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

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Condemn United States Gymnastics for their treatment of athletes

(01/23/18 11:00am)

In a powerful statement read in court on Jan. 18, 22-year-old McKayla Maroney shared the unfortunate story of her time with USA Gymnastics team. According to a Jan. 18 article in the Washington Post, Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis read a statement on Maroney’s behalf, saying, “I had flown all day and night with the team to get to Tokyo. He had given me a sleeping pill for the flight, and the next thing I know I was all alone with him in his hotel room getting a ‘treatment.’ I thought I was going to die that night.” 

Urge more conservatives to speak on climate change

(01/23/18 11:00am)

Bridging the partisan divide on global warming seems next to impossible at first glance — and understandably so. Global warming clearly ranks low on the U.S. government’s priority list, and the lack of any serious climate-related proposals from a Republican-controlled Congress speaks volumes. It is no secret that the U.S. has alienated the rest of the world by failing to act, and much of this is due to the bizarre politics surrounding climate change. 

Views on the News: DisposeRx

(01/23/18 11:00am)

According to a Jan. 17 NPR article, Walmart plans on offering DisposeRx to all individuals prescribed opioid drugs. The free product, when mixed with warm water and an opioid drug, creates a biodegradable gel that can safely be disposed of. Critics argue that while DisposeRx is useful, it will have little impact on the number of opioid-related deaths. What do you think of Walmart's decision, and do you believe this could help mitigate prescription opioid abuse?

Consider possible options for the future of health care

(01/16/18 11:00am)

The health care  debate is not a new one for Americans. This perennial thorn in the nation’s political side has been around since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration in the 1960s. While Medicare and Medicaid have done a lot of work in ensuring access to health coverage for many of the most vulnerable Americans, they have not gone far enough toward giving every American access to health insurance.

Encourage University to recognize importance of divestment

(01/16/18 11:00am)

Divestment is the act of selling company shares, bonds or investment funds for a political or social reason. An investor may publicly and intentionally divest — rather than sell a stock because it is not performing well — in order to reprimand unethical or morally ambiguous corporations. Divestment movements are not only effective in ending fossil fuel sponsorship, but also for generating awareness for social issues at large. In the past, divestment movements have successfully publicized crises like the apartheid in South Africa, genocide in Sudan and repression in Burma. Removing investments from firms that do business with oppressive or apartheid regimes does not eradicate these regimes. However, it sends a strong message to companies that it is unacceptable to enable governments to infringe on human rights. 

Condemn President Trump’s recent remarks about immigrants

(01/16/18 11:00am)

It was the middle-school level insult heard around the world:  According to a Jan. 12 Washington Post article, last Thursday, President Donald Trump reportedly asked several lawmakers, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” after they suggested protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries. Managing to pour more gasoline on the fire, Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway and proceeded to question why certain people were even allowed in the country to begin with.  Trump reportedly asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “Why do we need more Haitians?” and claimed that “they all have AIDS.” According to a Dec. 23, 2017 New York Times article, he then claimed that the nearly 40,000 Nigerians issued visas in 2017 would never want to “go back to their huts” in Africa. Although several Republicans in attendance claimed not to remember Trump using any profanity or saying anything demeaning, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) confirmed that his profane rant went exactly as reported. Anyone can clearly see that the President of the United States did indeed call these non-white countries “shitholes” and all but implied that he fundamentally disagreed with the very idea of American immigration. The implications of this are beyond terrifying. 

Reconsider attitudes surrounding meat consumption

(01/16/18 11:00am)

In the light of the ongoing dialogue about climate change, the United States’ rate of meat consumption has been a point of contention. According to a Dec. 1, 2016 MarketWatch article, research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that Americans are among the highest consumers of meat per capita in the world, consuming, on average, 193 pounds of beef, pork, chicken and lamb a year. For a decade or so, scientists have studied the effects of meat production and consumption on things ranging from climate change to human health. Regarding climate change, a July 2009 study by Dutch scientists concluded that the meat production industry accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gases and 80 percent of total anthropogenic land use. Research from Harvard Medical School regarding the health benefits of reduced meat consumption shows that vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fats and cholesterol and consume more beneficial nutrients like vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid  and magnesium. Thus, the findings of such research tend to indicate that a general reduction in red meat consumption is better for not only the environment but for personal health as well.

Views on the News: White Racism Class

(01/16/18 11:00am)

On Jan. 10, Florida Gulf Coast University introduced a class titled "White Racism," with the goal to "interrogate the concept of race" by examining racist ideologies. However, according to a Jan. 10 CNN article, the class was met with so much opposition — including a series of threatening emails sent to the professor — that campus police officers were posted outside of the class. What do you think of this type of class, and how do you think the university should proceed?

Urge the University to improve current Brandeis app

(01/17/18 3:30am)

On Wednesday, Sodexo’s new app, “Bite,” was launched on the Brandeis campus, according to an email sent by Andy Allen, Brandeis dining service manager. The app has been designed to allow students and users to “view daily menus in the dining halls on campus at any given time” as well as “nutritional and allergen information for each dish, rate dishes, and provide valuable feedback to [Sodexo].” 

Criticize University’s treatment of commuter students

(01/16/18 11:00am)

On Jan. 10, Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas sent an email regarding the formalization of the Brandeis Ombuds Office. This will provide a useful means to achieve conflict resolution between students or staff with other members of the University, a long-awaited result of the list of demands created by students of color  during the 2015 Ford Hall protest. In the email, Brimhall-Vargas described the ombuds as experienced individuals that “provide alternatives to adversarial dispute resolution not available elsewhere.” This board commends the University for taking the steps needed to foster a sense of security, wellbeing and cooperation on campus, but we urge the University to correct a major oversight in the designation and appointment of the Ombuds Office.

Views on the News: Emergency Drills

(12/05/17 11:00am)

According to a Nov. 29 New York Times article, Hawaii plans on reinstating tests for a Cold War-era warning system that will inform citizens of an impending nuclear attack. Beginning on Dec. 1, the alarm will play on the first business day of every month, along with the already regular natural disaster warning tests. Though the system has not been used since the mid-1990s, recent threats from North Korea make this precaution necessary, according to Richard Rapoza, spokesperson for the state's emergency management agency. What do you think of this decision, and is it appropriate?

EDITORIAL: Condemn DCL for their response to bedbugs on campus

(12/12/17 4:15pm)

Starting on the night she first slept in her East Quad room, Student A woke up to discover bug bites on her body. After her roommate, Student B, trapped and killed a bedbug, Student A reported the issue to the Department of Community Living in late October but was not able to fully resolve the matter until a month later because of a “lack of communication.” This board urges DCL to establish clearer lines of communication in order to minimize stress involved in such a situation.