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A Collegiette's Guide to Life

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    Just as we were recovering from all the free guac we consumed on National Avocado Day, Chipotle has made the headlines again — but this time it’s not for more amazing food deals. According to Dayton Daily News, a Chipotle in Powell, Ohio is suspected of having caused more than 700 cases of food-borne illness.

    Health officials told ABC News that people “complained of symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea”. The restaurant was closed as soon as reports about the outbreak surfaced but then reopened on July 31st.

    Health officials continue to investigate the possible cause of the outbreak, according to a Twitter update on August 6th.

     

    It’s not the first time that Chipotle’s made the news for causing food-related illnesses. After 53 reported E. coli outbreaks in 2015 and 2016, the Mexican grill chain was trying all it could to make up for its tainted reputation. With stricter food regulations and burrito discounts , Chipotle was finally on its way to recovery, according to Eater.

    Now, with these newly reported food outbreaks, Chipotle has plummeted into more legal and financial turmoil as the chain finds itself facing at least two lawsuits. And Attorney Ron Simon tells Delish that these will only be “the first of many lawsuits we will be filing on behalf of local residents who were sickened by contaminated Chipotle food”. Although the outbreaks were only in Ohio, it looks like we’ll be avoiding the chain for a while even if their guac is hard to resist.


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    Benefit Cosmetics is honestly just ~benefiting~ us with all the news lately. From the Benefit Brow Contour Pro to That Lady Thing to Benefit’s new foundation, the brand have been ever-present in our newsfeeds, bathroom counters and our faces lately. Now, Benefit Cosmetics is blessing our news cycle yet again, this time by inhabiting shelves at Urban Outfitters.

    That’s right: Urban Outfitters will now carry Benefit Cosmetics products. While we’re still raising our brows at the Brow Contour Pro, we’re all for Benefit Cosmetics expanding to other venues. According to Popsugar, Urban Outfitters has officially started stocking the beauty brand known for its mascara, Benefit Cosmetics. Allure notes that Urban Outfitters won’t sell Benefit Cosmetics’ entire selection at the apparel conglomerate, but the company will retrofit 35 beauty products onto its shelves.

    Urban Outfitters is already well-versed in skincare and makeup-derived products. The apparel store already sells an array of nutrition and wellness products and K-beauty products. Though Benefit Cosmetics’ partnership with Urban Outfitters will serve an abridged version of our beneficial faves, Urban Outfitters will sell the new Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation, our new fave the Brow Contour Pro, and to the classic Hoola Bronzer.

    Although Urban Outfitters is largely known for its controversy and clothing, the company is vicariously breaking into the beauty industry. From Thayers to Mario Badescu and even Milk Makeup, Urban Outfitters already sells a hodge podge of skincare and beauty products. Regardless, we’re glad to see Benefit Cosmetics has also found a home on Urban Outfitters’ shelves.


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    Drama. Gossip. It can be entertaining when you’re not involved, but when it’s affecting your own friendships, it can be truly disheartening. Unfortunately, even as we get older, conflicts still erupt from time to time with friends. You may be worried because you don't want to lose your friend  because of the fight, but you also want to hold your ground and defend yourself. Even the healthiest relationships are affected by drama, so stay calm and follow these tips to surviving a fight with a friend without completely wrecking your relationship.

    1. Spend some time apart

    People disagree and make mistakes; we’re human and it happens. The best thing to do is to take a step back from the fight and recollect your feelings and thoughts. Dig deep into why you might be fighting instead of what the fight is actually about. Fights can bring up rage and anger, but reflecting on other aspects of your life can make you realize there’s a deeper explanation for your conflict. You or your friend may be feeling jealous or inadequate, or perhaps your friend is insecure about the declining time you’ve spent together. Maybe they’re jealous of your success, or you’re taking out your anger from work out on them. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to find the root cause of conflict and work from there. During this time, you may realize the fight was not worth arguing about after all.

    Emma, a sophomore from Lehigh University, says "My friend and I were having more fights than usual in the span of a few weeks and I started to think we were going to drift apart for good. We spent more time apart and during this time I realized we were both extremely stressed from other factors like school and work so we were just taking anger out on each other."

    Emma's experience with taking a step back in a friendship highlights the fact that not all fights are the be-all-end-all of relationships. Evaluating what may be causing the issues in the first place can help alleviate the tension in the long run.

    2. Ask your friend to meet

    This may be a difficult task if you’re not on speaking terms, but you should reach out once you feel level-headed and ready to talk through your emotions to reconnect. It may be a rocky start, but it’s worth it in the end if you get your friend back. They probably miss you as well and don’t want the stress of this to affect their life anymore.

    Send your pal a text suggesting to meet up in a coffee shop or another favorite spot of yours. Picking a public place will also help discourage any yelling while discussing the fight and instead foster open communication and listening to the other party's perspective.

    If your friend turns down the idea of meeting up, they may not be ready to face you in light of the events. Give them some more time to consider your proposition and say that you are ready to talk about it whenever they are. Mention that you'd like to put things in the past if possible. By explaining the reason you'd like to see them face to face they may be more inclined to say yes. If they're still reluctant for a meetup, ask if a phone call would be easier and more convenient. Try to avoid sending long texts, however, because your tone and emotion may be misconstrued

    3. Calmly explain how you've been feeling

    Once you're able to meet them in person, you're now able to share how you felt and why you'd like to move forward. Plan on what you'd like to say to your friend so you don't forget to bring up something important such as a boundary you may want to establish so these fights don't happen in the future. Also, practice what you'd like to say so you don't get too overwhelmed or nervous in the actual moment!

    Don’t attack your friend and immediately list all of their shortcomings once you sit down together. Explain how you felt during the fight and how you feel now. Giving background information about what was going through your head will allow your friend to empathize with you and see things from your perspective. After this, allow them to share their emotions as well. Molly*, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, says “My friend let me down repeatedly and there was a lot of built-up resentment over time. I finally cracked and told her how I felt, it was very difficult but I’m so glad I did it.” Molly confronted her friend about how she was feeling so they could build back trust and understanding in the relationship. She felt better afterward, and so will you. 

    4. Recognize when you have to apologize 

    Having a healthy relationship with someone means that both people should be taking some responsibility no matter how small or silly the fight. If you’re able to put your pride aside and apologize, it shows that you care more about the relationship itself than winning the argument, and that’s huge. It’s fine if you still don’t agree about the argument itself, but you can apologize for how you made the other person feel. No one wants to make their friends feel like crap. Both people should be owning up to what they’ve done.

    5. Move forward

    Sometimes relationships can never move forward from fights because friends get too caught up in the nitty gritty of who said what and what happened then. If you truly mean an apology, then moving forward should be easy. Put the fight to rest, catch up with your bestie and start doing life together again. Life is way to too short for grudges and bad vibes.

    But this also means you may have to move away from a friendship. Taylor*, a junior from Lehigh University, says “Unfortunately, my friend was never able to apologize to me after I said sorry to her. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about at this point, but I remember how she made me feel and she could never admit to her mistakes. We’re not friends anymore but I learned a lot about myself and how I should be treated moving forward.” Sometimes moving forward means saying goodbye to a friend, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You can decide who you want in your life so stay true to yourself like Taylor had when you feel like something just isn’t right.

    Fights can be petty and hurtful, but they’re inevitable throughout life. However, silent treatments and grudges don’t have to be forever if both you and your friend reflect on what’s really going on. Using this tips will help you to have healthy relationships and better conflict resolution in the future. Good luck!


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    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a series of changes to the annual Academy Awards on Wednesday, including the introduction of a new category. According to President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson, the show's telecast will be shortened to a firm three hours, and the ceremony itself will be moved to an earlier date.

    The new category will honor "outstanding achievement in popular film," according to the Academy's message to its members. This is the first addition to the awards slate since 2001, when best animated feature was introduced. The move has been attributed to low ratings — last year's telecast was the least-watched in history— along with the recent success of Black Panther. According to Vanity Fair, Disney has been planning an awards campaign that includes a best-picture nomination for the film. However, many have been quick to point out that the new category could be a cop-out to avoid nominating box office hits for the top award. Bailey and Hudson did not relay when the popular category would be implemented, though. 

    The addition to the awards lineup seems to reflect a move the Academy made ten years ago, VF reported. When the Oscars failed to nominate The Dark Knight for best picture, the awards show faced serious backlash. "In a move widely believed to be a response to the backlash, the Academy then broadened the best-picture category from 5 nominees to 10, adding wiggle room for movies that otherwise don’t meet the institution’s stringent standards,"VF reported. 

    Another prominent change, the shortened telecast, will take the show from over four hours to a strict three. "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)," the Academy's letter read. "The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast."

    Bailey and Hudson said a three-hour telecast will deliver "a more accessible Oscars" for viewers worldwide. 

    As far as the earlier airdate for the awards show, the 91st Oscars — A.K.A. the show in 2019, honoring 2018's films — won't be affected. However, the 92nd Oscars will move from February 23, 2020 to February 9. That's a whole month earlier than this year's telecast. 

