Auraria Students seem to know more about the Ray Rice incident than Obama’s ISIS Press Conference


Posted Wed, Sep 17, 2014

Rhys Tekelenburg, student at Auraria Campus, Denver (Photo By Sabrina Naccarato)

“I support the President, but with hesitation. — Rhys Tekelenburg, student at Auraria Campus, Denver. (Photo By Sabrina Naccarato)

Presidential Speech and the NFL Discussed by Students at Auraria Campus

By Mackenzie Matt, Sabrina Naccarato, and Michelle Perez

DENVER- So far, September has had students at Auraria Campus talking.

The news circulating around campus has included everything from the recent presidential address to top pop culture stories concerning the National Football League.

President Obama addressed the nation on Wednesday Sept. 10, 2014, regarding his plan for fighting the ISIS militants. Rhys Tekelenburg, student at Auraria Campus, had some compelling comments to make in regards to the president’s approach.

“I think it’s necessary evil…whether I agree with it or not,” Tekelenburg said. He acknowledges the challenges the president faces when confronting threats against the country and supports the president’s efforts. “I support the president, but with hesitation. We should always be hesitant when going to war.”

Grace Gonzales, student at Auraria Campus, Denver (Photo By Sabrina Naccarato)

“He [Rice] should be banned from the NFL.” –– Grace Gonzales, student at Auraria Campus, Denver. (Photo By Sabrina Naccarato)

It seems as every fall approaches, there is a new controversy in America’s favorite sport. The NFL is currently investigating a serious conflict with former Super Bowl champion, Ray Rice. The former running back for the Baltimore Ravens has fallen into the spotlight after he allegedly assaulted his wife, Janay Rice.

The assault took place earlier this year (Feb. 15, 2014), at an Atlanta hotel. Recently, TMZ released a video of the event. As of now, the Baltimore Ravens have terminated Rice’s contract indefinitely and he has been suspended from the NFL.

“He should be banned from the NFL, not suspended,” said Grace Gonzales, student at Auraria Campus.

This matter has reached nationwide concern. People from all across the country are expressing that this type incident is too common, especially in professional sports. Others are also troubled by the fact that Janay Rice is defending her husband.

“She is living out of fear,” said Gonzales.

This case raises many questions about the consequences of domestic violence, not only in the NFL, but also in America. The NFL has announced that they have ordered an independent investigation into the league’s management of the case.

College Students Express Their Views on ISIS and Ray Rice

By Kenny Martinez and Kelli Holum

DENVER — Auraria Campus student seem to know more about former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s incident than the Obama press conference on ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), involving the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, that was held Wednesday night (Sept. 10). Most students had minimal knowledge about the press conference, or had none at all. Almost every student had at least some knowledge on the Rice incident, and some voiced their strong opinions on the matter.

Madison Backens: "NFL should be more strict on its athletes."

Auraria student Madison Backens says the NFL should be more strict on its athletes.

The Obama press conference involved the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. This was being dealt with as an act of war, because ISIS wants the world to live under Sharia Law.

Rice’s incident involved domestic violence with his fiancé Janay Palmer. Rice punched Palmer in the face knocking her unconscious on Feb. 15, 2014 in an Atlantic City elevator. Rice was originally suspended for two games, then he was released by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the NFL.

George Vega, a student of the Auraria Campus, didn’t watch or hear about the Obama press conference, but did see posts on Twitter. However, Vega did know about Ray Rice, and he did see the video of Rice’s domestic violence in the elevator.

Vega said, “[Rice] didn’t have the right to hit her, although he did see her approaching.”

Vega thought that the NFL was too lenient regarding Rice’s punishment. Rice was originally suspended for two games. After the video surfaced of Rice punching his fiancé in the elevator, he was indefinitely suspended by the NFL and released from the Baltimore Ravens.

John Snow, another student of the campus, also hadn’t heard anything about the Obama press conference; he only heard bits and pieces from other people. He was, however, aware of the Ray Rice situation, and thought that the whole ordeal was wrong.

