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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pulse of the Pac: Feb. 7

    The Stanford Daily
    Stanford University

    “On the Margins, Between the Lines: Attrition of women from techie majors”

    My mother is a structural engineer; my dad is a computer scientist. When I entered Stanford, I was sure I was going to be techie. I didn’t know what I wanted to major in (although science seemed like a good bet), so I started off my freshman year with all of the introductory math and science classes I could take. Now, five years later, I’ve ended up with a degree in … sociology.

    How did that happen? I wish I could say it was because I discovered this great new field I never knew existed and fell in love with it. Although I have enjoyed my major, the truth is that in many ways I’m a sociology major because I got too fed up with techie classes to major in them.

    Despite jumping into techie courses with much enthusiasm freshman year, I soon came to realize that the classes themselves were just not that enjoyable. I frequently encountered professors whose English I could not understand and who lacked the ability to command a classroom or explain concepts at a student’s level. I disliked feeling like just a number in a class, the inaccessibility of the professors and most of all, the tests designed to produce an average grade of 40 percent so that everyone feels as though he or she has failed.

    So my question is: Stanford, what are you doing to ensure that our STEM majors aren’t just another piece of the leaky pipeline? I know that we have numerous extracurricular groups and programs to support women and minorities, but the classroom experience in techie majors leaves a lot to be desired. With the exception of introductory computer science and product design classes, the majority of techie classes geared toward freshmen and sophomores utilize pedagogy that have been shown to drive away women and minorities. So, Stanford, I challenge you to do your part to stop the pipeline from leaking and revisit undergraduate technical curriculums to improve them for your female and minority students.

    — Jamie Solomon, Feb. 1 issue

    Daily Californian
    UC Berkeley

    “Demonizing democracy”

    Students, faculty and online commenting trolls, the libertarian troublemaker is back! Last semester, I was called an “idiot,” a “frat boy rhetor” and — my personal favorite — a “dumb libertarian who jerks off to Ayn Rand.” Yet, despite the fact that my IQ is greater than 30, I don’t belong to a fraternity and Rand was an objectively ugly woman, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the abuse and am thrilled to be your political columnist for my final semester at Berkeley.

    Why, you may ask, am I such an intellectual masochist? The answer, dear reader, is discourse. Berkeley is an awfully comfortable place to be a liberal. And while I understand the unlikeliness of my column changing minds about the role of government, I hope my unorthodox viewpoint will seem sensible enough to cultivate respect for dissenting opinions.

    Indeed, it’s all too easy to demonize one’s political opponents. In the heat of argument, we can get swept up in our ideology and make hyperbolic statements about dissenters. Liberals become “socialist Nazis” and conservatives become, well, “fascist Nazis.”

    Not surprisingly, most attempts to implement direct democracy in American policy-making have been utter failures.

    Of course, the solution to democracy’s woes shouldn’t be authoritarianism. As much as Plato would have us believe it, there are no philosopher kings to solve the world’s problems, and all attempts to find them have miserably failed — like those socialist, fascist Nazis! Instead, we should minimize the role of democracy and allow individuals the freedom to live, love, interact and trade with each other so long as they don’t harm anybody. This is precisely the way we live our everyday lives, so why won’t the government follow suit?

    — Casey Given, Feb. 6 issue

    Daily Emerald
    University of Oregon

    “Washington did it — now it’s Oregon’s turn for marriage equality”

    When it comes to football, let’s face it — Oregon’s superiority to Washington is nearly blinding. We’ve won every “Border War” game since 2004. But when it comes to things far more important than football, Washington seems to beat us to the punch every time.

    Last week, the Washington state Senate passed a bill that would allow same-sex marriage statewide. The bill moves on to the House this week, and many predict it will easily be signed into law, making Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.

    Oregon is not on that list of seven.

    In 2004, Oregon passed Measure 36, amending the Oregon Constitution to define marriage as only between one man and one woman. In 2007, then-Governor Ted Kulongoski signed into law several bills that gave gay and lesbian couples the right to form civil unions in the state, allowing same-sex couples many of the same rights as heterosexual couples.

    But many does not mean all, and the state constitution still bans same-sex marriage. In a state that prides itself on its progressive thinking and open-mindedness, this ban is a disturbing and shameful blemish.

    Women won the vote in Oregon in 1912; Washington gave it in 1910. Oregon legalized interracial marriage in 1951, while Washington never had a law banning it in the first place.

    The point is, when it comes to civil rights, Washington has always been ahead of Oregon.

    The fact is that the Oregon Constitution says explicitly, “It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage.” Relationships worthy of marriage are structured on so much more than gender that to make this arbitrary distinction a law seems almost childish.

    It’s time for Oregon to step up its game and become a part of the progressing world.

    — Sam Bouchat, Feb. 4 issue

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