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Monday May 2, 2016
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Canvas left neglected by some professors (February 25, 2016 Issue)

By Silvio Miranda
Collegian Staff

It is a given that professors will fail students who do not follow directions, so the same should be true for La Salle professors that do not use or refuse to use Canvas. If the same were true for professors, a huge majority would fail for not using Canvas.

Professors have a set of rules that they must follow,which includes creating a syllabus with an assignment schedule. In addition to that, they are required to use Canvas, something that La Salle does not enforce as much as it should. Most professors believe that they fulfill this

requirement by simply uploading their syllabus. They will not use Canvas at all for the rest of the semester except during the first week of classes.

Canvas allows students to see their grades and view their progress in the course. Many professors do not upload their grades, and when I asked one of my professors why, he said that he would not work three times as hard to input the written grade from his book onto La Salle’s system and then onto Canvas. He said that it is too much work for him.

This is a very frustrating answer because professors are paid to do their job, and for a professor to not want to “work three times as hard” to input grades online is very shameful. Then there are professors who refuse to use technology at all, and I do not know how long that mentality will last given that everything today is done online. You cannot stay stuck in the past; you need to be able to adjust to new technology and tools that are given to you.

Purdue University reported that they paid $578,406 for their Canvas subscription for this school year. While La Salle can’t possibly be paying this much for Canvas, it is still evident that the University is spending a significant amount of money for the service. I am appalled that La Salle spends thousands of dollars a year on Canvas only for it to be wasted because professors refuse to use it to the maximum capability.

Typically, only three professors each semester since I have been here actually use Canvas to its full potential. It is much more than just a place to look up the class syllabus; it’s a tool allowing students and teachers to interact outside of the classroom.

I am happy to see that there are a few professors who recognize the potential that Canvas has and use it in many ways. Some professors use it for online quizzes, homework uploads and class discussions. Being able to view your grades online allows students to be able to see our progress in the class.

For professors who do not use Canvas, the first time students see their grade in the class is their midterm grade that is posted on Br. Luwis. Sometimes they have issues with telling you your grade and make you calculate the score on your own.

Although you cannot change the way that professors teach their class, La Salle still must attempt to at least encourage all teachers to incorporate Canvas into their classes in some way. For as much money as La Salle is spending on this, the University cannot afford to waste this service.

mirandas3@student.lasalle.edu

The Republican party is broken (February 25, 2016 Issue)

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By Matthew Mailloux
Collegian Staff

On Tuesday night, businessman Donald Trump ran away with the Nevada Republican caucus, earning nearly 46 percent of the votes cast and defeating his closest rival by 22 points. This is only the latest reason illustrating why the Republican party is in full-fledged chaos. The mainstream established GOP has proven utterly unable to decide on a candidate. Issues that began with a field of 16 candidates over the summer have culminated in the seemingly unstoppable rise of Trump.

Even as the field has dwindled to five candidates, and perhaps fewer by the end of this week, there is still no consensus candidate to take on Trump. The party’s inability to coalesce behind Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) or Governor John Kasich (R-OH) as the principal challenger to Trump has dramatically splintered the anti-Trump vote.

While his supporters argue that Trump’s momentum is insurmountable, he still only has a 50/50 chance at winning the nomination, according to prediction markets. Trump’s supporters argue how he has won in the Northeast, the South and now the West, and has done so in a convincing fashion.

While his string of three straight victories is impressive, Trump skeptics are quick to point out that he has failed to win more than a plurality of support. Tuesday’s result, however undermines the idea that Trump has a ceiling. The argument that Trump’s support will stagnate as other candidates drop out is less clear with each passing nominating contest.

If the GOP is going to stop Trump, the party has to move and move quickly. While only five percent of the total nomination delegates have been awarded to date, the primary calendar accelerates beginning next week. Eleven states will vote in the “SEC primary” on March 1, awarding nearly 600 delegates (25 percent of the total). If the field remains this crowded, and there is no indication to the contrary, Trump is poised to have yet another momentous night.

