Fuck Public Transportation
The Real World |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

Fuck Public Transportation

Specifically US public transportation.

Yeah, I said it: "Fuck public transportation."

And I know what you're thinking: wow, he's a privileged little bastard who must be grossed out by public buses. Not everyone can afford fancy-ass, overpriced Ubers.

And you are right in some ways. I am privileged for having the opportunity to state such a claim. However, I am not saying, "fuck public transportation" because it is gross or because I do not want to interact with people.

I scream, "FUCK PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!" because we are doing it so wrong in the US.

Right now, I am in the Netherlands for a study abroad on international environmental policy, and I am seeing the wonders of what public transportation can do.

Buses, metros and trams have comfortable, clean, community seating. Getting on and off is as easy as the tap of a card, and the schedule is efficient and effective. The Dutch care about their public transportation, and unlike the US, do not let its systems deteriorate due to differences in perceptions of socioeconomic opportunities.

People smile when they get on the bus. Do you know how many people smile when they get on the bus in the US? No one. No one smiles because everyone is pissed. No one is head-over-heels to be on the bus in the US.

Yet, in the Netherlands, people are happy on the bus. Regional rail is also lovely and relegated by the touch of the card. Yep, no conductor or passive-aggressive ticketer. Everything is electronic, fast and clean. And when I say clean, I do not just mean physically, I mean environmentally as well.

Doors do not open when not needed. Transportation is often powered by solar panels or wind energy. Best of all, bikes are used a shit-load.

And when I say a shit-load, I mean as in there are more bikes than cars. I mean for every car, there are ten bikes. I mean that I've almost gotten hit by passionate bikers, like, seventeen times. I mean that there are actual bi-level bicycle parking garages. I mean that there are motherfucking bike lanes.

They are so beautiful. The lanes are thin and sleek. Perfect for quick, environmentally friendly transportation. Such lanes are largely missing from the streets of the US.

Because God forbid we bike or walk. Oh, how we agonize movement. We hate unscheduled exercise. It's true. It's just our mindset. Like, I consider crying if I have to walk to the freezer to get ice cream while watching Netflix.

We fight over parking spots for our gas guzzlers or complain about our UberPool rides on the way to the gym. Due to this deep, deeply ingrained cultural fear of movement, we don't petition and organize to ask for bike lanes. We don't immediately demand clean transportation. We don't ride bikes.

Rather, in the US, those who can afford to be are scared or too boujee to use public transportation, don't want to get "germs" and don't want to interact with people of a different "socioeconomic class".

Yes, sometimes public transportation can be dirty, or it can be scary, but that filth and fear is only generated by our lack of care towards those systems. We elect representatives who do not want to immediately better those transportation networks, and who also do not care enough about the efficiency and sustainability of such systems. Those who can self-segregate themselves from "others" do so, and as a whole, we, the citizens of the US, do not see a collective unity in community and environmental consciousness.

So instead, we Uber and we Lyft. We use cars and pollute our already disgusting cities.

And don't give me that excuse that, in the city, Uber and Lyft are quicker. The level of traffic in most American cities is so congested that if it were a human with a cold, there would be snot covering that person's entire face and body.

We just have to want it, and we have to want it collectively.

I don't know if the unified desire for environmental protection and sustainable change in the Netherlands is due to its small size and historical relationship to water as a largely below sea-level nation, compared to the massive, above sea-level bungle of states that is the US; however, we need to find our unity in being green.

If we do not, we'll kill our home.

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The Real World |  Source: @mreyz

Eight Ways to be Environmentally Friendly in College

It's really not hard.

We often take for granted things like clean drinking water, sanitary waste disposal systems, and 24/7 access to electricity. Even though it is the 21st century and drastic technological improvements have helped mitigate the effects of climate change, it's important that we continue to make a daily effort in order to reduce our carbon footprint and leave the planet in decent shape for our kids.

Believe me. I know that college can be overwhelming at times and that the last thing you would want to worry about is being environmentally friendly. However, many of these changes require minimal effort and time. Many of them are things you have been reminded of since you were young!

1.Stop using plastic water bottles and switch to a reusable Nalgene bottle
These days, an ordinary plastic water bottle isn't even cool. Although some of the reusable bottles are pricey, you can always ask for one for your birthday or a holiday. And remember, they will start saving you money because you won't be buying disposable water bottles anymore.

2.Turn off the lights/electronics when you leave the room
Seems like a no-brainer, but it is amazing how many people just leave stuff on when they exit a room. It takes seconds to turn off a light or TV.

3.Use the recycling bin when possible
Most colleges have bins available inside and outside of buildings. It should be no problem to dump your trash in the correct bin.

4. Take shorter showers
Sure, every now and then a long shower is a must, but for day to day cleanings, just get the job done and turn off the water.

5.Buy used textbooks/sell books afterwards
Used textbooks are cheaper than new ones, and often are in like-new or great condition.

