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Opinions Archives - Page 18 of 18 - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Editorial: Root of the problem? House Republicans

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

October 9, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The inability of Washington to function for the past week has caused negative implications for not only national parks and government websites but also the status of the nation’s health standards, the future credibility of the United States and the overall stability of the global economy.The inactivity...

13 going on 30: Professionalism encroaches on America’s youth

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

October 8, 2013


Filed under Opinions

The workaholic mentality isn’t something that Americans are surprised to hear themselves associated with. We work a lot. Because I’m a college student, this workaholic mentality causes me to go through an entire thought process before consuming my morning cup of coffee: How much coffee am I allowed t...

Editorial: Government furlough risks status of national public health

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

October 8, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The government shutdown, which is now a week in length, has affected more than congressmen and government workers, reaching new heights by threatening the lives of the American people nationwide. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service declared a national public health alert becau...

Letter to the Editor: October 9, 2013

October 8, 2013


Filed under Letters to the Editor, Opinions

To the Editor, There is no doubt gun violence is a serious public-health problem impacting the health and well-being of men, women and children living in the United States. What we know less about is how to effectively prevent the increasing number of related deaths and injuries. Fortunately, the re...

Editorial: Say yes to education, Pittsburgh

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

October 7, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Sending driven high school students to college is a conceptually lauded issue among many demographics. The various methods used to send these bright kids to post-secondary institutions, however, have met with less overarching agreement. Syracuse has proven to be an example Pittsburgh should embody in te...

Silence is Sarin: United States has moral obligation to act on Syria

By Julia Carpey / For The Pitt News

October 7, 2013


Filed under Opinions

Throughout history, our greatest failure has not been bigotry or ignorance; our greatest failure is silence. The current civil war in Syria is testing the moral compass of the United States, much like the steady progression of the Holocaust did more than 70 years ago. The questions we must ask ourse...

Universities must pay adjunct lecturers their fair share

By Simon Brown / Columnist

October 2, 2013


Filed under Opinions

One month ago, Mary Margaret Vojtko would have been the last person anyone would expect to become an online icon. But the tragic death of the 83-year-old French professor at Duquesne University has reverberated throughout popular media outlets as an alarm to the disgraceful conditions in which many non-ten...

Editorial: Pitt has the ability to curb gun violence

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

October 2, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

This past week, the National Institutes of Health issued a press release calling for new initiatives to begin research on the causes and prevention of firearms violence.The move by the NIH is in response to President Barack Obama’s memorandum in January that called for the agencies of the Departme...

President Hassan Rouhani presents opportunity for Middle Eastern diplomacy

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

October 1, 2013


Filed under Opinions

When newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in New York last week for the U.N. general assembly, there was something strange in the air. The past protests and animosity that had become commonplace during Iranian presidential visits were absent, and in their place was an unusual aura of optim...

Editorial: Bard’s new admissions choice highlights ambiguity of assessing applicants

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

October 1, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Every high school student hoping to someday enroll in a college or institution of higher education must enter the somewhat dreadful and life-draining process of taking the SAT or other aptitude tests, filling out numerous supplements and bending over backwards for college application requirements. Bard ...

Obama, Putin and the necessary demise of American exceptionalism

By Rohith Palli / Columnist

September 30, 2013


Filed under Opinions

The debate is getting heated. Is America exceptional? Russian President Vladimir Putin certainly doesn’t think so. In fact, he stated in a New York Times op-ed published on Sept. 11 that, “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”Pres...

Editorial: University athletic departments cannot over-distinguish athletes

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

September 30, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The pending sanctions Oklahoma State will soon receive from the NCAA shed light on the continuing separation universities have with their athletic programs.Oklahoma State University’s Orange Pride, an organization dedicated to recruiting football prospects out of high school, is under scrutiny for ...

