The Impatient Patient: In defense of a lazy, smartphone-obsessed generation

Lazy. Entitled. Snowflakes. According to Media Post, these are the qualities 71 percent of past American generations attribute to Generation Z. These sentiments are reflected not only by the parents of Generation Z, but in those belonging to it. 40 percent of parents and 45 percent of Generation Z themselves agree that within this “selfie generation” lies an inherent trait of laziness.

HHS students participated in a walkout on March 14. Photo by Riley Anderson.

Generation Z, or the cleverly nicknamed iGeneration are the 23 million born from 1995 to 2012. 4 million of Generation Z own a smartphone, and most have never known a world without apps and instant gratification. And some fear that the implications of a generation shaped by social media and smartphone are dire.

Lonely. Dislocated. Unhappy. Another triplet of not so flattering traits attributed to Generation Z. A study by The Atlantic ties the rapidly increasing rates of depression in teens to the devices they cultivate their entire persona upon — smartphones.

Teens hang out together less too, with a 40 percent drop from 2000 to 2015. Screen-related activities are linked to unhappiness, while non-screen-related activities are linked to a greater overall wellbeing.

    Yet although Generation Z may be suffering at the hands of of their smartphones, they’re also saving lives. A large social media following and the ability to condense thoughts into a relatable, retweetable 140-character limit may not be necessary an advantageous skill set for most, but the Parkland students and many other teen activists across the country beg to differ.

    Take one of the most well-known of the Parkland students, Emma Gonzalez. With her steely gaze, the high school senior, among with many others of Never Again MSD, organized the largest student-driven protest in American history thus far. Not only that, but Never Again MSD has been credited with the Florida Legislature enacting several gun control measures. Lazy? I think not. And Gonzalez has a remarkable 1.2 million followers on Twitter. Lonely? I think not.

And, who is to forget David Hogg, the Parkland shooting survivor who also made headlines following provocations from those like Jamie Allman and Laura Ingraham, who saw it fit to make jokes about sexually assaulting the 18-year-old, and mock his rejection from colleges.

While Ingraham boasts a net worth of 45 million, Hoggs boasts 753,000 Twitter followers. And, while there is not yet a conversion between American dollars and Twitter followers, Hoggs engaged followers in asking Ingraham’s advertisers to boycott her show. 25 have dropped so far.

While it is easy to argue that the Parkland activists are simply outliers in the convoluted model of how a Generation Z individual is supposed to act, many researchers who study adolescents believe that they are not. I know, because I see feats of activism among my friends, among my classmates, within my community.

The HHS March for our Lives protest was organized by two sophomores. The protest then made a detour to Sunnyvale City Hall made possible by a group of juniors and seniors, poor weather conditions be damned. They were joined by neighboring schools such as FHS and De Anza.

Inspiring. Revolutionary. Tenacious. This is what I believe Generation Z to be.

The Hart of the Matter: Domestic violence and female homelessness heavily connected

Homelessness is a massive issue plaguing the United States, but it is rarely looked at as the complex and multi-faceted problem it truly is. One such overlooked factor of the homelessness issue is the role of violence against women.The U.S. Department of Justice reported that one in four homeless women are on the streets because of violence inflicted against her.

This isn’t a problem that solely affects women, but children as well; Among women who experience homelessness and have children, over 80 percent had previously experienced domestic violence, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty.

This isn’t just domestic violence in the far past with coincidental homelessness later on. The sheer amount of homeless women who have experienced domestic violence already contests this, but also, in an examination of twelve studies, the Family and Youth Services Bureau found that between 22 and 57 percent of women report that domestic violence was an immediate cause of their homelessness, with numbers varying depending on location.

Countless studies and reports have shown that domestic violence is a huge determinant in homelessness among women. And this only contributes more to violence against women.

Homeless women are significantly more likely to experience any type of violence than non-homeless women. This is partially because homeless people on general are prone to becoming victims to violence, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. However, homeless women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than homeless men, showing how the issue of domestic violence against women continues into vagrancy.

