The Pitt News

Ending the standard: Why plus-size minimizes the average

By Stephen Caruso / Columnist

March 2, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I don’t know about you, but the phrase “plus-size” is really starting to piss me off.When you think about it, the term is completely useless. “Plus-size” compared to what? Compared to the average model or the average person? Because such a relative measure is a great way to show how messed up Am...

Ask Antonio: Spring Break Blues

By Antonio Blundo / For The Pitt News

March 1, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Dear Antonio,I am currently going through an issue with a girl from home. As you know, spring break is coming up, and my old flame from high school wants to hang out and “talk” over break. We dated for about eight months in high school until we broke up senior year, but continued to hook up until a f...

Sexism doesn’t sell: Integrate more meaningful female roles into film

By Adrianne Glenn / Columnist

February 26, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

This year, not a single female director or screenwriter was nominated for an Oscar. Women’s underrepresentation in media is no new tale, though. Women accounted for 4.1 percent of directors, 12.2 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers in the top 100 grossing films of 2012, according to Stacy Smit...

Don’t turn to Facebook for your dream roommate

By Cecile Truong / For The Pitt News

February 25, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Just 15 years ago, it was a normal part of your college experience to head off to school with zero idea of who would share your miniscule college dorm, unsure whether you would get stuck with a total psycho roommate or meet your new BFF. Today, teens are bypassing what once was a tradition by going p...

Guns and alcohol: Ban them both

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

February 24, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In light of continued shootings on college campuses, we must address the problem behind these tragedies.  A major issue is  gun control. After all, 100 percent of shootings involve guns. However, guns are not the only inanimate objects that kill. There is another evil that, for all the same reason...

The pros and cons of pulling an all-nighter

By Anna Tomani / For The Pitt News

February 23, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

We’ve all heard it before, “Sleep, good grades, social life — pick any two.” When we choose the last two options, good grades and a social life, late nights and all-nighters accompany our decision. The thought of working through dawn can be a scary and stressful idea, but there comes a certain...

It’s time to move past race-based affirmative action

By Marlo Safi / For The Pitt News

February 22, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As a member of one of the smallest minorities in the U.S., Syrian, I resent the implications of affirmative action. I have immense pride in my heritage, but I resent the notion that I am inept and need assistance to compete with other students because of my race. I am not suggesting we do away with a...

Teach us our rights: Implement civics education in the classroom

By Marlo Safi / For The Pitt News

February 19, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I was raised by two Syrian immigrants who had, like millions before them, come to the U.S. in pursuit of the American Dream. America was exactly as Ronald Reagan described it — a beacon of hope — with a grandeur that no other nation can quite rival. My parents learned the intricacies of the U.S. an...

Religion should not be a prerequisite for public office

By Andrew Boschert / Columnist

February 18, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Earlier this month, President Obama engaged in the expected yearly ritual known as the National Prayer Breakfast, calling for Americans to come together and solve crises through the grace of God.Despite some fine words and seemingly innocent motivation behind the breakfast,  I wondered, “Why even bot...

Fewer tests, more feedback: Reexamining college grading

By Ben Morgenstern / Columnist

February 17, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Nearly all students can recall a time when a test gave them trouble. Tests come with stress and are notoriously inaccurate at gauging a student’s knowledge of a subject. Researchers have linked sustained mental stress to multiple health issues, like sleep problems, depression and eating disorders. A...

Serial appeal illuminates need for post-conviction due process

By Adrianne Glenn / Columnist

February 16, 2015


Filed under Columns, Editorials, Opinions

The popular crime podcast “Serial” is in the news once again — the Maryland Court of Special Appeals agreed to revisit Adnan Syed’s homicide case in June. This individual victory for due process is not rave-worthy, though. Syed was sentenced to life in prison 15 years ago for allegedly killing his ex-g...

Wanted: Stable families for foster children

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

February 15, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Stability is the most important thing for a child. I’ve moved around a bit. Well, a lot. For me, answering the question of where I’m from is a conversation that typically goes along these lines: “Where are you from?” someone asks.“Originally?” I inquire. Prompted by their nodding head, I...

