Archive for college students

As children suffer, meningitis cases confirm need for FDA reform

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

meningitis

You may have read about meningitis outbreaks at college campuses, in some instances resulting in deaths . Today's guest post is by someone whose name you may very well recognize, Dr. Julianne Malveaux. She makes a good case for urgent FDA reform:

Meningitis Cases Confirm Need for FDA Reform
by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer. She is President Emerita of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

It is virtually impossible to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything healthcare related these days. Even issues that everyone can agree on - like covering Americans with pre-existing conditions and keeping young adults on their parents' health plan - become political footballs.

But while Congress continues to debate healthcare policies, they are missing opportunities to genuinely effect Americans' health. There is common ground to be found, including ensuring our nation is properly expediting life-saving vaccines for a deadly disease.

Recent scares at Princeton University and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) have highlighted a sluggish, reactive approach to disease prevention and that the consequences of this leadership vacuum, particularly at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, could be deadly.

Last spring, a Princeton University student was diagnosed with Meningitis type B (MenB), a highly contagious and life-threatening bacterial infection known to strike college campuses. By November, officials made national headlines by confirming an eighth case.

Just as Princeton was taking steps to protect its students against this deadly disease, UCSB confirmed that MenB had stricken four of its students. One young man – a lacrosse player, Aaron Loy – had to have the lower portion of both legs amputated.

As a former college president, I can assure you that no university is prepared for this kind of crisis. This is particularly true because many college administrators believed they had protected their campuses by requiring incoming freshmen to be vaccinated against meningitis. But it turns out that immunizations cover every meningitis type except for MenB, which accounted for more than 30 percent of meningococcal cases last year.

Because FDA has not approved a MenB vaccine for use in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been scrambling to respond to public health crises like those at Princeton and UCSB. Rather than proactively immunizing susceptible college students before or immediately after a meningitis outbreak occurs, the CDC can only administer “Bexsero” – a MenB vaccine that is currently in use for all ages in European Union, Australia, and Canada – weeks after students have already fallen ill.

FDA’s ad hoc approval for Bexsero means that it takes months for the vaccine to reach college students, rather than days. In the case of Princeton, CDC and FDA launched a vaccination program more than two months after university officials requested special permission to administer the vaccine. Just last week UCSB began immunizing students, some three months after the first case of MenB was confirmed. As one CDC official told CNN, “You don't go online and order 10,000 doses and get next-day delivery of this vaccine. It takes time.”

That statement underscores the need for full U.S. approval of Bexsero -- quickly. A country that has long been the world leader in developing and deploying life-saving medicines should not have to depend on partners in the EU or Canada.

Moreover, other college campuses should be afforded the opportunity to vaccinate their students proactively, well before a disease like MenB strikes their campus. But this option for college administrators, state health officials, and parents is not possible so long as Bexsero remains unapproved in the U.S.

If Congress isn’t yet convinced that there is an urgent problem, perhaps they should listen to the parents of affected students.

"It's absolutely devastating to have Aaron, in the prime of his life, be stricken,” Mike Loy said. “We hope that Aaron's horrific illness brings increased awareness and rapid approval by the FDA of the vaccine.”

I've also heard one mother whose healthy daughter contracted MenB at college and she died within 30 hours of entering the hospital with a headache. She said the FDA would be moving a lot faster if they had to watch their children suffer the way she did.

Improving efficiency at FDA is an issue that should find bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. Our system’s continued failure on the MenB vaccine is just one example that illustrates that there’s too much at stake for FDA reform to turn into the partisan fight du jour, or worse yet, be ignored by Congress altogether.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Koch Brothers Puppet Group "Bribing" College Kids Not To Enroll In #Obamacare

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

beer

I would think that the laws on bribing people for their votes could edge into this territory. Thankfully most college age students aren't that dumb, they'll drink the free beer, get their gifties and move right along. Anyone else ever wonder what great things the Koch brothers could do if they used all this money for GOOD? Also too, their website is really lame.

WASHINGTON -- As the battle over the healthcare law grinds on — Republicans no closer to victory than when they forced the government shutdown — a different fight was rising on a recent Saturday from inside Sharkey’s, a bar near the campus of Virginia Tech, 260 miles away.

Lured by free beer, gift cards and the chance to win an iPad, 100 students heard a pitch from the young staffers of a group named Generation Opportunity
: Obamacare is a bad deal, and you should opt out.

