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

Demagoguery has invaded the Student Union’s political scene

  Judging by the current state of affairs in Washington, it is safe to say that decorum in politics is dead. Whether you support the Trump administration or not, we can all agree that there are unwritten rules regarding the demeanor of a sitting president that have been disregarded entirely. We have just passed the second anniversary of Trump’s win this November, yet it feels like Americans have been trapped in his media circus for decades. Admit it: we have all aged significantly. In order to keep men like Trump in check, we must venture forward in an orderly manner. Some may despise bureaucracy, but it is a necessary cog in the machine of democracy. This makes Trump the outlier in an otherwise civilized society. 


EDITORIAL: Branda app is a step in the right direction

  On Dec. 4, a group of seven Brandeis students released the Branda app, a mobile application that “connects the students of Brandeis with essential campus services,” according to the app’s website. Its features include quick access to BrandeisNOW articles and the campus events calendar, a Branvan tracker, a laundry tracker, a campus map and an updated list of which dining locations are open at any given moment.  


EDITORIAL: Final exam period needs to be more accomodating

  Final exams are always a stressful time for college students, as it never seems like there is enough time to adequately prepare. This semester, finals begin on Dec. 13 and classes end on Dec. 11, giving students only one day to prepare for exams. This is worse than the fall 2017 semester, when classes ended on Dec. 8 and Finals began on Dec. 12. Even though there was only one official “study day,” students still had time during the weekend between classes ending and Final exams to study. Now, students who have an assignment or final paper due right before the scheduled start of the final examination period have no real opportunity to dedicate their time solely toward preparing for their final assessment. Other schools, such as Yale University, have a week-long study period. Similarly, Columbia University and Cornell University both have four days dedicated to studying, something that has been consistent throughout past academic years. Anything is better than the one day that Brandeis offers. This board suggests that the University give students at least four days — which can include weekends — to study so that students have time to properly prepare for their finals.  


Views on the News: George H.W. Bush's Legacy

The United States continues to mourn the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. President Bush was known for his service to the country, including roles as the U.S. envoy to China, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Vice President of the United States under Ronald Reagan. How do you think President Bush will be remembered?


The left has yet to find its voice in the world of radio talk

  Shocking news: President Donald Trump gets made fun of in the media a lot. Crazy, right? Not like this is anything new, considering Trump’s been a pop culture punching bag for over three decades. If the concept of making fun of Trump on late-night TV was a person, it’d have three kids and two divorces by now. Now that he’s President of the United States, we’ve got wall-to-wall media coverage dedicated to various refutations of his administration and his equally abhorrent partners on Capitol Hill.  


Having more options does not lead to happiness in every situation

  Apparently, the United States is experiencing a “sex recession.” This month’s cover story for The Atlantic documents how and why Americans are having less sex than ever before, and seeks to answer how this phenomenon could be possible. In our liberal era, with access to potential sex partners easier than ever thanks to apps like Tinder, with taboos around sexual promiscuity falling and access to pregnancy and STD-preventing devices rising, how could it be that we’re actually spending less time in the bedroom?  


Activists misunderstand the groups they’re fighting for

 Present-day sociologists and internet activists are socio-economically divorced from the groups whose rights they claim to champion. Today, a lot of protests and activist movements are led by the Internet and privileged college graduates who use terms like ‘agency’ and ‘equity’, words that their professors and peers understand, but alas, not those minorities whose rights they fight for. 


Early school start times may be leaving students behind

 College has a funny way of making you forget about high school. Case in point: Recently, while looking at our spring semester schedules, a friend of mine complained about the prospect of waking up for a morning class at 9 a.m.. What followed was a few of us from various states and school districts remembering how excruciatingly early we had to drag ourselves out of bed in high school.  


The Student Union piano funding debacle was entirely avoidable

 It’s easy to miss the local news these days. With so much going on in the world and with finals rapidly approaching, students understandably have other things on their minds. Small wonder, then, that it was news to many of the first-years I spoke to last week that electric pianos were coming soon to a lounge near them. 


EDITORIAL: Commending trustees' fossil fuel decision

  On Wednesday, University President Ron Liebowitz shared an update from the Board of Trustees on the University’s policies and actions regarding fossil fuel divestment. This board commends the Trustees and President Liebowitz for this positive, prudent and practical approach to address the concerns of community members.


EDITORIAL: University must address serious fault lines

  The second portion of the independent investigators’ report, commissioned after Brian Meehan’s dismissal last spring, was released on Thursday. While the first half of the report, issued in September, focused on the specifics of the Meehan case, this half focused on the state of Brandeis’ campus culture. After reading the report, this board concludes that despite the University’s claims to being a school centered around social justice, Brandeis’ student body cares far more about diversity as an educational value than its faculty and trustees do. Until this discrepancy is addressed, Brandeis’ campus will continue to be a less-than-ideal environment for students of color. 


