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Policies and controversies are at the forefront of this week's must-read columns

Public policy and political controversy are this week's hot topics


"Must read opinion columns for college students." Illustration published on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.

With public officials sending messages about global warming and special education, this week's news highlighted their voices and the opposition they faced. Columnists everywhere sounded off, as should college students. There was prominent focus on politics across the nation and its many college campuses as well as what to do moving forward. 

Betsy DeVos doesn’t get why Special Olympics matter | By Christine Brennan

Pushback has been swift across news outlets and social media following Betsy DeVos' proposal to cut the Special Olympics and similar programs for children with disabilities. The concept of millions of dollars taken from children with disabilities funneled elsewhere? The internet was not happy.

Defunding these programs sends the message to these children that their interests, and possibly favorite activities, are not important to the Secretary of Education. Although DeVos defends funding of other programs, these programs have helped so many and continue to do so — whether you're one of these children or not. 

Want to Reduce Opioid Deaths? Get People the Medications They Need | By The NYT Editorial Board

The opioid crisis has impacted many communities but it seems that little has been done to actually solve this problem besides plans that speak out against opioid use and addiction. How is this helping those that are already addicted? The answer is: it isn't. Actual change will be brought about when actual change is made to help addicts. Housing options and similar programs to help recovering addicts are great, but medication is key. Action is important and we should all be working to help those impacted by the opioid crisis to some extent.

Trump wants to drop a neutron bomb on the Affordable Care Act. Over to you, 2020 voters. | By Andy Slavitt

College students beware. The Affordable Care Act may soon be eliminated, but the next steps should be included in next year's polls. Health care and other political policies may not directly affect students yet, but that does not mean they should turn away from the opportunity to make real change.

Students now, and in the upcoming election, have the power. Protecting thousands of people's health care, or addressing it in a more effective way, is the answer — not complete elimination.

Why Colleges Like Trump’s Campus Speech Order | By Mark Bauerlein 

It turns out that the president's controversial order regarding free speech on college campuses isn't so ridiculous for some. Namely, campus officials. The so-called 'call-out culture' has taken over college campuses and left different communities at odds, but has led to increased discussions. This order may be doing the work for those officials that may take issue with callout culture, but free speech is key for the success of colleges and specific majors. Free speech should be protected across campuses without financial repercussion. 

Authorities Need to Understand the Internet in Order to Police It | By Tom Whyman

As anybody who grew up with it can tell you, the internet is a complex place. When it comes to dangerous trends that put lives at stake, the audience certain hashtags and trends reach can speak volumes. 

As Whyman wrote, "When it comes to regulating the internet, lawmakers often seem clueless: from GDPR and its massive proliferation of pop-ups, to the U.S. Federal Communication Committee's repeal of net neutrality regulations." 

In order to protect the millions of internet users, this complex tool must be understood first. 

Reach the columnist at and follow @mayafoxall on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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