Lauren Jackson


​JACKSON: Trying to be a better ally

Though I recognize my inherent inadequacy in addressing those concerns — for I speak from a place of the deepest sympathy, but not of empathy — I want to be an effective representative of all members of the student body when I speak to prospective students about enrolling. Addressing minority students’ concerns about attending the University cannot be a job for only the minority community.

​JACKSON: Refugees and the empathy gap

Charlottesville has seen an influx of refugees in recent years, with thousands being relocated to the city suburbs, yet these people remain some of the most marginalized in the city due to lack of citizenship, lack of employment opportunities, lack of adequate housing and lack of access to education and healthcare for children and families. In the current discussions on race at the University and in Charlottesville as a whole, these communities are continually left out of the conversation.

​JACKSON: The power of the University’s brand

When Stanton’s trusted brand of Humans of New York presented a story that encapsulated the American Dream and the current myth of social mobility almost too-perfectly, it created a firestorm of media attention and galvanized potential contributors. The story, like Stanton’s blog, was innocent and well meaning enough to make it immune to critical analysis. No one dared point out the aid allocation flaws in the logistics, even if they saw them. No one wanted to be the person to question why Stanton and Nadia Lopez, the school’s principal, weren’t sending kids on more cost-conscious trips to any of New York’s excellent universities — Columbia, New York University or Juilliard to name a few.

​JACKSON: Language matters for Israel-Palestine

Reducing race to a matter of skin color is an inadequate definition of racial identity. Sachs therefore cannot conclude Israel does not racially discriminate simply because it does not reflect the “bigoted environment” of a clear segregation of skin colors. As the Convention legally outlined, the use of the term apartheid does not require any situational commonalities between the state in question and South Africa.

JACKSON: Diversity means religion, too

Though founded on staunch secularism (Jefferson pointedly designed the Lawn with a library at the head, not a chapel) the regional influence of a predominantly Christian South has shaped matriculated students’ religious makeup since the University’s founding. While vibrant religious communities exist on Grounds, it is critical to note in what ways religious diversity at the University is lacking and what the University can do in terms of administrative facilitation to foster the inclusive atmosphere it aims to achieve.

JACKSON: Time to overhaul our prison system

In America, African-American males are incarcerated at six times the rate of white males — an increase from 1960, when black men were five times as likely as whites to be incarcerated — and Latino men face a ratio of 2.5 to one. Our justice system is rife with racial disparities in sentencing, death-penalty verdicts, the granting of probation or parole and employment prospects after incarceration.

JACKSON: Language about sexual assault matters

The word “defile” appeared in Virginia legislation for the first time in 1950 with the writing of Virginia Code § 18.2-48, titled “Abduction. . . for immoral purpose.” In the law today, the word defile officially means to “corrupt the integrity of a thing” — applying to both trampled flags or to sexually assaulted people.

JACKSON: The importance of being code literate

Not every person needs to be a master coder. Coding is not the only technical skill that develops mental focus, enhances problem-solving capabilities and hones creativity. However, I do agree with Obama that coding is a new literacy that must be acquired so that all people can understand computer science basics and communicate effectively to programmers who have the capacity to make their ideas a reality.

JACKSON: Misinformation on trafficking

Despite the growing literature on trafficking, relatively few studies assess the issue holistically by questioning how the root causes of gender inequality, cultural norms and income disparities affect the problem. Statistics resulting from limited analyses have been used as authoritative foundations for advocacy and government policies, despite their academic deficiencies.

The myth of preparation

I am thankful the lights are incredibly dim in Boylan; the darkness hides my crimson-flushed face after I was royally called out for being a know-it-all. I was catching up with friends on my first night back at the University, when the conversation turned to the Barnes Art Collection in Philadelphia and a class my friend took on Dutch Masters.