Category Archives: RCL

RCL #2

In a Time article, the administration of the University of Chicago discussed why freedom of speech is important on their campus and why they’ve banned trigger warnings and safe spaces. By censoring various phrases and ideas from being used on campus, they believe that certain people and their beliefs may not feel accepted, and they, as an institution, want to promote diversity. With students from a wide variety of backgrounds, one of their goals is to ensure that everyone can feel safe to practice and discuss their beliefs. With this idea in place, students at the university can also explore their own beliefs by exposing themselves to the other ideas that are out there, rather than keeping themselves sheltered from potentially controversial ideas.

Similarly, Greg Lukianoff and Johnathan Haidt discuss the concept of “The Coddling of the American Mind” and how college students demanding trigger warnings and protections against certain ideas surrounding free speech is extremely limiting. Not only do trigger warnings and the banning of certain topics prevent students from a misguided view on the world, but it can cause them to be ill-prepared for the future. Out in the real world, no one can really control what anyone may potentially say to anyone else, so by sheltering kids in college, they’re not going to be ready for what may come after they leave their bubble.  Controversial and potentially harmful and discriminatory topics are never going to cease to exist. So, instead of creating an environment where these topics are barred from being talked about, they should rather be encouraged to be discussed in order to create these intellectual conversations to occur.

Another point that Lukianoff and Haidt address is the use of trigger warnings to prevent people from reading or listening to something that may give cause them to experience PTSD or anxiety due to past traumatic events. Although this seems like a great idea, there’s actually proof that, psychologically, the best way to treat PTSD and fears is actually through exposure therapy rather than avoiding the problem. Pavlov’s discoveries with people using exposure therapy to get over certain phobias is actually very effective; so, while people think that avoiding their fears will cause less stress, the opposite is in fact more verified.

These articles will ameliorate our second approach of our deliberation where we discuss the positives of the freedom of speech on campus. The idea that the freedom of speech provides suitable conditions for controversial beliefs to be discussed, therefore exposing impressionable minds to new ideas, is one of our main points. Although we believe that some restrictions may be necessary, this section is to focus on why it’s important. By implementing the ideas in these articles to our discussion, we can have a clearer and more justifiable “argument” per say.

Works Cited
Desk, Ideas. “University of Chicago: ‘We Do Not Support Trigger Warnings’.” Time, Time, 25 Aug. 2016,
Lukianoff, Greg, and Johnathan Haidt. “The Coddling of the American Mind.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 31 July 2017,

Ted Talk Draft

Topic: Mental Health Awareness for Today’s College Students

Purpose: I think it is necessary to shed light onto the fact that in just even the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the diagnosing of mental illness and disorders in college students, however there are still thousands that will go left undiagnosed. My purpose is to make more people aware of the effects that avoiding their mental health can have, and what resources and tools are available and also what needs to be improved in the world of college’s relations with mental health care.

Thesis Statement: Mental health has long been stigmatized and dismissed though it is a very real and common factor in life, especially for college students.  It is necessary for not only students, but parents and peers as well, to be educated on the effects and severity of mental illnesses and the resources available in order to properly take care of yourself and be able to succeed.

Introduction: In college students, mental illnesses are a very real and common aspect of life, yet many people are often left untreated. This can lead to very serious consequences such as self-harm, erratic and dangerous behaviors, and suicide. In our modern day, numbers of students experiencing at least one mental illness have skyrocketed due in part to many factors including the abundant stressors of school as well as exposure to social media. While there are many resources available to students, many colleges still lack proper attention to care for mental health; this is something that needs immediate changes in order for students success and health. The biggest problem that needs to be addressed is the lack of education for it all. It’s because of peoples unawareness of the reality of this situation that perpetuates the problem.


I. I think it’s clear that college takes a toll on students, and no one ever said it’d be easy. But what many people don’t realize is that that toll, that effect that these stressors have on you could be more than what you think it is

1. Recent studies have reported many findings to prove that college students today are facing the highest amount of mental illnesses than ever before.

  • One in every five students will be diagnosed with a mental health condition; it is important to realize how common this is so that people understand that they are not alone
  • A 2014 study reported that 33% of students were feeling too depressed to function and 55% experienced overwhelming anxiety
  • According to the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors,  Seventy percent of directors believe that the number of students with severe psychological problems on their campus has increased in the past year.

