The Pitt News

When environmental groups overstep, progress halts

When environmental groups overstep, progress halts

By Brian Gentry | Columnist

December 6, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The auditorium of Arsenal Middle School contained an eclectic mix of people Monday night. In the middle aisle, a sharply dressed younger crowd in scarves and thick-rimmed glasses conversed with representatives from environmental groups such as PennEnvironment and Lawrenceville United. Meanwhile, gruff, blue-...

Oil pipelines pursue a path of turmoil

Oil pipelines pursue a path of turmoil

By Lexi Kennell | Culture Editor

December 5, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Native Americans in the Dakotas faced police dogs, pepper spray and rubber bullets last year while trying to protect their homes from one pipeline — now parts of the region have nearly 210,000 gallons of oil spilled on it from another. Last year’s clashes on the Standing Rock Reservation in North ...

Microtransactions mar gaming experience

Microtransactions mar gaming experience

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

December 4, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

A short time ago in an industry not so far away, the gaming empire Electronic Arts released a video game called “Star Wars Battlefront II” — but gamers should keep their wallets handy if they want the full game experience. This sequel to the 2015 “Star Wars Battlefront” promised to add improve...

Friday Fly: Nordy’s Place

Friday Fly: Nordy’s Place

By Maggie Koontz | Columnist

December 1, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

“Friday Fly” is a recurring column dedicated to a fly on the wall’s perspective on campus spots and daily life here at Pitt. This is the third installment. As the flow of students through the William Pitt Union basement slows and shadows lengthen, the bright blue Nordy’s sign beckons students f...

A productive, yet misrepresentative three-way debate

A productive, yet misrepresentative three-way debate

By Neena Hagen | For The Pitt News

November 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

At colleges across the country — from California to the University of Connecticut — political events frequently turn violent. So when I got to room 324 of the Cathedral of Learning Tuesday evening for the Pitt Political Science Student Association's three-way debate between Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, I braced myself for a ba...

When talking assault, recognize the limitations of the #MeToo movement

When talking assault, recognize the limitations of the #MeToo movement

By Ana Altchek | Columnist

November 29, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The infamous words of pre-college advice for girls at my high school graduation party were “never leave your drink unattended,” and, if you ignored that, “don’t drink the punch” — warnings against the dangers of college parties, particularly when alcohol is involved. These are valid ti...

Don’t make students foot the bill for tax cuts

Don’t make students foot the bill for tax cuts

By Maggie Durwald | Columnist

November 28, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As our fellow Pitt students once again embark on the often overwhelming journey that is apartment hunting for next year, the voters of Pennsylvania may be inadvertently raising our rental costs. At the polls earlier this month, 54 percent of Pennsylvanians voted for a constitutional amendment allo...

A long overdue farewell to The Pitt News

A long overdue farewell to The Pitt News

By Jaime Viens | Contributing Editor

November 27, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

“This is an exploration of feminism by a somewhat educated, 19 year old liberal arts major.” This is the first sentence I ever wrote in hopes of getting hired as a columnist for The Pitt News back in 2015. Somehow, it worked, though the words were rightfully never published until today. It’...

Volunteer, but not on Thanksgiving

Volunteer, but not on Thanksgiving

By Neena Hagen | For The Pitt News

November 20, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It’s Thanksgiving, and you're bustling around the sweltering, crowded soup kitchen, maneuvering around your fellow volunteers, taking up practically every inch of space on the floor. Someone jostles your elbow, almost causing you to spill the giant pot of soup you're carrying around. Despite the...

Talking politics at Thanksgiving shouldn’t be taboo

Talking politics at Thanksgiving shouldn’t be taboo

By Anne Marie Yurik | For The Pitt News

November 20, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

What do you do when someone close to you says something about a topic in the news you find simply reprehensible? Oftentimes, the instinct is to shut up and pretend it didn’t happen — something that’s especially true over the holidays. If your Thanksgiving expectations are similar to mine, y...

Extend love to homeless in a city that doesn’t

Extend love to homeless in a city that doesn’t

By Sarah Shearer | Columnist

November 17, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Nichole Cooper didn’t know a simple “How are you?” would lead to such a rich friendship when she met Shaker on the street. “You know, I just saw him and was like, hey, what’s up?” Cooper said.  “He offered me a cigarette and I said no and he asked how are you?” Cooper, a woman from Tex...

To succeed, sophomores should stay on campus

To succeed, sophomores should stay on campus

By Brian Gentry | For The Pitt News

November 17, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Sophomore Dolan Edinboro knew he wanted to move off campus for his sophomore year. But when he started looking for apartments in the November of his first semester at Pitt, he and one of his roommates, sophomore John Kelly, were shocked to sometimes spend five or six hours a week looking for one. “I...

