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Tori Foster, Sports Editor

Nov. 18, 2019


Generation Z, the unacknowledged generation, is voting, graduating college, entering the workforce and shaping the nation’s media, educational and technological fields. Generation Z, sometimes called, Zoomers, Net Generation or iGeneration, are more diverse than previous generations and can be easily identified by their interactions with technology. Zoomers - those born after 1997 – are continuously connected to a global network of resources and services, such as streaming media. In this supplemental issue, we discuss how to identify and engage with the new generational cohort.  


For the past three decades, researchers and popular media outlets have documented specific attributes and attitudes that define Generation Y, better recognized as Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996. Despite Zoomers presently joining the workforce and higher education, the focus remains on what Millennials want in their careers and for their lifestyles. To inform the focus on Millennials, we draw on the impacts of previous generations, such as Baby Boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964. As boomers exit the workforce and enter retirement, some job markets will close as technology absorb the position but other job markets will open. The children of boomers, Generation X – those born between 1965 and 1980 – receive little media time and are often called the in-between generation. Despite the little attention on Gen. X, it is important to understand their impact as Xers are the parents Zoomers. 


Based on this knowledge of the impacts of previous generational cohorts, we can better define and understand how iGeneration will impact society locally and globally. 

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Effects of the ’08 Recession Persist Over a Decade Later

Derek Swanson, News Editor

Nov. 18, 2019


For anyone old enough to remember Sept. 15, 2008, otherwise known as “Black Tuesday,” they won’t forget the day the once thriving American economy and housing market crashed, following the closure of some of Wall Street’s biggest banks. 


Few people born within the year-range of Generation Z knew names like Lehman Brothers or Bear Sterns, but they surely felt the effects of the market crash that threw these institutions into bankruptcy and put many of their parents out of work, and even out of a home 


The factors leading to the ’08 recession were entirely out of young people’s hands, and for many, it would take years for the full story to emerge from the depths of Wall Street corruption and government bailouts. 


Though some factors were obvious to see. Trips to the gas station were no longer a welcome event of perusing the candy aisles, and maybe even being awarded a slushie for good behavior. When gas hit $4 per gallon at the height of the recession in late 2009, parents had to dip into savings just to keep their cars on the road. That is, if the family still had an active income. 


As calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 15 million Americans were unemployed at the height of the recession in late 2009. Employment from 5% to nearly 10%, the lowest numbers seen since The Great Depression. 


One of the greatest assets that working adults relied on to hold value were their homes, many of which were purchased a few years before based on inflated income statements and corrupt banking practices. These homes, much like their jobs and money saved for college tuition, were on the chopping block when the economy bottomed out. 


“What led to the crash was, a large group of people lived beyond their means and were over-extended financially,” said Dennis Hennebry, asst. professor of economics. “The strategy back then was to buy a house, hold on to it for five or so years, watch the value go up, then sell the place. That’s a good idea, so long as the housing market continues to go up.” 


Hundreds of thousands of families were essentially conned into buying houses that they realistically could not afford based on their current and projected income. The ever-expanding housing bubble eventually had to pop, and what resulted was more akin to an explosion. 


According to research from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the crash eliminated nearly $8 trillion in stock market wealth and another $6 trillion in home values. An estimated 10 million Americans, including parents, grandparents and children, were reported to have lost their homes. 


As the market began to swing up in early 2010, too much damage was already done to the ruptured bubble that was the housing market. Many of the effects are still felt today, and likely will persist for years to come. 


In the case of Generation Z, the day they own their own house might seem like a lifetime away. Based on increased scrutiny when handing out loans by banks, the path to owning a home is rocky from the rubble of The Great Recession. 


“So many young people today are not independently wealthy,” said Hennebry. “They have to do more in order to qualify, because of the recession. This makes it tougher now to get loans; there’s a lot more scrutiny with getting loans today.” 

\Yet, housing may not even be on the forefront of priorities for Gen Z, as an equally ominous bubble has emerged; one that continues to inflate to an estimated deficit of more than $1.5 trillion. 


“School loans are potentially the next biggest bubble,” said Hennebry. 


As the age cutoff for Gen Z started around 1995, the first round of college graduates are entering the workforce and will continue to enter for many years to come. With their degrees comes debt that is rapidly approaching the scope of the housing market during the recession. 


Leading economists have theorized that the issue is more complicated than student debt in general; according to Suzan Dynarski, professor of economics at the University of Michigan in her paper titled “An Economist’s Perspective on Student Loan’s in the United States,” she theorizes that debt repayment is the true issue.  


Dynarski writes, “There is a repayment crisis, with student loans paid when borrowers’ earnings are lowest and most variable (Dynarski and Kreisman, 2013). As a result, there is a mismatch in the timing of the arrival of the benefits of college and its costs. Ironically, this mismatch is the very motivation for providing student loans in the first place.” 


For many students, considering the increased need for higher education in the workforce, student loans are a necessary burden. On top of the fact that many families had to dip into their children’s savings for college to keep their homes, many students had little, if any money put away to fund their college payments. Loans have acted as the sole option for students doing everything in their power to avoid the fate their parents shared 11 years ago. 


As a lesson, Hennebry cautions students not to live beyond their means. 


“Live frugally,” he warns. “Look at things with the perspective of financial conservativism. Have a savings plan and re-evaluate that plan every six months.” 


Furthermore, having money saved in the event of economic downturn has become more essential than ever, Hennebry believes. “Kids today face the burdens of student debt and enormous loans,” he stated. “It’s hard for kids today to have the chance.” 

