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The University of Central Florida Forum
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The UCF Forum opinion series is written by a panel of faculty, staff and students at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. The project is coordinated by UCF News & Information, and topics chosen by the writers cover education, health, art, government and other topics.

Entries by The University of Central Florida Forum

No Longer Can We Keep Our Eyes Closed to Human Trafficking All Around Us

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 12:40 PM

By Richard Lapchick
UCF Forum columnist

You may have read in early December that 61 people were arrested across Florida in a four-day human-trafficking sting operation. If you haven't followed the dramatic increase in stories about human trafficking in the United States, this news may have caught...

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"So You're Telling Me There's a Chance."

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 10:54 AM

By Todd Dagenais
UCF Forum columnist

"So you're telling me there's a chance."

I love movie lines. So many epic motivational themes about overcoming obstacles come from movies like "Braveheart," "Rocky" and "Remember the Titans."

Admittedly my opening quote doesn't come from any one of these award-winning cinematic...

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Listen Up: This Is the Most Meaningful Part of My Job

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 12:58 PM

By Rick Brunson
UCF Forum columnist

It's final-exam week at UCF.

Students have returned to campus after the Thanksgiving break, bellies full of turkey and trimmings, heads full of anxiety as big tests loom and grades hang in the balance.

For faculty, there's a heady rush of knowing the...

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Saying Thanks Isn't Always Simple

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 2:18 PM

By Melody Bowdon
UCF Forum columnist

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and people all over the country will gather around tables with loved ones to express thanks for time together, getting through another year, and green bean casserole.

Of course, the holiday is rife with baggage (literal and figurative), and many...

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It's a Small World After All - and We're All Connected

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 4:39 PM

By Alaina Bernard
UCF Forum columnist

We've probably all had the song "it's a small world" stuck in our heads after visiting Fantasyland at Walt Disney World. This simple song highlights how we all are connected, and was created to promote the message of international peace and inclusion of...

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The Social Media Mirage (and What We're Missing)

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 10:32 PM

By Laurie Uttich
UCF Forum columnist

A large man in a black bear suit walks onscreen in a YouTube video. He stops in the middle of some guys tossing around two basketballs, makes some awkward 80s dance moves, and then moonwalks off the screen so well even Michael Jackson...

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Winter Is Coming -- With Its Pressures, Joys

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 4:40 PM

By Vu Tran
UCF Forum columnist

My favorite time of year is autumn, when the weather is perfect and I am reunited with one of my loves: pumpkin spice latte. Everywhere I look I see pumpkins, golden-colored leaves, and children running around in their costumes eating leftover Halloween candy....

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Black Infant Deaths Point to Flaw in U.S. Health Care System

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 11:05 AM

By Vanessa Lopez-Littleton
UCF Forum columnist

In a recent interview on The Daily Show, TV host Jon Stewart asked Fox political commentator Bill O'Reilly: "Does white privilege exist?" O'Reilly denied the existence of white privilege but conceded that as a collective, blacks carry more of a burden than whites.

...
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Sports News Puts Focus on Society's Problems

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 1:15 PM

By Richard Lapchick
UCF Forum columnist

Recent sports news has been filled with terrible stories about racism, gender violence, child abuse, and concussion-related brain damage for one in three former NFL players.

With all the bad news, it is a time when we could all be depressed and...

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What Is the Cost of a Bad Hire?

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 1:00 PM

By Todd Dagenais
UCF Forum columnist

My friends in the Human Resources world are noticing an alarming trend. Colleges and universities are pumping out thousands of highly qualified students eagerly awaiting their first paycheck in the workforce. Unfortunately, simply completing the necessary coursework and earning a high grade point...

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'One Small Candle of Truth Dispels a Lot of Darkness'

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 6:02 PM

By Rick Brunson
UCF Forum columnist

America the Beautiful.

The words punch the elevator button in our memory, and trolley up freighted meanings and classroom images from our innocent years in fourth grade.

For the spacious skies of Montana.

Amber waves of grain, swirling and roiling across an ocean...

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Weathering the Storm Surge of Social Media

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 4:56 PM

By Melody Bowdon
UCF Forum columnist

I've lived in Central Florida for more than 15 years, and in that time I've seen quite a few serious weather events affect our community. Though the hurricane season starts in the summer, around here we tend to become especially aware of...

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Don't Label Teens Dying in Our Streets -- We Mourn Them All

(2) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 5:51 PM

By Laurie Uttich
UCF Forum columnist

Michael Brown was "no angel," The New York Times reported, and "a handful" who later "overcame early struggles in school to graduate on time." Trayvon Martin was a polite, shy volunteer, CNN informed us, while pointing out his 10-day drug-related suspension from school.

...
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Be the Best You Can Be -- and Then Some

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 3:01 PM

By Vu Tran, UCF Forum columnist

The first few weeks of the school year can be overwhelming for anyone, especially at a university of nearly 60,000 students.

As a graduate student, I see an uncertain, frightened look in the faces of many new students wondering what to do and how...

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Are Diversity and Inclusiveness Really Possible?

(3) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 4:21 PM

By Vanessa Lopez-Littleton
UCF Forum columnist

I recently overheard one manager ask another if he knew a nurse who was looking for a job. After a moment of thinking, he remembered someone. Within a week, an offer of employment was made for a great-paying job with a wonderful schedule....

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The Failure of College Sport as an Equal Opportunity Employer

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 6:08 PM

By Richard Lapchick
UCF Forum columnist

As someone who has worked for institutions of higher education for more than four decades, it is especially embarrassing for me that colleges appear to have the worst record in sports for hiring women and people of color.

UCF's Institute for Diversity and...

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Life Is Like a Salad Bowl (or Should Be!)

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 2:54 PM

By Anthony B. Major
UCF Forum columnist

Everyone in the world eats salad of some sort. We enjoy all the different ingredients in our salads depending on what we have a taste for at the time.

We expect the different types of ingredients we select to bring their own...

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Parents of Young Athletes Need to Keep Everything in Perspective

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 11:54 AM

By Todd Dagenais
UCF Forum columnist

In the nearly two decades that I've coached women's volleyball, I've recruited and coached hundreds of players and met hundreds of their parents, all of whom have one thing in common: When it comes to their kids, they are the loudest cheerleaders in...

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As Migrant Crisis Hits US Border, Texas Town Keeps It Classy

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 5:40 PM

By Rick Brunson
UCF Forum columnist

It's a sweltering summer Sunday night in El Paso, Texas, at the city's new downtown baseball stadium, where the local Triple-A team, the Chihuahuas, is leading the visiting Tacoma Rainiers at the seventh-inning stretch.

As the hammerlock of the day's 102-degree heat begins...

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Give Someone a Break

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 4:18 PM

By Melody Bowdon
UCF Forum columnist


About 20 years ago, when I was a graduate student in Tucson, Arizona, I befriended two neighbors who worked as traveling nurses taking short-term jobs at hospitals in interesting places around the country. John and Sue had met a few years...

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