The party needs to consolidate the field to as few candidates as possible, and do so as soon as possible if they hope to have any chance of stopping Trump. The feud and lack of separation between Rubio and Cruz is working to Trump’s advantage. Meanwhile, Kasich’s plan to wait for a win in his home state of Ohio on March 15 will continue to split moderate voters in the upcoming primaries.

Even with the mess that the Republicans are facing, there is still hope that a consensus candidate can emerge. Rubio has now finished second to Trump in back-to-back states. Since South Carolina, Rubio has received 18 endorsements from sitting elected officials; the next closest candidate is Cruz with just three. The party is beginning to rally behind Rubio’s positive message, but that support will not materialize into votes until Kasich and Cruz drop out of the race, and there is no sign of that transpiring anytime soon. Cruz’s hopes are dependent on a strong performance in the SEC primary. Given the recent firing of his communications director and third-place finish in Nevada, pundits are claiming that his campaign is stagnating.

The GOP’s last hope to defeat Trump is reliant on consolidating the field into a two-man race. The time has come to put the party, and the nation, ahead of personal ambition. It is time to stop Trump. If the GOP allows this mess to continue beyond March 1, Trump very well may become unstoppable, a thought unpalatable to most conservatives just three months ago.

maillouxm1@student.lasalle.edu

Why are Carson and Kasich still in the Republican Race? (February 25, 2016 Issue)

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By Michael Cooney
Collegian Staff

As we move forward in the Republican primaries, many political fanatics such as myself have one major question: Why haven’t Ben Carson or John Kasich dropped out of the race yet?

Carson, who has not finished higher than sixth in any of the primaries, and Kasich, who has won only six delegates, second lowest to Carson’s total of four, have interesting reasons for not dropping out.

Carson, who has been mathematically eliminated from the race for the GOP nomination, has an interesting, yet bizarre reason for staying in the race. He believes that as a “regular American,” he has a duty to give the Republican voters an antiestablishment choice.

However, he may just be using the race to gain material for a book or well-paying speaking engagements.

Kasich has a better reason for not dropping out. Kasich has given an ultimatum: If he does not win big on Super Tuesday, he will drop out. If he is the last governor in the race, his odds will go up in key states.

Since Jeb Bush has dropped out, Kasich won that battle. His positions on immigration and social welfare for the underprivileged have gained him the label as the current, most moderate candidate. His stance on gay marriage and anti-labor union rights puts him more in line with what stereotypical Republican voter supports. However, does he really have a shot?

As the primaries push forward, it will be interesting to see if these candidates stand the test of time. At least one of them, at the moment, has a plan as to when to call it quits. That’s John Kasich. Ben Carson, however, has been somewhat of an enigma this election cycle and will keep us wondering what is going on in his mind.

It is more than likely that Carson is now only in it for the publicity that may enhance his public notoriety for the future, while Kasich still genuinely believes he has a shot. Either way, the odds are against both of them no matter how long they decide to put off dropping out of the race.

cooneym2@student.lasalle.edu

Americans should care about Britain leaving the EU (February 25, 2016 Issue)

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By Meg Liebsch
Collegian Editor

Last week, British prime minister David Cameron announced that June 23, 2016 will be the date of a U.K. referendum, which will decide whether Britain stays or leaves the European Union. The announcement has sparked a national debate with politicians advocating either their support or disapproval of “Brexit” (Britain exiting the EU).

Historically, Britain has always had a difficult relationship with the EU. Originally, the country avoided joining the European Union during the 1950s. It was not until 1973 that Britain finally joined the Union.

Britain’s membership has a heavy influence on the country’s trade and economy. Their trade with other EU countries has been 55 percent greater than it would have been if Britain had not joined the EU. Economically, Britain would benefit from remaining a part of the EU because membership allows for fewer regulations in trading and fewer tariffs. Additionally, 45 percent of British exports go to EU countries. Britain is actually one of the least regulated countries in the European Union (comparable to U.S. markets), so leaving the Union may jeopardize its unregulated trade.

