Category: News

A few lifestyle adjustment can help students control weight

A few lifestyle adjustment can help students control weight

Although many students expect to gain weight in college, a TCU dietitian said students can maintain a healthy weight with a few adjustments to their normal routine.

One third of all college undergraduates are overweight, and this number is steadily rising, according to a study led by University of New Hampshire.

In five years, the percentage of obese college students has risen from 27.4 percent to 29.2 percent, according to a study from the American Health Association. That the increase is directly connected to childhood habits, said TCU dietitian Lauren Swonke.

“It really does start from childhood, in the environment that we grow up in often times we and our parents are very busy,” she said. “It’s hard to be home to eat a meal…studies show eating dinner at home around the table is beneficial to a healthy weight. Sometimes I see freshmen that tell me unfortunately they don’t like any fresh foods because they are just not accustomed to them.”

College might also be the first time students are in control of what they eat.

“Now you have all foods available to you at all times,” Swonk said.

She suggested students engage in light exercise around the campus, listen to their bodies when they tells them to stop and visit the campus dietitian.

“ Intuitive eating is when we pay attention to our body’s signals that are telling us how hungry and how full we are what sounds good to us to eat at any time, but then also how those  foods make us feel,” Swonke said. College campuses can actually be great places for walking or riding bikes, and if you liked to play any type of sports when you were in high school, typically in university settings, there are opportunities to play intramural sports… and there’s almost always a gym on university campuses… and also they can go and see their campus dietitian.”

DANIELLE from TCU Student Media on Vimeo.

College admission is based on many factors

College admission is based on many factors

When it comes to being admitted into a competitive college, grade point average is only of the factors under consideration.

High test scores, a rigorous transcript and extracurricular activities are all considered when an applicant is assessed, said Beatriz Gutierrez, a TCU admissions counselor.

She said, standardized tests help provide a more ideal perspective on how someone might perform in college.

Gutierrez said while TCU values standardized tests, overall admissions does “a holistic review.”

Colleges want to see something else: personable people.

Gutierrez said that, for her individually, a student who is good at writing can take an average essay and make it seem like the most brilliant piece of literature ever written.

She said an essay gives students the opportunity to connect with a college in a way that a test score never can.

The character behind the person who achieved that grade is just as important as the grade itself, she said.

sam admissions 2 from TCU Student Media on Vimeo.

Atmosphere and sports teams influence college decisions

Atmosphere and sports teams influence college decisions

Numerous factors affect college choice, including academics, cost, student life, comfort and safety, but each student’s selection process is unique.

“When a student asks me what makes TCU special, my answer is always like ‘I can’t tell you,’ ’’ TCU Admissions Counselor Beatriz Gutiérrez said. “Because in order for me to answer that honestly, I would need to know the student very well.”

Amari Michaux, who’s planning on going to Howard University, said his race and culture altered his  thoughts on a university.

“Howard is known as the top historically black college in the country, plus their medical program are amazing,” Michaux said. “I was influenced heavily by the fact that they have their own graduate school and hospital.”

Scott Martinson, a TCU alum who majored in accounting and finance, said TCU’s sports teams had an effect on his decision.

“I am a huge football guy, and just sports in general, so the fact that TCU has so many great athletic programs,” said Martinson. He also liked the dorms. “I visited quite a few campuses and TCU has great dorms with good proximity to anywhere on campus.”

Sophomore Libby Gonzales said she was drawn to TCU primarily by the friendly atmosphere and the landscape of the campus.

“Everyone here at TCU is so nice and that makes the atmosphere awesome,” said Gonzales. “I love how everything is new. It’s kind of funny, we have the nickname ‘Texas Construction University,’ but Schollmeier Arena just got built and it’s beautiful.”

Over the years, Gutiérrez said she realized that finding home is the most important part of the college search.

“If you feel like you are at home, and you don’t feel out of place then that’s the school for you.”

Quality matters when it comes to college admissions

Quality matters when it comes to college admissions

Extracurricular activities are good for balance, but strong academics are key to getting into college.