2. The growing rates of mental illness, treated and untreated, have also coincided with growing numbers of self-harming and suicidal behaviors.

  • 33.2 percent had considered suicide
  • One in every 12 U.S. college students makes a suicide plan, according to National Data on Campus Suicide and Depression.
  • Research taken from studies at 139 institutions have reported that 26% of students who sought help said they had intentionally hurt themselves

II. Colleges and universities have a growing range of networks and support systems put in place to help students who are struggling, but there is still so much room for improvement.

1. There is a growing demand for mental health support on campuses due to the increase in students who are (1) suffering and diagnosed with mental health conditions and (2) seeking help for their problems

  • A Center for Collegiate Mental Health study from 2012-2013  found that 48 percent of students had sought counseling for mental health concerns which had increased by six percent from the previous year. This is good and bad; it shows that more students are willing to seek help, but it also shows that more students are suffering these problems.
  • Increased treatments for mental illnesses have also allowed more students who may have previously not been fit to go to college, to actually go to school; this increases the demand for institutions to keep up

2. Although many schools do have resources for students, there is still a large population that is either lacking any support, or lacking adequate funding for programs

  • Many large institutions, including Penn State, do provide counseling and mental health support, however there is not nearly enough support in relation to student population
  • Many universities offer counseling, but often times it is at a large cost. Some students are afraid to get parents involved or insurance to cover the costs and are likely to not seek out help
  • Some universities have had increased amount of peer support. Programs will offer students to receive mental support from other students at no cost, and often times students can remain anonymous
  • This shows that there is hope that greater support will be put in place, but there is still much room to go.

III. The two main reasons that students lack proper mental care is stigmas attached to mental illness, and lack of education and awareness by both students and parents.

1. Many people still stigmatize mental illness, dismissing them of having any serious effects. Though these stigmas have decreased, their ideals have perpetuated and have infiltrated the minds of students into often feeling shameful about their mental state.

  • Often people will think that they should be able to pull themselves out of the rut that they are in, and though that’s true for some, not everyone has this ability.
  • This is when self-destructive behaviors can take place
  • People should be aware of the symptoms of the most common mental illness in college students like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, in order to properly take care of themselves when needed, and even provide help for their peers
  • It is such a common attribute in college that many people are unaware of, knowing you’re not alone can help many people come to terms with their own mental states
  • the stigma also often denies the fact that mental illness are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain; often can be controlled by medications

2. Parents and students combined are uneducated on the effects of mental health, this causes there to be a lack of a necessary conversation between the two to normalize mental illness.

  • 50% of students have reported to receiving no prior education  of mental health before college. This is a serious problem because you can’t help yourself or others if you don’t know what to look for or how to get treatment, and it could have serious damaging effects before help is sought
  • Only 7% of parents reported their college students to have experiences mental health issues, while 50% of students reported their mental health to be below average. This rift in statistics proves the uncommunicative relationship between parents and students
  • people with mental illness need support systems to properly help themselves, whether that be one person or 20 people, it is necessary to have an outlet that many times parents can provide, this means that the taboo surrounding mental health must be lifted

Conclusion: Mental health is extremely imperative, probably more so than most people think. It’s the kind of thing where it can build up without you knowing until it gets really dangerous. Most mental illnesses are diagnosed before the age of 24 which is why college students are in a critical time. You can’t take care of yourself or others or even your own responsibilities until you are mentally sound. We need to live in a world where not only is it okay to be vulnerable and seek help when its needed, but where help is widespread, common, and accessible. To quote Alex Lindley, a creator of Project Wake Up aiming to increase suicide awareness, “people don’t have the choice of obtaining a mental illness, but people do have the choice to perpetuate the stigma.”