Victimized homeless women very rarely report such instances of violence against them, the U.S. Department of Justice reported, and when they do rarely get legitimate response from the authorities.

When domestic violence and homelessness meet, it creates a brutal cycle of assault against women with little way out. The National Network to End Domestic Violence conducted a nationwide study in 2015 in which ninety-three percent of domestic violence programs participated in. In just one day, over 31,500 people escaping domestic violence went to a shelter or program for such victims. Over 12,197 requests were not met due to lack of resources.

More resources for victims of domestic violence are necessary now. Not only is support for victims of domestic violence something we should uphold as a civic duty to them, but it will also address a huge contributor to homelessness.

The Garlick Press: Does ‘flexible’ vegetarianism have a lasting impact?

It has long been known that climate change is happening, and that our everyday consumption of fuels and products contribute to the rising temperatures. But what people don’t usually think of straight away is how diet can affect the environment.

Yes, I am talking about vegetarianism. I have been a vegetarian for almost a year now, and recently been reflecting on my journey of cutting out meat and various dairy products with my family, and we’ve been discussing different kinds of vegetarianism along with what reasons I myself abstain from meat products.

Not only do people abstain from meat for religious, dietary or ethical reasons, they also stay away from consuming animal products for a better environmental impact.
Beef industries take up a lot of water and energy. According to a study from 2010 conducted by Water USGS gov, California uses around 101 to 250 million gallons of freshwater and groundwater for livestock, coming in as the second state for most bovine water consumption.

But of course, not everyone wants to give up meat in the blink of an eye — or at least, not for the rest of their lives. So the question of eating meat less frequently throughout the week comes to the table.

There’s actually a dietary lifestyle for this concept; flexitarian. Combining ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’ to create this new term perfectly exemplifies what flexitarians are; mostly focused on eating vegetables and simply reducing their meat intake.

Flexitarians will eat meat on fewer occasions, and mostly opt for meals that do not have animal products, cutting down their meat consumption more than the average meat eater.

Studies show families who have ‘meatless mondays’ and ‘fish fridays’ save water. According to the Meatless Monday Website, a quarter pound of beef takes 425 gallons of water to make, whereas soy takes only 75 gallons.

Some people are’ financial vegans’, and buy no meat unless it is free to them, saving their pocketbooks while working for a cause. Meat is expensive, and the average meat consumer can save $2,200-$3,000 each year, by just eat four less meals that have meet each week would save around $600-$800 per year, according to SomethingFinance20.

Others run into the ethical farm dilemma; if a chicken has been happy all its life living on a nice farm, and cannot stop itself from making eggs, is it ethical to eat them? Some will say yes, as the chicken was not harmed and is not contributing to global warming since it lives on a small scale operation. Besides, if you didn’t eat the egg, it could potentially become food waste.

Either way, it is up to the consumer to decide what is ethical to them and what makes the most important change for them personally. After all, becoming vegetarian is a personal choice.

Eating less meat could have health and ecological benefits, and decreasing the rate of one’s overall consumption could do a considerable amount of good for the environment and our population.

Making educated decisions about what kinds of dietary changes one can make to fit within a lifestyle is important for everyone’s health, as well as the planet’s.

The Denome’s Advocate: Israel, an apartheid state? (Opinion)

Author’s note: It has come to my attention that this article has garnered extreme criticism from the opposing perspective. However, after a number of productive conversations on the issue with critics, and doing further research, my stance on the issue has not changed. I understand, though, that many statements were made without source attribution. So in that regard, I have made several corrections and clarifications to the article and cited sources, as noted in the revision below.

 

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he entire world, not just the U.S., seems to be on edge lately. Along Gaza’s border with Israel, in the always-contentious Middle East, 29 Palestinian citizens were killed last week in protests against the Israeli government, mostly by Israeli snipers, according to NPR.

Normally, I leave discussing world issues to my colleague Aishwarya, but something about the Gaza protests in particular struck a nerve with me. This kind of violence doesn’t happen in America during protests; there’s no reason it should happen in Gaza, or anywhere else.

