Research Idea Topics

The first potential topic I would like to discuss considers the question, should student athletes should get paid?  There is constant debate as to whether or not students should get paid to play for their respective teams in college.  Some say no, while others, especially current and former student athletes say yes.  Being an athlete my entire life, I grew up watching all types of college sports on TV and in person. As I grew older I became more and more interested in college athletics and learned the truth, of what goes into the game. Trying to balance school work, practices, and workouts is no easy task. Because of this, I am inspired to support these young men and women in the fight towards compensation for the countless hours that are lost.  I intend to find the specifics on how much revenue student athletes bring in and the many sacrifices they are forced to go through.

A second potential area of research I would like to discuss is, should the US reform our current criminal justice system?  Our prisons are crowded and our system is flawed.  Many take the side, saying yes our criminal justice system needs reform. However, nothing is being done about it and a strong argument with compelling research, could finally produce action.  As a Criminal Justice major I find this particularly interesting and believe that our current system is flawed and reform is necessary.  Information useful to this topic would be incarceration rates among races and for specific crimes.  Too many people are sent to jail or prison for petty drug charges and because of this it is filling up our prisons and ultimately causing havoc in our criminal justice system.

A third possible area for research, would be whether or not steroids and other performance enhancing drugs should be used in baseball?  Steroids have always cast a dark shadow on professional baseball, as the MLB is doing all they can to prevent cheating within the sport.  Those for steroid usage argue, it makes the game more enjoyable and lively, and cannot be stopped regardless of  the laws and regulations.  I disagree, however, and believe performance enhancing drugs ruins the game, and gives players unfair advantages.  Steroids do typically improve performance, but it comes with a major cost to their body.  As being an athlete my whole life, it is an unfair for someone to have an advantage when others understand the health costs and wisely choose against it.  Understanding the negative health effects is key to understanding why it should not be allowed.  Overall, drug usage is detrimental to baseball and should continue to be banned and strongly administered against.

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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.