James, Susan Donaldson. “Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 June 2017,

Henriques, Gregg. “The College Student Mental Health Crisis.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 15 Feb. 2014,

Ally Holterman on August 25. “Mental Health Problems for College Students Are Increasing.”Healthline, Healthline Media, 25 Aug. 2016,

Simon, Caroline, and University of Pennsylvania. “More and More Students Need Mental Health Services. But Colleges Struggle to Keep Up.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 4 May 2017,
Wilson, Matthew. “For College Students Grappling with Mental Illness, the World Can Seem Colorless.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 4 May 2017,
NAMI. “NAMI.” Mental Illness Prolific Among College Students, NAMI, 25 Aug. 2004,
Sabatke, Sarah. “Mental Health on College Campuses: A Look at the Numbers.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 30 Jan. 2016,

Mental Health as a Paradigm Shift

In our world today, many people know someone who suffers from some type of mental illness, sometimes whether they actually know it or not. Almost one fifth of the American population suffers from some type of mental illness. For many people, the idea that this exists at such an extremely high level is shocking and obscure. Why? it’s because it’s not quite getting talked about as much as it needs to.

Our attitudes towards people with mental illnesses, treatments, and even media representation with mental health has severely changed over the years. And while this shift from almost completely taboo to more legitimate attention being received proves hope for the future where there is proper care for those with mental disorders and illnesses, there is still quite a long way to go.

  1. People with mental illness used to be looked at as threats to society or simply just deplorable. They were either expunged by being placed in jails or inhumane mental institutions where they were relaly just left to suffer and die, or they had to face extreme treatments such as lobotomies or shock therapy; these treatments did little to help. As psychology and neuroscience grew, and our understanding of mental illnesses increased, people gained a greater knowledge of what was going on. Simpler treatments such as counseling and psychotherapy began to be used, although societies still had somewhat of a disconnection to people who suffered as being human, and yet they were still viewed as debilitated. Now, precise treatments as well as counseling and medication are used to treat patients who suffer from a wide range of mental illnesses. And while it’s great that it’s being talked about more, there are still many stigmas attached to mental illnesses.
  2. Kind of already mentioned but this part will look at how the attitudes have changed over the years. From crazy and threatening to harmful and helpless to then being overdramatized or under appreciated. There will tend to be less job possibilities or social connection or ties for people with mental illnesses. Where now, more and more it is “acceptable” to have some mental illness and does not always have to be shushed or put down by anyone.
  3. How mental illness in the media has changed. Movies and TV shows which included people with mental illness used to be centered around that of violence or psychotic and wild behavior. This attribute of mental illness though true, is only a very very small percentage of people with mental illness. It only heightens this stigma of why people with mental illness should be feared. Now, not only are characters with mental illnesses/ disorders being represented more accurately and less viciously, many celebrities are also speaking out about their battles with certain mental illnesses and are allowing the topic to actually be talked about in proactive ways.
  4. Then, I will talk about governments approach to mental health and similar to how people used to just be locked up, there have been improvements to government efforts to help people with mental health such as the affordable care act. However, we seem to be degenerating in that sense where people may have less access to proper care.

Conclude how the views of mental health and people with mental illnesses have changed, and while yes some of it is for the better, there is still an awfully long way to go. Mental health shall not ever go ignored or mistreated.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Draft

While some may think that the Confederate Flag in comparison to the pride flag is of equal value, I believe they are very wrong. People will claim “southern pride” but is that what this flag really represents? Or is there more to it?

The significance of the flags historical background is not to be ignored. The ideals founded in congruence with the emergence of this flag are that of racism, slavery, segregation, and white supremacy- nothing to be prideful about at all. These antiquated commonplaces are not as extinct as you may believe, and yes people do express pride about inhabiting them.

-Charlottesville white supremacist rally: KKK and other racist beliefs, flag was displayed very promptly and “proudly”

-Charleston church shooting, brought up the protesting of the display of the flag at South Carolina’s capitol building

Logos: it seems that people who display the flag with “pride” have one of two arguments. Either “learn your history” about the confederacy and why it wasn’t “all bad,” or the confederate flag doesn’t represent racism, it represents southern pride.

-neither argument has any source of logic justifying the “good” of the confederacy of the flag

-the confederacy WAS bad, for the reasons I mentioned above

-“southern pride” does nothing other than promote more segregation and lack of unity within the country. Southern pride should just be American pride

-Pathos: the emotions one feels when looking at this flag can vary. For most, it’s offensive, it reminds us of a time of hatred and bigotry, and a far from ideal society

-Ethos: many credited historians could tell you that the civil war was in fact fought on the ideals of slavery and the south’s fight to keep it instituted. On this basis, the flag (which represents the confederacy) does call for racism and therefor hatred.

