The Importance of Having Proper Studying Habits

Information retention and understanding go hand in hand where understood material remains in the brain for longer. In a world revolving around education and where the majority of individuals are looking towards a post-secondary education, developing proper studying habits and time management skills are crucial in achieving the results you want. For some, reviewing the notes would be enough to do well, but for others, this method may not prove to be the most effective. The Pomodoro technique and Feynman’s learning techniques all assist in a more effective study session which is important to maximize the use of your time. 

The Pomodoro technique allows for a better structure to learn and study the lessons taught in class. The technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes where you are focused on only completing a task. This allows for you to focus on one task at a time and ignore all other stresses on your mind. After 25 minutes have passed, take a good five minute break and then continue what you had planned for another 25 minutes. Every 4 rounds of Pomodoro, you can extend your break allowing for your brain to receive the rest it needs. Staying focused for a long duration of time can be difficult, and distractions can turn the 5 minute breaks into 30 minute breaks without you realizing. This technique teaches self-discipline and control where individuals must stay accountable regarding their work. 

Using Feynman’s learning technique, it ensures that you are able to understand the content to a degree where you can explain it using simple words for everyone to understand. When studying, list out the topics you wish to be studying and either write out written explanations or verbally explain the topic using simple language. Pretend as if you are the teacher teaching it to someone else actively remembering details of a concept. This also allows you to identify holes in your learning indicating material that you should review. Establishing simple understandings of hard concepts displays true understanding and knowing a subject rather than simply memorizing words and general ideas of a topic. 

With good studying techniques, there should be good note taking that accompany it. Using Cornell’s note taking allows for easy reviewing of class material. With the page sectioned off into notes, summary and questions, it is an easy to follow note taking general format that allows for students to find answers to their questions better. Having notes that only include important information that is spaced out throughout the page in an easy to follow format allows the mind to find the necessary information faster. 

Applying these techniques and strategies allow for greater ability for individuals to understand concepts and learning towards how to understand their material on a deeper level. Always be sure to take breaks when studying as the brain can only handle so much information at once, and be sure to sleep. 

Works Cited

Ali Abdaal. “Active Recall – the Studying Technique You Should Be Using.” Ali Abdaal, Ali Abdaal, 14 Apr. 2021, aliabdaal.com/activerecallstudytechnique/. 

Collins, B. (2020, February 19). The Pomodoro Technique explained. Forbes. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryancollinseurope/2020/03/03/the-pomodoro-technique/?sh=7fdcff293985. 

“The Feynman Learning Technique.” Farnam Street, 22 Feb. 2021, fs.blog/2021/02/feynman-learning-technique/. 

“The Pomodoro Technique – Why It Works & How to Do It.” Todoist, todoist.com/productivity-methods/pomodoro-technique. 

Peel Region Hospital Crisis

By: Harsimranjit Kaur

Late 2019 saw a world shift as people globally were subjected to unprecedented change and ironically, quarantine provided an opportunity for underrepresented communities to connect and issues to be spotlighted. 

The backbone and structural basis of any strong and thriving community is the services provided to its residents. While Canada allocates several million dollars of funding towards medical care to its municipalities, there has been an evident gap seen between the funding gone towards Peel, with Brampton being especially underfunded in comparison to its neighboring municipalities. Looking at past years, in 2017 for example, over 4000 patients received health care in the public hallways of Brampton Civic Hospital rather than private rooms, as an absence of space quickly became problematic. As occupancy rates at this facility were pushed to 144% over capacity by surge pressures in the community, “Code Gridlock” was put into place. It is declared when a hospital exceeds its safe occupancy capacity. Overcrowding during these time periods left desperate patients no choice but to wait up to four days in the emergency room simply for access to a bed. That year, I had a family member who had fractured a bone and had witnessed myself the excruciating wait times at our sole medical facility in the city, as doctors and nurses worked long hours in an effort to control the overcrowded establishment. 

This occurred in the absence of Covid-19 and the situation only worsened as Peel Region became one of the hardest hit by the different variants of the virus. At one point this region had a positivity rate of 15.9%, surpassing Toronto’s rate of 12% and the provincial average. However, underfunding continued to be a common occurrence as the federal government’s initial decision consisted of allocating $14 million for COVID-19 support while providing none for peel. Disparities continued in testing centres as well, despite Peel Region having a greater need due to its socio-economic conditions. 

