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

Encourage University to make course costs known earlier

February is the final month for undergraduate students to drop a class without a mark of withdrawal on their transcripts. Ideally, students will decide which classes to drop or keep based upon future goals, compatibility and interest. However, some students will be forced to make their decisions based upon unexpected strain on their finances that comes with taking a certain class. Others will have to resign themselves to additional costs as they take courses required for their chosen majors and minors. These circumstances occur because many faculty members do not inform students beforehand of the class materials that need to be purchased for the course. 

Implore legislators to address new issues of climate change

Time and time again, Trump has refused to address what will likely be the most consequential global issue of the 21st century, and many activists feel hopeless as a result. Nevertheless, this strange moment in history provides an opportunity for activists to stop and consider the best path forward for the climate movement. 

Views on the News: Amazon Headquarters

A Jan. 31 Washington Post article detailed the lengths to which American cities are going to become the site of Amazon’s second headquarters. Cities like Baltimore and Newark have signaled they are willing to fork over billions of dollars in taxpayer money in the form of subsidies and tax cuts to win over Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Supporters view this as a worthwhile investment, while detractors allege that Amazon would pocket the money and leave its host penniless. Should cities be willing to put taxpayer money on the line to attract big businesses like Amazon? 

Recognize the limitations of an open-market system

It is my belief that it is morally wrong for countries to sell citizenship to those looking to immigrate, contradicting the proposal made by Gary Becker in his article “Selling the Right to Immigrate.”  Selling citizenship would place a price on what it is to be a citizen and only rewards those who can afford it. As a whole, there are two issues I believe exist when a country tries to sell the right to immigrate. First, it undermines the immigration process as a whole by enabling people with wealth to bypass the process almost entirely. Second, the sale devalues the importance and meaning of citizenship. 

Views on the News: Census

A Jan. 24 Washington Post article reported that the U.S. Census Department is considering adding the question “Are you a citizen?” to the 2020 Census. Supporters claim that this would provide more accurate data about the country's population and demographics, while detractors allege that this is an effort to suppress Hispanic voters and give the Republican Party an unfair advantage. Do you believe the U.S. Census Department should add citizenship to the 2020 census, and if so, what effects do you think such a decision would have? 

Urge students to take advantage of societal progression

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Americans will live through a key event in our history. History has germinated before our very eyes, just as news spread of bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or when we watched mankind reach the moon, or not too long ago, when the country saw Barack Obama become president, less than half a century after Martin Luther King said that he had a dream, so too does history germinate before our very eyes. The millions-strong Women’s Marches, the #MeToo movement, the rapidly transforming nature of the American workforce — these are the seeds of tomorrow’s history. 

Criticize Grammys for lack of diverse award recipients

On Jan. 28, the 60th annual Grammy Awards, held in New York City, continued the long and storied tradition of honoring the complete mediocrity that the Recording Academy strives for. Once again, the Grammys chose to elevate bland and predictable pop acts over cutting-edge hip-hop and rap artists. Bruno Mars’ milquetoast pop retread “24 Karat Magic” bested far more worthy contenders like Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” and Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” for album of the year, repeating the annual cycle of hip-hop being kept out of the top spot by any means necessary.  

Commend University for appointing new Muslim Chaplain

Muhammad Xhemali has joined the University’s Multifaith Chaplaincy as the new Muslim chaplain, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Rabbi Elisabeth Stern and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas wrote in an email to the University community. This board applauds the University on its appointment of Xhemali to the position, which marks a step toward a more inclusive Brandeis. 

Criticize the glorification of suicide in US television

On the first day of 2018, popular YouTube blogger Logan Paul uploaded a video showing close-up footage of a deceased man in Aokigahara, in Japan. In a Jan. 19 interview with Seventeen Magazine, actor Dylan Minnette revealed that season two of popular Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” will delve deeper into the life of the character whose suicide is the focus of the show. The very next day, Paramount Studios dropped the red band trailer for their TV anthology remake of cult classic film “Heathers,” which features teenagers finding posthumous adoration when their murders are staged as suicides. 

Condemn United States Gymnastics for their treatment of athletes

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.” 

Reconsider Facebook’s poor attempt to combat fake news

Facebook will begin implementing user surveys to determine the validity of news sources in the era of “fake news,” according to a Jan. 19 BBC article.  Founder Mark Zuckerberg chose this approach because allowing staff to decide what users see is “not something we're comfortable with,” according to the same article.  While this is an admirable approach to tackling the issue of false information, it may not be the best method for doing so.  

Views on the News: DisposeRx

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? 

Urge University to implement BranVan service alerts

As a result of frequent delays and interruptions in BranVan service, this board urges the Escort Safety Service and the University to coordinate an effort to improve lines of communication between riders and the shuttle service operators, including the creation of a notification system that would allow students to be informed of any service changes. 

Urge more conservatives to speak on climate change

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 

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