Many British politicians are split over the issue. If Britain remains, they avoid economic barriers to trade and increased, unavoidable regulations, and benefit from membership and collaboration in a transnational organization, as well as from double representation at international conferences. Proponents of Brexit, on the other hand, argue that being outside the EU will help Britain secure new trade partnerships with other powerful countries, eliminate the need to waste money on EU membership fees, give Britain the ability to completely control its own regulations, and allow Britain to negotiate outside the EU.

Prime Minister Cameron himself has been vague about his position on Brexit. Although he claims to want to stay in the Union, he has also stated that he wishes to reform some parts of the European Union. He has not stated specifically, however, what those reforms might entail. Meanwhile, other influential members of Parliament, such as justice secretary Michael Glove have voiced staunch approval for Brexit.

So why should Americans care whether Britain stays or leaves in the European Union?

First, without the European Union to guide British trade, Britain would be nearly starting over with its trading relationships. It would have to renegotiate individual trade deals with every member of the EU, which is highly unlikely considering that diplomatic relations with other EU countries will certainly be strained after the U.K. leaves. A decrease in trade in Europe will have a ripple effect on the U.S. and across the globe.

Secondly, the U.S. has strong political ties to Britain, as our countries are close allies. Having Britain in close relationships with other EU countries also helps the U.S. in times of need.

Too often today, countries see individualism as the only way forward. Advocates of Brexit say that Britain would be more powerful on its own, but they neglect to recognize that there is immense power in collaboration. The EU has been able to achieve peace and political relations among most European countries, making them stronger as a whole instead of individually.

In an age of war, poverty, hunger and environmental catastrophe, global powers need to work together to solve issues. Fractionalization and concerns about individual power are not helpful. We must collaborate.

liebschm1@student.lasalle.edu

Beyoncé takes the political stage (February 18, 2016 issue)

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By Alicia Miller
Collegian Editor

It was just a typical Saturday at La Salle, that was until I did my hourly checking of Instagram and came across a photo of Beyoncé with “Formation” as the caption. After informing my friends of the news, we all sat down in front of the laptop in hopes of discovering the new single and video.

After streaming the video on Tidal, I realized that this new song would result in a large amount of attention, not only because it is Beyoncé’s first single since her release in 2014 but because it contains lyrics that are like no other Beyoncé track.

The video for the song also contains an array of subliminal messages. For those of you who have yet to see the video, I shall fill you in.

The video begins with a clip that says “Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics,” which persuades the viewer to pay close attention to what it is they are about to witness. As the video goes on, the camera flips to a scene that appears to be filmed in the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. This scene contains a flooded area in which a house and police car sinks. Beyoncé doesn’t just explore the obstacles that many of the New

Orleans residents have endured, but she also shines the light on New Orleans culture. After Beyoncé explores the greatness of New Orleans, she flips to a scene filled with a large amount of police officers pointing guns at a character standing with a hood on and his hands up.

It is evident that this scene resembles the story of Trayvon Martin, except she has incorporated in a tagged wall that reads “Stop killing us.” Beyonce then spends a great deal of time doing her signature dance moves while putting emphasis on the lyrics that she wants the viewers to take note of. Those lyrics are, “You might be the next Bill Gates in the making…Cause I slay.”

In order to help convey her message, she also includes a newsstand that has a magazine of Martin Luther King with the caption “More than just a Dreamer.” She then ends the video by sinking a police car while singing the last lyrics “Always stay gracious, your best revenge is your paper.”

I’ll be the first to admit, Beyoncé left me feeling proud because she chose to speak out on the issues within the African American culture while also persuading the culture to be proud of who they are.

However, her video left a lot of Beyoncé fans feeling upset and bitter. A lot of the disappointed viewers argued that the sinking of a police car was provocative because the police are who keep the country safe.

I also can recall hearing others say that Beyoncé used this song as a way to brag. I disagree with both of those reasonings because while the police are supposed to protect us, they also appear to be overdoing their jobs as they have killed an endless amount of innocent individuals. Some argue that these individuals aren’t innocent, however, they also don’t deserve to die as a punishment for a crime that can be seen as petty in my book.

