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Letter to the Editor: Opportunities for Africology and African American studies education at EMU

(01/05/16 4:18pm)

The Department of Africology and African American studies here at Eastern Michigan University offers several academic programs and General Education courses that are designed to help enrich your learning experience in a way that could better prepare and equip you with knowledge and skills for effective functioning in a world of diverse peoples and cultures.

'Electioneering' and the Front National

(12/13/15 3:21pm)

In the U.S., we use a first-past-the-post system in our elections, meaning that whoever wins a majority of the vote—even if this is only 51 percent versus 49 percent—wins that election. Overall, I like this system. It means that if one candidate wants to win, they need to appeal to as many voters as possible rather than simply sticking to their nook constituency.

Political parties need to respond to their voters

(12/13/15 3:19pm)

The Democratic elite may support Clinton, one of my classmates told me in one of our many political back-and-forths, but Democrats as a whole support Bernie Sanders. “Although,” my classmate added, “I suppose you could say the same of [Donald] Trump,” that Trump is dismissed or even hated by the Republican elite but tremendously popular with Republicans as a whole.

The case for boots on the ground: why the U.S. should send ground troops to fight the Islamic State

(12/09/15 3:57pm)

After the Paris attacks, François Hollande swore to wage a merciless war against Islamic State, against which France, Germany, the United States and even Russia have all intensified their strikes. As this is written, the United Kingdom too joins the effort. Yet there seems to be no visible difference in the course of the Syrian Civil War. Operation Inherent Resolve, the US air campaign, has destroyed hundreds of vehicles and thousands of other targets, yet only minor territorial gains against IS have been made.

Stop the Christmas 'tug of war'

(12/09/15 3:57pm)

In a previous article I brought some issues to light that can help explain why some Christians may react so extremely and perpetuate the “war on Christmas.” However, that should be taken with a grain of salt, because it is Christians who are the perpetuators. For the sake of this article, I will openly say that I myself identify as a Christian. So as a collective “We,” Christians, what can we do to turn this “war” around?

The opioid epidemic is a lie

(12/09/15 3:58pm)

Many people have talked about the failure of the war on drugs. It's no secret that in spite of decades of attempts, little to nothing has improved. The war on drugs costs anywhere between $14 billion to $51 billion per year, depending on whether you're asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy (unsurprisingly, a governmental agency) or the Drug Policy Alliance respectively, with little hope of those costs decreasing over time. Worse, we have some of the highest drug incarceration rates in the world—Time putting the number at "seven to 10 times" that of most European countries per capita—and yet lifetime prevalence rates for every single drug tracked by the governmentally-approved SAMHSA report have increased dramatically over the 10 years it recorded, with the exception of methamphetamine. This is normally where I'd make the case for complete drug decriminalization, but there's one class of drugs embroiled in recent controversy that deserves its own defense: opioids.

College students should be tax exempt

(12/06/15 4:06pm)

Like many students, I am employed through my university, and, even though I have a place to live with a meal plan, I often find myself desperately trying to scrape together enough money to buy my textbooks at the beginning of each semester (and I know I am not the only one who gets a twinge of pain after searching endlessly for the textbook I need and shelling out hundreds of dollars). With the cost of attending college, combined with the often low-income status of many students, college students should not be taxed.

Are Christians' fears over the "War on Christmas" justified?

(12/02/15 4:00pm)

Having closed the doors on Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve taken the full plunge into the Christmas season. And yet with recent events preluding this festive time of year, we are reminded that when we’re no longer children, the disputes and bickering between cultures in society don’t always make this “the happiest time of the year.” This whole War on Christmas controversy—this year sprung by Starbuck’s offensive red cup—reminds me of a familiar quote by the peacemaker, Mahatma Gandhi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

When art enables abuse

(11/30/15 6:07pm)

In most forms of journalism and critique, there’s an aspiration toward objectivity. Certainly, some forms call on it more than others, but in the world that I come from—music criticism and, in a larger context, culture journalism—the opinions of the writer are inextricably linked to the subject they're courting. Art and pop culture both rely on human interpretation. Various substitutes have been foretold as the death knell of culture journalism, be it article-writing software or aggregators like Metacritic, but our continued existence proves that there is something invariably human to the process. So why do critics use objectivity to justify abuse?

