Greek Life and Mental Health Sources

  1. Scott-Sheldon, Lori A. J., Kate B. Carey, and Michael P. Carey. “Health Behavior and College Students: Does Greek Affiliation Matter?” Journal of behavioral medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2008. Web. 28 Apr. 2017. This is a scholarly article written by NIH which is a government organization. This is an incredibly credible source that explores the topic of Greek affiliation from a strictly psychological standpoint.
  2. Chapman Body Matter. pp. 1–47, Chapman Body MatterThis is a source that focuses on women, specifically. This is a longer (47 page) article that really goes in depth about the psychological impacts of sorority involvement. As a more detailed source, it will provide me with a plethora of information and statistics/results from various psychological studies about the impact of joining Greek organizations. It explores both sides of the argument and presents concurrences from various studies that have been done.
  3. Mercuro, Anne, et al. “The Effects of Hazing on Student Self-Esteem: Study of Hazing Practices in Greek Organizations in a State College.” The Effects of Hazing on Student Self-Esteem: Study of Hazing Practices in Greek Organizations in a State College – Ramapo Journal of Law & Society, Ramapo College, 6 Mar. 2014, http://www.ramapo.edu/law-journal/thesis/effects-hazing-student-self-esteem-study-hazing-practices-greek-organizations-state-college/. Accessed 28 Apr. 2017. This source provides a counterargument that discusses, specifically, the psychological effects of hazing on fraternity men.
  4. Bruce, Michelle. “Greek Life Builds Confidence and Success.” The Mu, Monmouth University, 22 Feb. 2011, blogs.monm.edu/mu/2011/02/22/greek-life-builds-confidence-and-success/. Accessed 28 Apr. 2017. This is a source that underscores my argument by discussing a personal account about the positive effects of Greek life.
  5. Donato, Andrew De, and James Thomas. “The Effects of Greek Affiliation on Academic Performance.” https://Sites.duke.edu/Jamesthomas/Files/2015/07/De-Donato-Thomas-Greek-Effects-Draft.pdf, Duke University, 5 July 2015, https://sites.duke.edu/jamesthomas/files/2015/07/De-Donato-Thomas-Greek-Effects-Draft.pdf. Accessed 28 Apr. 2017. This is an article published by Duke University that provides insight from both sides of the argument.

An important note to take into account when researching sources for a paper is to  make sure the sources are credible by filtering them by top-level domain. I did not utilize any sources that were not either “.edu”, “.gov”, or “.org” because then I would not be able to tell whether or not they were written by a reliable author with valid information about the subject on hand. I also made sure to include a variety of sources, including a personal account written on a university blog. However, while looking up sources to use, I found that the greatest proportion of reliable, relevant sources I chose to include came from universities that had done previous research about the impact of Greek life on mental health in order to provide prospective participants with conducive information that could influence their choice as to whether they decide to join or to opt out. As for the information, I included sources that argued both sides. One counterargument source was one that discussed hazing in fraternities and some negative mental impacts it may have such as PTSD, extremely out of range stress and anxiety levels, and an overall prolonged state of fear. On the other hand,  I mainly included sources to back up my thesis that also provided evidence for the argument that joining Greek life has an overall positive impact on mental health.

Blog Post 1: 3 Possible Research Topics

1. Types of schools

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QUESTIONS
What types of schools are most beneficial and effective in promoting a healthy learning environment?
Is there a specific type of school that promotes this, or is it specific to the teachers more than to the school?
How do teacher certification requirements differ between types of schools, and how might this have an effect on their teaching styles and teaching ability?

MOTIVATIONS
The differences between the types of schools and even between schools within types have always fascinated me. I also had some personal experience with switching between two different schools from when I switched from a private religious elementary school to a public secular middle school. I am very interested in exploring the many aspects of the education field, since it is the field I plan to go into and be involved in as an English teacher. Teacher certification requirements are therefore very important to me, and I have noticed that there are many different requirements and expectations for teachers and their teaching styles and levels of preparation between differing schools.

INFORMATION
I hope to discover the answers to my questions at the local campus level, local Newark level, state Delaware level, and national level.

ARGUMENTS
I think that I might make the argument that the types of schools may influence the learning environment and the requirements for teacher certification in terms of the students’ backgrounds.