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Younger Generations See Digital Dating, Smaller Family Sizes

Emily Krivograd, News Asst. Editor

Nov. 18, 2019


From the time of the Baby Boomers to today’s Generation Z, the family dynamic has changed dramatically. Dating methods, the attitude toward marrying, and the desire to have children all define how the family dynamic of these generations has evolved.  


Generation Z, those born in and after 1997, and Millennials (also known as Generation Y), the generation born between 1981 and 1996, make up a large pool of those who are unmarried and currently dating. Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, and Generation X, born between 1965 to 1980, are more likely to already be married, and possibly have already had children at this point in their lives.  


Regarding dating, the ways in which people meet each other in hopes of finding a potential partner have changed dramatically from the Baby Boomers to Generation Z. While all generations have access to dating apps, the highest number of users fall into the Generation Z to Millennial range. Out of Gen Zers, 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds report having used online dating apps, leaving them more likely than any other age group to use online dating apps, according to Pew Research.  


One popular dating app, Tinder, allows users to swipe right to show that the user is interested or left to reject profile pictures of potential “matches.” According to a 2015 Statistica survey, 41% of global Tinder users were aged between 25 and 34 years old, making up a portion of the Millennial generation, showing that, in addition to Generation Z, this other generation also finds the world of digital dating appealing. While the use of dating apps can lead to a relationship, these kinds of dating apps that allow for quick communication with a “match” has contributed to hookup culture and can lead to an overwhelming feeling that there are too many options to choose from.   


“If I’m listening to Spotify, I will skip to the next song to see which one is coming next; maybe there’s a better song coming next,” said sociology professor Dr. Jennifer Buntin, who teaches a Marriage and Family class. “And if you think about that with online dating, you’re never really investing in the particular person, because you’re always like, Maybe if I swipe, I’ll get someone better.’ This can be overwhelming.”  


The digital world Millennials and Generation Z has grown up with has also normalized the concept of sharing personal events or milestones on social media, resulting in increased ease to compare one's relationship to those of others.   


“Social media peer pressure can kind of invade into relationships,” said Buntin. “You want that perfect Instagram picture, so you want to make sure that whether it’s a prom proposal, marriage proposal, or a gender reveal. That can create a lot of pressure that previous generations didn’t have to deal with. [However,] the social media and technology influences on dating in particular are not necessarily exclusive to the younger generations. When you have Gen Xers or Baby Boomers who are newly looking for partners, they’re still using technology, they’re just a little bit more uncomfortable with it at first.”    


The value surrounding marriage has shifted from the time of the Baby Boomers to Generation Z. Only 36% of adults ages 18 to 29, including younger Millennials and older Generation Zers, believe it is important to marry if a couple plans to spend the rest of their lives together, compared to 65% of older adults in the Baby Boomer generation, according to Pew Research. Millennials and Generation Zers are also more likely to marry a partner they met through a dating app, rather than someone they met organically.   


“In those earlier generations, if you look at the geography of who people who married, they usually lived within one square mile of them, so they were just marrying the guy down the street, or the girl upstairs in the apartment building,” said Buntin. “And today, because of technology, and because we are a more mobile society, people are less likely to marry people who they grew up right next to; it changes the options that you have. This can also be a real challenge, because it’s almost like you have too many options.”   


Generation Z and Millennials are also more likely to view other priorities as more important than marriage and having children. According to Pew Research, about two-thirds of 18 to 29 year olds, and 53% of 30 to 49 year olds, making up a portion of Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X, do not view marriage as an utmost priority, while 55% of those 50 and older, making up the Baby Boomers, say society would be better off if marriage and having children were priorities of society.   


“Those Boomers didn’t think they had to go to college to get a good job,” said Buntin. We all know now that you have to have some level of higher-education to have a well-paying career, for the most part. That means you’re not getting married when you’re 18, you’re going to college when you’re 18.”  


The Millennial generation is waiting longer to have children due to a longer life expectancy in the modern world and the economic demands of the present-day economy to establish oneself in a career prior to starting a family. Societal values and consideration for the impact having children could have on the future generations, such as climate change, are also more widely considered by those having children today (mainly the Millennials) than the Baby Boomer generation when they had children.  


As a whole, the U.S. family size has declined since the post World War II baby boom, with the Center for Disease Control reporting the U.S. 2018 birthrate of 3,788,235 as the lowest number of births in 32 years, making this year the fourth consecutive year of reported birth rate declines. Compared to the 4,308,000 births in 1957, the peak number of Baby Boomer births, the number of births has fallen by almost 1 million. For perspective, in 2017, the number of deaths was 2,813,503 compared to 2,633,128 continental U.S. deaths in 1957.  


If current trends continue, family size will most likely continue to shrink as the value in education in the modern economy, the concern for world ethical and moral issues, and the importance of other aspects of life besides having children continue to be emphasized. As Generation Z grows older, preparing to make their cultural impact on present-day society, the world of dating, marriage and the family dynamic will never be the same. 

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Social Media: Growth and Opportunities

Efua Richardson, Tempo Editor

Bekka Dvorak, Reporter 

Nov. 18, 2019

 

With the rise of social media use and influence over the last decade, specifically in the last five years, it comes as no surprise that the entire world has adapted to the use of social platforms in one way or another. While some utilize these networks as a means of communication and connection to others, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube have inevitably changed the scope of the online and physical world as we know it.  


Where social media in the early 2000s was a simple pastime, it has now become transformative in ways that could not have been predicted 10-15 years ago. Social media has created an entire discipline, along with job opportunities that did not exist before modern times; inadvertently, the world has had to adjust — and is still constantly adjusting — in order to keep up with the rapid strides of the times. 


