Articles by Katiera Sordjan
Guest column by Katiera Sordjan | Dear Titus Adkins, you are an embarrassment to our communityRacism is not over. Not even close. But our efforts cannot be wasted on the policing of words. We need to correct imbalances and make sure all groups' voices are heard.
Guest column by Katiera Sordjan | Not another mental health storyI suppose I should be grateful that the conversation on campus has changed. I suppose I should be grateful that, unlike 19 year-old me sitting in a hospital full of shame, Penn students have a better chance to be heard and get the care they need when it comes to mental health.
Katiera Sordjan | A hypochondriac mindWhen it comes to pharmaceuticals, the stakes are high as far as identifying proper treatment.
Katiera Sordjan | Working out and apartJust as we have gendered expectations for ourselves, we also have gendered expectations for others. If we as women think we should be focusing on cardio, we expect men to focus on muscle training.
Katiera Sordjan | The 'dying' professionAsk many people, and they will tell you that journalism has an identity crisis. Whether it’s the increasing number of comments on The Daily Pennsylvanian website lamenting the loss of journalistic integrity, or the fall of once highly trusted national personalities like Brian Williams – it is clear that we are suffering from a persistent problem.
Katiera Sordjan | Think like a womanWe are familiar with the challengeable, but still prevalent stereotypes about gender. This is just the way things are, we are taught, with “biology” being thrown around as a casual and vague explanation.
Katiera Sordjan | The selfish geneWhile loved ones try to make sense of the death, suicide victims and depressed individuals often cannot understand the effect on their family, or ultimately, feel that their loved ones would be better off.
The Melting Pot | In defense of choice: the true 'pro-life'As an American, I know that my fellow citizens have a right to freedom of expression and religious practice. But I also recognize the right to privacy and the responsibility to treat women and all uterus-bearing people as more than incubators.
Katiera Sordjan | All together nowPrivilege is a word I don’t like using. Especially in a place like Penn, where many of us are “privileged” in some way or another.
Katiera Sordjan | StarstruckRay Rice hopes for “a second chance,” but we should not be so quick to forgive and forget. Abusive behavior is not merely a mistake to be dismissed. We learn only one thing from Rice: Make enough money, have enough fame and you become untouchable.
Katiera Sordjan | The new Stockholm syndromeFraternity pledges are stripped of their belongings and clothing and forced to parade around. New student leaders are verbally belittled before assuming their positions. Members of a club are dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, doused with alcohol comma and pressured to drink.
Katiera Sordjan | Don't be colorblindPeople who say they are colorblind miss the point of cultural acceptance. Yes, you should not make assumptions about me or treat me unkindly because of the color of my skin. But you should also not strip me of the rich backgrounds that have shaped my life and made me who I am today.
Katiera Sordjan | Demonizing photographyBut even without Photoshop, the same ideals continue to inform their image selection. America consistently sees beauty through a lens that has nothing to do with cameras — one that excludes people of varying classes, genders, sexualities and races. Models’ dropping BMIs are indications of a much larger societal desire to confine beauty. Photography and other forms of media cannot spontaneously create cultural views; they are shaped by context and represent the society that they are created in.
Katiera Sordjan | Too much activism?I am grateful to have met many people over the course of my time at Penn who are passionate. Many students are driven to make changes in the Penn community, and our larger society, by being activists both on and off campus.
Katiera Sordjan | A family affairWhy is it that when a tuition bill is posted to my account, my parents are notified immediately to pay up, but when it comes to the deaths of our classmates, they are left in the dark?
Katiera Sordjan | A place for humilityWe all know that one person in class who, with one comment or hand raise, has the power to make the entire room of students roll their eyes simultaneously.
Katiera Sordjan | Beyond the male gaze“All About That Bass” is not the first pop song to tell young women and girls that the only real value of their bodies is how men perceive them. “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, “Just the Way You Are” and “Treasure” by Bruno Mars are just some examples of pop hits that require the man to define a woman’s beauty for her. “Men love curvy women.” “Guys love skinny girls.” These back and forth arguments are unhealthy and put down other women. Girls shouldn't have to justify their body types by pointing to what men find attractive.
Katiera Sordjan | A mutual effortA year sounds like a long time, but it took me most of that time to find a working medical treatment. Then, I had to address my classes or risk not being able to declare my major. In order to receive medical clearance, I had to mediate between my clinician and the Counseling and Psychological Services staff, who evaluated my current health status. I spent a lot of time making repeated calls, emails and campus visits to ensure the various conditions set by Penn for my return were met, and frequently worried about my ability to come back.
Katiera Sordjan | A year on leaveThe hardest part of being on leave was dealing with the shame of what felt like such a heavy failure. To me, every day I wasn’t in class was another day that I was being idle. It didn’t matter how much I helped my family out around the house, how much I volunteered or how many doctor’s appointments I went to. If I wasn’t a student, if I wasn’t employed, I wasn’t a productive member of society — end of story.