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

Commend the University for holding active shooter drill

 On March 21, the University will conduct an emergency preparedness drill on campus simulating an active shooter in the Brandeis Library. Through interactive role-play, this drill will test the University’s level of readiness should a real crisis of this nature unfold on campus. In light of similar shooter threats that have recently taken place both at Brandeis and at other educational institutions across the nation, this board commends the University’s proactive approach in fostering a safer and more protected community.  


Consider benefits of medical breakthroughs in reproductive health

According to a March 3 article in Time, this February, a woman from the United States gave birth to a baby after a successful uterine transplant — making her the second in the country to do so. The woman, who wished to withhold her identity, is part of an ongoing clinical trial at the Baylor University Medical Center to treat women with absolute uterine factor infertility, meaning that they have either a nonfunctional or nonexistent uterus. The first successful surgery was performed in 1999 by a team of doctors at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Since then, eight children have been born from women who had undergone a uterine transplant, according to the university’s website.  


Views on the News: Firearm Purchases

 President Donald Trump's apparent support for raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21 and a more rigorous system of background checks for all firearm purchases left many Republican lawmakers stunned, according to a Feb. 28 New York Times article. Gun control advocates say that these regulations are a first step in combating gun violence, while detractors allege they would fail to stop guns from getting in the hands of criminals. Are additional regulations the right step to take in order to reduce gun violence?  


Demand bipartisan solution to pervasive gun violence

I know very little about guns. However, I understand that something is wrong in America when there is gun violence — particularly in schools — that far exceeds that of many other countries. A study by the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis detailed in the Washington Post addressed this discrepancy. It examined school violence in 36 countries and concluded that approximately half of all occurrences with at least two victims happened in the United States from 2000 to 2010, and the vast majority of these incidents involved guns. Those 36 countries totaled to 3.8 billion residents in 2010, while the U.S. population accounts for less than one-tenth of this number at that time. America clearly has a unique problem.  


Condemn collection of ethnic data on government forms

In a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, FBI director Christopher Wray said that Chinese spies are spreading throughout the United States as part of a “whole-of-society” threat. He claimed that every Chinese person is a suspected spy regardless of their affiliation with Chinese government and called for a whole-of-society response from Americans, according to a Feb. 13 Business Insider article.  He also said that the Chinese intelligence employs nontraditional collectors such as professors, scientists and students. They collected information not only in major cities but also small ones across basically every discipline.  


Acknowledge MakerLab’s contributions to the University

 This past week, the Brandeis MakerLab raised $6,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. Created in 2014, the MakerLab is central to much of Brandeis’ pursuit of new and emerging technologies, and is responsible for advances in the field of 3D printing, robotics and drones. This board recognizes the importance of the MakerLab and commends the Brandeis community members involved in this innovative campus resource.  


Encourage students to support Cupid Express fundraiser

As Valentine’s Day approaches, people express their love and affection for significant others, family and friends, often by buying flowers, chocolate or other gifts. This year, Graduate Student Affairs is holding a campus-wide fundraising initiative, Cupid Express, to benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. This board encourages the Brandeis community to participate in this worthy initiative by using Cupid Express as the one-stop-shop for buying roses and chocolate. 


Analyze effects of globalization on Egyptian market structures

The name of the game for many countries trying to grow their economy is globalization. An open, competitive market that gives the opportunity for increased efficiency, exports and investment has been the goal of many of these countries. But globalization potentially has an additional benefit to these growing nations: the shrinking of the informal sector, as can be seen in the globalization of the Egyptian economy. 


Acknowledge the faults in some modern forms of protest

My hometown became more diverse and began to experience growing pains. Our town was a red dot in Massachusetts’ blue sea: When my family first moved there, we were one of maybe 10 Indian families in a town of over 15,000. Now, Indian and Chinese families have flocked to our small, less multicultural replica of Lexington, drawn by the top-tier schools’ rankings, and one out of 10 Winchester citizens are Asian, according to demographic data from Neighborhood Scout.  


Views on the News: Military Parade

President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to start preparing for a military parade to be held on Veteran’s Day, which would be the United States’ first since the end of the Gulf War in 1991, according to a Feb. 6 Washington Post article. While the president and his advisors claim a parade would inspire pride in the armed forces and display the military’s might, detractors suggest that a parade would call to mind totalitarian regimes like North Korea and the Soviet Union. Do you think a military parade in 2018 is a worthwhile endeavor? 


Commend the University for involvement in Smart Fifty

On Friday, Brandeis International Business School had the honor of hosting one of the early stages of Smart Fifty, an entrepreneurial competition designed to find innovative startups with the ability to tackle some of India’s greatest socio-economic challenges. Led by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, India’s Department of Science and Technology and TiE Boston, Smart Fifty focuses on improving learning, agriculture, sustainability, health and other areas of life in India, according to the program’s page on IBS’ website. 


Create harsher restrictions for law enforcement officials

Just yesterday, Snopes cleared up one of the internet’s biggest controversies of the week: It is not true that police can legally rape people in 35 different states. However, it is still too early to breathe a sigh of relief. The truth of the matter is that these 35 states do not have laws that make it illegal for police officers or sheriff deputies to have sex with people in their custody. Although this is almost certainly an oversight rather than a loophole crafted for nefarious purposes, it is a dangerous one, and it reflects a broader issue in the current state of United States laws. 


Caution against the dangers of cryptocurrency bubble

Those who are not glued to every single sliver of tech and business news may have missed the meteoric rise and subsequent fall of bitcoin, the crown prince of the burgeoning cryptocurrency trend. Despite the amount of attention investors and market analysts have paid them in recent months, few members of the public actually understand what cryptocurrencies are or how they work. 


Allow students on block meal plans to donate unused meals

Brandeis prides itself on social justice and a commitment to service, and few organizations exemplify these values more than the Waltham Group, which is composed of more than a dozen groups specializing in a variety of key issues. One such group is Hunger and Homelessness, an organization within the larger Waltham Group umbrella that works to help people in the Greater Boston Area who are struggling with homelessness, poverty and hunger. Hunger and Homelessness pursues this worthy goal with a range of annual or semi-annual programs, one of which is “Food for Thought.” The program allows Brandeis students to donate their guest meals at the beginning of the semester to help alleviate hunger. This board commends Hunger and Homelessness for its work on this program and others, but we urge Sodexo to extend donation opportunities to students on block meal plans as well. 


Consider implementation of Automatic Voter Registration

It is important for all Massachusetts residents to call their State Senator or Representative and ask them to support House Bill 2091 and Senate Bill 373, an act that automatically registers eligible voters and enhances safeguards against fraud. These bills can implement “automatic voter registration,” also known as AVR, in which citizens are automatically registered to vote in the Commonwealth whenever they visit the Department of Motor Vehicles or interact with state agencies. Individuals can refuse to be registered if they choose, meaning the system becomes opt-out rather than opt-in. In addition, ballots are mailed to all registered voters, although using the ballot remains entirely optional. Automatic voter registration may not arouse passions like more visceral or emotional political issues, yet it is a reform desperately needed in American elections. 


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. 


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