Don’t Ban Terrorists From Twitter, Use It To Troll Them

Social media networks have always looked for ways to increase site traffic, but now it seems the membership benefits – unlimited access to swaths of daily users – have attracted a rather distasteful crowd: self-proclaimed terrorist organizations.

One group that has bolstered itself through DMs and RTs is ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In the wake of the violent execution of American journalist James Foley, Twitter has taken to actively suspending accounts sharing graphic images of his beheading, temporarily dampening the spread of ISIS propaganda via the social media. But soon after the takedowns, ISIS continued to create accounts on other social media platforms such as privacy-centered startup Diaspora and VKontakte (VK), the second largest social network in Europe. Read more…

An Inside Look At How To Make Your A Cappella Audition Aca-Perfect

“Calling all singers, shower belters, and music lovers alike.” APC Rhythm, an NYU a cappella group, has plastered this creed across almost every NYU Facebook group imaginable, encouraging NYU students to audition for their co-ed a cappella group that jams out to the stylings of Beyoncé and Florence + The Machine. Just like the other seven groups on campus, APC Rhythm is preparing for the busy year ahead by acquiring new, talented and excited members for their group.

In the coming week, you may see groups performing under the arch in Washington Square Park as you walk to and from class. Or perhaps you’ll notice the flyers hanging in residence halls all across campus. Steinhardt junior Phil Vachon is a member of The Vocaholics, an all male group on campus. He explains, “We essentially want to make as many people as possible aware of our group, as well as aware of who we are.” Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to see this cardigan-clad, all-male group jamming in the park to the tunes of Elvis Presley or Queen.

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Feminist Bookstore

Why is “feminist” still considered such a scary word?

Although the acceptance and prevalence of feminism among the youth of today has recently been bolstered by pop culture support (I’m looking at you, Beyoncé), there is still a lack of fundamental pervasiveness when it comes to the understanding of feminism as a system meant to empower people, and not attack men or traditional femininity.

You don’t have to be well-read to be a good feminist, but exposure to the ideas of bell hooks, Janet Mock and Judith Butler might help people understand that feminism is not just another dirty “f” word. “But Emily,” you say, “I don’t know the first thing about feminist literature or where to find it! If only there were some hip, radical, independent feminist bookstore where I could go to enjoy a cup of coffee and learn about these issues!”

Well, my young friend, keep reading. Read more…

Student-Athletes Will Be Compensated After Graduating, But That’s Not Enough

A recent court decision called O’Bannon vs. NCAA has opened the door for some Division I college athletes to be compensated for the use of their likeness in the media by their universities. This is an unwilling step in the right direction for the NCAA, which has been profiting off the mostly free labor of their student-athletes for decades. While this ruling is a landmark decision in securing rights for athletes, it’s the beginning of a long trek to pointing out the dark underbelly of the NCAA and student-athlete poverty.

The case opens the door for money to be made after graduation, but for many student athletes from low income families, the problem isn’t after graduation. It’s while they’re still in college. A 2010 National College Players Association study found that 85 percent of football players for teams that make it into bowls fall below the federal poverty line. These athletes desperately need money while they’re on campus — not after they graduate.

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What ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ Taught Me About Being A Tisch Student

Like many other Millennials, I witnessed the latter half of my summer get torn from my hands by media mogul Kim Kardashian’s iOS game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.  Any productivity I had was quietly smothered by days of photo shoots, runways and lavish parties. And now that I’ve returned to the city, I’ve caught up with my friends in Tisch and found their summers were also filled with photo shoots, runways and lavish parties. You know, real ones. At first, I was despondent. Had I really wasted my summer while everyone else in Tisch made huge steps in their careers? Maybe. Did I at least learn something valuable from months of living as Kim Kardashian’s protégé that would serve me as a student in Tisch? I would like to think so.

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Ratking, Jamie xx And Ghostface Killah To Perform At This Year’s Mystery Concert

Alas, the first day of school is upon us, but here’s a sliver of silver lining: NYU Program Board’s annual Mystery Concert is going down tomorrow night! And as an added bonus, the line-up is a mystery no more: Ratking, Jamie xx and Ghostface Killah have been announced as this year’s performers.

