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During a week-long conference held at Paramount Theatre, Virginia’s Republican statewide office candidates discussed the opportunity for change provided by the Trump administration and the role they want millennials to play in that change. The candidates addressed topics such as the immigration ban, millennials’ political skepticism and inflating tuition costs, significant concerns for the Republicans’ target audience. As much as these issues frequent the millennial mind, there is one concern which hasn’t been explicitly addressed: student debt. Out of all of these issues, student debt is the most encompassing problem to date. Finding a feasible solution to this problem should become a priority.
Attending college is one of the best ways for an individual to rise out of poverty. In most cases, however, first-generation and low-income college students confront significant obstacles before even stepping foot on a campus. In spite of the generous financial aid available at schools like U.Va., the request for application-fee waivers alone can prove to be discouraging. Instead of requiring students to request waivers, the University should adopt an automatic application-fee-waiver policy for first-generation and low-income applicants.
In an uncontested race, the Editorial Board endorses Malcolm Stewart for fourth-year trustee president. Having served as president of both second- and third-year councils, Stewart approaches the position with a wealth of experience.
University students have two starkly different Student Council presidential candidates to choose from this election year. One displays a vast range of experience, knowledge and passion for StudCo and the other only has a narrow vision for what she would like to achieve during her time as StudCo president. Sarah Kenny, the current Vice President of Administration, is the most qualified candidate running for StudCo president and has the best plan to move StudCo into the direction of equity for all University students. Kenny seeks to move the organization into a direction of equal representation and to make sure representatives are well-equipped to properly address the concerns of their constituencies.
This year, nine candidates running to be Honor representatives for the University sought endorsements from the Cavalier Daily: five candidates for the College, one for the Curry School, one for Batten School and two candidates for the Engineering School. Of these candidates, the Cavalier Daily has elected to endorse Christopher Benos, Jeffrey Warren, Sarah Killian, Devin Rossin and Amy Dalrymple from the College; Al Ahmed from the Curry School and Lucie Oken from Batten.
The transition away from non-renewable energy sources has become increasingly urgent in the face of climate change. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a collaborative $5 billion investment in natural gas infrastructure proposed by Dominion Energy, is antithetical to this transition. Though often labeled a clean energy source, natural gas releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and produces even more methane than coal. While Dominion characterizes the pipeline as allowing “reliable generation of critical back-up sources of electricity when renewable sources cannot meet energy demand,” the company has no comparable investments in renewable energy. Rather than providing a “back-up,” the construction of the pipeline would further entrench Virginia’s dependence on environmentally harmful energy.
The Virginia House of Delegates voted on Tuesday to defund Planned Parenthood. The bill, which the governor has already promised to veto, would cut off federal Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and any other groups that perform abortions in the state. In voting to defund the organization, legislators are endangering the health of thousands of Virginians.
Over 12 million people are arrested in the United States each year. While arrest has been a fundamental tool of the American criminal justice system, the detrimental impacts of an arrest on the suspect, their family and their community are not necessarily warranted by the severity of the crime. The Charlottesville and University police departments should work closely with community groups and service providers to use non-coercive measures and fewer arrests to deal with the kinds of disruptive behavior police are usually tasked with solving.
The Board of Visitors announced last Friday the establishment of a search committee charged with recommending a candidate for the University’s ninth president. In an email to the University community, President Teresa Sullivan urged all stakeholders to participate in the search process, including students. Upcoming activities such as the bicentennial of the University’s charter and the launch of the Campaign for the University’s Third Century require strong transitional guidance. Therefore, students should make a concerted effort to engage with the presidential search committee and its proceedings.
Three weeks ago, the University announced the authorization of the Cornerstone Grant, an initiative that will provide significant cost-of-attendance relief to qualifying undergraduate students from Virginia. The financial aid program, which costs $15 million over the next three years, will be provided by the Strategic Investment Fund. The Cornerstone Grant is part of a multi-year strategy aimed at enhancing access and affordability for in-state students mostly through private philanthropy, private revenue and private investment sources. The program serves to show the potential value of investing University funds in private companies — provided that they are socially responsible — and the opportunity for greater student access and affordability.
In 1960, Wesley Harris and Virginius Thornton arrived at the University. Harris was a black undergraduate pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering, and Thornton was the first black graduate student to enter the doctoral program at the University. The community, which maintained a culture of racism throughout the 1960s, was hostile to black students around Grounds — impeding many of them from either attending or completing their education at the University.
379: Days Otto Warmbier has been in detention in North Korea
President Trump signed an executive order last Friday banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and suspending entry to all refugees — a fundamental violation of our nation’s founding principles. While its legalities and ramifications are still under scrutiny, the executive order has stirred confusion, disruption and worry among members of our University community who are citizens of the countries involved in the ban. The University administration should explicitly reject this executive order and prioritize the safety and security of its students by refusing to release immigration statuses.
The Virginia Senate recently introduced two bills addressing the drastic rise in college tuition costs. At the University, students have seen an average rise in their tuition of at least 5.3 percent per year since 2009. The bills would require public colleges and universities to be more transparent about tuition increases. If passed, these new pieces of legislation would offer University students detailed explanations regarding tuition increases, as well as the maximum amount their tuition could rise in four years — rights which are long overdue.
As 2016 came to an end, a group of concerned residents and two reputable advocacy groups sent a letter to the Charlottesville City Council asking them to slow down the planned redevelopment of the Strategic Investment Area. This area, immediately south of the Downtown Mall, contains IX Art Park and the Friendship Court subsidized housing complex as well as mixed income neighborhoods. The exclusivity and ambiguity which permeate both the redevelopment plan and its potential implementation has made people nervous — especially as the city seems eager to move it forward. City Council should ensure SIA residents have proper representation in the discussion of this plan.
President Trump’s administration is gearing up to cut $10.5 trillion in government spending over the next 10 years, according to the Hill. The first wave of these cuts would include the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, two agencies of great value to communities around the nation. President Trump shouldn’t discontinue their funds from the federal budget, as the effects of doing so would hit close to home in many of these communities — including our own.
With President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration one day away, congressional Republicans are setting in motion the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. One issue particularly relevant to us — which Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) spoke of last Friday at the Medical School — is whether we will continue to remain under our parents’ health insurance coverage plans until the age of 26, a key provision under the ACA.
The upcoming Women’s March on Washington is expected to draw more than 200,000 attendees promoting women’s “shared humanity” and a “bold message of resistance and self-determination.” The protest is set to take place on Saturday, just one day after the presidential inauguration, and on the same day as the last formal round of Inter-Sorority Council chapter recruitment. After deliberating whether to accommodate those who wish to attend the march by moving one of its rounds, the ISC voted to maintain its existing schedule. This decision directly contradicts the organization’s claim to empower its members.
2: The number of years the Rotunda was closed before reopening this semester
The Board of Visitors is considering increasing enrollment by 400 students over four years. While enrollment increases may threaten our social climate — which is tight-knit for a state flagship school — the Board’s proposal offers a mild increase that, if accommodated appropriately, would allow the University to better serve itself and its students.