-People have argued that the pride flag is the new confederate flag meaning that it is a symbol of a representation of a group of people that exclude others who do not agree. The pride flag does the opposite. It includes a group of people formerly oppressed to have a sense of belonging society.

-(Like in my speech) Though it is our civic duty to express our opinions, it is also our civic duty to spread positivity, equality, and peace. This flag does not represent those ideals. Everything it represents only regresses our societal standings and shows us whats wrong with our country.

Pride Amongst Hate


Introduction: When you see this flag what is your first thought? For most people it’s probably pride right, hence the name “Pride Flag.”. Whether this symbol means anything to you personally or not, most people can generally agree that it emanates a positive presence in society.


Transition 1:Let me take you back to 1977, with Gilbert Baker sewing away the rainbow stripes and creating this infamous icon.


-urged by Harvey Milk (an influential gay leader), to create a pride symbol for the LGBT+ community


-inspired by Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and the stonewall riots that occurred a few days later


– the timing of the emergence of the flag was opportunistic; it was time to take civic action and create a symbol of pride, peace and unity


-this new symbol was first displayed at the San Francisco pride parade a year later in 1978


Transition 2: Almost 40 years later and we can now see the rainbow stripes almost anywhere and everywhere.


-used most commonly during pride parades, it can be seen worn as various clothing, found on your phones keyboard as an emoji, or even draped in the windows in this very building


-As we know, it’s main purpose was to represent pride and unity for a suppressed community.


-But it means so much more than that. For people in the LGBTQ community, seeing the flag can exude a sense of comfort and acceptance wherein people can feel free to truly be themselves.


-it also promotes the ideas of inclusiveness and acceptance of all peoples- something that seems so elementary yet is still so foreign in our country


-it also advocates for diversity; for example, in Philidelphia this past June, brown and black stripes were added to shed light on LGBTQ people of color


-Most importantly, it serves as a mechanism to endorse change and reform for equality such as when the white house lit up with the colors of the rainbow on June 26, 2015 when gay marriage was finally legalized in all 50 states


-you could say it is our civic duty to allow the exhibition of this flag in order to demonstrate all of these aspects which encompass an ideal society


Transition 3: While it has become a commonly accepted and positive emblem, many still oppose it’s existence.


-About a little bit over a month ago, parents at Auburn High School in Alabama petitioned to have a teacher’s personal pride flag displayed outside their room, taken down


-claiming that it “creates a hostile and provocative learning environment for students not comfortable to openly supporting LGBTQ+ community in a public school where students come from diverse political and religious backgrounds.” (FOX News 2017)


-with a ridiculous 810 signatures the petition wants people to “Consider the uproar and chaos that would ensue were a teacher to hang for example a Confederate, Christian or Heterosexual Flag in their classroom.” (FOX News 2017)


-so now it is being compared to as a hate symbol as if it were the confederate flag which represents the racist slave ridden confederacy


-teacher has the right to free speech, and even the duty to promote inclusivity. Not only that but this teacher is the advisor for the EDUCATE club which “focuses on and promotes diversity


-the teacher is only spreading positivity, and is no way pushing anyone to change their beliefs by simply displaying the flag


Conclusion: While it may seem that our modern day is super progressive and that equality has become balanced for everyone, this is still far from the truth. Many people still have very antiquated thoughts and ideals hindering the necessary reforms in order for everyone in this country to truly be equal, and feel equal. While it is our duty as citizens of this country to voice our opinions, it is also our duty to promote positivity and equality. This flag is nothing more than a beacon of inspiration allowing people to realize that their identity is important. So, whether you identify as LGBTQ+, as an ally, or even as neither, I ask of you to let these pride flags fly high and allow people of all gender, race, religion and orientations, to be free in this country.


“Petition Calls for Removal of LGBT Flag from School, Makes Comparison to Confederate Flag.” Fox News, FOX News Network,

“Rainbow Flag (LGBT Movement).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2017,