The Pitt News

Point-Counterpoint: A good time guaranteed at Gene’s Place

Point-Counterpoint: A good time guaranteed at Gene’s Place

By Stephen Caruso | Contributing Editor

April 14, 2017

No alcohol-themed edition of The Pitt News would be complete without an argument for the best bar in Oakland. This year, we’re bringing you two takes on the controversial issue. Read and enjoy as two of our editors square off on their opinions for the best place to grab a drink in our beloved Oaklan...

Inclusive alcohol advertising combats sexism and oppression

Inclusive alcohol advertising combats sexism and oppression

By Rashi Seth | Columnist

April 14, 2017

Beer companies do come up with some good commercials. The Budweiser Clydesdales and the the Most Interesting Man are two iconic images associated with beer brands. But often, beer commercials take the message and end up objectifying women for the purpose of turning a profit. The Route 2 Brews “Le...

Pennsylvania draconian liquor laws need rethinking

Pennsylvania draconian liquor laws need rethinking

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

April 14, 2017

The beauty of turning 21 meant I could finally purchase alcohol whenever I pleased, a fact I was more than thrilled about. But in traveling to other states, I quickly found that not all alcohol laws are created equal. One night in January, my boyfriend and I walked into a grocery store in Washingt...

Column: “Open Casket” painting trivializes black suffering

Column: “Open Casket” painting trivializes black suffering

By Christian Snyder, Columnist

April 13, 2017

The first time I saw the photograph in an anthology of the most powerful photographs in history, I noticed Emmett Till’s pristine button up and imagined his mother’s brave hands fastening his crisp white shirt over his chest before laying his body down for his final rest. Till, disfigured from the ...

Music festivals need more focus on safety, less on security

Music festivals need more focus on safety, less on security

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

April 11, 2017

When I walked through the security gates at Electric Zoo — a dance music festival that takes place every Labor Day weekend in New York City — in 2015, there was a noticeable nervous vibe in the air. Police walked dogs up and down the aisles of festival-goers waiting to enter the grounds, as sec...

Conflict Kitchen leaves legacy of tolerance

Conflict Kitchen leaves legacy of tolerance

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

April 11, 2017

Pittsburgh was always filled with mysterious things to do as I was growing up. Places such as the Mattress Factory and the Carnegie Science Center have more widespread notoriety, but my personal favorite was “Waffle Shop: A Reality Show.” The brainchild of Jon Rubin, an art professor at Carnegie Mel...

Regardless of the law, consider graffiti as legitimate art

Regardless of the law, consider graffiti as legitimate art

By Elise Lavallee | Columnist

April 7, 2017

In America, graffiti is often a staple of disadvantaged communities, associated with crime and poverty, and generally unwanted. But in some places, where the culture and atmosphere differs, graffiti is a welcome aspect of the community. In a small neighborhood of Toronto, known as Kensington Mar...

Intersectional counseling: Panthers of Color provide vital service to students of color

Intersectional counseling: Panthers of Color provide vital service to students of color

By Danielle Pierre | For The Pitt News

April 6, 2017

College comes with many costs. And for many students of color, one of the biggest prices they pay is their mental health. While mental illness is extremely common on college campuses among every racial group, little attention is paid to how racism and mental illness intersect. Students of color often find themselves dealing with many issues t...

Democrats must compromise to move forward with environmental issues

Democrats must compromise to move forward with environmental issues

By Elise Lavallee | Columnist

April 5, 2017

As the proud owner of a private jet, two helicopters and a four-story commercial plane, it’s no surprise that President Trump is not a friend to the environment. He’s repeatedly claimed that climate change is merely a hoax. But on that issue, he doesn’t represent the majority of Republican...

Trump executive order fails on jobs, environment

Trump executive order fails on jobs, environment

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

April 4, 2017

President Donald Trump’s brightly colored receding hairline, black suit and white button-down shirt stood in sharp contrast to the dark-haired coal workers clad in golf shirts flanking him on either side. The occasion was March 28 in Washington, D.C., during the signing of an executive order intended...

Point-Counterpoint: Gorsuch upholds law, not ideology, in his rulings

Point-Counterpoint: Gorsuch upholds law, not ideology, in his rulings

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

April 3, 2017

Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, his seat on the Supreme Court has remained vacant. After the GOP-led Congress denied former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat — Merrick Garland — a confirmation hearing, Obama’s time to get a Democrat onto the Supreme Court ran out. ...

Point-Counterpoint: Gorsuch nomination would set unconstitutional precedent

Point-Counterpoint: Gorsuch nomination would set unconstitutional precedent

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

April 3, 2017

Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, his seat on the Supreme Court has remained vacant. After the GOP-led Congress denied former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat — Merrick Garland — a confirmation hearing, Obama’s time to get a Democrat onto the Supreme Court ran out. ...

