are now 14 countries
around the world where same-sex marriage is legal and it is also legal in parts
of Mexico and the United States. Across the world, activists continue to expend
considerable energy in lobbying and campaigning for the cause in the face of
continued vigorous conservative and often religious opposition. It seems,
however, that the tide is turning. Polls in these, and other, countries have
demonstrated a consistently rising level of public support for same-sex marriage across
political ideologies, genders, ethnicities, class and age.
the rising global swell of support obscures a highly significant and pivotal
tension, one on which communication scholarship can shed considerable insight,
and that is the continued debate and discussion within LGBTQ circles as to
whether gay marriage is an appropriate goal for the movement. A recent study in England, for example, highlighted
that only 40% of people who identified as LGBTQ in the UK thought of gay
marriage as a priority, and only half thought of it as personally relevant to them.
In New Zealand, where I live, a 2007 survey showed
that nearly as many LGBTQ people supported the abolition of marriage altogether
as did those who supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Cheating on papers, projects, and exams in college is a
serious, common problem. Previous communication research has not examined a
potent resource in the fight for intellectual honesty.
Regardless of the major or the institution, about 50% of undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities will cheat at some
point. Cheating, formally known as academic misconduct, is a constant concern
for faculty members. Academic misconduct takes many forms, including cheating
on exams and plagiarism.
With the advent of the Internet in the classroom, academic misconduct has
gotten more technologically savvy and more difficult to detect.
First-year students are all about
communication, but usually on their own terms. E-mail is passé, but text
messages, social media interaction, and generally life online is their comfort
zone. In an attempt to engage these techno-savvy freshmen, we challenged our
students to interactively communicate in the classroom using the microblogging
platform Twitter combined with Paper.li, a content curation service.
The idea was to find the best way to foster a
sense of community in first-year students arriving at university from diverse
backgrounds. First-year experience (FYE) programs have become the norm in American universities
to help students promote good study habits and overall wellness, but perhaps more
importantly instill a sense of belonging and community which is crucial to keep
students motivated to finish their degrees and enhance their overall academic
and social experiences.