Jasmine Baxter

Are you contributing to the mental health stigma?

“I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump because I don’t think there’s a lot of space there. I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.   This excerpt may be nearing two years old, but its impact is timeless; using words like “kook” and “crazy” to refer to a person whose very existence is controversial reinforces society’s overwhelmingly negative outlook on mental health.    Though it may seem harmless and insignificant in the moment, our language dictates how we see the world and the people living in it. More specifically, the meanings we assign to words, however implicit, influence our thoughts, feelings and beliefs, and this concept is gravely important to remember during our discussions of mental illness.   At...

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Secular Student Alliance unveils Graveyard of the Gods

Headstones denote rarely worshipped deities of today’s modern world. Photo by Jasmine Baxter Constructed amidst the Halloween season, the Graveyard of the Gods was meant to be the Secular Student Alliance’s (SSA) “farewell to humanity’s forgotten deities”; it was meant to demonstrate how many previously revered gods have become mere symbols of mythology. Its purpose was to prompt a conversation about religion at the national level – one that the SSA has been encouraging for several years.  “The event started in 2013 at the University of North Georgia,” said Erin Green, the president of UM’s chapter of SSA. The students in the...

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Communication professors work toward community change

The SDCP has been active in moderating and facilitating deliberative community forums in Montevallo, such as those for the Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO). Pictured above is the town hall meeting where the NDO was passed. Photo by Waid Jones In today’s cultural climate it’s not uncommon for discussions about community issues to become polarized. Quite often, people get trapped in a negative, accusatory discourse that, at this point, is almost overly familiar. For this reason, nonprofits like the Kettering Foundation and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life have created communication models that teach people how to come together and talk productively.  ...

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Opinion: No true winner at the US Open

The U.S. Open’s women’s singles final was supposed to be Naomi Osaka’s shining moment. At only 20-years-old, she earned the opportunity to play against Serena Williams, someone she views as her idol, for one of the most prestigious tennis titles. She should have been basking in her accomplishments. Instead, she had to stand on stage, teary-eyed, to accept her trophy while the entire crowd booed her for something beyond her control.   I must have scrolled through hundreds of angry comments that afternoon, and I could see pieces of my own emotions in every single one of them. Of course, I was upset that Williams had been accused of cheating...

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