The show, only available to NYU students, will be held at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are free with a valid NYU ID and will be available on Wednesday via NYU Ticket Central. Also, as the good folks at Program Board will be quick to remind you, the show is on a first-come first-serve basis. Read more…

Gallatin Junior Aides Republican Underdog In State Assembly Race

It’s not every day that a junior in college is a top aide to a politician. Nor is it every day that a single mother and retired JAG officer runs on the Republican ticket for an assembly race in DeBlasio’s New York.

To the normal NYU student (normal being relative), Gallatin junior Chris Hofmann might seem like a square; a straight-laced dude who wears sweaters only a mother could love. He’s quick to give a firm handshake when we meet at the Starbucks on campus, and is much nicer than a Left-leaning Independent would like to admit of a Republican. He says he’s running for the New York Regional Chair of the College Republicans National Committee, that “it’s a big deal.” He wins the chair later in the month, around the time when I meet the candidate he represents, Maureen Koetz, at NYU’s own College Republicans chapter meeting.

Maureen Koetz, a veteran and native New Yorker, put herself in the running for New York’s State Assembly. If elected Koetz would represent portions of downtown Manhattan spanning from Little Italy to Battery Park City. The seat is currently held by longtime incumbent, Sheldon Silver.

The Sheldon Silver Saga is an article in itself. His longtime friend admitted to being involved in a $9 million charity scam. Silver signed off on a payout to an assemblyman’s sexual harassment victims. Silver also allowed his children to register using his Grand Street address, so they could vote in his district. Read more…

[VIDEO] Behind The Curtain: Whiskey

Believe or not, New York City has a rich whiskey history. Before the 1920s, the city was a filled with distilleries and whiskey bars. The combination of prohibition and strict state regulations pushed many distilleries out of the New York. Recently, state regulations have become more lax. Brooklyn’s Kings County Distillery is leading the way in making New York relevant in whiskey culture. Kings County has been behind several award-winning craft spirits. You can learn more about Kings County Distillery and the history of New York distilleries by going on one of their tours.

NYU Local TV via YouTube

Breaking Down Idaho’s Hilarious Televised GOP Governor’s Debate

What do you get when you bring a Republican governor, State senator, a tattooed biker and a serial home-schooler together to debate politics? Some would call the result a lively democratic discourse…others, a circus.

This past Wednesday, Idaho gubernatorial candidates faced off in a debate aired on the state’s public television network. The debate was meant to be a charged conservative showdown between the current Republican governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, and his primary challenger, Russ Fulcher, who is currently a conservative state senator. In the spirit of inclusivity or democracy or whatever, Governor Otter insisted that his somewhat less reputable challengers also join in for the debate. The candidates, Walt Bayes and Harley Brown, were happy to join and take the ensuing discussion to a whole new level of entertaining.

The four conservative candidates were set to use their solitary scheduled debate to discuss key issues in Idaho – the economy, state control of federal lands, and Obamacare. As a deeply conservative state, all the candidates are pushing for progress in the GOP agenda. But their ways of getting there vary quite widely.

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My Country Is Not Defined By Its Trouble

Salto Angel, Bolivar. Taken by my cousin.

It’s not the first time a taxi driver turned around and said “Oh Hugo Chavez!” when I said I’m Venezuelan. And I guess it happens to people from all over the world whose countries have things that stand out. But it always bothers me. However, in this little taxi cab, it was the first time I went deep into why my country was being reduced to the figure of a single charismatic politician when it was really so much more.

“Yep,” I said, intending to sleep my way through the rest of the rainy way home. I was tired, it’s finals week.  As I laid my head on the window, closed my eyes and thought of the short time left before I went back to my real home for summer, the driver insisted: So do you like Chavez?

“Not particularly,” I said. “He died though, and his successor is much less charismatic, and students started protesting and the protests are going on since February and the government has responded with repression causing hundreds of deaths and detained.”

I wanted to burst it all out and go back to laying my head on the window, so I didn’t breathe in between words or organize my sentences eloquently. Read more…