Daily Trojan

From my 2016 column, Point/Counterpoint:

‘POINT: Postponement of SCA panel reveals snowflake culture’ – April 25, 2016

This is the new dystopia, in which visual representation is more important than the actual progress of women and men alike, in which a word, “diversity,” is valued over real learning and in which snowflake culture has actually manifested itself as a direct adversary of progress. As a woman in a STEM field, but much, much more importantly, as an individual, to this new regressive standard, I say, “no, thank you.” I’ll take progress over preposterousness every time.

‘COUNTERPOINT: Impromptu woman-led shows give ample exposure’ – April 18, 2016

‘POINT: The safe space revolution will devour its own roots’ – April 11, 2016

Consider the history of the rationalization of sexism. Pennsylvania State University psychologist Stephanie Shields hypothesizes that historical paternalism was enforced by a cultural standard labeling men’s instinctive responses as “passionate” (and thus strong,) but women’s instinctual responses as just “emotional.” By generalizing women as biologically predisposed to emotional or intellectual weakness, sexist behavior and norms have been justified as protecting women. On college campuses, safe spaces are a form of this protectionism that subjugates people and continues to treat them like children.

‘COUNTERPOINT: Airbnb is a net positive for local Los Angeles economy’ – April 4, 2016

The issue of Airbnb’s taxation cannot be discussed without analyzing its private sector benefits. Researchers from the real estate and development consulting firm HR&A Advisors found that Airbnb renters in San Francisco contributed $56 million to the local economy annually, only $12.7 million of which went to host households. Because the majority of Airbnb users choose Airbnb over hotels purely for lower prices, the study found that guests who used Airbnb stayed an average of two extra days in San Francisco. If Los Angeles chooses to tax all Airbnb rentals as hotels, the economic benefit of Airbnb will be vastly diminished. In addition, Airbnb guests are more likely to stay in less central areas of a city, infusing smaller neighborhoods with plenty of unanticipated revenue. In a car-centric city such as L.A., the benefit of being able to choose from a wider variety of locations in which to stay can be priceless.

‘COUNTERPOINT: Ellenhorn verdict reveals senators’ personal vendettas’ – March 28, 2016

‘COUNTERPOINT: UC recognizes that racism may hide in anti-Zionism’ – March 21, 2016

‘COUNTERPOINT: USC oversteps its bounds with new regulation’ – March 7, 2016

These guidelines are just one step of many of the University’s attempts to implement social control on legal adults. The actions imply that the University does not trust or respect students’ rights to choose when and how they socialize, strangely discriminating against only social chapters of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils. For example, the Academic and Graduate Student Senates called for deferred greek recruitment last semester; however, a unanimous vote in favor of a resolution against deferring greek rush delayed these efforts. Yet somehow, these measures said to be imposed for the well-being and safety of all students ignore the majority of student life.

‘COUNTERPOINT: Supply and demand, not policy, drive development’ – February 29, 2016

‘COUNTERPOINT: Rapists and abusers should be jailed instead of expelled’ – February 22, 2016

‘POINT: Diversity requirement at USC only stratifies students’ – February 8, 2016

‘COUNTERPOINT: Vasquez dispute ignores real issues of responsible drinking’ – February 1, 2016

‘COUNTERPOINT: Making college free isn’t realistic’ – January 25, 2016

The risk of dipping into an endowment would be cyclical. With a smaller endowment, a university has a smaller margin to protect itself with in times of external economic distress. This sort of emergency planning may seem extreme for universities with billion dollar endowments, which tend to be prestigious and centuries-old, but schools’ statuses have been decimated by having too small of an endowment at the wrong moment.

For example, Tulane University in New Orleans was once one of the premier research institutions in the South, but Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the school $650 million in damages and a priceless fall of prestige and ranking. Without a properly ambitious emergency fund in its endowment, it took until 2011 for all 16 of its Division I athletic teams to return and the same amount of time for admission to reach its previous levels.

‘COUNTERPOINT: Fair market produces surge prices’ – January 11, 2016

Other published Daily Trojan pieces:

‘All Americans, including Ben Shapiro, are free to speak’ – February 26, 2016

Fifty years ago, university students at UC Berkeley fought valiantly to uphold and defend the First Amendment; now, it seems a growing trend of college activism threatens to destroy it.

‘Election shows Europeanization of the US’ – March 8, 2016

The country is choosing to overthrow the political party with a strongman, big-government, Wilsonian concept that Trump and Sanders alike exemplify. While this disruption has reaped many much-needed benefits, it is giving way to a Europeanization of American politics which will ultimately lead to economic instability.

‘Internet can be essential for war on terror’ – November 18, 2015

Seventy million people posted dedications to Paris on Instagram within a day of the attacks. These posters included Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, conservatives, liberals, socialists, libertarians and everyone in between. Over 200 countries in total were represented because ISIL is not waging a war just against the West. It aims to attack and oppress people around the world who believe that individuals have a right to choose how to live their own lives. Those individuals can become, and many of them have become, a part of this fight through the equalizing power of the internet. Perhaps it is a small, effortless measure of solidarity against a global terror threat with an estimated $2 billion in funding, but those with access to social media have a moral obligation to show ISIL that they can’t hijack what belongs to liberalism and individualism, be it Twitter or simply a night out on the town.

‘Lack of competition makes college expensive’ – October 28, 2015

The textbook industry is considered a broken market because the product is chosen by either a university or a professor, while the consumer is the student. Knowing that the demand for textbooks is essentially inelastic or unresponsive to price changes because textbooks are mandatory for most classes, textbook publishers can mark up prices far past the point of a reasonable profit margin. In a normal market, this could be combatted by competition with other producers; however, the number of textbook publishers has dwindled down into single digits, allowing them to collude to keep prices high.


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