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Are we too hard on Brian Williams?

(02/15/15 8:44pm)

Brian Williams, a news anchor for NBC, has recently been suspended as a lead anchor for six months. He had misspoken on Jan. 30 about being in a helicopter that had been hit by a rocket while he was covering the Iraqi war back in the year 2003. While it is directly disrespectful to embellish this particular type of story -- and a suspension was warranted for it -- given what psychology tells us about storytelling, I don’t believe any further disciplinary action is required.

The US electoral system is flawed

(02/15/15 8:45pm)

The way we elect our president is through the Electoral College system. While we do have a popular vote, it is the Electoral College that officially selects who our next president will be. Electors typically cast their vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote in their respective state. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes, currently 270, wins the presidency.

Appreciate the commonplace

(02/15/15 8:46pm)

In the summer of 2013, my brother and I traveled to Europe; he went to Italy, I went to Spain. The view in Madrid, Spain was either that the Catalans were not serious in their push for independence or that they were only interested in economic and political gain. While I’m sure Catalonia too has politicians who simply blow with the prevailing wind, politics and economics are not the end-all and be-all of human interactions. The commonplace always seems to be taken for granted.

Get vaccinated

(02/08/15 5:54pm)

We are a little over a month into 2015 and already there are more cases of measles than we have on average in a given year. The CDC has reported that there have been 102 cases of measles in the U.S. between Jan. 1 and Jan. 30. Back in 2002, measles were declared to have been eliminated from the Americas.

New campus drinking fountains are great investment

(02/04/15 7:05pm)

Have you seen the drinking fountain in the Student Center that has an automatic water-bottle filler on the wall behind it? That thing is awesome! I am one of those people who are always stopping to use the drinking fountains in buildings. It seems like I never remember to bring my own water or I drink what I brought and need a refill. I take medication that makes my mouth dry and I am constantly in need of a little more moisture to keep my tongue from sticking to the roof of my mouth and the frogs out of my throat.

There's no wrong way to vote

(02/01/15 5:14pm)

The idea that voters are generally uninformed is a pervasive and popular opinion. This leads many people, both political junkies and less politically knowledgeable people, to come to the conclusion that voters are incapable of making good decisions in elections. However, I don’t believe this is the case. Voters are not uninformed and are able to vote correctly a majority of the time.

Be more creative when approaching assignments

(01/28/15 4:20pm)

While some aspects of our lives encourage us to cultivate the creative mind, the academic sphere is generally not one of them. We inhale information just to regurgitate it on a test later. We write essay after essay in a structured format to get them over and done with until all the passive voice builds up and every paper starts to sound the same. While some projects and presentations open doors to more colorful thought, we may not realize that it is just as boring and painful for professors to read our papers as it is boring and painful for us to write them.

The problem with 'race-bending' in entertainment

(01/28/15 4:19pm)

Othello -- the Moorish-descended lead from Shakespeare's play by the same name -- being portrayed by a white man is not quite the same thing as Othello being portrayed as a white man. To invoke examples of first -- erstwhile convulsing with moral paroxysms of indignation -- in order to criticize examples of the second is to confuse two very different phenomena.