While militants from the terrorist group Hamas were among the protesters killed, a number of citizens perished in the violence as well, and thousands more were wounded, according to NPR. Among the citizens killed was a Palestinian journalist, Yaser Murtaja, who was wearing a jacket that clearly marked him as a member of the press.

Israel claimed that the protests had turned violent and citizens were being encouraged by Hamas, as an Israeli army spokesperson said to foreign press. However, there’s no excuse for shooting journalists who are clearly labeled as such, or other bystanders such as farmers, as NPR also reported. A pro-Palestinian legal organization, Adalah, called the response to the protests a violation of international law.

This isn’t the first time Israel has viciously treated Palestinians; it’s been a common occurrence for about a half-century, in both Israel itself and the occupied territories that Israel controls. Since 2000, over 7,000 Palestinians have been killed in conflicts with israel, as compared to just over 1,000 Israelis, according to B’tselem, an organization that tracks human rights abuses by Israel in occupied Palestinian territories.

However, tensions ratcheted up even further in late 2017 when America, under the direction of President Trump, announced that it would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, officially recognizing the city as Israel’s capital, according to the Washington Post. Palestinians — and much of the rest of the world — were outraged, with the U.N. soon passing a resolution condemning the U.S. decision 128-9, as the Post also reported.

While the protests last week were against Israel’s continued ban on travel from the Gaza Strip, the heightened tensions of late have likely played a hand in both Israel and Hamas’ more extreme behavior. And while Hamas has had a presence at the protests, throwing rocks and firebombs at Israel’s encampment, no Israeli soldiers have died so far, according to NPR.

Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is eerily similar to how apartheid South Africa treated black citizens in the second half of the 20th century: with segregation, racism and needless violence. A report by a UN committee of Arab countries from 2017 accused Israel of committing apartheid-like international crimes.

The U.S. response to this? Rather than further investigating whether apartheid was actually happening in Israel, America, led by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, threatened to stop funding programs perceived as “anti-Israel,” according to the Washington Post. Less than a year later, the U.S. announced the embassy move, sparking another round of protests.

Israel is responsible for the killings themselves, but the U.S. needs to examine its role in allowing their ally to continue to oppress the Palestinian people. Israel can claim it is the real victim and the Palestinians are obstructing peace all they want, but it does not really help their cause when they fire at protesters from behind a wall.

Updated 4/13/18

The Impatient Patient: Crisis pregnancy centers have the right to their beliefs, not the right to deceive

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are organizations around the country offering counsel to pregnant women, with the goal of swaying women away from having an abortion by presenting different options. As such, CPCs counsel women through their pregnancy and after, providing adoption referrals.

There are 2,500 to 4,000 CPCs across the U.S., outnumbering the 1,500 abortion centers. CPCs have been making not only headlines, but also an appearance in the Supreme Court. This is in lieu of California’s Reproductive Fact Act requiring licensed CPCs to post a sign of their services offered — one example being whether or not said clinic offers abortions.

While clinics that are unlicensed are exempt from stating whether or not they provide abortion services, these clinics do have to state that they are unlicensed. Not only that, but these clinics have to make signs of their lack of licensure obvious and in different languages.

The law has stirred much controversy, with the National Institutes of Family and Life Advocated (NIFLA), who support around 1,400 CPCs, taking the case to the Supreme Court, in NIFLA v. Becerra.

CPCs, along with justices, feel as though the California law is targeting them because of their anti-abortion beliefs, a belief 61 percent of Californians do not agree with, that the government has not place in abortion matter.

Justice Elena Kagan brings up that the Reproductive Fact Act is manipulating the law centering it only on CPCs. In addition to being singled out, CPCs also argue that their First Amendment rights are being called into question — that they should not have to advertise a message not in alignment of their beliefs.

California legislature estimated in 2015 that 200 CPCs within California employed deceptive tactics, a reason for the law. The centers are accused of intimidating women who step into the center, in addition to providing misinformation about abortions, such as the idea that having an abortion might increase the risk of breast cancer.

However, while some CPCs are prone to deceptive actions, CPCs like Informed Choices report that they did not employ intimidation tactics, and still maintain relationships with women chose a different route. Furthermore, Informed Choices, part of its counsel for pregnant women, also provides baby clothing and supplies for mothers.

