Enrique Carrasco: Obituary

Satire

David O’Brien, His Closest Friend

Sports Editor Enrique Carrasco has been found dead with his head split open in the middle of the wilderness. While there were no witnesses, the private investigator (who is in no way affiliated with Editor-in-Chief David O’Brien) has ruled that it was 100% a suicide with ZERO foul play. His body also has a litany of substances both legal and illegal in his body ranging from battery acid to a pound of schedule one narcotics  (both in his lungs and in his stomach). 

Carrasco will be remembered for his many photos flexing on Instagram, despite the fact there seems to be no context to do so or anything to flex. Additionally, he will be remembered for asking his friends for homework advice as well as complaining about the Men’s Water Polo team being cut even though he has openly admitted he has not wanted to play the sport for years plus he barely played because he sucks.

Carrasco will be remembered best for his friendship with the AWESOME current Editor-in-Chief and future Philosopher-King David O’Brien. The note Carrasco left behind (written with better handwriting than usual but it has been verified to TOTALLY be his) discussed his regret over his last article and his desire for O’Brien to forgive him for his many hurtful words. He also made a point to say many of the things he wrote for last week’s issue were completely false. ESPECIALLY his comments surrounding David’s height and how weird his sleeping habits are. He also wanted people to know that David is better looking, cooler, smarter, and funnier than he is.

Enrique Carrasco
August 23rd, 2002 – October 31st, 2022
Fly High (Like Really High, Like Bro You are so High Right Now) King

Why Study History?

Commentary

David O’Brien, Editor-in-Chief

Over the course of my time in college, people have often asked me why I study history. Everyone has heard the age-old question, “why should we care about what happened to a bunch of people I do not care about over a hundred years ago?!” The simple answer is, you cannot understand the present without understanding the past. Whether it’s medicine, politics, economic theories, etc., the context surrounding these topics often plays a much larger role in them than we can even imagine. We cannot understand the United Nations without understanding the calamity of the early 20th century that led to its creation. We cannot understand psychology without understanding the numerous seemingly insane theories that have served as the foundation of the entire field. Studying history allows us to contextualize the world around us and helps provide us with at least somewhat of a rational understanding of the world we live in.

While one can respond to this by saying, “okay but we can just briefly go over the context of these topics and then spend the majority of class actually diving into them rather than focusing too much on their foundation and the context surrounding them,” and sure that is valid to an extent, as long as one only cares about a specific topic. As liberal arts educations continues to become progressively more specialized, studying topics like history allows students to explore a variety of different topics. Students who want to get a broader education can find what they may feel has been missing in their general education by taking history courses. For example, a class I took my sophomore year, “Early Middle Ages” discussed the rise of Catholic Church, the birth of Western Civilization as we know it, the rise of Islam as a world power in the middle ages, the emergence of modern science, and many more topics. The course allowed me to learn a great deal about a variety of topics that I never even thought about prior.

Additionally, people often argue that people should only study history if they want to become teachers. This is simply not true. Studies show that only 18% of history majors actually pursue a career in education (historians.org). The writing and analytic skills developed by history majors through their broad education allows them to be a part of numerous different professional fields ranging from business to law to the nonprofit sector. 

So for anyone who is convinced at all or at the very least interested in learning more about history, do not allow anyone to make you feel like it is a waste. Studying history allows us to foster a deeper understanding about the things we care about as well as learn about things we never knew we were interested in. Take a course in the history department next semester, explore new topics that you may not have ever thought about before, and most importantly do not worry about whether or not taking a history class is valuable or not, since understanding the past is bound to help you in the present. For students interested in taking a history course next semester, I cannot help but recommend taking a class with Lyman Stebbins and/or Barbara Allen. For the Spring 23’ semester, Dr. Stebbins will be offering a course on Iranian history and Dr. Allen will be offering a course on the Holocaust.

