Miami plan should let students take classes that interest them

As the clock nears 2:50, I hurry across Cook Field. With my backpack on and phone in hand, I hustle into a crowded lecture hall full of students that are thoroughly disappointed class hasn’t been cancelled – even more disappointed that we have an in-class assignment due for points that day. I take my seat toward the back, right next to my friend who does his other homework in class and the girl who shops for what dress she will wear to her next date party. Our professor hurries in just before class officially begins and pulls up her black and white PowerPoint. She begins, discussing the components of the cell and the differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The students don’t pound away at their keyboards when she changes topics, but only when they receive an iMessage notification. The few times they look up are when she turns off the lights without warning to show us a close-up picture. Among the group there are students who ask questions and participate, but the majority simply do not care. They are taking the class pass/fail and have better things to do than care about how the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Yet, it’s not just this science class that is like this; last semester during my English 111 class, I was one of these students. Actually, I finished playing...

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Campus dissuades international student talk

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board. Last Thursday as a part of Mindfulness Week, a session was led by Miami grad student Ancilleno Davis in which international students and faculty were invited to share stories of their experiences at Miami. Davis, the event organizer, made considerable efforts to create a safe environment, neglecting to design the event as an open forum and instead creating a space in which people shared their stories and others listened. While the intent behind this event was admirable and necessary, nearly every student who wrote stories of their experiences did not show up to share them at the event. The problem: The international students didn’t feel comfortable sharing their stories. The stories that were shared at the forum, though few, reveal major issues with the interaction between domestic students and international students. The stories painted a picture of what life is like as an international student here at Miami; facing constant language barriers, judgement and blatant racism. One of the most harrowing stories told of a student who suffered a concussion and went to McCullough-Hyde, only to have to leave untreated when the medical workers could not communicate to them how American health insurance works. While some offered experiences of love or hope, as a whole, the stories painted a picture of a campus in which international students often struggle...

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The right to die: How issues divide us

Maxwell Matson, columnist While this column is nowhere near thorough enough to do justice to the long and complex history of the right to die in the United States, it is meant to serve as a brief introduction to the issue and is therefore intentionally concise. Amongst the political right and left there is constant debate over the rights that U.S. citizens, usually women, have to their bodies. While such issues are certainly of extreme relevance given the current political climate, one issue that tends to ebb and flow in political relevance is the right to die. Right to die has been both controversial and completely ignored here in the United States, and while it is one of only a few issues that could potentially affect the lives of every and anyone, it has somehow managed to gain only limited notoriety amidst a sea of general ambivalence. Right to die is defined as a conscious decision, usually on the part of a medical professional, to either forgo medical intervention necessary to extend the life expectancy of a patient who is terminally ill or, more controversially, to take deliberate action to end the life of the patient (upon the patient’s request in either case). While this is usually what is referred to when the term “right to die” is used, it has various meanings to different people/groups across the U.S....

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What does it mean to be an American?

Darcy Keenan, columnist Last week I wrote about DACA, explaining what it is and why it is important to this country. I ended it with a simple statement “They [dreamers] are just trying to better themselves, along with the American economy and society because they consider themselves, as do I, Americans.”  This brings up another important topic for discussion, though: what does it mean to be an American? There seems to be the idea that you need citizenship to be an American, and that having citizenship makes someone an American. They are one and the same. However, this has never made sense to me. If an undocumented immigrant comes to America and has a child, that child is a citizen even if they spend the rest of their life in their mother country. Following this logic, they would be “more American” than a child who was born in another country but came to America and grew up here. Being a citizen does make you an American, but there are other ways to be American. Having a green card or a visa for work or school also makes you an American because you are working to help better America, even if that is not your intention. You can also be undocumented and American. They are not mutually exclusive. Undocumented immigrants can help better America as a country as well as...

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U.S. and Israel must stand together

Luke Schroeder, columnist The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a simply breathtaking building. Located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the church contains what many believe are the sites of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial – it is a deeply holy site for millions of Christians all over the world. When I travelled through Israel last summer, this was one of the places I visited. As I walked out of the church into its courtyard, my ears were met by the Islamic call to prayer, broadcast from the minaret of a nearby mosque. On an adjacent rooftop, a flag bearing the star of David waved in the wind. In the course of only a few seconds, I had walked out of a Christian holy site and heard the Muslim call to prayer, all while standing in the Jewish state. Incredible. For me, this moment is a perfect microcosm for the complexity that engulfs domestic Israeli politics. Three major religions trace their roots back to this holy land and each, to some degree, feel that it is their rightful home. This simple fact produces great conflict, and makes Israel’s situation one of the most complicated in the world. In addition to struggles faced at home, Israel must also face external actors that aspire to bring about their destruction. Iran, for example, has long threatened to wipe...

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