With enrollment in the insurance marketplaces under way, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on a public-awareness campaign, critics are aiming a provocative counter-effort at a critical population: millennials, age 18 to 29, who may not feel the need or have the money for insurance.

gift-cards

Reminds me of those cutlery and Tupperware sales pitches that they offered in college. Some of the really stupid students would sign up for outrageously priced knife sets and regret it every minute after. I would go just for the little Tupperware bowl key chain.

Generation Opportunity, which formed in 2011 and gets funding in part from the conservative Koch brothers, is about to embark on a tour of 20 college towns nationally, including a Nov. 9 stop at the University of Miami. The pitch is that you shouldn’t feel compelled by the government to buy insurance, and that it may be cheaper outside the marketplaces.

A blueprint for an upcoming tailgate calls for games such as beer pong and cornhole, free Taco Bell and beer. Pictures of people signing petitions to opt out would be sent over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The group, and more recognizable conservative organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, show how the fight has shifted from Congress to the grassroots. Young people are among the law’s most ardent supporters, but at the same time many are unaware of the benefits, providing an opening for critics.

tacobell

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Co-author of racist "low Latino IQ" report resigns from the Heritage Foundation as Hispanic college enrollment tops white enrollment

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

tweet heritage racist resignsLink

damage control

This news alert just showed up in my inbox:

The Heritage Foundation announced the resignation Friday of senior policy analyst Jason Richwine, co-author of a controversial report critical of the Senate's immigration reform bill. After Heritage issued the report this week, news articles pointed out that Richwine had argued in his Harvard dissertation that there was a long-standing difference between the IQ of white Americans and immigrants. Friday afternoon's announcement was part of an urgent damage control effort by the giant conservative think tank, which has come under unaccustomed criticism for the immigration report.

For more information... http://www.politico.com

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

This is where the white supremacist problem comes in.

So, yesterday, it was Dillon Matthews at "The Washington Post" who looked up the credentials of the people who wrote the anti-immigration reform study for Heritage and they found out that one of the co-authors for the big Heritage study on this issue, did his doctoral dissertation on American immigration policy and specifically on the question of how we should shape our immigration policy to account for the fact that Latinos are so dumb as a race. I`m only barely paraphrasing.

The dissertation describes Latino immigrants as generally having an IQ that is, quote, "substantially lower than that of the white native population." Quote, "Immigrants living in the U.S. today do not have the same level of cognitive ability as natives." Quote, "No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against."

So, not only are Latinos intellectually inferior to whites, but, of course, they breed. Echh. Disgusting, right?

After that was reported the Heritage Foundation, which is now run by former Republican Senator Republican Jim DeMint, the Heritage Foundation tried to distance themselves from this guy who they had write their immigration report.

They lamented that people were focusing on this guy`s dissertation instead of on this new study from him. They said that the dissertation was, quote, "not a work product of the Heritage Foundation. Its findings do not reflect the positions of the Heritage Foundation or the conclusions of our study."

They further dismissed the guy who wrote the Latino's equal dumb thing by saying, quote, "he did not shape the methodology or the policy recommendations in the Heritage policy paper, semicolon, he provided quantitative support for the lead author." So, basically, "the guy was just a temp. He was good with a calculator. That`s all we hired him for."

Think Progress demonstrates that not only is timing everything, but also, irony is not dead:

A Pew Research Center report released Thursday notes that Hispanic college enrollment reached a record high for the class of 2012, surpassing the rate of white enrollment for the first time. [...]

This should catch the attention of Heritage Foundation’s Jason Richwine, who coauthored a debunked immigration study that argues reform is too costly. Richwine argued in his dissertation that immigrants naturally possess a lower IQ, a pseudoscience point linked to anti-immigration groups actively working against reform.

graph hispanic education rises

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

University of Notre Dame announces changes in support, service for GLBTQ students

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

It may not be "official", but this is a huge deal. The "chaste" bit might be a stretch.

SOUTH BEND -- The University of Notre Dame announced plans today to provide more support and services for students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning, including creating a university-recognized student organization.

The move stops short of creating an officially recognized gay-straight student alliance club on campus, which some students and employees have requested repeatedly over many years.

(snip)

The plan, titled "Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame," was crafted by members of the university's Student Affairs staff. The university announcement states the plan follows a study of Catholic doctrine and teaching, listening sessions with students, and an examination of student clubs and structures at other Catholic universities.

