The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Fariha Kabir

KABIR: Freedom to disagree

The idea of academic freedom is a concept that naturally developed in the West; therefore, we need to be careful in applying it to other countries.

KABIR: Raising the bar

A possible approach to improving the U.S. education system is to have strong pre-school programs available. One of the main ways to decrease the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic statuses and to ensure all students are at the same basic education level when they enter kindergarten is to have pre-school programs widely available and accessible. This would in turn ensure all students are at a certain performance level.

KABIR: Computer therapy

One of the main reasons for my skepticism is that treatment for social anxiety via the Internet is somewhat paradoxical. People often use the internet in isolated situations. In fact, the Internet can play a role in reinforcing social isolation. Research by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society revealed that increased Internet usage can decrease social interaction by as much as 70 minutes a day. Moreover, people who have social anxiety disorder also have a tendency to engage in compulsive Internet use because the Internet allows them to avoid face-to-face interaction. Using the Internet to treat people who have trouble interacting with others thus seems contradictory.

KABIR: Some assembly required

At this juncture between policy and implementation, Western companies can play an important role. They can apply pressure on factory owners to address the issue of workers’ conditions, and threaten to withdraw their business if certain standards are not met.

KABIR: Meriting attention

Originally, when I read about merit-based pay raises, I hesitated to support it. I recalled opposing this idea in high school, wherein merit pay for teachers would be based on standardized test scores, especially because test scores do not necessarily reflect student learning. By extension, basing pay solely on how college students do on their exams would also be artificial. However, because of the holistic approach that the University is taking to evaluate its faculty, I think merit pay is an effective mechanism for mitigating pay freezes.

KABIR: Sleepy schooldays

I do not think that starting school late necessarily solves the problem of students being too tired to focus in the mornings. Since schools will be starting later in morning, students will remain at school until later in the afternoon. Adding on after-school activities means that students will often not go home until dinner time or later. Students will start homework later in the day, and they will stay up later to finish it. So starting school later might not change the number of hours students sleep. Instead, it will simply change the time frame during which they sleep.

KABIR: Putting off fun

The University has a long list of traditions, and partaking in these traditions or better experiencing the Charlottesville area enhances the four years spent at U.Va. Participation in these activities can help a person grow by exposing them to different ideas and environments. More importantly, it makes college an academic, social and cultural experience, which is important in helping an individual better understand themselves and the world around them. College is the last cushion before the “real world”; therefore, having a more rich college experience can be important in preparing students for the challenges they face after graduation.

Abortive measures

The Virginia Board of Health gave final approval last week to a new set of regulations on clinics that perform abortions. This issue has been live since 2011, when the General Assembly decided to tighten the standards abortion clinics are obliged to meet. The Board of Health had initially decided to exclude existing clinics from having to meet the regulations but changed its mind because all 19 clinics in Virginia renewed their licenses last year. Those clinics are now being treated as new clinics and must abide by the new regulations, which primarily mandate architectural changes such as wider hallways like those usually found in hospitals.

Common knowledge

The University recently announced its plans to participate in the first national digital library, known as the Digital Public Library of America. This ambitious project, which gathers information from an array of scholarly organizations, will give students and scholars access to information available digitally at other universities as well as at the National Archives, the Smithsonian and other federal organizations. The University has decided to provide the Holsinger Studio Collection, which consists of information about Charlottesville from the 19th and 20th centuries. In the future, the University hopes to offer access to 16th-century French texts.

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