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan

By Jeff Ahearn / Assistant Visual Editor

February 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Ten reasons why women’s magazines should be off your !#@& list

Ten reasons why women’s magazines should be off your !#@& list

By Natalie Daher / Editor-in-Chief

February 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When I tell people I subscribe to Cosmopolitan Magazine, reactions range from raised brows, giggles or side-eyes that just scream “intellectual suicide.” The scandalized responses I’ve deflected from men, women and several aunts, however, often stem from a common misconception that Cosmo and ...

Birds and bees

Birds and bees

By Emily Hower / Staff Illustrator

February 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials

Sex education should be an organic process; parents should consider skipping "the talk".

Enough talk: Fly away, “birds and bees”

Enough talk: Fly away, “birds and bees”

By Alex Wise / Staff Writer

February 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In our adolescent years, the specter of “the talk” loomed large. Everybody knows “the talk.” You know, the one where Mom and Dad sit you down because “soon, your body will be going through changes, and that’s OK!” and finally reveal that an ugly, white bird didn’t magically drop you ...

You ought to know

You ought to know

By Alexandra Ryan / Production Manager

February 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Sex education 101: The effects of abstinence-minded schooling

Sex education 101: The effects of abstinence-minded schooling

By Danielle Fox / Managing Editor

February 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Call this bona fide nutty, but my friend from Germany practiced contraceptive use with a wooden penis.The hands-on experience was a part of his high school level sexual education, not a mahogany fetish. The approach was blunt, but comprehensive sex education sticks with the students. And maybe it work...

Let’s talk about sex: Advice from Antonio and Katie

By Antonio Blundo and Katie McGrath / The Pitt News Staff

February 12, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Dear Antonio and Katie,I am a freshman who’s still adjusting to “college life,” and it hasn’t been easy. I had a girlfriend since my freshman year of high school, until our breakup right before college, so I am feeling a bit deprived. College is kind of what I expected, but not so “American Pie....

An Ode to Singledom

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

February 12, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

 I haven’t got the faintest clueof things to come, and lives anew.Surely, no reminder serves best than Valentine’s, that horrid fest. The epidemic is quite widespread, a world awash in pink and red. Chocolate lingers in the air,and I don’t mean to cause despair,to say that sweets are those ...

Sex: We need more of it

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

February 12, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The camera opens to a beautiful blond woman walking — nothing too unusual, except that she appears to be completely naked. Men all around stop and stare, but not at her beauty — that would be crass. No, they are staring at the succulent burger in her hand.If this sounds like a strange melding of ...

The importance of keeping high school friends

By Cecile Truong / For The Pitt News

February 11, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It’s important to keep in touch with your high school friends throughout college.I may have teared up saying goodbye to my best friends last summer before I started my freshman year at Pitt. I wasn’t going to see them for another four months — which felt like forever at the time. “We’ll ke...

Academics: Why they’re not important

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

February 10, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The semester is already a third of the way done. If they haven’t already, midterms will pop up everywhere. All of this pressure after the relative bliss of syllabus week might make you focus more on academics.This would be a mistake. Academics are not really what higher education is about. Rather, it is about...

Student athletes: Get the most out of your education

By Rebecca Peters / For The Pitt News

February 9, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

You wake up before the sun rises, get dressed and head to practice seven days a week. Monday through Friday, you leave your first practice to go to class, grab lunch and come back for your second practice. Two or three hours later, you head back for a class or two and then rush to film sessions or ge...

Field of dreamers: Why baseball is an idealist’s-and America’s-sport

By Stephen Caruso / Columnist

February 8, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When I was in high school, I remember seeing a senior’s quote under a smug athletic face that read, “Baseball is what America was. Football is what America is.”If that’s the case, then I’d suggest avoiding mirrors, America.The last six months have been nothing but a disaster for the NFL. Roge...