Also, I don’t believe that Beyoncé used “Formation” as a way of bragging, but instead I think she used this song as a way to persuade others to prove their enemies wrong by prevailing in whatever it is they are aiming to achieve. I originally stopped making an effort to entertain the disappointed fans.

That was until Sunday, when Beyoncé performed “Formation” for the Super Bowl halftime show. The outfits of the performers left viewers feeling even more disappointed, as her dancers dressed as black panthers while she dressed in an outfit that resembled Michael Jacksons outfit from his Super Bowl performance. These pissed off fans argued that Beyoncé’s performance was offensive. My question is how in the world is that possible? I think that it’s even more offensive that they are speaking out on a song and performance that has influenced a large amount of individuals to be proud of their identity.

Many assume that the black panthers are bad, when in reality they have done a great deal of things that we still benefit from today. For one, they were group of activist that emphasized self-defense, while also emphasizing the protection for the African American community.

The black panthers were often seen following around police officers to make sure they didn’t harm innocent peaceful protestors. They even established the public school lunch system. However, many fail to take note of that.

Therefore, Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance was just an additional form of celebration of the history of African Americans. I’ll end my rant on this note, perform your research before you toss out your opinions. Beyoncé’s performance was impeccable, and I will keep it in mind every year when I sit down to tune in to the Super Bowl.

millera38@student.lasalle.edu

Technology changing future of advertising (February 18, 2016 issue)

By Matt Mailloux
Collegian Reporter

Behind the scenes of the ads that line the Facebook feeds, Twitter timelines or Google search results is a world of innovation and data-driven strategy. This is also dedicated to helping companies ensure the ads that a user sees are the most relevant to them. There are two traditionally

competing approaches to solve this mass marketing customization approach: Marketing Technology (or MarTech) and Paid Advertising Technology (AdTech).

The landscape of these fields is growing hyperactively; startup companies are promising a solution to crack the code of how to use the massive amounts of data that are generated each day. Underlying this rapid innovation is the mounting concern of protecting user data. While the ethical boundaries of data collection and use are still being determined, companies that implement a comprehensive data solution have seen boosts in sales and conversion rates. Their marketing campaigns are able to become individualized, taking potential customers on a true search discovery and purchasing journey.

The digital world and the transition to the mobile-first mindset has huge potential in the world of digital marketing. Revolutionary tactics such as retargeting, where a user will see ads for a cruise on other sites after visiting a travel site, or look-alike marketing, where ads are targeted at specific users based on Facebook likes or common Twitter followers, have immense potential to help companies reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message to convince them to make a purchase. These major trends in digital marketing have been met with varied success, but as the market continues to shift to mobile first and content marketing, these trends need to adapt to a comprehensive data driven approach.

The unification of two innovative fields (MarTech and AdTech) has enabled companies to better target their advertising and connect with customers in a way never before seen. Marketo, a leading marketing automation software company, recently released a new product meant to bring these two fields together in a profound way. Ad Bridge is designed not to help marketers escape the soloed approach of “acquisition” and “engagement” marketing, but rather combine the benefits of each of these traditional approaches. Its ultimate purpose is to “personalize ads for promising customers.”

This product is on the cutting edge of marketing’s next greatest frontier. For the past decade, marketers have sought to unify a customer’s online presence between search histories, social profiles and offline purchase data with targeted ads that convert. Ad Bridge allows companies to leverage data compiled from existing email marketing, social media, and other web campaigns to identify their potential customers’ tastes and preferences like never before.