Regional Councilor Martin Medeiros of Brampton stated, “What the pandemic has done is put more of a spotlight on how we’re chronically underfunded. The leader of any political party needs the 905 to win a majority, and we’ve delivered… But when it comes to getting love, we don’t get the love. Why is that?”

The Peel Region is composed primarily of underrepresented immigrant groups, whose voices and needs are being overlooked. To combat this issue, we must work together to inform upper governmental institutions that this is not acceptable. This can be done through emailing and increased public publicity as we must ensure our voices are not ignored. 

Works Cited 

Bramptonist. “Brampton’s Hospital Crisis: How Did We Get Here.” Bramptonist, 3 Nov. 2017, bramptonist.com/bramptons-hospital-crisis-how-did-we-get-here/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

CBC Radio. “‘The System Failed the People of Brampton’: How COVID-19 Is Taking a Toll in Hard-Hit City.” CBC, 5 May 2021, http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may-4-2021-1.6012904/the-system-failed-the-people-of-brampton-how-covid-19-is-taking-a-toll-in-hard-hit-city-1.6012995. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

—. “COVID-19 Hotspot Brampton, Ont., Chronically Underfunded in Community Health Services, Local Advocate Says.” CBC, 4 Dec. 2020, http://www.cbc.ca/radio/whitecoat/covid-19-hotspot-brampton-ont-chronically-underfunded-in-community-health-services-local-advocate-says-1.5823815. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Gamrot, Sabrina. “Peel Region’s COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate Higher than Toronto and Provincial Average.” The Toronto Star, 16 Apr. 2021, http://www.thestar.com/local-caledon/news/2021/04/16/peel-region-s-covid-19-test-positivity-rate-higher-than-toronto-and-provincial-average.html#:~:text=Peel%20Region%20has%20one%20of%20the%20highest%20COVID-19. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Isai, Vjosa. “Pandemic Revives Calls for ‘Fair Share’ Funding in Peel.” Msn, 18 Jan. 2021, http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/other/pandemic-revives-calls-for-fair-share-funding-in-peel/ar-BB1cR4Lp. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Wittnebel, Joel. “Peel Council Trying to Help Public Health Unit after Alarming Report on Chronic Underfunding.” The Pointer, 23 Feb. 2019, thepointer.com/article/2019-02-23/peel-council-trying-to-help-public-health-unit-after-alarming-report-on-chronic-underfunding. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

The Stress of Education and Schooling

By: Aryan Gidwani

Many students worldwide struggle with the same thing: coping with the stress of secondary and post-secondary education. The grades that a student gets in high school affect what universities one can get into, and the grades received in university or post-secondary institutions affect what you do with the rest of your life. As a grade 11 student, I find putting more pressure on myself than I need to. Much of this pressure stems from my desire to get into a good university, and also arises from my need to impress and make my parents happy and proud. In the United States of America, it is reported that 75% of students, specifically in high school, either feel angry, depressed, stressed, or bored. The survey calculated a score from one to ten, which measured the stress rate, where one is the lowest stress score and ten is the highest. For many adults, the average stress score is around 3.8, but for students, the score is around 5.8. From this study, it is seen that on average many students experience more stress due to school and marks they want to get.

How can we reduce the stress of students in our daily lives?

Despite a number of failing methods, I find a couple of ways that always help me focus on the bigger picture. For instance, an example of something that I do to reduce stress is to realize that I cannot be defined by a single number. Each individual, each student is multi-faceted. We all have a large range of different personality traits that make us who we are, and we should not define ourselves based on our marks and stress over a number, as numbers cannot physically represent who we are. Another way that I am able to quickly destress is by thinking of ways to improve. Getting a bad mark allows you to grow and improve on your mistakes, and I find that being able to learn, improve on, and solve your mistakes can really tackle the root of the situation. It is important to understand that stress is normal, especially in our teen years, but it is also important to realize that we can overcome it and use the roots of stress as the tools for personal growth. 

