October 12, 2010
Cyber-bullying Advocacy Rough Draft
Technology has been used to make people’s lives convenient. However, convenience is not that affects people’s lives. Cyber-bullying has become a major issue in recent years. I define cyber-bullying as someone harassing and intentional hurting another over technology. There have been many cases in the past couple of years about cyber-bullying. The question is, when cyber-bullying occurs, who is at fault about someone hurting themselves or someone else? The New York Times has covered lots of stories on different sides of cyber-bullying, and most recently has been covering the story of Tyler Clementi. Where does the New York Times stand on issues of cyber-bullying and its consequences? After reading some articles on cyber-bullying and its end result in the New York Times, it seems as if the New York Times thinks that Tyler Clementi’s roommate and friend should only be punished for invasion of privacy and not the death of Clementi.
One of the more recent cases of cyber-bullying has to do with the suicide of Tyler Clementi. Clementi was a freshman at Rutgers University. He was a victim of cyber-bullying. Clementi asked his roommate, Dharun Ravi, for a couple of hours for the room to himself. Ravi agreed, but ended up keeping his webcam on and accessed it through another computer to see what Clementi was up to. On September 19, 2010, Dharun Ravi posted up a tweet on his Twitter. “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into Molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” (Foderaro). Three days later, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge straight into the Hudson River.
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei (person’s computer whom Ravi used to access his webcam) are being charged with two counts of invasion of privacy. The prosecutor is also trying to investigate in bringing a bias charge, hate crime, which can put Ravi into jail for up to 10 years instead of what would be 5 years from the double counts of invasion of privacy. However, people’s emotions have been getting in the way and believe that Ravi should be charged with manslaughter. (Schwartz).
Now how does the New York Times feel about this? I think just by reading a couple of articles, the New York Times thinks that Ravi should be charged with just the invasion of privacy and nothing more. When Schwartz talks about people wanting Ravi to be charged with manslaughter, he writes, “But the case has stirred passionate anger, and many have called for tougher charges, like manslaughter-just as outrage led to similar calls against six students accused of bullying Phoebe Prince, a student in South Hadley, Mass; who also committed suicide earlier this year.” He begins the statement by talking about how people’s emotions are getting in the way and exaggerating the crime. Schwartz even expresses how he believes the punishment must fit the crime. “Still, the punishment must fit the crime, not sense outrage over it. While some have called for manslaughter charges in the Rutgers case, those are difficult to make stick.” It is clear that Schwartz does not think Dharun Ravi should be charged with nothing more than invasion of privacy.
Another reason why I think the New York Times does not think Ravi should be charged with anything more than invasion of privacy is they have an article that supports Dharun Ravi. New York Times got a quote from Mark Lin, Dharun Ravi’s neighbor, and Lin said, “I don’t think he would intentionally hurt someone. He’s not that kind of guy. He likes to make people laugh, but not at their expense.” (Foderaro and Hu). They even go on to defend Molly Wei. “’She’s probably one of the nicest girls I know,’ Mr. Lin said.” (Foderaro and Hu). They even go on to quote some students at Rutgers University. “’It’s horrible for everyone involved,’ said Kyle Bomeisl, 21. ‘There should be a punishment, but five years of jail is extremely harsh. I’m sure these children did not intend for this child to go and commit suicide.’” (Foderaro and Hu). It is very obvious that Foderaro and Hu also believe that Ravi does not deserve anything more than an invasion of privacy charge.
There are tons of articles, in the New York Times, written about Tyler Clementi, Dharun Ravi, and Molly Wei. Many people would like to see Ravi and Wei charged with more than invasion of privacy. However, the New York Times argues that they should not be charged with more than invasion of privacy. Even though Tyler Clementi committed suicide that does not mean that it was only because of his roommate posting up the video online. Tyler must have had lots of issues before this all started for him to even think about wanting to commit suicide. So regardless of what majority of people think, the New York Times clearly states that they believe Ravi should not be responsible for Tyler Clementi committing suicide.
Foderaro, Lisa, and Winnie Hu. “Before a Suicide, Hints in Online Musings.” New York Times (2010): n. pag. Web. 12 Oct 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/nyregion/01suicide.html?pagewanted=1&sq=tyler%20clementi&st=cse&scp=3>.
Foderaro, Lisa. “Private Moment Made Public, Then a Fatal Jump.”New York Times (2010): n. pag. Web. 12 Oct 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/nyregion/30suicide.html>.