The ability to synthesize a user’s profile across the entire web, while simultaneously combining every other unique data point from existing data, is the vital next step to achieving the full potential of these incredibly powerful programs. The abundance of data offers phenomenal potential, but few companies know how to interpret and apply the data at their disposal. When companies are able to overcome the “paralysis by analysis” and begin making profound insights, that is to say when companies begin to reimagine their marketing programs from a 21st century perspective, only then will the full potential of personalized marketing be realized.

maillouxm1@student.lasalle.edu

Grammy awards full of moving tributes (February 18, 2016 issue)

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By Lucas Davidson
Collegian Reporter

Every year, the Grammy Awards honor the music artists and producers that have outstandingly surpassed expectations for the year. In addition, it also honors artists who have recently passed away and whose catalog deserves recognition for one last time. This year’s 58th Grammy Awards did an outstanding job of recognizing them. The Kanye-less award show went without outrage, and the performances provided both great sounds and visuals.

If there was to be controversy fabricated from this year’s show, it would be from Kendrick Lamar who won five Grammy this year alone including Best Rap Album for To Pimp a Butterfly. Lamar entered the stage from a jailhouse set at the front of an all-black chain-gang, wearing prisoner uniforms as a commentary on African American youth being unrightfully incarcerated. He then transitioned to a stunning African-themed set during his song, “The Blacker the Berry.” The performance was beautifully choreographed and Kendrick, as the rap community says, “killed it” with his vocal performance and admirable social commentary. The only non-political criticism there is to offer is the whining saxophone that played throughout the set, although it is well understood that this artistic choice was made to convey strife within the African American community.

A few seasoned artists who received recognition at the ceremony were Lionel Richie and retired hip-hop group Run DMC. Richie was honored with a medley of his hits performed by John Legend, Luke Bryan, Tyrese Gibson and Meghan Trainor. He joined the performance, which unfortunately didn’t feature “Dancing on the Ceiling,” for the final song “All Night Long.” Run DMC received a lifetime achievement award but didn’t perform, as it is well known that they no longer perform as a group out of respect for deceased member Jam Master Jay.

As always, the Recording Academy honored musical talent who have passed since last year’s Grammy’s. A select few (B.B. King, Maurice White, David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister) had their music performed in their honor, while the rest were featured in the video montage that played.

The tear-jerking B.B. King tribute was kicked off by Chris Stapleton, who won two awards that night including Best Country Album. He was the joined by Gary Clarke Jr. and Bonnie Rait to perform King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone.” The most subtle yet powerful nod to the great blues player was when Stapleton dropped his normal Fender to play a guitar modeled after the guitar B.B. played, a Gibson L-30 he dubbed “Lucille.”

Lady Gaga donned Ziggy Stardust replica clothing and dyed her hair orange for her well-done medley of Bowie songs. She was accompanied by cosmic themed decorations throughout the performance, as Bowie used to perform with when singing “Space Oddity.” Rock ’n’ roll super-group Hollywood Vampires played an original song titled “As Bad as I Am,” and a sample of “Ace of Spades” to honor the legendary “Lemmy.” Johnny Depp seized his opportunity to prove he is a guitarist at heart, and former Guns ‘n Roses member Duff McKagan wore his Motorhead T-shirt, which he was known to wear before Kilmister died.

What was interesting is that Hollywood Vampires’ member Duff Mckagan and Matt Sorum were former members with Scott Weiland (in side project Velvet Revolver), who also passed in December. Although Weiland’s death was huge news in the music and Rock ’n’ roll community, he only received a brief mention during the “In Memorial” video, and didn’t receive as much as a “RIP Scott” from McKagan who was on-mic to sing back up vocals. It can be speculated that this is because Weiland has frustrated many, if not the majority, of industry executives, producers, promoters and artists in the room during his life.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards had plenty of potential to be dismal since music lost so many important voices this past year, but the award show did a great job of remembering them. Perhaps the most touching moment was Natalie Cole saying goodbye in a clip from the 1992 ceremony. The public, however, still has the opportunity to say hello to new talent such as 12-year-old Joey Alexander who one his first Grammy this year.

davidsonl2@student.lasalle.edu

Philly schools shown no love (February 18, 2016 issue)

By Michael Cooney
Collegian Staff

With the recent controversy surrounding the revamping of Love Park and skaters protesting by vandalizing the park with graffiti, there is a greater issue that must be looked at regarding how the city uses its funds.

