1. Is there a War on Women? You’d better believe there is, according to the editors of the Michigan Daily. If you want exhibit A, have a look at this bill now moving through the state legislature, with its new restrictions on abortions. That’s also the view of a columnist at the University of Las Vegas Rebel Yell, who cites the GOP opposition to the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, along with numerous other state-level initiatives to restrict abortion rights. A colleague at the LSU Reveille sees it exactly the same way. And in light of all of this, a Bryn Mawr student writing for the Bi-College News wonders why more American women don’t share her outrage and sense of urgency. What’s wrong with them? But an editorialist at the U/Wisconsin Eau Claire Spectator has a much different take: there are indeed issues of sexual health and pending legislation that affect women negatively, and they need to be opposed. But shrill, apocalyptic characterizations of a War on Women are way over the top, and simply alienate potential allies, especially men. Similarly, an avowed feminist at the ISU Statesman explains to readers why she intends to be a stay-at-home mother. Back at the Michigan Daily, staffers address other gender issues: this one hopes we can really stop stereotyping women’s bodies, while her colleague in the same issue discusses the rights of transgendered athletes. Elsewhere, an op ed page regular at the WIU Western News takes issue with a North Carolina preacher’s definition of “family,” and a vexed guy writing in the SMU Daily Campus holds forth on gender and pedicures.
2. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to combat obesity with his proposed ban on large sodas continues to attract satirical commentary, far and wide. This writer at the Indiana Daily Student is puzzled as to why the mayor gets so exercised over sugary sodas, but is untroubled about even more sugary donuts. A libertarian correspondent for the U of New Mexico Daily Lobo can’t see how this farcical regulation can possibly be enforced, and further faults Bloomberg for interfering with the right of individuals to make their own decisions about their own lives. The editors of the Pitt News are a little more sparing, and admire Bloomberg’s willingness to undertake a bold initiative on behalf of public health, but can’t see that it will make much of a change in actual soda consumption rates. If ardent sodaists can’t order one large drink, they’ll simply go with two smaller ones, won’t they? Down the hatch, whatever size the cup. A writer for the University of Houston’s Daily Cougar also applauds the mayor’s concern for public health, but can’t see how a quixotic, band-aid measure will make the slightest dent in the obesity problem, especially when we can so easily chow up on cheap and tasty fattening food in place of expensive healthy stuff. Nice try, but no cigar.
3. President Obama’s decision to stop deporting undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children drew hearty approval from the editorial board of the UC Berkeley Daily Californian, along with this writer for the U of Houston’s Daily Cougar. There’s still a lot of work to be done, though: consider, says an op ed page staffer for the UCLA Daily Bruin, how grim the job prospects are for recent undocumented college graduates. But a commentator for the Syracuse Daily Orange isn’t so impressed, and dismisses the President’s move as pure election-year opportunism.
4. Elsewhere in national politics, a summer analyst for the Duke Chronicle, after watching FOX News for the first time, thinks the GOP can’t possibly hope to prevail, given its obsession with marriage, immigration and sex. If they were smart, they’d stick with the economy, but he obviously doesn’t think they’re very smart. That was also the view of a colleague at the U of Las Vegas Rebel Yell, who thinks that the country is rapidly moving away from the narrow-minded, religion-centered folks who are so opposed to same sex marriage and abortion. Too bad for Republicans that they haven’t noticed. On the other hand, a supporter of Barack Obama’s isn’t taking his re-election for granted, and tells his readers in the Syracuse Daily Orange that the outcome of the race at this point is a tossup. Back at the Duke Chronicle, another observer is singularly unimpressed with the President’s grasp of financial matters, while an angry columnist at the USC Daily Gamecock asserts that in leaking the text of the proposed Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership trade agreement, the president has sold out his loyal supporters in favor of big corporations. The editors of the Oklahoma Daily, meanwhile, find House GOP opposition to an FCC transparency rule totally off base, while an individual writer at the same paper stirs the pot by calling for abolition of the Electoral College – in this day and age, that’s no way to elect a president. The comments thread indicates that there’s no unanimity on the issue, at least not at OU. Finally, the editors of the Michigan Daily strongly oppose a new voter-ID requirement, which they argue is an unconstitutional and crassly political move by statehouse Republicans.
5. The international scene usually generates some intriguing copy, and an IR major at Stanford ruminates in The Daily on her academic path, her major and human nature. At the policy level, a columnist for the Brandeis University Justice urges readers to protest the anti-Palestinian policies of the Jordanian government. In the American U Eagle, a regular writer reflects on the state of things one year after the death of Osama Bin Laden, while a counterpart at the Tufts Observer ponders the Obama administration’s increased use of unmanned drones in Afghanistan. For the Harvard Crimson, the editors find GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney’s comments on Russia pretty hard to swallow, while a guest columnist describes the educational value of his summer job in Israel; the former news editor of the Loyola/Chicago Phoenix reports on searching abroad for global citizenship; a writer currently studying in the UK says it’s well worth it, especially if you make appropriate preparations. The Atrocities Prevention Board, recently established by President Obama last Spring, will do much to enhance US monitoring of worldwide genocide and ethnic atrocities, in the opinion of a writer for the University Daily Kansan. On a different note, the editors of the CMU Life can see why Iran might seek its own nuclear capacity, while a colleague at the same site pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her diamond jubilee.
6. A new graduate of Princeton assesses the university president’s commencement remarks in the Daily Princetonian, and tries to strike a balance on what the aim of undergraduate education should be. At Texas A&M, a departing senior posts some poignant thoughts on his generation’s search for identity and greatness. Finally, the editors of the ISU Statesman bid farewell to graduating seniors by asking if their undergraduate experience was all worth it.