Off-year election marks desire for criminal justice reform

Off-year election marks desire for criminal justice reform

By Ben Sheppard | Columnist

November 16, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Despite our national representatives’ inability to agree on anything, the Nov. 7 off-year elections showed that the nation at large is united by at least one thing — criminal justice reform. Pittsburghers are fed up with archaic strategies of criminal justice  — and Mik Pappas is their new refor...

Christmas: the most wonderful two months of the year

Christmas: the most wonderful two months of the year

By Alexis Buncich | For The Pitt News

November 15, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Based on my friends’ Snapchats, the last moments before the Christmas season ended the night of Halloween. Everyone was still getting into their Halloween candy when suddenly, the clock struck midnight — and each Snapchat story was filled with carols as my friends traded jack-o’-lanterns for S...

Whitefish debacle points to dubious dealings

Whitefish debacle points to dubious dealings

By Bianca De | For The Pitt News

November 14, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As a small-town business owner, what do you do when a local Facebook friend suddenly becomes Secretary of the Interior? If you happen to live in Whitefish, Montana, you simply wait for the next natural disaster. Puerto Rico was almost entirely without power after Hurricane Maria devastated the isl...

“What are you?”: Embracing a mixed-roots identity

“What are you?”: Embracing a mixed-roots identity

By Erica Brandbergh | Columnist

November 13, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I once asked my dad, out of curiosity, whether he put Caucasian, Asian or both on surveys that ask about his race. He paused for a bit and said he didn’t know. I asked if he identified with one more than the other, and he was unsure of that as well. My dad is half-Japanese. He was born on an American Army base in...

Friday Fly: Cathedral Commons Room

Friday Fly: Cathedral Commons Room

By Maggie Koontz | Columnist

November 10, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Top Stories

“Friday Fly” is a recurring column dedicated to a fly on the wall’s perspective on campus spots and daily life here at Pitt. This is the second installment. The Cathedral of Learning Commons Room is a feat of Gothic architecture, crafted out of limestone, slate and iron. Pathfinders passing t...

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but memes should never hurt us

Sticks and stones may break our bones, but memes should never hurt us

By Neena Hagen | For The Pitt News

November 9, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The Senate is used to strange occurrences, but Nov. 1, our legislators discussed a group of memes which are purportedly evidence for Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community thinks the memes were part of a sophisticated network of propaganda used to suppo...

When the whole world collides: global music hits the charts

When the whole world collides: global music hits the charts

By Levko Karmazyn | Columnist

November 8, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

If you turned on your car radio during the summer of 2016, chances are you came under the influence of the tropical pulse of Drake’s “One Dance.” As the first song to hit one billion plays on Spotify, it marked one of the 2010s’ biggest music stars hitting a viral peak. But it wasn’t just Drake’s magical touch that made the song a success —  sweeping sample...

Hollywood homophobia complicates Spacey scandal

Hollywood homophobia complicates Spacey scandal

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

November 7, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Coming out as gay can be a struggle. The experience can be even harder if you’re 14 years old, the victim of a sexual assault — and in the film industry. This is exactly the unfortunate situation actor Anthony Rapp faced in 1986 when, after attending Kevin Spacey’s party in Manhattan, the 26...

Hartford hate crime shows what happens when students stay silent

Hartford hate crime shows what happens when students stay silent

By Sarah Shearer | Columnist

November 6, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Imagine walking into your dorm room at the end of a long day. You get ready for bed, brush your teeth and apply lotion. The faint smell of — moldy clams? — doesn’t quite hit but lingers questionably in the air. You want to ask your roommate if she smells it too, but can’t find the strength t...

Horror movie classics should be standard for scares

Horror movie classics should be standard for scares

By Maggie Durwald | For The Pitt News

November 3, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Johnny and Barbara arrive at their father’s grave in rural Pennsylvania, a storm brewing in the distance. A gaunt, staggering man approaches silently across the landscape of headstones. He murders Johnny. Barbara flees. The man — a zombie — gives chase. Her brother’s last, teasing words of warni...

Column: Angela Davis visits Pitt

Column: Angela Davis visits Pitt

By Henry Glitz / Opinions Editor

November 2, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Top Stories

The first time Angela Davis was fired, race riots were rocking America, Ronald Reagan was governor of California and students at colleges across the country — including Pitt — were forming movements for black liberation. “I’m proud of the fact that I was fired by Ronald Reagan — but that’s a...

Rejecting his legacy, Flake boldly speaks out

Rejecting his legacy, Flake boldly speaks out

By Ana Altchek | For The Pitt News

November 2, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Growing up in a town between Princeton and Trenton, New Jersey, I was exposed to a diverse population — both racially and economically. And while I am grateful I grew up in a place that encouraged a progressive mind-set, this naturally precluded conservative views. A lot of people in my town thought this was ...

Change the system to avoid pay-for-play scandals

Change the system to avoid pay-for-play scandals

By Will Schulman | For The Pitt News

November 1, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

The Federal Bureau of Investigation made headlines in the sports world when it arrested 10 people Sept. 26 for a pay-for-play scandal, in which coaches, agents and shoe company employees sent and received bribes involving college basketball recruits. Among the arrested were multiple college basket...

