Equifax, one of the three credit monitoring bureaus, reported a Category 5 data breach on Sept. 7. Equifax is one of three credit bureau responsible for collecting information and maintaining credit information that is made available to lenders, consumers and companies. The three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and the TransUnion, have information about everyone in the United States, whether they use credit or not.
Equifax has been under media scrutiny for failing to make the attack known to the consumer until three months later and the way they conducted themselves afterward. This breach had occurred between Mid-May or June. However, Equifax found the data breach in late-July and released the information to the public Sept. 7.
To add insult to injury, three Equifax senior executives sold their $1.8 million worth of shares before the breach was made known to the public. Equifax claims that the executives had no idea about the breach. The three executives only sold a small portion of their large share. The action of selling shares after the data breach has left a sour taste in the mouths of consumers.
Equifax continued to react poorly to the situation when setting up a website to help victims recover. Initially, to receive Trusted ID with Equifax, a person would agree to forfeit his/her right to sue the company. This was immediately removed due to the amount of backlash from the media. Equifax then created a website for consumers to see if they were affected by the data breach. In order to test their network security, a phishing site was created to fool consumers. Not only did Equifax fail to report the phishing site, which was a verified Twitter account, it linked to the fake account three times
Equifax did manage to retrieve a fairly accurate number of those affected in an exceptional way.
“The one thing Equifax did do correctly was to hire a third-party company to investigate the breach, this resulted in a discovery of another 2.5 million consumers information hacked, bringing the total to 145.5 million records breached,” said Jimmy Scruggs, Rose State professor of network security and network administration in the Business Information Technology division.
Although this massive breach left many people dismayed, some people found humor in the situation. During the Equifax Congressional hearing on Oct. 4, a famous icon made an appearance. Amanda Werner, a member of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, attended dressed as the Monopoly Man to protest against the precedent of corporate mismanagement in large companies. Her antics included stroking her mustache, wiping her non-existent sweat off her brow with Monopoly Money, and passing out 'Get out Of Jail Free' cards.
As Equifax Congressional hearings continue, many consumers are wondering whether this is last they will hear about Equifax mismanagement. Others are contemplating whether Equifax has a future at all. Whatever the case may be, Equifax still has a long way to go before regaining the trust of the American people.
By Lane Rosenfelt
Stephen Paddock was, according to friends and family, the least likely person to commit a horrific crime. On Oct. 1, Paddock committed the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, killing 59 and injuring more than 500 people at a concert in Las Vegas.
Paddock was a former postal worker and tax auditor. In the 1980s, he became a Realtor and started refurbishing houses around Los Angeles. He married twice, but he had no children.
His father was a bank robber and topped the FBI’s Most Wanted list, but Paddock supposedly grew up thinking his father was deceased.
A USA Today reporter asked Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, if he ever thought anything like this could happen.
“It’s like an asteroid just fell on top of our family,” Eric Paddock told the media. “I wish I could tell you he was a miserable bastard, that I hate him, that if I could have killed him myself I would have, but I can’t say that. It’s not who he was. We need to find out what happened to him. Something happened to my brother.”
By Jared Traylor
As many readied themselves for what would be one of the largest natural disasters in Texas history, families were faced with one question when preparing for the life-threatening storm: “Should we stay or go?” The city was faced with a comparison of how they would respond after what had happen in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. All eyes were on Houston, with major news stations reporting days of flooding and high winds. Many were left with only their faith and decided to stay, and many were left with fear of the previous storm evacuations of Houston’s more than 2.3 million population. Harvey left hundreds stranded on highways, trying to evacuate. More than 60 people died What lesson have we learned as a country?
According to Rose State Environmental Science Professor Dan Ratcliff, the core of engineers could have done a better job. With the knowledge the storm was coming, the water could had been released from drains and lakes earlier and would have provided a source for the incoming storm waters, Ratcliff explained.
Researchers need to study past disasters and make changes before the encountering new disasters, he said.
“Cities along the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboards need to learn from the mistakes now of Houston and Katrina disasters,” Ratcliff said.
He suggested improving the pumps to avoid the billions of dollars in damages. He also emphasized the need for state agencies work on infrastructure to improve the standard procedures during crises. One option cities surrounded by sea water could prepare would be through “Stormwater Retention.” This is where water tanks or basins are built under concrete parking lots and allow water to flow through the concrete and be caught below. The water is then filtered.
Despite preparations, natural disasters are inevitable, which is why Ratcliff also emphasized the importance of medical teams preparedness. Medical teams should be outside the disaster area in surrounding areas and cities ready to go, he said.
Ratcliff also suggested people with medical needs be evacuated to a facility where their needs can be met as soon as possible. For example, Fort Worth, Texas, San Antonio and New Orleans were all nearby cities equipped to help Houston and nearby areas hit by Harvey.
He also cautioned against people thinking everything can be controlled.In environmental science we think we can control natural disasters with Levey’s like in Katrina. You build roads, houses, and design cities communities to reduce natural disasters. By learning from our mistakes different municipalities could work together to come up with a plan that would reduce damages and save lives. After the storm emergency teams need to include professionals that could help the rescue team as well as families and children to deal with the stress and loss. Child Care Programs need to have programs that engage children to take their minds away from the trauma of the hurricane.
Gayle Combs, professor at University of Oklahoma and electrical engineer, said many died because they were not prepared.
Many people lived in the area for 50 years and had not experienced anything like Harvey. Many people who lived in flood zone area lived in those locations because it was cheaper. With most of them in the working class and already struggling to make ends meet, only about 20 percent of these families had flood insurance, according to The Washington Post. People felt it was a safe area because it had been many years since it last flooded.