    According to the Academy's letter, more information about the popular film category will be announced soon. Read the full message here.


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    Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have declared states of emergency ahead of this weekend's one-year anniversary of the violent white nationalist rally that left one woman dead and several others injured

    The declaration will allow the Virginia National Guard and state agencies to assist local law enforcement with security efforts, as "multiple events" are planned to mark the anniversary. One of these is being organized by Jason Kessler, who helped plan the initial "Unite the Right" rally. This year's will reportedly take place in Washington D.C. since Kessler was denied a permit by the city of Charlottesville. He was initially seeking permission for a 400-person rally

    "Virginia continues to mourn the three Virginians who lost their lives in the course of the demonstrations a year ago. We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully," Northam said. "I am urging Virginians to make alternative plans to engaging with planned demonstrations of hate, should those arise. Declaring this state of emergency in advance of the anniversary and the related planned events will help us ensure that the state and the city have all available resources to support emergency responders in case they are needed." 

    Northam was referring to the deaths of 32-year-old Heather Heyer and two police officers killed in a helicopter crash that same day. Heyer was killed when James Alex Fields allegedly drove a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists. Dozens of additional protesters were injured.

    According to CBS News, Charlottesville authorities faced "unrelenting criticism" afterward because of their failure to respond to the violence at the rally. A report released in December from former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy showed that state and city police weren't properly prepared, and that officers took a passive response to the chaos. This apparently led to a "deep distrust of government" in the local community.

    "We have learned many lessons from the tragic events of August 12, 2017. For the anniversary of that difficult August weekend which resulted in three lost lives, the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia are working closely with law enforcement and public safety agencies from around Virginia to plan for potential events and to keep our city safe from violence,"said Charlottesville's Interim City Manager Mike Murphy, addressing concerns similar to those raised by Heaphy's report. "We join the Commonwealth in declaring a state of emergency in advance of these planned events to ensure all available resources are in place and that we are fully prepared to keep the peace in Charlottesville August 10-12." 

    Despite planned road closures, parking restrictions and a heavy police presence, counter-protesters to white nationalist groups have pledged to show up should the groups hold any rallies or events. 


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    Denise Richards confirmed the rumor that's been circulating the Bravo fanbase for months: she's joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! The actress will star in the show's upcoming ninth season. 

    "I am so excited to join the cast of [RHOBH] as I am a huge fan of the show," Richards told PEOPLE, who first reported the news. 

    All of season eight's cast — Kyle Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave and Dorit Kemsley — are expected to join her.

    "I am looking forward to spending time with all the ladies... and hopefully meeting Boy George!!" Richards said, noting the '80s star who happens to also be Kemsley's friend. 

     

    #bts looking over my lines for the day 📸: @lexikleyla

    A post shared by Denise Richards (@deniserichards) on

    According to PEOPLE, Richards is already friends with Kyle and Lisa Rinna. She's even wanted to join the show before, but "the timing was never right,"a source told the magazine. Why now? The producers "needed to shake the dynamic of the show up after a season without much conflict."

    A.K.A. a snorefest of a season. Luckily, Richards is "not afraid of the drama," the source added. "And she lives a glamorous, Hollywood life — which the show lives for."

    Plus, Richards has (very briefly) been on the show before. She made a cameo during season five. Richards also had her own reality show, Denise RIchards: It's Complicated, before it ended in 2009. 

    Richards has three daughters, two of which are from her since-ended marriage to Charlie Sheen. 

    RHOBH season 9 is set to premiere later this year. 


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    From classes to coffee dates, club meetings and campus events, you have a lot going on during the school year. It’s easy to forget things if you don’t write them down, so step up your organization game with these functional (and stylish!) planners.

    If you're environmentally friendly...

    Made with recycled materials, this watercolor planner ($21.99, Target) will help you stay organized while going green, aka you'll be winning all around. Pick between two sizes for the perfect fit, and with monthly and weekly formats, you’ll never forget a homework assignment again.

    If you're always on the go...

    This millennial pink planner is not only adorable; it also informs everyone just how busy you are. ban.do is all the rage when it comes to planners, and for good reason—the fun stickers and quirky illustrations can add some whimsy to your packed calendar, while the simple design will keep you from feeling too overwhelmed by all your upcoming deadlines and events.

    If you've always got a ton going on...

    You’ll have everything you need and more with this classic Lilly Pulitzer planner ($22). Stay organized from August 2018 through December 2019 with these monthly calendar pages, dates to remember, notes, sticker pages and even a pen loop.

    If you're a fan of DIY...

    The contents of your planner are all about you, so why shouldn't the design be as well? We love that you can fully design the cover of the LifePlanner with your name and all your favorite pictures. Then on the inside, you get to pick your color scheme, weekly layout and calendar span—this is such an upgrade from that generic spiral notebook you were using last semester. It is a little pricey at $55 (Erin Condren), but this one-of-a-kind planner is worth the investment.

    If checking things off your to-do list is your favorite feeling...

    Checklist lovers, we’ve got the planner for you! This Mini Daily Planner (Day Designer, $49) has a unique design: instead of a weekly layout, it has over 300 blank daily checklists. Each day, fill out your schedule (from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and write your to-do list, including your three most important tasks at the top. There’s also an inspirational quote and notes section for each day to keep you on the grind. We guarantee you’ll feel super accomplished every time you check something off.

    If you don't want bells and whistles...

    Sometimes simple is better. We recommend this minimal weekly planner from Emily Ley ($48) to help you focus on the basics. Write down all your assignments for the week in the large daily sections and go big-picture by planning ahead with the monthly tabs. No fuss, no problem.

    No matter how hectic your schedule gets this year, keep calm and organized with these awesome planners. You’ll never miss an assignment or forget a lunch date again—and even if you don't have it all together, pulling one of these out of your bag will at least give people the impression that you do.


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    Oh makeup, how we love thee. But with so many brands to choose from, how’s a girl supposed to decide which one is best? By trusting the stars (and us) to guide you in the right direction. So without further ado, here is your spirit beauty brand, based on your zodiac sign.

    Leo – Kylie Cosmetics

    As a passionate and fun person, you love trying new products that are well-made, so Kylie Cosmeticsis perfect for you! The brand releases new collections throughout the year, like the Koko Kollection, which features three matte liquid lipsticks, a gloss and a face palette. They’ve also released summer and holiday collections, plus a bunch of other collections and collabs with Kylie’s sisters, so there’s always something fun to look out for!

     

    A post shared by Kylie Cosmetics (@kyliecosmetics) on

    Virgo – Maybelline

    As a Virgo, you aren’t drawn to the trendiest products and newest beauty fads. You like a brand that is practical, approachable and reliable. That’s why Maybelline is your brand! With timeless products like their ​Great Lash mascara and their Baby Lips lip balm, people will be wondering if you really were just born with it.

    Libra – Anastasia Beverly Hills

    A lover of all things pretty and alluring, you like to wow people with your looks. Anastasia Beverly Hills has some amazing products to help you do that, from their Moonchild Glow Kit highlighter palette to their liquid lipsticks to their Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. You will be turning headseverywhere you go with the fierce looks you can create from this brand’s products.

    Scorpio – Kat Von D

    Few signs embody powerful and passionate as much as you, and few brands embody these traits as much as Kat Von D. Some of her tried and true products are her Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, Tattoo Liner, and the Alchemist Holographic eyeshadow palette. Her products will have you feeling fierce AF.

     

    A post shared by Kat Von D Beauty (@katvondbeauty) on

    Related: Your Perfect Summer Shoe, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

    Sagittarius – Lime Crime

    If there were any brand to describe your optimistic, free spirit, it would be Lime Crime and their bright, colorful products, like Unicorn Hair dye and lip toppers called Diamond Crushers. Their vibrant products perfectly match your vibrant personality.

    Capricorn – Yves Saint Laurent

    Yves Saint Laurent is a brand made for people who don’t mess around. In other words, YSL was made for Capricorns. You want good, gorgeous products that will make you feel like the HBIC you are. They have everything from powerful fragrances to bold lip stains. It might be a little pricey, but if you’re going to treat yourself to some beauty products, you might as well go for it.

    Aquarius – Tarte

    As an Aquarius, you are caring and loyal. Tarte speaks to that. Tarte is a vegan, cruelty-free brand, which speaks to your humanitarian side. Their customers are super loyal, too, and for good reason. Products like their Shape Tape Contour Concealer and their Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara, are staples in beauty gurus' makeup routine. Plus, their Rainforest of the Sea line is perfect for expressing your inner air sign.

     

    A post shared by Tarte Cosmetics (@tartecosmetics) on

    Pisces – Jeffree Star Cosmetics

    The best word to describe you would be imaginative, and few beauty brands understand this as well as Jeffree Star Cosmetics. They have lip colors for days, like the statement purple shade You. Better. Work. and the deep crimson shade Unicorn Blood. Jeffree Star says the fun thing about his lip colors is that you can use them on your eyes too. Think of all the looks you can create with these! And that’s not even mentioning his highlighters and eyeshadow palettes. What are you waiting for?!