2. Mental health, treatment, and policies

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QUESTIONS
What is the most effective way to formulate policies regarding mental health treatment?
What is the relationship between the success of these policies and awareness of mental health issues?
What legislation has already been passed regarding mental health and the treatment of mental illnesses? What legislation is in the works, and what legislation is not even on the horizon but should be, if any?

MOTIVATIONS
I firmly believe that the resolution of mental illnesses is a case-by-case issue, but written policies regarding mental health and the treatment of mental illnesses are key to the institution and continuation of treatment centers. While we often hear about mental health awareness as college students and as the generation that is known for being attached to smartphones and social media, we rarely hear about the policies that are passed at the local, state, and national levels regarding the treatment of the mental illnesses that we are promoting awareness of. I think that it would be interesting to look at the legislation that has actually been passed, what legislation has not been passed yet but should be, and the effectiveness of the treatment centers and treatments that are enabled by these policies.

INFORMATION
I hope to learn more about the mental health field, how treatment of mental illnesses works at an institutional level, what the legislative policies passed at the local, state, and national level are as well as their effectiveness, and what the next step for the field is in terms of policies to pass.

ARGUMENTS
One argument that I could make is that while raising awareness of mental illnesses is a great thing to do, it does not actually solve the illnesses and it generally does not last for longer than a day or, at the most, a week. The legislative policies regarding mental illnesses and their treatment are important because they have the potential to affect a large percentage of the population – anyone with at least one undiagnosed or diagnosed mental illness would potentially be affected by these policies, but they are hardly ever discussed. Are there even policies? Has legislation even been passed before, and if so, at what level and in what form and to what end? These are all questions that I think could easily be more openly discussed in society.

3. Voting

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QUESTIONS
What are the motivating factors that motivate people to vote and engage in their community as citizens?
What are the factors that hold people back from registering to vote and voting?
Are there any demographics that are more/less likely than others to show up and vote on Election Day?

MOTIVATIONS
I am very passionate about this issue after working to register voters and volunteering in the polls on Election Day for the past seven years. While I think most people learn in their American government class(es) that not many people show up to vote, I also think that oftentimes the phenomenon gets glossed over without analyzing why this is the case in America, a country that prides itself on its democratic government in which supposedly everyone has a voice and a vote.

INFORMATION
I hope to discover and analyze potential reasons why some college students did not vote or, in some cases, did not even register to vote. I think that if I could identify potential reasons for this, then perhaps I could also identify solutions or steps to take to resolve this and convince more people to go out to the polls.

ARGUMENTS
One argument that I may make is that as a society we need to work together to get more people to register to vote – that everyone who is eligible should be registered to vote – and convince them to go to the polls and vote on Election Day once they are registered.

Destigmatizing Mental Illness on College Campuses

stop-the-stigma-of-mental-illness-e1381250784828After researching the mental health movement and starting to build my website, I’ve realized just how important online platforms are. Specifically with the mental health movement on college campuses, and the need to create a welcoming space for all, an online platform reaches people who may be struggling in silence. Online pages allow shy people or those ashamed of their struggle to step out, voice their opinions, and get help.

The organization that I want to focus my website on is Active Minds (and their chapters at universities across the country) because they have a large online platform. This platform includes their website and various social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Active Minds uses their social media pages to post quotes, messages, videos, and links to articles in the hopes of educating all about mental health and the need to destigmatize it. This is an effective way of getting the message out because college students are used to scrolling through their social media news feeds and seeing pictures, quotes, and articles to browse. I want to post similar links and pictures on my website homepage, because they are both relatable and will capture the attention of viewers, leading them to further discover my website. The Active Minds website is easy to navigate due to its site map, which gives links to the website’s main features like the homepage, the organization’s background, media, and information on the current chapters. This layout is helpful for viewers on the Active Minds website because they can easily find out why and when the organization was established (2003) as well as how to get involved under the “take action” tab. The “take action” tab includes an interactive map that shows which universities have a current chapter, including UD.