Snow said, “It’s definitely over publicized.”

Another fellow student, Madison Backens, didn’t watch the press conference, but had heard about it through social media. Even without watching the conference, social media did give her some insight on what the president had to say to the country about ISIS.

Backens said, “I have heard that we have declared war on ISIS, and that our Special Forces and Seals are going in to do something.”

She did not, however, hear about the airstrikes that were discussed during the press conference against Syria and Iraq. Backens thinks that the U.S. should stay out of the conflict with ISIS and focus more of our attention on our country’s own issues first, but she did agree that we have to protect our land, and freedom from ISIS.

Backens disagreed with Rice’s actions. She thought Rice should have been terminated right away. Backens thinks the NFL should be more strict on its athletes, especially in instances of domestic violence.

Isis vs Ray Rice

By Tera Coneway and Naomi Verdun

Clarence Parchman Photo by Naomi Verdun

Auraria student Clarence Parchman says other athletes in the NFL have done worse [than Ray Rice] and went without punishment.” (Photo by Naomi Verdun)

DENVER – On Sept. 11, 2014 a survey was conducted on Metropolitan State University of Denver campus focused on two current issues in the media. It came as a shock, how unaware most students are of world issues as opposed to pop culture.

During the survey a total of four interviews were conducted. Of those four only one student had watched President Obama’s speech about ISIS on Sept. 10. This shows how college students focus more on pop culture topics such as the Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice incident.

“Yeah, I don’t care for that,” said Auraria student Clarence Parchman. “I also think the media is wrong.” Parcham made the comparison to NFL player Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of sexual assault in 2009. Parchman said that other athletes in the NFL have done worse without punishment.

Karen Mobley, a student and busy mother, gave her female perspective on the domestic violence. “It’s more complicated of an issue than you know,” said Mobley. She heard about the controversy on the radio. “ I think she [Janay] is brainwashed and she needs help, I think she has more to lose.”

“I don’t really keep up with politics or news,” said Jessica Dunlop a health student at MSU Denver. It was difficult to find students who were well versed on both topics of ISIS and Ray Rice.

Another student knew about President Obama’s Speech on ISIS. “He [Obama] said that he wanted to get more involved since they have threatened Americans, and now we are working with Nato,” said Ryan Strickland

The series of interviews showed that many students do not follow international issues, and that they are interested in matters of pop culture, or just was not aware at all, or maybe it that students are more into something that they can relate to.

Students Leslie Velasco and Clara Cordova were unaware of Obama's speech. [Photo by Kelsey Nelson.]

Students Leslie Velasco and Clara Cordova were unaware of Obama’s speech. [Photo by Kelsey Nelson.]

Awareness on Campus: Politics vs. Popularity
Which is more important on Auraria campus, Obama’s plans for ISIS or the Ray Rice scandal?

By Shannen Ryan and Kelsey Nelson

DENVER- Two hot topics in the news this week were President Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday Sept. 10, regarding where the situation with ISIS is heading, and the former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice scandal.

After interviewing students and teachers on campus, it became clear that more people are aware of  Ray Rice, and fewer people were aware of the speech, politics and impact of the terrorist group ISIS.

“It’s important to be involved if it’s your passion. If it’s not affecting you it’s okay to not know,” said Auraria student Clara Cordova.

Student Jay Byrne did watch Obama's speech and believes the US does not belong in Syria. [Photo by Kelsey Nelson.]

Student Jay Byrne did watch Obama’s speech and believes the US does not belong in Syria. [Photo by Kelsey Nelson.]

Students are more invested in the popularity and easy access to the scandal involving football player Ray Rice where he punched his fiancé Janay Palmer on Feb. 15, 2014 in an Atlantic City hotel elevator knocking her unconscious.

Leslie Velasco and Cordova were initially unaware that Obama made a speech regarding ISIS and said it was news to them.

