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Under the status quo, the party in control of the Virginia General Assembly holds the power to draw their own district lines for both the state and congressional districts. Traditionally, the Assembly uses this law to manipulate lines to tilt districts in their political favor. This practice is known as gerrymandering — the manipulation of boundaries in order to tilt a district into voting a certain way. This takes the end decision out of the hand of the voter. Amendment One is the Redistricting Commission Amendment on Virginia’s ballot this November, designed to fight against gerrymandering. Amendment One would fight gerrymandering a bipartisan manner, and everyone should vote ‘yes.’
As bars and restaurants began to reopen this summer, so did religious institutions. The operation of churches posed the issue of remaining in close quarters for extended periods of time in the midst of a pandemic. Last month, Opinion Writer Nicole Chebili argued that the University should “cease unconstitutional exemptions for religious gatherings.” However, the United States Constitution enshrines the right to free speech, press, assembly, petition and religion. Supreme Court precedent has clearly established that public universities have no exception to these fundamental freedoms.
As the United States continues to deal with an ever-worsening pandemic, University students anxiously await details on the upcoming semester and what the return to Grounds will look like. Questions about how classes will be administered safely in-person are at the front of many students' minds. The University has already released that some larger classes will be held online and that students will have the opportunity to not return to Grounds and take their classes online if they wish. Every classroom will be set up for both in class learning and online learning. There are numerous questions about how this will work, especially for classes with discussion or lab sections.