Works cited

Bouchrika, Imed. “50 Current Student Stress Statistics: 2020/2021 Data, Analysis & Predictions.” Research.com, Research.com, 10 Sept. 2021, https://research.com/education/student-stress-statistics#:~:text=75%25%20of%20U.S.%20high%20school,an%20average%20score%20of%205.8. 

Betune, Sophie. “Teen Stress Rivals That of Adults.” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, Apr. 2014, https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/teen-stress. 

Sexual Violence

By: Varvara Dyakonova

TW: The article includes mention of sexual violence, assault and rape.

My name is Varvara Dyakonova and I am an undergraduate student at Western University. At the beginning of each year, a group of upper-year students with the student council organize an orientation week or OWeek for first-year students to welcome them into university life. Usually, it is a week filled with different activities, new acquaintances and fun. However, OWeek 2021 ended in tragedy. According to various sources, up to 30 first-year students living in residences were drugged and sexually assaulted over the weekends of the second week of September.1 This has led to the student walkout when 12,000 students left the classes to protest against sexual violence and rape culture happening on campuses across the country, as well as demand for changes in university policies regarding sexual violence and the support of survivors.2

Sexual violence is defined as any physical, psychological violence that targets sexuality and gender, and it involves actions such as sexual abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, rape, cyber harassment, degrading sexual imagery, stalking, and other actions. Statistics show that 1 in 5 women in Canada, and 1 in 8 men have been assaulted in their lifetime. The majority (87%) of reported sexual assaults are women, in particular, young women and teenagers; 26% of victims are children younger than 13 years old. The vast majority (98%) of those who committed an assault are males around 33 years old. And in the majority of the assaults victims knew their assailant.3 

The reasons for sexual assault can be traced to either cultural, psychological and environmental causes. Psychologically speaking, sexual abuse can be linked with the need to prove power, dominance or to fulfill aggression; besides that, people who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood might start to project these events onto other people, as well as it may be seen as right and appropriate for them. In various cultures, traditional gender roles are predominant. Thus, men are seen as dominant and powerful, and women are seen as passive and weak. As a result, men could see nothing wrong with objectifying and assaulting women. Equally important to mention is the special term used for justifying sexual violence and trivializing the seriousness of sexual assault – rape culture. 

In the media, as well as in real life, there are countless portrayals of victims who are blamed for wearing “revealing” clothes, for being drunk, for being alone during the dark. It is called victim-blaming, which is a huge problem as it justifies the assault and shifts the responsibility from the assailants to the victims. The emotions and trauma the victim goes through after the incident cannot be explained. It is disbelief, denial, shame, hopelessness, self-doubt, blame, fear, anger and pain.4

For the general public, it might be difficult to understand what to do if somebody in their social circle or themselves experienced sexual assault. There are organizations helping to deal with the trauma, as well as psychological counselling. The organizations providing help are Rape Crisis Center,5 OCRCC,6 Victim Support Line7, and others.  Additionally, it’s important to speak about it and educate people of all ages and genders on what sexual assault is, what consent is and how to act in various situations. 

In conclusion, educate yourself and others, do not be afraid to help people you see are struggling, but also remember that sexual violence is not normal. And to victims, anywhere: know that you are heard, seen, and supported.

Works Cited

1 – “Police Taking Western University Sexual Violence Rumours ‘Seriously’ as They Try to Separate Fact from Fiction | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 14 Sept. 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/police-probing-western-university-sexual-violence-allegations-work-to-separate-fact-from-social-media-fiction-1.6175607

2 – “Thousands of Western University Students Walkout to Support Survivors of Sexual Violence | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 17 Sept. 2021, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/western-students-walkout-1.6179573

3 – “A Statistical Profile of Sexual Assaults Reported by Police in Canada between 2009 and 2014.” Statistics Canada: Canada’s National Statistical Agency / Statistique Canada: Organisme Statistique National Du Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, 3 Oct. 2017, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2017001/article/54866-eng.htm

4 – “Feelings & Stages Following a Sexual Assault.” Rape Crisis Center, 26 Apr. 2017, https://thercc.org/get-support/after-an-assault/feelings-stages-following-sexual-assault/

5 – “About Rape Crisis Centre.” Rape Crisis Center, 20 Sept. 2021, https://thercc.org/about/

6 – “Find Support: OCRCC.” OCRCC, https://sexualassaultsupport.ca/support/

7 – “Get Help If You Are Experiencing Violence.” Ontario.ca, https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-help-if-you-are-experiencing-violence#section-3

Childhood Obesity

By: Shreya Mulpari

Over time, the once-unknown factors behind increasing health problems continue to come to light. Of these problems, we are seeing a rise in health conditions within children and adolescents. Specifically, childhood obesity is a major focus and complex health issue that must be taken into consideration.

