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Living Today: Issues of modern living

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International   |   Sept. 20, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

STRESS ON CAMPUS

Stress on campus, measured by one survey at record levels for three years, shows no indication of relaxing, according to the Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors, The New York Times reports.

More than 92 percent of students say they occasionally feel overwhelmed by all the tasks they have to perform, says the American College Health Association.

"Students have more demands on their time, they face more competition, and many are coming from less stable homes and increasingly financially stressed families, says Dr. Gregory Snodgrass, of the AUCCCD.

Surveys indicate women score significantly higher than men on every measure of anxiety, career uncertainty, academic pressure, concern about body image and feelings of panic or instability.


CONFIDENTIAL WHISTLE-BLOWING

Recent studies show 75 percent of all workers have information about misconduct within the workplace, but decide to keep quiet for fear of retaliation.

There's a new Web-based tool that allows employees to report ethical violations, harassment, fraud and corruption while remaining anonymous.

"Our system is completely confidential, easy to use and accessible 24-hours a day. And it's protected by the latest encryption technology, so anyone filing a report can do so in a completely safe and secure environment," says David Childers, chief executive of Ethicspoint.

Employees, vendors or even customers can make a report by logging onto ethicspoint.com. Once a report has been made, it gets routed to the appropriate oversight department within the company.

The whistle-blower's identity is never revealed.


INTERNET ENGLISH TURNING UP IN SCHOOL

Almost 60 percent of the online population under age 17 uses instant messaging, according to Nielsen/NetRating. Increasingly, the breezy form of Internet English is jumping into schoolwork as well, according to The New York Times.

To their dismay, teachers say school papers are being written with shortened words, improper capitalization and punctuation and "oic" (oh I see), "nm" (not much), "jk" (just kidding) and "lol" (laughing out loud).

Teachers have deducted points, drawn red circles and tsk-tsked at their classes, yet the errant forms continue.

Teens say, however, they use instant-messaging shorthand without thinking about it. In fact, when some students want to make a point, smiley faces and frowns are turning up on exam papers.


RON MCDONALD PUT OUT TO PASTURE

Ronald McDonald, the star of McDonald's advertising campaigns for the past 30 years, could soon be put out to pasture because of concerns he is too old-fashioned for modern fast-food fans, The Glasgow Herald reports.

The fast-food clown first appeared on television in 1963 and was played by NBC's "Today's" weatherman Willard Scott.

"He's 30 years old -- he's a clown from another era. The kids have moved on," says an advertising executive for McDonalds.

Reaction has been mixed. Eight-year-old Eva McNapp says, "He is quite funny because he tells jokes."

However, her 5-year-old sister says the clown was stupid and adds, "I don't think he is funny at all, I don't like him. I think he should go away."

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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