Cornell’s Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major

March 7, 2015 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Colleges, Reviews

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major: At Cornell, we don’t simply study “Women’s Studies” or “Gender Studies,” but rather, we study FGSS. By this, I mean to say that we study the intersectionality between feminist movement, gender—in its general form—and queer politics as it relates to broader institutions.

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major: At Cornell, we don’t simply study “Women’s Studies” or “Gender Studies,” but rather, we study FGSS. By this, I mean to say that we study the intersectionality between feminist movement, gender—in its general form—and queer politics as it relates to broader institutions.

In lower school, your level of kindness defines you. In middle school, your level of popularity defines you. In upper school, your clique-identity defines you. In college, your majors and minors define you.

Your courses of study are incredibly important components of your identity in college. So choose wisely. I decided to choose the FGSS major and the LGBT minor (they go hand in hand, actually):

  • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major: At Cornell, we don’t simply study “Women’s Studies” or “Gender Studies,” but rather, we study FGSS. By this, I mean to say that we study the intersectionality between feminist movement, gender—in its general form—and queer politics as it relates to broader institutions.

As a gay-identifying male, I came to Cornell already sure that I would major, or the very least minor, in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I feel that it’s imperative that queer identifying individuals be familiar with the history of the movements that have given them the rights and privileges that they currently have. Granted, we don’t necessarily have very many privileges, but relative to the 1950’s, we’re living pretty well in our current American society. What I truly enjoyed about the major, prior to coming to Cornell, was the idea that such a major even exists! With Ivy League institutions being what they are, I was surprised that Cornell was so liberal and progressive so as to have such a major.

After spending two years at Cornell, and having taken over 15 courses in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and LGBT Studies departments, I think I have a basic understanding of what goes on in the major. What I won’t do here is tell you graduation requirements—as a simple Google search could help you to answer that. What I will tell you is why FGSS is such an amazing major:

  • The classes are small: Cornell boasts its 20,000 student population. FGSS, being the major that it is, doesn’t really attract that many students to begin with—after all, it’s no political science or biology. However, small classes are fundamental when it comes to in-depth discussion on the social issues that marginalized communities face. It’s also imperative that classes remain small so as to create safe spaces—queer and feminist politics are controversial issues and everyone should feel comfortable voicing their opinions.
  • You get a different perspective of history: Coming from a high school that specializes in law and society, Global history, and American history, I can wholeheartedly state that I never once learned about queer history. My APUSH professor once mentioned something about Stonewall, but that was just a brief aside. Cornell’s FGSS major has given me an in-depth perspective on the people that have given me the freedom to walk down the street holding my boyfriend’s hand. As a social activist for the queer community, I find it wonderfully enlightening to hear the stories of those who have re-shaped society for the better.
  • Being with people who understand you: The FGSS major and LGBT minor (which usually go hand in hand) are full of feminists and queers. That’s not to say that there aren’t allies, but the majority of the people who study these disciplines have a purpose for being there. Every class is full of students who understand my struggles and with whom I feel comfortable sharing my personal stories. It’s like being in a queer-straight alliance 24/7!

There are, of course, so many other reasons for my being in the FGSS department, but those are just a few. I would recommend that you take at least one course in the FGSS or LGBT Studies departments before you graduate—hey, you get to watch porn for class!

Revolutionary Technologies of 2014-2015

February 27, 2015 in Alive Campus, Reviews, Tech

Every day we use technology to help us facilitate our daily tasks such as doing presentations, marketing, entertainment, and much more. We get the latest phones, computers, televisions, and tablets. Here are the latest technology devices that have been releases in the market from 2014 to 2015:

Revolutionary Technology!!

Revolutionary Technology!!

Google Glass: This device is a pair of glasses that lets you see the latest updates in the world, google maps, take photos and much more when you are on the go. This device, even though it is still in its early stage and haven not reach it’s full potential, it can be still considered a device that changed the way we experience the world. It will also change the future by changing the way we see things. What is better than taking the features of a smart phone and putting them in glasses that are easier to manage. Even though this is a great device for the future, it still has a downfall, people will get too distracted with these device that it will cause accidents just like the smartphones did when it started to get more popular. Let’s just see what and how this device will change the daily lives of millions of people in American and around the world. 

Logitech Type-S: This is a two in one device that has become popular in the last two years. Being able to have a table at one moment and after attaching the keyboard it becomes a laptop. It is a more convenient way to get both a table and a laptop when needed. The table is small, and so is the keyboard and it is not as heavy as a laptop, although some laptops are light weight. It makes people wonder, if devices like the logitech Type-S exist what will happen to laptops and table in the future? Will they still be as popular as they have been up until now?

