“In the Know Dores” – A Vanderbilt Interest ProjectEmmie Arnold, Jennifer Bellido, Jaclyn Campis, Kiran Correa, Justin Huntress, Madeleine Jones, & David RobertsOur purpose: to study political and societal developments of our global society (currentevents) on a daily basis and to share our findings on a group-run Twitter feed(@intheknowDores). We do this to combat the unawareness and news illiteracy prevalent intoday’s world so that come tomorrow, Americans can look back and know and understand whatbrought them here. On a sheltered campus where the focuses are on high-quality academics andhaving a good time, politics and the national or international stages can easily take a backseat,but we believe that caring and having a sense of awareness about what is going on locally andglobally is necessary to understanding our modern society. We have made it our yearlong goalto promote awareness and knowledge seeking in the realm of current events.What we have done in the community: shared short news summaries of local and globalcurrent events daily on our group-run Twitter feed, hosted students to watch a presidentialdebate, encouraged people to vote in the 2012 Election, and celebrated the tradition ofdemocracy in the United States on the night of the election.What we have gained: a sense of awareness of global happenings, an increased understandingand knowledge of different cultures and places, daily news-checking habits (even when life isbusy), and information about trends in our community and nation.
To summarize what we have learned this past semester by keeping up with the news on a dailybasis, we have compiled two lists of important events of 2012 in terms of world andVanderbilt campus news. We came to our decisions below based on both our own feelings ofthe importance of the many important, history-changing events of the past year and also byreferring to websites that had articles of similar purpose. These events are not ordered either bychronology or perceived importance.WORLD NEWS Hurricane Sandy pummels the east coast, especially the NYC/New Jersey Shore areas and becomes the 2nd most expensive storm in US history Democratic President Barack Obama/Vice-President Joe Biden are reelected, beating Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney/Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan in a contentious election that was the most expensive and possibly one of the most divisive in US history. There are many states that have petitioned to secede the union because of the results! Many groundbreaking state initiatives passed in the 2012 election, including the legalization of marijuana for recreational use for the first time and an increase in the number of states that allow gay marriage; also, the first openly gay senator is elected and more women are in Senate than ever before Israel-Gaza conflict erupts again in the Middle East on the 65th anniversary of Israel’s “birth”; Palestine gains promoted status in the United Nations, to the dismay of Israel and the United States Syria breaks into civil war and garners world attention and perhaps future trouble from Turkey, United States, and usual ally, Russia The United States economy experiences a bit of recovery but still worries about the impending “Fiscal Cliff”, which will happen if bipartisanship in White House fails by January 1st, 2013 London Olympic Games 2012; among the top headlines, Michael Phelps becomes the most decorated Olympian in history, United States women’s gymnastics team takes home the gold medal, and the United States is the most winning nation in terms of gold medal and overall medal counts. Twitter is an enormous player as well, with several athletes being disqualified because of their social media postings Facebook as a company goes public and sells stock A gun-violence heavy year in the United States, with notable example Aurora, Colorado where The Dark Knight Rises movie premiere shooting occurs The Mars Rover “Curiosity” lands and discovers traces of carbon, a possible sign of life Cruise ship runs aground in Italy due to crew negligence, killing many on it British Petroleum (BP) pays one of the largest fines in history for its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but soon after, is responsible for another oil rig accident when one explodes in the United States US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three others killed in attack on the Bengazi consulate that at first looks like a reaction to anti-Islam video made by an American man but is, controversially, later revealed to be a planned act of terrorism
