For the victims of the American public school system, summer vacation is near. In South Carolina, most schools end their academic year in early June, usually capping the year off with a pointless exercise in standardized testing. But considering the recent teacher strikes and how American school children are falling behind their international counterparts, should we reconsider the annual tradition of summer vacation and go to a year-round school schedule?
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I’ll never forget what caused me to lose my once-unwavering faith in the American media. It was immediately following the Trayvon Martin shooting, when news broke that MSNBC had deliberately altered tape recordings of George Zimmerman in order to make him sound as if he was targeting Trayvon for being black.
At this point in his career, Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. Despite widely being heralded as a hip-hop visionary and pioneer, his antics seem at times to attract more attention than his music. Whether it be his highly publicized beef with the likes of Taylor Swift and Amber Rose, or his comments about George W. Bush, there always seems to be some form of controversy surrounding Kanye. The latest in the hilariously long line of Kanye controversies is his outspoken support for President Trump, with the rapper taking to Twitter to declare his love of the polarizing president and enthusiastically show off his autographed MAGA hat.
It’s the end of the semester and, if you’re anything like me, you’re calculating the minimum score you need on each final to preserve your GPA. You’ve given up on your perfect grades and have decided that napping is preferable to graduating. Instead of studying for your exams, you’re probably re-watching a show you’ve already seen a dozen times through (*cough* The Office *cough*). In short, you’re burned out and lack the adrenaline that got you through the rest of the semester. Needless to say, now is probably the worst time to ask for your opinions on your classes and professors (or anything for that matter), but it’s course evaluation season all the same.
With graduation around the corner, many of us are staring at the future head on. For this farewell column I am expected to give some kind of “congratulations, the world is yours” pep talk. I am not supposed to tell you that the world is in fact not yours for the taking, despite the fact we so clearly feel entitled to it.
This is my final column for The Daily Gamecock.
When was the last time you did the long scroll through social media and found yourself wasting an hour or two with nothing to show for it? I’m guessing not too long ago. It’s not a secret that the world is addicted to social media, but there are unseen effects of social media that are harming our mental health. Social media is relatively new, so studies are limited on its overall effects. However, the studies that are out — along with common sense — tell us that it might be a good idea to take breaks from social media for self- preservation.
Just this week, the chaos that has been enveloping the Department of Veterans Affairs reached an all new level as Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ronny Jackson, faced “accusations that as the White House doctor he oversaw a hostile work environment, improperly dispensed prescription drugs and possibly drank on the job.” Other allegations include giving away Percocet and a drunken car crash. Aside from the constant feeling that this White House really does try its hardest to bring the worst people out of the weeds and into office, Dr. Jackson’s nomination itself is far more concerning, in many ways, than the charges leveled against him.
2016 was a watershed year in politics and it generated a long list of winners and losers for the conservative side. Thanks to the rise of Donald Trump, many conservative politicians have found themselves between a rock and a hard place in trying to appease the new administration while also sticking to their Republican roots.
The practice of forming opinions before hearing all sides of the argument is common today. Media is fast-paced, and people seem to take the first thing they hear as their opinion. This is especially the case for those who listen to an agenda-based news network such as CNN or Fox News. This mindset needs to stop as citizens need to know both sides of the argument and all facts before creating their own opinions. The recent Yeti-National Rifle Association fiasco is a perfect example of this.
If you were particularly unfortunate, you might have seen the rabbit hole of lawyering that went on Thursday night on CNN, when President Trump's divorce lawyer, Jay Goldberg, said that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, would flip on him because of his fear of being raped by non-white men in prison. If you still watch Real Time with Bill Maher, you may have seen the smashing followup to Goldberg's statement: "He’s the one who famously said ‘I’d take a bullet for Donald Trump.’ Well, now that he’s looking at prison time, we’ll see if he’s willing to take a d---."
Several weeks ago, Angela Bogni, a third-year biology student here at USC, tweeted that a professor in the political science department had made a derogatory comment towards her in class. Bogni had received a phone call in the middle of a lecture and she claims that the professor said, “that may be the welfare office calling you now.” Bogni, who is black, believes that the professor was referencing an earlier portion of the lecture about minorities disproportionately receiving government benefits. In a video the Bogni posted, the professor claims that that wasn’t how he intended the joke and that it was just an unfortunate coincidence.
There has been a lot of fear in recent years regarding the future of Western democracy. Alarmists point to both the recent surge of (democratically elected) far-right and nationalist parties in Europe as evidence that liberal democracy is in crises. In a sense, they’re correct. The ridiculous view in the late 20th century that liberal democracy had triumphed over all ideological enemies and that the history of political development was at an end has been thoroughly refuted. Young people are being increasingly drawn towards previously taboo ideologies on both the left and right, and dissatisfaction with the structure and values of our current system seems at times to be ubiquitous. But is turning away from democracy really the catastrophe that some people make it out to be?
This letter is a response to an article entitled "Stay out of Syria" that ran in the April 16 edition of The Daily Gamecock. Another response to the same article, "Don't overreact or misinterpret U.S. strikes on Syria," also ran in the April 19 edition of The Daily Gamecock.
In the last year, there have been eight fraternity violations that have been disclosed by the University of South Carolina in compliance with the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act. There are four fraternities that are currently suspended for violations ranging from alcohol, drugs, physical assault and hazing. The most recent fraternity suspension was placed on the popular Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity.
In his recent column on the U.S. airstrikes in Syria, Joseph Will suggested that the best course of action would be to limit involvement to avoid another Iraq. While his sentiment is understandable – Iraq was, after all, a quagmire – it simplifies a situation far more complex than we were faced with in 2003, assumes that the U.S. strategic goal for Syria, at this point, is regime change and incorrectly assesses the likelihood that airstrikes will spiral into a ground war. Finally, his argument also ignores the well-established but underutilized responsibility of the international community to combat atrocities and human rights violations whenever possible.
Guns seem to be such a hot-button topic these days. After the Parkland shooting and the subsequent backlash against the NRA, state legislatures are practically falling over themselves to pass legislation to keep their constituents happy. South Carolina, always the forward-thinking state that it is, did things a little differently with a new amendment to current legislation that would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon on any college campus in the state.
We’ve all been hearing of the Flint water crisis for years now, but like many things in the media, after awhile it has been swept to the side. But not for the residents of Flint, Michigan. After 1,000 plus days, these American citizens still don’t have the simple necessity of clean water. Yet, just last week, the governor of Michigan Rick Snyder said he will no longer provide free bottled water to the citizens of Flint, as he believes the water is well within regulations.
On April 14, the U.S. (along with France and England) bombed Syria.
This column is a response to a column that ran in the April 5, 2018, edition of the Daily Gamecock, entitled "Studying abroad not worth it."