Guest Columns

10/23/14 9:55pm

Guest column by Heather Holmes | Racism 101

Unfortunately, for our black peers, “learning about racism” by occasionally dipping one’s toes into side research and casual activism is not a choice. Racism is a front-and-center issue for many Penn students, not necessarily because they seek out racial minorities as so-called special interest groups, but because they are subjugated to virulent racism themselves.
10/17/14 2:40am

Guest column by Theodore Caputi | In defense of Tom Corbett

What’s most disappointing about the Penn Dems’ column is that they fail to mention any of Corbett’s successes. There’s no hint of a counterargument in their entire column. They don’t mention that Corbett cut the Pennsylvania state deficit by over $4 billion, that Pennsylvania recently experienced its lowest unemployment rate since 2008, that the state income tax has not increased over his entire tenure and that he reduced the state government to its smallest size in 50 years.
10/15/14 2:11am

Guest column by Penn Education Society | How do we help our schools?

At a last-minute, barely publicized meeting last Monday morning, the School District of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission ended 21 months of negotiations and canceled its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Ending this contract means that PFT members, who currently pay nothing for health care benefits, will now be required to pay 10 to 13 percent of the cost of their medical plan premiums.
10/06/14 2:08am

Guest column by Daniela Jinich | It's all noise

Who is fighting whom? A democratic country versus a terrorist organization. Is “number of deaths” the only way to measure justice? Or should we instead look at how well a government protects its people? Let’s ask, why did the Hamas leadership tell the citizens of Gaza to ignore the pamphlets, phone calls and text messages sent by the Israel Defense Forces to Palestinian civilians before attacking rocket-launching sites?
09/30/14 3:15am
Pennsylvania is one of just 14 states with hate crime laws that do not include protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Hate crime protection increases the severity of charges for violence motivated by malicious intent, and these laws protect the people in our community who are the most vulnerable. It is inexcusable that the LGBT community is not protected.
09/29/14 1:45am

Guest column by Ghinwa Moujaes | Transition to Penn

It was hard adjusting to Penn. After two weeks, I was set on going home. I had decided that Penn wasn’t worth it. I didn’t want to be Americanized. I wanted to stay true to my identity. I wanted to go back home to Lebanon.
09/23/14 3:07am
Fortunately, Republicans were not able to cut SNAP funding by $40 billion. Still, Republicans were somewhat successful in their quest to cut aid to the needy. Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law a compromise agreement that cut SNAP by almost $9 billion.As a result of those cuts, 175,000 Pennsylvania families will lose $65 in benefits each month. Many of these families undoubtedly live close to Penn, and perhaps some of the affected children are those whom Penn students tutor in local schools. For families that have already been struggling to make ends meet, these cuts will be devastating.
09/22/14 6:17am
We want to reaffirm our support for a two-state solution, predicated not on concessions to terrorists, but on security and mutual trust.
09/22/14 6:03am

Guest column by Jaime and Paul Shweitzer| In defense of the Maimonides program

We have had over five years experience with MEOR on two college campuses, one of them being University of Pennsylvania.
09/09/14 4:01am
The War on Drugs is a pandemic, and we do not pretend that these policies are a panacea. Still, the City Council’s and Sen. Leach’s prescriptive measures are steps in the right direction, and we can’t afford to miss the forest for the trees.
07/08/14 10:08pm

Vaishak Kumar | Planted myths about GMOs

While it is certainly understandable that certain GMO products or related practices might be harmful, it baffles me that someone can consider banning an entire technology that has not only helped millions of farmers, but consumers as well.
07/02/14 10:08pm
But then I realized that by not speaking up about race to people who could have no clue what it feels like to walk in my shoes, I was only holding everyone back, myself included.
05/01/14 12:06am

Guest column by PRISM and the Political Coalition | Moving Beyond Recommendations and Dinner Table Taboos

This suggested level of funding would ensure that groups that focus on discussions of faith, spirituality and religion, as well as those dedicated to debates about religiosity, could be funded in a way that would allow students to truly express their diverse affiliations as well as alleviate our groups’ dependencies on alternative funding sources.
04/28/14 10:50pm

Guest Column by Jay Chung | A magnolia for North Korea?

It seems as though the international community’s unspoken desire is for North Korea to be within its realm of control. It needs North Korea to be predictable, or else, it is simply labeled crazy.North Koreans are not crazy. They are being human.
04/28/14 10:43pm

Guest column by Jonelle Lesniak | Why I can’t leave Penn saying that I loved it

If we carry a competitive, self-seeking and elitist mentality with us into society, we will find it affecting our relationships with colleagues, friends and all sorts of others.
04/27/14 11:47pm

Guest column by Jennifer Toth | Clinicals — to me, they mean everything

Unless you’ve spent 12-hour shifts caring for critically ill patients or have yourself been one of those patients, I would ask you not to jump to the conclusion that our clinical experiences are meaningless. 
04/23/14 11:39pm

Guest column by Hector Kilgoe and Ana Schwartz | Breaking-Up with the Idea of the Friend

To define a “friend” goes against the grain of what is so rich and valuable about friendships — qualities like flexibility, pliability and resilience.
04/20/14 10:29pm

Guest column by Noah Feit and Uriel Epshtein | Ivy Plus Leadership Mission to Israel and the Palestinian territories

My partners and I believe that this trip will serve to temper the polarized dialogue that currently characterizes the conversation about Israeli-Palestinian issues at Penn. Through the mission, we hope to create a space for nuanced discussion on the United States’ role in the Middle East.
04/15/14 10:09pm

Guest column by Alyssa Dickinson, Joyce Kim, Conor Nickel and Yamini Nabar | Hungry for impact

Penn is full of noteworthy initiatives. But we would like to highlight one in particular: Penn Dining and Bon Appetit’s efforts to work with students to implement a food recovery program.Starting this fall, our dining services providers, Penn Dining and Bon Appetit, will establish a program that transfers food unable to be consumed at dining halls to a local hunger relief agency.
04/10/14 9:54pm

Guest column by Alina Liu | Let's talk about social justice: Brandeis’ decision on Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Through her years of advocacy work, various death threats have been made toward Ayaan Hirsi by religious extremists because of her outspoken style against Islam.