Inclusive Innovation Week sets Pittsburgh apart among tech cities

Inclusive Innovation Week sets Pittsburgh apart among tech cities

By Amber Montgomery | Opinions Editor

March 30, 2017

While it may be impossible for Pittsburgh to ever fully shake its infamous Steel City nickname, the city is taking strides to become something different. After the post-1980 decline in the steel industry, Pittsburgh became a city better known for its medical and educational opportunities through uni...

On budget, Trump’s dealmaking doesn’t deliver

On budget, Trump’s dealmaking doesn’t deliver

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

March 30, 2017

Donald Trump has described himself many ways, but one word he’s used over and over again is “dealmaker.” “Deals are my art form,” Trump bragged on Twitter in December 2014. And at a campaign stop in August 2015, the reality TV personality rated his book “Trump: The Art of the Deal” second only to the Bible...

In light of Trump, Pitt students can take heart in LGBTQ+ resources

In light of Trump, Pitt students can take heart in LGBTQ+ resources

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

March 29, 2017

American universities have been at the forefront of cultural change for decades. From free speech movements at Berkeley in the 1960s to a student carrying her mattress around campus to raise awareness of sexual assault, many of our country’s biggest social movements have started at the collegi...

Hold out on video game hype culture, wait for results

Hold out on video game hype culture, wait for results

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

March 24, 2017

When two gamers took their players on a virtual journey to a far-off video game planet, they expected to be able to see and interact with each other’s player in the game. To their surprise, they saw only empty planet, despite what the makers of the game previously promised. Sean Murray — head of the...

Embrace body neutrality, give women a realistic standard

Embrace body neutrality, give women a realistic standard

By Erica Brandbergh | Columnist

March 23, 2017

As I took my seat in the waiting room at Pitt’s Student Health Center, I noticed a basket holding an assortment of buttons. I began sifting through and saw the same motto emblazoned in bold letters on many of them: “Love your body!” It was the middle of National Association of Anorexia Nervosa an...

Promote intersectionality and inclusivity for a safer campus

Promote intersectionality and inclusivity for a safer campus

By Amber Montgomery | Opinions Editor

March 22, 2017

Sexual assault prevention and inclusion are undoubtedly two of the most important issues on college campuses, but it’s time to revamp the way we address them. While administration and dedicated students often push for policy and awareness on both of those topics, they usually tackle each proble...

Keep the sex in high school sex education

Keep the sex in high school sex education

By Elise Lavallee | Columnist

March 21, 2017

The birds do it, the bees do it, we do it — so why can’t we talk about it? Sex talk makes some people uncomfortable. But comprehensive sexual education shouldn’t. Sex ed addresses the root issues of making healthy personal and sexual choices, and this type of education is widely effective at ...

Demand more original films, not remakes, from Hollywood

Demand more original films, not remakes, from Hollywood

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

March 20, 2017

Let’s look at the films coming out this year. Guardians of the Galaxy — again. Thor — again. Spider-man, Cars, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars — all again. If you need proof that Hollywood is struggling to make original content, look no farther than the box offices of the past few years. ...

For food choice change, focus on education as opposed to options

For food choice change, focus on education as opposed to options

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

March 17, 2017

While recycling and refillable water bottles were once the most popular fad among the environmentally conscious, there is now a more pressing matter for humans to turn their attention to in order to slow global climate change: the animal industry. When you navigate to Pitt's website on campus sustainability, yo...

Don’t overlook importance of education in war on crime

Don’t overlook importance of education in war on crime

By Jeremy Wang | Columnist

March 16, 2017

In the war on crime, politicians seem to be more focused on punishing criminals than breaking the cycle of violence. While politicians ignore these base causes of violence, public figures like Chicago musician Chance the Rapper have decided to take action to address them. “Our kids should not be...

GOP health care replacement highlights out of touch legislators

GOP health care replacement highlights out of touch legislators

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

March 14, 2017

After seven long years of continuous opposition to President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act, the Republican Party finally revealed its replacement health care plan last week. But the GOP replacement plan, titled “The American Health Care Reform Act of 2017,” doesn't reform any of the most pressing issues r...

Pay to play: College athletes deserve compensation

Pay to play: College athletes deserve compensation

By Matthew Sable | Columnist

March 14, 2017

There is a noticeable divide between the haves and have-nots in collegiate athletics. Coaches, non-revenue sports and athletic directors are profiting most from the revenue generated by men’s basketball and football. But student-athletes, who play a central role in facilitating sports programs’ ...

Diversity in Major League Baseball essential for future

Diversity in Major League Baseball essential for future

By Matthew Sable | Columnist

March 13, 2017

When Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem during an NFL game late last August, he energized discussions on race and its place in sports. His stance fueled online and in-person discussions about freedom and identity in professional sports — a conversation that’s long been i...