    Aries – Bésame

    “Adventure is out there” is your life motto, so you need a beauty brand that is unlike any other. Enter: Bésame. Founded by cosmetic historian Gabriela Hernandez, Bésame creates makeup that showcases the colors and trends of the past. One of their most interesting products is theircake mascara. Available in black and brown, cake mascara is a block of product that comes in a tin and can be used as mascara, eyeliner or even on your brows! Unique, vintage and versatile? Sign us up!

    Taurus – Clinique

    When it comes to beauty, you like a brand that is reliable and easy to use. Clinique is the epitome of these qualities. Their products are simple but beautiful. They have everything from the Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer to a new line of lipsticks with primers built into the formula. Pretty and efficient, just like you!

     

    A post shared by Clinique (@clinique) on

    Gemini – Too Faced

    Represented by the twins, there is no better beauty brand to describe you than Too Faced. Outside of that, Too Faced also offers tons of pretty, versatile products that you’ll love, like their classic Better Than Sex Mascara or their Melted Matte liquid lipsticks. This brand is charming and whimsical, just like you!

    Cancer – Urban Decay

    You are an imaginative and loyal person, who loves their tried-and-trues, so what better beauty brand for you than Urban Decay? The brand is full of fun, reliable products that will help you pull off everything from a natural look to anything your creative mind comes up with! They have all sorts of different products, but some of their most snag-worthy are the Naked eyeshadow palettes and the All Nighter setting spray. Their products are perfect for everyone from the makeup novice and the makeup artist.

    When it comes to makeup, everyone’s different. Some like a natural look, others like full glam. No matter what your beauty aesthetic is, makeup should exist to make you feel good. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to the beauty game or basically a beauty guru. What matters is that you’re having fun and feel comfortable in your own skin, with or without makeup. 


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    This article has been syndicated from Daily Cup of JOJO, an InfluenceHer Collective Member. Read the full post here

    “How do you travel so often?” “Do you even work?” “How do you afford all the trips you take?” 

    I assure you, I do work a full-time job. My secret is planning and knowing where to look. I’ve taught myself how to choose my destinations, time my travel well, and be prepared for all costs so I don’t have to make emergency arrangements. I’ve gathered the best possible tips on traveling in style without breaking the bank.

    Choose quiet periods

    Your travel money will take you much further if you decide to go during the off seasons. Airlines and hotels will automatically put their prices up as soon as the first group of tourists set off. Let me tell you: it's really not all that different than peak seasons. It’s less crowded and every once in a while you might run into a place that is closed for the season, but tourism is so significant now that it's a rare sighting. Plus, those that decide to stay open will offer a good discount for those that turn up. BONUS: If you have a good TripAdvisor profile or are a social media influencer, you can probably sweet talk your way to an even better deal.
     

    Improve your backpacking skills 

    If you want to see some of the popular places and can’t afford the accommodation, you might decide to go backpacking. This isn’t my forte, but it can be done in moderation. There are several hostels and Airbnb accommodations available around the world. Traveling off the beaten path will save you a fortune on your trip. For example, staying just outside major cities like Paris, Rome or even Los Angeles and taking the public transportation can take half off your total vacation cost.
     

    Learn the languages

    I have repeated this time and time again. It is so useful if you get in with the locals. You will undoubtedly have an advantage over other tourists. Get tips on how to get to the main attractions, save money on travel, and you might even get invited to stay with your new friends when you come back! Before you visit a new country, try to learn some basic phrases.
     

    Stay off the beaten path

    Stay away from the popular destinations. I touched on this earlier, but there are so many stunning places in the world to explore, such as the Grand Canyon, Azerbaijan or some of the newest European countries, like Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Think out of the box, and then think out of their box. You don’t have to go where the crowd is — your custom and money will be more appreciated by locals if they are not used to tourists in the region.
     

    Learn how to spot deals

    To start hunting for great travel packages, you will need to find coupons, discount apps, and third party websites. You can often save money if you book a vacation as a package instead of paying for your tours separately. You can also get tours for less than you would think if you know where to look and search for discount offers. Search once, search again and then look one more time. Deals are always changing, and you never know when prices could drop. If something seems too good to be true, book it. Don’t wait because chances are, it won’t come around again.
     
    Pro tip: Use incognito windows so travel websites can't track your Internet movements. Rates go up if they see you’re checking travel websites (ugh).
     
    If you want to save money on traveling the world, you need to change your mindset. Instead of following the flock of tourists around, style your own vacations and learn how to spot the best dates, deals and destinations.
     
    Read the full post here

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    The gender wage gap is real.  For every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 80 cents, and for women of color the gaps between those earnings only decrease.

    Many critics have long argued that the reason for the disproportion in incomes between genders is because of a woman’s inability to ask for a raise, and that women in general are more timid and do not want to disrupt their workplace with a probing question. But a recent peer reviewed study by the Harvard Business Review just debunked that myth entirely. 

    The study randomly selected 4,600 employees across 800 different workplaces in Australia and went beyond the normal realms of surveys and recorded people’s motivations with more personalized questions that hoped to capture their “asking” behavior. Some of those included, “Have you attempted to attain a better wage/salary for yourself since you commenced employment with this employer?” “Were you successful?” “Why have you not attempted to attain a better wage/promotion for yourself since you commenced your employment?”

    The study concluded that women and men ask for raises in equal numbers, but men receive them 20 percent of the time, while women only receive them 15 percent of the time.

    Factors like age, status in the workplace and education were all recorded, but showed that none of those affected a woman’s ability to receive a raise, even when asked. 

    While the 5 percent difference may not seem large, over time it can (and definitely does) add up. Women have long been hardwired to believe that if they have a seat at the table, they should be grateful for that seat, and not challenge those above them for a better seat. This narrative also plays into the exhausting anecdote that women do not have what it takes to serve as CEO, because of their inability to ask for more, when in reality they are asking just as much. 

    A recent report by the New York Timesfound that, “Fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John,” making this a definitive indicator that for women in corporate America, the glass ceiling is far from being cracked. Or even more so, that for the women who are attempting to break through, they are more than likely having to do so with their male boss’s approval. 

    The study concludes by saying, “The bottom line is that the patterns we have found are consistent with the idea that women’s requests for advancement are treated differently from men’s requests.  Asking does not mean getting — at least if you are a female.” 

    While the tides are slowly changing for women, the reality is that there is still a long way to go. 


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    Contains content sponsored by Mylan

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ladies, when’s the last time you thought about your current birth control method? Chances are, you discussed it with your doctor, began a method and never looked back at that decision. But have you started wondering about other options?  Sure, it works – but birth control should be more than something you feel just OK about. Does it fit your busy schedule? Is it a method you want to keep using?

    With so many contraceptive options these days, it can be hard to keep up with available choices. That’s why we’re here to make sure you’ve got the information on a weekly option, especially if you want to consider an effective method (when used as directed)* that doesn't need to be taken every day like the pill.

    *IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

    Scroll below for Boxed WARNING, Indication, Limitation of Use and Important Safety Information,

    Boxed WARNING

    What is the most important information I should know about Xulane?
    Do not use Xulane if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from hormonal birth control methods, including death from heart attack, blood clots or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.
    Women 15 to 44 years of age who use Xulane may have an increased risk of blood clots compared to women who use certain birth control pills.
    You will be exposed to about 60% more estrogen if you use Xulane than if you use a typical birth control pill containing 35 micrograms of estrogen. In general, increased estrogen may increase the risk of side effects, including blood clots.

    Please see additional Important Safety Information continued below.

    What is Xulane?

    Xulane® is a prescription contraceptive patch used for the prevention of pregnancy in women who choose to use a transdermal patch.

    Limitation of Use:

    Xulane may not be as effective in women weighing more than 198 lbs (90 kg). 

    If you weigh more than 198 lbs. (90 kg), talk to your healthcare professional about which method of birth control is right for you.

    Hormonal birth control methods help to lower the chances of becoming pregnant. They do not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.

    If you’ve been on the same birth control method for a while, why not learn about another method?  You’ve got options, so explore them!  

    Learn more about the birth control patch and talk with your healthcare provider to find out if Xulane might be right for you.

    Who should not use Xulane?

    Do not use Xulane if you:

    • Smoke and are over 35 years old
    • Have or have had blood clots in your arms, legs, eyes or lungs
    • Have an inherited problem that makes your blood clot more than normal
    • Have had a stroke
    • Have had a heart attack
    • Have certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
    • Have high blood pressure that medicine cannot control
    • Have diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
    • Have had certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness or changes in vision, or have any migraine headaches if you are over age 35
    • Have liver disease, including liver tumors (benign or cancerous)
    • Take any Hepatitis C drug combination containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir.  This may increase levels of the liver enzyme “alanine aminotransferase” (ALT) in the blood.
    • Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
    • Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. However, Xulane is not known to cause birth defects when used by accident during pregnancy.
    • Have had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones

    Hormonal birth control methods may not be a good choice for you if you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy or related to previous use of hormonal birth control.