Combs said people need to be prepared and have an escape plan in the event that a flood occurs. Some people are not going to leave. Some people can’t leave. Some people don’t have the resources to leave.
President Barack Obama pushed an initiative based on climate change that would require higher standards from builders constructing homes and businesses and called for stricter building codes in coastal areas. These building codes would allow for a building to withstand Category 5 hurricanes. It is not known if President Donald Trump, real estate mogul and a man who questions climate change, will continue this push from builders.
No one can prevent natural disasters, but by remaining educated and staying prepared individuals could prioritize what the next movement should be to save lives and communities. By working with other cities to prepare for these unexpected anomalies, it could give communities a fighting chance.
By Yesenia Gonzalez
College students come from various backgrounds and walks of life. For students who arrived in the United States as young children, acquiring a college education comes with many obstacles. The barriers students face, including being ineligible to apply for federal student loans, federal student aid, bank loans and work study programs makes it difficult for immigrant students to afford higher education.
Acquiring a lawful immigration status is out of the question for many because it requires the student to apply for a Green Card, the first step toward becoming a naturalized citizen, through a direct relative (spouse, parent or a sibling who is at least 21 years old), which is impossible considering that neither parent of the household has a legal status in many cases. Preference categories make it so that there is a scale of how likely someone petitioning for a Green Card may receive one depending on which relative petitioned for them. As the number of available immigrant visas approaches its limit, the number of visas available for those who are not First preference recipients decreases. Here is how it breaks down:
You know, I have students in my office in tears trying to figure out ‘How is this going to affect me? What if nothing comes out of this? What if, you know, Congress doesn’t come together and reach an agreement? What if there is no immigration reform? What is gonna happen to me? Am I even gonna be able to be employable? Am I gonna be able to find a job if I do finish my college degree?’- Erica Alvarez Director of Graduation and Adviser of the Hispanic Student Association at Rose State College
“Now, let’s be clear-this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” Obama said during a press conference on the day DACA was announced on June 15, 2012.
Dreamers, as immigrants brought to the United States as children are known colloquially, derive their name from the DREAM Act, a proposed bill that has never passed both the House and the Senate . The original DREAM Act, proposed in 2001 and reported to the Senate with amendments in 2002 by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, required students to be 12 years old before the bill would be enacted, apply before the age of 21, earn a high school diploma, been physically present in the United States for at least five years preceding its enactment, be a person of good moral character and not be inadmissible or deportable under certain conditions.
Rescinding the DACA program paved the way for legislators to propose various replacement bills, including Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford’s SUCCEED Act. Judith Huerta, director of volunteers with Dream Act Oklahoma, Oklahoma City chapter, is skeptical of the legal implications this proposed bill would bring to all immigrants, not just students. Dream Act Oklahoma is a volunteer-based organization that started at Tulsa Community College in 2009.
The Dream Act Oklahoma team lists their concerns with the proposed SUCCEED Act:
Hart leads a congregation with a sizeable number of immigrants who attend the church. Earlier this year, he and other leaders prayed about and formed an organization known as El Camino to advocate for immigrants and address the issue of immigration from a Christian perspective.
“I think like a lot of Americans, I was just fairly uninformed of the reality of our immigration system until about 17 years ago when I started having a lot of relationships with people who were very directly impacted by it, so the longer that I’ve had close relationships with people whose families have been ripped apart or with people who haven’t been able to use their God-given abilities to make our community stronger because of a[n] immigration status that was based on decisions that they did not make has just awakened me to the fact that this is not just a political issue, this is a moral issue that affects normal people in a very profound way,” Hart said.
Even with DACA, applying to and staying in college is challenging for immigrant students. Erica Alvarez, director of graduation and adviser of the Hispanic Student Association at Rose State College, noted that the lack of finances are a leading factor in college dropout rates at Rose State.
“The number one reason why students drop out of college is because they can’t afford it, they can’t pay for it,” Alvarez said.
Navigating legal terminology is an added challenge for immigrant college students.
“Some students still kind of have that misconception that ‘I’m gonna have to pay out-of-state or I’ll be considered international’ And depending on how you word things as a college employee, different students can take that to mean different things. And so, if I ask a student, ‘Are you here on a visa?’, some students might say, ‘Well yeah, actually, I came in on a visa, I overstayed my visa so now I’m undocumented. But to them if they hear the word visa and they had one at one point they might think, ‘Okay, well you’re on visa, you’re international’ without asking those follow-up questions. So I think that that is huge. So, as an administrator, we have to have that culture of understanding and compassion, as an institution. We have to educate ourselves so we know how to support our students,” Alvarez said.
Rescinding DACA creates variables in the futures of Dreamers. There is no guarantee that Congress will be able to pass any type of legislation in the six-month period before the program is fully terminated. Before DACA was enacted, immigrant students could not legally work and put their college degrees to use. Now, history may repeat itself and thousands of students will not be able to work in their field of study.
“Well, we definitely need some type of immigration reform, that’s a given. You know that, everybody knows that. I think it would definitely put students at ease. Like right now students are just living in fear. You know, I have students in my office in tears trying to figure out ‘How is this going to affect me? What if nothing comes out of this? What if, you know, Congress doesn’t come together and reach an agreement? What if there is no immigration reform? What is gonna happen to me? Am I even gonna be able to be employable? Am I gonna be able to find a job if I do finish my college degree?’” Alvarez asked.