For Generation Z — the group of people born since 1997 — growing up in the age of social media means having an almost innate, second-nature understanding of platform and app operations. Unlike the generations before them, Gen Zs have never lived in a world where social media does not exist. Based on their early introduction to social media and the online world, Gen Z has a bit of an upper hand over their Millennial counterparts (i.e. those born between 1981 and 1996).  

When it comes to both groups, however, there exists a huge advantage over previous generations. Associate Professor of Marketing Dr. Shan Lin described Gen Z and Millennials in saying, “They are creative, they are more familiar with technology; that’s a huge advantage.” 


For businesses, creating and maintaining a strong online presence is no longer something to deliberate; it is something businesses should be adapting to. 


“Almost every company has pages on Instagram, on Facebook or on Snapchat,” said Lin. “It’s not a choice right now; it’s not an option for a company. It’s a must.” 


Adapting to the changing digital climate and developing a strong social media foothold for any brand requires first becoming social media literate. This means organizations must understand that all messages have to be intentionally constructed, target a specific audience and gear messages to that target audience, keeping in mind that different audiences have different perceptions of the same message.  


With brands essentially needing to create and maintain a social media presence, thus grows the need for social media teams; this creates new opportunities for careers that did not even exist 15 years ago, of which Millennials and Gen Z are most likely to succeed, given their creative drives and experience with social outlets.  

“Especially for social media campaigns, for marketing campaigns, you need to be creative to engage with your audience,” said Lin. Furthermore, organizations should “strategically design their social media marketing program so they can effectively reach their target audience and achieve their marketing objectives.” 


Four of the most common new-age professions under the social media umbrella are those of social media managers, social community managers, digital analysts and content creators. Social media managers are some of the highest paid in their field and can see salaries ranging from $60-$110k. These managers are responsible for overseeing and directing entire social media departments as well as strategically creating and distributing content across a variety of social networks.  


Social community managers are responsible for overseeing and engaging with users on specific platforms in order to boost awareness for their brands.  


Digital analysts are responsible for assessing the success of a brand’s online marketing initiatives, which in the present day now also includes social media efforts.  


Content creators contribute graphic designs, social media copy, film and edit videos, create blog posts and much more to the companies they service.  


Companies presently utilize social media not just as a means of raising awareness or increasing sales, but as a means of customer relationship management. Social media provides a way for businesses to communicate and interact with their audience in a personal way.  


“Many companies use [social media] to respond to consumer complaints, issues and questions,” said Lin. Furthermore, “Many consumers nowadays turn to their social media accounts” as a means of collecting information and/or receiving assistance.  


Social media has provided the ability to reach a global audience. For companies, maintaining an effective social media presence sometimes also requires the utilization of tastemakers and influencers that serve as brand representatives and ambassadors. Where in the past a company may have opted for big-name celebrity endorsements, they can now sponsor individuals ranging from celebrities to Youtubers to Instagram-famous personalities as a means of marketing and advertising their products.  


The entire concept of the influencer has changed what marketers can do with digital media. The inclusion of influencers as a promotional tool has created an occupation primarily based on a person’s ability to influence and persuade.  


“Through partnerships with influencers, companies gain more potential customers and increased brand awareness,” said senior marketing major Andrea Veltri. “The influencer gains exposure, an additional source of income as well as more followers.”  


“The influencer can increase their following by creating content for the company they are contracted with, and the company will garner new followings via their connections with the influencer,” said senior marketing major Colton Ford. “By providing the influencer with the item or service in question, followers of that person are more likely to purchase that product or utilize that service.”  


Where users were once just consumers of media, they are now content creators, opinion leaders and content distributors. Social platforms offer the opportunity for those who were once everyday people a chance to make an income solely based on product promotions and likes. 


According to data collected from Indeed.com, out of 15,676 social media occupations currently on the market, California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois are the top five states offering the most positions of employment. 


Through the work of brand marketers, alongside those actively monitoring and listening to social media accounts for their own business, the industry is sure to continue reshaping to adapt to the practices of consumers.  

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Offering Opportunities for Revitalization in Higher Ed

Tori Foster, Sports Editor 

Nov. 18, 2019


This year, the oldest members of Gen Z are graduating from four-year colleges. Colleges and workplaces are studying how this generation is going to fare in the workplace and the world. But it’s also important to look back on the marks they have made on higher education and the tracks they have built for similar students to follow. The higher education industry is always trying to stay ahead of the curve as an appeal to potential students. Assessing what makes a university’s classrooms great for current incoming high school grads is the ideal place to start. 


Over the past four years, many aspects of today’s classroom have evolved to benefit tech-savvy, hands-on Gen Z students, and the needs of these students are going to continue to press colleges and universities to update their curricula and programs. More than ever, Gen Z students are weighing the value of a degree based on finances, relevant academic programs and support services like career development and recruitment, tutoring resources and mental health services. They are monetarily driven and looking for good value, a transparent price and a clear estimate of their return on investment.  


There are many ways one can look at how Generation Z has offered the higher education system opportunities for revitalization and continues to do so. The first is looking at how the technologies that they have embraced can also be used on campus and even at times as an alternative to the traditional classroom. According to an education survey conducted by Adobe, 93 percent of these students consider technology in the classroom essential to nurturing creativity and career preparation. These consist of touchscreen whiteboards, updated PCs, tablets, the integration of smartphones and the use of cloud-based technologies for better communication, accessibility, interconnectivity and information storage. Gen Z students are digital natives, and they are quickly adapting to the hundreds of apps, programs and online tools that increase the interactivity of their learning experience.  