Conway’s self-serving feminism fails to impress

Conway’s self-serving feminism fails to impress

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

March 3, 2017

Kellyanne Conway became the first successful female campaign manager in U.S. history last November — but it wasn’t the feminist victory we hoped for. Conway courted controversy last week in her discussion of feminism and related issues at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Throughout the...

Demand policymakers to be knowledgable about issues

Demand policymakers to be knowledgable about issues

By Jeremy Wang | Columnist

March 2, 2017

In a commencement address to the Rutgers University graduating class of 2016, former-President Barack Obama proclaimed, “In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about.” We criticize political authorities for knowing little about the subjec...

Earthquakes in Pennsylvania prove need for more fracking regulations

Earthquakes in Pennsylvania prove need for more fracking regulations

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

March 1, 2017

About 50 miles north of Pittsburgh in Lawrence County, seismic detectors sensed a series of five small tremors last April. While the quakes were too small to be felt by people, they were unusual for other reasons. The seismographic anomalies didn’t emanate from an area with natural faults, or cracks...

Hate crime penalty protects a diverse society

Hate crime penalty protects a diverse society

By Rashi Seth | Columnist

February 28, 2017

When the Honorable Jeffrey Manning sentenced a Pittsburgh resident three to six years in jail last week, the ruling was about more than serving justice to one victim. Ryan Kyle, 22, was the first person sentenced under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in Western Pennsylvania. The law — passed in 2010 — provides for additiona...

Neanderthals highlight how we alienate through language

Neanderthals highlight how we alienate through language

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

February 27, 2017

You know those classic jokes rooted in misconceptions that are meant to mock a specific group's’ intelligence? Like jokes about blondes or frat boys, Neanderthal is a word often used as an insult, but with little truth to it. Superiority is a timeless punchline. Take, for example, this 2016 Salon article...

Senate’s repeal on gun regulations fights mental health stigma

Senate’s repeal on gun regulations fights mental health stigma

By Jeremy Wang | Columnist

February 24, 2017

In the first of many steps to undo various firearm regulations implemented by the Obama administration, the Senate voted last week to repeal a provision that would prevent people with mental disorders from purchasing a firearm. The provision, found in the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, ...

Put an end to Grammys’ history of bias

Put an end to Grammys’ history of bias

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

February 23, 2017

Who is “Becky with the good hair?” If you’ve been on the internet at any point in the past year, you’ve probably encountered her at one time or another in Instagram posts, music videos or selfie captions. Becky is a fictional character, one among many of countless elements in Beyoncé’s...

Experiencing death in college: Grieving students need resources too

Experiencing death in college: Grieving students need resources too

By Amber Montgomery | Opinions Editor

February 22, 2017

Many people woke up this past Nov. 9 feeling like they had entered an alternate reality — Donald Trump’s fresh presidential win elicited emotional responses in the form of shock and panic. But I woke up that morning at 6 a.m. to a ringing phone and a different kind of crisis. My mom’s unsteady...

Student voter participation will make SGB stronger

Student voter participation will make SGB stronger

By Rashi Seth | For The Pitt News

February 21, 2017

It’s that time of year again: A high number of electable candidates running for Student Government Board contrasts with strikingly low interest in the race from Pitt students. When a student casts a vote in the SGB elections, they’re making an important choice: selecting the person who’s going...

Vagina Monologues speaks to everyone

Vagina Monologues speaks to everyone

By Henry Glitz | Assistant Opinions Editor

February 17, 2017

I hadn’t heard the word “clitoris” spoken out loud as many times in my entire life as I heard it last Saturday night. A friend brought me to see the Campus Women’s Organization’s annual production of the Vagina Monologues. As I sat in the darkened ballroom in the William Pitt Union, I watched...

State abortion laws harm low-income women the most

State abortion laws harm low-income women the most

By Danielle Pierre | For The Pitt News

February 16, 2017

Not long after the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, a woman’s right to choose is under attack once again. Lawmakers in 19 states passed new laws on women’s reproductive rights in 2016. And Pennsylvania is, unfortunate...

Dear Hollywood, we’ve had enough with whitewashing.

Dear Hollywood, we’ve had enough with whitewashing.

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

February 15, 2017

Imagine an incredible story of a heroic white male joined by a background cast of Asian actors in a film set in China. It might sound like a strange way to describe a film, and it should — that’s the point. This is a brief description of a new film called “The Great Wall,” and it’s one example...

Why wait? Practicing abstinence in college

Why wait? Practicing abstinence in college

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

February 14, 2017

Yvonne Orji, an actress in the award-winning HBO show “Insecure,” confidently smiled and laughed as she sat on the set of New York radio show “The Breakfast Club” last November. The show’s hosts — Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy — questioned the charming actress on a subject...