6.Rethink bringing your car to campus
Having a car can be a bonus, but it can also be a negative. If you don't have a car, you don't need to worry about getting a DUI, finding a parking spot, being the designated driver, or buying gas. These days, Uber or Lyft is the way to go. Also, many colleges offer Zipcars - cars you can rent by the hour or day, and gas and insurance is included.

7.Get involved with campus garden/environmental clubs
Many schools have organic gardens and clubs that do something to benefit the school campus and community, like cleaning up a park, building a playground, raising money for recycling bins, etc.

8. Wear clothes more than a couple times
Wearing something once doesn't make it dirty. Wear pants or jeans more than one time, and things like sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets can get multiple wears. Definitely wash your underwear after each use though!

The above steps are simple and realistic ways that YOU can make a difference, so give them a try and help save the planet.

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The Real World |  Source: osu.edu

What Powers Campus Police Do And Don't Have

How much authority does public safety have?

During the school year, you may have wondered while doing something illegal or just contemplating doing something illegal, whether the security force on your campus is authorized to arrest you or even shoot you if justified. How much actual power and authority do campus police have?

The answer is complicated, and depends on a number of factors.

First, it matters whether you attend a public university or a private college. It also matters where your college is located, and what state laws are in effect. Public universities are often state-owned and subsidized schools, and this means that the campus police attend the same police academy as other officers in the area and have basically the same training.

Private colleges and universities typically hire their own private security force, similar to mall cops. These officers are allowed to detain you until a full-fledged police officer arrives to take over. So, depending on where you go to school or what campus you are visiting, the authority of the campus police can vary.

A few years ago at the University of South Alabama, an 18-year-old freshman was shot and killed by a police officer who said the suspect, naked and on drugs, charged at him. He was suspended but later cleared of any wrongdoing.

This year at Ohio State University, a suspect drove his car on campus and into a bunch of students, then got out of his car and started stabbing people with a knife. He was shot and killed by a campus police officer.

These examples are extreme, but also show that campus police can be just like regular police. They can shoot you, arrest you, hand out DUI's and give you a ticket for a moving violation. They can also save you from a dangerous situation.

However, according to www.campussafetymagazine.com, it is important to note that campus police are different than regular police in five main ways:

Community policing.
They want to make campus and the surrounding community safe for both students and residents.

Campus police practice different disciplinary training.
They want you to learn from your mistakes, and can refer you to the Dean or another campus resource center for help instead of just giving you a ticket or citation.

Campus police give on campus presentations in the hope of preventing crime. They aren't just waiting around for students to do something bad. Campus police are trained to work with, and communicate with, young adults.

Wherever you go to school, you should be aware of your own actions and the impact your actions can have on others. Of course, everyone should be able to have a good time and party without having to worry about campus police or security breathing down their necks. But when your safety is at stake, it can be comforting to know help is nearby.

The Clery Act, established after a student was raped and killed at Lehigh University in 1986, ensures that all campuses have detailed emergency alert systems and comprehensive crime reporting statistics.

The bottom line is that the power of your campus police depends on the state where your school is located and whether your school is public or private. Whether your school is protected by actual police officers or just security guards, it is important to understand that these men and women are there to help and protect you, so keep that in mind the next time you are up to no good!

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The Real World |  Source: qz.com

Trump and Clinton Remind Us Why We're Over This Election

Karl Becker 4 Prez.

After the release of the explicit and disturbing #Trumptapes and an additional 2,000 emails linked to Hillary Clinton's scandalous "mistake", we all knew that this debate had the potential to be a dirty slugfest. That tone was immediately made very clear as both candidates avoided shaking hands before the start of the debate. Not a good look.

Moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz used questions written by the undecided voters in the town hall audience and at home to guide "the people's debate". One would hope that given the close proximity and interaction with the voters these candidates are trying to pull, there would've been more civility. NOPE, no such luck.

Instead of giving a full run down of the debate, I decided to do something a little less painful: focus on these two incidents specifically and how they were discussed last night by the candidates. The opening question asked by Patrice Brock in the audience dove right into the mess.

"The last debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students' homework, do you feel you're modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?"

She's right. Think about all the extremely vulgar language and the lack of model behavior these candidates have shown. As college students we may be used to hearing and seeing this in our unfiltered daily life, but it doesn't make it right or anything we should be aspiring for in our leadership.

Despite being a great question, both candidates' answers were pretty lackluster and clearly avoided any mentions of Brock's references, focusing instead on their campaign slogans of "stronger together" and "make America great again."

I know avoidance is the go-to tactic of politicians, but when the media blasts concerning new stories about the candidates every single day, you just can't ignore the elephant in the room.

Anderson Cooper had no qualms in trying to make Trump answer specifically about the tapes, stating: "The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today's youth.... You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?"

Trump's excuse for his lewd commentary?

