All posts filed under: Think Pieces

Thoughts on President Obama’s farewell speech

Written by Carsie Mendoza, Staff Writer As President Barack Obama gave his final address to the nation as president, one of the major themes was reminding ourselves how far we had come in the past eight years. Not only were there many economic successes, such as unemployment falling to 4.7%, the Dow stock exchange making it past 19,000 points, and over 20 million Americans being covered under the Affordable Healthcare Act, there have been many social-based victories as well. Some have included the repealing of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ability for the LGBTQ+ community to marry whomever they choose, and the executive orders of DACA and DAPA or the Deferred Action for undocumented immigrants. The past eight years has seen lots of change for the better yet we are reminded by Barack Obama in this speech that even though we have seen lots of successes, we shouldn’t stand by and pretend all is right with the world. Race relations continue to be exceedingly tense as many minorities, who are quickly becoming the majority, are …

Why Shailene Woodley’s arrest and the No Dakota Pipeline Access Protests are important

Written by Alejandra Matheu-Rios, Staff Writer The Dakota Pipeline Project is a 1,172-mile pipeline planned for construction across North Dakota to Illinois to transport crude oil across the U.S. more efficiently. This pipeline is a terrible idea, and I am not the first person to express disagreement: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a Native American tribe that lives in a region where the pipe would cross, is currently protesting the pipeline over environmental concerns, arguing that an oil leak could contaminate their water and sacred lands, which include burial grounds, prayer sites, and artifacts. I agree with their concerns; oil spills happen in the ocean all the time, ruining our seawater and sea life, and are clearly an unavoidable threat. The most recent major incident was in May, when the Shell oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico leaked over 90,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. The potential of an oil spill happening on the lands of North Dakota is incredibly high; the risk is clearly not worth taking. But there’s more to the …

Trump hits new lows, Clinton doesn’t hit hard enough

Written by Arleen Lamba, Staff Writer No matter how many times Donald Trump claims that no one respects women more than he does, frankly, I’m not convinced at all. In the second presidential debate, he gave a brief, half-hearted apology for his mere “locker room talk” when asked about the statements he made in 2005 about groping women. He then changed the subject to the war crimes of ISIS. To me, his decision to bring up ISIS when prompted with the questions about his harassment of women sounded analogous to saying “Hey, I said those disgusting things about and admitted to harassing women in those tapes, but let’s forget about all that because we have bigger fish to fry.” I believe he successfully turned the attention away from these recordings and appealed to Americans’ emotion by citing Hillary Clinton’s defense of a child rapist in court. It is indeed revolting that a child rapist got one year in jail, but I hope that the audience understood that it was Clinton’s obligation as an attorney to defend …

2016 election: Here is why you should vote in November

Written by Carsie Mendoza, Staff Writer The 2016 presidential election could very well be considered one of the most divisive and heated elections in United States history. With a Republican candidate who seems to have no filter and a Democratic candidate, the first woman nominee for a major party whose 30 years in the political spotlight has somewhat tarnished her reputation amongst voters; there has certainly never been an election quite like this before. However, regardless of what party you align yourself with or what values and beliefs you hold, because this election is so decisive, staying home on election day is not an option. According to a study by the United States Elections Project, in 2012 there were 222.5 million people who were eligible to vote and only 58% of this population cast a ballot. In another study conducted by Pew Research Center, it was discovered that 71% of these voters were above the age of 65. Those who were between the ages of 18 to 24 accounted for 41% of the vote. Finally, …