However, student Jay Byrne did watch the President’s speech and said, “I don’t believe we belong in Syria. It’s important for students to stay in politics to understand the country and how our government functions.”

Byrne also was aware of the Ray Rice scandal, and said, “He should be kicked out of the NFL.”

To get a more professional input, MSU Denver History Professor Kim Klimek said that Obama’s plans are going to be a tough sell.

Professor Kim Klimek believes the NFL waited too long to discipline Ray Rice. [Photo by Kelsey Nelson]

MSU Denver History Professor Kim Klimek believes the NFL waited too long to discipline Ray Rice. [Photo by Kelsey Nelson]

“I don’t want us to be Russia in Afghanistan for 40 years, but we also can’t let humans behead other humans.”

Klimek was also aware of the Rice scandal and said the NFL waited too long to take action. Klimek said men should not be given a pass, but Rice’s side needs to be addressed. In terms of the broader subject, Klimek felt that we need to address aggressive masculinity and why he felt he could do this.

“I hope it’s bringing up conversation about why this aggressive masculinity is approved and condoned.”

Campuses are thought to be a place of education and intellect, though many people on campus were aware of both Obama’s speech and Ray Rice’s scandal, many seemed more informed on the latter.


Auraria Students Informed About Rice’s Knock Out Punch, but not ISIL

By Hayes Madsen, Chris Diamond and Tyler Banker

Students In Class

Twelve Journalism majors just two had watched the address, but only five were informed on the topic.

DENVER –– On Wednesday Sept. 12, 2014 President Barack Obama addressed the nation about the current threat of ISIL in the Middle East. This major conflict is occurring in the Middle East at the same time as a major pop culture event. A video surfaced of Ray Rice punching his then fiancé in the face in an Atlantic City elevator, knocking her unconscious.

Most students knew about the Ray Rice case, and very few had seen or heard Obama’s address. Auraria students Renee Shepard and Jason Warren, had interesting opinions on the spousal abuse case, while they had nothing to say about the President’s address, which was a matter of national security.

Dr. Shaun Schafer

MSU Denver Journalism Professor Dr. Shaun Schafer of course was more than informed on both subjects.

Across campus, another student Shawn Ellis went the same route as other with students having read a report on the speech, but not actually having seen it. He seemed indifferent about the ISIL conflict, but quite passionate about Ray Rice.

A Journalism class taught by Dr. Shaun Schafer consisting of 12 journalism majors just two had watched the address, and only five total students were informed on the topic. Everyone in the class was aware of the Ray Rice case and over 75 percent of the students had seen the video itself. Dr. Schafer of course was more than informed on both subjects.

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10 Responses to “Auraria Students seem to know more about the Ray Rice incident than Obama’s ISIS Press Conference”

  1. Shannen Says:

    these leads are great guys!


  2. Melanie Townsend Says:

    Great Job Peeps!!!


  3. Chris Diamond Says:

    I really think that this was good quality reporting. These stories were able to yield a lot of good quotes and responses


  4. Kenny Martinez Says:

    These students did a great job of seeing what Auraria students know about two of the most talked about current events.


  5. Madeline Voutour Says:

    I really enjoyed these articles on what students knew between Ray Rice and Obama’s press conference. If I were to have guessed what students knew more about I think I would’ve thought they knew more about Ray Rice so it proved my point right. While talking with some people about this subject one person actually said that a student asked, “Wait, what is ISIS?” That was just shocking to me that students don’t know what ISIS even is.
    Overall, these articles were well written and gave me a great amount of information about what was more important to students.


  6. Tyler Banker Says:

    Great reporting. Clear presentation. Good job everyone.


  7. Kelsey Nelson Says:

    Everyone managed to get nice pictures! Really good work, they all fit together well. Nice job guys.


  8. Sabrina Naccarato Says:

    Everyone had similar experiences while interviewing people but overall the final product came out very well done!


  9. Tyler Banker Says:

    Great Job. Very clear message and good reporting!.


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