    Tell your healthcare professional if you have ever had any of the above conditions. Your healthcare professional may recommend another method of birth control.

    Before you use Xulane tell your healthcare professional:

    • About all your medical conditions.
    • If you are pregnant or think you are pregnant.
    • If you are scheduled for surgery. Xulane may increase your risk of blood clots after surgery. You should stop using your Xulane patch at least 4 weeks before you have surgery and not restart it until at least 2 weeks after your surgery.
    • If you are or will be inactive or immobilized for a long period of time.
    • If you are scheduled for any laboratory tests. Certain blood tests may be affected by hormonal birth control methods.
    • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Hormonal birth control methods that contain estrogen, like Xulane, may decrease the amount of milk you make. A small amount of hormones from the Xulane patch may pass into your breast milk. Consider another method of birth control until you are ready to stop breastfeeding.

    Tell your healthcare professional about all medicines and herbal products that you take.

    Some medicines and herbal products may make hormonal birth control less effective, including, but not limited to:

    • Certain seizure medicines (carbamazepine, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, rufinamide, and topiramate)
    • Aprepitant
    • Barbiturates
    • Bosentan
    • Griseofulvin
    • Certain combinations of HIV medicines (nelfinavir, ritonavir, ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors)
    • Certain non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nevirapine)
    • Rifampin and rifabutin
    • St. John’s wort

    Use another birth control method (such as a condom and spermicide or diaphragm and spermicide) when you take medicines that may make the Xulane patch less effective.

    Some medicines and grapefruit juice may increase your level of the hormone ethinyl estradiol if used together, including:

    • acetaminophen
    • ascorbic acid
    • medicines that affect how your liver breaks down other medicines (itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, and fluconazole)
    • certain HIV medicines (atazanavir, indinavir)
    • atorvastatin
    • rosuvastatin
    • etravirine

    Hormonal birth control methods may interact with lamotrigine, an anti-seizure medicine used for epilepsy. This may increase the risk of seizures, so your healthcare professional may need to adjust the dose of lamotrigine.

    Women on thyroid replacement therapy may need increased doses of thyroid hormone.

    Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

    What are the possible side effects of Xulane?

    Xulane may cause serious side effects, including:

    • Blood clots. Like pregnancy, hormonal birth control methods increase the risk of serious blood clots, especially in women who have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age greater than 35. This increased risk is highest when you first start using hormonal birth control and when you restart the same or different hormonal birth control after not using it for a month or more. Some studies have reported that women who use norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol transdermal system have a higher risk of getting a blood clot. Talk with your healthcare professional about your risk of getting a blood clot before using Xulane or deciding which type of birth control is right for you.

    It is possible to die or be permanently disabled from a problem caused by a blood clot, such as a heart attack or a stroke. Some examples of serious blood clots are blood clots in the:

    • • legs (deep vein thrombosis)
    • • lungs (pulmonary embolus)
    • • eyes (loss of eyesight)
    • • heart (heart attack)
    • • brain (stroke)

    Call your healthcare professional right away if you have:

    • • leg pain that will not go away
    • • sudden shortness of breath
    • • sudden blindness, partial or complete
    • • severe pain or pressure in your chest
    • • sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
    • • weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking
    • • yellowing of the skin or eyeballs

    Other serious risks include:

    • • liver problems including liver tumors
    • • gallbladder disease
    • • high blood pressure

    The most common side effects of Xulane are:

    • • breast symptoms (discomfort, swelling, or pain)
    • • nausea
    • • headache
    • • skin irritation, redness, pain, swelling, itching or rash at the patch application site
    • • stomach pain
    • • pain during menstruation
    • • vaginal bleeding and menstrual disorders, such as spotting or bleeding between periods
    • • mood, affect and anxiety disorders

    Some women have spotting or light bleeding, breast tenderness, or feel sick to their stomach during norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol transdermal system use. If these symptoms occur, do not stop using the Xulane patch. The problem will usually go away. If it doesn't go away, check with your healthcare professional.

    Less common side effects are:

    • • acne
    • • less sexual desire
    • • bloating or fluid retention
    • • blotchy darkening of your skin, especially your face
    • • high blood sugar, especially in women with diabetes
    • • high fat (cholesterol, triglycerides) levels in the blood
    • • depression, especially if you have had depression in the past. Call your healthcare professional immediately if you have any thoughts of harming yourself.
    • • problems tolerating contact lenses
    • • weight gain

    Tell your healthcare professional about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Xulane. For more information, ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist.

    What should I know about my period when using Xulane?

    • • When you use Xulane, you may have bleeding and spotting between periods called unplanned bleeding. Such bleeding may be temporary and usually does not indicate any serious problems. It is important to continue using the patch on schedule. If the unplanned bleeding or spotting is heavy or lasts for more than a few days, you should discuss this with your healthcare professional.

    What if I miss my scheduled period when using Xulane?

    • • Some women miss periods on hormonal birth control, even when they are not pregnant. However, if you go 2 or more months in a row without a period, or you miss your period after a month where you did not use all of your patches correctly, or you have symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as morning sickness or unusual breast tenderness, call your healthcare professional because you may be pregnant. Stop taking Xulane if you are pregnant.

    How do I use Xulane after childbirth?

    • • If you are not breastfeeding, wait 4 weeks before using Xulane and use a non-hormonal contraceptive method of birth control, such as a condom and spermicide or diaphragm and spermicide, for the first 7 days of your first cycle only. If you have had sex since your baby was born, wait for your first period, or see your healthcare provider to make sure you are not pregnant before starting Xulane.

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. 

    Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    This is not all of the information you should read prior to using Xulane. Click here for full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING and Patient Information

     

    Meet the Xulane® Patch

    Get to know Xulane® (zu-lane) – it’s a prescription birth control patch you apply just once a week. Whether it’s your late-night study sessions, your spontaneous date night, that concert you scored tickets to – Xulane is the birth control that is designed to stick with you wherever you go.

    You apply a new patch to your skin on the same day each week for three weeks, with week 4 being patch-free.  (Yes, it’s that easy!) Just make sure to check Xulane every day to make sure it’s sticking properly, like when you’re getting dressed in the morning.  FYI, the patch must stay on your skin to work properly. Click here to learn more on how to apply the Xulane patch.

    Obviously Xulane is not for everyone. You should definitely discuss your individual medical history and lifestyle with your healthcare provider to determine if Xulane is right for you.

    If you’ve been on the same birth control method for a while, why not learn about another method? You’ve got options, so explore them! 

    This is not all the information you should read prior to using Xulane. Click here for Full Prescribing Information including Boxed WARNING.

    Xulane is a registered trademark of Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. The Mylan logo is a registered trademark of Mylan Inc. © 2018 Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. All rights reserved.

    XUL-2018-0048


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    While you might already know Skylan Brooks from his role as Ra-Ra Kipling in the binge-worthy series, The Get Down, Brooks is now bringing Chubs (i.e. Charles Meriwether IV) to life in our new favorite book-turned-movie, The Darkest Minds.

    Like the young adult series, The Darkest Minds film focuses on a dystopian landscape, where the government actively imprisons and “rehabilitates” anyone under 18—because the young people of this realm have super-powered abilities. Though the rebellion of the on-screen (and page-bound) teens is an evergreen theme for young activism and standing your ground on your ideologies, The Darkest Minds also serves as a reminder that, particularly today, young people are an empowering force, especially when they culminate their collective abilities and knowledge.

    Beyond the inspiring reminder that The Darkest Minds film illustrates, Brooks talked to us about the importance of young activism, working with Amandla Stenberg, and what it was like to play Chubs (who, btw, is a critical character in both the books and the movie).

    Her Campus:  You portray Chubs in The Darkest Minds, who plays a vital role in Alexandra Bracken’s original books. Is there anything that you’re especially excited for movie-goers to see or learn about your character and his journey?

    Skylan Brooks: I would definitely say his relations and how alike I portrayed him to the book, because most of the scenarios in the book are alike to the movie. I would be most excited for people to see his comedic sense and how he’s very protective of his friends, but very comedic at the same time. The way it comes across, to him it’s pretty normal, but to outsiders, like in the book, he’s very watchful of them.

    HC: Definitely, I know Chubs has a lot of trust issues from what he goes through in the book, and I’m sure you portray that very well on-screen. I’m excited to see that!

    SB: Ah yes, I can’t wait for you to see it. The movie is good—it’s great actually.

    HC: Were there any unique techniques you used to research your role as Chubs?