Childhood obesity patterns can be observed in several areas of the world, but in particular, these patterns can vary to a greater extent in developed countries. This may be a direct result of the growing franchises of fast food chains. More recently, childhood obesity is a direct result of the lack of physical activity and increasing patterns of unhealthy eating. 

According to research, in the United states, the frequency of childhood obesity was stable in the 1960s and 1970s. However, an increase in this frequency was observed starting in the 1980s. The evidence collected from the research that identified these years supports the idea that obesity is an epidemic that began fairly recently.   

Childhood obesity being labeled as an epidemic makes this topic crucial and brings up questions as to why this problem still exists since the trends noticed in the 1980s. Additionally to the problems of less physical activity and unhealthy eating, psychological problems within young individuals are becoming more prevalent. From personal, family, school stress overeating is seen as a method of coping to deal with these emotional feelings. 

Obesity within young individuals is generally a trend seen in many people. Personally, this past year has been quite difficult to handle and I found that eating assisted me in coping to the changes. Eating helped me with the lack of social interaction I had, increased stress through virtual school and in general the boredom from sitting at home. 

Starting from the basics, childhood obesity can be prevented within evolving generations by changing the diets of young people. Families can provide more home cooked and healthy proportions of food. Schools can teach healthy eating habits. Most importantly, “modeling healthy eating behavior and attitudes” can be an efficient step towards progressing away from childhood obesity problems. 

Works Cited

Department of Health. Preventing Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/resources/obparnts.htm. 

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, December 5). Childhood obesity. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/childhood-obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20354827. 

von Hippel, P. T., & Nahhas, R. W. (2013, October). Extending the history of Child obesity in the United States: The Fels Longitudinal Study, birth Years 1930-1993. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3695078/. 

Conditioning in Everyday Life

Behaviorism – a branch of psychology that outlines the understanding of how behaviors are developed through an individual’s reaction to the environment. Understanding humans is complex, but how does behaviorism contribute to the workings of society? Conditioning has been introduced into our lives at a young age, where teachings in schools direct you to learn different things. Behaviorists believe that human behavior and personality development is dependent on stimuli of specific environments. 

Coming up in various novels, in dystopia and utopian societies, conditioning plays a key part in maintaining order and structure, an example being Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. There are two main types of conditioning, operant conditioning and classical conditioning. Each with their own benefits and downfalls, both are effective in the teachings of young children and even animals. Looking into John b. Watson’s Little Albert experiment and Ivan Pavlov’s Dog experiment, there are clear, fundamental workings of classical conditioning in everyday life.

Classical conditioning involves the use of neutral stimuli paired with a natural response. Pavlov was able to condition his dogs to salivate when he rang the bell. He paired a neutral stimulus, the ringing of the bell to affect a conditioned response, salivation. John B Watson conducted a similar experiment where he conditioned an 11 month old child to fear white fluffy items by clanging a pot every time he presented a white mouse to the young child. Through repeatedly displaying the mouse to the child while making loud noises, the child came to fear the white mouse even without the sound being present. Operant conditioning involves the idea of a particular action resulting in a specific consequence. This relates to the actions of children and how when presented with a reward for a good action, they will continue to repeat that action, whereas when a wrongdoing is received with a punishment, it deters them from repeating such actions again in the future. 

There are types of conditioning that we encounter in our everyday lives that go unnoticed, but are shaping individuals thoughts and behaviors every day. Constant exposure to a repeated situation can cause individuals to have a particular reaction in response to certain stimuli. Responses of other individuals can impact the response of oneself. This relates closely with the bystander effect where individuals won’t help a person in trouble if they are in a bigger group of people. When seeing no one else step forward, people can think to themselves that there may be someone more qualified to assist, and therefore would stand back and just watch. Through conditioning, we may be able to counter such issues by enabling individuals to stand up and do good in the world rather than stand idle by with no indication of helping. 

