The Pitt News

Hop aboard the 54D: Leave Oakland & explore

Hop aboard the 54D: Leave Oakland & explore

By Simon Brown / Columnist

May 28, 2014


Filed under Columns, Opinions, Specials, Specials / Newstudentguide2014

When you first visited Pitt during your college search, you were inevitably greeted with brochures and pamphlets promoting the University. These pamphlets displayed glossy photos of the Cathedral of Learning, the storied incline at Mount Washington and perhaps even PNC Park or Heinz Field along the shim...

Fighting racism first requires awareness

By Channing Kaiser / Columnist

May 27, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Princeton University is known for a lot of things, like its Halloween-themed school colors, its position in the Ivy League trifecta and its affiliation with Albert Einstein. Currently, the prestigious school is making headlines for publishing an article in a conservative and moderate student-run public...

Editorial: Attention: Editorial contains critique on trigger warnings

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

May 27, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

A contentious question has been spreading from campus to campus as of late: should college professors be required to forewarn students of the sensitive material they’ll discuss in class? Bailey Loverin, a second year literature major at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and co-author of a resolutio...

Letter to the Editor: May 28, 2014

By Adam Shear

May 27, 2014


Filed under Letters to the Editor, Opinions

To the editor of The Pitt News:While I certainly agree that Pitt students should learn about cultures, races, genders and religions different from their own, I think your May 14 editorial “Diversity Class Requirement has value in higher education” could leave a misleading impression. A course on Muslims or African-Americans or Jews or women never focus...

Editorial: Overdue ruling on marriage equality encourages tolerance in Pa

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

May 21, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

A federal judge in Harrisburg historically struck down the law barring same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, launching the state away from prejudice and towards equality.  Provided that Governor Tom Corbett does not appeal the decision, same-sex couples in Pennsylvania may now seek marriage, and...

Traditional political discourse undermines scientific progress

By Jessica Craig / For The Pitt News

May 20, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Science and politics have been at war since their institutional origins. For centuries, each side has tried to carry on in isolation, but in the 20th and 21st centuries, politics seem to have taken science prisoner. Over the decades, science has been at the mercy of political discourse that has shap...

Editorial: Diversity class requirement has value in higher education

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

May 13, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

While Pitt continues to drop courses that reflect the growing diversification of our society — including the elimination of four classes that focused solely on the Islamic religion for the upcoming fall semester — other universities embrace heterogeneity.UCLA is one of these schools. The univers...

Editorial: Recent PA court ruling will undermine police accountability

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

May 6, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Following a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, car searches will now be much less arduous for police. Contrary to the diction found in the fourth amendment of the Constitution, the court ruled to remove the “legal burden” that requires police officers to obtain a warrant before searchin...

In defense of Rutgers University class of 2014

By Nick Voutsinos / Opinions Editor

May 6, 2014


Filed under Opinions

For this year’s graduating seniors, Rutgers University invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to deliver the commencement address. Rice, however, will not be present at the ceremony on May 18, as she announced on Saturday, following weeks of protests led primarily by her would-be audience...

It’s been real, it’s been fun: Saying goodbye to college life

By Julia Carpey / Columnist

April 20, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Amid the pictures of Bigelow Bash, when students started enjoying the first days of spring and began nearing graduation, my Facebook newsfeed became filled with nostalgic posts. I can smell the beer from the statuses screaming, “I’m drinking every night from now until graduation. Holla at me,” wh...

Tell the whole story: Quantitative evaluations lacking in academia

By Rohith Palli / Columnist

April 20, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Finals week has come. Evaluations are in the air. Perhaps some want their grades to be as objective as possible, to reflect the precise proportion of the course material that they acquired from their semester. On the other hand, many students probably mostly care about maximizing their GPA.Since the e...

Finding your place in college: Be your own Pathfinder

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

April 20, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Have you ever had those moments when, as they’re happening, you realize you will look back on them? That moment for me occurred during my PittStart while I waited for my first advising appointment. A recent graduate sat down next to me and said, “I would kill to be in your position right now.”Ju...

In defense of ‘you’topia: ‘Her’ reinvents loneliness, self-centeredness

By Natalie Russell / Columnist

April 17, 2014


Filed under Opinions

It’s not a story about love. It’s a story about loneliness. An inability to distinguish between the two implies a lack of acquaintance with either one.The film “Her” is a modern day “Pygmalion” — a story in which isolation begets self-centeredness, and the subsequent loneliness result...

Casual Fridays 4/18/14

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

April 17, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Leave room for the Colonel A Louisville, Ky., florist has designed a special type of corsage for this prom season. For $20, customers can buy a kit to make a corsage featuring the Kentucky Fried Chicken drumstick of their choice — extra crispy, Kentucky grilled chicken or original recipe. The corsage kit ...

Modern advertising: It’s not so bad

By Channing Kaiser

April 16, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Advertising is changing. Spelling out “bologna” and using a cuddly polar bear to sell soda doesn’t cut it anymore. Nowadays, if you really want to sell your product and attract a large audience, you have to get creative, and a lot of companies are doing this by jumping on the social justice band...

Editorial: Pitt must work to establish sustainability office

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

April 16, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Students and faculty members gathered Wednesday at the William Pitt Union to discuss the importance of environmental sustainability. Mark Dixon, producer of the documentary “YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip),”  headlined the symposium. Dixon passionately advocates the pursuit of “your environmenta...

Enough talk: national action must be taken to address mental illness

By Matt Barnes

April 15, 2014


Filed under Opinions

In recent years, the role of the federal government in Americans’ lives has expanded. This expansion has prompted a national dialogue on the role and size of the government in American society. And still, despite the government’s growing presence, little comprehensive action has been taken on a se...

Editorial: Republicans’ rhetoric must reflect reality in light of new report

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 15, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Forget the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, “Obamacare is the most dangerous piece of legislation passed in congress,” according to Republican Congressman John Fleming. This is the kind of rhetoric from the Republican Party that we have become accustomed to since the introduction of the Affordable Ca...

Editorial: Land bank initiative can revitalize cityscape

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 14, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Pittsburgh is ceaselessly touted as a vibrant, livable city. But for those who live and work in proximity to the city’s thousands of blighted properties, the question has long been: When will all this supposed vitality translate into actual revitalization? After weeks of heated debate, that moment may be...

Millennial stereotypes undermine solutions to generational problems

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

April 14, 2014


Filed under Opinions

As a 20-year-old working college student, it’s frustrating to know that I automatically belong to a category of Americans described as self-centered, shiftless freeloaders who physically cannot stop taking selfies.This caricature of the millennial generation — one the American media has painted time and time aga...

NRA is unfair in targeting surgeon-general nominee

By Rohith Palli

April 13, 2014


Filed under Opinions

It seems likely that the National Rifle Association will successfully destroy the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Barack Obama’s nominee for surgeon general. Yet there is no opposition to Murthy on grounds of credentials: He is merely being punished for expressing common sense.In a series ...

Editorial: School and community must ally to curb delinquency

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

April 13, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The criminal justice framework that our local and federal authorities enforce has increasingly been focused strictly on punishment and penalizing offenders. For example, Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa., is pushing legislation that would limit the crimes for which minors could be incarcerated. He is seeking t...

Grow up! Why reckless behavior ruins the party for everyone

By Channing Kaiser Columnist

April 10, 2014


Filed under Opinions

The other week I received a text message from a friend asking me if I knew where her oven knobs were. She had hosted a party the previous weekend and had woken up to discover that her oven knobs were missing, so she was asking everyone who attended if they might know what had become of them.In case you ...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

April 10, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Fear in fur A suspect was taken into custody by police in Seattle, Wash., after he threatened a doorman with a ferret. According to the police report, the doorman, who works for a neighborhood bar, had seen the suspect several weeks earlier walking down the street holding his pet ferret. On other occas...

Physical punishment of children is a human-rights violation

By Natalie Russell

April 9, 2014


Filed under Opinions

It seems absurd that there is still debate over the barbaric abuse of parental authority that is corporal punishment.According to researchers at the University of Chicago, 77 percent of men and 65 percent of women believe it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with “a good, hard spanking....

Editorial: All talk: Brogan sidesteps key issues

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 9, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Six months after taking on the position of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education chancellor, Frank Brogan was officially installed yesterday and delivered his first “State of the System” address at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg, detailing his vision for the future of Pennsylvan...

Letter To The Editor: April 10, 2014

By Jonathan Wyatt Koma

April 9, 2014


Filed under Letters to the Editor, Opinions

To the Editor,While walking through Towers Lobby yesterday, I was caught off guard by a small, though alarming, flyer that was littering the ground. Delivering information regarding the Health Fair at the School of Pharmacy, this flyer had a great list of topics ranging from cancer to dementia to dia...

Film carefully: Hollywood’s religious-premised movies bring about conflict

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

April 8, 2014


Filed under Opinions

It’s hard to rid ourselves of panging religious biases when other religious beliefs are constantly pushed upon us with unnecessary force. It’s like Newton’s law: Strong actions produce equal, opposite reactions.I’m not saying that I condemn anyone for not sharing my religious beliefs, but one ...

Editorial: Colleges wrongfully spend more on athletics than academics

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 8, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The American Association of University Professors released a report Monday that outlines a concerning trend: Most colleges and universities across the nation are rapidly increasing their spending on athletics, while their spending on academics remains flat or is even declining.What’s most counterint...

When ‘data journalism’ doesn’t add up

By Simon Brown / Columnist

April 7, 2014


Filed under Opinions

There is a 42 percent chance of precipitation this evening. The Pirates are favored over the Cubs by two points. With a three-point margin of error, Barack Obama is projected to be the next president of the United States. Statistics, probabilities and estimations pervade most decisions we encounter f...

Editorial: Digital age poses new concerns for academic, faculty freedom

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 7, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

A number of U.S. universities, including Pitt, must update their seemingly antiquated speech policies to adapt to the digital age.Professors and students converse about course material via email, web-based course management systems and social media platforms. Although the Internet offers efficiency,...

Ukraine will follow trend of past IMF bailouts

By Thomas Helgerman / Columnist

April 6, 2014


Filed under Opinions

If any organization has taken the proverb “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” to heart, it is the International Monetary Fund.  Since its inception in 1945, the IMF has received heavy criticism from the international community for its policy decisions, namely for forcing distressed c...

Editorial: SAT inadequate representation of individual talent

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

April 6, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

It’s unnerving to think that the four hours you spent filling in bubbles with a No. 2 pencil was a vital determining factor in where you are today. Whether you’re currently studying at a university or not, after graduating high school, the score you received on the SATs partially defined you as a...

Report on climate change presents challenges, requires paradigm shift

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

April 3, 2014


Filed under Opinions

“Severe, pervasive and irreversible.” These are some of words used by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest report chronicling climate change. This particular report, “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” has officially changed the to...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

April 3, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Airing it outIn parts of China where pollution has become a problem, stores are beginning to sell fresh mountain air in a can. Residents in Luanchuan County in the Henan Province came up with the idea and are planning to sell the cans of air all over China. According to Duan Junwei, deputy director of Luanchuan’s tourism bure...

Editorial: Education requires innovation: Pittsburgh Public Schools must entertain variety of school-model options to compete in new age of education

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 2, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Pittsburgh public schools are in dire need of innovation. Luckily, a group of teachers, community leaders and officials have joined together to finally discover new models to enhance schools in Pittsburgh.The 30-person team, formulated by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers and Great Public Schools, hopes to analyze a co...

Pitt neglects to prioritize labor rights: Align with Bangladesh Accord

By Kelly McNulty and Mihir Mulloth / Guest Columnists

April 2, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Recent advocacy efforts and the University’s subsequent unresponsiveness have necessitated this public address to the Pitt administration. We, Americans for Informed Democracy, are writing to inquire about whether you have made the decision to substantiate Pitt’s affiliation with the Workers’ Rig...

MLB should implement salary cap to ensure fair, equal competition

By Matt Barnes / Columnist

April 1, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Just a few months ago, Pittsburgh saw a couple firsts: For one, a giant duck floated down the Allegheny, and for another, the Pirates played baseball into October for the first time in 21 years. Despite a heartbreaking loss against the Cardinals in the National League Division Series, the city’s pride for...

Editorial: Bike lanes pose serious concerns for fluid Pittsburgh traffic flow

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

April 1, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, said that Pittsburgh has a great bike trail network that works its way into Downtown but that “you can’t go through Downtown on your bike in a dedicated capacity.” As of yesterday, that might change.Mayor Bill Peduto announced on Tuesday th...

Feminism requires open-mindedness on both ends of spectrum

By Sophia Al Rasheed

March 31, 2014


Filed under Opinions

I grew up in a small town — one of those secretly racist for no apparent reason, refuse to change the traditional way of thinking, we-won’t-leave-this-place-until-we-die-because-we-run-this-town kind of places. Needless to say, I find myself holding my tongue whenever I return home — it’s easi...

Editorial: Classroom recording should remain a privilege, not a right

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 31, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Recent events at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater have sprung controversy nationwide over the recording of lectures in college classrooms.Kyle Brooks, a freshman at Wisconsin-Whitewater, recorded a guest lecturer during class who communicated his distaste for many Republican legislators. Brooks later posted...

Statistics a hindrance when promoting and maintaining diversity

By Bethel Habte / For The Pitt News

March 30, 2014


Filed under Opinions

I have spent a great deal of time during the past several months staring sadly outside my window as light, white flakes fell with a vengeance upon Pittsburgh. Yet, no moment was as tragic as those in which I was forced from my room and dropped into the midst of the haze to heroically blaze a path to ...

Editorial: Schools need parental involvement to better combat truancy

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

March 30, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

For primary schools with a chronic truancy problem, getting to the root of the problem is the first step toward improvement.Public school districts, both with and without a truancy problem, should put a system into place that involves parents in their child’s education. Technology exists that allows sc...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

March 27, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Need for speedPolice in Wilmington Township, Pa., are searching for an Amish buggy that was involved in a hit-and-run accident with an SUV. Reports state that the buggy struck the SUV twice on the driver’s side before leaving the scene. The driver of the buggy has not been identified, and nobody w...

Treatment of animals extends to every species, genus

By Natalie Russell / Columnist

March 26, 2014


Filed under Opinions

What could be more exemplary of a culture’s contradictory beliefs than its condemnation and legal punishment of dog abusers, despite one of its culinary staples being the meat of cows that have been held captive, slaughtered, gutted and ground into hamburger?Given the fact that there is no biological,...

Editorial: Governor’s Schools enhance Pennsylvania’s agricultural strength

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 26, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The agriculture industry in Pennsylvania will soon see another benefit — albeit in the long term — that will assist it in securing a prominent role in the nation’s agricultural output.Gov. Tom Corbett announced the newest addition to the Pennsylvania Governor’s School of Excellence, a highly touted pr...

Gentrification a warranted issue for mythically ‘post-racial’ societies

Gentrification a warranted issue for mythically ‘post-racial’ societies

By Simon Brown / Columnist

March 25, 2014


Filed under Opinions

My grandfather remembers the Lawrenceville of his childhood as the working-class, Irish-immigrant neighborhood at the heart of “Hell with the Lid Off,” as Pittsburgh was known in its steel-smelting days. Two generations later, Lawrenceville is distinctly known as the “hippest neighborhood” in t...

Editorial: State obligated to partner with private sector to replace budget cuts

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 25, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

During Pitt’s American Experience Distinguished Lecture on Monday, Chancellor Nordenberg continued to warn the public of the adverse effects state funding cuts on higher education have on Pitt and the nation.“Unfortunately, we are heading in the direction of lasting losses to community, commonwealth and country,” Nordenberg said.The pr...

An argument for increased national minimum wage

By Thomas Helgerman / Columnist

March 24, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Unfortunately for Nigerian princes, there has recently been a different type of chain email circulating the nation’s AOL accounts: a message claiming that President Barack Obama has, to date, signed “1000+” executive orders, which far surpasses the number issued by previous commanders in chief.Don’t start protesting too quickl...

Editorial: Anti-Barbie doll furthers gendered cultural norms of society

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 24, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Mattel Inc.’s lucrative Barbie doll creation has a new competitor — what has been called the anti-Barbie, invented by Pitt graduate Nickolay Lamm.“Lammily,” as Lamm brands it, is intended to adequately portray a healthier version of dolls, combating the unrealistic representations exemplified by Barbi...

PDM requires more outreach for success

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 23, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

In case you didn’t hear about it, which seems to be likely, Pitt’s Dance Marathon took place over the weekend.Although it is admirable that 385 students raised $81,000 — about $20,000 more than last year’s dance marathon — for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation this year, the committees involve...

Instagram: Promoting fitness one post at a time

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

March 23, 2014


Filed under Opinions

With great Internet freedom comes great Internet responsibility: Try to limit antagonistic attitude, especially when directly criticizing a group.Take a moment to appreciate the relatively recent spike in “fitspiration” accounts on Instagram. For those of you who haven’t been exposed to this, fits...

Improving college dating culture requires increase in quality of communication

By Channing Kaiser / Columnist

March 20, 2014


Filed under Opinions

I never thought I’d say this, but recently I read an article published in Cosmopolitan that was very thought provoking. Shocking, right? Cosmo articles are usually jokes at best and degrading at their worst, so when my friend sent me a link and I saw the website URL, I had low expectations.The article,...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

March 20, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Wicked witch of CornwallA man in Cornwall, England, was accused of locking his wife in a shed because she refused to stop singing “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead” after his mother passed away. Andrew Salmon allegedly kicked his wife out of their house for singing the “Wizard of Oz” tune, refusing ...

World leaders can learn from admirable qualities of Pope Francis

By Matt Barnes / Columnist

March 19, 2014


Filed under Opinions

 Jorge Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis, hasn’t drastically changed church doctrine or unconditionally praised the developed world and church allies. However, the tone in which he delivers his message is wonderfully refreshing to a world in need of true leadership and progress.The man 1.2 billio...

Editorial: LinkedIn may limit prospects for new members of workforce

Editorial: LinkedIn may limit prospects for new members of workforce

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 19, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

LinkedIn is planning to team up with employers in order to resolve issues regarding retaining qualified employees within companies that are losing their best and brightest to competitors.The proposal comes in light of a survey LinkedIn administered that studied why employees left their most recent jobs ...

Cost of collegiate football and basketball coaching salaries both disproportionate and unnecessary

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

March 18, 2014


Filed under Opinions

College football and basketball coaches back in the old days were simple men with simple ideals: They weren’t flashy, but to the point. They served to improve the welfare of the school by winning games — similar to how professors do so by producing research — and therefore, generated solidarity bet...

Editorial: Diversified incentive programs produce promising results

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 18, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The Pittsburgh Public Schools have teamed with several organizations to boost attendance rates by providing both a better environment for kids and incentivizing them to go to school.The Be There campaign, along with the United Way of Allegheny County and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, are initiatives Pittsburgh s...

Restore souls of corporations with effective tax systems

By Rohith Palli / Columnist

March 17, 2014


Filed under Opinions

No one wants to tax the middle class. Conservatives generally don’t believe in taxes, and liberals often believe in taxing the wealthiest citizens. We can and should, however, raise taxes for everyone — but not income taxes.Taxation in the United States must be utilized to rearrange incentives. Th...

Editorial: NCAA wise to keep student in student-athlete

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 17, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

The long standing conflict players, unions, fans and others have waged with the NCAA and its economic model has received its most recent challenge: an effort headed by Jeffrey Kessler, a high-profile sports attorney who filed an antitrust claim yesterday arguing the sports association committed anothe...

Combatting the influence ESPN, sports networks have on cable

By Ankur Sakaria / Opinions Editor

March 16, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Cable providers have always seemed to arbitrarily raise their costs at the expense of nonconsenting consumers, but why are cable bills getting so costly?The average price of cable has risen to more than $78 since 2001, when cable bills were $48 on average. Surprisingly, it’s not solely the voluntary mo...

Editorial: Pitt must alter program suspension approach

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

March 16, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

When it comes to suspending University academic programs, timing and transparency are everything.On Jan. 30, the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences terminated its graduate religious studies program and indefinitely suspended its German and classics programs after suspending admissions to the three...

Doctrine change in Mormon church does not reflect gender equality

By Natalie Russell / Columnist

March 6, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Equal access to oppression does not reflect an increase in gender equality, and perhaps someone should tell that to the people celebrating the fact that Mormon women are now able to go on missions at 19 instead of 21 years old.I wasn’t sure if I was just hearing a lot about it because, as a woman who wa...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

March 6, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

404 errorAccording to a survey conducted by Vouchercloud.net, 11 percent of Americans think that HTML is an STD. The study was conducted in order to determine Americans’ familiarity with a collection of technical jargon. Among the other results of the study, 77 percent of those surveyed did not know SEO stood for “search engi...

Editorial: Renovations should extend to other campus buildings

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 5, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Pitt is moving forward with yet another improvement to campus buildings. This time, however, administrators aren’t building another residence hall, but improving the existing buildings on campus.The Cathedral of Learning, Clapp Hall, Chevron Science Center, the Network Operations Center at the Regional Industrial...

Expose peer-reviewed academic literature to online community

By Simon Brown / Columnist

March 5, 2014


Filed under Opinions

It seems like a week can’t pass without some much-publicized celebrity Twitter feud occupying the headlines of supposedly legitimate news sources. Unfortunately, the mainstream news media has not yet considered the potential market for covering the professional, intellectual disputes that cross the pages of scholarly journals.  Then again, the headline “Rival historians exchange words over Brazilian sugar eco...

What is so just about the doctrine of academic freedom?

By Thomas Helgerman / Columnist

March 5, 2014


Filed under Opinions

As a country, the United States holds its allies close and its First Amendment rights closer. Just as freedom of speech is cherished in the public sphere, academic freedom is held dear by those in academia.Academic freedom is more or less the idea that academics should be able to research and publish material without censorship ...

Editorial: Competency-based degrees foster necessary professional skills

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 5, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

There has been a potential breakthrough in academic institutions’ ability to better prepare their students for the professional world.Institutions have begun to adopt the new concept of competency-based degrees to assist students in gaining the necessary tools within a specific major to make them competitive applicants when entering the workforce. These degrees allow students to “gain academic cre...

Music education valuable asset in school curricula

By Matt Barnes / Columnist

March 3, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Budget cuts and insufficient funds have become common reasons why schools across the country have begun to cut crucial programs out of a student’s education. Along with the increasing emphasis on rigid standardized tests as the uncontested means to evaluate performance, it seems that schools are beginning to ...

Editorial: Putin’s aggression requires US, EU condemnation to improve future global standing

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 3, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling upon the United States government to refrain from using military action in Syria. He warned that an American-led strike could “throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”This past w...

Fun and Games: Online Pokemon revival kindles nostalgia, global community

By Patrick Mallee / Copy Chief

March 3, 2014


Filed under Opinions

In the past few weeks, an Internet fad has brought tens of thousands of people together to accomplish a single goal: to play “Pokemon.”More specifically, these communal gamers have come together to try to play the exact same game of “Pokemon” all at the same time — with some unexpectedly hilarious o...

Signs of Pitt problems

By Sophia Al Rasheed

March 2, 2014


Filed under Opinions

You know the girl in the corner of a party who always seems to be talking about her horoscope? There’s always a huddle of enthusiastic girls around her sporadically shouting, “Oh my god, that describes my personality so much!” or “Yeah, water signs are really intuitive.”Hi, I’m Sophia, an...

Editorial: Expanding pool of state-related universities would prove detrimental

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

March 2, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

New legislation proposed by two state senators could give state-owned universities the choice to secede from the state system and become part of the state-related membership.After Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said “a lot of th...