Dr. Lauren Rentfro in the department of education has tested numerous ways of implementing these technologies into his lessons. “One of the changes, at least for me, is trying to do more things that are phone related because they all have it laying right there,” said Rentfro. “I do show them, too... a blend of old school and new school clickers, so they can see that you can use a phone app and a piece of paper. it’s like trying to be [techier] so they’re more into it.” 


Another way that Gen Z students are reshaping higher education is by designing their own degree paths and choosing programs that are highly career focused early on. Millennials have been criticized for being meanderers who were lax on their career goals and minimally employable after graduating with expensive general degrees. Gen Zs witnessed this and are therefore jumping into college with laser-focused education and career goals. Because of their access to unlimited information through the web, they’re coming into higher ed well versed in current events, pop culture and global trends leaving them well aware of the world around them and the place they want to fill in it.  


According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 43% of students expressed that the goal of college was to prepare its graduating students for life in general whereas 57% said it’s to prepare graduating students for a specific degree. Because of this outlook, more students are coming into college already having completed college level gen eds and even degree specific courses. This is also driving colleges to really decide which programs they should add, eliminate, expand and scale back as the apparent path to a career is extremely important to students investing in higher ed. Along those same lines, some colleges are helping students design career paths that are exceedingly specific as it comes to their chosen profession. While combining different majors and minors helps to diversify a student’s diploma, certain degrees are now allowing students to specify concentrations and design very career specific paths for their degrees.  


Not only are they designing their own career paths, but they are designing new learning experiences and encouraging classrooms to do the same to accommodate their needs and busy lifestyles. They see technology as an extension of themselves when it comes to communicating and absorbing new information and while this allows more opportunities and outlets for a classroom setting, they are still focused on being active learners in social learning environments. Rather than simply showing up to class and taking notes on a lecture, they’re looking for more hands-on experiences, interactive classrooms and project-based learning that will supply them with marketable skills for life.  


While they’re looking for collaborative experiences, that doesn’t mean they can’t be digital. Gen Zs are not opposed to learning alongside other students via digital platforms including Skype, online forums and through the use of other digital learning tools for online textbooks and courses. Some such ways they’re turning the classroom digital is by requesting blended instruction, a method where at least part of the instruction takes place online, and a form of blended instruction called the flipped classroom which delivers instructional content outside of class time and moves activities, including those traditionally assigned as homework, into the classroom. “We will do a session that’s flipped,” said Rentfro, “so they’ll watch videos and things at home and then come in and we’ll do activities and use apps based on what watched at home. So they’ll get a dry run of flipped.” 


Outside of the classroom, Gen Z students are the most diverse group campuses have seen. With that, they’re bringing a wide array of new extracurriculars and innovations to immerse themselves in. These extracurricular programs range from primarily social organizations to governance organizations to collegiate athletics programs. The offerings vary extensively and have continued to include more academic and professional organizations, service-related clubs, multicultural activities and opportunities in the arts, increasing the different ways that Gen Z students connect and collaborate to build their personal and professional lives.  


While these are only a few examples of the most prominent changes seen over the last four years in higher education, there is no doubt that all the changes that are happening are guiding universities to create a more learner-centric environment. Students are seeking the best career-focused education they can receive for the best price, and whether or not their college or university is adapting with the times is a huge selling point. Gen Zs are not going to be the next group of millennials receiving slack for unemployable traits for which they’ve spent years collecting debt. They are immersing themselves into a classroom where they can learn best by doing, and preparing themselves for a career that’s moving with them.   

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Workforce Demands Alter College Attendance Rates

Jake Volk, Editor-in-Chief

Nov. 18, 2019


Graduates face an age-old decision that will impact the remainder of their lives: where do I go from here?  Yet, the more relevant question for students to consider is what skills and knowledge will be required of them for the workforce.  


High school juniors and seniors are often expected and pressured by parents and mentors to determine where they should go once they graduate. Unlike their parents, Generation Z students, called Zoomers, tend to look into all options available to them: two-year college, four-year college (private and public), military service, trade or technical school, a gap year or immediate employment. 

 

Typically, most high school graduates are encouraged to attend university, which has been the trend for several decades. The trend is likely due to the simple fact that students receive “the necessary knowledge for employment and for life,” said Mary Myers, director of career services at Lewis. “College provides a foundation, but employers are looking for more from students.” 

 

Specifically, employers are looking for students who have earned a college degree and bring practical experience to the workforce. The skills learned from practical experience that is desired by almost all employers are communication and collaboration. These skills combined with professionalism, a strong work ethic and leadership result in career readiness. 


According to a 2016 report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, “career readiness is the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.” 


Based on this definition, employers are encouraging students to complete service-learning courses in college, observe experts, complete internships, volunteer and participate in practicums. Through these avenues, students will increase their communication and collaboration skills. Communication skills include speaking, reading, writing and active listening. These skills then translate to collaboration skills of working effectively within a group of experts as a unit. 


“[Higher education institutions] work to prepare students for life after college,” said Myers. Our office then is responsible for preparing students to find employment, which is best done through networking.” 


Regardless of the skills desired by employers, there is still an emphasis on obtaining a college degree as a prerequisite for most jobs. For the past two generations, about 70% of high school graduates knew they would attend university. 


In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, between 2000 and 2017, college enrollment in undergraduate and graduate school combined increased by 27%, from 15.7 million to 19.9 million enrolled students. Yet enrollment has reached a plateau, which is evident in the fall in enrollment between 2018 and 2019 by a total of 1.7%, or about 300,000 students. This decrease is projected to continue in 2028 by about 1% each year. 