Behaviorism can be used to mold and manipulate a child’s actions and thoughts. With the realization of the state of the world, where racism and hate crimes are on the rise, would we be able to use conditioning to manipulate mankind to al believe and think a particular way, then would we be able to create a just world for us all? This idea will continue to be a question that remains unanswered, also bringing forth questions to humans’ understanding of ethics and morals through such an operation.

Works Cited

Cherry, Kendra. “What Psychology Says about Why Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 15 Aug. 2019, http://www.verywellmind.com/the-bystander-effect-2795899. 

Cherry, Kendra. “Why Behaviorism Is One of Psychology’s Most Fascinating Branches.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 24 Sept. 2019, http://www.verywellmind.com/behavioral-psychology-4157183. 

Kwan, Michael. “10 Classical Conditioning Examples in Everyday Life.” Examples, examples.yourdictionary.com/10-classical-conditioning-examples-in-everyday-life.html. 

Learning, Lumen. “Introduction to Psychology.” Lumen, courses.lumenlearning.com/wsu-sandbox/chapter/learning-approaches/. 

“Little Albert Experiment.” GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog, http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/little-albert-experiment. 

The Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in India

By: Harsimranjit Kaur

Concerning the featured image: Image shared by Kamala Harris in February of 2021 on Twitter to express the outrage against the Indian “internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters.” She viewed this as an assault to the world’s most populous democracy. 

November 26 2020 marks the commencement of possibly the single largest human protest in world history as an upward of 250 million Indian residents took part in a 24-hour strike in solidarity with the thousands of farmers protesting new legislation. Amongst recent industrialization, the subcontinent of India has always remained connected with its agricultural roots and traditions, as agriculture remains one of the biggest industries in the country. Despite the fact that these hardworking farmers feed the country and significantly contribute to India’s economy, they continue to be suffering through harsh and brutal conditions due to climate change, exploitation, colonial-instigated famines and oppressive government policies. Late 2020 saw a change in governmental policy which further worsens their situation, causing suicide rates to soar.  

I am also an Indian immigrant, and have strong emotional ties with these farmers. This statement also holds true for much of my surrounding community as I reside in a Canadian sub-urban city where a significant portion of the population is immigrants from India. 

Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, concealed the negative implications of this legislation, encompassing three laws, by claiming that it would introduce farmers to new markets and encourage private investment in this sector which would supposedly decrease governmental financial burdens such as taxes. However, this overshadows how the absence of already-insufficient governmental protection would allow large agricultural corporations and firms to exploit farmers and swallow up market share in the country. As 60% of farmers in India rely solely on farming as their main source of income, this would make it increasingly harder for them to continue sustaining themselves and their families. 

These peaceful protesters have been met by police violence, including the implementation of water cannons and tear gas. Despite this, several kind-hearted farmers have been seen feeding and helping the very same officers who targeted them. The protest had seen mass publicity on social media platforms such as Instagram in late 2020 and early 2021, but unfortunately, awareness has decreased and faded away like a social media trend. However, several determined farmers continue to renew their fight and will not back down for a compromise. 

As 45-year-old protest farmer, Manjit Singh said, “the enthusiasm we had on the first day, it is much stronger and bigger now.” To ensure their efforts don’t go to vain, we can help by donating to authorized platforms, signing petitions, and continuing to raise awareness of this issue. Some resources are listed below for further reference.

Further Resources

Donate: 

https://www.khalsaaid.org/donate

https://www.dvnetwork.org/fundraisers/save-our-farmers

Petition: 

Petition · Support all farmers by REVOKING the ‘Farmers Act 2020’ in India. We ONLY need signatures! · Change.org

Works Cited 

India Today. “On Farmers’ Protest in India, Kamala Harris’s Niece Says Most Populous Democracy under Assault.” India Today, 3 Feb. 2021, http://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/farmers-protest-india-kamala-harris-niece-most-populous-democracy-assault-1765416-2021-02-03. Accessed 3 Oct. 2021.

Pahwa, Nitish. “What’s Driving the Biggest Protest in World History?” Slate Magazine, 9 Dec. 2020, slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/12/india-farmer-protests-modi.html#:~:text=In%20late%20November%2C%20what%20may%20have%20been%20the. Accessed 29 Sept. 2021.