“There’s actually no ultimate factor,” said Beatriz Gutierrez, assistant director of admission. “For us we implement a holistic approach, so we’re looking at everything that the student has to offer.”

She said a student’s GPA is good indicator of how successful the student will be in college.

”When I’m reviewing an application, I’m looking for a student that has that grit of working really hard,” Gutierrez said. She wants to see how a student will make the most of a situation they are in.

In the fall of 2016, the latest statistics available, 11,700 people applied to TCU. Of those, 4,468 or 38 percent, were accepted, according to TCU Office of Institutional Research. The composite SAT score for the applicant pool has hovered in the 1700s for several years; the ACT composite has averaged around 27.

She said students who pad their resumes with lots of activity should remember that most colleges pay little attention to the number of activities. Instead, they focus on the quality of them, she said.

For example, Donald Peterson, a junior at TCU, said when he was in high school, he volunteered at a hospital because he hopes to go to medical school. But he said, his grades were what got him admitted to TCU.

“Everyone comes to college with the mindset that I need to get good grades and the grades are what’s going to get my foot in the door,” Peterson said.  

Alexa Calcagno, a sophomore at TCU, also said “For [her] it was definitely academics, but [she] was also very busy activity wise.”

Another factor to bring into consideration is that colleges pay little attention to the amount of activities you’re enrolled in, but the quality of them.

Even when trying to transfer from a community college into universities, Gutierrez emphasized that the GPA shouldn’t be neglected as it does continue to help universities track your progress, while activities will give personality to your application.



College students say clubs and organizations are fulfilling

College students say clubs and organizations are fulfilling

Going to class isn’t the only essential college activity, students say joining organizations are also a key to future success.

Being in a club or organization helps students gain valuable skills such as leadership, organization and multitasking, said Frank Johnson, a TCU senior who works in Student Development Services. He added clubs and organizations also allow students to be apart of a larger community.

Some incoming and current TCU students said they often join clubs that allow them to continue activities started in high school.

“I want to join a sorority for sure,” said Emma White an incoming first-year student. But she added she also would consider some sort of leadership group because that’s what she did as a student council member throughout high school.

Students are encouraged early on to find a group that fits them.

“We always tell people to just apply, because the worst thing that could happen if you apply is that they say no and you’re in the same position that you would be if they didn’t,”  said

Maddie Posz, a TCU student and orientation leader. “Go for it, it helps you get involved and makes it more like a home on campus.”

Another student, Paris Jones, said being in a group is a great way to meet new people and be open to new experiences.

Also, being in a group can prepare students for their career.

“Networking is the key to success, so being a part of a group can really help you succeed in the future,” Johnson said.

UK research brings social media issues to light

UK research brings social media issues to light

Researchers in England have found a link between social media use and mental health in teens – Instagram, a photo sharing app, has the most detrimental effect.

Instagram, the second most popular social media platform according to the Pew Research Center,  can undermine young people’s well being, according to researchers with the Royal Society for Public Health.

“Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, and is now so entrenched in the lives of young people that it is no longer possible to ignore it when talking about young people’s mental health issues,” Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH, said in a statement.

The study of 1,500 youth in the United Kingdom considered 14 factors, including anxiety, loneliness and body image and social media’s influence.


The Factors asked about were as follows:
1. Awareness and understanding of other people’s health experiences
2. Access to expert health information you know you can trust
3. Emotional support (empathy and compassion from family and friends)
4. Anxiety (feelings of worry, nervousness or unease)
5. Depression (feeling extremely low and unhappy)
6. Loneliness (feelings of beings all on your own)
7. Sleep (quality and amount of sleep)
8. Self- expression ( the expression of your feelings, thoughts or ideas)
9. Self-identity (ability to define who you are)
10. Body image (how you feel about how you look)
11. Real world relationships (maintaining relationships with other people)
12. Community building (feeling part of a community of like-minded people)
13. Bullying (threatening or abusive behaviour towards you)
14.FoMO (Fear Of Missing Out – feeling you need to stay connected because you are worried things could be happening without you)


Body image is seen to be a major issue that young people, both male and female, struggle with.