Koi fish tattoo

Koi fish tattoo

February 5, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Springemployment2015

Koi fish motifs are associated with multiple meanings, but in this scenario it represents success. The background for this meaning stems from an old tale that koi fish swam upstream--against the current--and when they reached the top, they became dragons as a reward....

Work study: Professional jobs that pay your way

By Cecile Truong / For The Pitt News

February 5, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Springemployment2015

I’m from Virginia. Exactly a year ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be going to Pitt. “Virginia has tons of public colleges for so much cheaper,” everyone told me. It wasn’t until my financial aid award came in the mail that I changed my mind. Getting mail from colleges was still exciting a...

Lessons learned from burgers

By Anna Tomani / For The Pitt News

February 5, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Springemployment2015

Life gets expensive, so we find employment, we find jobs, to pay for life. And we find jobs to put us through school, which will allow us to find better jobs that give us more money to pay for life. Part-time jobs can be a drag, working long and hard hours for minimal pay, but we can gain more than just ...

Tolerance is key to ending body modification stigma

By Courtney Linder / Assistant Opinions Editor

February 5, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Springemployment2015

I have a two-and-a-half-foot-long tattoo running down my side, from my shoulder to below my hip. My skin is shaded in various pigments, but an earthy orange and striking cerulean dominate the scene ­— a koi fish swimming upstream through tangles of lotus flowers. The fish is one of my several tattoo...

Forget about Valentine’s Day: Let’s talk about Black History Month

By Elizabeth Dusky / For The Pitt News

February 5, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

February has arrived, and while you are preoccupied considering what to get the “bae” for Valentine’s day, you should also consider a greater predicament. In the wake of the Michael Brown verdict, the failure to indict the police officer in the Eric Garner case, and the emergence of the #BlackLi...

Have we gone too far in our treatment of celebrities?

By Katie McGrath / For The Pitt News

February 4, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The tabloid business is a strange one. Magazines such as People, US Weekly and Star stay afloat because of celebrities. The writers use their degrees meant for hard-hitting journalism to report on who Kim Kardashian would like to take a selfie with and Kate Winslet’s strategy for losing baby weight. To a point, I think this reporting is OK. That’s fair game. Pursuing a career in fashion,...

Fueling clean energy research through taxing gasoline

By Ben Morgenstern / For The Pitt News

February 3, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

 Much to the delight of millions of commuting Americans, a gallon of gas costs on average  less than $2 for the first time since mid-2008. Gas prices have been plummeting since June 2014, largely due to the sudden growth of shale oil production in the Midwest.Commuters may be pleased, but cheap gas carries d...

Shallow support: Anti-discriminatory backing only goes so deep

By Adrianne Glenn / Columnist

February 2, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In light of a press conference last Tuesday, the tug of war between the conservative Mormon church and marginalized groups — namely the LGBTQ community — has seemingly ceased, except for one glaring exception.The Mormon church recently announced support for expanding Salt Lake City’s four-year-old non-discrimination laws for...

Lothrop Hall: It’s not so bad

By Elias Economou / Columnist

February 1, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When you inform another Pitt student that your humble abode is actually a Lothrop Hall suite, their resulting look of pity and secondhand embarassment comes tellingly fast. Lothrop has its pros and cons, but contrary to popular belief, it ranks among the better Pitt dorms. Often, students consider L...

Workin’ for the dough: Why minimum wage work spices up your skill set

By Courtney Linder / Assistant Opinions Editor

January 29, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

So, you didn’t land that internship at Children’s Hospital. Or, maybe, you just didn’t have the right qualifications for that prestigious internship with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You applied for a cushy work-study job at Hillman, but, instead, someone else is getting paid to sit behind a d...

Climate change: Let’s get out of the tipping point

Climate change: Let’s get out of the tipping point

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

January 28, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Fun fact: Mixologist Steven Dragun of the World Bar created a drink named “The Tipping Point” to represent the onset of climate change.But it’s not the Tipping Point I’m concerned with.I’m talking about the Tipping Point upon which we’ve precariously placed ourselves. Of course, when this ...