The importance of consent: Let’s talk about yes, baby

The importance of consent: Let’s talk about yes, baby

By Elise Lavallee, Contributing Editor

February 14, 2017

Almost everyone loves great sex, but we all have different opinions about what makes sex so great. Some find pleasure with kinks, others find it in physical attractiveness or mental chemistry. But all these things, as good as they may make having sex, mean nothing without consent. Federal law defi...

Make more room for queer representation this Valentine’s Day

Make more room for queer representation this Valentine’s Day

By Rashi Seth | For The Pitt News

February 14, 2017

Nothing screams “I love you” like the Victorian ideals of strong, powerful men taking care of women. And this stereotypical love — with its origins in ancient fertility ceremonies — is bought and sold most prominently on one day every year: Valentine’s Day. Valentine's Day started o...

Infant circumcision disregards basic human rights

Infant circumcision disregards basic human rights

By Christian Snyder | Columnist

February 14, 2017

It’s one of my hazy memories — the kind that doesn’t exist temporally, just as a snapshot. In the bathroom at after-school day care, around age five or six, I needed to replace the bandage on my penis from a surgical correction for phimosis — the result of a surgeon removing too little foreskin ...

Sessions: Forgive the past, focus on qualifications for the future

Sessions: Forgive the past, focus on qualifications for the future

By Collin Crouse | For The Pitt News

February 13, 2017

Like all of President Donald Trump’s nominations for his cabinet, Jeff Sessions was not exempt from harsh criticism and a grueling confirmation process. Rumors and hints of who President Trump would nominate for Attorney General became the subject of controversy between senate Democrats and Republi...

Esquivel-Hernandez deportation not the end on fight for immigration

Esquivel-Hernandez deportation not the end on fight for immigration

By Amber Montgomery | Opinions Editor

February 10, 2017

As the national debate on immigration rages on, a case in Pittsburgh is highlighting a new way to tackle immigration rights. Martin Esquivel-Hernandez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who became a familiar name in the Steel City, was detained in prisons in York, Pennsylvania, and Youngstown, O...

Send tobacco ban up in smoke

Send tobacco ban up in smoke

By Christian Snyder | For The Pitt News

February 9, 2017

Some evenings, as I’m walking home from class, I decide to take a shortcut up the stairs that wind through Carlow’s campus to shorten the trip home. There are a few noticeable differences between Carlow and Pitt: the size, the architecture, the religious imagery. But one of the most noteworth...

When done right, the internet fosters community and engagement

When done right, the internet fosters community and engagement

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

February 8, 2017

Since the election, tensions online have increased and Facebook posts have become noticeably more political and way more opinionated. But if we can navigate these channels properly, maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Yes, the upswing in politically-charged posts can be about as irksome as it gets. I cou...

President Trump’s war on media has historical similarities

President Trump’s war on media has historical similarities

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

February 8, 2017

Like the price of coffee or the daily weather report, a free and fair press is such a consistent part of American society that most people don’t even think about its presence. At least not until it’s threatened to be taken away. It’s becoming very clear that our current president holds the ...

Violent riots hurt minorities, progressive causes

Violent riots hurt minorities, progressive causes

By Jeremy Wang | For The Pitt News

February 7, 2017

As rubber buckshot and molotov cocktails sailed through the air, a speaking event for alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, was shut down. Under the cover of a peaceful, student-led protest, a group of masked agitators — many of whom were not university students — smashed windows of u...

Stallings is out of time, his sacking should come soon

Stallings is out of time, his sacking should come soon

By Matthew Sable | For The Pitt News

February 6, 2017

When Kevin Stallings was first considered for the position of Pitt’s new men’s basketball head coach, many Pitt fans responded with concern and disapproval. Still, the fan base gave him a chance. Now, a year later and after eight losses in a row — most recently to Duke on Saturday — it’s clear the athl...

Trump’s freeze: Hold him accountable for campaign promises

Trump’s freeze: Hold him accountable for campaign promises

By Christian Snyder | For The Pitt News

February 3, 2017

I remember waiting for the phone call last November, looking out of the window of the old Alcoa building in Downtown Pittsburgh. I was told that it would come around 2 p.m. and that I should be prepared to discuss intelligence, security, the Middle East and Russia. “Unknown,” read the caller ID when ...

Let pro-life feminists have their place in the movement

Let pro-life feminists have their place in the movement

By Kirsten Wong | Senior Columnist

February 2, 2017

In the current political climate, women’s health issues need all the defense they can get — and feuding between pro-choice and pro-life feminists can only hurt the cause. The Women’s March on Washington made history Jan. 21, when over 5 million women from around the world came out to protect ...

Reduce environmental impact by limiting meat intake

Reduce environmental impact by limiting meat intake

By Elise Lavallee, Contributing Editor

February 1, 2017

When most people wonder why anyone would give up eating meat, they turn first to a love for animals combined with an opposition to animal cruelty. And they’re right, these are common reasons. But there’s another reason that we can all benefit from eating a more plant-based diet: the large environmental i...

Arctic apples: Give GMOs a chance

Arctic apples: Give GMOs a chance

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

January 31, 2017

When you’re perusing the produce aisle, your obvious choice is to reach for the shiny, red apple over the browning, shriveling one. But what if you discover the red one’s actually been on the shelf longer? With the rise of genetically engineered crops, it’s more likely than you might think —...

Point-Counterpoint: Focus on root causes, not guns, to eliminate suicide

Point-Counterpoint: Focus on root causes, not guns, to eliminate suicide

By Jeremy Wang | For The Pitt News

January 30, 2017

Guns don’t cause suicide. Just as we can’t blame all 15,000 murders per year on firearms, we can’t attribute the United States’ suicides, over 44,000 per year, entirely to its high rate of gun ownership and availability. While guns do play a part, it’s more important to consider the underlying ca...

Point-Counterpoint: Increasing gun control can reduce suicides

Point-Counterpoint: Increasing gun control can reduce suicides

By Erica Brandbergh | Columnist

January 30, 2017

Mass shootings in America often get the most attention in debates on gun control. But there’s another big issue we don’t talk about enough: suicide. Data shows that suicide rates have reached an all-time high in the past three decades. There are 20,000 gun-related suicides in the United States every year, which accounts for more than half of...

Hold Bayer and pharmaceutical companies accountable

Hold Bayer and pharmaceutical companies accountable

By Christian Snyder | For The Pitt News

January 27, 2017

Pitt announced a new contract with the pharmaceutical company Bayer on Jan. 11. The contract will unite Bayer and the School of Medicine to research early indications of heart, lung and blood disease. The cooperation has the potential to offer innovative advancements to medicine, as early warning sig...

Meet Florida’s DAPL: the Sabal Trail Pipeline

Meet Florida’s DAPL: the Sabal Trail Pipeline

By Savanna Melton | Op-ed Contributor

January 26, 2017

While the media and activists have concentrated their passions and attention on the Dakota Access Pipeline over the past few months, other pipelines have been getting a free pass. Since late November, my focus as an activist has been on the Sabal Trail Pipeline, a 515-mile-long channel that cuts th...

DeVos unqualified for Secretary of Education position

DeVos unqualified for Secretary of Education position

By Elise Lavallee | For The Pitt News

January 25, 2017

The United States is in major need of an educational revamp. More than a few presidential administrations have come and gone without making significant or impactful changes in education reform. And if last week's Senate hearing is at all indicative, it doesn’t seem that the Trump administration ...

Nonbelievers just as qualified for politics as the religious

Nonbelievers just as qualified for politics as the religious

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

January 25, 2017

Though the U.S. is a secular nation, if you want to be a politician in America, you have to believe in something. A full 51 percent of Americans say they would be less likely to support an openly atheist candidate for president, and 45 percent say that belief in God is necessary to have good values, ...

Pink Pistols prove concealed carry not just for conservatives

Pink Pistols prove concealed carry not just for conservatives

By Jeremy Wang | For The Pitt News

January 24, 2017

Donald Trump’s endorsement by the National Rifle Association — and his son’s leadership of the Second Amendment Coalition — promises to bring concealed carry to the focus of the gun control debate. Various factions across the country will be squaring off for a clash over this central element...

A reflection from inaugural weekend: Trump’s America still divided

A reflection from inaugural weekend: Trump’s America still divided

By Nick Eustis | Columnist

January 23, 2017

Even before attending Donald Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington, I knew this past weekend would be historic. Trump thought the same, for different reasons than I, promising an “unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout” for his inaugural ceremony.  Like so many of his promises, this was simply not meant to be. It’...

Diversify Pitt’s Nationality Rooms to include all communities

Diversify Pitt’s Nationality Rooms to include all communities

By Amber Montgomery | Opinions Editor

January 20, 2017

Many of the Best Of winners weren’t big surprises to me. Peter’s Pub for the Place to Spend your 21st and James Conner as Best Athlete are pretty obvious. The category that threw me was the winner for Best Nationality Room. The distinction went to our boot-shaped friend, Italy. Recognizing the Italian Room...

Napping on campus a solution to all night studying

Napping on campus a solution to all night studying

By Rashi Seth | For The Pitt News

January 20, 2017

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way” – Donkey from “Shrek” I take these words a little too literally regarding my weekend homework management. Every Monday, I imagine that I will spread out my workflow over the week and have a free weekend — that never happens. The next idea is to st...

Q&A with Best SGB Member Everett Green

Q&A with Best SGB Member Everett Green

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

January 20, 2017

You may have passed by Everett Green walking through Sennott Square, known him as a prominent member of Pitt’s Greek life or just recognized him as a familiar face on an Oakland street. But as this year’s Best Of poll tells us, many students know him best for the work he’s done as a part of ...

Obama: A presidency from the eyes of an immigrant’s son

Obama: A presidency from the eyes of an immigrant’s son

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

January 19, 2017

So that’s it. After eight years, I’ll watch one of my greatest role models leave office this Friday. I remember watching President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in my sixth grade classroom. Our teacher told us it was a moment we would never forget. I can’t say that I knew it then, but...

From LGBTQ+ Americans: Thanks, Obama

From LGBTQ+ Americans: Thanks, Obama

By Jack Shelly | Op-ed Contributor

January 19, 2017

I was probably 11 or 12 the first time I heard about Barack Obama. “Gilmore Girls” ended with Rory leaving Stars Hollow, Connecticut, to cover the primary bid of the charismatic senator from Illinois. He was a boyishly handsome, big-eared law professor who used eloquent, moving language when he spo...

Owners should fit the bill for stadiums, not taxpayers

Owners should fit the bill for stadiums, not taxpayers

By Matthew Sable | For The Pitt News

January 18, 2017

America is addicted to building sport stadiums. Almost every stadium America builds receives public funding, but these newly constructed stadiums often don’t make cities the money they are expected to. Cities build stadiums mainly in response to fan demands but often overlook the economic repercu...

For NFL MVP, give Le’Veon Bell a chance

For NFL MVP, give Le’Veon Bell a chance

By Kyle Morhardt | For The Pitt News

January 17, 2017

If there were ever a time for a non-quarterback to break into the MVP club, it’s now. Since 2007, quarterbacks have dominated the NFL’s MVP award. Compared to the perception of quarterbacks in the modern game as the most important player on any team, running backs get little to no credit for t...

Judging steroid use in Major League Baseball in historical context

Judging steroid use in Major League Baseball in historical context

By Matthew Sable | For The Pitt News

January 13, 2017

Has baseball ever been a “clean” sport? So many writers, fans and players consider the steroid era — spanning from the late 1980s until the mid 2000s — as the only time period that saw rampant cheating around the diamond. Baseball writers such as Wallace Matthews at ESPN, Peter Botte at th...

New Pitt Wi-Fi network gives gamers an upgrade

New Pitt Wi-Fi network gives gamers an upgrade

By Thomas Wick | Columnist

January 12, 2017

Pitt’s new Wi-Fi network is a generous gift to gamers. Now that the holiday season has passed, most people who enjoy gaming have gotten the newest installments in venerated series like “Titanfall 2,” “Battlefield 1,” “Final Fantasy XV,” “The Last Guardian” or “Pokémon Sun” ...

Let’s give Rex Tillerson a chance, what could possibly go wrong?

Let’s give Rex Tillerson a chance, what could possibly go wrong?

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

January 11, 2017

In a move that met much criticism early last month, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, to be our next Secretary of State. Since we obviously don’t need to speculate about Tillerson’s relationship with big oil executives — as we already know he is a big oil executi...

Net neutrality must be defended over the next four years

Net neutrality must be defended over the next four years

By Nick Eustis | For the Pitt News

January 10, 2017

With fewer than two weeks until Inauguration Day, President-elect Donald Trump has failed to calm the worries of his detractors about what the next four years will hold. His cabinet appointees certainly haven’t helped. Some of his selections are wholly opposed to the agency they’ve been appoint...

Up to students to pressure states for free college tuition

Up to students to pressure states for free college tuition

By Kirsten Wong | Senior Columnist

January 9, 2017

In the midst of ever-increasing tuition and student debt at universities, New York has offered a bold solution. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., announced his proposal on Jan. 3 to make state and city universities tuition-free for middle-class and low-income families making $125,000 or less a year. Under the program — the Excelsior Schol...

Current definition of terrorism needs a new update

Current definition of terrorism needs a new update

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

January 6, 2017

Our current understanding of terrorism has strayed from its conventional definition. When terrorism is mentioned, the first things people think of are the likes of Omar Mateen and the 2016 mass murder at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the Tsarnaev brothers who executed the Boston bombing in 2013 or Osama Bin Laden and the others behind the attacks on...

The Red Solo Cup should become a relic of the past

The Red Solo Cup should become a relic of the past

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

January 6, 2017

Robert L. Hulseman, the inventor of the Red Solo Cup, passed away on Dec. 21, 2016.   A little over a week later, on New Year's Eve, my friends and I attended a party at a bar in Philadelphia. The atmosphere was lively, the DJ was bumping and the open bar was a masterpiece, except for one aspect...

Don’t let superstition rule your 2017

Don’t let superstition rule your 2017

By Henry Glitz | Assistant Opinions Editor

January 5, 2017

The last day of last year was, without a doubt, one of the best. My friends who I hadn’t seen in weeks or months were gathered around me to celebrate the end of the year from hell. Yet, the jubilant cries of my friends at the stroke of midnight almost drowned out the mantra I was repeating over and...