According to the RSPH, there are as many as 9 out of 10 teenage girls who claim that they are unhappy with their body. With 10 million new photographs being uploaded to Facebook alone every hour, it provides an almost endless potential for young women to be encompassed into appearance-based comparisons while online.

Some students have discussed how Instagram has affected their experience with self doubt about body image, and struggle to reach the “ideal” body type that is often seen in photoshopped pictures around social media.

“Always on social media you see these ideal body types, and as a plus sized woman it’s kind of hard because you’re always looking at these people and you’re like ‘oh I wish I had that type of body’,” said incoming first-year student at TCU Cydni Spurlock. “But it really doesn’t matter what type of body you have. As long as you’re healthy that’s all that matters.”

Along with facing struggles of body image, young people often encounter cyberbullying and harassment online.

MARY from TCU Student Media on Vimeo.

According to the RSPH seven in ten young people have experienced cyberbullying, with with 37% of young people saying they experience cyberbullying on a high frequency basis. This is especially detrimental when developing personally and socially as victims of bullying are more likely to experience low academic performance, depression, anxiety, self-harm, feelings of loneliness and changes in sleeping and eating patterns.

Skylar Tippetts, an incoming first-year, said that social media has a way of following you around, and that it’s impossible to just go home and be completely isolated unless you choose to put your phone away.

“I think one of the main reasons it affects people so strongly is because it’s a lot easier to say things when it’s not face to face, and it’s harder to get away from too,” Tippetts said.

With social media contributing more in recent years to depression and anxiety rates, TCU has taken action for struggling students with their suicide prevention program, “R U Ok?” This program allows for students to address symptoms and signs of depression, and helps to educate students on having conversations about suicide prevention.

With the implementation of this program, TCU hopes to create a healthier and more aware atmosphere for students.

Programs hope to reduce college sexual assaults

Programs hope to reduce college sexual assaults

First-year women are most at risk for sexual assault on a college campus.

They tend to have less experience being in environments with heavy drinking and so do not know how to drink safely, or take measures to protect themselves from their drunk fellow party-goers, said TCU police Detective Robert Rangel.

In 2015, the latest statistics available, 12 rapes were reported on TCU’s campus. In most of these cases, the woman knew her assailant.

“I would say 90 percent or more is acquaintances,” said Darron Turner,TCU’s Chief Inclusion Officer and Title IX Coordinator. Turner added that he suspects there are more cases than reported.

“I don’t fool myself into thinking we are getting 100 percent of cases reported to us,” he said.

Nationally, about  “11% of college women who experience rape report it to the police,” according to One In Four USA, a non-profit that is trying to prevent rape by educating men and women about warning signs and risky behavior.

Like Rangel, One In Four USA cites free-flowing alcohol as a driving cause of sexual assault on college campuses.

In “72-81% of cases in which a male rapes a female college student, the female is intoxicated,”  according to One In Four USA.

Rangel said he could not recall the last time that there was an sexual assault report on campus that did not involve alcohol.

One In Four USA warns that sorority women face a high risk of assault, noting “women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women.”

The group cited two studies that suggest “fraternity men are three times more likely to commit sexual assault than other college men.”

TCU has implemented a variety of safety measures to help students protect themselves from sexual assault and be aware of behaviors that can lead to assault.

The university offers an online bystander intervention training that teaches students the importance of intervening when they see someone who appears to be in a sexually threatening situation.

TCU also operates Froggie Five-O, a ride service from 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. for students who don’t want to walk alone in the dark. All incoming first-year students are required to complete an alcohol and drug education program.

The university also offers self-defense classes.

Rangel said TCU is committed to preventing sexual assault on campus.

“Everyone works together to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe,” he said.

Voting rates of millennials don’t reflect their numbers

Voting rates of millennials don’t reflect their numbers

Millennials are nearly even with Baby Boomers when it comes to the ability to influence an election, but they lag behind their elders because they don’t vote.