‘American Sniper’: Our nation’s most pressing issue

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

January 27, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Last Tuesday was President Obama’s sixth State of the Union, an important speech filled with controversial policy proposals, chock-full of far-reaching effects for the country. Policy debates are ridiculously blasé and hardly merit our discussion, even if a federal law, by definition, affects the...

Academy Awards don’t signal social change

By Andrew Boschert / Columnist

January 26, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

This year’s Academy Awards delivered a pretty serious snub to Ava DuVernay for her role in directing the critically acclaimed movie “Selma.”Just released earlier this month, doubt pervades about “Selma”’s chances at any awards this year, despite nomination.  And, considering the turbulen...

‘Papa Bear’: Or, how I learned to stop hating and respect Bill O’Reilly

By Stephen Caruso / Columnist

January 25, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I don’t hate Bill O’Reilly.Honestly, as a liberal, I feel like I have to abhor the guy at times. The amount of snarky comments from my friends about him gave me the impression that I must at least dislike the man, if not curse him to the ninth circle of hell. Quite frankly, I’ve found that I f...

Flag burning: The best method for change

By Rebecca Peters / For The Pitt News

January 22, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Last week, unknown vandals burned a U.S. flag donated to a local Oregon elementary school by 1st Sgt. Reginald Daniels. The burnt flag was left at half-staff.Despite its animosity, burning the American flag is actually an intensely educated and productive idea. The nameless vandals weren’t vandals at ...

The new existential crisis: An epidemic of overproduction

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

January 21, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As a newly declared sociology major, I knew I would soon come into contact with the works of Karl Marx. Marx, who is perhaps most famous for his denunciation of capitalism and advocacy of communism, wrote a “Manifesto of the Communist Party” — which advocated for working class control of the me...

The many shades of Islamophobia

By Simon Brown / Columnist

January 20, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Voltaire, it turns out, never said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The famous phrase actually sprang from the pen of a much later biographer of the French wit and philosophe, who used it as a summary of Voltaire’s liberal political views. It...

Seven reasons why you should be a liberal

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

January 20, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It’s 2015, and it’s time to realize that the only political party you should affiliate with is represented by a blue donkey. That’s right, it’s time to lean to the left.Below is a list of seven comprehensive reasons why you should do the intelligent thing and identify as a liberal.1. All the ...

Teen shows prove promising for sexual diversity

By Adrianne Glenn / Columnist

January 15, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

When it comes to film and television, we’re acclimated to the “Brangelinas” of the world, the Bella and Edward “Twilight” romances and the Cinderella-Prince Charming archetype. In short, we know all about cisgender, straight couples. But what about genderqueer people or gays?Statistic after sta...

Bridging the racial disparity gap from the bottom up

By Ben Morgenstern / For The Pitt News

January 14, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As we’ve realized from events in Ferguson, Mo., New York and elsewhere across the country, racism — here focused on racial inequalities and misconceptions — still exists and is nothing new. Before I came to Pitt, I was part of a group called “The Dream Team” — I know it’s cheesy — a...

2015: The year of the lawsuit

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

January 13, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As we settle into 2015, major lawsuits are already pending. From Congress suing the President over Obamacare to another alleged sexual assault lawsuit against comedy icon Bill Cosby, the world is getting better one ruling at a time. However, while you might hear about high profile cases the most, it is a ...

Rise of the androids: Don’t let artificial intelligence technology outsmart you

By Courtney Linder / Assistant Opinions Editor

January 12, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

I’ve never really loved smartphones. I’m immersed in a millennial lifestyle at the university level, however, where constant connectivity is an unspoken requirement. I’m expected to check my email 10 times a day and be available to professors, employers and peers at any given moment.The only p...