The plan emphasizes the "respect, compassion and sensitivity" due to all, and calls Notre Dame students to cultivate chaste relationships and to support one another in a community of friendship. A document detailing the review process, Catholic Church teaching and specifics of the implementation of the plan is available online at http://friendsandallies.nd.edu.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Poll-itics: President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 25 points with recent college grads

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

G.W. Bush is one of the worst presidents ever according to Where They Stand:The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians by Robert W. Merry.

But per Taegan, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of recent college graduates, President Obama is more popular than Willard Romney, 52% to 27%.

Now let's hope they vote.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Unprovoked, partiers allegedly threw bottles at black students, evoked Trayvon Martin. Gotta rant.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Allegedly...

HuffPo: Cornell Chief of Police Kathy Zoner confirmed that people were "reportedly making racial references" and throwing bottles from the roof of Sigma Pi. She added that she could not disclose more information because the investigation, which is being led by Ithaca Police, is ongoing.

Beverly Fonkwo '14 said she was walking home with a friend when, unprovoked, the group on the fraternity roof began throwing objects that landed near a group walking behind them. [...]

When they asked them to stop again, the group responded, "'Come up here, Trayvon,' and started making all these other racial comments," Fonkwo said.

I've had it. This story triggered all kinds of pent up feelings. GottaVent. I'm stumbling through stream-of-consciousness and high emotions here, so if it's a little clumsily worded, please just go with it:

Why anyone ever in the history of ever anywhere thinks it's a bad thing to be black, gay, Mexican, Jewish, Native American, or any damned thing but lily white and male is simply astounding to me in this day and age.

Why does the color of anyone's skin, the protective covering that keeps our organs from spilling out, make a difference to #%@&*! anyone else?

How does pigmentation make one inferior or superior to anyone else?

How does pigmentation make one more threatening or stupid, savage, or beast-like?

How does lack of pigmentation automatically make one superior in any way, shape, or form?

How does consensual, adult love of another adult human being make one a pervert or child molester?

How can the expression of mutual love and/or passion between two consenting human beings be deemed illegal anywhere, any time?

How and why is wanting a lifelong, monogamous relationship, including the same marital status as other humans, immoral or illegal?

How does one's belief in their version of their god make them suspect or inferior?

How does one's belief in their version of their god make them superior, morally or in any other way?

How does one's non-belief in a superior being make them inferior, amoral, or unfit in any way?

Why are non-believers unable to be so much as considered as possible presidential candidates?

Who the hell is anyone to judge another anyone solely based on their hue, orientation, nationality, belief, or any other deeply personal, involuntary, or birth-oriented trait or other natural, newly discovered, evolving, or acquired identification? That was really awkward, but you get what I mean.

And where does anyone get off using violence to express disdain or disapproval?

And where does anyone get off expressing disdain or disapproval to begin with?

And finally, why must every not-necessarily-offensive word out of everyone's mouth be so politically correct that we are forced into a pre-emptive duck-and-cover posture of self-censorship?

Rant over. For now.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO- BYU gay Mormon student: "God clearly doesn't love me, because He does not love gay people."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The video below is heart wrenching, uplifting, enlightening, warm, scary, tear-inducing, reassuring, and for many of us, hits very close to home.

Mormon-run Bringham Young University banned advocacy of gay rights until 2010.

AP:

The video recently posted to YouTube by 22 Brigham Young University students is the first of its kind with ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids gay sex and gay marriage. By posting the video, the students could face excommunication from the church and expulsion from BYU, where gay students are prohibited from touching or kissing.

 

"So I did everything I could to really be that perfect Mormon. I thought that was going to cure myself..."

Nobody, but nobody, should be made to feel suicidal, scorned, or shamed because of who they love, the color of their skin, or their religious beliefs/atheism. Yet that's the kind of pain that these kids are going through.

:

USGA (Understanding Same-Gender Attraction) is an unofficial group of Brigham Young University students, faculty, and friends who wish to strengthen families and the BYU community by providing a place for open, respectful discussions on the topic of same-gender attraction. USGA is not an appropriate forum for angry, vulgar, or profane remarks of any kind, nor for expressions of antagonism against any person or organization. In order to foster an environment of respect and understanding, we ask all participants to be respectful of BYU, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (Mormon), and the beliefs and experiences of others. If you'd like to add your voice to the messages of hope and love, please make a video, upload it to YouTube and send us the link. Thanks!

Find USGA on Facebook at: facebook.com/groups/byuusga

"IT GETS BETTER"
The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach — if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better. The website itgetsbetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It's a place where straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It's a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help. Take the pledge to help make it better for others.

If you are considering suicide or need help, call the Trevor Project now: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).

H/t: Think Progress

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare