At the start of this congressional term, Sen. Tom Carper (D-De) introduced legislation S. 51, which would admit Washington, D.C. as the 51st state. A similar bill was first introduced in 2017 by D.C.’s delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, as well as in 2019. Making D.C. the 51st state should be a priority for the 117th Congress.
On Nov. 13, some attendees at a Brandeis-hosted panel on human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China zoombombed my friend Rayhan Asat. As she began to tell the story of her brother, Ekpar Asat, who has been detained by the Chinese government for five years, despite never being charged with a crime, Rayhan’s voice was drowned out by the Chinese national anthem. Her screen was hijacked with annotations reading “bullshit” and “fake news.” That night, she had nightmares.
On Saturday, Feb. 13, the U.S. Senate acquitted former President Donald J. Trump in his second impeachment trial for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The final vote was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, which was just 10 votes short of the total 67 guilty votes needed to convict Trump. Unlike his first impeachment trial where only one Republican Senator, Mitt Romney (R-Utah), found Trump guilty, seven Republicans voted to convict Trump this time. Do you think that Trump was exercising his constitutional right to free speech or inciting violence and violating the law? What do you make of seven Republican senators voting to convict Trump, and what consequences might these senators face in the future?
In light of the Nov. 10 release of the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan, the Justice’s editorial board will be reviewing and providing feedback on prominent sections. We hope that these forthcoming editorials will serve as a resource for students to provide feedback to the administration. We also recognize, however, that our editorial board is predominantly composed of white students, and we will work to ensure that we are not taking space or attention away from the voices of the BIPOC students who are most directly affected by racism on campus. In line with this goal, we have grounded our analysis of the appendices in the demands put forward by the Black Action Plan. This editorial will focus on Appendix Q: Hiatt Career Center. In the draft of the University Anti-Racism Plan released last semester, Brandeis had constructed a set of strategies aiming to offer diverse representation to the BIPOC student population and to make resources more accessible and equitable to every student. In Appendix Q, the Hiatt Career Center drafted their plans from four different perspectives: the improvement of student internship and career attainment data regulation, a better visualization of staff members’ backgrounds and specialties, building stronger local connections to provide hands-on opportunities for BIPOC students and new programs that feature long-term mentorship as well as other opportunities. Appendix Q shows a lot of potential for future Hiatt development. This board urges Hiatt to firmly follow through with the plans presented and take actions as the new semester moves forward.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, President Biden extended a ban on home foreclosures to June 30. Originally, Biden had extended the ban to March 31 via an executive order issued on his first day in office. According to the White House, one in five renters is behind on rent and just over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments. People of color face even greater hardship and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure.
The Spring 2021 semester has continued with many restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic implemented in the Fall 2020 semester. As classes continue in both a remote or hybrid learning modality, this board is concerned with the lack of 10-minute breaks in some classes.
On Feb. 1, the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, deposed the democratically elected parliament and arrested a prominent leader of the majority party, Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League of Democracy. The Tatmadaw also declared a one year state of emergency and took control of Myanmar’s government.
If you hand a cranky toddler a hammer, chances are they attempt a good hashing at whatever is in front of them. If you give a patterned fraudster unchecked executive authority, is it fair to say he will use that power to pardon his co-conspirators?
In light of the Nov. 10 release of the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan, the Justice’s editorial board will be reviewing and providing feedback on prominent sections. We hope that these forthcoming editorials will serve as a resource for students to provide feedback to the administration. We also recognize, however, that our editorial board is predominantly composed of white students, and we will work to ensure that we are not taking space or attention away from the voices of the BIPOC students who are most directly affected by racism on campus. In line with this goal, we have grounded our analysis of the appendices in the demands put forward by the Black Action Plan. This editorial will focus on Appendix O: Dean of Students Office. Appendix O is organized into four subheadings — Student Activities, Student Rights & Community Standards, Care Team and Department of Community Service — along with an introductory section explaining the DOSO’s “actions steps in response to the Black Action Plan.”
As another semester on campus dominated by COVID-19-related restrictions kicks into gear, this board would like to offer an appraisal of some of the recent changes to dining on campus.
Recently an article was published by your team reflecting on the services provided by Escort Safety Service, specifically that of the Accessibility Transport van service that is offered. We, the current management team and the appropriate campus partners, came together to review the concerns raised in the article and the policies currently in place. We would like to use this platform to address some of the concerns raised in the article, as well as how we are looking forward to the future.
In an open letter to the Division of Science published in the Justice on August 27, 2020, a challenge was leveled against what was dubbed the “meritocratic extreme” in science education, arguing that its ethos has been used to rationalize outmoded, non-inclusive teaching practices and a generally unsupportive culture. The letter also argued that the Division’s failure to address this and to prioritize matters of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has produced a litany of inequitable experiences for many of our underrepresented minority students (URM).