Make realistic goals, not resolutions this New Year

Make realistic goals, not resolutions this New Year

By Maggie Koontz | For The Pitt News

January 3, 2017

Last year, my New Year’s resolution was to cut back on my social media usage. I failed. As soon as the semester began and my professors started droning on, I was back scrolling through Facebook feeds and Instagram photos while my resolution fell to the misdirected wayside like many others before it. ...

Port Authority’s new fare policy deters cash, affecting lower income riders

Port Authority’s new fare policy deters cash, affecting lower income riders

By Amber Montgomery | Opinions Editor

January 3, 2017

If you rode a Port Authority bus in the last two months of 2016, you probably noticed the scrolling banners or audible reminders promising that “change is coming.” The messages could have been intended to be comically ominous, but the larger objective was to alert riders to the coming changes in ...

On player discipline, NFL has a long way to go

On player discipline, NFL has a long way to go

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

January 3, 2017

Few football fans entertain the illusion that the National Football League is flawless, but during the past few seasons, the league’s corruption may well have reached its peak. As the new year begins, the NFL regular season comes to a close and playoffs approach, the league has the opportunity to i...

Sleep attack: living with narcolepsy

Sleep attack: living with narcolepsy

By Maya Puskaric | For The Pitt News

December 12, 2016

When I think back to high school, I mostly remember sleeping through more classes than I was awake for. I remember pushing myself out of bed in the morning with the mantra, “just get up and get dressed, and you can sleep through homeroom and first period.” Only after a chorus of three alarms and ...

Sleepless nights and pivotal moments

Sleepless nights and pivotal moments

By Dale Shoemaker | Managing Editor

December 12, 2016

And here it is again, another sleepless night and my last at The Pitt News. These feelings are all too familiar: the dryness of my eyes, the vague throbbing in my head, the pain in my neck. Probably the biggest lie I’ve told myself over the past three and a half years is a recurring one: I’ll...

Meme culture: a barrier for online discussion

Meme culture: a barrier for online discussion

By Mariam Shalaby | Columnist

December 8, 2016

Occasionally, as I scroll through my Instagram feed, I find a meme to show my mom. Yesterday, I texted her a photo of a cat poking its head comically through the crack of a door with the caption, “When I hear my parents talking about me in another room.” My go-to conversation starter when I text my...

Real commentary requires facts, not just a platform

Real commentary requires facts, not just a platform

By Matt Moret | Assistant Opinions Editor

December 8, 2016

This is my last week as an editor for The Pitt News opinions section. I’ve spent all of it thinking about thinkpieces. Since my first year at Pitt, I’ve been writing or editing commentary, both at this paper and for other campus publications. And though I can say these experiences have changed my l...

OMETS give students voices for improvement

OMETS give students voices for improvement

By Amber Montgomery | Columnist

December 7, 2016

I’ve had a sticky note on my desktop all semester where I jot down little thoughts about my classes and professors — notes about covering material too fast or taking too long to hand back grades. To an outside observer, it may seem trivial or even bizarre, but to me, it’s helpful preparation for ...

Clinton backers ignored Pennsylvania’s center, lost winnable votes

Clinton backers ignored Pennsylvania’s center, lost winnable votes

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

December 6, 2016

The final months of 2016’s election season on Pitt’s campus were rather blue — and by blue, I mean pro-Clinton. As I made my way through campus, I’d see students sporting the Clinton campaign logo on stickers and buttons. I’d try my best to avoid eye contact with the tables of canvassers a...

Op-Ed: Gun control will not solve gun violence

Op-Ed: Gun control will not solve gun violence

By Jeremy Wang | Op-Ed Contributor

December 5, 2016

Removing assault weapons from the market will do nothing to address the root causes of violence. Whenever there is a mass shooting or crime involving firearms — whether it be the Orlando nightclub shooting or the epidemic of inner-city violent crime — the phrase “gun violence” is immediat...

Dark Matter shines light on trans people of color

Dark Matter shines light on trans people of color

By Erica Brandbergh | For The Pitt News

December 1, 2016

As the music ceased, the audience hushed and New York-based artists Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian took the stage in boldly colored outfits and vibrant lipsticks. The pair didn’t waste time as they leapt into a passionate spoken-word poem. The audience was immediately captivated. The ...

There’s no blueprint, choose passion over pressure

There’s no blueprint, choose passion over pressure

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

December 1, 2016

I wake up with a jolt, worried I missed my alarm. The clock read 5:29 a.m., a minute before my alarm was supposed to ring. Turning off my tentative wake up call, I immediately began to panic, “How could I do this to myself! Without that extra minute of sleep, I might as well have not slept at all.” ...

