Program Hopes To Reduce Suicide Deaths Among Students

By Jeff Vari The Lantern

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Suicide, the second leading cause of death among college-age students, is being addressed this week at Ohio State University.

“Lifting Up Our Friend: Giving Hope and Help,” which runs today through Feb. 22, is a week-long program of events scheduled for OSU Suicide Prevention Week sponsored by the Ohio Coalition for Suicide Prevention, OSU Counseling and Consultation Service, School of Public Health and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

“The mission of this week is to begin a very public discussion of the very complicated issue of suicide, so that students and faculty feel more comfortable discussing it and, perhaps in the end, do something to prevent a suicide,” said elinda Moore, executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

Dr. Howard Sudak, former president of the American Suicide Foundation, will be kicking off the week with a “grand rounds” presentation at noon in room 165 of the Heart and Lung Institute. The lecture will be followed by Student Affairs in-service training at the OSU Counseling and Consultation Service at 2 p.m. in room 150.

Dr. Louise Douce, director of Counseling and Consultation Service and staff psychologist for 23 years, said she deals with students who are struggling in all kinds of ways and said that OSU has seen a constant rate of about four to five students a year taking their own lives.

Douce said it’s just a coincidence that this week begins on Valentine’s Day and that there is a common misconception that suicide rates are highest around holidays. Rates actually peak during the months of April, May and June.

“The stress is up but suicides are actually not up at that time,” Douce said.

She added that it’s important to be aware of and sensitive to people who are depressed around the holidays.

According to OSU Counseling and Consultation Service, as many as 400,000 teen-agers attempt suicide each year, with about 5,200 of these attempts ending in death. Women attempt suicide more often than men, but three times more men succeed, and the suicide rate for young blacks is three times higher than whites and five times higher for Native Americans.

Lawsuit Decision May Cause Napster to Shut Down Completely

By Kate L. Rakoczy Harvard Crimson

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Napster, the popular music-sharing Internet service, received a heavy blow to its struggle to stay alive Monday, as a court ruling indicated the service is likely to be shut down pending a final ruling on the matter.

The pre-trial injunction requiring Napster to shut down – issued last July by the District Court of Northern California and then stayed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in August – was effectively sent back to the district court yesterday for modification.

Although Napster remains accessible for the moment, when the district court rewords its decision the service will be unavailable – only reopening if Napster should emerge victorious from its final trial.

The three-judge appeals court panel that delivered onday’s ruling explained that the original injunction expected too much of Napster.

The opinion stated that although it is Napster’s responsibility to police its system to the best of its ability, the burden is on the plaintiffs to notify Napster of copyrighted works on its system.

The panel also advised the district court to take into account the difficulties facing Napster in gaining access to users’ P3 files, given the fact that most files are user-named.

However, the panel made it very clear that Napster users infringe on copyrights, and that “Napster materially contributes to the infringing activity.”

In a statement released Monday, Napster CEO Hank Barry acknowledged that the service could be shut down before trial.

“While we respect the Court’s decision, we believe, contrary to the Court’s ruling today, that Napster users are not copyright infringers and we will pursue every legal avenue to keep Napster operating,” he said. “We have been saying all along that we seek an industry-supported solution that makes payments to artists, songwriters and other rightsholders while preserving the Napster file-sharing community experience.”

Napster attorney David Boies issued a statement saying Napster will appeal Monday’s decision.

Those at Napster are not the only ones disappointed by yesterday’s decision. Many Harvard University students who use Napster were upset by the prospect of losing access to the music-sharing database.

John E. Friberg ’02 said he felt the ruling is in some ways opposed to the concept of freedom of speech.

“Napster is a good thing,” he said.

Backpacks May Cause Irritation and Injuries for College Students

By Aaron M. Miller The State News

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Molly Cantrall stood in Gap Body on Tuesday evening with her black pea coat on and her one-strap bag securely resting on her back.

Cantrall, a Michigan State University international relations sophomore, doesn’t believe experts who say the one-strap bags – otherwise known as messenger bags – can have painful consequences.

But Dr. Scott Bautch, president of American Chiropractic Association’s Occupational Health Council, spends his days examining the health effects of backpacks. And he disagrees with people like Cantrall.

“When I see these one-strap bags becoming popular again, I think, `Oh no, that’s bad,'” Bautch said. “I think they’re cool, I think they’re more trendy – I don’t think that they’re functional.”

In fact, backpacks in general, whether they’re two-strap or one-strap, big or small, are a major concern for chiropractors, parents and students, causing irritating and even dangerous pain and injuries.

Bautch, who advocates safer backpack use, said studies show that between 30 and 40 percent of adolescents experience back pain, and the percentage is increasing at an alarming rate.

“The population that used to have the most back pain was people 35 to 45 – we’ve seen that move downward,” Bautch said. “You guys at a college age are seeing back pain at a rate similar to the older population.”

That worries Bautch and many others, including backpack makers themselves.

Laurie Holloway, consumer relations manager at JanSport Inc., said the company almost never receives complaints from sore backpack owners. Rather than criticizing the bag, she said consumers tend to blame the amount of homework and books they have to carry.

Sometimes, however, a concerned parent contacts the popular backpack maker to inquire about the safety of their bags. Wisconsin-based JanSport responds by providing backpack safety tips.

“We tell them not to overpack,” Holloway said. “They should wear both straps and get a backpack with a waist strap and then not load it more than 10 or 15 percent” of one’s body weight.

Other safety tips include wearing the bag high on the back and using a bag with padded straps and back. In efforts to increase comfort, a few years ago JanSport launched the Airlift line of backpacks, which feature waist straps and shoulder straps filled with a gel-like substance designed to absorb shock..

The Student Book Store, 417 E. Grand River Ave., sells Airlift bags along with many other backpacks, said Mike Wylie, the store’s assistant manager. In fact, of the seven backpacks currently on display in the bookstore’s window, four are JanSport. Two of those are Airlift bags, which range from $70 to $90.

Wylie said he’s seen dramatic improvements in backpacks since he began working at the bookstore in 1976: “I can remember not even very many years ago it basically was a nylon bag with non-padded straps and that was it.

Food science freshman Annie Stubbs said her shoulders are sore at the end of the day, even though her backpack has padded shoulders and a padded back.

College Females Not Likely To Report Rape

BATON ROUGE, La. – A college student becomes a rape victim – she is scared, alone and upset. According to a new study, she is unlikely to report the crime to police.

The U.S. Justice Department released a survey last week called “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” which revealed only 5 percent of respondents chose to report sexual assaults to police.

University officials said it is not unusual for female students to avoid reporting rapes to police or law enforcement officers when they can report the crime through anonymous channels.

“We definitely see women in that scenario,” said Kathy Saichuk, Sexual Health Advocates coordinator for the Wellness Center.

Saichuk said she does not have numbers indicating how many women come to the Wellness Center as rape victims, but said female students do come there for help without contacting police.

Many women in this age group know their rapist and do not wish to face him in court, volunteer coordinator for the Stop Rape Crisis Center, Ronaele Brouillette said.

“A lot of feelings that rape survivors feel are shame, guilt and fear,” Brouillette said. “A lot of times, they feel like it’s their fault.”

Statistics reflect this belief – of the 113 reported rapes, 72 victims were raped by an acquaintance and 15 were raped by relatives, while only 26 rapes were committed by a stranger, Brouillette said.

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