College and Eating Disorders

Health and Wellness

David O’Brien, Editor-in-Chief

Magnolia Creek

We, The La Salle Collegian, had the privilege to interview Dr. Samantha DeCaro, the director of clinical outreach and education for The Renfrew Center, the largest network of eating disorder treatment facilities in the U.S. DeCaro provided information surrounding eating disorders, what causes them, what promotes them and how to combat them. 

While thought surrounding eating disorders only generally focuses on traditionally discussed such as: anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, it is important to keep in mind that there are others that are not traditionally diagnosed. Psychiatrists and leading scientists are beginning to view eating disorders less as a specific condition but rather conditions functioning along a spectrum. As new patterns of behaviors emerge, leading psychologists are attempting to help people who engage in disordered behavior before it escalates to the point of traditionally diagnosed eating disorders. Examples of other disorders on the spectrum that are not traditionally discussed are: orthorexia, a disorder characterized by sacrificing daily calories and engaging in unhealthy behavior for the sake of “clean eating,” and drunkorexia, a disorder characterized by exhibiting behaviors that mirror those of traditional eating disorders under the influence of alcohol. 

While there are no direct causes that lead to developing eating disorders, there are various issues that may indirectly lead to them, these include: diet culture, financial troubles, toxic environments, genetics, anxiety, depression, impulsive behavior, and PTSD. In addition to these, research suggests that exposure to social media is directly correlated to the development of eating disorders. In our interview DeCaro discussed that, “Research studies show that there are links between social media use and: body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, negative mood, poor sleep quality, disordered eating, eating concerns, low self esteem, and anxiety & depression.” In addition to this, new research studies show a connection to higher rates of body dissatisfaction with individuals who view body positive and “fitspo” accounts. DeCaro made a point to say people are better off simply avoiding accounts that discuss different types of diet culture for the sake of their mental health.

In addition to these issues being common on a college campus, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is the time period where most eating disorders emerge. For incoming students, the radical change in environment can exacerbate these issues leading to disordered eating or directly cause eating disorders. College diet culture also serves as a breeding ground for anxiety surrounding eating habits. As students enter college, student organizations ranging from campus athletics to Greek Life enforce diet culture. Incoming freshmen are also forced to grapple with eating habits as concepts like “the Freshman 15” make their way into general conversation.

DeCaro said that the best method for combating eating disorders is to establish a support system that can help guide students through their issues. Eating disorders thrive in isolation and through a support system people struggling are significantly more likely to improve and/or overcome them. Students struggling with these issues and who feel uncomfortable reaching out to people in their general surroundings should contact the La Salle Student Wellness Center and discuss their struggles with a mental health professional. 

In addition to this article, Dr. DeCaro and the Renfrew Center has provided resources for those who may need help combating eating disorders or those interested in learning more about the topic. 

https://renfrewcenter.com/library/
https://renfrewcenter.com/services/college-program/
https://renfrewcenter.com/resources/for-you/
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/screening-tool/

“Collegian Podcast” Episode 16: West Coast Differences & American History with Cooper Smith

Podcast

On this week’s episode of the Pod, Kylie and David welcome fellow sophomore history major, Cooper Smith! Talking historical figures and what about the East Coast he finds appealing, Cooper explains how his experience in Philadelphia and La Salle has shaped his outlook on life. Join us this week as we cover American history – from William Howard Taft all the way to modern Greek life!
Credits:
Hosts: David O’Brien, Kylie McGovern
Video: Emily Allgair
Guest: Cooper Smith
Originally published Apr. 28, 2022

Decolonial ecology lecture

News

David O’Brien, Editor

On April 19, La Salle’s Religion and Theology department hosted philosopher Malcolm Ferdinand to lecture about his book “Decolonial Ecology.” The book was recently translated by La Salle religion professor Dr. Anthony Smith. Ferdinand opened his lecture by explaining his own background in engineering and philosophy as well as his personal background living as a minority in France.