Recounts will strengthen our democracy

Recounts will strengthen our democracy

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

November 30, 2016

Even though he won the election, don’t remind Donald Trump that he lost the popular vote. He gets testy. So testy, in fact, that he’s now lying about how he lost, just to save face. “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump said in a tweet on Su...

Students should focus less on resumes and embrace experiential learning

Students should focus less on resumes and embrace experiential learning

By Kirsten Wong | Opinions Editor

November 29, 2016

Researching, public speaking and being in charge of a dozen kids are all activities I’ve tried to avoid at any cost. Research is a bore, public speaking gives me anxiety and kids require too much energy to handle for more than 20 minutes. Yet here I am, in college, advocating for the very things ...

Pitt’s Counseling Center needs to meet increasing demands

Pitt’s Counseling Center needs to meet increasing demands

By For The Pitt News | Erica Brandbergh

November 28, 2016

A few weeks ago, I tried to make an appointment at Pitt’s Counseling Center only to be told that the counselors were so busy that it could be over a month before I could get an appointment. I know Pitt is a large university with increasing mental health service demands, but I didn’t expect the wa...

Editorial: Professor watchlist avoids academic dialogue

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

November 28, 2016

Before you sign up for a class, you check the professor’s Rate My Professor and maybe his or her bio on Pitt’s site. Now, some students might also see if their professors “liberal biases” have landed them on a watchlist. With the launch of a new website last week, any of your professors who are “caugh...

Trump’s ethical supporters must give back to communities he threatens

Trump’s ethical supporters must give back to communities he threatens

By Saket Rajprohat | Columnist

November 22, 2016

Because I spent the good part of my summer and fall semesters this year working for the Hillary Clinton campaign, watching the election results with my team on Nov. 8 was particularly devastating. When Trump was on the verge of winning Pennsylvania and I was on the verge of losing my mind, we shut...

Privatization of public works poisoned city water

Privatization of public works poisoned city water

By Jaime Viens | Columnist

November 18, 2016

When two-year-old resident of Flint, Michigan, Sofia Waid had her blood tested, the results showed her blood had 14 micrograms of lead per deciliter, according to her father’s February statement to the Detroit Free Press. Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention holds the “blood lead level of concern” at five mcg/dL. The child has since suffered skin rashes, diges...

Close the street parking loophole

Close the street parking loophole

By Bayard Miller | Columnist

November 18, 2016

It’s a story almost every resident of Central — often erroneously called South — Oakland is familiar with: the anxiety attack that is an inevitable part of trying to find street parking.    As the proud owner of a Ford Crown Victoria — which is notable for not only its prominent usage by po...

Off-campus living is worth the commute

Off-campus living is worth the commute

By Emily Schoenberger | Columnist

November 18, 2016

As I planned my move to Pitt, one of my and my parents’ main concerns was that Pitt only guarantees students three years of on-campus housing. I was sure that I wanted to live on campus for as long as possible, and the idea of having to move off campus at some point gave me anxiety. After one ...

Anti-Trump protests provide unity and comfort

Anti-Trump protests provide unity and comfort

By Julia Aldrich | Columnist

November 17, 2016

Before all final votes could be counted in last week’s election, thousands of people in cities across the country — including Pittsburgh — painted their signs, slipped on their shoes and gathered in the streets to protest. But as soon as people began protesting Trump’s presidency — and his...

Voter suppression helped decide presidential election

Voter suppression helped decide presidential election

By Henry Glitz | Columnist

November 16, 2016

Try as they might, most members of the media still have very little idea what exactly happened at the polls last Tuesday. Even pundits and pollsters as prophetic as FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver had consistently predicted upwards of a 70 percent chance for a Clinton victory in the general election. As we all know, that didn’t happen, and none of the mos...

Gamers should pass on the season pass

Gamers should pass on the season pass

By Thomas Wick | For The Pitt News

November 15, 2016

As soon as I started playing “Battlefield 1,” I couldn’t stop. The World War I shooter that I and hundreds of others had been anticipating finally came out in late October and has quickly become one of the most immersive and exciting multiplayer games of the year. Still, “Battlefield ...

Trump presidency could hurt LGBTQ+ rights

Trump presidency could hurt LGBTQ+ rights

By Maggie Koontz | For The Pitt News

November 13, 2016

About six years ago, I began to identify privately as bisexual. I kept the revelation to myself because I’m from Kentucky, a state known for being quite conservative. And, as a Catholic, I constantly heard that I was going to hell for being attracted to the same gender. Since Donald Trump was...

Overcome hatred by fighting inequality

Overcome hatred by fighting inequality

By Kirsten Wong | Opinions Editor

November 11, 2016

Behind every vote, there’s a story. My story is filled with experiences, relationships, childhood memories, passions, mistakes and successes that shape who I am today — just like anybody else. But there’s two sides to every story: the intangible parts of our identity that define us and the phy...

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