Pulse of the Pac: Nov. 4

Daily Wildcat

This past week we talked about recognizing the fall season in Tucson, KY jelly marketing to lesbian couples and the influence of Greek Life on ASUA. At the same time the rest of the
Pac-12 offered their take on general education courses, the Occupy movement and prostitution.

Stanford Daily

Stanford University

Although the GERs (general education requirements) fall under criticism, the theory underlying their existence — that values a liberal education, or an education involving study in all the major subfields — is sound. Although a liberal education might once have been valued for the purpose of educating the future elite in upper-class social norms, such as an understanding of Greek, in the 21st Century a more practical justification is in order. There are at least two such justifications. One is that, in exposing all students to a wide range of fields, requiring a liberal education can help students find new intellectual passions. Given that many Stanford students ultimately major in something completely different from what they originally intended, this benefit cannot be ignored. However, we must also justify the liberal education for those students who are completely certain of their major and future career. A common question asked by critiques of a liberal education goes something like this: Why should an English major, dead set on writing for a living, need to take classes in math, science and engineering? … We are entering a workforce and society where having knowledge in just one field will not suffice. The National Academy of Engineering, for instance, recognizes the importance of a liberal education … In an increasingly technology-dependent world, it is important that those majoring in the humanities and social sciences have college-level exposure to math, science and engineering if their major does not already require it.

— “Editorial: The value of a liberal education” by the Stanford Daily editorial board

Oregon Daily Emerald

University of Oregon

The Occupy movement seemed to start out strong. Over in New York, it had a solid mission statement and passionate people, the key to any productive protest. I understood what they argued for, and thought, “Yeah, OK, I can see what they’re upset about.” And then the media got a hold of it, as did the bandwagon hoppers…The movement turned into the next “cool” thing. I think that people saw the passion and drive of the first Occupiers over at Wall Street and thought, “Hey, if I go over there and do what they’re doing, maybe I could be as passionate as them.” Wrong. Others thought, “My cause needs that much attention too, so I’ll just head over and get my signs in the way,” which just confused viewers even more. So congratulations, America. You have messed it up. You took a thing that was really trying to make a difference and made it into your own banana stand. I don’t think anything can be done anymore. I think that the idea has gotten so muddled up that there cannot be any recovery. The Occupy movement has turned into more of a fad than anything, leading the rest of the public to see occupiers as second graders petitioning to get longer lunch periods.

— “Occupy movement should change approach” by Branden Andersen

The Daily Barometer

Oregon State

The debate regarding the legalization of prostitution is a complex one. Sex is a socially sensitive issue and a private matter, so when debates start about the legalization of the solicitation of sex, things are bound to get heated … The problem with this discussion is that both arguments are based on an existing and continuing patriarchal, economically unequal, violent society that doesn’t allow for complete freedom and choice. Now, I realize there are male prostitutes, and not all sexual abuse is directed at women by men.  However, in a majority of cases, it is men that sexually abuse women and children (85 percent of domestic violence victims are women according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), and a large majority of prostitutes are women.  My analysis of the issue is largely based on those generalities … When people discuss the right to choose to pay for sex, it seems like they ignore the woman’s right to choose to have sex in exchange for payment. Obviously by participating, the prostitute is making a decision, and in that sense, it is their choice … I’m sure there are prostitutes who choose this lifestyle freely and enjoy their work, this just isn’t the case the majority of the time.  But to effectively debate the legalization of prostitution, we must discuss the many social problems that often force women into prostitution: poverty, sexual violence, childhood abuse and coercion.

— “Considering the legalization of prostitution” by Sean Tipton