Social and financial turmoil in Greece continue, as well as across the entire EuropeanUnion, even after crucial votes take place determining its future path; Spain hasunemployment rate of over 50% for young adultsQueen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is celebrated in her Diamond Jubilee, markingthe 60th anniversary of her ascent to the throneThe Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Prince William announce that they areexpecting their first child, a child who will be heir to the throne regardless of his or hergender. Her hospitalization in early pregnancy due to acute morning sickness makes theworld wonder if she is expecting twinsApple remains a top company that other technology companies try to emulate, in spite ofSteve Jobs’ recent passingGreen-on-Blue conflict in Afghanistan increases, worrying the US troops who willremain there until they have trained the Afghan security forces to keep the nationdemocraticVladimir Putin is reelected in Russia amid corruption accusations“Gangnam Style” becomes the most watched video in YouTube historyNew York City goes a day without any violent crime being recordedIn sports, Andy Murray becomes the first from United Kingdom to win Wimbledon,Manchester City wins the English Premier League, the New York Giants win the SuperBowl, the San Francisco Giants win the World Series, the University of Kentucky winsthe NCAA men’s basketball championship, Lionel Messi sets the record for the mostsoccer goals scored in one season, former Vanderbilt baseball player David Price winsthe Cy Young Award for excellence in MLB pitching, and Chelsea wins UEFAChampions LeagueLance Armstrong becomes a symbol of rampant doping in professional cycling, isremoved from the record books for his seven wins, loses his sponsorship contracts, andsteps down as the CEO of his cancer-fundraising nonprofit organization, Livestrong“Daredevil diver” breaks the sound barrier while 8 million people watch live on YouTubeIndia experiences the largest power outage in history, with over 600,000 people affectedAn outbreak of meningitis due to a bad batch of steroids from a specialty pharmacybrings up concerns about drug regulations and regulation in the United States; West Nileoutbreak also occursThe highway with the highest speed limit in the United States, 85 mph, opens in TexasKONY 2012, a film and campaign by Invisible Children in protest of Joseph Kony ofUganda, raises controversyEgypt votes democratically for its president in a tumultuous timePhysicists discover Higgs Boson particle, a new subatomic particleUS employment rate at its lowest since 2009Japan shuts down its nuclear reactors, leaving the country without nuclear power for thefirst time in 1970“The Scream” painting sells for a record $119,922,500A possible sex scandal involving the man who voices Elmo on Sesame Street causes himto resign from the show after 28 years
The storied Pennsylvania State University football program falls from grace in light of a child molestation scandal involving assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and a cover-up by head coach Joe Paterno and other higher-ups in the football and school administrations. School president resigns, Joe Paterno and athletic director fired, school fined and punished in terms of sports abilities, and Sandusky to be in jail for 30 years Many celebrities and American icons died this year, including Neil Armstrong, George McGovern, Sally Ride, and Joe Paterno David Petraeus scandal and his stepping down as the head of the CIA reminds the United States just how public internet communications are and just how complicated it is, sometimes, to keep confidential matters (both personal and governmental) confidential The highest mega-millions lottery in history grows until it eventually is won by two people Video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” grosses $500 million in first 24 hours on shelves Barack Obama becomes the first sitting US president to visit Myanmar Hillary Clinton to step down as Secretary of State Disney purchases Lucasfilm and George Lucas to donate all $4 billion to education research and reform Global warming is not mentioned at the presidential debates for the first time in 32 years in a year where increasing evidence of rising sea levels and unseasonal and extreme weather occurrences worry scientists and public The world is rumored to end on December 21st, 2012, the date that the Mayan calendar finishesCAMPUS NEWS Vanderbilt football team goes to back-to-back bowls for the first time in history in James Franklin’s second year of coaching Three former Vanderbilt star basketball players are drafted in the NBA, a record two in the first round of picks The sorority Zeta Tau Alpha and the fraternity Delta Tau Delta come to campus Vanderbilt dining workers and the students that support their causes clash with the administration and fight for living wage and employment assistance in the summer in a movement known as “OUR Vanderbilt” (Organized and United for Respect at Vanderbilt) The School of Engineering gets a new dean Percentage of applicants eventually admitted decreases from 21% to 14% In protest of the “all-comer policy”, many religious organizations leave campus, continuing as organizations without university funding and without “Vanderbilt” in their names Students become able to see online evaluations of classes on VOICE View