    SB: At first when I auditioned, I actually didn’t know anything. I didn’t know it was a book; it was just kind of spur of the moment. And they just pulled me when I got off work and they’re like, ‘Hey, we want you to audition.’ And I was like, ‘Huh? Okay.’ I auditioned, and I had no idea what I was doing. But because I didn’t know the book or anything about it at first, I kind of did my own thing. I just tried to relate to the lines and say them as I would say them, just to put my touch on it. Then I found out that this was a book and that people respond to this like how they respond to The Hunger Games or Harry Potter. This is like a fan-based type of thing. I really tried to stay away from reading the book as much as possible because I wanted to be surprised, too. So when I read the script, I kind of got a feel for this character, but I also looked in the book a little bit to see where Chubs is coming from personally. So I kind of infused both, but it’s still organic.

    HC: I think that sense of not having any, or not too many, outside influences to distract you from portraying Chubs help put your own influence on his character.

    SB: It really did. It then gave me a lot of perspective on his headspace, too. A lot of just factoring in the things that matter to him the most.

    HC: Absolutely! What kind of advice, if any, do you think you would take from Chubs and adapt into your own real life?

    SB: You know what, he says a lot of smart things. Well, he says a lot of smart-alec remarks. But, stick together, honestly. I guess, the importance to him of having a supportive group or people you can rely on and trust. In a sense, just wanting to be together. I find that in real life, it’s very hard nowadays because you can have a lot of trust issues, and it’s kind of difficult because everybody’s life is moving a million miles a minute, and we all get caught up in it. We all just kind of want to have something that holds us down, so definitely that.

    HC: Kind of that theme of found family throughout the film and adapting that to your own life.

    SB: Yeah, 100 percent.

     

    [Stills from The Darkest Minds] #thedarkestminds

    A post shared by Skiez (@skylan_b) on

    HC: You also star alongside Amandla Stenberg in The Darkest Minds. What was it like to work with Amandla? And do you have any favorite moments about working on the set of this film?

    SB: Honestly, Amandla is one of the humblest, most chill people I’ve ever worked with, actually. It was really cool getting to actually see her after hearing a lot about her work and to just see the process. She’s very genuine with everything that she does. She’s a very, very caring person. To me, she kind of has like a mother figure role because she just watches over us. But my favorite moments were just some of our scenes together, or just behind the scenes, where there’s not a lot of footage. Well, there’s a B-roll out, where you can see some of it, but it’s just the little inside jokes that we’d all be cracking, and we’d have it while we were in the car shooting the Blue Betty scenes. So basically, it’s just a lot of our personal lives that build along the way, and music references.

    HC: That’s amazing. And it kind of develops another layer of chemistry, both on and off set with you and your co-stars.

    SB: Oh yeah, it was definitely easy to go from being in a scene and then being able to just be like, ‘Yo, so what’s going on after this?’ It’s just like a regular conversation—there wasn’t any static, or it wasn’t hard to focus on each other. It was really, really amazing.

    HC: That’s amazing. Since The Darkest Minds focuses on a group of young people who are physically resisting the government, is there any advice you’d give to young people who are currently trying to balance their own emotional and physical well-being while they’re using their activism and voices to resist problematic issues in society?

    SB: That’s a good question. Definitely, in this film, I think that a lot of it is about just reminding us and empowering ourselves first in any way shape, form or capacity, and reminding us that we do have the power because a lot is being thrown on us now. I see that we are the change. The really cool thing about it is that, from what I’ve seen from my generation so far, is that we are very rebellious to causes that do not fit us. And we’re very outspoken about them. I think that’s a great first step into bringing in what change everybody needs, because of a lot of our youth today, and including Amandla, we talk on topics of things that affect the elderly or just everybody in general. We have a general care for everybody. A lot of that is just giving us the strength or the idea that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. And that it’s safe to figure things out. So, there’s been so much of that, and I could go on forever. But just in general, I would round it off to giving each other hope, which is a big part of the film, because everything can seem really desolate at times—and it’s our reality. But if we don’t come together and try to sort things out and put up a resistance towards the oppression, then there would be a lot of sadness and depression everywhere, and everyone would be affected.

    HC: Absolutely. I think that it’s nice to see this vital film playing a critical role in inspiring people to continue their activism or to start new activism.

    SB: 100 percent, it’s very needed. Also, Amandla has been in The Hate U Give, and that’s another one—with all the racial bias and things that are going on in society right now, and how politics play such a big part in it. It’s just needed, this is needed. I think the big part of it is there’s so many parts of social media, I’m sure you see, everyday that have nothing to do with anybody that aren’t actually getting to the roots of problems. I think we all just need reminders a lot of the time: what should be more important? Because life moves so fast nowadays.

    HC: Exactly. And those reminders [can] kind of dissolve a lot of the chaotic news cycle.

    SB: Yeah, 100 percent. It’s out of hand at this point.

    HC: So the film also highlights some important themes of found families between these teens who’ve escaped or are avoiding rehabilitation camps. Do you have any advice for young people who are currently trying to find their own support systems amid a toxic situation in their lives?

    SB: I would say the most important thing—because as I’ve learned and a lot of my friends have, and this shouldn’t be anything new—is doing your research. Knowing is, as they say, half the battle, and collectively you can always bring information to the table. But it won’t mean anything if anybody else doesn’t exactly care or doesn’t hold that as or deem that as important. For those who are trying to get to that level of changing the game, I think one thing that’s being forgotten is that everybody is fighting for a cause. But we have to change the law or change the constitution—something that’s set in stone for us all to be on one accord. And there are consequences to the things that we do, so we got to hold each other at a better standard. I’m glad that some very young people in my generation, that I see on social media or wherever, know that the biggest part is knowing, researching and not always taking everything for face value. This kind of life lesson that I was taught expands your mind and keeps you open-minded. You know, just being a really good researcher and really help pave the way for what you want to do.

    HC: Absolutely—and finding those people who help you along the way with that mission and withstand that mission.

    SB: Not only that, but when you do find like an offense, you build up who you are. When you know so much, you know what’s right or you know what’s wrong, and you know what needs to be discussed and start to become a leader in your own right. People will see it and follow it and understand, and you help them understand your cause. People gravitate to energy and to people who are of higher-self and ascension. People—we all naturally want to help each other. That’s the coolest thing about it: we all want to help everybody be better.

    HC: Switching gears slightly, if you were to form your own resistance group to fight the government and simultaneous imprisonment in The Darkest Minds realm, who would you recruit on your team? Whether they’re a real-life person or a fictional character.

    SB: And they would have their own type of power too?

    HC: Yeah, they can have their own type of power—it’s up to you.

    SB: Well, I can’t skip out on my own crew, which is the Blue Betty crew. But, I’d have Liam [portrayed by Harris Dickinson] and Amandla [who portrays Ruby] and I’d have Miya [Cech, who portrays Suzumme, a.k.a. Zu] automatically. Like in real life, it would have been really cool to have my grandfather. He was a symbol of knowledge and kind of a leader to me in my life. He was a very wise man. So he would have been a green, but he would have been a very powerful green. So, we would have been the lead green. I think, the Blue Betty crew’s got it figured out. They do pretty well together.  

    HC: Have you learned anything about yourself from your experience portraying a variety of on-screen characters?

    SB: I’ve learned, and I’ve known, but now I’m more confident in my abilities by playing different characters, that I’m able to do so much more or contribute so much more to the screen or whatever it may be in my imagination. And I’m not trying to sound cocky or anything, but that there’s no capacity to just how great I can be. I guess in a sense, I can do anything in my head, basically. In doing Chubs, I realized that. Usually when I was doing other films, I was always either transforming into this character’s headspace and I was kind of taking away myself, or I was kind of adding a little bit of myself and trying to turn to create the characters and give it life in a way where people can relate or see it in a realistic sense. With Chubs, it was a little bit of adding more of his priorities in his attitude and a little bit of my sarcastic kind of comedy that I use in my real life. But the one thing is that you’re always on set. It would be like, ‘Work, work work, work, work. Focus, focus, focus.’ It would be kind of an intense, intense workout session when you’re on set. You’re very in it, and nothing else matters at the time. But when it came to The Darkest Minds and Jen [director Jennifer Yuh Nelson], she just has this very zen feeling moment kind of thing and it was very serene. I guess the energy was very serene. It was like working under those circumstances with a complete 180 for me. Knowing that I can still perform at a high level, but still being in a very calm state and still being in my character and giving him that respect that he deserves, I truly do believe and feel that I can do anything under any circumstance—anything. I just add it to the long list of things I’ve done.

    The Darkest Minds is currently playing in theaters.


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    So the time has finally come. After months of waiting, worrying and Facebook-stalking sorority girls (it’s okay, we all do it), you’re finally ready for sorority recruitment. But as much as you may have dreamed—and/or freaked out—about this week, you still have no idea what to expect. But by the end of it, you’ll finally get to figure out which house will eventually become your home, and which group of girls will become your sisters. It helps to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before you start, so you can focus on putting your best face forward! Keep in mind, every school does recruitment a little differently, so this may not exactly reflect your own experience. But to give you an idea of what rush is like, and to help you rise above all the other rushees, here's a day-by-day guide to this crazy, crazy week.

