Prayer in schools has been an issue as long as I can remember. It is uncommon to see large prayer groups while walking through a college campus, but today at The University of North Alabama, a large group of students stood in the middle of campus to pray for a beloved professor.
Dr. Larry Nelson is known by every person on UNA's campus and he is loved by all. He is a history professor and a mentor. He teaches religious classes and holds Bible studies for all types of students. He welcomes students into his home with he and his wife.
UNA Family Comes Together
Dr. Nelson was in a car accident on Monday April 29 and returned to class shortly after. After complaining about a headache, his wife and daughter encouraged him to go to Hellen Keller Hospital where doctors found a tumor on his brain and rushed him to Vanderbilt Hospital in Tennessee. http://mc.vanderbilt.edu
At 1 am Monday night, over 50 students gathered at the amphitheater to pray for Dr. Nelson and praise God. The same thing happened on Tuesday at noon. Students walking by joined in to pray for a man that some of them did not even know.
Tweet, Pray, Share
Social media sites were full of prayers for Dr. Larry Nelson and his family and updates were sent out every few hours to be reposted by students and faculty. It was amazing to see what an impact one man has made and the influence he has had on the faith of the students. He openly expresses his love for Jesus Christ and he and his wife use the campus as a mission field.
What do you think about this revival on campus due to the unfortunate news about a beloved faculty member? Do you think it's a big deal that such a large number of students met to pray in the middle of campus? Do you think it should happen more often?
01 May 2013
20 April 2013
As with many tragedies, the explosions that occurred Monday at the Boston Marathon left people in a state of shock. Innocent people were targeted during what should have been a time of joy and achievement, and the reason behind the explosions remains unknown.
Easy access to internet and citizen journalists helped the news spread quickly, including graphic videos and photos of victims. The news often emphasizes misfortune during times like these because shock grabs people’s attention.
Do you ever just get an uneasy feeling after watching bad news on television for a while? According to Medical News Today, a study found that some people can be significantly affected by traumatic news they didn’t actually experience but only watched on television, and may even display characteristics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is a high correlation between the amount of television someone watches about a particular event and the likelihood that they will be affected by it.
While death and devastation should certainly not be downplayed or ignored, it is important to focus on the positive that emerges during tragedies as well.
Social Media’s Influence on News
Social media has been helping people accomplish that. Twitter hashtags such #BostonHelp and #BostonStrong have been trending to show support for those affected, and a quote by Fred Rogers (you probably know him from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) has been spreading around Facebook and Twitter:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Focusing on the helpers during unhappy times can prevent us from dwelling only on the negative and feeling helpless. We need to remember that while there are people who do terrible things, there are also many more people who have come together to encourage and help those in need.
Stay Informed and Supportive without Fixating on a Sad Event
Because the study found a positive correlation between the amount of television viewed about an event and the likelihood of a person being significantly affected, a suggestion might be to read a summary of what took place and then move on rather than continuing to read/watch every single update that is given. This way you are staying informed of current events but you are trying not to let them consume you.
Another suggestion is to search for the positive stories in the news and read those as well. While upsetting stories do come up frequently, there are also many inspiring stories out there. The positive stories you read could be about anything from good deeds to accomplishments, as long as you find them pleasant. This article about acts of kindness during the Boston Marathon explosions is an excellent example of looking for helpers.
I think that stories of people who act sincerely out of the goodness of their heart can leave us with a sense of hope and happiness. They remind us that no matter how much negativity we encounter in the world there will always be more people with good intentions.
Do you think that there are too many traumatic news stories compared to uplifting ones, or are they necessary? Is there any way to stay informed of current events without being affected by them?
14 April 2013
Although we are college students, we still hear the term 'bullying' all the time. It starts in elementary school and continues until some are old and grey. It is a serious matter that is constantly talked about. Some of us have dealt with it from personal experience while others have witnessed it.
Recently 15 year old Audrie Pott made the decision to take her own life after becoming a victim to online bullying.
Audrie was allegedly sexually assaulted at a party and then demeaning pictures of the assault were posted online. She then took to her Facebook account and posted that her life was ruined and that it was the worst day later. Sadly that was her last post because following that she hung herself. This past Thursday, seven months after the tragedy, three 16 year old boys have been arrested on charges of sexual battery. Justice has been served….or has it?
I don’t have the solution to bullying but I can offer a suggestion. I honestly believe that bullying should be against the law. If bullying was an offense, it would seriously cut down on the crime and suicide rates. We all know that a lot of mass attacks come from people who have been victims to bullying.
An example would be James Holmes who on July 20, 2012 decided to fire off shots at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 dead and 58 injured. He had no criminal record prior to the shooting but he was a victim to bullying. And another example is 20 year old Dylan Quick who decided to stab 14 people at Lone Star College near Houston Texas on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. He is also a victim to bullying.
Bullying can lead people to hurt themselves or others. I wish we could all treat people the way that we would like to be treated but I know that, that doesn’t always happen. However, if we witness somebody being bullied, I feel like we should be a friend to that person and we should also tell an authority figure. Bullying is a serious problem in today’s society and I don’t feel like the law addresses it, until it is too late. But if someone is reported for bullying, I feel like there should be consequences. It could start with tickets and then go up from there. But it should definitely be addressed as a crime.
What do you feel about bullying? Is there really nothing that can be done about it until it’s too late or should it be addressed early on?
11 April 2013
10 April 2013
Kekoria Greer is a student at UNA that has started her own DJ business for parties and events on and off campus. See how she prepares for events and find out a little bit about her and about why she loves music. Check out DJ KG... off the record.