Ferdinand’s lecture focused on synthesizing two seemingly unrelated topics: environmentalism and racial injustice. While these two subjects are often discussed separately, Ferdinand’s book and lecture showed how the two are heavily interconnected. Ferdinand’s perspective is that if one is to evaluate environmental issues, one must examine racial injustice, especially in a postcolonial context. If one is to evaluate racial injustice, one must evaluate the effects of environmental issues and how they are significantly more harmful towards developing nations and minorities. Ferdinand examined how numerous climate and environmental initiatives often only focus on white people and nations, not continuously marginalized people of color and developing nations. In doing so, these initiatives fail to actually address the current environmental crisis on a global scale and continue to reassert the global division caused by colonialism.

Malcom Ferdinan

Ferdinand utilized both statistics surrounding the Caribbean and stories of individuals and slave ships during colonization of the Caribbean as the basis for his research and work. Ferdinand related modern climate change solutions to that of a nature preserve. Inside the preserve everything looks natural, ecologically sound, and healthy, however, outside the preserve, industrialism and ecological issues rage on. Ferdinand argues that the modern west is becoming a nature preserve, as the west continues to deal with climate change and other environmental issues, it seeks to maintain its way of life brought on by an industrial and material golden age through outsourcing all of its issues to countries in the developing world. 

In doing so, “solutions” to ecological issues not only further racial oppression but also fail to resolve environmental issues. Ferdinand discusses that through outsourcing these issues to other nations, racial oppression worsens and environmental issues continue. Thus, while seeking to resolve the environmental crises of our time, we must view them globally and holistically rather than in an atomized way. 

After the lecture, Dr. Smith interviewed Ferdinand about the contents of his book, the research done to write the book, and discussed the experience of translating the text. Ferdinand and Smith then opened up the floor to questions from the audience. Students and faculty asked a variety of questions surrounding “Decolonial Ecology” as well as more specific questions surrounding environmental issues and race relations in both the U.S. and France.

“Collegian Podcast” Episode 15: Shoutouts & Spice with Tyler Williams

Podcast

On this very special episode of the Pod, Kylie and David welcome Tyler Williams to talk past, present, and future. From first experiences with spicy foods to the criminal justice system, join us on the Pod this week. Inspired by Hot Ones, watch as Kylie, David, and Tyler turn up the heat for you, the audience!
Credits:
Hosts: David O’Brien, Kylie McGovern
Video: Emily Allgair
Guest: Tyler Williams
Originally published Apr. 21, 2022

Undoing the Knot: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness

News

David O’Brien, Editor

Beacon Press

On Monday April 11, Dr. Maureen O’Connell, a religion professor at La Salle, presented a lecture based on her new book, “Undoing the Knot: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness.” O’Connell opened her lecture by presenting a New York Times article on Georgetown University’s sale of 272 enslaved Africans in 1838 to Henry Johnson and Jesse Batey in exchange for $115,000 (about $2.79 million today). In 2015, Georgetown renamed buildings after descendants of the people sold and the Jesuits pledged to raise $100 million for descendants of slaves possessed by Jesuits. After discussing this article, O’Connell begged the question of what other universities owe to people wronged in their own institution’s past.

O’Connell focused on three primary issues surrounding talks about the past: remembering, gatekeeping and curriculum. The remembering section focused on the failures of communities in acknowledging that these issues occurred. Gatekeeping focused on institutions’ failures to validate and take into account the opinions of victims of these phenomena. The curriculum section focused on the failures of institutions to teach how and why these events occurred, the importance of them in the foundation of modern institutions and how we can properly educate people on these issues going forward. O’Connell reflected on these three primary dilemmas through her own research surrounding Rosemont College and Saint Joseph’s University as well as her own familial history and La Salle.

