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

Letter to the Editor:The Student Union's Response to COVID-19

Dear Brandeis Community,  The past few days have been hectic, and full of change and uncertainty. Just like you, we’re devastated that the semester and our terms are ending like this. This past week, however, has shown the strength of our community. Whether it has been contributing flight points, donating laptops, or helping one another pack and giving rides, you have proven what the core values of Brandeis are about. For this, we can’t thank you all enough. 

A Love Letter to my senior Senator Elizabeth Warren

I was 11 years old on Nov. 6th, 2012, and I still remember my parents letting me stay up to watch the news that night. It truly was a historic night as Elizabeth Warren, in beating the Republican incumbent Scott Brown, became my senator and the first woman senator from the state of Massachusetts. I became interested in politics at the age of six or seven by listening to National Public Radio in the backseat of my mom’s car. During the 2008 primary, I was proud to campaign for Hillary Clinton. It made no sense to me then—and I guess still today— that there had never been a woman in the White House. Although the Senate is not the White House, I was extremely proud to have Warren be the first woman to represent my state. 

The NFL's new CBA is a risky proposition for play

This is my surprise last article ever for the Justice. It’s been a pleasure to serve as your annoying columnist for the past four years. After all, everything else isn’t exactly hunky-dory in all walks of American life right now, and our usual refuge of sports is unfortunately no different. The NBA is suspended, March Madness is canceled, the MLB delayed and the NFL is in no man's land. But that doesn’t mean we’re wholly bereft of sports content.  

VIEWS ON THE NEWS:Coronavirus leading Brandeis to cancel in-person classes

As of a March 11 email from University President Ron Liebowitz, Brandeis has made the decision to suspend in-person classes for the remainder of the semester starting March 20 and told students to leave campus by March 25 if they are able. Spring break dates have changed to account for this shift, giving students time to make both travel and storage arrangements. What are your thoughts on Brandeis’ decision? How can Brandeis best accommodate students, faculty and staff during this difficult time?  

EDITORIAL: Responding to the University's COVID-19 policies

On March 11, University President Ron Liebowitz sent an email to the Brandeis community outlining the changes the University would be implementing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The email came a day after the governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, declared a state of emergency following a spike in the number of confirmed cases in the state.  

VIEWS ON THE NEWS: 2019-2020 Controversial Supreme Court Cases

In recent months, the Supreme Court has announced it will take on various court cases that test already festering tensions in American society. These cases will involve issues ranging from abortion rights, to the status of DACA immigrants, to deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The case Gee v. June Medical services will determine the Supreme Court’s stance on certain laws that restrict abortion access. Another case, Barton v. Barr, determines the future of 800,000 immigrants known as Dreamers. On March 2, the Supreme Court decided to take up a challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which has survived major attacks under Trump’s presidency. Why do you believe the Supreme Court has chosen to hear these controversial cases now? How will these upcoming rulings deepen the divide amongst an already polarized society? You can answer these questions focusing on one specific case or addressing them as a collective.  

Evaluating Joe Biden’s presidential competency

The presidential campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden has, to say the least, recovered from a rocky start. After three disappointing finishes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, Biden won every county in South Carolina and nine out of 15 states on Super Tuesday, putting the former vice president firmly in the lead in the number of delegates awarded so far. For the first time since the race began, this has crystallized the two wings of the Democratic Party into two solid voting blocs: the center-left supports Biden and the progressive left supports former frontrunner Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. 

Coronavirus panic wreaks havoc on the global economy

When I first thought of writing this article regarding the economic impact of the coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19), I knew things were going to get worse before they got better — and they have. There has been a delayed impact on the United States, but as of March 7, there has been a total of 17 deaths and 308 cases. A state of emergency has been declared in California, New York and Washington and more. A cruise ship with 21 confirmed cases so far is quarantined near San Francisco, and in limbo as to when test kits for all the passengers will be available. They have finally been allowed to dock in Oakland, CA, which is odd, since Oakland is just a short drive from San Francisco, so I’m not quite sure what they’re trying to prevent.  

Is eliminating plastic straws really the answer to climate change?

Unless you have been living under a rock, then you have probably noticed the introduction of reusable straws around campus. The supposed intent behind this new green initiative is to cut back on the use of single-use plastics, of which I am completely in favor. The abundance of single-use plastics in existence has exacerbated the effects of climate change by contributing to greenhouse gas emissions around the world. This initiative to stop using plastic straws is not just isolated to Brandeis University — this is a global movement in which the consumer is being challenged to consider how even the smallest actions, such as using a straw, have drastic consequences on the environment. However, though I am in support of holding ourselves accountable for climate change and its impact on our environment, I am not on board with the focus on blaming the consumer. Instead, I believe that we should shift our collective gaze on the giant conglomerates responsible for the mess we find ourselves in now and hold them accountable for the absolute destruction these companies have caused in our world. 