Less than half of eligible millennials voted in the November presidential election.

The turnout can be attributed to the views that vary among generations on what responsibility voting should be: an obligation to democracy for most older people and a personal choice for most millennials.

Although voter turnout can fluctuate based on factors such as a person’s ethnic and gender backgrounds, as well as income and education, millennials aren’t forecast to be a force at the polls. So, while young voters who are white often have a higher turnout than young voters of color, neither exceeds voting ratings among Boomers.

The lack of voter participation, particularly in the 2016 fall election, frustrates some millennials.

“I think our generation feels as if their vote is irrelevant,” said Ben Smith, a student at Texas Christian University who voted in November. “You have the right to stand up for what you believe in and if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the results of the election.”

Passive young people may be the main upset for their more proactive peers.

Similarly, student Paris Jones said, “It’s sad there’s a low turnout. Voters’ voices should be heard. Younger millennials don’t really have the opportunity to run for positions of power and voting is the chance to exercise that.”


Colleges work to raise first-year retention rate

Colleges work to raise first-year retention rate

Finances, rather than academics, are what usually prompts first year college students to drop out.

Among 2,142 students surveyed by the Pew Research Center, 57 percent said they dropped out to work and make money, while 48 percent said they could not afford college.

Still, one third of those dropped out for academic reasons.

All these reasons might trace back to a lack of connectedness with the campus, said Deidra Turner, associate director of TCU’s Center for Academic Services.

“The campus is too small, the campus may be too large, or they just feel like the students around them don’t reflect who they are,” said Turner.

Turner said first-year students who are struggling with mental health or family issues are also at risk of dropping out. Turner added these problems can burden the student and make college life harder, leading them to dropping out altogether.

Sometimes, Turner said, college just becomes too much for some students to handle.

“New school, new classes, a new way of working,” she said. “You may have your family tugging at you. Your own issues tugging at you. So those things will create a sense of ‘This is not the time for me to be in college.'”

Turner said universities have programs aimed at keeping first-year students in college. TCU students who fail their first semester are often enrolled in College 101. They are introduced to new study methods and are assigned a coach who works with them throughout the next semester.

TCU tries to connect incoming first-year and transfer students to the university, its traditions and other students through Frog Camp.

“We are looking for signs early. They’re not going to class, they’re not involved in any organizations, they have swipes on their meal plan that they are not using,” Turner said.

TCU works to keep the campus safe

TCU works to keep the campus safe

TCU has a police department dedicated to keeping the campus and surrounding area safe.

In recent years, video cameras have been installed across campus to help deter crime. There are also more than 1,500 emergency lights scattered around the 273-acre campus. The lights are equipped with a speaker and a call button which connects directly to the TCU Police Department.

With the press of a button, any member of the community can request Froggie 5-0, a student initiative with over 3,000 escorts that aid people who are going to or coming from remote areas of campus.

Officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, using bicycles and SUVs. They also have foot patrols.

Officers must have at least 20 years in the police workforce, said Interim Assistant Chief Robert Rangel.

“Overall, the department has over 1,000 years of police experience,” said Rangel. The department has two full-time detectives who are in charge of investigating any bringing charges to any crime committed on TCU property.

TCU Police have a quicker response time and they understand the campus more and the way that the students function, said senior Amy Van Burkleo.

Alongside the police, there are many organizations and programs in regards to Crime, Alcohol, and Drug Prevention.

TCU police also offer students self defense training – the Rape Aggression Defense and the Resisting Aggression with Defense programs. TCU students learn about threat assessment skills and raise awareness against aggressive behavior. You can learn more about the various programs here.

For many parents campus safety is important.

“To my parents, campus safety was a big factor, but TCU was able to answer all of their questions,” said TCU student Libby Gonzalez.

Toni Johns, a parent of an incoming first-year student, said campus safety was a big factor when it came to research on TCU.

“I feel very comfortable with the officers, the blue emergency lights, and with Froggie 5-0,” Johns said.

VANESSA from TCU Student Media on Vimeo.