She followed each of these topics by asking the audience how they themselves have caused or experienced these issues and asked the community how the University can go about resolving them. A wide array of students, faculty members, parents and even some of the LaSallian brothers provided their own thoughts and insights and agreed that the goal of La Salle is to provide a campus where people can address and resolve the major social issues throughout the United States and improve the Catholic Church through doing so.

O’Connell encapsulated her entire lecture in a brief quote, “our belief in our own moral goodness goes unchallenged and in fact is reinforced by our inequality-sustaining charity. We have bought into the fragile myths of how we got here and promote false rationales as to why others haven’t been able to achieve the same things.” The purpose of this lecture and the vigorous research done to prepare the new book is to help guide members of the LaSallian and Philadelphian community towards accepting the sordid truth surrounding their past. O’Connell’s work pushes people in the Catholic Church to challenge the traditional narrative that has been enforced for generations and to attempt to find the truth behind our community as well as remedy numerous injustices from the past that have led to inequality within the current systems.

“Collegian podcast” Episode 14: La Soulmates & Jimmy Carter with Andrew Plunkett

Podcast

On this week’s episode of the Pod, Kylie and David welcome friend and fellow student, Andrew Plunkett. Andrew talks to what it’s like being an RA, a campus tour guide, and life-long stan of 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter. Join us this week as we welcome Andrew and his hot topic to the Collegian Pod!
Credits:
Hosts: David O’Brien, Kylie McGovern
Video: Emily Allgair
Guest: Andrew Plunkett
Originally published Apr. 14, 2022

The government is efficient | Foolegian

Foolegian, Satire

David O’Brien, Editor

Header Image: The Cheap Place

For the first time since the peak of the Obama Administration, the American presidential approval rating is above 67 (that would be a D+). The people of the U.S. are happy not only with their president but also their Congress and judicial branch. All three branches of government are being run properly and the majority of people outside of moderates are happy with the way things are going. There is no internal strife within the United States and above all, Americans are united in their efforts to build a better country along with a better world. The government is doing great. The government is guiding us to a better future. The government is efficient.

Americans are totally fine with gas prices being above four dollars as long as they help us in our battle for global hegemony. Americans are totally fine with the U.S.’s response to the Ukraine crisis. Americans have all collectively agreed to only trying to stop war crimes and global crises as long as they are being caused by nations we are not allied with. As the United States continues to combat climate change, the new policies are WAY better for the environment. Lithium batteries are not manufactured in a method that is equally destructive towards the ozone layer as well as towards the ecology of the region they are mined in.

The majority of Americans have acknowledged the fact they live in a society dominated by technocrats, financial interests and the almighty dollar, and as the days go by it becomes more obvious that the U.S. will not simply try to appease the general populace through constantly manufacturing crises to distract us but actually try and build a better government and country so the youth of today and tomorrow will have a future that is not dominated by social, political and economic instability.

The U.S.’s taxpayers are making a worthwhile contribution towards a better society. Each new political debate aired in the news demonstrates that the average politician, media outlet and citizen is focusing on what is really important. Each and every person should be happy with the principles and actions of the U.S. government and its policies. The military, court system, NSA, CIA, FBI and other agencies are regulated properly and the average citizen has the ability to be involved with the important mechanisms of the American government. Change is clearly possible. The system clearly cares about each and every person in it. The government is efficient and utilizes the money coming out of your wallet in a positive manner. Each and every person should be overjoyed with the policies of the United States and the U.S.’s attempts to institute these policies to help improve society. Why bother with federal voting reform bills when the federal government votes on all major policy decisions behind closed doors?! The government is efficient.

Above all, the youth of today are happy with their ability to be involved in government and help provide new insights to building back a better country. Sure, the average age of Congress is 57 and the average age of the Senate is 62. Sure, the president is 79 years old (three years younger than the average nursing home resident) and the opponent to the president being 75 years old. But hey, the youth of today are completely fine with living in a gerontocracy where the people who have put no effort in maintaining the economic conditions they grew up in for their children and their grandchildren are in charge.