Encouraging discretion: Countering overregulation in the 21st century

Encouraging discretion: Countering overregulation in the 21st century

By Matt Barnes / Opinions Editor

January 11, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

With the 114th Congress now in session, citizens must evaluate the effectiveness of modern legislation. Attorney Philip K. Howard’s 1994 book, “The Death of Common Sense,” discusses the harmful nature of an overly regulated society. He calls for a return to greater human discretion in our regulat...

America’s New Religion Problem

By Rebecca Peters / For The Pitt News

January 8, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The United States does not have a religion problem — our First Amendment proves that. However, it seems the United States has a people problem. Instead of tolerating diversity, we have adamantly worked against spiritual autonomy. The First Amendment protects our right to religious freedom —this is wid...

New education standards nothing more than ‘standard’

By Simon Brown / Columnist

January 7, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the last two months since the midterm election, the Obama administration has taken one bold political step after another — from the executive order against deportation of undocumented immigrants to the deconstruction of Cold War-era restrictions against a thawing Cuba. In the wake of these enactments, th...

Opening the door: Making the case for renewed US-Cuban relations

Opening the door: Making the case for renewed US-Cuban relations

By Matt Barnes / Opinions Editor

January 6, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In February 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave clear orders to his press secretary, Pierre Salinger. Kennedy pleaded, “I need cigars.” By the following day, the President was in possession of more than 1,000 freshly hand-rolled Cubans.What else happened that day? American trade with Cuba ceased, as our 35th president banned the importation of all Cuban products into the United States — building upon the prohibition of U.S. exports to Cuba, which the Eisen...

“Serial” podcast: Where is the discrimination discourse?

By Adrianne Glenn / Columnist

January 5, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The tides are changing: America is fed up with the U.S. justice system after the courts’ refusal to indict Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, coupled with authoritative responses to Ferguson protests. This unrest originates from the unreliability and inequality within the legal system, not just the no...

The seven wonders of winter

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

January 4, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

While school has just started back up again, we are already well into the middle of winter. The magic of Christmas is over, but here are some great, never-before-seen reasons to appreciate winter at Pitt.1. You no longer have any desire to go outside. One of the worst things in life is looking outside and seeing a beautiful day, while you ...

Viewing life unequally: Every death is a shame

By Stephen Caruso / Columnist

January 4, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

Any death is a shame.However, this simple truth is seemingly hard to accept, as evidenced by the events of the past few months. The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu dominate the news. Media personalities have passed the blame around until it has no meaning, other than...

Focus on facts: The dangers of screaming ‘racism’

By Jess Craig / Columnist

January 4, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

Aug. 9, 2014. Ferguson, Mo. Police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Michael Brown was black. The police officer was white. Brown was unarmed. On Nov. 24, a grand jury in St. Louis County chose not to indict Darren Wilson for any criminal charges. In the days, weeks and m...

Too spoiled for Breaking Bad: The golden age of television

By Andrew Boschert / Columnist

January 4, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

I still haven’t watched all of “Breaking Bad.”It’s not that I don’t have time. Heck, even the boredom that saturated winter break didn’t push me over the edge.It’s not that I don’t have the means to watch it. These days, it only takes an Internet connection.It’s not that I can’t get over the ...

Immigration reform: Forever stuck in limbo

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

January 4, 2015


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Welcomebackspring2015

Imagine this: In a land of 316.1 million Americans, you are one of 12 million undocumented immigrants. Why you came here, only you know. Maybe there’s another life to which you can return. Maybe this is the only life you know. You live in the shadows of American ideals, but you’re hopeful. Things w...

Unwrapping sexism: Gender roles in Holiday advertising are alive and well

Unwrapping sexism: Gender roles in Holiday advertising are alive and well

By Jess Craig / Columnist

December 8, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

Holiday commercials targeting women generally depict mothers in a frenzy to buy gifts, wrap presents, bake cookies, clean the guest bedroom for the in-laws or decorate the Christmas tree as perfectly as the one on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. “Mom, you own this season,” says a Wal-Mart ...