Movie murderers make killer crushes

Movie murderers make killer crushes

By Henry Glitz and Jaime Viens | The Pitt News Staff

October 31, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In a darkened movie theater, a pale face appears, grinning evilly from the depths of a sewer grate. A masked man in a dark jumpsuit stalks menacingly down a corridor with a knife. A creepy loner stares fixedly at a female guest over the front desk of a motel in the middle of nowhere. Most of the audi...

Don’t let groupthink ruin Greek life

Don’t let groupthink ruin Greek life

By Vaibhavi Patria | For The Pitt News

October 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As Maxwell Gruver, a first-year at Louisiana State University, was wheeled into the hospital last month, his blood alcohol concentration was eight times the legal limit — nearly 0.5. Gruver, who was a pledge for Phi Delta Theta, died in the aftermath of a hazing incident at his fraternity. Brothers...

Spencer’s free speech fails to further dialogue

Spencer’s free speech fails to further dialogue

By Jaime Viens | Contributing Editor

October 27, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I had just returned from Shabbat services with my grandpa, president of his temple in central Florida, on Friday, Aug. 11. Following his nightly routine, he switched on the news. But instead of the local traffic report, he was confronted with video clips of men shouting “Jews will not replace u...

Listen to Takei: start small to make change

Listen to Takei: start small to make change

By Alexis Buncich | For The Pitt News

October 26, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

George Takei, actor and activist, has seen a lot of discrimination in his life. At 80 years old, he has lived through a Japanese internment camp, the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement and countless other protests. He may be originally known for his role in “Star Trek,” but he’s used his fame to bec...

Bush 2020? One great speech can’t erase eight years

Bush 2020? One great speech can’t erase eight years

By Brian Gentry | For The Pitt News

October 25, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Defying all expectations of his speaking ability, former President George W. Bush gave an eloquent speech last week criticizing the Trump administration. “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism — forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” he said. The for...

Editorial: Senator Flake denounces, but forfeits to the new normal

Editorial: Senator Flake denounces, but forfeits to the new normal

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

October 25, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona delivered a 17-minute speech on the Senate floor Tuesday denouncing “the new normal” and declaring he won’t seek reelection in 2018 — but his powerful political call to action was a resounding forfeit. In a Washington Post op-ed the same day, Flake ...

Girls won’t burn the Boy Scouts’ house down

Girls won’t burn the Boy Scouts’ house down

By Sarah Shearer | Columnist

October 23, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Between completing badges in financial literacy, car maintenance and proper dining etiquette, I learned the importance of diversity during my time as a Girl Scout — at just 10 years old. That’s why, when the Boy Scouts of America announced earlier this month that they’d soon begin allowing girls i...

Term limits could transform congress

Term limits could transform congress

By Ben Sheppard | Columnist

October 23, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Imagine the hectic day-to-day life of a senator — rushing from meeting to meeting, negotiating legislation and dealing with media and constituents. Now try doing that without even being able to remember where the Senate meets. In an interview with Politico last week in one of the hallways of the Cap...

Friday Fly: Hillman ground floor

Friday Fly: Hillman ground floor

By Maggie Koontz | Columnist

October 19, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Top Stories

“Friday Fly” is a biweekly column dedicated to a fly on the wall’s perspective on campus spots and daily life here at Pitt. This is the first installment. Midterms have begun at the University of Pittsburgh’s campus in Oakland and Hillman Library, a focal study point for students, is busy for...

When fans turn toxic: the Szechuan sauce riots

When fans turn toxic: the Szechuan sauce riots

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

October 19, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Hundreds of people stood last weekend outside a big business to protest. They raised their fists, chanted at the representatives and demanded they provide for them. What were these people so furious about? A 19-year-old sauce for McDonald's Corp. chicken nuggets. “Rick and Morty” made headlines with McD...

In wake of Maria don’t blame Puerto Rico, blame the U.S.

In wake of Maria don’t blame Puerto Rico, blame the U.S.

By Maggie Durwald | For The Pitt News

October 18, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, an overwhelming 80 percent of the 3.4 million Americans in Puerto Rico are still without electricity, adequate amounts of food and hospital supplies and, most alarmingly, potable water. Shipments of water can’t keep up with the demand, and the islanders are turning to w...

JFK documents promise transparency, not conspiracy

JFK documents promise transparency, not conspiracy

By Ben Sheppard | Columnist

October 16, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Three shots rang out from Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963. Those fatal shots killed President John F. Kennedy, wounded the American spirit and left many burning questions — some of which may soon find answers. The National Archives’ plan to declassify documents regarding ...

Continuing Kosher customs at Market to Go

Continuing Kosher customs at Market to Go

By Ana Altchek | For The Pitt News

October 15, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Sitting by the candle lights and surrounded by the people I loved, I experienced my religion — Judaism — as a culture of warmth and comfort. Growing up, Friday nights at my home were a time of decompressing from a week’s worth of work, a time I could spend with family without worrying about...