    What you do

    Round 1: Open House

    An older sorority girl, who has temporarily disaffiliated from her chapter to be your guide (often known as a Rho Gamma or Rho Chi), will lead you and a bunch of other PNMs—potential new members—from house to house. When the clock strikes the hour, the door will fly open and you’ll see dozens of sorority girls screaming and dancing. A sorority girl will grab your arm and lead you to a chair. You’ll talk for about five minutes, and then another girl will come over, so you can talk to her instead. This will happen until you have talked to three or four girls. After about 20 minutes, the rush chair will make a speech, and you might hear a funny story or do a short activity before you’re ushered out. At the end of the day, you’ll write down which chapters you liked the best and cut a few houses.

    Round 2: House tours 

    Round 2 activities vary by school—sometimes it will include a craft, a philanthropy presentation or a skit—but typically it will involve a tour of each house. By this round you have cut some houses, and some houses have cut you, so you go to fewer houses throughout the day and each round is longer, about 40 minutes. You will still talk to more than one girl—usually about three—before taking a tour of the house and learning more about the chapter’s activities and structure. For example, you may hear a presentation on the chapter’s national and local philanthropies, or learn about how much it would cost to live there. Again, you rank the sororities you saw at the end of the day and cut a few more houses.

    Related: What Sorority Women Want You To Know Before You Rush

    Round 3: Skit

    Again, Round 3 activities vary, and many schools do not do a skit. If your school doesn’t do one, this could be called the “Philanthropy Round," and in some cases house tours are during Round 3. If there is a skit, you will talk to two or three girls before watching some of the most talented members of each chapter put on a hilarious performance, often involving pop culture references and songs. This is a great chance to get to know the personality of each house, so you can gauge better where you’ll feel most comfortable. You’ll rank the sororities again at the end of the day, leaving you with only three houses.

    Round 4: Preference 

    This round is the most serious, and you often only talk to one girl for the entire time—a full hour at most schools. While during every other round the girls dance, cheer and generally try to emphasize the fun aspects of their sororities, in pref round it’s all about the traditions, principles and values of each chapter. You’ll hear from the girls about what their sorority means to them, and see a ceremony that emphasizes the essence of each house. Often there is a presentation involving the seniors, and you learn a lot about the traditions of each chapter. At the end of the day you “pref” two or three sororities in order of where you’d most like to pledge, and you are matched up through a computer system to a house.

    What you wear

    Round 1

    The rule of thumb when it comes to dressing for recruitment is to always overdress a little. Round 1, you should dress like you’re going out for ice cream with your friends: dark jeans or simple shorts, cute flats or boots and a nice top or sweater. Don’t wear too much jewelry, and avoid low-cut or too-tight tops; you don’t want to look like you’re going clubbing. And take off your watch—nothing says you’re not interested in a conversation like checking the time, and it’s a good idea to just avoid any temptation altogether.

    Round 2

    Every round gets a little dressier for Round 2. Think brunch with your mom and step it up in a cute skirt or nice shorts and a pretty top. A lot of girls will be wearing wedges, but flats are still totally fine. You can definitely wear subtle jewelry this round, and have a little fun with your makeup—try a tasteful pink lipstick and some bronzer, for instance.

    Round 3

    For Round 3, dress like you would for a dinner date. A sundress is a great idea with a pair of wedges and a statement necklace. You want to look very put-together, but not too formal, so leave the satin for pref round.

    Round 4

    The dress code for this round is semiformal, but again, most girls dress a little nicer. Think a bar mitzvah, or a wedding rehearsal dinner. You can’t go wrong with a classy dress! Wear your nicest heels, and, a nice necklace—if you have them, a strand of pearls adds a polished touch.

    What you talk about

    Rounds 1 and 2

    Keep it light. You’ll only be able to talk to each girl for a few minutes, and at first you’ll hear yourself talking about your hometown and your major so much you’ll think you’re going insane. If you can manage it, try to have a more interesting conversation—the girls will remember you and keep you around if your conversation was more interesting than everyone else’s. Bring up something interesting you did over the summer, or a club you’re involved in on campus; it’s an easy way to distinguish yourself and get noticed.

    Round 3

    By now, you’ve learned a little about the chapter’s activities, philanthropy and structure, and you may have some questions. Feel free to ask them this round, and also make sure you get more into who you are and what makes you tick, including your activities and goals. Express your feelings about rush and ask questions about sororities in general, but don’t make any overt references to how badly you want to be in a particular chapter or talk about other houses. Through your conversations, you can convince girls that you would fit in at their house.

    Round 4

    In the last round, the conversation should get a lot heavier. You should talk about what drew you to each chapter, why you think you would fit in there and how you feel about rush in general. Also, show the girls why you’d be an asset to their house by speaking intelligently and displaying your depth—they won’t want to give a bid to anyone who doesn’t seem like they would add a lot to the chapter. This round is to seal the deal—you have one hour to show the girls who you really are and why you should spend the rest of your college experience with them.

    What NOT to Say

    There are five topics that are absolutely off-limits for rush: boys, booze, Bible, ballot and bids. Gushing about a frat guy that you’re seeing when it turns out the girl who is rushing you used to date him will certainly hurt your chances at being invited back to her house, and bragging about all the shots you downed the night before doesn’t exactly showcase your poise and class to a group of women. As for religion and politics, these are way too controversial topics for recruitment—leave those conversations for when these strangers become your sisters. But the number one fatal flaw of rush is to talk about other houses, or ask outright if you can get a bid at a particular house. It makes you look desperate, catty and underhanded, and it completely goes against the rules of the Panhellenic Council. Resist temptation—you’ll find out where you belong soon enough.

    So avoid no-no topics, come prepared and, most importantly, be yourself. You are sure to end up in a sorority that’s perfect for you!


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    Earlier this week, The CW announced that it cast Ruby Rose to play Batwoman in the upcoming crossover event and impending titular series for the crime-fighting BA. Batwoman’s casting is a notable milestone in television history, seeing as Kate Kane, an open lesbian, will be portrayed by a lesbian actress. While fans are praising The CW’s decision to (thankfully) celebrate Batwoman’s sexuality, fans are also claiming that the network has erased her Jewish identity.

    Although Batwoman was initially introduced in DC Comics as Kathy Kane in 1956, she had very minor roles in a few Batman comics and Detective Comics. Since 2007, Kate Kane has donned the bat-themed latex, complete with a redheaded wig sewn into her costume (because Batwoman is that extra). And beyond Kate’s open lesbian identity in the comics, she’s also Jewish.

    Seemingly, her Jewish identity might not seem very prominent in her titular comic series, but it is. Beyond practicing the religion in her non-caped life, Batwoman’s identity also crosses over into her professional life as a superhero—where she’s become irate and even attacked criminals who were trying to cause physical or emotional harm to other Jewish people, particularly in DC Bombshells #3.

    Batwoman’s Jewish identity is just as vital to her character as her sexual identity is, and fans are using their social media platforms to vocalize their concern that The CW didn’t cast a Jewish lesbian actress to portray Kate Kane.

    Shortly after news broke that Ruby Rose will play Batwoman, fans started to use the #KeepKateJewish hashtag to verbalize their disappointment that Kate Kane’s Jewish identity might be erased in the upcoming series.

    One user notes that Jewish lesbian actresses exist, and The CW should have cast a Jewish lesbian actress to portray the character.

    Another user writes that Batwoman’s Judaism is fundamental to who she is as a character, so much so that her faith even impacted the color of her suit—which should show how important Kane’s faith is to her.

    According to Writeups, an online encyclopedia of fandom-based characters, even one of the colors of Batwoman’s suit was inspired by Jewish culture. “The color red was chosen as the second color of the Batwoman suit for cabalistic reasons. It is the color associated with the fifth sefirah, Gevurah, symbolizing strength and divine justice in the Tree of Life. It’s also always a good color for night operations,” Writeups expands.

    Whereas, another user writes, “Being Jewish is an integral part of Kate Kane’s identity and erasing is not only disrespectful but also incredibly problematic #KeepKateJewish.”

    For some fans, Ruby Rose’s casting seems like the Batwoman series might be trying to distance itself from Kate Kane’s Jewish identity, which can be perceived as anti-Semitic erasure. Although certain movies and television series, like Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, has helped muffle the Jewish women stereotypes in cinema, Jewish erasure, especially for Jewish women, is still prevalent in films—especially in comic-book-derived movies like the X-Men franchise.

    After the Maximoff twins’ Jewish and Romani identities were omitted from their story arcs in the MCU, it’s easy to see how fans can be pensive about the recent casting of Batwoman.

    Healthy representation is important, so while fan can be happy that Batwoman’s lesbian identity is being celebrated in her television debut, they can also be perturbed that her Jewish identity might have been squandered. Like it’s paramount that a lesbian actress portrays a lesbian character so that aspect of Kane’s identity is represented respectfully, casting a Jewish lesbian actress could help present Batwoman’s canonically Jewish identity instead of falling victim to the apparent canon erasure trope in superhero movies.