These figures only describe the number of enrolled students and not the number of students who actually earn a degree. The graduation rate is approximately 33% for public institutions and 57% for graduate programs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics


Despite all factors that have led to this decrease in attendance and completion of degrees, the most likely factor being the cost of attendance, students are looking to other options or at least are looking to add practical experience to their degree. “Career readiness means having an understanding of soft skills in addition to holding a degree,” said Myers. It’s no longer enough to just have a college degree. 


This has shifted college attendance and placed a stronger emphasis on gaining skill-based knowledge through employment, internships and volunteering. In fact, these soft skills are among the most necessary skills for current industries and future industries. 


As the industries continually respond to the needs and wants of consumers, new jobs are being invented and old industries are reshaping the qualifications for employment. Some industries are moving from human-operated employment to automation-enhanced employment. 


Because of these changes, Zoomers are must decide where they should go when transitioning from high school in order to be successful in the shifting industries.  


Based on the new requirements to join the workforce and new developments, such as IBM’s Watson – a question-answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, industries are shifting their human resources. The most demanded jobs currently and projected for the next ten years are health services, hospitality, food services, construction, finance, education and manufacturing.  


The largest increase in job demands is health services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, about 16.5 million people were employed within health services. This is expected to increase by 1.6% by 2029, which will result in an additional 26,000 jobs. 


The Bureau of Labor Statistics also found that the demand for educators is expected to increase by 1.2% by 2029. “It’s simply expected that students earn a degree, but it doesn’t have to be a four-year degree,” said Myers. “Technical degrees and certificates are just as valuable if not more practical.” 


Despite recent technological advances in a computer system, these increases are designed to ask and answer questions. This system often assumes the role of data managers and other previously essential human resources. 


Ultimately, the demand for skills through practical experience and knowledge through education best prepare students for employment, even for jobs that do not yet exist. Employers are looking for people who not only understand essential operations but who can also think critically.
Based on these data, graduates entering the workforce and now asking what they need to know and be able to do in order to benefit the workforce and themselves professionally. One response addresses what employees are seeking from their employers. According to a report by Randstad Holding company, a human resource consulting firm, 38% of Zoomers want employers who give back to communities by funding charities, using locally sourced materials and donating both time and money to organizations. 


As Zoomers flood the workforce and Baby Boomers leave the workforce, the dynamic between employee and employer continue to adapt and accommodate current and future needs. 

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Esports Becomes the New Mode for the Contemporary Athlete

Kyle Latronica, Reporter

Nov. 18, 2019


Esports, also known as electronic sports, is in the works of becoming the next notorious extracurricular activity. Imagine attending a university to study a major you love, but also being a member of a certified esports team that travels to compete against other schools in and out of a conference.  


Lewis currently hosts an esports club through the athletics department; however club members are working with university officials to include esports as an official team. Additionally, university officials are planning to convert the ground floor lounge in Fitzpatrick Hall into an esports arena with three flat screen televisions and twelve computers for the community, along with one flat screen and twelve computers exclusively for esports members.  


Talk of future scholarship opportunities for esport athletes. This is not unique, however, as many other universities have already included esports as an official athletics team, which has increased campus life. 


Esports also provides the opportunity to be the first true co-ed sport at university, something that would be a milestone for the community as a whole. As a co-ed team, esports will attract attention and notoriety to the university and community while increasing comradery among students.   


To build a case for esports, the club members discuss various benefits associated with gaming. Regardless of what many naysayers tend to instinctively believe. This is a sport after all, and with a sport comes a team, leadership and most of all, an audience. There are countless streams of athletes playing games on the web, and with services such as YouTube and Twitch, there is always a large audience of viewers in person or digitally. ESPN has even broadcasted esport matches on their service, and has shown that these streams can surpass the view count of current athletic sports clubs, such as the NBA and the NFL.  


To be an esport athlete does not require much time, energy or funding as other sports. Players really only need a computer, mouse, keyboard and a love for gaming. Many athletes even build their own computers for fun, creating a whole different aspect to the sport. Esports exist in console gaming as well, such as Xbox and PlayStation, which is now growing in the community due to the feature of cross compatible gaming. Overall, the community is huge and accepts a wide range of players. All the more reason why having a community at Lewis opens up the doors to a sport for all to enjoy. 


There is never just one game when it comes to esports. Different game types such as first person shooters (FPS), role playing games (RPG) and the up and coming virtual reality games (VR), are just a few of the different ways to join along in the experience. Because of this wide variety of ways to play the games, it is a large and exceptional industry to be a part of. There is so much that goes into a game after all, such as music, development, graphics, story and the best of all a franchise. Gen Z for example has moved along with the development of gaming, and has very well nurtured the industry into what it has become known as today.  


Zoomers also have brought new variations of gaming that seem to be a huge presence on campus. A survey conducted by The Flyer shows that a large majority of the younger generation in the survey, 54.2%  spend their time playing the game Overwatch, a highly popular across the nation. The survey shows students playing other games such as the famous FPS Rainbow Six, coming at 41.7%, and the other popular PC League of Legends coming in at 29.2%. Other games in the survey consist of Mortal Kombat, the interesting concept of a game known as Rocket League and the famous and infamous long lasting franchise known as Call of Duty. This is just the surface of the many games spread across the campus, which also demonstrate, the strong presence of the community’s existence within the halls.  


