Politics

Politics

Touchdown Shutdown: Federal Furlough Threatens College Football, Financial Aid

Day two of the shutdown, haven’t slept in weeks…

Nah, just kidding. Unless you work a government job or have a loved one that does, you’re probably not feeling the pain of the furlough just yet. But come Saturday, the shutdown will rear its ugly head in the most holiest of holies: the college football field. Saturdays in the fall are a magical time; early morning purging and energy drink chugging, mid-afternoon grilling and queasiness, and late night strolls back to what you think is your dorm. Unfortunately, the white wigs want to take that majestic ritual away from certain young scholars.

Due to the budget impasse in Congress, this Saturday’s Air Force at Navy and Army at Boston College football games are being cancelled.

Empty Stadium

The reason behind the decision is fairly simple. The Air Force and Military Academies are branches of the government and use government appropriated monies to fund their athletic departments. The Naval Academy’s football games are not in jeopardy because the team is funded by non-appropriated funds, i.e. ticket sales and merchandise.

So a couple of unranked and unheralded college teams aren’t gonna take to the gridiron for the foreseeable future, big whoop, right? The government shutdown “can’t hold you,” and “we can’t stop,” or whatever you kids say. Well, until¬†Macklemore and Miley Cyrus volunteer to help the Department of Education field calls regarding your student-loan questions, you’re gonna have a hard time dealing with next semester’s tuition. Read the rest of this entry »



Notre Dame Distances Self from Bishop Jenky’s Slanderous Remarks About the President

Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky might be regretting a comment he made recently about President Obama. During a sermon, Bishop Jenky said that Obama’s political policies were on a “similar path” to those of Hilter and Stalin.

“Hilter and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care,” Jenky said in his sermon. “In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”

In addition to being a Catholic Bishop, Jenky is also a member of the Board of Fellows at the University of Notre Dame. In response to the Bishop’s sermon, members of the faculty at Notre Dame have created and signed a petition that asks Bishop Jenky to either “renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy” or resign from the Board of Fellows.

Some are arguing that Bishop Jenky’s quote is being taken out of context, but that he was just stating his political and religious belief that Obama should not be re-elected and that Catholics should not vote for him. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Visits College Campuses and Jimmy Fallon to Support Higher Education

President Barack Obama is gearing up to visit several university campuses across the U.S., and after his most recent Internet and radio addresses, we can be pretty sure of at least one thing he is going to be telling students. In what could be seen as an attempt to win himself some votes come November, Obama is presenting Republicans as opponents to affordable higher education.

“This is a question of values,” Obama said. “We cannot let America become a country where a shrinking number of people really do well while a growing number of people struggle to get by.”

One of Obama’s plans to keep education attainable is by extending a current law concerning federal student loans for low- to middle-income undergraduates. The current law is set to expire of July 1, 2012. If it does, interest rates on these popular student loans will double, forcing students to pay 6.8 percent instead of the current 3.4 percent. On average, this will cause an increase of $1,000 that each student will have to pay back on their loans. Read the rest of this entry »



Columbia Insults Barnard In Response to Announcement of 2012 Commencement Speaker

While students at Barnard College are thrilled that President Obama will be delivering their commencement address this year, their peers at Columbia College were less than thrilled with the announcement. Several Columbia students recently posted comments on the school’s student-run blog, Bwog, that protested Obama’s decision to speak at Barnard instead of Columbia, his alma mater, and also that insulted Barnard students’ and their intelligence. Many of these comments were highly anti-feminist in nature.

Some of the comments were more offensive than others. A few of the most offensive were submitted to Jezebel.com, and refer to Barnard students as “c*m dumpsters,” “academically inferior,” and “feminazis.”

There has been a great amount of opposition from the student bodies at both schools towards these sexist comments. A Facebook group has been created to admonishes those who were making the comments and many administrators and students have been speaking out against them as well.

Debora Spar, president of Barnard College, and President Less Bollinger, University President, made a joint statement in which they showed their displeasure at the comments which were made in several online communities.

Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama to Deliver Commencement Speech at Barnard College

In a suave political move, President Obama recently announced that he will be delivering the commencement speech at Barnard College, a women’s college in New York City. By doing so, Obama is showing his support for women and women’s rights at the same time that the Republican party has been rallying to prevent contraceptives being covered under the new health care law.

Some are calling the Republicans’ acts a “war on women,” and by addressing a group of newly graduated women, Obama is putting himself on the side of the ladies. This makes a lot of sense, politically, because with the 2012 Presidential Election only a few months away, the candidates will want to secure as many votes as they can. By speaking to the women at Barnard College, Obama is probably hoping to secure their votes as well as congratulate and inspire them on their graduation day.