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    If you were a child of the late 1990s or early 2000s, chances are you’ve watched your fair share of Disney Channel Original Movies, or DCOM. These movies, which often hid important life lessons inside captivating plots with rising stars and catchy songs, were a large part our childhoods. As much as you love these classic films, you may be looking for some more “grown-up” entertainment options these days. 

    Well, the good news is that you can have the best of both worlds. There are many novels out there that echo the themes of iconic DCOMS, with a more adult twist. Here are 9 books to read based on your favorite DCOMs. 

    If you like Read It and Weep, check out The Regulars

     

    A post shared by Georgia Clark (@georgialouclark) on

    Read It and Weep is the story of Jamie, a high school girl who uses her private journal to explore what life would be like if she could live like her fabulous alter ego. But when her journal is shared with the world and Jamie gets a taste of the fabulous life, she learns to be careful what you wish for.  

    In Georgia Clark’s modern “feminist fairy-tale,” The Regulars, three twenty-somethings in New York City learn that same lesson. Evie, Krista and Willow are all fed up with seemingly missing out on professional and romantic opportunities because they aren’t attractive enough. But that all changes when they all drink from the magic “Pretty” and their physical appearances change overnight. While it’s all fun and games at the start, these women quickly learn that looks aren’t everything. 

    If you like Tru Confessions, check out Little and Lion

     

    A post shared by Anna Hufflepuff (@rattletheshelves) on

    Even if you love your family, it can still be difficult to understand them. In Tru Confessions, high school student, Tru, makes a documentary about her twin brother Eddie who has a developmental disability, and through the process learns how to better relate to him. 

    In Little and Lion by Brandy ColbertLittle must learn how to support her brother Lion as he manages his mental illness, and she deals with the pressures of dating in high school. Just like Tru Confessions, Little and Lion is full of heart, and will leave you thinking about how to better connect with your loved ones. 

    If you like Cadet Kelly, check out Leah on the Offbeat

     

    A post shared by Chantelle Joy (@chantellejoybooks) on

    Female friendships are at the center of both of these stories. In Cadet Kelly, after Kelly's mother gets remarried, Kelly must leave her friends and start attending a military school where she just can’t seem to connect with the other women around her—that is until she joins the drill team and finds common ground with her fellow cadets. 

    At first glance, Leah on the Offbeat doesn’t appear to have much in common with Cadet Kelly but their themes of female friendship are the same. In Leah, Leah Burke is dealing with lots of changes during her senior year of high school, and this tricky time is further complicated when new girl Abby Suso starts to play a bigger role in the lives of Leah and her friends. As senior year unfolds, Leah and Abby start to see each other in a different light, resulting in a beautiful conclusion.

    If you like Get a Clue, check out Ghosted 

     

    A post shared by Debbie (@debbiesbooknook) on

    Get a Clue was one of the few scary, suspenseful DCOMs, which quickly became a classic. Lexy, played by a young Lindsay Lohan, investigates the disappearance of one of her teachers in the dramatic DCOM. Lexy is a reporter for her school paper who can’t seem to let go of the story, until she finds out what really happened. 

    That same tenacity is front and center in Rosie Walsh’s new novel, Ghosted. Sarah has just met her dream man, Eddie. But after he disappears, leaving her ghosted, she listens to her heart and tries to find out where Eddie went. Mysterious, but not scary, Get a Clue and Ghosted have a lot in common, and will leave you hanging on until the very end.  

    If you like Twitches, check out I’ll Give You The Sun

    Twins are the focus of both of these stories. Tia and Tamara Mowry starred as twin witches (aka twitches) who were separated at birth but are reunited on their 21st birthday and must join forces to fight evil.

    In Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun, while there are no witches or fantastical elements, it has one thing in common with Twitches—the connection of twins. Noah and Jude are twins that were once inseparable but have now grown apart, only to have to learn how to reconnect. This novel is full of descriptive language that will make this beautiful story remind you of the magic of Twitches.

    If you like The Cheetah Girls, check out Moxie

     

    A post shared by Sally (@booksandpurls) on

    In the classic, The Cheetah Girls, four high school students join together to form a fabulous girl group. As they rock out, they discover the true meaning of girl power and supporting your Cheetah sisters. 

    While there are no Cheetah sisters in Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie, there is plenty of girl power. In Moxie, Vivian Carter is tired of the way girls are treated at her Texas high school. To fight back, Viv anonymously creates a zine to share her feminist beliefs with her classmates. Soon, a feminist revolution is underway, and Viv and her friends must decide what role they will play. A wonderful YA read, Moxie is a fun novel that any grown up fan of The Cheetah Girls will love. 

    If you like Stuck in the Suburbs, check out The Answers

     

    A post shared by Beachesnbooks (@beachesnbooks) on

    Celeb encounters always make for a good story, and Stuck in the Suburbs and The Answers are both full of them. In Stuck in the Suburbs, Brittany, a teenager stuck in suburbia, takes over pop star Jordan’s life when she accidentally swaps phones with him at a music video shoot. At first, she and her friend Natasha relish the opportunity to control Jordan’s every move, but in the end they realize that they have the power to help him discover his true self. 

    In Catherine Lacey’s The Answers, Mary is a young woman who enters a unique arrangement with an actor to pay her expensive medical bills. Mary will serve as one of Kurt Sky’s many girlfriends, fulfilling his emotional needs. Just like Stuck in the Suburbs, The Answers explores what happens when an average girl gets close to a mega-star and will leave you dreaming about meeting your favorite celeb. 

    If you like High School Musical, check out Anna and the French Kiss 

    High School Musical is known for its catchy songs and, of course, introducing Zac Efron to America. But underneath all of the high school drama is a sweet love story about two high school students who come together against all odds. 

    Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a delightful, YA romantic comedy that will have you thinking of Troy and Gabriella. Anna is a high school senior whose life is uprooted when she is forced to attend a boarding school in Paris. Things look rough until she meets Étienne St. Clair, a handsome boy who is out of Anna’s reach. As the two work to overcome their differences, a beautiful love story flourishes, making for a light and romantic read. 

    If you like Smart House, check out The Grip of It 

     

    A post shared by Ashley | PNW (@bookishmommy) on

    When you think about it, Smart House was kind of terrifying. Teenager Ben Cooper enters a competition to win a “smart house” for his single father, hoping the new home will help his dad on the domestic side of things. But when Ben’s family moves in, the smart technology begins to run amuck and control their lives, taking a scary turn.

    Jac Jemc’s The Grip of It doesn’t deal with terrifying smart home tech but is scary nonetheless. When Julia and James move in to a new home, things get scary real quick. As the house deteriorates, so do Julie and James, and they must figure out what is going on before it is too late. An engrossing literary thriller, The Grip of It is not to be missed. 

    So, what are you waiting for? Re-watch your favorite DCOM and discover a new favorite book!  


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    An Iowa town has been shaken by the disappearance of 20-year-old, Mollie Tibbetts. Since then the case has also reached people nationwide as the search for the University of Iowa student goes into its third week. Mollie Tibbetts was last seen on the evening of July 18th when she left her boyfriend’s brother's house, where she was dog-sitting, to go for a jog and it remains unclear whether she ever returned, as CBS News reports. Her final communication was around 10pm over Snapchat with her boyfriend of three years, Dalton Jack. Mollie’s family reported their daughter missing the next day when she failed to turn up to work.

    According to the Des Moines Register, “thirty to 40 investigators have worked on the case each day”, authorities have combed through buildings as well as open spaces in Brooklyn and her family even set up the Finding Mollie Tibbetts Facebook Group. In the age of technology, it is no surprise that the FBI is also turning to “digital clues” such as Mollie’s online history and cell phone, tells The Washington Post, in an attempt to find out what could have happened to her. Yet the whereabouts of the University of Iowa student remain unknown.

    While investigators did reportedly find a body on August 5, it was confirmed to be that of Sadie Alvarado, a 20-year-old from Muscatine, Iowa. 

     

    In an interview with CBS correspondent, Adriana Diaz, Mollie’s father, Robert Tibbetts stated that he believes that “someone went to the house that Mollie knew or that Mollie trusted and then she left with them willingly. Now they’re over their head and they don’t know what to do.”

    The reward fund for the missing student has grown to over $300,000. The fund includes 180 individual donors, according to the Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, the group that runs the fund. 

    The case also sheds light on the many other missing person cases that have not gained as much attention as that of Mollie Tibbetts, CBS News reports.

    In fact, at the beginning of 2018 there were more than 88,000 active missing person cases in the US, 41,000 of which are under 21 years old. While many of these cases are overlooked, Mollie Tibbetts’ case has gained such attention due to the suddenness and randomness of her disappearance, an occurrence which is quite “rare” according to experts.  The special agent in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for the Major Crime Unit, Richard Rahn, tells HLN that "[w]e've done everything that we can investigatively [sic] thus far, in hopes of trying to locate Mollie, and we'll continue to do so until we find her.” 