Final Exams have us like…

Final Exams have us like…

By Dylan Fisher / Staff Cartoonist

December 8, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

High-pressure situations: What do finals really measure?

High-pressure situations: What do finals really measure?

By Adrianne Glenn / Columnist

December 8, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

Feel the cold in the air? The coffee pumping through your veins and that maddening pressure on your temples? Those are the telltale signs that finals week is upon you.Year after year, students meet finals week with crazy amounts of stress and emotional chaos, but to what gain?Final exams are meant to...

‘Merry Christmas’ vs. ‘Happy Holidays’: The war worth having

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

December 8, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Fallfinals2014

With finals upon on us, nothing seems more important than figuring out where to study or what exactly we need to score on a final to pass a class. Of course, this is not the only thing that matters in the month of December, compared to more pressing annual debates like whether or not we should say ...

Ferguson case: If we want change, we must recognize the past

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

December 4, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Ever since news broke of the grand jury’s decision to forego indicting Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown, I have been wrestling with my notions of “right” and “wrong.” Was the grand jury’s decision right? How could it be wrong? And if it’s right, why does what happened in Fer...

Public education is a right for all

By Ben Morgenstern / For The Pitt News

December 3, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Debating whether or not the U.S. government should educate illegal immigrants’ children is nothing new. After all, should the government spend time and money putting a non-citizen through public school? The simple answer is yes. Education is a basic human right, and there isn’t a single person who sh...

Follow the yellow brick…buildings? Pitt’s endowments yield lackluster structures

Follow the yellow brick…buildings? Pitt’s endowments yield lackluster structures

By Elias Economou / For The Pitt News

December 2, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

What do Lothrop Hall, Allen Hall, Alumni Hall, Amos Hall, Bellefield Hall, Brackenridge Hall and Bruce Hall have in common? All were built before 1925.Is it worth it for students to pay $3,250 a semester to live on campus in buildings that were built almost 100 years ago?Of course, some student housi...

OPEC: The crude, hard truth

OPEC: The crude, hard truth

By Thomas Helgerman / Columnist

December 1, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the wake of the preponderance of fracking, a method of extracting crude oil from the ground by hydraulic means, there has been a large amount of criticism charging that the process has a serious environmental impact.The debate has particular significance in Pennsylvania, because much of the development of fracking has occurred throughout the state. While this issu...

AlcoholEdu: Let’s change the way we view drinking in college

By Bridget Buckman / For The Pitt News

November 30, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

So here it goes: I’m a freshman here at Pitt, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when coming into college. I’m not the most social person in the world, and I have never been interested in going to parties or drinking with strangers. It may be abnormal, but I have never condoned drinking ...

Let’s better understand diversity and its value at Pitt

By Simon Brown / Columnist

November 24, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Four years ago, I received my much-awaited acceptance to Pitt. With my ‘safety school’ secured, I prepared my calculus of college acceptance. I was expecting a painful decision among school choices in April. I never had to make that decision. I got rejected from my two other schools, both private, elite c...

TIME Magazine: Maybe we should ban words like ‘feminism’

By Jessica Craig / Columnist

November 23, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

On Nov. 13, TIME Magazine released its fourth annual “word banishment poll.” At the time of its initial publication, the article’s preface instructed, “If you hear that word one more time, you will definitely cringe. You may exhale pointedly ... What word is this? You tell us ... we’re asking reade...

Is Thanksgiving even a thing anymore?

Is Thanksgiving even a thing anymore?

By Aby Briner / Staff Illustrator

November 20, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Black Friday or Black Thursday? A Sales Façade

Black Friday or Black Thursday? A Sales Façade

By Courtney Linder / Columnist

November 20, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

They camp outside in tents, bundled up for the freezing temperatures outside. They wait, meticulously counting down the seconds until the doors open. And, finally, after hours of waiting, they bust through, pointing credit cards like weapons at the clerks.They’re Black Friday shoppers, and they’re an...