Coal continues to threaten health of Pittsburgh, nation

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

February 27, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Despite being ranked the “most livable city” by Forbes magazine, there’s still an old, familiar threat to residents that continues to linger in the air here in Pittsburgh.Air pollution — which has marred the Steel City’s history since the days when titans of industry such as Andrew Carnegie and ...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

February 27, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Yeah, b**** On Monday, police in La Grange, Ill., arrested an individual believed to be running a meth lab. Daniel Kowalski was already on electronic monitoring and restricted to home confinement for running a meth lab last summer. After entering Kowalski’s home, police found glass beakers, burners, chemicals and instructional informati...

Active consumption of information reverses trends of misinformation

By Channing Kaiser / Columnist

February 26, 2014


Filed under Opinions

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi once said.Oh, wait. Scratch that. He never actually said it.This is one of the many popular misquotations that is smacked onto bumper stickers, mugs and pictures of sunsets or white-sand beaches. It’s supposed to be inspirational. It’s s...

Editorial: Outdated discriminatory laws lame, counterintuitive attempts to avoid embrace of widespread equality

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 26, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Arizona is now home to the latest legislative group attempting to thinly veil an effort to prevent the nation from fully reaching equality.The Arizona legislature passed a bill last week that would give business owners and individuals the authority to discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. Wh...

Standardization of college application process could increase low-income student applicant rate

By Simon Brown / Columnist

February 25, 2014


Filed under Opinions

ACT, SAT, PLUS, FAFSA: At first encounter, an unfamiliar parent might confuse the acronym-laden college application process with a Dr. Seuss book. Unfortunately, it is not that simple, educational or enjoyable.While the many stages of applying and financing might seem like a simple script instilled in our famil...

Ride-share services provide more options, easier accessibility

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 25, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Have you seen those pink mustaches on cars around Oakland? They, along with other methods are signs of a ride-share vehicle, and they are taking Pittsburgh and the nation by storm.Lyft and Uber, two applications focused on revolutionizing the way people move around, have made waves in Pittsburgh. The firms, based in San Fran...

UN report on North Korea demands international action

By Nick Voutsinos / Columnist

February 24, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Behind North Korea’s military goose-walk parades, nuclear-charged rhetoric and chubby dictator sporting a pantsuit lies a real-life dystopian novel.According to a recently released report mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the state of North Korea currently has the social rigidity...

Editorial: SGB budget should be tied to each incoming Board

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 24, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Much like our Congressional Representatives, Student Government Board is currently undergoing a debate over deficit spending. On Monday, The Pitt News reported that SGB has only about $100,000, including overhead, which consists of unallocated funds from the previous fiscal year, to allocate toward student organizations after beginning the year with alm...

Rapid bus transit system would detract from more critical transit issues

By Rohith Palli / Columnist

February 23, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Mayor Bill Peduto and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald want to create a bus rapid transit system between Oakland and Downtown. This would be a definite improvement for students looking to go ice skating or to a theater downtown, but the investment might not be worth it for the city as a whole. Alleg...

Editorial: Universal preschool would benefit city’s children

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

February 23, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Sending children to preschool is a primary step in preparing them for their academic careers, and members of the Pittsburgh municipal government have recognized this. Yesterday, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an op-ed written by Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak regarding the creation of universal prekinde...

Weighing in on Woody Allen: Gender roles shape judgement of victim

By Natalie Russell / Columnist

February 20, 2014


Filed under Opinions

If the recently resurrected Woody Allen sexual assault accusations have taught me anything, it’s that the American public is generally more willing to accept that two women are manipulative and delusional than to even fathom that a male celebrity with a questionable history might be lying to preserv...

Casual Fridays

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

February 20, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Mamma MiaA survey by Slate magazine has suggested that actress Meryl Streep has been thanked in Oscar acceptance speeches more than God in the past 12 years. Since 2002, Streep has been thanked by four out of 47 total individual Oscar winners, compared with three Oscar winners thanking God and two winn...

Reviewing Pitt’s decision: Gallagher mysterious choice until further notice

By Yusuf Dorner / For The Pitt News

February 19, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Not long ago, a secretive chancellor selection committee announced Patrick D. Gallagher as its choice to succeed the current University of Pittsburgh chancellor, Mark A. Nordenberg. On Aug. 1, Gallagher will accept the position of chancellor and chief executive officer of Pitt, thereby stepping down fr...

