Tag: chris morgan

Tardy to the party

At most major universities, professors or the department as a whole can choose if they want to have an attendance policy in their classroom. This is something that can hinder a student’s ability to learn responsibility for their actions.

While a mandatory attendance policy does “punish” a student for not being there that day, missing the class in general is usually punishment enough. From my experience, most class meetings cover a good bit of material. If a student regularly skips class, they will not succeed purely because they do not have the required information to pass exams. This would happen regardless if an attendance policy is in place or not. It puts more of a personal responsibility on students. Rather than just telling them if they miss “x amount of class meetings,” they will fail. I think that instead of shoving attendance down people throats, the thing that punishes the student the most is the lack of information that they are receiving in order to do well on exams.

Another argument is that if there is no attendance policy then students will more than likely skip class and possibly miss a test or a review day. While it is important for the student to be there for classes, it is also their money that they are spending. If they choose not to go to class to get the information needed for exams, it is their own personal choice. They will see the consequences of their actions on the day of the exam.

With the huge move to have grades, notes, and quizzes on the computer, in JSU’s case, Blackboard, there seems to be less of a reason to go to class. What is the point of going to class if you are just going to put your lecture notes online and make quizzes due at 11:59 the same night? You could just stay at home and sleep in and still get all the information and the same grade as someone who went to class. This is the biggest problem—and a majority of the reason that so many people tend to skip class more often.

Chris Morgan
Staff Writer

Beet: good enough to rival current social media?

In today’s world almost everything is published somewhere on the internet. Whether that be on Facebook, Instagram or even Snapchat it seems like more and more apps are coming out every day to rival these social network powerhouses.

One of these is Beet, “a social video platform that lets you easily capture, share, and remember the moments that make up your life,” as the developers claim. This app is on the iTunes store for a free download. An android compatible version of the app is set to release in April of 2015.

Beet was founded by Jonathan Miller and Sean Thielen in 2014 and is based out of Los Angeles, California.

Beet takes six second video clips and then compiles them into one larger video. This larger video can then be imported to something like the popular app Vine but instead of many little videos on your profile it is just one long video, much like a story on Snapchat.

Overall the app is solidly built and everything that I have tried to do has worked and worked well. One technical problem that I can point out is the way that you skip through videos can get a little buggy. This has caused some unwanted pauses, but other than that the app runs very smooth.

The user interface is very responsive and well put together; it flows like a combination of Snapchat and Instagram rolled into one. It also looks fantastic in my opinion. It is simple and not overcrowded with ads or useless “filler.”

Beet is very well built and the developers have put a lot of time into making sure everything works. The problem that I see with this app is not how it looks or if it is buggy or not. It is how you can convince people to use something different.

Most humans have Snapchats and Instagrams that do video just like this app does. The only difference that I can see is that instead of making them individual videos, it stitches them all together into one video.

What about this app makes it so much better to use? Why would I log onto this instead of just looking on my Snapchat story, which does the same thing as this app only you cannot comment or share the videos publicly?

This app is a great idea, it is kind of like the Walmart of video sharing applications; it has everything in one place, that way you don’t have to run around to all your other apps to get the same information. The interface is easy to learn and a pleasure to use. The only problem I can see with this is that people will not want to switch over from what they are already using.

Chris Morgan
Staff Writer

How to keep students from packing for the weekend

When people think of JSU they think “suitcase school.” This simply means that most of the people come for the week of classes and then when the weekend comes most people just go home.

But what if there were some simple changes that could be made to make this campus more alive on the weekends?

I have asked a good amount of people why they think this is and most of the people that I asked gave me the same answer, “There is nothing to do on the weekends.” This is a very vague answer that I would like to shed some light on.

I think the number one thing that goes along with this phrase is that JSU practically closes down on the weekends.

If you want people to stay then things need to be open for students to do. The Caf and WoW have reduced hours of operation and the TMB, Diner and the coliseum pool completely close. On top of that, Stephenson reduces it hours on weekends as well.

For example the caf’s hours during the week is 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., but on the weekend that is reduced to 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and then it reopens from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Those hours offer a really limited amount of time that you can eat.

WoW is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., but I think everyone gets tired of eating the same thing all the time.

Not everyone has the funds to go off campus and eat all weekend, so they are confined to these limited hours of operation.

Another reason I think Jacksonville is deserted on the weekends is little or no intramural are played on the weekends.

The weekend would be a great time to play intramural sports seeing as we all have classes during the week. Attendance to intramural would even go up, maybe not by a large amount, but more than just the people playing the game.

With this being said, I can understand why the students that work at these places would want to close things down a little early. But that reason is that people want to leave! Why would we not want to create a place where we all want to stay and have a good time?

I also understand that not everyone is going to stay. From what I have seen most people that go here live around the area of Jacksonville so they want to go home and spend time with family.

This is geared more toward the people that live farther away than most. If things are open and are encourage participation, people that live in the area will actually want to stay.

I find this campus to be much more enjoyable when I walk to the caf or the TMB and I actually see other people walking around as well, rather than feeling like I am wandering on the Oregon Trail.

Jacksonville itself is pretty small with not much to do and there is not really much we can do about that right now. What we can do is make this campus and our college experience as fun and enjoyable as we possibly can.

Chris Morgan
Staff Writer

Esports grow in popularity among universities

The rise of the video game industry is nothing new, according to Forbes, the industry is estimated to reach $70.1 billion by 2015 combined with mobile, PC, console and online gaming.

With this rise in the industry, there is also a new competition being brought. This new competition has earned the name esports.

For those who are not familiar with the term, esports are essentially video game competitions between professional gamers.

That sounds simple enough but like people that play any other sport, professional gamers are playing at the highest possible level.

While I will say that playing a video game is not what people normally think of when you say sport, playing these games does require a specific set of skills and talents that most people don’t possess without the proper amount of training and conditioning.

Some might wonder how you can even live off of playing games. Well, for one they get paid a salary by a team much like any football or basketball player would.

Secondly, is tournament winnings. For example the 2014 League of Legends world championship was played for a prize pool of over 2 million dollars with 1 million going to the first place winners.

Another question that comes around is how interesting can it be to watch people play a video game? Just to give you some numbers to go by, according to NBA.com the NBA finals had an average viewership of 15.5 million.

According to a statement by the developers of the popular online game League of Legends, Riot Games, pulled in 27 million viewers for the finals that were held in South Korea.

With the fan base of these games growing, many colleges are looking to get these competitions on their campus. Over the last year, several colleges around the United States have started to offer scholarships for people that play games on a competitive level.

Two of these include San Jose State University located in Northern California and Robert Morris University Illinois Located in Chicago.

These schools have gone all out going as far as adding the game to the athletics department and also hiring coaches for the students. The students also have to uphold a certain GPA as well as setting aside certain time for practice.

This is a great thing that more and more colleges should adapt into their schools. The popularity of these games is growing at a fast pace and collegiate leagues are popping up all round the United States for games such as Hearthstone, League of Legends and my personal favorite, Starcraft 2.

With this being said, the schools could also make a couple of bucks in the process. Having a good collegiate level gaming program could be to some schools what Auburn or Alabama’s football team is to their respective universities.

Chris Morgan
Staff Writer