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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcat columnists take on the issues – big and small – that shape our world.

    Ballots after time behind bars

    Though laws vary by state, many convicted felons in the U.S. are unable to vote. Estimates of individuals currently unable to vote due to past felony convictions range up to 4.7 million. With the dust settling on midterm elections, it’s time to take stock of policies like these. Have felons lost their right to representation by virtue of the crimes they’ve committed, or are these policies an unjust silencing of men and women who should have a voice?

    It is fundamentally undemocratic to deny citizens of age their right to vote. Yes, those who violate our laws lose their privileges as citizens, including their right to vote. But to continue to withhold the right to vote after the convicted has paid his or her debt to society is not only unfair, it is contradictory. If someone is not fit to be a member of society, don’t release him from prison, it’s that simple. Otherwise, once released, society has declared an inmate fit to be a citizen, which includes the right to vote. The ulterior motive is clear here: the disenfranchisement of the poor and minorities, those disproportionately affected by such laws.

    – Shurid Sen is a political science senior.

    The reason felons should not have the right to vote is simple: When you break the laws, you should not get a voice in making the laws. Felons have generally committed serious crimes – murder, drug convictions, assault, robbery and more. To allow them, even after a prison sentence, the right to vote disrespects the victims of their crimes. Further, when exposed to prison and other felons, what might their vote be, for example, when voting to raise mandatory sentences on felonies, or on a vote to build more prisons? Voting is a privilege – one felons should not have.

    – Sam Feldman is a junior majoring in Spanish and political science.


    Back door to the Ivies

    According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, increasing numbers of students are spending their first year at a large state school and then attempting to transfer to a more prestigious institution they were rejected by as a high school senior. Is a late-game transfer a clever plan, or a needless jump?

    Let’s get one thing straight: Future earnings are more a function of work ethic than college choice. We still live in a meritocratic society – one that rewards those with a little entrepreneurial spirit and a whole lot of work ethic. Bravo to those who can slide their way into the Ivies from a state institution; inevitably, these are often the people with that oh-so-important entrepreneurial spirit. But those of us “”left behind,”” do not despair: Nothing matters more than perseverance. That is what America is about. We are a country built on a nose-to-the-grindstone belief in working hard – whether at an Ivy or otherwise.

    – Matt Stone is a senior majoring in international studies and economics.

    Well, you’re kind of a tool if you’re leeching off a state school for a year just so you can get into an Ivy. But it’s hard to blame someone who does; there’s some evidence to suggest that graduates of the Ivy League have higher salaries, and there’s always that intangible “”Ivy factor.”” It’s not the kind of thing you can measure, but having Harvard, Princeton or Yale at the top of your résumé says something to employers. Of course, you can get a comparable education at a state school, but let’s not fault the students who are ambitious enough to game the system.

    – Damion LeeNatali is a senior majoring in political science and history.

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