Samsung Galaxy Gear: This device is a smart watch that came out in 2014 and has become extremely popular. Unlike the Google Glass, this device is more convenient because it is wore like a regular watch and it is not as distracting or noticeable as glasses. This device has features like a smart phone, like apps and updates, and it is another device that has the potential to change the world.

Google Driverless Car: This car, can change the way people in the world use cars. Having driverless cars is going to be revolutionary and will alter the lives of many people, especially those with physical disabilities. What is better than having the car drive itself? Nothing! If this car becomes the norm usage of transportation in the future, people would be totally control by technology and the reliance of technology will further increase.

There are many new technology devices that come out each year that are changing the lives of many people. Some devices are great, but others should make us question about how much we are relying on technology over the years and where do we cross the line of using technology as a tool to facilitate certain task and relying on them for our every daily tasks?

Movies College Students Should Watch

February 20, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

Every year many movies come out in the theater and people try to watch those movies that look fun, funny, and action filled. It is impossible to watch all of them and some people watch certain movies based on the reviews and its popularity. Here are some movies that should be watched by college students at least once in their lifetime. These movies are not in any specific order:

Popcorn Time!!

Popcorn Time!!

12 Years a Slave: Since this movie came out in theaters I have been hearing great reviews about it. I have heard it shows a true side of slavery that some people try to ignored (the horrible treatment towards slave). I have not watched this movie because I have not found it online in streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. Despite me having not watch them movie, I still recommend this movie to other college students. It can be difficulty to watch, especially since it’s a topic people try to stay away from, but it’s a real eye opener for those who want to know or do not want to see the horrors of slavery.

Spirited Away: To some people this movie can be seen as a movie for little kids since it’s an anime. Yet, Miyazaki Hayao’s movies has a deeper meaning behind them. Spirited Away tells a story of a little girl whose parents are turned into pigs and she ends being stuck in the spirit world. Her only option is to work at a Onsen, a hot spring, which according to Miyazaki represent how in the past little girls worked as prostitutes in these Onsen. There are many themes and motifs in this movie. If you are interesting in them check out a sparks notes analysis of the movie:

 Paranormal Activity: To some people this movie is scary and would stay away from it, but this movie is really funny. The story plot has potential, but the first half of the movie is boring, half way through the movie is funny, and the ending is a cliffhanger, but it can be funny to watch with some friends. If you have not watch this movie because it’s classify as a horror movie, then you are missing out on a comedy film.

The Godfather: Some people may have already watched this movie by now, but this movie is a classic and those who have not watch it yet should go watch it right now! It’s exciting and fun to watch. There is even a sequel and they are in Netflix, so there is not reason to not watch it.

 Gravity: I have not seen this movie yet, but it looks like a great movie to watch. I remember hearing and reading positive reviews, so why not give it a change!

These are some of the movies I believe should be watched by every college students. The movies mention above are fun to watch, funny, and some may even have a deeper meaning behind them. It’s winter time, and if you live in the Northeast, then you probably have piles of snow all around you, so why not stay home, if possible, and watch some movies! 

Review: Roommate Harmony

February 20, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Reviews

Roommate Harmony: Blog/Shop

Roommate Harmony: Blog/Shop

Roommates are a tricky subject; obtaining a decent roommate takes strategy, luck, or both. Some students are blessed with the “barely ever around roommate.” Some students are plagued with the roommate that, literally, lives in the dorm room—even worse, the kind that invites all of their friends over…all of the damn time. And then there are the unfortunate souls with the roommate that doesn’t understand boundaries or, to be blunt, the “socially inept roommate.” If only there were a way to ease the burden of living with someone new, or someone that doesn’t quite mesh well with your perceptions of harmonious roommate-hood, during your x-number of years in college.

Oh, but there is!

Roommate Harmony is both a Staples-esque online store and a blog whose “goal is to improve the shared living experience, strengthen human relationships, and promote inner peace.” RH is unique in its approach at:

  • Selling products that create a space conducive to better living and
  • Creating a virtual space to laugh and cringe at written experiences relevant or reminiscent of your own roommate experiences

The mixture of a blogging medium with an online store creates an interactive atmosphere that feels both business-like and homey. While trying out products such as Roommate Duty Boards or Weekly Planners, you can read about “How to Avoid Roommate Drama” and “Perspectives on Worst Roommates Ever.”

