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

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 

Views on the News: White Racism Class

On Jan. 10, Florida Gulf Coast University introduced a class titled "White Racism," with the goal to "interrogate the concept of race" by examining racist ideologies. However, according to a Jan. 10 CNN article, the class was met with so much opposition — including a series of threatening emails sent to the professor — that campus police officers were posted outside of the class. What do you think of this type of class, and how do you think the university should proceed? 

Encourage University to recognize importance of divestment

Brandeis, by investing in the fossil fuel industry, supports these actions that contribute to climate-change denial and climate change itself. However, Brandeis is an institution dedicated to social justice, and its investment policy states, “Only when the corporation is directly and substantially involved in activities clearly considered by the university community to be contrary to fundamental and widely shared ethical principles should the portfolio managers be instructed to avoid purchase of its securities.”   

Reconsider attitudes surrounding meat consumption

 In the light of the ongoing dialogue about climate change, the United States’ rate of meat consumption has been a point of contention. According to a Dec. 1, 2016 MarketWatch article, research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that Americans are among the highest consumers of meat per capita in the world, consuming, on average, 193 pounds of beef, pork, chicken and lamb a year. 

Condemn President Trump’s recent remarks about immigrants

It was the middle-school level insult heard around the world:  According to a Jan. 12 Washington Post article, last Thursday, President Donald Trump reportedly asked several lawmakers, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” after they suggested protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries.  

Consider possible options for the future of health care

While the health care  debate will presumably continue for many years to come, there are paths forward that would give more coverage to individuals and eventually achieve the goal of universal health care. Since Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have been put to rest for the present and massive public support for the ACA has shown a public acceptance of government-funded health care , the dream of a single-payer system — and the U.S. catching up to the majority of the Western world in terms of providing basic medical needs to its citizens — is hopefully within reach.  

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