that "Fallout: New Vegas" has been released, it's worth asking if Obsidian Entertainment can live up to Bethesda's previous work."Fallout: New Vegas" puts players in the shoes of a Courier (male or female) in post apocalyptic Nevada. After an unfortunate event it's up to the player to give aid to one of several warring factions in the hope of bringing peace, or destruction, to the few societies that are struggling to survive this harsh new world.The complexity of the main story is absolutely flooring for the entire game and is very different from the standard good, evil and neutral quest options. Nothing ever felt truly good or evil. It is not easy to play as a "good guy," as several times players may complete a quest only to find out that the "good option" would lead to an overall negative ending or even the slaughter of about 30 people. The game isn't about good people doing good things but the motivation of the different factions. Nobody is perfect, and players will be left to pick the best (or worst) option for their opinion of the wasteland. A game with this complex of a main story and several endings to chose from depending on what faction you side with obviously has tons of replay value."Fallout: New Vegas" is a very long game, and even rushing through the factions main quest with very few side quests can take over 35 hours. When the ending credits rolled and a plethora of narrators told me how my actions had affected the game, it not only became apparent that I had missed several side quests but I had missed entire settlements. If players take their time and play though all the elements that this game offers, they could easily spend over 60 hours in a single playthrough.As far as game play goes, it's about the same as "Fallout 3," with a few changes. One example is the Repair skill, which lets players craft items instead of just helping with weapon condition. Players only get perks every two levels, so specializing is rather important. The game also supports a hardcore mode that gives ammo weight and causes the player to manage stats like hunger, sleep and thirst. Overall, "New Vegas" borrows heavily from "Fallout 3," even down to the same monster textures and building materials. The guns are mostly different and there are a few new monsters, but it's the overall immersion that makes the gameplay feel fresh.Once I finished the game, all I could think about was what to try on my next playthrough. However, despite such a great game, it does come with its fair share of bugs. PS3 and Xbox 360 users have complained about losing companions, quests that won't start or finish correctly and characters that may fall through or get stuck in textures. PC users have been unable to even start the game on some computers, sometimes frames per second (FPS) will drop into the single digits around NPCs, and at times the game crashes. Bethesda has said they are working on patches and as of this review have already released one, but the game is still very buggy in its current state. I think anybody looking for a good game to sink their teeth into owes it to themselves to try this one, but players also deserve to not have a hindered experience. Keep a look out for the upcoming patches because once this game runs smoothly, you definitely won't want to miss it.

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