Health Care Debate, Political Issues, Engage Student Press Writers

Glenn Ricketts

  1. As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the Obama administration’s signature Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009, student commentators and analysts weigh in.  At the University of Nevada Sagebrush, a regular columnist explains how the original bill could have been made more palatable to its critics.  But a colleague at the Syracuse Daily Orange thinks that the law as enacted is incompatible with the intent of the Constitution’s framers, and hopes that the Court strikes it down.  That’s also the view of a guest columnist for the Swarthmore College Phoenix, who suggests that James Madison, the Constitution’s principal author, could not have imagined such an usurpation of power by the federal government. 
  1. On a related issue, the web editor of the Dakota Student sees an ominous trend in the increasing number of bills currently under deliberation in state legislatures which aim to restrict women’s access to abortion and other aspects of their reproductive health.  Similarly, the editors of the SUNY Buffalo Spectrum wish that the GOP would stop obstructing the Obama administration’s perfectly reasonable policies on contraceptives – no one’s religious freedom is being denied, so why all of the hoopla? 
  1. Following a campus talk on energy by President Obama, an undergraduate microbiologist writing for the Miami Hurricane concludes that nuclear power offers the best alternative to our current dependence on fossil fuels. 
  1. If you want to be a Republican at Emerson College, you’d better expect to have few friends and lots of sneering, according to a guest columnist for the Berkeley Beacon. 
  1. Although we obviously can’t have a single, state supported religion in the United States, a writer for the Daily Mississippian thinks we should encourage the study of the world’s religions in our K-12 classrooms.  This would usefully broaden the perspectives of those unfamiliar with faiths other than Christianity.  On a similar note, the editors of the Minnesota Daily believe that there is far too much influence wielded by Christian doctrine in contemporary political issues.  Whatever you want to call it, it’s hardly religious freedom. 
  1. The Monday columnist for the PSU Collegian believes that the recent tragic shooting incident in Florida highlights the great racial and cultural divide among Americans.  In the Swarthmore Phoenix, the editorial board argue that the prevalence of stereotyping and hateful attitudes among many Americans make tragedies such as the one in Florida inevitable.  
  1. The editors of the Princetonian take issue with GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s recent criticisms of higher education.  A college degree is a very good thing for all kinds of reasons, and Santorum’s charges about professorial political indoctrination are laughable.  Several commenters provide some interesting counterpoint. 
  1. Domestic violence is indeed a serious problem, but an op ed writer for the USC Daily Gamecock thinks it’s very wrong to focus exclusively on women as the only victims of it.  Just check the ER statistics if you have any doubts. 
  1. Although a political analyst for the UMass Collegian doesn’t really like GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney a whole lot, he is the likely nominee for his party, and the columnist has some advice for him if he wants to win. 
  1. The editors of the Minnesota Daily argue that race-based affirmative action policies are beneficial to the university and the minorities they recruit, and should be left in place by the US Supreme Court.  That’s also the view of a staffer for the Michigan Daily
  1. At American University, members of the Community Action and Social Justice Coalition explain to readers of the Eagle why their recent demonstration against Arizona governor Jan Brewer was more than justified.  Elsewhere in the same issue, a news writer describes protest action by AU students at the US Department of Education, where proposed cuts in loans and financial and are being considered. 
  1. Now that she’s finally registered to vote, a regular op ed page columnist for the UI/Urbana-Champaign urges other students to do as she did.  It’s not enough, she says to talk and talk about change: you need to act on your convictions at the ballot box.  You can’t do that, though, if you aren’t registered.  The editors of her paper agree, and urge students to go to the polls. 
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