The limits of Twitter: Facilitating misrepresentation of social issues

By Simon Brown / Columnist

September 25, 2013


Filed under Opinions

If extraterrestrials ever approach the earth’s atmosphere, it’s not unthinkable that they would first encounter human civilization in the radio waves delivering internet data to satellites. If those extraterrestrials happened to arrive in our atmosphere this past week, they might make a few conclusions abou...

Editorial: Kenyatta’s Kenya

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

September 25, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

After four days of fighting in the upscale Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta declared Tuesday that his forces had “ashamed and defeated” the members of al-Qaida-linked militia al-Shabaab, who took hostages in the mall.According to Kenyatta’s ...

Editorial: State governments begin moving on education reform

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

September 24, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Delaware’s state education sector has found a new, effective way to combat income equality with regard to equal opportunities for high school students applying to college.In a new effort to ensure equal opportunity among students on an income-based level, Delaware has promised to supply information an...

‘Grand Theft Auto’ poses critical take on society, deserves credit

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

September 24, 2013


Filed under Opinions

The release of the newest installment in the “Grand Theft Auto” video game series this past week came with a whole list of expectations. If we believe that history has a habit of repeating itself, we know that the launch of “Grand Theft Auto Five” will crush sales records, achieve near-perfect r...

UPMC employees to suffer if Pennsylvania becomes a right-to-work state

By Stephen Suss / Columnist

September 23, 2013


Filed under Opinions

In this age, the word “union” carries a negative connotation. Once the sole bastion of the blue-collar worker, to which workers looked for help to ensure receipt of reasonable pay, proper working conditions and benefits, unions are now better known as the bane of capitalism: Organizations that bully w...

Editorial: Pittsburgh parking authority to improve ticket citation procedure

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

September 23, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Students and motorists who have been recipients of parking citations need not dread the process as much as they have in the past. Starting on Oct. 1, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority will launch a website that will allow alleged miscreants to contest their traffic violations with the Pittsburgh Parking ...

Editorial: Colleges should take aggressive stance on sexual assault

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

September 18, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Occidental College has finally reached a settlement with a group of students and alumni who filed a federal complaint stating that officials from the school’s Eagle Rock, Calif., campus mishandled investigations involving multiple allegations of sexual assault. In April 2013, students and alumni fi...

Ending the intellectual turf war

By Simon Brown / Columnist

September 18, 2013


Filed under Opinions

A brutal competition is gripping higher education across the nation. While it can be exciting to watch unfold, it is still mired in bureaucratic mismanagement. Ultimately, it can consume the attention of university students and administrators, and spur them to seriously detrimental decisions. And no, I...

Elegant, eloquent students propose constitutional amendment to ban requirements

By Rohith Palli / Columnist

September 17, 2013


Filed under Opinions

Disclaimer: The author has read neither “Atlas Shrugged” nor the entirety of “The Wealth of Nations,” but hopes that readers derive pleasure from this most excellent worldview that has been presented. Additionally, the “students” he spoke to aren’t really people, so don’t search for them on Pitt...

Editorial: Nation should focus on change through local channels

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

September 17, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

A nauseating feeling permeates the air today as news of Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard reaches the victims’ families, bystanders and the nation. We can once again comment on the tragedy of this event, we can consider the manner by which we should extend our thoughts and condol...

Pittsburgh: Learn the lessons of New York

Pittsburgh: Learn the lessons of New York

By Simon Brown / Columnist

September 11, 2013


Filed under Opinions

History always remembers its great leaders by their most daunting challenges: King David and Goliath, George Washington and the redcoats and most recently, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the “Big Gulp” soda. In November, two candidates will contend to replace Mayor Bloomberg, whose 12-year term will tower ...

Editorial: Do you want to be the next Bill Gates? Just do it

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

September 11, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

When Matt Mullenweg and Sahil Lavingia decided it was the right decision to pursue their startup dreams instead of obtaining a degree, they inspired many others to follow this path to success.Mullenweg, the founder of Automattic, the company behind WordPress, dropped out of the University of Houston in...