Respect Catalan referendum, for democracy’s sake

Respect Catalan referendum, for democracy’s sake

By Ben Sheppard and Christian Snyder | The Pitt News Staff

October 12, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Voters tried to take to the polls in Catalonia Oct. 1 for a landmark independence referendum in the Spanish autonomous community — but the day ended in chaos. Spanish police brought in from outside Catalonia by the Spanish government injured more than 800 Catalan citizens in conflicts across the regio...

PA ‘Right to Try’ bill: who is it really helping?

PA ‘Right to Try’ bill: who is it really helping?

By Ana Altchek | For The Pitt News

October 11, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Several years ago, my next door neighbor was diagnosed with stage four cancer — within six months she tragically passed away. Not only was this an agonizing experience for her, but it was painful for her devoted husband, children and grandchildren. While she was too sick to consider any options, the...

WBC message fails to divide Pitt protesters

WBC message fails to divide Pitt protesters

By Sarah Shearer | For The Pitt News

October 10, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Donning a rainbow flag in the rain at a counter protest last Thursday on the corner of Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard, Hannah Riley said the Westboro Baptist Church’s planned visit to Pitt wasn’t shaping up to be violent. “I think this one, if it happens, will be more intense because WBC is [an...

Trump’s NFL comments ignore players’ real concerns

Trump’s NFL comments ignore players’ real concerns

By Will Schulman | For The Pitt News

October 6, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

After taking the gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos shocked the world — the two Olympians held up black gloved fists for the entire anthem. When Colin Kaepernick, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback, decided last year to kneel for th...

Dear WBC: Hate doesn’t have a home here

Dear WBC: Hate doesn’t have a home here

By Sarah Shearer | For The Pitt News

October 4, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It only takes reading a few sentences into the “about” page on the Westboro Baptist Church’s website to understand one thing: this is a group fueled by hate. The WBC is well known for its protesting tactics, picketing at events from military funerals, such as Sgt. Dillon Baldridge’s in No...

A new iPhone in a post-innovative age

A new iPhone in a post-innovative age

By Levko Karmazyn | Columnist

October 4, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

A decade before Apple released the first iPhone, the hottest new technology included the Tamagotchi virtual pocket pet, Motorola's StarTAC — one of the first widely popular cell phones — and the trusty mp3 file. When the iPhone was introduced 10 years ago it shook every aspect of the technolog...

Chipotle queso cheats cheese science

Chipotle queso cheats cheese science

By Bianca De | For The Pitt News

October 3, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

You’re in line at Chipotle, going over your order in your mind. Imagining your perfect burrito bowl, you consider several qualifications: how spicy you want your salsa, skipping the guac unless you really want to pay extra and — until recently — being forced to forgo queso altogether. For years,...

CIA constricts debate at Harvard

CIA constricts debate at Harvard

By Maggie Durwald | For The Pitt News

October 1, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When Edward Snowden appeared via internet connection for a speech in the William Pitt Union this February, students reacted to the presence of the controversial figure, best known for leaking documents from the CIA, with both curiosity and distrust. But while Pitt allowed the event to go forward, st...

Let’s do fast casual right

Let’s do fast casual right

By Will Schulman | For The Pitt News

September 29, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Students at Penn State one morning in 2014 were shocked to find the Chipotle in State College, Pennsylvania, closed. On the door a sign read: “Ask our corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions,” followed up with “People > Profits.” Constant pr...

Ending whitewashing is simple: just look at Ed Skrein

Ending whitewashing is simple: just look at Ed Skrein

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

September 28, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Hollywood has a complicated relationship with racial injustice in America, and for good reason — minority actors still struggle for representation in the industry. But when I heard controversy brewing about whitewashing yet again, I couldn’t believe that our nation hasn’t made more progress. ...

The American prison system: justice or exploitation?

The American prison system: justice or exploitation?

By Vaibhavi Patria | For The Pitt News

September 27, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In Washington, Pennsylvania, a county jail captain was charged this week with stealing more than $2,000 from inmates. Charges like this are nothing new — especially in Pennsylvania. According to Prison Legal News, at least 14 Pennsylvania prison and jail guards were arrested between 2012 and 2014. Som...

Good gaming journalism needs know-how

Good gaming journalism needs know-how

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

September 25, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As I watched the video game character move back and forth on the screen, struggling and failing to make a simple jump, I couldn’t help but cringe. I was shocked to discover the identity of the player grappling with a game tutorial with so much difficulty was an “experienced” gaming journalist. Video gam...

No mercy for Menendez

No mercy for Menendez

By Ben Sheppard | For The Pitt News

September 24, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The last time the U.S. Senate had to expel a member, the country was tearing itself apart in the Civil War. With a country that feels almost as divided today, 2017 may see another Senate expulsion — Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Federal prosecutors in Menendez’s home state opened a trial again...