Schwartz, John. “Bullying, Suicide, Punishment.” New York Times (2010): n. pag. Web. 12 Oct 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/weekinreview/03schwartz.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=cyber%20bullying&st=cse>.
In, “Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend,” six students, mostly in graduate and/or PhD programs, suggest different strategies to have a better college experience. Even though each scenario is different, all urge incoming freshmen to try new things and rid themselves of old habits or situations. They encourage the readers to try different classes outside of one’s major explore outside of college campus, meet people, work for researchers/scientists even if it has nothing to do with your major, giving up using technology for a couple of hours, spending time with professors outside of class, and even breaking up with your high school boyfriend/girlfriend. All of the writers give the advice based on their personal experiences, and their advice is given completely differently than their peer writers, as seen in the tone of their writing.
All of the writers make a point; college is a time where one must explore and take advantages of living their life. Sometimes, this could even mean letting go of old habits and the past to enjoy what college has to offer. “College is your chance to see what you’ve been missing, both in the outside world and within yourself. Use this time to explore as much as you can.” (Novikoff).
Tim Novikoff encourages incoming freshmen to not only take classes that relate to one’s major, but also to take classes that might have nothing to do with one’s major. He was a theater major and ended up taking a math class. Since he took that math class, he realized how much he enjoyed math and is now an entrepreneur. “I was originally a theater major but by branching out and taking a math class I discovered I actually liked math, and I enjoyed hanging out with technical people.” (Novikoff).
Willie Lin believes that exploring the college’s town is very important in having a full experience. He thinks that meeting people outside of school is very crucial. However, Willie does not give a personal experience but talks about different opportunities. “Remember to take some time away from campus – from the demands of schoolwork and the trapping of the college social life. Explore the town you’re living in. Meet people who are not professors or fellow students.” (Lin).
PhD student, Aman Gill, focuses on the advantages of being working in a lab. His argument takes a similar approach to Novikoff’s in saying that non science majors should try working in this area. He encourages helping out a scientist or researcher. “Regardless of the field and the specific project, helping them helps you. The obvious benefits are new skills and invaluable experience.” (Gill).
Christine Smallwood argues that technology is in the way of succeeding in college. She suggests that students take a couple hours to be without the internet or their cell phone. She even goes on to say that going on Facebook during classes and lectures is just a waste of money. “In a lecture, you’ll only waste your time and your parent’s money, disrespect your professor and annoy whoever is trying to pay attention around you by spending the whole hour on Facebook.” (Smallwood).
Evan LaLonde states that spending time with your classmates and professor will help boost your confidence in that class. He shares a story about how his professor invited him and a couple of students to eat dinner at the professor’s house. “So, when my drawing teacher invited several of us students to a potluck dinner at her house, I was still worried that I was out of my league. But in this casual setting, everyone opened up, and I was able to talk about art in the most relaxed and personal way.” (LaLonde). Then LaLonde even goes on to talk about what he felt after the dinner. “As we returned to the dorms in the back of our now-favorite professor’s pickup truck, I remember looking up in the night sky and thinking, ‘This is what college is supposed to feel like!’” (LaLonde).
Rebecca Elliott gives an example of how letting go of something from your past helps improve your college experience. She strongly disagrees with holding onto one’s boyfriend/girlfriend from high school. Through personal experience she realized that her relationship was never going to work out. She therefore believes people should simply break up with them before they go into college.
It is obvious that the writers of this collective article are targeting incoming college freshmen. The whole article is definitely relatable to incoming freshmen. However, I think that this doesn’t just go for incoming college freshmen. All of this could be for transfer students, study abroad students, and even people going back to school after several years of working. Parents of incoming college freshmen could also be a target. They want their kids to have a good experience at school. Even college professors could be a target audience. The section that was written by Evan could definitely have targeted professors to get some ice breakers going in their class.
In the end, the writers of the article try to help incoming college freshmen have a great and memorable experience in college. They made some mistakes while they were in school, or regret something, and want to share/warn current freshmen and future college students of their misfortunes. Of course not every section of the article is going to be relatable to everyone, but some of the sections do make a good point about having a successful and fun filled experience at college.
Novikoff, Tim, Willie X. Lin, Aman Singh Gill, Christine Smallwood, Evan LaLonde, and Rebecca Elliot. “Ditch Your Laptop, Dump Your Boyfriend.” The New York Times 26 Sept. 2010, National ed., Week In Review 12. Print.
My argument advocacy paper is going to be talking about where the New York Times stands on the case about Tyler Clementi. Do they think the person responsible for showing the video of him making out with his boyfriend should also be responsible for Tyler’s suicide?