Arguably, the leaders of the modern gaming world, Generation Z has lead the adaptive community to what many now see today. For Zoomers, video games are a natural part of life, prevalent throughout demograhics and across ages. The new Call of Duty Modern Warfare for example is a continuation of a franchise much of the generation have not seen since Nov. 5, 2007 when the first installment of the franchise was released. It would then be fair to say that the famous words “fifty thousand people used to live here...now it’s a ghost town” resonates a feeling of nostalgia many of Generation Z carries with them. 


It is thus because of this adaptation that many students who are part of the gaming community sees this as just another part of their life. Therefore, having an esports club would simply express an extension of what many Zoomers already possess in their everyday lives. Esports, are no different than the extracurricular activities currently present on campus. If anything, esports club demonstrates how unique they are for the university with their independent nature of self-governance and planning. Dr. Dana Dominiak said, “it benefits the students in several ways that are obvious...students on campus have a way to hang out together…and it is a social outlet,” which shows how the esports community can be a huge benefit for the university, and a talented addition to the athletic’s department.  

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Participation Trophies in Youth Sports

Matt Vogrin, Sports Asst. Editor

Nov. 18, 2019


A fairly new phenomenon in youth sports is distributing participation trophies. Participation trophies are awards handed out to every team member so that everyone is perceived to be a winner.  Parents do not want to see their kids dreams crushed and want them to be successful in all of their activities. This makes growing up playing sports today a very unique experience. 

 

Participation trophies are being given out in sports across the country to help encourage a young athlete and trophies, as a symbol, represent sucess. A school in Washington state has gone as far as to play soccer without a ball. Yes, you read that correctly.  

 

The school in Washington implemented a soccer game where there is no ball. There is a referee who moderates the game and controls who has the imaginary ball. Goals are scored, but at the end of the game, it is always a tie meaning there are no winners or losers. 


The referee has complete control of the game, and then when the time is done, the referee ends the game. Students are encouraged to participate fully just as a regular soccer game. Full participation is encouraged so students still receive exercise while not have to worry about the mental affects that come when their team loses a game. This is all meant to protect the mental health of Gen Z.  

 

Fox and Friends, a mid-day show that aired on Fox News, conducted a study with top psychologists Jonathan Fader and Carol Dweck. The study shows that wealthier parents typically do not believe in using participation trophies. In the study, the wealthier the family, the stronger they expressed their disapproval in the implementation of participation trophies. Lower income families believe in participation trophies. They argued that this keeps them in a better mental state and prevents bullying over winning and losing at school.   

 

When the study was finished the results showed that 57% of people believe participation trophies should not be given. They believe that trophies should only be given out when there is a winner and that there is no other time a trophy should be given out. Fader believed that without participation trophies there is a lot to be concerned about.  

 

Fader said, “We do not just need to worry about losers. We also need to worry about winners because they can develop toxic traits that will stop them from working hard in the future.” Fader sees the problems that can come from both winners and losers. He has dedicated much of his time studying the best ways to help young winners and losers cope with the after effects of sports.  

 

Fox and Friends continued the segment with a group of Millennials and Gen Xers in discussion about how they did not have participation trophies growing up. While the Millennials, who never received a participation trophy, agreed they have their place, the Gen X attendees claimed that they never received participation trophies either, and in the full scope of life, they were stronger mentally. They expressed a loss as an aid to work harder and motivated them, so they never felt the dissatisfaction of defeat ever again.   

 

Fox and Friends broadcasted a survey, which polled a group of psychologists from across the country, asking them how they felt about participation trophies. 61% were in favor of having them in sports. This is something that has become more popular with Gen Z.  

 

These psychologists also expressed their interest in advancing this often up to high school levels. The research from Fox’s survey of Americans shows that people mostly disapprove of the idea in the first place. Fox News took a stance of disapproval for participation trophies on the hour-long segment. Would it be detrimental to include participation trophies in high school?  

 

The majority of the psychologists polled argued no, but there are a select few who argue that this could become a major problem. A few psychologists from the survey claim that parents are at fault for the children having pressure to be winners. Fader suggests that parents should focus on their kid's performance and not the performance of the team.  He claims that this is better for students’ mental health.  

 

This is a discussion that will continue to make headlines in the upcoming years. It will be interesting to observe how school respond to the research and conversation of participation trophies. 

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High Risk or High Cost Health Insurance?

Jada Hoffman, Campus Life Editor

Nov. 18, 2019


United States citizens spend more money on health care than any other citizen in the world. In 2016, the U.S. spent 17.2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare, compared to Canada’s 10.3%. Furthermore, an average citizen in the U.S. spends about $9,000 on health care, whereas a Canadian citizen spends about $4,569. 


Health insurance has always been brought up during elections. Citizens want to know if it will improve or not. In 2010, former President Barack Obama created the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.  


Obamacare helped 11 million more Americans become insured. Some benefits included minimum standards for health insurance policies and insurers aren’t allowed to refuse coverage because of pre-existing conditions.  


Despite the reform of Obamacare, the act was repealed by President Donald Trump. Americans are still waiting for an improved plan to health insurance concerns.   


53 students participated in an anonymous survey in which 36 said they were dissatisfied with the state of traditional healthcare in America. If most of those surveyed at Lewis are dissatisfied, imagine how an entire country feels.   


Some students remain optimistic about the state of health care in America. Junior nursing major Azana Clark-Jordan believes, “America has lots of potential and good intentions for our health care system.” 


Even with the government influences and regulations, inconsistencies with health care distribution remains a major concern, especially for lower class citizens. 


Free clinics exist to help those without insurance, limited incomes or don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. These facilities have advantages such as treatments for chronic conditions, medical testing and great locations near citizens. There are several disadvantages, though. Patients must wait for a much longer time period before being helped, the extra fee they’re required to pay, etc. 


