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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

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Criticize oversimplification of campus free speech issues

(11/21/17 11:00am)

Donald Trump recently visited Saudi Arabia, an oppressive regime with little respect for human rights. In Saudi Arabia, an activist blogger was sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for establishing an online forum with the purpose of creating debate on religious and political matters, according to an Oct. 19, 2016 BBC article. Yet, the Google search “where is free speech under attack?” yields a page where virtually every article is about college campuses. Spurred by firebrands such as Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos, the right wing has converged on academia with indignation and ire. Their claim is that the liberal consensus at most universities is stifling and victimizing to conservative students. Not since the ‘War on Christmas’ has an ideological crusade been so pointless.

EDITORIAL: Recognize implemented changes to increase school spirit

(11/21/17 11:00am)

Historically, Brandeis has not been known for its school spirit. Recently, the Brandeis Athletics Department has taken great strides toward encouraging and facilitating school spirit within the student body. This board commends the department for its efforts in bringing in new marketing techniques to incentivize attendance to sporting events. However, there are still underlying issues that prevent Brandeis school spirit from reaching its full potential.

Views on the News: Digital tracking in medication

(11/21/17 11:00am)

According to a Nov. 13 New York Times article, Japanese-based Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company recently received Food and Drug Administration approval for a psychiatric drug featuring a digital tracking device. The pill is designed with a sensor that is activated upon contact with stomach fluids. A signal is then sent to a patch on the skin that records the time before it is transferred to a mobile application that allows users to enter mood, amount of sleep and other data. Some have already expressed concern about this technology, calling it a "Biomedical Big Brother." What do you think of this invention and does it seem beneficial?

Views on the News: Paris climate agreement

(11/14/17 11:00am)

 According to a Nov. 7 CNN article, Syria recently joined the Paris climate agreement, making the United States the only member of the United Nations to not have done so. President Donald Trump previously announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement, stating, "We're getting out." Former President Barack Obama weighed in, stating that the decision would negatively impact American workers. What do you think of this development and how should the U.S. proceed?

Recognize the importance of critics

(11/14/17 11:00am)

Critics are nobody’s favorite people in the arts community. Artists work hard for months or even years at a time only to be criticized in a few hundred words written by a third-party audience member with their own subjective preferences and interpretations. This, however, is what makes the critic’s circle so diverse. It’s not made up of generous opinions. We are all a part of a varied community. We muddle each others’ voices, thinking ours is more important and correct than our friends’. We are all alike in this way. This is the nature of criticism. Positive criticism prompts thought-provoking discussion and enjoyment. Negative criticism is fun to read and discuss because we all have a little schadenfreude in us. It is all an inescapable part of life.

Discourage voters from supporting sexual assailants

(11/14/17 11:00am)

Roy Moore didn’t see this one coming. Moore, the leading candidate and lone Republican in Alabama’s Senate race decried multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct on minors as “a desperate attempt to stop [his] campaign” but did not outright deny dating teenagers while in his 30s, according to a Nov. 11 CNN article. Following the public downfalls of actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis “C.K.” Székely in the face of alleged sexual misconduct in just the past two weeks, it seems 2017 is bringing skeletons out of closets all across the American public consciousness. However, where Spacey and Székely have been publicly lambasted and forced to offer apologies of varying candor, Moore has fired back at accusers and pledged to supporters that he “Will never give up the fight,” according to a Nov. 11 Washington Post report. As Moore’s campaign rolls on, defended by Alabama voters, we must question why we hold entertainers to moral standards but let politicians off the hook. If we find sexual assault and misconduct universally detestable, don’t these crimes deserve universal condemnation?

Address issues in acquisition of prescription medication

(11/14/17 11:00am)

Anyone who is regularly prescribed controlled substances has probably experienced many frustrations in the process of obtaining the drugs. For example, under the Controlled Substances Act, no prescription for a controlled substance in Schedule II, a class of drugs that have a high potential for abuse, may be refilled, requiring a patient to visit their prescriber for a written prescription every time they run out. In addition, according to a Sept. 17, 2013 article published in the journal Hospital Pharmacy, certain controlled substances such as Ritalin and other medications used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder must be prescribed in hard-copy written form and given to the pharmacist by hand — neither electronic copies nor faxes of the prescription will permit the pharmacist to dispense the medication to the patient.

EDITORIAL: Commend the BCC for implementing new changes

(11/14/17 11:00am)

In a recent interview, Dr. Joy von Steiger of the Brandeis Counseling Center revealed that several changes were made to improve efficiency and students’ overall experience. These changes came at the right time, as the BCC has seen a 90 percent increase in walk-in appointments and a 2,000 percent increase in after-hours emergencies this year. One of these changes is the addition of five new staff members to accommodate Brandeis students’ growing need, bringing the total number of therapists up to 24. 

EDITORIAL: Recognize University for addressing sexual assault concerns

(11/14/17 11:00am)

Last Tuesday, Vice President of Student for Affairs Sheryl Sousa ’90 sent an email notifying the student body that the search committee for the position of Director of Sexual Assault Services and Prevention had selected three finalists for the position. The finalists visited campus on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 and will visit on Nov. 14 to present their evaluations of the current state of sexual misconduct on campus and their plans to address this critical issue. Each finalist will also take part in a Q&A session, and the University will take into consideration all feedback from attendees. This board applauds the University for its efforts to take actionable steps toward creating a safe environment on campus and including the student body in such a critical decision. 

Encourage students to remember the actual relevance of grades

(11/07/17 11:00am)

Exam season is underway and with this comes the influx of students stressed and studying ardently to earn a good grade. This is a commendable action, but intense studying, coupled with the pressure to do well and the high expectations imposed upon students, makes it easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed. School is competitive and right now, outperforming peers can feel like the only thing that matters. This stress can be detrimental, and in order to prevent any disastrous outcomes, it is vital that students keep the truly important things in mind. Grades matter, but they are not everything. 

Criticize actor Kevin Spacey’s response to recent allegations

(11/07/17 11:00am)

In 1988, England introduced Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, which barred the so-called promotion of homosexuality in schools. In the 1970s, Senator John Briggs  came up with an initiative called California Proposition 6, which attempted to bar gays and lesbians from working in Californian schools. The initiative was set aside because of the lack of support from the public. In Russia, one salient homophobic group calls itself Occupy Pedophilia, claiming that they protect the rights of children by humiliating, assaulting or otherwise targeting gay people, according to a Feb. 6, 2014 article from Gawker. LGBTQ activists have fought hard to reject the mislabelling and portrayal of the queer community as pedophiles, but recent events are damaging the progress made.