I’ll take my holidays commercialized, please

By Naomi Borrebach / Columnist

September 10, 2013


Filed under Opinions

As far as I can tell, one of the biggest gripes that most Americans have about the holiday season is the rampant commercialization, which pressures people to obtain the perfect gift for every aunt, cousin, sibling and friend in their social networks. I already saw glittery, gold angels and fake snow on...

Law so hard — even during your undergrad years

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

September 10, 2013


Filed under Opinions

Given the recent increase in law-school applications over the past few years, students preparing or thinking about attending law school should be aware of the competitive edge required to get into their school of choice. Essentially, the preparation for law school demands you be as cutthroat and inde...

Editorial: College Board must initiate relationship with high schools

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

September 10, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The College Board is at it again, announcing that the current version of the SAT will soon cease to exist. The SAT will be updated in ways not yet specified, instilling widespread fear and confusion in high school students nationwide.“We will develop an assessment that mirrors the work [the students] ne...

Exploitative capitalist system encompasses myth of ethical consumption

By Natalie Russell / Columnist

September 9, 2013


Filed under Opinions

I feel good about myself when I buy clothing from American Apparel. I feel nobler still when I choose cage-free eggs over the standard carton. I even, embarrassingly enough, feel a hint of self-righteousness when I count the years since I’ve eaten at a McDonald’s. Ethical consumption is the myth t...

Editorial: Make the Faust-ian move: Support women in higher education

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

September 9, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Harvard Business School was in desperate need of help. As the premier business training ground for individuals pursuing employment in the finance and marketing sector, the business school found itself combatting an intractable problem: a female demographic exemplifying the same struggle witnessed dec...

Government, colleges must prioritize careful cost-reduction

By Simon Brown / Columnist

September 4, 2013


Filed under Opinions

When Barack Obama enrolled for his first year at Occidental College in 1979, the average cost of a university education stood at roughly $8,700 per year. When he sends his daughter, Malia Obama, off to college in 2016, the cost will be about $18,300 per year — and that’s after being adjusted for inflation. Perhaps the president had this sentiment in mind when, two weeks ago, he publicly unveiled his plan to use federal financial support to encourage universities to reduce the price of the education that they provide. It would seem that he’s also well aware that most American families will have a much harder time paying that $18,300 than he and Michelle Obama will.The plan that the president fittingly announced at university campuses across New York and Pennsylvania calls for a system to rank universities — public, private and for-profit — along several metrics, including reduction of cost, accessibility to low-income students and graduation rates. These rankings would then correlate to the amount of federal support each university receives by way of student-loan programs. Simply put, if you go to a school with a better ranking, the federal government will allot you a more generous loan package. This plan promises to be a much-needed step in the right direction for higher-education policy. With the tug-of-war between public universities and their less-than-supportive state governments coupled with runaway costs of private and for-profit colleges, the federal government can provide a fresh voice in the conversation. And states and universities might actually pay attention when that voice is backed by billions of taxpayers’ dollars. You would be hard-pressed to find any university administrator or policymaker who doesn’t decry the rising cost of college education. Even more difficult, however, is finding any agreement on why the costs are rising in the first place. The current debate is no more than an intricate web of finger-pointing.Public universities blame austere state governments, and state governments blame irresponsible public universities. In the midst of this chicken-and-the-egg debate, the cost of financing for-profit colleges has skyrocketed with disappointing returns. The 13 percent of all enrolled college students who attend these institutions receive 25 percent of all federal student aid, even though only about 50 percent end up with a degree to show for it. It comes as no surprise, then, that these students also default on their loans at a rate much higher than those at non-profit colleges.Universities of all varieties enjoy the autonomy to set their tuition at whatever they deem necessary, and the funding mechanism for federal student loans will continue to foot the ever-mounting bill. So when universities incur the considerable cost to build extravagant new dining halls, residence halls and rock walls, they can often pass it off to taxpayers. The federal government, then, is perfectly positioned to discourage the needless expense and unfinished degrees that too often characterize the contemporary university. But just as with any hopeful policy goal, the devil is in the administrative details. Though no legislation now exists to stipulate the specifics of the ranking criteria, the generality of standards the president listed leave them open to gaping loopholes. The primary goal of the legislation is to financially reward institutions that can creatively reduce costs — an admirable goal, no doubt. However, the problem lies not just in the excessive costs of many universities, but also in their misplaced spending in programs that provide no value to a student’s education. Accordin...

