Author: James Steinbauer

Friends: An unlikely solution to the omipotent drinking problem

There has been a tremendous amount of talk around alcohol consumption recently, and rightfully so. With the tragic death of Erica Buschick and the 21 hospitalizations last week, Miami has received a wakeup call when it comes to drinking culture. Yet, while everyone points out that there is a problem, the one aspect that seems to rarely come up is the solution. Yes, I agree that our college drinking culture should change and that students should be more responsible, but will that really happen? Unfortunately, probably not. It’s just like the old saying: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” So, when we are emailed official statements warning of high alcohol consumption and the dangers of binge drinking, they tend to be extremely ineffective. But when it comes down to the real issue — that students simply drink irresponsibly — the go-to solution for the administrators and law enforcement is to pursue an authoritarian stance against drinking. While having more police out at night does scare some people away from their usual weekend festivities, for most students this method of prohibition doesn’t shift the balance on the risk-reward scale. Especially since college is a time when individuals tend to embrace their youth and individual liberties before they are restricted to the mundane cycle of a working, adult life, this is an era where...

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Ask Angela: How do I get boys to notice me?

Dear Angela, How do I get boys to notice me? Just asking for a friend… Sincerely, Not just thirsty, but dehydrated Dear Not just thirsty, but dehydrated, Look, I don’t want to be blunt here, but I lack any sort of filter and tend to just say (or write) whatever is floating around in my ole noggin. Call it reactionary, or crass, or careless, but you can’t deny that you’ll always be getting the God’s honest truth from me. You want boys to notice you? You shouldn’t give a flying fuck what boys think about you. Contrary to what you may have read/heard/seen before, I’m not going to tell you to start spending two hours on your makeup everyday before class, to start going to the gym to shed some pounds and tone up, to wear your fleekest clothes to your 8:30s and I am definitely not going to tell you to download the ESPN app so you can act like you give a damn about football (whoever founded Cosmo magazine is my least favorite human to ever exist). Would you like to know why I’m not going to tell you any of that nonsense? I’ll tell you — even though at this point in my column, you’re probably wishing I had given you some five-step simple formula to get you a Bae-rrito instead of taking this opportunity to...

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Psychology lab researches the science behind regret

Everybody has regrets. And nobody knows that better than Dr. Amy Summerville. Not because she has regrets, but because she studies them. In the “Regret Lab,” the name given to the research group studying the phenomenon, Miami psychologists — led by Dr. Summerville, a University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana graduate, but also — examine the causes and effects of regret. More specifically, they study counterfactual thoughts. “My research is about what’s known as ‘counterfactual thinking,’ which are these thoughts about what might have been, and about regret, which is the emotion based on counterfactual thoughts,” Summerville said. The effects of properly understanding counterfactual thinking are far-reaching. When people generate counterfactuals, they are better at making ‘future intentions.’ Put simply, they are less likely to make the same mistake. For instance, if a student who fails an exam thinks counterfactually (“if I had studied, I would’ve gotten a better score”) they are more likely to study in the future. They’re also more likely to do other productive tasks relating to their academic performance — e.g., do more homework, visit office hours or other things that will prevent them from failing another test. “Because regret is based on these counterfactuals, it ends up being this really useful emotion, as well as obviously being unpleasant as a negative emotion.” The Regret Lab is currently working on a grant from the National Science Foundation...

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Regardless of ACA future, Miami should maintain healthcare

To the Editor: Dear Dr. Thomasson and Ms. Schilling: The Miami University Advocacy Chapter Executive Committee of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has heard numerous concerns from faculty and staff members regarding the possibility that health coverage might be adversely affected by the threatened repeal or substantial amendment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We call upon the university to make the commitment to retain the ACA’s important protections regardless of the actions taken in the U.S. Congress. The ACA protections that must be retained include, but are not limited to: 1. Full coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions.   2. Coverage of dependents up to age 26. 3. Coverage of immunizations and other preventive care services at no cost. 4. No pre-authorization requirement for emergency services and coverage of such services on an in-network basis. 5. No lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of essential health benefits paid for by the plans. 6. Refraining from establishing “excessive” employee cost-sharing and deductibles. Frankly, we hope that the ACA is not repealed or gutted. But should this occur, the university would not be compelled to follow suit and remove these important protections from our health plans. It is entirely within the power of this university to fashion health plans that go beyond minimum legal requirements to meet the health care needs of its employees. Insofar as these...

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We can “be great” without being exclusionary

I have only ever lived here. I grew up in the picture-perfect definition of suburbia and I went to public school. I attended college and soon I will graduate and move on with my life, pursue a career and whatever else “good Americans” do.  So tell me, why do so many people hate me? No, I don’t mean me personally, I mean why do people seem to hate immigrants, refugees and their descendents? My father escaped to America because this great country tore apart his own. He had no choice but to flee and he came here with nothing....

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