The Justice Logo

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

Violet Fearon


The placebo effect recycling creates damages the planet

 Trash, recycling and compost bins are all across campus. Like many others, I dutifully separate apple cores, bags of chips and bits of cardboard into their appropriate compartments. Recycling is inarguably better than not recycling — but recycling also isn’t an unmitigated good.  

Ranked choice voting should be the future of elections

 2020 might seem like the distant future, but the Democratic presidential primary is already underway. While several potentially major candidates have yet to announce and pundits should probably cool it for at least a little longer, one thing’s clear: the Democratic field is going to be a crowded and ideologically diverse battleground. Candidates span from moderates, like Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, to progressive stalwarts like Elizabeth Warren and, of course, Bernie Sanders. With such a large and fractured field, there’s a particularly compelling argument to be made for ranked choice voting. 

Superbowl ads are emotionally manipulative

 The Super Bowl is a celebration of all things American: snack foods, big crowds, boundless passion, nefariously concealed concussion scandals and colossal amounts of money. Perhaps its most American feature is the widespread concept of “watching for the ads.” Across this great nation of ours, countless individuals — myself included — passively watch a sports game they’re not terribly invested in, in order to enjoy being marketed to.  

The wall, the shutdown, and Trump’s irrationality

 The current government shutdown is the longest in United States history. Pay is being withheld from 800,000 federal workers, many of whom live paycheck-to-paycheck. Of these workers, 420,000 are still required to show up to work, according to CBS. The FDA has stopped inspections of certain food groups, over 40,000 immigration court hearings have been cancelled and Native American tribes that rely on federal funding are struggling to provide healthcare, road maintenance, law enforcement and other basic amenities, per the New York Times. The shutdown has also resulted a hefty economic cost. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings estimate that if the shutdown lasts one more week, it will cost the economy $5.7 billion. 

Early school start times may be leaving students behind

 College has a funny way of making you forget about high school. Case in point: Recently, while looking at our spring semester schedules, a friend of mine complained about the prospect of waking up for a morning class at 9 a.m.. What followed was a few of us from various states and school districts remembering how excruciatingly early we had to drag ourselves out of bed in high school.  

Voting by mail the best option to cure sluggish voter turnout

 Last week’s midterm elections saw a historic level of voter turnout. With an estimated 113 million Americans casting a ballot, it was the highest midterm voter turnout in 50 years, per a CNBC article. 113 million may sound like a lot — but in the scheme of things, the United States still lags far behind other developed nations. In analyzing the 2016 presidential election, in which 138 million people voted, Pew Research Center ranked the U.S. 26th out of 32 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations in terms of voter turnout. When looking at countries like Belgium and Sweden, both with voter turnouts north of 80 percent, the U.S.’s 55 percent seems especially troubling.  

The MAGA Bomber is a dreadful sign of things to come

  On Wednesday and Thursday, at least nine crudely made pipe bombs were sent to prominent individuals and organizations across the U.S., according to an Oct. 25 New York Times article. The targets span from politicians — former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton among them — to actor Robert de Niro, investor George Soros, former CIA director John Brennan and CNN’s New York offices. The connecting factor between these targets was quickly evident: they are all critics of President Donald Trump, and have been repeatedly verbally attacked by him. 

The stakes of Brett Kavanaugh's SCOTUS nomination

 Not many college students are avid C-SPAN viewers. This makes a lot of sense; even the quietest campus offers more exciting Friday night options than watching the nuts and bolts of our nation’s political process. But anyone who was watching C-SPAN from Sept. 4 to Sept. 7 would have seen the initial screening of the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. 

See The Print Version

Follow @TheJustice