The events of Jan. 6, 2021 need no introduction. A month ago, the nation and the rest of the free world watched in horror as the Capitol building was breached by a fanatical Trump-supporting mob that sought to overturn an election and execute several elected officials. In the aftermath, five people, including a Capitol police officer, died, and hundreds more were injured. Several high-ranking cabinet members resigned, and representatives and senators both Republican and Democrat strongly condemned the riots, explicitly placing the blame for the incitement of the irate horde on the shoulders of former President Donald Trump himself. Trump and his repeated, unsubstantiated claims of election fraud stoked the fear, anger and prejudice of millions. Unfortunately, this is where the unity ended. In order to both prevent the spread of dangerous election-related conspiracy theories and the future planning of violent terror, nearly every social media platform, from Twitter to TikTok, banned former President Trump and suspended the accounts of thousands of his supporters. One platform in particular, the right-leaning, “free speech”-supporting Parler, was deplatformed entirely, with the App Store and Google Play Store banning its presence, and Amazon Web Services refusing to host its servers.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, President Biden signed a series of executive orders addressing the climate crisis. These executive orders ranged from pausing federal oil leases to increasing the use of electric cars, with a specific goal of making the United States carbon neutral by 2050. Some have praised Biden for his ambitious policies in addressing the climate crisis, while others believe it is not ambitious enough. Over this century, the world is on track for a temperature rise of three degrees Celsius, making this coming decade critical for slowing carbon dioxide emissions. Another common critique of Biden’s climate plan is the potential economic impact it will have on middle-class families who depend on fossil fuel jobs for income. Is Biden’s 2050 goal too ambitious considering the years it will take to reverse the Trump-era policies on climate change, or not ambitious enough? What else should Biden do to fight climate change?
Editorial: Feedback on Athletics and Academic Services sections of University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan
In light of the Nov. 10 release of the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan, the Justice’s editorial board will be reviewing and providing feedback on prominent sections. We hope that these forthcoming editorials will serve as a resource for students to provide feedback to the administration. We also recognize, however, that our editorial board is predominantly composed of white students, and we will work to ensure that we are not taking space or attention away from the voices of the BIPOC students who are most directly affected by racism on campus. In line with this goal, we have grounded our analysis of the appendices in the demands put forward by the Black Action Plan.
During the extended break, I went back home to Mountain View, California. For the past few years, I’ve been an avid walker, and I love taking pictures of cats, homes and landscaping that have curb appeal. I’ve recently also started listening to books as a way of using my walking time more productively. One day, while walking around my neighborhood, I was listening to “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” by Radley Balko. Suddenly, I was stopped by a lady in a gray late model Toyota Camry.
The vexing issue of anonymous campus confessions pages, where students can anonymously submit posts for viewing by anyone who follows them on social media arose again over winter break. The confessions group associated with Brandeis is well known for being a forum for both anti-Jewish and racist sentiments. I’d share some examples, but I’d prefer not to share expletives.
On Saturday Nov. 7, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States. After a tumultuous election season, Biden beat lame-duck President Donald J. Trump with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 electoral votes. Biden’s win is largely attributed to support in swing states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Biden’s win also marks a historical moment for California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is the first Black and South Asian woman to be elected vice president of the United States. What was your reaction to the Biden-Harris win? What do you think should be the top priorities for the new administration? Also, what do you anticipate as the biggest resistance to the new administration?
Editorial: The University needs to reevaluate its communication strategies surrounding the anti-racism plan
In June, during the resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests after police killed George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, University President Ron Liebowitz announced the administration’s intention to create an action plan to address systemic racism on campus. After six months of work, Liebowitz and Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mark Brimhall-Vargas unveiled the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Action Plan in a Nov. 10 email to the Brandeis community. This board commends this critical step to address long-standing issues of racism on the Brandeis campus and encourages the student body to review and critique the administration’s plans, while also highlighting concerns we have about the way the University presented the action plan to the campus community.
In his recent email about the Draft University Anti-Racism Plan, President Ron Liebowitz linked to a list of appendices that go into detail about the plan. Appendix B, “Our History of Anti-Racism Initiatives,” touches on several initiatives that the University has spearheaded, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. scholarships, the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program and the Brandeis Posse program. However, it largely focuses on the history of protests and occupations led by Black students and other students of color at the University. This board feels that the emphasis on these protests in a section titled “Our History of Anti-Racism Initiatives” incorrectly focuses on examples of the University’s commitment to social justice, rather than examples of the University’s racist systems and history.