Reflecting on the current state of the Democratic primary

As Joe Biden comes off with what was widely recognized as an unexpectedly strong showing on Super Tuesday, looking to all but put the nomination away tonight, Sanders is continuing his energetic rallies to galvanize supporters to his side, particularly in Michigan, the largest state to vote on the 10th. What we are witnessing, however, is a generational divide, the likes of which perhaps the Democratic party has never before seen. Some exit polls suggest Sanders won 58% of those aged 18-29, whereas it is almost flipped for voters aged 65+, with Biden earning 48% (with Sanders trailing far behind with 15%). 

Letter to the Editor from Robbie Goldstein

My name is Robbie Goldstein. I am a primary care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, and I’m running to be the next representative in Congress for the 8th District of Massachusetts. 

Friendship should drive self-improvement

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of collaborating on the writing of an editorial discussing Sodexo’s recent insertion of special dining pamphlets into various dining locations around campus. At first glance, the pamphlets seemed to be encouraging a healthier diet, instructing students on how to build plates that maintained appropriate portion sizes, how to use water as a means of suppressing one’s appetite and secretly physically exert oneself doing mundane tasks in order to burn calories. Evidently, these seemingly harmless pamphlets encourage weight loss, something many attempting to have a healthier lifestyle do not seek to do.  

Democracy is about more than just winning the most delegates

In the twenty-four hours before I wrote this article, three candidates dropped out of the democratic presidential primary: Tom Steyer, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Shortly after this article will be printed, the polls will open in Massachusetts and a basket of other ‘Super Tuesday’ states. The consensus among the pundits is that this is now basically a two-person race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg, my former mayor, is still dumping obscene amounts of money into advertising, but I don’t think people expect him to go very far. Tulsi Gabbard remains a darkly interesting footnote, pulling reassuringly negligible numbers as she continues to apologize for far-right leaders around the world. This leaves us with just one other candidate: our own senator, Elizabeth Warren. She’s been the focus of much pressure in the last few hours to follow her recent competitors and drop out, and, if she wishes to remain influential, cast her lot with someone who can actually win. 

Views on the News: Super Tuesday Predictions

On Feb. 22, United States Democratic Presidential candidates competed for the votes of 36 pledged delegates during the Nevada Caucus. Sen. Bernie Sanders won the caucuses, which demonstrated that he could expand his platform beyond white liberal supporters to minority groups such as Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans. Does this performance build momentum and prepare him to come out ahead on March 3, Super Tuesday? Of all the current presidential candidates, who do you believe is best equipped to succeed on Super Tuesday, and what is their most likely path to the nomination? 

EDITORIAL: Commending University’s SipChip intiative

On March 4, the Student Union and the Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center will launch their new SipChip initiative. SipChips are drink-testing devices which, upon contact with a cold drink, will indicate whether it has been tainted with any common “date-rape” drugs. SipChips will be available in numerous locations around campus, and this test run will help determine future supplies. This board applauds the SipChip initiative and sees it as a positive step forward in sexual violence prevention. 

The screw up at the DNC is a self-inflicted injury

Wednesday, Feb. 19 marked the first time United States presidential candidate, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on the debate stage. Bloomberg had only announced his candidacy on Nov. 24, 2019, almost a year and a half after the other candidates declared their run for the presidency.  

AIPAC snubs reveal group’s increasingly partisan nature

Want a break from the partisan gridlock of the Beltway? Want to hear major politicians from all around the globe speak in relative harmony on one subject for once? Want to be on the frontlines of American statecraft and international relations? Boy howdy, do I have a conference for you. It’s another year, so that means it’s time for another American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, a three-day celebration of the American-Israeli alliance attended by politicians and Zionists of all stripes. At least, it used to be.  

Views on the News: Delayed Iowa Caucus Results

 On Feb. 3, United States presidential candidates competed for the 41 pledged delegates in 1,679 precincts during the Iowa Caucus. Iowa’s Democratic Party planned to release the results of the caucus through a smartphone app designed to calculate and release the results more quickly to the public than in previous years. However, the app had the opposite effect — results were delayed by almost a day and only started being released Tuesday afternoon. The IDP confirmed that the delay was due to transmitting errors between the app and the IDP. How do you think the delay in the release of the caucus results will affect what some see as already wavering public confidence in our voting systems? Considering the fragility of technology, should Democratic parties in states with upcoming caucuses and primaries take precautions to ensure the results are released without similar issues? 

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