If all the people who receive “free” health insurance were in a clinic there would be some kind of system on who should be selected. Age, gender, race and circumstance would be in consideration before selecting the next patient. Private insurance comes in handy as its benefits are much greater than public insurance. 


Clark-Jordan has PPO insurance in which her greatest benefit is the option to visit any doctor when she needs assistance. She is still dependent on her father and, though comfortable now, she is frightened of the future as she will have to pay out of pocket once she graduates. 


42 students admitted that they avoid certain health care options to save money. For example, instead of taking an ambulance, they would drive themselves to avoid the bill. Although this is economically smart, this could be very dangerous. Paramedics are trained to care for the person as well as transport them to the bes care facility as quickly as possible.  


As the saying goes, money doesn’t grow on trees, and Gen Z realizes this. The average ambulance bill without insurance is $1,500. 


This risk in driving themselves is problematic as it forces people to make life changing decisions, which, at times, they can’t always control based on their insurance. 


34 students admitted to engaging in outside health care activities. Though they are saving money, they’re also putting themselves at a greater health risk, due to a lack of knowledge and training. 


Though 49 of the participants said they had health insurance, there were still four who either didn’t have it or didn’t know if they had it. 


Sophomore psychology major Imani Holloway has no health care insurance and is a resident student. He lives with eczema, asthma and allergies. These three medical conditions can have serious effects at any time of the day, yet without insurance, Holloway cannot control the complications from the illnesses. 


He wishes that requirements for receiving insurance were different because he’s forced to endure the pain of his medical issues. Those uninsured are at a great risker for a variety of illness and life-threatening conditions. For example, when it comes to screening, uninsured individuals are less likely to receive full screenings and diagnoses.  


According to the Society for Human Resource Management, Gen Z is looking for health programs that will directly impact them. Programs that involve: counseling, screenings and vaccinations to maintain their health. 


There will always be unpleased individuals with the health care system; however, 68% is too much.  Young adults are engaging in risky activities because America’s system is too expensive. By addressing these concerns, the hope is risky activity will decrease, which will improve society’s collective health. 

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Focus on Personal Care Necessities

Henrietta Eghan, Reporter

Nov. 18, 2019


The most popular health-related hashtag according to Instagram is #selfcare. But, for Generation Z, self-care is more than just a hashtag. There is a need and a sense of responsibility toward this topic because, for many, it is a way of life that is necessary to survive in this fast-paced, technology-driven and competitive society. This is why Gen Z has assumed a holistic view to global healthcare, encompassing a generation that seems to be finding their zen for various types of health such as physical, mental and even digital health. Digital health is important to focus on especially because of the growing number of physical effects due to overusing devices.   


The reason why many Zoomers are advocating for self-care is because of the increase in the effects that stress and social media has on our bodies and minds. These consequences include weight gain, addiction, poor relationships, low self-esteem and depression. Self-care, or as some Zoomers call it, self-love, is important to maintain a healthy relationship with one’s self. 


According to biology professor, Dr. Elizabeth Kozak, “Social media is the number one cause of depression and suicide among young people.” Self-care is important not only to de-stress but to build one’s confidence in order to build and maintain healthy relationships. 


Because of the increased consequences with a lack of self-care, Gen Z is said to be more proactive compared to previous generations. According to a Harris poll conducted in early 2019, among 2,020 U.S. adults ages 18 and older suggested that Gen Zs are more likely to have attended a health and wellness workshop in the last twelve months than Gen X  or Boomers (54% vs. 38% and 19%). 


Students have a responsibility to practice self-care so the pressures and stressors in life do not turn in to burdens. Some ways to practice self-care are to eat healthy, hangout with trusted loved ones, practice yoga, workout and most importantly take mental breaks from homework, technology, etc. Lewis officials understand the importance of self-care, which is why the university is hosting a Stress Management Workshop. Through this workshop and other activities, students will become familiar with the basics of self-care.  


Careers, college, and families can be stressful, these can result in people forgetting to take care of thier personal needs. But, taking care of one’s needs should come first. This is not a selfish act but an act of survival as self-care refuels people so they have the energy to manage thier responsibilities without burning out.  


“Taking care of your personal needs doesn’t mean me first, it means me too,” said the famous author, L.R. Knost. It’s essential to practice self-care and not feel guilty about it. 

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Environmental Responsibilities on Gen Z

Daniela Navarrete, Reporter

Nov. 18, 2019


Today more than ever, people are aware of the environmental crises we are facing. During a UN General Assembly high-level meeting, sources shared that in eleven years, the damage caused to the Earth is going to be irreversible if drastic actions are not taken immediately. 


A sense of urgency has spread throughout society, especially among zoomers. This age group stands out because of their role as environmentalists. In an analysis of five in-depth surveys conducted between 2017 and 2019 by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, young people are now significantly more concerned about climate change than their elders. 


Zoomers are changing simple aspects of their lives to become more eco-friendly, which appeals to a zero waste lifestyle or focusing more on a circular economy: reduce, reuse, recycle.   


Lewis’ Sustainability Club’s Co-President Kari Tetlow stated, “I try to reduce the amount of waste I create.” However, this generation feels that governments and big corporations are the main cause of the problem. 


A great example is Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist who quit school to protest in favor of climate change consciousness. She aims to put pressure on governments and big corporations around the world so they can implement policies and laws that are environmentally friendly. This will ensure people move toward a more sustainable lifestyle. 


Environmental consciousness arose on campus with the establishment of the Sustainability Council and Club. According to Dr. Jerry Kavouras, the first club was founded by environmental science major Mark Melka and was strongly supported by former President, Br. James Gaffney, FSC. It was originally named the University Environmental and Energy Conservation Council (U.E.E.C.C) and was established in 2009. 