"Just locker room talk" and that "it's just words folks," which to him means harmless. He then discussed Bill Clinton's scandals as "far worse" so as to avoid responsibility, minimize his statements, and take a dig at Hillary. In reality, Trump is a prime example of the rape culture we have created and accepted in society.

On the Democratic side, when asked specifically how she can reason that her email "mistake" was not "extremely careless," Hillary restated her apology and that she takes responsibility for her actions, but quickly shifted to discussing the lack of any evidence proving the "misleading accusations from critics".

It's important that she does continually apologize and take responsibility, but when she defers to telling people to "check the facts", it's hard to know what to believe and even what to check when there are thousands of emails missing.

Trump made this loud and clear and emphasized that if he takes office, he will have a special prosecutor on her case.

Are you thoroughly exhausted from this election? Because I sure am. The only bright spot came at the very end when audience member Karl Becker single-handedly won last night's debate by asking both candidates to name one positive thing about the other. Honestly our hero.

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The Real World |  Source: Tierre3012, FlockU

5 Reasons You Don't Need A Car At School

Cars are like soooo 2016.

If you're currently working on your argument for your parents to let you bring the car back to school after break, I can tell you right now to stop what you're doing. Or maybe you've already accepted the fact that your four years of college will be spent taking the ankle express, in which case, cheer up!

Whether you're walking (hey, extra steps, right!), doing a bike share, or taking a Zipcar, fear not, for your transportation options are far from limited!

Don't worry, you won't be stranded.
If you do find yourself needing to get to places that aren't within walking distance, you still have options! Many campuses have bike shares that you can set up and ride on over to class or the grocery store.

Another option for longer trips when you need something quick is reserving a car. For that we recommend Zipcar, which is so inexpensive and easy that you can really use it for anything from going to pick up a pizza to spontaneous road trips. You can reserve a car right on your phone and they even have locations on lots of college campuses (that are available 24/7)!

You save money.
You don't need me here to remind you about the ever-climbing costs of a college education, so why don't you skip adding the price of a parking pass, filling up the tank, and damages that will inevitably need repairing when you're friends depend on borrowing your car for all of their errands. There are much better ways to be spending your money. Warm cinnaSTIX for example.

There's no need.
College campuses are created with pedestrians in mind and usually don't require any driving at all. Take advantage of this time in your life where everything you could ever need is within half of a mile!

You don't deal with parking.
Because campuses are so conducive to walkers, parking is usually not a school's first priority. And by not first, I mean last. All of my friends who have cars at school complain incessantly about the lack of convenient parking and excess of rules about when certain lots are open or restricted. Meanwhile, I just get to freeload in the back seat and look out the window.

There are joys of walking.
Don't roll your eyes, it's important!. Not to mention a little fresh air between classes can do you wonders. What better time to call your mom and tell her about your day than on your walk to class? At the very least, just think about your Fitbit goal people!

It's time to put down the keys and lace up some sneaks!

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The Real World |  Source: Source: <a href="https://www.twenty20.com/jafalk?t20p=photo.index">jafalk</a>

City Hacks, Ep. 1: What You Should Know When You Intern in the City

The ins and outs of public transportation.

Turn up because you actually scored that once in a lifetime internship--in the city! Wahoo, you're finally an adult. Actually, we'll wait until after the internship to decide on that one. Now that you're on your way to being a #girlboss (or #boyboss) you might need some insider tips on how to avoid the BS. Episode 1 of our City Hacks Series features all of the best tips for your commute to work. All aboard, your train to success is here, and waiting for no one, TRUST.

1. Take the train or transit or subway. Never drive into the city. First off, parking alone will drive a hole through your wallet. Secondly, the train will keep you on a schedule, which will prove to be a blessing.

2. Get yourself on prison-clock time. I mean down to the minute, literally. Taking a train means you have a one minute window exactly, probably less, of making it to work on time. If you miss your train you are absolutely shit out of luck, especially if you are commuting from the suburbs.

3. Come prepared. Train rides are normally a little bit longer than a hot second, so do yourselves a favor and bring a book, electronic or hard copy, and keep your playlist updated.

4. Remember the rules of PUBLIC transportation. As evident from the name, public transportation always involves others NOT JUST YOU. So, keep the perfume subdued or bring it and apply it after. Don't hog three seats with all your bags. Be quiet. The list of dos and don'ts can go on forever, but if you stick to the golden rule you should get by: treat others how you want to be treated.

5. Pay attention to the announcements. They are there for a reason: to keep you updated because tracks change, routes get cancelled, and trains run late. It's better to be safe than sorry. Wouldn't you rather end up at the right station rather than one 40-plus minutes from your house? (Yes, I am speaking from personal experience.)

6. Respect the quiet ride. Having had one too many fancies in business suits tap me on the shoulder to remind me of this one, I think I should pass it along. Yes, I hear you, Very Important Businessman.