Sengar, Shweta. “The Plight of the Farmers Fighting to Save Their Livelihoods Is Heartbreaking.” IndiaTimes, 29 Nov. 2020, http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/swollen-face-injured-eye-farmers-who-feed-the-country-do-not-deserve-such-brutality-528580.html. Accessed 27 Sept. 2021.

The Economist. “Why Are Indian Farmers Protesting?” The Economist, 5 Feb. 2021, http://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2021/02/05/why-are-indian-farmers-protesting. Accessed 28 Sept. 2021.

Lekhi, Rishi. “India’s Farmers Renew Protests, Challenging Modi Government.” CTVNews, 27 Sept. 2021, http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/india-s-farmers-renew-protests-challenging-modi-government-1.5601580. Accessed 28 Sept. 2021.

The Growing Presence of Cancel Culture

By: Aryan Gidwani

Only 44% of Americans have heard the term “cancel culture”. It has steadily grown on online social media platforms, but what really is it? Cancel culture is a concept that encourages the idea of “cancelling” people for ideologies and possibly offensive beliefs one may have. These strong opinions, whether said in the past or in the current (present), triggers the idea of cancel culture to arise. Cancel culture has a plethora of victims; however, many even more instead of many celebrities are prone to cancel culture, as much of their life and what they do and say can be found. 

Dr. Jill McCorkel, a professor of criminology and sociology, proposes that cancel culture arises from our own past. She finds that cancel culture “is an extension of or a contemporary evolution of a much bolder set of social processes.” In other words, much of the ideologies of cancel culture have always been present in the society, as different groups of people may punish others for what they have said or done. Personally, through social media, I have heard of the term “cancel culture”. From my own experience, many of the biggest, most popular internet celebrities on large platforms like YouTube and Twitch have been getting cancelled online, because their online presence makes it easy to access what they have said or done in the past. In fact, plenty of my favorite YouTubers have found themselves on the brink of being cancelled on platforms like Twitter and Instagram for primary things they have said or done in the past. Additionally, of my favorite authors, like J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss, have been under the fire for comments that have gone had been neglected in the past ,but have been noticed by the general public now. The consequences of getting cancelled are clear: it will cause their personal and online status to be tarnished.

Personally, I believe that cancel culture will not be “solved”. It has been present for centuries, and will only continue to get larger as it gains more traction with social media. Much of this gets us thinking: is cancel culture, no need to put a comma  good or bad? Christian Cooper who is he?  finds that ripping apart the lives of those who get got cancelled may not serve the right purpose and may not solve the problem. It may have good intentions, but does it really help?

Works Cited

Kato, B. What is cancel culture? Everything to know about the toxic online trend. New York Post, 31 Aug 2021, https://nypost.com/article/what-is-cancel-culture-breaking-down-the-toxic-online-trend/.

Vogels, EA, Anderson, M, Porteus M, et al. “Americans and ‘Cancel Culture’: Where Some See Calls for Accountability, Others See Censorship, Punishment.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, Pew Research Center, 27 Sept 2021, http://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/05/19/americans-and-cancel-culture-where-some-see-calls-for-accountability-others-see-censorship-punishment/. 

Graham, Jennifer. “Cancel Culture Is Entering a Dangerous New Phase. but There Is a Key to Getting Out.” Deseret News, Deseret News, 23 Aug. 2020, https://www.deseret.com/indepth/2020/8/22/21362516/cancel-culture-forgiveness-j-k-rowling-carson-king-apology-moral.

Domestic Abuse

By: Varvara Dyakonova

Last month I came across an interview of a young woman named Daria, who was a victim of domestic abuse from her coworker and romantic partner. On April 21 2020, she was shot in the face from a hunting rifle; Daria lost an eye and went through painful surgeries as treatment. Previously, she suffered from verbal abuse, which later developed into physical abuse. She did not go to the police at the time, because of the saying “keep it in the family”.  The shooter was sentenced only for 5 years of the general regime, while the maximum sentence is 10 years of hard prison. On trial, he said that Daria was the only one to blame.