The Sustainability Club was created in 2014 and works closely with the Council. According to faculty advisor of the club, John Lerczak, participation within the organization has increased throughout the years. “I have seen more participation from non-environmental science major students which makes me believe it is moving in a positive direction,” said Lerczak. 


Both the council and club have several programs that promote environmentalism for distinct areas: water conservation, energy conservation, composting and recycling. In a survey conducted to 31 resident students, 12 of them said they always recycle products at their dorms. On campus, there are different bins to place waste in: 74.1% of surveyed students are always aware where they should place their waste in and 25.8% are sometimes aware; none of the surveyed students said they never checked the bin. 


Current students are aware of the environmental crises and they are taking more action. “I think our generation is more concerned about the environment because more research is now more readily available,” said Tetlow. “I believe that younger people see that they are going to be the ones to suffer from the negative impacts if something is not done.” 

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The New American Dream

Carly Styka, Opinions Editor

Stephanie Lingenfelter, Copy Editor

Nov. 18, 2019


The American Dream was the idea of a white picket fence in front of a nice house, a stable job with a standard family consisting of a wife, husband, kids and maybe a pet. However, that dream has morphed into something new for Generation Z.  


Part of the original American Dream was having a stable job with a healthy paycheck. People didn’t really care about what their job was and were more concerned about how much money they made doing it. Zoomers care more about a fulfilling job - a job that makes them happy. Freshman biology major Victoria Petersen described her version of the American Dream as “finding a career and having a personal life that will make me happy and fulfilled.” Their ultimate goal is happiness.  


Since Gen Z grew up during The Great Recession, they tend to have a better perception of the importance of money and budgeting. Even though they care more about fulfillment versus salary in a job, Gen Zs save more money compared to previous generations. In a study done by online publishing platform Medium, it also found that 64% of Gen Z surveyed had their own savings account compared to 51% of previous generations around Gen Zs age. In a survey conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars, 35% of Zoomers plan on starting to save for retirement in their 20s and 10% have already started in the teens. They’re also more willing to relocate for job opportunities. In previous generations, people wanted more benefits and didn’t want to move for a job, while Gen Z tends to understands they will have to make some sacrifices. 


For the workplace and in all aspects of life, what Generation Z wants to see in their lifetime is true equality. In a study conducted by Medium, equality ranked as the most important cause for employers to support. In a Pew Research Center survey, 62% see more diversity in the workplace as a good thing. True equality refers to the eradication of discrimination and sexism and the elimination of poverty and hunger. There’s enough food in the world for everyone; the problem arises in the allocation of the food. According to Cone Communications, 30% of Gen Z prioritizes fixing this issue over economic development. There’d be no more food deserts and no more food inequality. Everyone deserves the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness and this generation views equality as part of that, so they’re working to make it happen.  


One thing that is driving Gen Z is the desire to make a lasting change in the world. Of course, this isn’t unique to them, but they are particularly passionate about fighting for a global cause. They have lived through trying times, like the recession, and want to prevent similar events from occurring by acting now. 


According to a report from the non-profit education organization Girls With Impact with the support of the S&P Global Foundation, 65% of Gen Z say they want to “make a difference to a cause they care about” and 60% wants to “personally create something innovative.” 


Additionally, part of their American Dream is a healthy planet. The new climate movement has teenagers pledging to not have children until the issue of the climate is addressed. Zoomers are demanding action. They’re already organizing marches worldwide, and 16-year-old Greta Thunberg is becoming one of the leading activists of the time. She’s met with Barack Obama and is working closely with Arnold Schwarzenegger to advocate for the environment and convince politicians to do something. Gen Z fears they won’t live to their full life expectancy if something isn’t done, so they are joining together to ensure the planet’s needs are addressed. 


Gen Z has been active in participating in marches and protests. Young people from across the world took part in the Global Youth Climate Strike. Nearly 4 million protestors ditched school to address the lack of action taken towards climate change by government officials and corporations. 


Ethan Wright, 19-year-old Advocacy Director at This is Zero Hour, one of the partner organizations of the Global Youth Climate Strike, talked with i-D Magazine about why climate change is such an important issue for Gen Z. 


“My generation, Generation GND (Green New Deal), are growing up in a time where the political, social, economic and ecological injustices that have been in practice for centuries have finally reached a tipping point where we are going to be the ones to deal with the dangerous consequences of this status quo,” said Wright. 


Another issue that Gen Z is passionate about is gun control. Many young people took part in the March for Our Lives protest during the 2018 midterm election. Nearly 2 million protestors participated, making it one of the largest marches in America’s history. 


Gun law reform will also impact education, especially since receiving an education is a top priority for Gen Z. Many feel that the bachelor’s degree is shifting towards becoming the new high school diploma. College was an option for past generations, but in today’s world, it’s almost viewed as a necessity. With so many people pursuing degrees, many young adults feel they have no choice but to attend college in order to be competitive in the job market. 


According to a survey from New America, 85% of Gen Z believes that it is easier to be successful with a college degree than without, while only 11% disagreed with the statement. 


A 2019 study of the beliefs of Gen Z from InsideOut Development found that 80% believe they need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to land their dream job, while 70% believe that a degree is necessary in order to achieve a comfortable lifestyle. 


Every generation faces unique challenges and has their own advantages. Although Gen Z faces an uncertain future and will most likely face economic struggles, they have the opportunity to make a difference. With the power of the internet and by banding together, Gen Z can start movements and inspire change.