I am not talking about the outrage over the fact that the skaters used vandalization as a means to protest the redevelopment of the site, though I do believe they could have protested in a more constructive manner.

I am mainly concerned with the issue that was one of the main platforms in Mayor Kenney’s campaign, which was to obtain more money to fund the failing schools in this city.

Although the $83 million that is being put into Love Park does not seem to be a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, it is only fair to look at the other side of the argument.

With Philadelphia standardized test scores lower than that those of the more prosperous suburban public schools  ,which is the main determining factor in how the state allocates funding to – schools,the city needs to find other ways to resolve the situation. Even if it were to receive more funding due to higher test scores, the city’s student population is still above and beyond the highest in the state.

Thus, the expenditure per student in the city would still be lower than what would be needed to fix the system. The city’s schools are plagued by overcrowded classrooms, lacking  desks for the students, a less than adequate supply of stationery, and other important needs such as full-time nurses, $83 million dollars can go a long way.

The fact is that with a Republican held state legislature, there is no way that the city can rely on state funding to get what they need. The legislature is not going to increase taxes on corporations or natural gas companies or any other state taxes. Just because Democratic Gov. Wolf wants more money spent on education does not mean he will get it.

Therefor, Philadelphia will have to raise taxes. The city will have to look to get funding from corporate donors. In closing, the city should not be revamping a park to cater  tourists who, in the long run, are not affected by how the city will allocate its funds.

Tourism in this city keeps increasing year after year without these kinds of expenditures. Instead, the city needs to look at where the money is needed the most. With a failing education system and one of the highest poverty rates of any major city, the only way to help the many issues plaguing the city’s inhabitants is to start using funding in more practical ways. The most practical way that the 83 million dollars should be used where prosperity begins to grow, not a city park. It starts with Philadelphia’s public schools.

cooneym2@student.lasalle.edu

D.C. politics tarnishes Justice Scalia’s influential career (February 18, 2016 Issue)

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By Gavin Lichtenstein
Collegian Editor

This week, the world said goodbye to one of the most influential, brilliant and experienced men in the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Regan in 1986. For the next 30 years, Scalia was a powerful conservative voice on the high court.

Scalia was a firm believer in interpreting the Constitution as the Founding Fathers intended in 1787. Critics of Scalia often argued that his interpretation interfered with 21st century progress on issues of race and gender equality. Many of his fellow justices even argued that by interpreting the Constitution in its original form, any progressive laws would be viewed as unconstitutional because they would not adhere to the views and intent of the founders.

For these reasons, Justice Scalia was often accused of allowing his conservative views to influence his legal judgment.

This article is not an obituary, honoring one of the most significant indiviual figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. When the news of Scalia’s death swirled through the streets of D.C., the blood fight for his seat began almost immediately.

Under the Constitution, the sitting president is authorized to appoint members of the Supreme Court. Since 2009, President Obama has appointed two Supreme Court Justices: Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Once the president appoints a justice, Congress must approve the nominee.

I am truly disappointed, frustrated and disheartened with members of Congress, President Obama and members of the media. The tribute to Justice Scalia, a leading member of our democracy, quickly turned into a political argument over the now empty seat in the courtroom.

Wasting no time in grieving, presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, “Justice Scalia was an American hero. We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement.”

Later that night, the six remaining presidential candidates took the stage for their ninth debate. Saturday’s debate might have been one of the nastiest debates, as the Nevada and South Carolina primaries just days away. The candidates exchanged sharp and direct attacks. To put it best, the already divided party looked lightyears apart.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, following the news of Scalia’s death, released a statement thanking him for his service, but he also made it clear who he thinks should be appointing the next Justice.

“Today, our nation has suffered a deep loss. Justice Scalia was one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written,” Rubio said. “One of the greatest honors in my life was to attend oral arguments during Town of Greece v. Galloway and see Justice Scalia eloquently defend religious freedom. I will hold that memory forever.”

Rubio then continued to make the Justice’s death a political, unwanted and unwavering punching bag.