I want my website to be utilize organized tabs on the homepage and include many links, making it easy and enjoyable to explore. I wish to emulate the Active Mind’s website by including the story of how they were established/their mission, along with mental health statistics on college campuses under an “about” tab which can be found directly on the homepage. I also want to include a “why” tab which discusses why it’s important to accept mental illness for what it is and stop making it this unspeakable issue which deters people from getting help. I will also include a “how you can help” tab which lists the many chapters that exist across the country as well as the necessary contact info. In contrast to the Active Minds website, I wish to include shorter bursts of information/bullet points rather than long paragraphs because college viewers prefer quick information, and will be more likely to continue to explore my website if they are attracted immediately.

 

Social Media Builds(?) Healthy Minds

Online platforms and social media are very important for the mental health movement because both the problem and the solution are spread through the Internet. For example, the ideologies of the “pro-ana” movement, a counter movement to the mental health movement that promotes anorexia as a lifestyle, is spread through blogs and photos. Here is an example:

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On the other hand, it is very easy to spread awareness of the mental health problem to many people with the use of online platforms and social media. For example, Active Minds, a college-centered foundation that reduces the stigma of mental health, has a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Pinterest site, and a YouTube channel. Each of these social media sites are used differently; for example, the YouTube channel has videos about mental health, the Pinterest site has inspirational photos promoting a positive mental health, and the Twitter account has statistics about mental health. On Pinterest, Active Minds has different boards for different topics that allow users to browse the topics they are interested in. On the main website, Active Minds has a central column for current news, different pages for different resources, and side bars dedicated to helping the readers get involved. In general, the front page has previews of information found in the pages, and users can read more in depth by clicking on individual pages.

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I want to format my blog a similar way to document the mental health movement. I will break my blog into the follow three pages: “Definition,” “Examples,” and “Conclusions”. On the “Definition” page, I will give background on the movement and provide statistics so that readers unfamiliar with the topic will understand the issue. On the “Examples” page, I will document the mental health movement at different colleges. On the “Conclusions” page, I will evaluate the success of the movement. Similar to the Active Minds website, on the front page, there will be boxes with previews of the information from each of the pages. My page will be useful both to users who know little and to users who know a lot about the movement. Individuals of different knowledge levels can customize their experience on my blog by reading the different pages.

Advocacy: Fighting to Resolve Problems in One’s Society

To me, advocacy means being educated on the seriousness of a particular issue in our society and fighting politically, legally, economically, or socially to resolve or improve it to help others. It means fighting for justice for someone who is unable to for any reason. Without lobbyists advocating for change, government officials and the general public might not be particularly aware of the issues in their societies that need to be resolved. I think of movements such as the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and the Occupy Wall Street movement when I think about movements that work to create change generally. All three included direct, open protests that were impossible for their audiences to ignore, were about issues that were urgently essential to their participants’ lives, brought issues that were not even in the newspaper to the front page and cable news headlines, and are still alive today. While the Occupy Wall Street movement began much more recently (2011) than the civil rights movement and women’s movement, which can both be traced back to the mid-late 1800’s (civil rights in terms of African Americans’ rights as freedpeople and American citizens), all three movements are still going strong or are at least very well-known within our society today.

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The Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21. 
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At a Black Lives Matter protest.

I would like to explore:

As a student who will graduate with debt, I am very interested in any way that I can get out of paying off said debt with constantly growing interest and in what the workforce will look like when I graduate and have to pay off my loans, along with many other college students across the country.

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I also care a great deal about mental health awareness because I have seen so many of my friends and family members suffer from mental health problems: everything from various eating disorders to insomnia and depression. Mental health is still a very stigmatized issue in our society, but the only way to de-stigmatize it is to inform the public about it so they do not fear or marginalize those with mental health problems.

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I am fascinated by the movements to improve our educational system, such as the Education Opportunity Network’s goal to reorganize America’s public schools to better support students personally and academically regardless of economic factors or zip codes. I firmly believe, both personally and as a future teacher, that every person has the right to the best education possible for them personally if they wish to take advantage of it.

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I would like to explore these movements to better understand their history, their future goals, and how their actions may impact the national or global economy in the future, since these factors may potentially have significant impact on my personal economic well-being as well as that of the U.S. itself. Given the current political climate, I would expect problems with the movements advocating for change getting through to lawmakers. Since their non-conservative agendas will likely contradict the plans of the conservative Congressmen, Senators, and President and could make their lives and re-elections difficult if they agreed to support these movements’ more liberal agendas.