Category Archives: The Explainer

University of Maryland Bans Hoverboards On Campus


Hoverboards were a burning sensation during the 2015 holiday season. Literally.

This week, the University of Maryland decided to ban them from being used in all university residence halls and The Courtyards apartment complex in reaction to the dozens of fires and injuries caused by these machines. Continue reading University of Maryland Bans Hoverboards On Campus

RUMOR CONTROL: Is Chipotle Really Selling Burritos For $1 Next Week?


One of the United States’ biggest burrito and taco chains has been under fierce scrutiny over the past couple of months.

Chipotle received major backlash due to an unprecedented amount of sicknesses encountered by its consumers. An E. coli outbreak across a number of restaurants nationwide has caused federal investigations and lawsuits against the chain whose motto is “Food with Integrity.” Continue reading RUMOR CONTROL: Is Chipotle Really Selling Burritos For $1 Next Week?

Multiple People Dead in Shooting at Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic


Two individuals and a police officer were killed in a shooting that occurred Friday at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, according to The New York Times.

The shooting was in Colorado Springs and injured 9 other people. It started at about 1:30 p.m. ET and lasted around six hours in a standoff with police.

People in the nearby buildings were on lockdown for hours, including in a shopping center close by. Police told them to take shelter wherever they were located during the shooting.

The suspect is in custody has been identified as 59-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. His motives are unclear at this time and it is unknown if the clinic was his intended target.

Police are now investigating several objects that the suspect brought into the clinic to see if they are explosives. His car is also being examined.

The police officer killed was identified as Garrett Swasey, who worked on the University of Colorado police force for the past six years.

This event has come soon after a controversy from Planned Parenthood that involved videos of officials from the organization discussing the use of fetal organs for research.

The controversy has led to a bill in Congress that will defund Planned Parenthood for at least the next year. This bill, according to the text, can be cited as the “Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015.” It passed The U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 241 representatives supporting the bill on September 18 of this year. If the bill passes the Senate vote and is signed by the president, it becomes law.

At the moment, police do not know of any connection between the controversy and the shooting.

Click here to see graphics by The New York Times involving the shooting.

Multiple Tragedies Occurred the Day of the Paris Attacks


On the night of Friday, Nov. 13, multiple coordinated attacks occurred in Paris. There were hostages at a concert, suicide bombers near the local soccer stadium and mass shootings at restaurants. However, the Paris attacks overshadowed many other events that occurred on that Friday, and the day before, as well.

In Baghdad there was a funeral bombing the same day of the Paris attacks. It killed at least 18 people and injured 41 others. The funeral was for a pro-government Shi’ite Muslim Fighter, part of the Hashid Shaabi group that helps to fight against the Islamic State, who claimed the attack as one of their own.

Continue reading Multiple Tragedies Occurred the Day of the Paris Attacks

Colorado Students Spread Nude Photos Using App


Authorities say some students at Cañon City High School have been part of a large sexting ring.

300 to 400 nude photos had been circulating around the high school and the ring involved over 100 students, some of whom may be in middle school. In a town with only 16,000 people and a high school of 1,000 the sexting ring has become a big deal for local authorities.

Most of the students involved are part of the high school football team, the Cañon City Tigers. Due to players’ involvement in the ring,  the Tigers had to forfeit their last football game of the season. A separate meeting was held for the parents of the team and for other students involved in the scandal, according to the New York Times.

The students involved used “ghost apps,” applications with secret vaults used to hide anything from photos to notes, which was why no one initially found out about the sexting ring. The applications are also called vault apps, and can appear to look similar to the calculator app on phones.

Courtesy of the New York Times
Courtesy of the New York Times

There was also a point system used for students who collected photographs. Different point values were assigned to different students, according to the New York Times. Students would gain points by adding the photos to their collections.

Some students have already been suspended, but officials don’t exactly know how to proceed. Usually, students would be charged with child pornography charges, but most of them are minors themselves, which makes the question of how to go about disciplining students tough to answer.

Yet, this high school is not the only place where teenagers are sending nude photographs to classmates. 54 percent of teens under the age of 18 surveyed said that they have sexted before, according to Time Magazine. This is a growing national trend, and officials in the small Colorado town are astounded at how large the sexting ring became.

Drugs and Needles found in Halloween Candy Across the Nation


Halloween might be fun for children of all ages, but after the initial trick or treat tradition, parents have to then worry about what exactly was given to their child. Children with allergies, such as the peanut allergy, are the most at risk of receiving candy that can hurt them. However, this past Halloween, there were incidents that frightened parents of children who usually aren’t at risk of having a reaction from Halloween candy.

Drugs were found in children’s candy in the town of Poughkeepsie, NY. The Poughkeepsie Galleria, the local mall of the town, hosts an annual event where children (and others) can go trick or treating at vendors. This year, parents were in for a surprise when the event was cancelled midway through after a report to police of a pink pill inside of a Snickers bar. Joanne Turner called in the report after her 13-year-old daughter discovered a tampered Snickers slit in half, with the pill sticking out. Police are still investigating the incident.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 12.25.05 AM Continue reading Drugs and Needles found in Halloween Candy Across the Nation

Snapchat’s New Policy Changes: Don’t Worry You Still Have Your Privacy


The Internet was rattled after Snapchat released their newest policy changes causing rumors to circulate that its changes now allow for the company to use people’s content as they see fit. But recently, Snapchat released a statement on their Tumblr page to clarify any confusion about the policy update.

One of the biggest concerns which resonated throughout multiple articles and comments on the Internet revolved around the issue of privacy. Continue reading Snapchat’s New Policy Changes: Don’t Worry You Still Have Your Privacy

College Park city council takes initiatives to make community more livable


The city of College Park has been plagued with 259 crimes, mostly larceny and burglary, as of this August—over half of the number of crimes for the entire year of 2014.

In response to the crime in the area, the College Park city council has made efforts to make the community more livable for all residents of the city. The Neighborhood Quality of Life Committee was adopted in September of 2013 to replace the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Work Group, originally formed in 2012. The committee was formed to “engage with various stakeholders, including the University of Maryland, city residents, UMD students, public safety officials, and rental property owners, to identify possible strategies to stabilize neighborhoods,” according to the group’s resolution.

Continue reading College Park city council takes initiatives to make community more livable

One year later, UMD’s Big Ten move reaps more than athletic benefits


The University of Maryland’s move to the Big Ten athletic conference after 61 years in the Atlantic Coast Conference brought about more money for the school, but it also included more academic opportunities for students in the forms of research and resources.

By joining the Big Ten, UMD also joined the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a partnership of universities in the athletic conference that “collaborate on research projects, offer educational opportunities for students , and share resources in areas such as purchasing and buying libraries,” according to the university website.

Continue reading One year later, UMD’s Big Ten move reaps more than athletic benefits

How do University of Maryland students afford school?


At the University of Maryland, students are eligible to apply for many forms of financial aid. The university offers federal work study, scholarships and grants, but most often, students take out loans to pay for school.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, “42.5 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $9,213.”

Continue reading How do University of Maryland students afford school?