Fear of being ‘unliked’ in social media makes us forget who we really are

EL PASO – In recent years throughout high school and college, I have seen the use of Facebook and other social media sites such as Instagram associated with negative feelings of insecurity in many of the girls I know and am close to. This topic struck interest in me when I had to write a research paper about a year ago regarding something along the lines of a communication topic. The topic I decided to research was on how social media affects young adults. One interesting fact I found while doing my research was that women spend a lot more time using the internet and other means of social media than men do. It’s because media is everywhere.

The 5th UTEP Queer Prom was sponsored by the Student Development Center, the Queer Student Alliance, the Rainbow Miner Initiative and the Campus Activities Board. (Andrea Castro/Borderzine.com)

UTEP’s Queer Prom relives the prom that should have been

EL PASO – Evening gowns sparkle and rented tuxedos shine in the fond memories of that special evening called prom night, but for Gabriel Romero the prom was just another high school event in which he couldn’t be himself. Many young adults who are a part of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community, struggle with the lack of meaningful memories they have of their prom because they were either too afraid of coming out, or were not allowed to bring the date of their choice. “I never went to my prom because at the moment I just couldn’t bring my boyfriend around,” said Romero. “I wasn’t ready to come out.”

As a fun way to support those who may have been excluded from their prom because of sexual preference, The University of Texas at El Paso’s Queer Student Alliance organized its 5th annual Queer Prom at UTEP on April 13th. About one fourth of all students from elementary age through high school are victims of bullying and harassment while on school property because of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion or sexual orientation, according to the LGBTQ Community Website.

Trevor Vittatoe former University of Texas at EL Paso (UTEP) star quarterback is now an independent corporate distributor for Direct TV. (Andrea Castro/Borderzine.com)

With pro leagues out of reach, many college athletes fall back on their education

EL PASO – Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, arguably two of the greatest athletes of all time, started their pro careers right after high school, skipping college. But for college athletes shooting their last basket or throwing their last touchdown, the end of a season means a transition from a life of organized athletics to a real world of hope and frustration. Although they have one advantage – a college education – in reality a lot of players who do exceptionally well on the college field or court struggle with the fact that they’re out of the limelight once their senior season is over. “It was a hard adjustment at first because you’re used to a routine of practicing and being with the guys,” said Trevor Vittatoe, former University of Texas at EL Paso (UTEP) star quarterback. “After trying for two years, I’ve fallen short of making an NFL roster.”

While Vittatoe waited to get picked by an NFL team, working to make ends meet slowly became a part of his life.

“A Molly is pure. It’s a powder." says a local drug dealer.

Molly sings a siren song on the path to perdition

EL PASO – When musicians such as Kanye West, Juicy J, or Rick Ross rap about Molly, they’re referring to something much different than the beautiful woman or stripper they typically incorporate into their lyrics. Molly, short for molecule, is the slang term for MDMA. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Molly is the powder or crystal form of MDMA, a chemical used in Ecstasy. Although MDMA is considered to be a purer form of Ecstasy, it isn’t uncommon for Molly to be combined with other dangerous chemicals such as methylone, a main ingredient in “bath salts” or a much less harmful chemical such as caffeine, states the DEA. The rising popularity of the drug makes it inevitable that it will be corrupted and laced with other ingredients, which can be fatal.