Even more interestingly, RH is a “responsible business” in that it makes efforts to:

  • Limit its carbon footprint and
  • Donate a portion of its profits to Project H.O.M.E.—a community whose mission is “to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society.”

In a nutshell, RH is the best of all worlds!

Now that we’re discussing just how wonderful of a website RH truly is, let’s move on to the products. I was fortunate enough to receive a free sample package from the website’s wonderful owner, Chad Jarrah (Thanks Chad!):

  • Chore Chart: The magnetic, 11” by 16” dry-erase board comes equipped with a black dry-erase marker, a marker holder attached to the side of the board, a notes section for any random thoughts, objections, or demands that may come to mind, and four panels with lines and check boxes for various types of roommate chores. According to RH’s website, the board’s purpose is to ensure that everyone “is pulling their weight” and to “assign chores and rotate jobs by the time period agreed upon.”
  • Sticky Bulletin Board: A medium-sized bulletin board that comes in both brown and white. It’s a funky amalgam of brown bulletin board and wall sticker. It’s an 11” by 17” peel off board that’s adhesive (for all of the times that your post it notes or thumbtacks have mysteriously gone missing).
  • Weekly Planner: A 4” by 9” green and patterned planner that comes with a magnet attached to its back and seven boxes for daily notes. It’s simple, yet aesthetically pleasing. The rounded edges and slightly-transparent boxes make for delightful spots to jot down notes, and the post-it-esque weekly papers make it easy to rip off one week’s worth of random to-do lists and move onto another full week of work. Perfect and convenient for any college student.
  • Personalized Food Stickers: The “that’s my box of Fruity Pebbles Cereal” conversation is always an awkward conversation to have with a roommate. It makes you sound selfish, possessive, and stingy. The personalized food stickers offer a cute and efficient method of avoid this conversation and organizing your edible belongings. A single sheet comes with 20 stickers, each with a different picture symbolizing a type of food or beverage, and each with your name (very important) written above the image. Sticking it onto something in the room is the human/civilized equivalent of a dog peeing on a fence to mark its territory. So buy some stickers and start–humanely–marking your territory!

As I stated before, the website is organized into both a shop and a blog. I highly recommend purchasing one of the items from the shop as a means of avoiding the awkward roommate conversations. I highly recommend reading the blog posts as a means of getting a good laugh out of awkward roommate situations written by students like you.

Link to Roommate Harmony’s website:

Movies for the College Student

January 31, 2015 in Alive Campus, Reviews

Watching movies is one of my favorite things to do. However, my taste in movies is slightly different from your average college student. I have a thing for older movies starting in the 40s. My dad would always make me watch the older movies because he grew up with them and felt they were more pure and had better acting—which is probably true to some extent. I also have a thing for western movies as well, which are probably not what the average college student watches. But despite this, here are the top movies for college students and why you should watch them if you have not already.

  1. Legally Blonde: This is a classic movie every college student should watch no matter if you are a guy or a girl. The movie is basically about a college sorority girl who decides to go to law school in order to get her boyfriend back who just dumped her. It is a great movie and very funny and entertaining to watch. Who knows, you might be able to relate to her.Legally_blonde
  2. Pitch Perfect: I can almost guarantee every college student has probably already seen this movie and if you haven’t then you are wrong. It is such a funny movie that everyone would enjoy. The movie is about a girl who joins an all-female singing group. The humor is fantastic and the singing is perfection. You’ll be singing the songs with them by the end of the movie and will continue to sing them once the movie is over.pitch perfect
  3. Sydney White: I know this movie is probably cliché and goes with the theme of the other two movies but I think this is a must-see for college students. This movie is about a girl who goes off to college and tries to join the same sorority her mother was in when she was in college. She soon finds out it was not what she had hoped for. It’s a dorky movie but at the same time it is uplifting as white
  4. The Prince and Me: This is another chick flick like the other three but it has a very good story line. This movie is about a focused pre-med student who ends up falling in love with a prince from Denmark. She has to decide if she is going to throw all of her hard work away just to be with him. It really makes you think about the choices that you are faced with in life and making sure to make the best decision for you.the prince and me
  5. An Education: Now this one may not have been seen by as many people as the other four and is slightly different. This movie is about a girl in England who plans to attend Oxford but must decide between blowing her chances at Oxford in order to experience the world with an older man. It’s definitely worth your time to watch and of course it has a lesson in the movie, but it may surprise you in the end. an education

Overall, these movies are definitely worth a college student’s time because they all take place at college and they all have a lesson about life in them as well. They are funny and also somewhat relatable. And in the end, you can never go wrong with a chick flick.