“The next president must nominate a justice who will continue Justice Scalia’s unwavering belief in the founding principles that we hold dear,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “Jeanette and I mourn the loss of Justice Scalia, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and his family.”

President Obama from California, held a brief press conference just before the Republican debate confirming that he will be appointing the next Justice.

“Obviously, today is a time to remember Justice Scalia’s legacy,” President Obama said.  “I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time.  There will be plenty of time for me to do so, and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”

There is no disputing the importance of this decision; the new Justice’s voice will echo throughout the nation in the streets of democracy for potentially the next two to three decades, just as Scalia’s did.

Before Scalia’s death, the Republican’s held a 5-4 majority in the courts. Assuming President Obama, with less then a year left in office appoints a Democrat, then the Democrats retake majority in the Supreme Court.

In addition to the presidential race in 2016, the Republicans have 24 seats up for re-election in the U.S. Senate, while the Democrats only have 10. The Democrats only need six seats to retake majority in the chamber. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats have to pick up over 30 seats to regain majority. The urge to block President Obama’s appointment of Scalia’s replacement shows fear of the November election.

This is an important discussion and deserves the appropriate timetable, but we dishonor Justice Scalia’s legacy by using politics to justify his legacy.

lichtensteing1@student.lasalle.edu

I’m “feeling the Bern,” but is he the right choice for president? (February 11, 2016 Issue)

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By Gavin Lichtenstein
Collegian Editor

The 2016 presidential election, as we all know, is not typical or traditional by most standards in American politics. The established party leaders with experience in government, public service and legislation are fighting to stay alive as the outsiders, the question marks and the candidates who were once unknown are stealing the show from state to state.

I am infatuated by Senator Bernie Sander’s passion on the stage; his anger with American politics represents a pulse in the United States. His passion is a voice for those who feel Washington politics does not represent them.

That being said, I will not be voting for Bernie Sanders, a candidate I agree with most days.

The Democratic socialist from Vermont’s vibrant and electric speeches, calling for a 15 dollar federal minimum wage, touches a strong Democratic base; in fact, I strongly agree with him. No person working more than 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty in the richest country in the world —that is unacceptable. I don’t stay up all night worrying that the American dream will soon evaporate into a socialist reality.

In every speech Bernie reminds his strong supporters that he is the only Democratic candidate without a Super PAC that privately funds his campaign. Politics is a balance between striking voter frustration and supporting that frustration with feasible, realistic partisan and bipartisan solutions.

College students from around the nation are “feeling the Bern” as the Senator campaigns on eliminating student debt and bringing down the cost of tuition. We need to differentiate between free tuition and affordable tuition. Free tuition simply passes the torch from families to tax payers. Under a free education plan, with a subsidy increased to eliminate tuition, public universities will still thirst for funds. Instead of raising tuition, they raise taxes.

Listen, I just took a loan out for $30,000 to attend La Salle this semester, so this is an issue I could not be more passionate and angry about. That being said, the cost of this would be approximately $

75 billion a year. In the balance of American politics, I do not see imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators a realistic solution.

America is still the strongest economy in the world. His plan on student debt compares our economy to economies that are far weaker and some even crippling, including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland and China, the world’s second largest economy.

Representing a rural state, his vision for clean air and climate change is brilliant, and I am strongly proud of his initiative to address this issue head on. Bernie is a leader in the solar energy world, bridging the gap between the solar industry and bringing and keeping jobs on American soil. The solar industry has grown by 86 percent since 2011, resulting in nearly 80,000 domestic living wage jobs.

If Bernie took his passion on these issues and combined them with a realistic foreign policy plan, I would likely be wearing a “Feeling the Bern” shirt to my 9:30 class tomorrow, but his foreign policy is inexistent in a time when it is most important. The Middle East, immigration and ISIS are all issues that voters identify as a top concern. Bernie acknowledged his foreign policy is still developing, and he is still actively working to put a team together against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

I agree with Bernie, but I can’t vote for Bernie.

lichtensteing1@student.lasalle.edu


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