Editorial: PA’s rights for same sex couples must follow federal change

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

September 4, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Under new rules that were announced Aug. 29, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service, along with the Treasury Department, have altered the benefits same-sex couples receive with regard to taxes and Medicare.The IRS now recognizes same-sex couples that are legall...

Editorial: Book prices put strain on students

By Pitt News Editorial Board

September 2, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Tuition and room and board are often cited as factors behind the enormous total nationwide student-loan debt, which recently surpassed $1 trillion. One cost that is often overlooked, however, is the ballooning price of textbooks. According to a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office,...

Casual Fridays 8/30/2013

By Editorial Staff

August 29, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Sharp shooterA New Hampshire man called police after he apparently shot himself in the knee while sleeping. The man, whose name has not been released, suffers from a condition called parasomnia, which causes him to perform unnatural behaviors in his sleep. We can’t help but wonder if the man was dreaming he was Plaxico Burress when the shot was fired.The hero France dese...

Keep ‘high-order thinking’ without the high-stakes testing

By Simon Brown / Columnist

August 28, 2013


Filed under Opinions

“The test was way too hard. Everyone I talked to totally failed it.” Unless you went to a very experimental school, you probably picked up this defense mechanism sometime in middle school to justify a particularly unimpressive grade. After the third or fourth time, however, your parents probabl...

Editorial: Achieve the ‘Dream’: End racism

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

August 28, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Today, sadly, we still live in a society far removed from the goals King profoundly echoed to millions on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.Fifty years ago, America witnessed mass racism and segreg...

PRISM oversteps boundaries, posing dark future for Americans

By Tiemoko Ballo / Columnist

August 27, 2013


Filed under Opinions

This summer the world found out about the Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management, or PRISM. This contrived acronym is the once-secret codename for an ominous and pervasive surveillance and data-mining program run by the National Security Agency.PRISM allows the NSA and the ...

Welcome Back: To Privatize or not to Privatize: Pennsylvania’s Dilemma

By Stephen Suss / Columnist

August 19, 2013


Filed under Opinions

Nothing is more reminiscent of summer than the smell of barbeque while opening a cold beer with your friends. But Pennsylvania’s alcohol laws can make the price for beer painful, and locating it a difficult task. As an out-of-stater in Pennsylvania, it often feels like I’m stepping back into the Prohibition e...

Organized activities are needed to end “summer slide” for younger students

Organized activities are needed to end “summer slide” for younger students

By Simon Brown / For The Pitt News

July 17, 2013


Filed under Opinions

If you were to ask any 12-year-old whether or not he’s excited for the onset of summer, his response wouldn’t be difficult to predict — that is, if he has the attention span to even provide one. Ask anyone whose school days are well behind him to recount some of his most cherished adolescent me...

Racial justice nowhere to be found in light of court verdict

Racial justice nowhere to be found in light of court verdict

By The Pitt News Staff

July 17, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Justice for some is not justice for all. Unfortunately, those looking for immediate racial justice in the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case will have to look elsewhere.Saturday night’s court decision, which found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting...

Editorial: DOMA hinders Pennsylvania’s progress

By Editorial Staff

July 10, 2013


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The United States is headed in the direction of marriage equality, and yesterday, Pennsylvania activists took the first steps toward making their state the next to join in line.Just weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which defined marriage as between...

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