Don’t tempt Amazon with tax cuts

Don’t tempt Amazon with tax cuts

By Ben Sheppard | For The Pitt News

September 22, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the struggle between American cities for economic dominance, an influx of 50,000 new jobs seems too good to be true. But that’s exactly what tech giant Amazon is offering. More than 100 cities — ranging from Boston, to Toronto to a collective of several small North Carolina towns — have signale...

The Blame Game: Trump’s simple, yet divisive rhetoric

The Blame Game: Trump’s simple, yet divisive rhetoric

By Vaibhavi Patria | For The Pitt News

September 21, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In his mind, President Donald Trump can never go wrong — his actions are justified, his words are nothing but the truth and his band of followers is loyal and ever-growing. And when he’s not praising himself, he’s shifting the blame to others. “I inherited a mess, it's a mess at home and abroad. A mess,...

Maduro vs the world: Venezuela’s hopeless crisis

Maduro vs the world: Venezuela’s hopeless crisis

By Saket Rajprohat | Senior Columnist

September 20, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

The streets are filled with protesters. The shelves at grocery stores are empty, and pockets are even emptier. Right now, Venezuela looks bleak — and Veronica, a Venezuelan immigrant living in Pittsburgh who requested that her last name be withheld for her family’s safety, said the country is f...

Climate change should hit close to home

Climate change should hit close to home

By Brian Gentry | For The Pitt News

September 19, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The apple core I had just tossed had no sooner hit the bottom of the bin when I heard the familiar scolding from my mom. Once again, I had forgotten to put it in the compost bin. As a kid, I didn’t really know why I needed to be environmentally conscious, whether it was recycling water bottles, ...

Don’t count out conservative Democrats

Don’t count out conservative Democrats

By Henry Glitz | Opinions Editor

September 17, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

With a mix of fear, anger and sheer disbelief, I watched the television screen in my friends’ apartment as CNN’s correspondent tapped an interactive map, coloring Pennsylvania red. Last fall’s presidential election came as a shock to many, but for me the blow came when my home state cast its ...

Unlivable wages: why the federal minimum isn’t enough

Unlivable wages: why the federal minimum isn’t enough

By Elise Lavallee | Contributing Editor

September 15, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

If you were on campus last Friday, you might’ve seen an RV sporting a cartoon photo of Donald Trump hiding behind a smiley face mask. This unusual RV serves as the mobile headquarters for the 2017 Trump and Walmart Make America Worse Tour. Dighan Kelly, a sophomore urban studies and French major, organi...

Blue collar to green collar: Pittsburgh’s sustainable future

Blue collar to green collar: Pittsburgh’s sustainable future

By Jaime Viens | Contributing Editor

September 14, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

A Pittsburgh skyline dominated by smokestacks once denoted the bane of environmental destruction to some — but to many, it was a livelihood. More than ever before, Pittsburgh is shedding its long-standing status as the “Steel City” as it continues to transition from a City that is economically reliant on fossil fuels toward a City with more sustainable future in renewable energy. But our local economy is fa...

Piazza case should be a lesson: to be an adult, be accountable

Piazza case should be a lesson: to be an adult, be accountable

By Anne Marie Yurik | For The Pitt News

September 14, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Imagine you’re an average college student at a fraternity party. It’s cold — February in central Pennsylvania always is. Suddenly, someone falls down the stairs. They’re drunk enough that they don’t wake up when they hit the floor of the basement. Through the rest of the night, you see ...

Scared to study abroad? Do it anyway

Scared to study abroad? Do it anyway

By Sarah Shearer | For The Pitt News

September 13, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I was in the candy aisle of a bookstall April 19 when I first heard the emergency alarms and looked up to see the main concourse of London Euston Train Station in a dark frenzy. I grabbed my bag, shuffled out the nearest exit and stood outside with other travelers for almost half an hour before someone announced ov...

DeVos takes backward step on sexual assault

DeVos takes backward step on sexual assault

By Erica Brandbergh | Columnist

September 11, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

For a cabinet member who’s already one of the most controversial in the Trump administration, it would have seemed difficult for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to become even more divisive. Then she started to talk about rape on campus. DeVos gave a speech on Sept. 7 at George Mason University...

Clinton’s focus on 2016 doesn’t help Democrats

Clinton’s focus on 2016 doesn’t help Democrats

By Ben Sheppard | For The Pitt News

September 11, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Letting go of the past can be difficult. And no one, it seems, knows that better than Hillary Clinton. Last year’s Democratic presidential candidate still appears to be reeling from her stinging defeat by Donald Trump. In her new book, “What Happened” — set to hit bookshelves Tuesday — C...

Don’t punt on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports

Don’t punt on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports

By Henry Glitz | Opinions Editor

September 7, 2017


Filed under Columns, GameDay, Opinions

When Pitt’s football team faces off against Penn State tomorrow at Beaver Stadium, both teams will continue a tradition which began in the 19th century — but in a vastly different culture. At the teams’ first meeting in 1893, Pitt had yet to integrate, and Penn State had never admitted a black s...