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    Just as we were recovering from all the free guac we consumed on National Avocado Day, Chipotle has made the headlines again — but this time it’s not for more amazing food deals. According to Dayton Daily News, a Chipotle in Powell, Ohio is suspected of having caused more than 700 cases of food-borne illness.

    Health officials told ABC News that people “complained of symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea”. The restaurant was closed as soon as reports about the outbreak surfaced but then reopened on July 31st.

    Health officials continue to investigate the possible cause of the outbreak, according to a Twitter update on August 6th.

     

    It’s not the first time that Chipotle’s made the news for causing food-related illnesses. After 53 reported E. coli outbreaks in 2015 and 2016, the Mexican grill chain was trying all it could to make up for its tainted reputation. With stricter food regulations and burrito discounts , Chipotle was finally on its way to recovery, according to Eater.

    Now, with these newly reported food outbreaks, Chipotle has plummeted into more legal and financial turmoil as the chain finds itself facing at least two lawsuits. And Attorney Ron Simon tells Delish that these will only be “the first of many lawsuits we will be filing on behalf of local residents who were sickened by contaminated Chipotle food”. Although the outbreaks were only in Ohio, it looks like we’ll be avoiding the chain for a while even if their guac is hard to resist.


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    Benefit Cosmetics is honestly just ~benefiting~ us with all the news lately. From the Benefit Brow Contour Pro to That Lady Thing to Benefit’s new foundation, the brand have been ever-present in our newsfeeds, bathroom counters and our faces lately. Now, Benefit Cosmetics is blessing our news cycle yet again, this time by inhabiting shelves at Urban Outfitters.

    That’s right: Urban Outfitters will now carry Benefit Cosmetics products. While we’re still raising our brows at the Brow Contour Pro, we’re all for Benefit Cosmetics expanding to other venues. According to Popsugar, Urban Outfitters has officially started stocking the beauty brand known for its mascara, Benefit Cosmetics. Allure notes that Urban Outfitters won’t sell Benefit Cosmetics’ entire selection at the apparel conglomerate, but the company will retrofit 35 beauty products onto its shelves.

    Urban Outfitters is already well-versed in skincare and makeup-derived products. The apparel store already sells an array of nutrition and wellness products and K-beauty products. Though Benefit Cosmetics’ partnership with Urban Outfitters will serve an abridged version of our beneficial faves, Urban Outfitters will sell the new Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation, our new fave the Brow Contour Pro, and to the classic Hoola Bronzer.

    Although Urban Outfitters is largely known for its controversy and clothing, the company is vicariously breaking into the beauty industry. From Thayers to Mario Badescu and even Milk Makeup, Urban Outfitters already sells a hodge podge of skincare and beauty products. Regardless, we’re glad to see Benefit Cosmetics has also found a home on Urban Outfitters’ shelves.


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    Drama. Gossip. It can be entertaining when you’re not involved, but when it’s affecting your own friendships, it can be truly disheartening. Unfortunately, even as we get older, conflicts still erupt from time to time with friends. You may be worried because you don't want to lose your friend  because of the fight, but you also want to hold your ground and defend yourself. Even the healthiest relationships are affected by drama, so stay calm and follow these tips to surviving a fight with a friend without completely wrecking your relationship.

    1. Spend some time apart

    People disagree and make mistakes; we’re human and it happens. The best thing to do is to take a step back from the fight and recollect your feelings and thoughts. Dig deep into why you might be fighting instead of what the fight is actually about. Fights can bring up rage and anger, but reflecting on other aspects of your life can make you realize there’s a deeper explanation for your conflict. You or your friend may be feeling jealous or inadequate, or perhaps your friend is insecure about the declining time you’ve spent together. Maybe they’re jealous of your success, or you’re taking out your anger from work out on them. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to find the root cause of conflict and work from there. During this time, you may realize the fight was not worth arguing about after all.

    Emma, a sophomore from Lehigh University, says "My friend and I were having more fights than usual in the span of a few weeks and I started to think we were going to drift apart for good. We spent more time apart and during this time I realized we were both extremely stressed from other factors like school and work so we were just taking anger out on each other."

    Emma's experience with taking a step back in a friendship highlights the fact that not all fights are the be-all-end-all of relationships. Evaluating what may be causing the issues in the first place can help alleviate the tension in the long run.

    2. Ask your friend to meet

    This may be a difficult task if you’re not on speaking terms, but you should reach out once you feel level-headed and ready to talk through your emotions to reconnect. It may be a rocky start, but it’s worth it in the end if you get your friend back. They probably miss you as well and don’t want the stress of this to affect their life anymore.

    Send your pal a text suggesting to meet up in a coffee shop or another favorite spot of yours. Picking a public place will also help discourage any yelling while discussing the fight and instead foster open communication and listening to the other party's perspective.

    If your friend turns down the idea of meeting up, they may not be ready to face you in light of the events. Give them some more time to consider your proposition and say that you are ready to talk about it whenever they are. Mention that you'd like to put things in the past if possible. By explaining the reason you'd like to see them face to face they may be more inclined to say yes. If they're still reluctant for a meetup, ask if a phone call would be easier and more convenient. Try to avoid sending long texts, however, because your tone and emotion may be misconstrued

    3. Calmly explain how you've been feeling

    Once you're able to meet them in person, you're now able to share how you felt and why you'd like to move forward. Plan on what you'd like to say to your friend so you don't forget to bring up something important such as a boundary you may want to establish so these fights don't happen in the future. Also, practice what you'd like to say so you don't get too overwhelmed or nervous in the actual moment!

    Don’t attack your friend and immediately list all of their shortcomings once you sit down together. Explain how you felt during the fight and how you feel now. Giving background information about what was going through your head will allow your friend to empathize with you and see things from your perspective. After this, allow them to share their emotions as well. Molly*, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, says “My friend let me down repeatedly and there was a lot of built-up resentment over time. I finally cracked and told her how I felt, it was very difficult but I’m so glad I did it.” Molly confronted her friend about how she was feeling so they could build back trust and understanding in the relationship. She felt better afterward, and so will you. 

    4. Recognize when you have to apologize 

    Having a healthy relationship with someone means that both people should be taking some responsibility no matter how small or silly the fight. If you’re able to put your pride aside and apologize, it shows that you care more about the relationship itself than winning the argument, and that’s huge. It’s fine if you still don’t agree about the argument itself, but you can apologize for how you made the other person feel. No one wants to make their friends feel like crap. Both people should be owning up to what they’ve done.

    5. Move forward

    Sometimes relationships can never move forward from fights because friends get too caught up in the nitty gritty of who said what and what happened then. If you truly mean an apology, then moving forward should be easy. Put the fight to rest, catch up with your bestie and start doing life together again. Life is way to too short for grudges and bad vibes.

    But this also means you may have to move away from a friendship. Taylor*, a junior from Lehigh University, says “Unfortunately, my friend was never able to apologize to me after I said sorry to her. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about at this point, but I remember how she made me feel and she could never admit to her mistakes. We’re not friends anymore but I learned a lot about myself and how I should be treated moving forward.” Sometimes moving forward means saying goodbye to a friend, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You can decide who you want in your life so stay true to yourself like Taylor had when you feel like something just isn’t right.

    Fights can be petty and hurtful, but they’re inevitable throughout life. However, silent treatments and grudges don’t have to be forever if both you and your friend reflect on what’s really going on. Using this tips will help you to have healthy relationships and better conflict resolution in the future. Good luck!


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    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a series of changes to the annual Academy Awards on Wednesday, including the introduction of a new category. According to President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson, the show's telecast will be shortened to a firm three hours, and the ceremony itself will be moved to an earlier date.

    The new category will honor "outstanding achievement in popular film," according to the Academy's message to its members. This is the first addition to the awards slate since 2001, when best animated feature was introduced. The move has been attributed to low ratings — last year's telecast was the least-watched in history— along with the recent success of Black Panther. According to Vanity Fair, Disney has been planning an awards campaign that includes a best-picture nomination for the film. However, many have been quick to point out that the new category could be a cop-out to avoid nominating box office hits for the top award. Bailey and Hudson did not relay when the popular category would be implemented, though. 

    The addition to the awards lineup seems to reflect a move the Academy made ten years ago, VF reported. When the Oscars failed to nominate The Dark Knight for best picture, the awards show faced serious backlash. "In a move widely believed to be a response to the backlash, the Academy then broadened the best-picture category from 5 nominees to 10, adding wiggle room for movies that otherwise don’t meet the institution’s stringent standards,"VF reported. 

    Another prominent change, the shortened telecast, will take the show from over four hours to a strict three. "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined)," the Academy's letter read. "The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast."

    Bailey and Hudson said a three-hour telecast will deliver "a more accessible Oscars" for viewers worldwide. 

    As far as the earlier airdate for the awards show, the 91st Oscars — A.K.A. the show in 2019, honoring 2018's films — won't be affected. However, the 92nd Oscars will move from February 23, 2020 to February 9. That's a whole month earlier than this year's telecast. 

    According to the Academy's letter, more information about the popular film category will be announced soon. Read the full message here.


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