College sports should be defunded

(11/29/15 3:32pm)

Most people now need a college degree in order to achieve the lifestyle they desire, if not something close to it. Some will be able to get past with just an undergraduate degree, but there is still the likelihood that they will need a master’s and even perhaps a doctorate degree—and most students are well aware of that fact. Defunding college sports would be a good step to take to help take some of the burden off of students.

EMU should offer more support for its premed students

(11/22/15 4:09pm)

Anyone who knows me knows I am premed. I love to talk to people and I am fascinated with the human body. I work hard in school for A’s because they are necessary if I want to go to medical school. It was natural for me to go to premed orientation during my first few weeks of being here in school. However, what I was told at the premed orientation wasn’t completely true and has led me to believe that more support should be offered to our students here.

Why college students should read on a regular basis

(11/22/15 4:10pm)

Many college students do more than just go to class. They go to work, they go to clubs, they study, they have friends and families and some even have children they need to take care of. Some parents rely on the income the student has in order to make ends meet. But in the time that we spend fussing over our day to day problems (and yes, they really are actual problems) every college student should remember that reading is important.

Commuters can sometimes take family for granted

(11/22/15 4:09pm)

Commuting from home has become much more common for college students. In a recent national survey titled “How America Pays for College 2014” by the bank Sallie Mae, 54 percent of college students are now living at home. After considering the potentially huge cuts in cost, commuting seems like it should always be the right choice. However, just because it’s the right choice doesn’t mean people will feel good about it. In fact, I often see that commuting tends to be looked down upon by college students. Commuters may not hate living at home, but many probably think they would be happier if they didn’t and that’s because they are unable to see the silver lining.

Trump and Carson: vast differences

(11/19/15 2:06pm)

When looking at the two Republican front runners—Donald Trump and Ben Carson—there are a great number of differences between them that cause people, who are thinking of voting Republican, to lean one way or the other. While some may point out contrasting backgrounds—New York City and Detroit—the ways in which they present themselves, or even their race, I think the most jarring difference between these two presidential candidates is the way they view the country.

France, Beirut and social media

(11/19/15 2:06pm)

A series of horrible terrorist attacks across Paris left over a hundred innocent people dead, Friday, November 13. Historically, after tragedies like this, people would absorb all the information through one-way mediums. They would watch politicians taking stances on television or read the latest updates on the newspaper; either way, it was always someone talking at them with little room for discourse. Now with the Internet, that one-way street has been demolished and replaced with a 16-lane highway where people can now give their opinions the minute it reaches them. This has created a new culture in the way we deal with indelible events like the one this past weekend, which was demonstrated by the new French flag filter on Facebook. But if there is anything that the Internet has taught us, it is that there will always be disharmony among us even in the harshest of times. Shortly after the waves of hashtags, tweets and changed profile pictures hit the web, the backlash against these actions ensued.

We need to raise our girls to be strong and to want to pursue their dreams

(11/19/15 2:05pm)

When most girls are younger, even though they are not directly told be so, girls learn to be cute. They learn to be weak. They learn to let boys open doors for them and lift heavy objects. As girls get older, they are subliminally told that it is bad to be smart. Women are forced into tiny glass boxes in which they feel as uncomfortable as they feel unreasonable and illogical. This can cause so much cognitive dissonance in a young woman’s life that she is left not knowing what to do in many cases. She is stuck asking questions a man would never ask himself. Though I pride myself on being strong and independent, I ask myself questions like, “Will my boyfriend feel threatened by how much money I earn,” or “Will my husband feel like I don’t love him because of my devotion to medicine and my future career?”