As the pandemic hit the world, people were forced to stay at home. Some are lucky enough to have healthy family dynamics, whereas others are locked with abusers. Data shows that Canada’s Assaulted Women’s Helpline received 20,334 calls between October 1 and December 31, 2020, compared to 12,352 over the same period in 2019. Additionally, the police registered 51,299 calls between April 1 and September 30, 2020 compared to 24,010 calls the previous year.

The number of reported domestic-related crimes had doubled during the pandemic.

Domestic abuse has always been a major problem in society. And domestic abuse includes not only physical violence, but also financial, emotional and sexual. The reasons for abuse vary, starting from psychological disorders, learned behaviour from childhood, cultural “norms”, alcohol and drugs and others. However, abuse cannot be justified. Nevertheless, both abusers and victims need psychological counselling.

There are several organizations that can help to deal with domestic violence not only in resolving conflict of where to live, but also in offering psychological help to victims. Women’s Shelters Canada offers places to stay for women; the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) focuses on the prevention and response for elder abuse, while the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) provides clinical care for those with mental health issues. There are crisis lines for people in different provinces in Canada that may be found on the Canadian women’s foundation website. Examples for Ontario include Talk4Healing, 211 Ontario Helpline, and more. 

For all of us, it is crucial to educate people and talk about domestic abuse. After all, spreading information about signs of abuse and potential resources that anyone can access may let people notice if they or somebody in their social circle requires help.

Works Cited

1. “Violence against Women.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women.

2. Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf.

3. Hubbard, Kaia. “U.N. Report Puts Spotlight on ‘Shocking’ Views About Domestic Abuse.” U.S. News, 25 Nov. 2020, www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2020-11-25/growing-calls-to-e nd-worsening-domestic-violence-amid-coronavirus-pandemic   

4. Canada, Public Health Agency of. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, 22 Oct. 2020, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence/services.html   

5. Toby D. Goldsmith, MD. “What Causes Domestic Violence?” Psych Central, Psych Central, 17 May 2016, www.psychcentral.com/lib/what-causes-domestic-violence#1  

6. “Domestic Violence Resources.” Canadian Association of Social Workers, 19 Aug. 2021, www.casw-acts.ca/en/resources/domestic-violence-resources  

7. Canada, Public Health Agency of. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 7 Sept. 2020, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence/find-other-organizations-working-area-family-violence.html 

8. “Support Services.” Canadian Women’s Foundation, 28 May 2021, www.canadianwomen.org/support-services/   

Colorism on Social Media

By: Shreya Mulpuri

When observing the various aspects of social media, one can come across several positives and negatives. However, sometimes these aspects go beyond social media and begin to affect individuals personally. One negative in particular visible within various platforms of social media is colorism. When the idea of colorism is brought up, we often relate it to racism. However, we fail to acknowledge that it goes beyond this form of discrimination. 

In my Indian community of brown individuals, we are taught to value the fair and white color of skin because it is referred to as “beautiful” and “better” than dark skin. When thinking about the timeline of this issue, we go way back to the time of British rule. Although the idea of colorism was not solidified, it was evident that when the British began to employ individuals, they preferred, empowered, and made alliances with lighter-skinned individuals. 

This ridicule of dark skin and praising of light skin  built the basis of colorism within the community. The existence of this problem in today’s culture is solely because of the beliefs instilled within many individuals that light-skinned individuals are still superior to people with dark skin. 

The closest the Indian community has gotten to solving this problem was a direct result of the BLM movement. This created a major realization within many Indians and Indian skin-whitening brands (which have since changed their brands motives). However, this problem still exists to a certain extent in many communities.       

Personally, as a darker skinned individual, I have heard criticism from a young age. I see that the problem continues to exist due to my family’s, relatives’, and Indian communities’ continued belief that fair skin is considered more beautiful.

I don’t believe that there is a solidified and certain solution to this problem until individuals change their own mindset and beliefs surrounding colorism. This can be as easy as understanding that getting tanned as a dark skinned individual is fine, dark skin does not need to be washed away with chemicals, and you do not need to be fair-skinned to get a good marriage. These ideas are merely the start to solving this problem. While advocating for these statements can do some good, in order for greater change to occur, it is those that continue to hold colorist beliefs who must reevaluate what beauty is.