Views on the News: Border Migrant Crisis

   Over the past week, the Trump administration has made good on its promise to deter and punish anyone who attempts to cross the southern border illegally. Images of migrant families attempting to cross from Tijuana, Mexico into California facing hostile military personnel and tear gas have surfaced all over the internet. The President defends these actions by saying that the migrants are trying to enter the country illegally, and that many of them are criminals and pose a danger to the American people. Do these statements justify this use of force? Are there any alternatives to dealing with this number of migrants?    


Giving Tuesday should be part of everyone's holiday season

 Now that you have stuffed the last piece of turkey into your mouth, experienced the agony of waiting in endless lines for limited sales at odd hours of the morning and worn through your laptop’s trackpad searching for the hottest cyber deals, it’s time to relinquish the satisfying feeling of limitless indulgence.  


Stan Lee's long legacy extends even to the economic world

 On Nov. 12, 2018, the world mourned the loss of Stan Lee, a beloved comic book writer and one of Marvel Comics’ foremost creative leaders. In time, we may better understand the effect of his legacy as a pioneer of superhero comics and his personal journey from a poor immigrant household in New York to the figurehead of a massive multimedia corporation which dominates the comics industry. 


EDITORIAL: Senate should rethink draconian amendments

 Class of 2020 Senator Aaron Finkel has drafted two amendments to the Student Union Constitution that would strip the Allocations Board of final authority over all allocation decisions and policies and distribute it between the Senate and Union president. The justification for the amendments states that they would “ensure maximum accountability and fairness,” but this board believes the actual amendments do not effectively address either issue. To properly institute oversight of A-Board without adversely disrupting the balance of power in the Union, both amendments will need to be significantly altered. 


Views on the News: New Amazon HQ

 After considering more than 200 different cities for the location of its second headquarters, Amazon has decided on splitting its East Coast center of operations between Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia. According to a Nov. 3 Wall Street Journal article, these new work spaces will create over 25,000 jobs for each city, in addition to marking a shift in large corporations having their main offices within urban areas as opposed to the suburbs. How will the arrival of Amazon affect the economies of both cities in the long term, and what are the costs and benefits of this monumental move?  


In the wake of tragic wildfire, how will Malibu rebuild itself?

 When the mythical phoenix first ventures its head above the smolder and ash, it is a little more than an ugly, soot-covered duckling. It waddles two steps forward, falls over, and gets back up. Such is life in the community of Malibu this week as spot fires float over blackened hills, looking for untarnished brush left to consume. The worst is over, and residents trickle back in over singed asphalt to check on homes and belongings, but they are hardly in the clear. By now, the national media has covered in detail the blaze that decimated 713 structures in total, including Miley Cyrus’ mansion and “Westworld” shooting location, Paramount Ranch, according to a Nov. 16 CBS report. The story they will not tell is of the gritty rebuilding of a town that, for thousands of Angelenos, represented a reprieve from the stresses of the everyday.  


YouTube's biggest stars keep turning to be massive racists

 In the swirling vortex of unhinged toxicity and rampant moronic behavior that was 2014-era YouTube, one content team stood out as being somewhat watchable and personable. That braintrust was h3h3 productions, comprised of  husband and wife team Ethan and Hila Klein. In the channel’s halcyon days, Ethan specialized in goofy reviews of bizzare internet videos, which he reacted to with a mix of disgust and outsized enthusiasm. If you desperately needed someone to make fun of DJ Khaled hitting on women in an abandoned pier on a jetski at 3 a.m., or laugh at a fake prank video involving a group of grown men calling themselves “The Salad Boys,” h3h3 was just the ticket. The combination of the overenthusiastic, loudmouthed Ethan and the shy, sardonic Hila was a winning one. 


What price do you pay to pursue what you are passionate about?

 How much is your life worth? It is an abstract concept to wrap your head around, because the gut reaction is to value your life above anything else. Currently, we are young students still deciding how to personalize a version of life that satisfies our ambitions and desires. Unlike older generations, we do not have children to worry about or the societal norms of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s breathing down our necks, feeding us the expected “right and wrong” way to go about life. We are Millennials and Generation Z: Young, passionate innovators who have brought about some of the most progressive strides in activism, technology, entertainment and sports through figures such as Malala Yousafzai, Evan Spiegel, Justin Bieber, Simone Biles and  countless others. As we contemplate what we want to be after the label of student wears away, we have endless possible titles ready to be substituted. Although the older generation’s definition of life differs from ours, their readiness to die for their passion is inspiring.  


China's oppression of Uyghurs remains hidden from view

 Many people in the West are comfortable with the thought that the People’s Republic of China is a benign communist state. Especially within its close geographical proximity to the tyrannical North Korea, as well as its history under Mao Zedong, the iron grip of Beijing has with time loosened to a bearable squeeze. One might be taken aback to hear China is still putting people into “reeducation camps” based upon their religion. In the case of Muslim Uyghurs, this is a harsh reality the public seems to turn a blind eye to. Recent unrest across the world has sown seeds of systematic Islamophobia, and China’s government is using this to their advantage. 


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