Of course, teachers and students at the school are excited to have Obama deliver their commencement speech, no matter whether it is part of his political agenda or not. Read the rest of this entry »



Mitt Romney Speaks Against Teachers Unions

Members of teachers unions across the nation will probably not be voting for Mitt Romney if it comes down to him and President Obama in November. Romney recently announced plans to push back against these unions if he is elected president later this year.

“But the role I see that ought to remain in the president’s agenda with regards to education is to push back against the federal teachers unions,” Romney said. “Those federal teachers unions have too much power, in some cases, they overwhelm the states, they overwhelm the local school districts. We have got to put the kids first and put these teachers unions behind.”

Romney also hinted at his plan to combine the Department of Education with other governmental agencies.

It might seem that Romney’s plan is a strong contrast to Obama’s policies concerning education, all of which have aimed to improve the quality of education that students in the U.S. receive. However, he doesn’t seem to think so. Read the rest of this entry »



Universities Won’t Allow Students to Study Abroad in Egypt

Old CairoPersonally, I think studying abroad is one of the best things you can possibly do while you are in college, and in recent years, many students have chosen to study abroad in order to gain a better understanding of the world and themselves. Surprisingly, the Middle East has recently become a popular destination for many of these students. Many students want to learn more about the Arab language and culture, so they are now flocking to this region instead of the more traditional Europe or South America.

However, after the recent Arab spring when many governments were toppled by rebel forces, there is now heightened violence and political instability in many of these countries. In November, three American students who were studying abroad in Egypt were arrested and detained. So it is no wonder that many parents and college administrators are now not as gung-ho for sending their students to study abroad here.

“We suspended our program in Egypt last summer,” said Jeffrey Cason, dean of international programs at Middlebury College. “But now we have a program in Amman. Some kids were worried Amman would be a less lively place, but for us it was the safest place.”

Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Announces New Improvements for Head Start Program

National Head Start Alphabet Block LogoPresident Obama has been an advocate for improving the quality of education that children in the USA receive for years, and now, he has taken another step in this direction. On Tuesday, he announced some changes that are going to be made to the Head Start program. This program allows children from low-income families to attend preschool.

“This is the first time in history that Head Start programs will truly be held accountable for performance,” Obama said during a speech.

It is somewhat strange that Head Start has not been held accountable to the same standards as other  education programs, such as No Child Left Behind and other reform efforts. Under the current rules, preschools can continue to receive funding from Head Start even if they are not revising and improving their programs.

Read the rest of this entry »



Students at Elizabethtown College Choose to Live on Food Stamps

Blue and White Elizabethtown College LogoCan you imagine what it would be like to only have $4.50 to spend on food for an entire day? I spend that much on my Starbucks coffee in the mornings! There’s no way I could make it last for three whole meals. However, that’s what many people who receive food stamps from the government have to do every single day, and now, students at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania are trying it out through the Fighting Poverty with Faith Food Stamp Challenge.

The challenge is being offered by the Chaplain’s Office of the College and allows students to really understand what it is like to survive on food stamps. They are then encouraged to advocate for the hungry by writing letters to their government officials to increase Food Stamp Assistance programs.

“By stepping into the shoes of someone who lives on food stamps, students experience the difficult decisions many families make every day,” said Amy Shorner-Johnson, the assistant chaplain at Elizabethtown College. “My hope for the Food Stamp Challenge is students go beyond simply being grateful for what they have, toward action and advocacy on behalf of the hungry.”

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University of Alabama Student Receives College Credit for Occupying Wall Street

occupy wall street hashtagThere are many students who are participating in Occupy Wall Street in New York City. There are also many more students who are participating in local versions of the demonstration in cities across the country. But Henry Perkins is the only student I have heard of who is earning college credit for participating in this event.

Perkins is a 21-year old junior at the University of Alabama. Recently, he approached his professors with a plan for an immersion research project that would allow him to earn credit while living in the open-air “frat house” that is Zuccotti Park in New York City.

“I asked my professors and they said to go for it,” said Perkins. “They’re living vicariously through me.”

Perkins is taking full advantage of his current situation. He took a train from Alabama to New York City. His only possessions are a cell phone, a computer, a toothbrush, a tarp, and a few books.

“I learned a lot here,” he said. “I realized that I never want to be in any system, and you can make it work.”

Read the rest of this entry »





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