To understand injustice, listen to the lawyers

To understand injustice, listen to the lawyers

By Henry Glitz | Opinions Editor

September 7, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In most American courts of law, a raised voice or an opinion stated too aggressively will typically earn you the censure of the presiding judge. But that certainly wasn’t the case Tuesday night in the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom, nestled deep within Pitt’s Law School. A panel of five memb...

Analysis: How a 1999 NATO operation turned Russia against the West

Analysis: How a 1999 NATO operation turned Russia against the West

By Christian Snyder | Assistant Opinions Editor

September 7, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The name Boris Yeltsin should ring a bell, whether it brings to mind images of him leaping upon a tank during a coup in 1991 Moscow or standing drunk in his underpants in Washington, D.C. in 1995. Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, may be remembered for his drinking habits, but...

Next-day shopping? How Whole Foods and Amazon could change the game

Next-day shopping? How Whole Foods and Amazon could change the game

By Levko Karmazyn | For The Pitt News

September 6, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

You could never accomplish today what John Mackey and Renee Lawson did in 1978 Austin, Texas. The college-dropout couple opened what would eventually become Whole Foods, which Amazon bought in August for $13.7 billion. Many criticized the natural food marketplace for “selling out” to Amazon, and feel tha...

Eradicating racism is about responsibility, not statues

Eradicating racism is about responsibility, not statues

By Elise Lavallee | Contributing Editor

September 5, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

With racial violence gripping Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, the nation’s moral conscience was transfixed. The full scale of hatred on display from white supremacists and neo-Nazis was enough to persuade communities across the country to reconsider the continuing public position of racially i...

On Sharing Beliefs: Do It With Tact

On Sharing Beliefs: Do It With Tact

By Mariam Shalaby | Senior Columnist

September 1, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As a Muslim, I feel like everyone thinks they have something to say about who I am. But because I’d rather not waste my time protesting in a world saturated with fiery opinions, I stopped on my path to becoming a boisterous activist about a year ago. Instead of being continuously outraged at th...

Travel in college to help gain perspective

Travel in college to help gain perspective

By Henry Glitz | Opinions Editor

August 31, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As my car sped across the plains of northwestern Ohio — passing open fields, red barns blazing in the sunset and the distant impression of neon — the only thing my mind could focus on was that I wasn’t back in Pittsburgh yet. With summer coming to a close, I had decided to take a road trip with a fri...

Poetry now: why today’s world makes poetics shine

Poetry now: why today’s world makes poetics shine

By Christian Snyder | Assistant Opinions Editor

August 29, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

I remember the first time a line of poetry caught me by surprise. I was sitting in the Cathedral of Learning mouthing the words of Ross Gay’s poem “catalog of unabashed gratitude” to myself. The poem turns when he addresses the reader, and says thank you, “for moving your lips just so as I s...

Conservatives don’t recognize real threat to free speech

Conservatives don’t recognize real threat to free speech

By Henry Glitz | Opinions Editor

August 29, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When far-right agitator Jason Kessler took to the stage outside the city hall in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month, he made reference to a political tradition born centuries ago in that very city. That tradition — freedom of speech — gained official legal status in the United State...

When representatives don’t represent, don’t reelect

When representatives don’t represent, don’t reelect

By Saket Rajprohat | Senior Columnist

August 28, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

How does something extremely unpopular become law in our democracy? Congress. Over the past few months I have attempted to keep up with fast-paced news like the GOP’s health care bill’s rapid push through Congress by Mitch McConnell or the votes on the Restoring Internet Freedom Act — two b...

Identity politics: finding my heritage in a hometown I never knew

Identity politics: finding my heritage in a hometown I never knew

By Kim Rooney | Contributing Editor

August 28, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When talking about adoption, people approach me with a delicate curiosity, like when enquiring about the sick or the dying. Apologies, whether for the assumption that my parents are my birth parents or for the adoption itself, are common. People don’t quite know what to say to me. They ask more...

Finding your place as a transfer student

Finding your place as a transfer student

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

August 22, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It was a cold and snowy January day. With my backpack and suitcases heavier than they seemed leaving home, I stepped into my new dorm. I was excited to finally be at Pitt. After my short and easy semester at Robert Morris University, a private school in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, I was ready to move out of the house, ha...

Being unprofessional in the classroom hurts your future

Being unprofessional in the classroom hurts your future

By Mariam Shalaby | Columnist

August 21, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

“Hey, Jordan!” yelled one of my classmates from the back of the room, grabbing the instructor’s attention. An unconventional way to call the teacher. The disrespect we show in class seems to increase every day. When I saw this kind of thing happen as a freshman, I figured it would improve as...

