Posts Categorized: PUBPOL 301 Op-Eds

Cecilia de la Guardia (PPS ‘24): “Congress Should Pass the Equality Act”

In 18 states, there is no legal protection for LGBTQ+ people who face housing discrimination. In 21 states, members of the queer community can be refused service and denied entry to public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, and bakeshops. In 35 states, there is no law prohibiting banks from denying loans to people based off their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Anne Chen (PPS ‘24): “Pay Gap Within Women’s Sports”

Female athletes competing at a professional level should be paid equally to their professional male counterparts. For as long as women have been able to compete on a professional level, there has been a sizeable pay gap, less coverage, and limited power. These outcomes contribute to the gender inequality women face.

Sami Meyers (PPS ‘24): “Duke (barely) Engages”

Duke admissions strongly recommends that prospective students engage with their communities, so why does the school not make it easier to connect with Durham?
There are probably many reasons why Duke does not have a service hour requirement, but the more important question is: Why should Duke work to increase student volunteerism in Durham?

Peter Connolly (PPS ‘23): “Investing in US Semiconductor Manufacturing is our Best Weapon for Maintaining Geopolitical Leverage Over China”

Man in suit smiling at the camera.

Semiconductors chips are the linchpin of the global economy. These chips are not just in your iPhone and car but also operate the robotics machines and assembly lines that manufacture and distribute our everyday goods. What most Americans do not know though is how difficult and expensive they are to manufacture and how globalized the supply chain is. Most chips start their life in the lab of a U.S. tech company.

Lia Lemieux (PPS ‘24): “Working Class People Deserve Working Class Representation”

In the United States, for people who don’t identify as a white, middle to-upper class, straight males, there is a lack of representation in public office. Women make up just over half of the US population, yet they only represent 27% of our current Congress. At the same time, racial and ethnic minorities make up 40% of the US population, but they only make up 23% of Congress. One demographic that is often overlooked when it comes to underrepresentation in public office is working-class people. However, they are not a minority of the population, and therefore their underrepresentation does not generally make its way into the discussion.

Major Kerr (PPS ‘24): “Oklahoma Legislatures are Sending us Back in Time”

Abortion is considered a felony, women’s rights are under attack, and there is a group referring to themselves as abolitionists. Guess the year. Although it may seem like this occurred hundreds of years ago, this is now the reality in Oklahoma following the passing of Senate Bill 612 through the House on Tuesday. Senate Bill 612 would make performing an abortion in Oklahoma a felony punishable with a fine up to $100,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Mae Mae Wallace (PPS ‘24): “Banning Race-Related Discussion in K-12 Education Perpetuates Polarization and Threatens American Democracy”

Women with blonde hair and black blazer smiling at the camera

Bills banning discussion of “divisive topics” in K-12 classrooms are putting the future of our democracy at risk. In the past two years, 9 states have passed legislation, and even more are in the process of passing bills that ban discussion of topics such as inherent racism, conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression based on the context of race. These topics are being banned due to administrations and parents’ inability to agree upon curricula. However, prohibiting youth to discuss their opinions on such issues will only perpetuate the pattern of polarization.

Aashna Shah (PPS ‘24): “The School Nurse Shortage”

Girl with black hair smiling at the camera.

One study by two Louisiana State University professors titled “Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles” exposes an almost laughable, yet dark reality of the American justice system. It looks at the correlation between the performance of judges’ favorite football teams and the harshness of their sentencing. Sure enough, they found that when a judges preferred football team lost, inmates were behind bars for longer. Oh and, surprise, they also handed harsher sentences to black defendants. My point, though, is to underline the variability of human decision regarding the death penalty. Proponents of capital punishment support taking murderers off the streets and handing just punishment to the most heinous criminals. I am not writing to oppose this. In a perfect world, this would be attainable. But this is not a perfect world, and humans are far from perfect. Instead, I believe the death penalty should be eliminated because of the inevitable fallibility of those who hand it down.