Week in review: laurels and darts
Bobby Montoya is a transgender child who, like most little girls, wanted to join the Girl Scouts. When Montoya’s mother took her to see a troop leader about signing up, though, the leader denied her, citing the fact that Montoya had “boy parts” and was therefore not a girl. Luckily, though, the Girl Scouts of Colorado have since decided that denying Montoya was a mistake, and the organization has extended membership to her. We give the Girl Scouts a laurel for ultimately making the right choice in this situation. They may have originally forced some pretty oppressive gender stereotypes on the 7-year-old, but they learned their lesson. In the end, what could have been yet another upsetting instance of gender discrimination turned into something rather uplifting.
The world of collegiate financial aid can be disorienting. From finding and applying for scholarships and considering which loans to take out to determining how much money attending a school will cost you in the first place, it is rather easy to get lost. It doesn’t help that many colleges, as pointed out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education, send out obscurely worded financial award letters that don’t distinguish between loans and actual awards like grants and scholarships. Luckily for students and their families, the CFBP and the DOE are working together to introduce a new, simplified form of the award letter, which would make everything crystal clear to the applicants. The fact that this was even an issue in the first place, though, is disheartening, and we dart the colleges who would engage in such deception.
Year after year, as students across the country struggle to forfeit large sums of money in return for secondary educations, levels of student loans — and realizations that one day, these exchanges must necessarily be settled — have risen to national attention. According to an article published in The Huffington Post, the exact amount of student-loan debt has now surpassed credit-card debt and is expected to total more than $1 trillion by the end of this year. Yet the nation’s leaders have not overlooked this problem — which has hung like a storm cloud over undergraduates, graduates and their families alike. President Barack Obama, during a visit to the University of Colorado Denver Wednesday, announced a new initiative that would help ease the load of student loan debt by allowing borrowers to cap their monthly payments to 10 percent of their annual income. The “Pay As You Earn” program will “give about 1.6 million students the ability to cap their loan payments,” according to Director of White House Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes. Though this may be only a temporary solution to a problem, which is afflicting a near majority of the nation, we give Obama a laurel for keeping students and their families’ welfare in mind.
Is it any surprise to anyone that Herman Cain vehemently opposes minimum wage? According to the Republican presidential candidate’s economic revitalization plan for what he calls “Opportunity Zones” — you can likely guess what those are — “Minimum wage laws prevent many unskilled and inexperienced workers (i.e. teens) from getting their first job and prices them out of the market.” The biggest problem with Cain’s dislike of minimum wage is the fact that he himself recognizes that the minimum wage is too low to be a living wage. In an interview with the Birmingham News, Cain said, “the minimum wage has never been a living wage.” If Cain acknowledges the flaws of the current minimum wage, why is his solution to eradicate that wage, rather than try to raise it to a level at which people can survive? We give Cain a dart for actively fighting against the minimum wage. The goal is to have as few impoverished Americans has possible, not to increase the number of working poor.
As maturing adults, we begin to expose ourselves to the diversions and difficulties, the pleasures and pitfalls, of that wonderful world of sex and alcohol. But students must sometimes be reminded that engaging in sexual activities requires the right kind of decision-making. To educate students on the subject, the University throughout the years has made it a point to arm students with the appropriate tools to make these decisions. The Trojan Health Sexual Report has ranked the University’s sex education program ninth out of 141 colleges nationwide, acknowledging the fact that we here at the University know how to play it safe outside — and inside — the bedroom. The University’s sex education program deserves a laurel for their efforts to educate students of sexual activity. It’s good to know the risks we’re taking as we attempt to reap the rewards.