Be thankful for those who serve, even when they don’t have to

Be thankful for those who serve, even when they don’t have to

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

November 19, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Military service has, in a sense, been the bane of my existence. In Eritrea, where I was born, national service is mandatory for able-bodied men and women my age. Ultimately, if I wasn’t in the United States, I would most likely be in Sawa, a military training camp. My mother had been in Sawa, th...

Free speech: Censorship is preferable to conflict

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

November 18, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the past couple of weeks, controversy over serving Palestinian food has embroiled Conflict Kitchen. Some pro-Israeli groups say the takeout restaurant in Schenley Plaza displays advocacy via food wrappers for the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.This debate culminated last week...

Could fantasy football make you the next ‘wolf’ of Wall Street?

By Elias Economou / For The Pitt News

November 17, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The New York Stock Exchange and fantasy sports. Upon first glance, similarities between these two activities do not pop into the average person’s head — stocks and fantasy sports seem inherently different.Yet, the idea and thought process behind any fantasy sport played on ESPN, Yahoo, etc., is equivalent...

Video games and art: Why gaming is the future of media

Video games and art: Why gaming is the future of media

By Andrew Boschert / Columnist

November 16, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

As is the custom around this time of year, the annual cycle of new video games is hitting the market. Although they have become ubiquitous with the holiday season, video games still seem to be lacking mainstream acceptance.As one of the most recent developments in entertainment, video games have draw...

Don’t be scared to dumpster dive

Don’t be scared to dumpster dive

By Aby Briner / Staff Illustrator

November 14, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials / Rentalguide2015

In college, thrift like your wallet depends on it

In college, thrift like your wallet depends on it

By Courtney Linder / Columnist

November 14, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials / Rentalguide2015

What do you think of first when you hear the words “college apartment?” Front lawns, covered in beer bottles and debris?  A futon covered in stains of which you dare not question the origin? Perhaps the unfinished basement, reminiscent of Buffalo Bill’s kill room in TheSilence of the Lambs, complet...

Four ways to be the collegiate Iron Chef

By Stephen Caruso / Columnist

November 14, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials / Rentalguide2015

Cooking may seem intimidating, but you don’t have to be an Iron Chef to do it. Crafting decent meals just requires some creativity and knowing the flavors you like. Considering the average meal out for an American is $12.75, knowing how to cook at home can save you some money. The best part though i...

What failed in Oregon could succeed elsewhere

By Simon Brown / Columnist

November 12, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Last Tuesday, as each hour after 8 p.m. brought more Republican congressional victories and more disappointed Democratic sighs — at least, everywhere outside Pennsylvania — one vote went almost entirely unnoticed by the nation. Though it didn’t attract the hours of tedious statistical analysis or po...

Who’s soft? Social sciences are in fact scientific

By Thomas Helgerman / Columnist

November 11, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

One day last semester, I was sitting at Hillman Library with some friends, looking over the requirements to apply for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program through the National Science Foundation (NSF).While I was at the table, one of the people sitting with me asked me what I was working on. As an ecomomics major, I info...

Let’s have a true home game: Bring football back to Oakland

By Elias Economou / For The Pitt News

November 10, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Your print-at-home tickets have arrived!An e-mail that students should open with excitement has turned into another overlooked item in our inboxes.Football games at Pitt are different from stereotypical college football games. The lack of an on-campus stadium has tainted our college game day experience. ...

Talkin’ ’bout my generation: Why Independents should be the millennials’ choice

Talkin’ ’bout my generation: Why Independents should be the millennials’ choice

By Stephen Caruso / Columnist

November 10, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

It’s morning in America.Well, not really. But anything, and I mean anything, is better than the cold, dark night of the last two years. If anything has made me see the wisdom of Winston Churchill’s oft-repeated quote, “democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others,” it is the 113th C...