Dr. Who takes on a new enemy: sexism

Dr. Who takes on a new enemy: sexism

By Elise Lavallee | Columnist

August 21, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Dr. Who has faced many adversaries over the past 54 years — daleks, cybermen, weeping angels — all of which the Time Lord has defeated. But this season, the 13th Doctor is up against a new kind of rival — sexism. The character will take its first female form this year, as Dr. Who will be played b...

Dear social media: it’s not you, it’s my mental health

Dear social media: it’s not you, it’s my mental health

By Audreela Deb | For The Pitt News

August 21, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Ah, summer. The season of vacation getaways and seasonal internships. Afternoon barbecues and late night bonfires; Fourth of July pool parties and sunbathing trips to the beach. And there’s proof of it all on social media — at least, if this year was anything like last. Instead of devouring th...

To realize your passion, go into the field

To realize your passion, go into the field

By Levko Karmazyn | For The Pitt News

August 21, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As I watched the sun fall behind the mountain peaks surrounding the K BAR Z Guest Ranch in early July, the valley below was an uncharacteristic shade of blue, unlike the past few nights. Something else felt different, too — it was the last night of Pitt’s Yellowstone Field Study. I already knew I ...

Pittsburgh goes green, despite what you might’ve heard

Pittsburgh goes green, despite what you might’ve heard

By Levko Karmazyn | For The Pitt News

August 21, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When President Donald Trump decided to pull out of the Paris climate agreements, he said that he was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris — a statement that was met with fiery outlash from important figures such as Mayor Bill Peduto, who said that Pittsburgh will in fact continue to abide by the Paris agreements....

Traditional treats trump trends

Traditional treats trump trends

By Jordan Mondell | Contributing Editor

July 19, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It's a sweltering Friday evening in Oakland as I sit on my porch. I'm craving something sweet, creamy and icy. I pull up Google and dig into my recent searches — yes, this is a weekly occurrence — for "ice cream near me." The options abound. I could pay $8 for a fancy, not-so-fantastic double chocolate ...

Column: U.S. shows hypocrisy toward Puerto Rico

Column: U.S. shows hypocrisy toward Puerto Rico

By Christian Snyder / Opinions Editor

July 12, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Since the Spanish claimed Puerto Rico for their own in 1493, the land saw independent rule from July 17 to July 25 1898. Eight days. The American invasion of Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898, changed the land, politics and people forever. And today, it’s for the worse. Puerto Rico is in serious eco...

Greek life promotes dangerous, elitist culture

Greek life promotes dangerous, elitist culture

By Christian Snyder | Opinions Editor

July 4, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

At Penn State’s fraternity Beta Theta Pi’s Bid Night, on a cold February night in State College, Timothy Piazza fractured his skull and ruptured his spleen when he fell down a flight of stairs. His fraternity brothers called an ambulance nearly 12 hours later after slapping him, sitting on him ...

Young voters: Lead by example to fight nationalsim

Young voters: Lead by example to fight nationalsim

By Christin Snyder / Opinions Editor

June 27, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

“I mean, I voted, but why does it matter? London will never listen.” When I asked my new Scottish friend about the United Kingdom’s recent election, he responded with pure ambivalence. He truly cares about the issues at hand, but he, like many other Scots, has long struggled with misrepresent...

Column: Dear Ben Shapiro, You’re wrong about Trump

Column: Dear Ben Shapiro, You’re wrong about Trump

By Saket Rajprohat / Senior Columnist

June 20, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Dear Ben Shapiro, You have been completely wrong since May 10, the day after Trump fired Comey. In the June 8 episode of The Ben Shapiro Podcast, one of the most popular conservative podcasts in the nation, you declared you were “exactly correct” in your wildest theory to date — that Donald Trump fired James Comey not because ...

Sports Journalism needs, deserves more female representation

Sports Journalism needs, deserves more female representation

By Jordan Mondell | Contributing Editor

June 14, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It’s halftime during the Pitt vs Duke game at Heinz Field. The photo room is warm and abuzz with chatter — most Pittsburgh-based photographers know one another and are sharing inside jokes and quips as they upload their first half shots to their respective publications. I felt remarkably out of place for no discer...

Column: When abortions could save lives, Catholic hospitals fail women

Column: When abortions could save lives, Catholic hospitals fail women

By Christian Snyder / Opinions Editor

June 7, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When Tamesha Means entered labor with her first child in 2016, she was only 18 weeks pregnant — not even halfway through her pregnancy. So she did the logical thing and rushed to the nearest hospital. When she arrived at the Mercy Health Partners hospital, doctors diagnosed her with preterm prem...

Among short-term fixes, Pitt develops long-term plan to combat nationwide opioid crisis

Among short-term fixes, Pitt develops long-term plan to combat nationwide opioid crisis

By Rashi Seth | Columnist

May 31, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Two months ago a couple from Lower Burrell mourned the loss of their son who didn’t live to see his 25th birthday. David Makara’s refusal to get treatment drove him to move out of his parents home as he could not pass a drug test to get a job. Without any notice he moved out to Light of Life she...