Chatham’s decision to go co-ed poses threat to diversity of US higher-education system

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 19, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

“Founded to provide women an education comparable to other first-class institutions of the day, Chatham has advanced this cause to foster the qualities that make women natural leaders and provide opportunities for growth as leaders at every point possible.”This message, located on Chatham Univers...

Rethinking the Federal Reserve’s mandate: a global perspective

By Thomas Helgerman / For The Pitt News

February 18, 2014


Filed under Opinions

In November 2001, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill released a report in which he coined the term “BRIC,” referring to the countries Brazil, Russia, India and China. O’Neill predicted that these emerging markets would drive global economic growth over the next decade.And he was right — for a couple of years at least. Unfortunately...

Editorial: Adjunct professors deserve equal benefits, treatment

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 18, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Adjunct professors often get the short end of the stick when it comes to employment benefits. While they are neither tenured nor given any sense of job security, adjunct faculty have proven to work just as much, if not more, than their tenured, secured counterparts.Why is this the case? Why have adju...

Immigration an inherent, economical component to American society

By Matt Barnes / Columnist

February 17, 2014


Filed under Opinions

By simply reflecting upon this country’s history, it is clear that it is one of immigrants — and it always has been.In the mid-19th century, the Irish came to America to flee a potato famine, while Germans sought to escape the failed revolution of 1848. Later, during the American industrial period ...

Editorial: New evaluations should encourage collaboration

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 17, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane’s efforts to make teacher evaluations more rigorous have brought praise and criticism.Opponents, namely the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, note that the standards of these evaluations are significantly higher than anywhere in Pennsylvania. Prop...

Proper bus etiquette is always necessary

By Sophia Al Rasheed / Columnist

February 16, 2014


Filed under Opinions

On the way back home from hot yoga, I found myself in about as much of a sitcom bus scene as realistically possible. I was holding a big yoga mat and was so drenched in sweat that, even among the packed crowd, people were giving me my own space. Usually I don’t make it an issue to find a seat on the bu...

Editorial: Research paper quality depends on professors

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

February 16, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

Research papers are often assigned in college in order to gauge a student’s understanding of a particular topic or text. However, the papers students often submit contain poor examples of arguments and very little actual research.When research papers are assigned to undergraduate students, they are oft...

Female orgasms neglected by societal understanding of sex

By Natalie Russell / Columnist

February 14, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Patriarchy never sleeps — especially in the bedroom. Men’s rights activists — and other embarrassments to the male gender — will tell you that a man’s orgasm is naturally more important than a woman’s because it’s necessary for procreation. I wonder how much they would respect the “laws of n...

Female sexuality a complex spectrum not to be dichotomized

By Julia Carpey / Columnist

February 14, 2014


Filed under Opinions

As a self-proclaimed third-wave feminist, I often find myself caught between the two extremes of the feminist movement as it pertains to sex, not particularly fitting in either section.In the case of college campuses, I’m not the type of woman who feminists would peg as someone who is pining for a relati...

Success in market for fetish objects an elusive undertaking

By Ellie Petrosky / Assistant Opinions Editor

February 13, 2014


Filed under Opinions

The advent of the Internet has made sharing information infinitely easier. Among the information shared is knowledge of different fetishes and sexual preferences.With the increased knowledge of fetishes has come an online market for the buying and selling of fetish objects. Items such as used underwear, p...

Helicopter parents not conducive to growth of their children

By Channing Kaiser / Columnist

February 12, 2014


Filed under Opinions

Let’s talk about clinginess. No, not the “How dare you choose your friends over me?” kind of clinginess that sometimes accompanies romantic relationships or the “Why did you wait an hour to text me back?” kind of clinginess that goes with friendships. I’m talking about clingy parents, bet...

Editorial: Access to healthy foods first step of many to better health

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

February 12, 2014


Filed under Editorials, Opinions

A nationwide effort has been in effect over the past decade to eradicate “food deserts” — rural and urban regions that lack access to fresh, nutritious food.Philadelphia, the flagship city of this movement, has invested millions of dollars in building grocery stores and implementing healthier food ...

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