‘Basic’ girls frequent Starbucks, apparently

‘Basic’ girls frequent Starbucks, apparently

By Theo Schwarz / Visual Editor

November 6, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

‘Basic’ rights: Starbucks, Instagram and UGG boots do not define a person

‘Basic’ rights: Starbucks, Instagram and UGG boots do not define a person

By Channing Kaiser / Columnist

November 6, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

If you’ve ventured into a Starbucks in the past month, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the phrase “basic” thrown around.The term “basic” is used to describe a woman who wears skinny jeans tucked into mid-calf boots, paired with a North Face jacket. When you say “Tiffany Blue,” sh...

Sciences and humanities more similar than many think

By Jess Craig / Columnist

November 5, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

At first, it was hard to accept that I possessed two completely different passions —  it was as if I was diagnosing myself with split personality disorder. Throughout college, people have always responded to my microbiology and writing dual degree with something along the lines of: “Oh, what an ...

Check your wealth: Economics left out of discourse on privilege

By Simon Brown / Columnist

November 4, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In the past year or so, the term “privilege” has become common currency in social media outlets and online think pieces. The complex and readily misused term provokes passion from most who encounter it. The various bloggers and Tumblr users who invoke the term “privilege” do so to underline the dif...

Westboro Baptist Church not a threat to marriage equality

By Adrianne Glenn / For The Pitt News

November 3, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The Westboro Baptist Church has found a new arena to take its message — the federal courts. The church is working to defend Kansas’s same-sex marriage ban. It has asked to be a defendant in the case because it claimed that Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt could not adequately represent the ...

An appeal for volunteerism: If not for others, do it for you

By Bethel Habte / Columnist

November 2, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Telling people that they should volunteer is like telling them that they should donate a kidney. Both sentiments invoke an unnecessary moral burden. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you that you should volunteer. Rather, I’ll tell you how volunteering can actually benefit you. Let’s be honest, we’re a...

Behind the veil: Misconceptions and stereotypes that Muslim women face

Behind the veil: Misconceptions and stereotypes that Muslim women face

By Courtney Linder / Columnist

October 30, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The United States is a nation built upon ideals of religious freedom. But our notion of religious “freedom” is entirely western-centric, which leads to misunderstanding and, sometimes, hatred of religious practices we are not used to.Take the practices of Islam, for instance. Under-informed individu...

Women and minority inclusion: What the sciences can learn from the humanities

By Simon Brown / Columnist

October 29, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

In a decade of declining enrollments in humanities classes with a limited attention to public discourse, the question of how the humanities can learn from the sciences has taken on a particular pertinence. It may be a bold claim, then, to assert that historians and literary scholars can teach biologists and p...

American media coverage of the Ebola crisis is alarmist, one-sided

By Thomas Helgerman / Columnist

October 28, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

Since the Ebola outbreak began a couple of months ago, the mainstream media has made some facts about the virus abundantly clear.First, the virus poses a serious threat to several countries in West Africa, particularly Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Second, a more concerted international effort is needed to counter the spread of the disease both within and from affli...

Why the double standard? Violence and sex in pop culture

By Andrew Boschert / Columnist

October 27, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

If you’ve watched TV recently, you’ve probably seen a man’s skull being smashed with a hammer, people’s throats slit into a trough, a meat locker with people’s torsos and limbs hung by hooks and a man’s face being eaten off while he is still alive.More than 17 million American cable viewers ...

Against satire: Just get to the point already, dude

Against satire: Just get to the point already, dude

By Eli Talbert / Columnist

October 26, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions

The recent controversy over my last column titled “Why Condemning ISIS is Offensive,” which you can read on The Pitt News website, has caused a massive paradigm shift for me. The article, which was satirical, prompted substantial outrage by those who believed I thought that asking Muslims to condemn ISIS was...

Are homecoming candidates the faces of our University?

Are homecoming candidates the faces of our University?

By Courtney Linder & Nick Voutsinos / The Pitt News Staff

October 24, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Homecoming2014

Homecoming court traditionally selected students who represent a wide assortment of their university’s student body — or, at least, they did a few decades ago. Originally, homecoming candidates were meant to portray to the alumni what the university and its students were up to.Today though, the...

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