Xanax: an unforseen danger in college

Xanax: an unforseen danger in college

By Tim Murdoch | For The Pitt News

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Its thunderous footsteps can be heard the instant it decides to return from the kitchen. Approaching the worn leather couch, it loses its balance. Flailing for a moment, then collecting itself, it manages to plop down onto the cracked sofa cover, slowing sinking into the cushion with a mumbled chuckle ...

Being a good roommate is easy: just be open

Being a good roommate is easy: just be open

By Andrea Spatig | For The Pitt News

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

There’s the roommate that has super loud FaceTime conversations with their significant other, the one who never showers and spews an unfavorable odor wherever they go, the one who is too clingy and over-involved in your life and the one that snores like a chainsaw or talks in their sleep through th...

When hitting the sheets, communication makes it easy

When hitting the sheets, communication makes it easy

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

If there’s one thing that movies get right about college, it’s that people have sex. In fact, in one study published in the Review of General Psychology, over 60 percent of college students in North America reported having some kind of sexual “hookup” experience. But of course, there’s ...

Tired of house parties? Try house shows instead

Tired of house parties? Try house shows instead

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

There were too many people, the music was too loud, the cooler was empty and it smelled like sweat. I think that might describe every party I attended my first year of college. No matter where it was or who was there, I have no fond memories of piling into someone’s basement with what seemed lik...

Making the most out of living alone

Making the most out of living alone

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Uncategorized

I could keep the lights on whenever I wanted. I could listen to music and not have to bother with pesky headphones. I could toss my clothes in the corner and worry about them in a few weeks. I could nap at all times of the day, have people over whenever I wanted and be in a quiet environment at a mom...

College magnifies eating disorders, learn to see the signs

College magnifies eating disorders, learn to see the signs

By Elise Lavallee | Columnist

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

$0.93. That’s the value of all the research done per person on eating disorders in 2011, compared to the $44 per individual on autism or $81 per person on schizophrenia. Yet the Academy for Eating Disorders reports the risk of death for those with anorexia nervosa is three times higher than it ...

Being trans at Pitt: my story

Being trans at Pitt: my story

By Madeline Barber | For The Pitt News

May 30, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As a child, I was a stereotypical boy. I played in the dirt, my favorite toys were my Tonka trucks and I loved to break things. I wasn’t interested in “girl” things like sewing or nail polish, and my favorite color wasn’t pink. To my mother, there was no way I could be trans because I so eag...

Pitt leads the pack in cultural cooperation

Pitt leads the pack in cultural cooperation

By Mariam Shalaby | Columnist

May 24, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It’s a chilly Saturday, the sky is gray, and some 15 bikers are gathered to begin a 15 mile race. Why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing? For the sake of building friendships, learning something new and feeding the community. I work as a volunteer director of the Food Pantry at the Islamic...

Column: Pittsburgh takes steps to reduce violent crime

Column: Pittsburgh takes steps to reduce violent crime

By Jeremy Wang | Columnist

May 16, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Top Stories

Nearly every night last year, gunfire rang out in Pittsburgh. And nearly every week, someone was killed. The city launched the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime in 2010 to combat this issue, but the initiative had mixed results. Homicides climbed from 43 to 71 between 2011 and 2014, and forme...

FEMA fails minority communities

FEMA fails minority communities

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

May 10, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

A lot of volunteers pick up litter, serve food or build houses. But not all are backdropped by the snow-capped peak of Mount Adams in southern Washington state. Third-year rehabilitation science major Bethany Lindsey saw this scenery firsthand when she volunteered with Sacred Road Ministries, a group un...

Long nights, loud protests and the truth: A four-year career at The Pitt News

Long nights, loud protests and the truth: A four-year career at The Pitt News

By Stephen Caruso | Contributing Editor

April 24, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I’ve always struggled to articulate why I work at The Pitt News. In the four years I’ve spent working here, my friends have consistently commented on how much time I spend at the office. When I miss out on a night of drinks or a day in Schenley, they are understanding. They know my passion, an...

Op-Ed: The Babcock Room symbolizes Pitt’s ivory tower

Op-Ed: The Babcock Room symbolizes Pitt’s ivory tower

By Sage Lincoln | Op-Ed Contributor

April 24, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I first entered the Babcock Room in 2013. Guided by a friend of a friend, a few other Pitt students and I made our way to the back elevator on the 36th floor of the Cathedral at dusk. Two picked locks later we were there: the 40th floor, practically the top of the world. We didn’t pay much...

A final push for more journalism at Pitt

A final push for more journalism at Pitt

By Elizabeth Lepro | Editor in Chief

April 24, 2017


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the late 1700s, Benjamin Franklin — at the behest of King Louis XIV — served on a French Royal Commission to investigate some rather absurd claims by a German scientist. The back story is unimportant, what is important is a line from Franklin’s official report, in which he wrote, “Truth ...

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