CPCs claim that putting up a sign is against their beliefs and an infringement of their First Amendment rights, but the information on the sign would not be false information. Why should CPCs be afraid to publicize information that is in fact, true?

It does not go against one’s belief system to publish truthful information. The government is not asking CPCs to put up a sign stating that they are pro-life, the government is asking CPCs to put a sign stating what services they offer.

It’s as though certain CPCs have a hidden agenda, refusing to put up signs for fear of driving women who are set on having an abortion away, which goes against actually helping pregnant women in need. I understand that CPCs want to prevent abortions, but doling out misinformation and intimidation is inexcusable.

While suspicions that the law is is possibly employing CPCs specifically are not unsound, with the talk of first amendment violations and deception, what seems to be understated is the well being of pregnant women. Furthermore, the law in question does not only apply to CPCs — but businesses like nail salons are also required by the law to put up a sign.

CPCs who do not employ deceptive tactics have nothing to fear with putting signs up. Women who decide to have an abortion do so because they feel as though it is their choice, it is what is best for them. Arriving at this decision was likely not an easy one, but one weighing out all possible options.

If the main objective of a CPC is to counsel women, then they should do just that — counsel. A woman’s choice of abortion is time-sensitive one. I firmly reject the notion that a woman must give birth no matter what — there are so many extenuating circumstances.

For CPCs to continue to employ unsavory measures to get their message across is not only immoral, but comprises an individual. I cannot imagine the point of a center that give off the appearance to have services it does not provide.

For the 200 CPCs employing deceptive tactics, all I have to say is consider — is the point of your center to save lives, or to further your movement? Maybe women who do go in and decide not to get an abortion because of CPCs are glad of their decision — but to maintain a front of deception to achieve that goal is questionable.

CPCs and abortion clinics look so similar, it can be hard to tell the apart. From similarly in names to proximity to abortion clinics, even those in support of the pro-life message cannot tell apart a CPC from an abortion center, with a pro-life group accidentally vandalizing a CPC.

Elizabeth Clark, director of Planned Parenthood, advises to take precautions when differentiating between CPCs and abortion clinics, such as calling beforehand to find out exactly what services are offered, in addition to looking at language on a CPCs website that may seem more skewed to a certain ideology.

The Hart of the Matter: Homophobic comments and sexist ideals are intertwined

Emma Gonzalez, survivor of the Parkland shooting and one of the faces of the current movement for gun control, has been under attack by many who oppose her values. While this is normal for someone leading a wave of change, some politicians, such as Leslie Gibson, have crossed a line in their criticisms.

Gibson, a GOP candidate for the Maine state House, called Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian,” according to the New York Times. He has since withdrawn from the race, but his comment is an example of the way sexuality is used to insult and invalidate powerful women.

Often, when a woman steps into a leadership position, men have trouble taking orders from her. We are socialized to see men as leaders and women as followers. When a woman exhibits the qualities of a leader, she is often labeled as bossy and overbearing, while a man would be considered ambitious and confident for the same actions.

While I speak from experience, this has also been proven by countless studies. A comprehensive report by the American Psychological Association states that men are perceived as more effective leaders than women and rate themselves higher than women tend to, while in specific examinations of leadership skills such as organization and encouragement, women scored higher.

Gonzalez, in leading a nationwide movement against gun violence, is obviously a leader. She is in a position that is perceived to be for masculine people, and has since been called genderless or gay simply for exhibiting strong qualities.

Calling her a lesbian was an obvious attempt at an insult, rooted in the way society perceives leaders. When Gibson made the statement and others echoed it, the intent was to shame Gonzalez. That being said, the comment wasn’t false. Gonzalez is openly bisexual, and often speaks about how gay activism is linked to her work against guns. It is not an insult; it is who she is.

Still, despite the fact that Gonzalez is openly part of the LGBT community, the term “lesbian” was used with the intent to discredit her. In using the word as an insult, Gibson implied that Gonzalez should be respected less because of her lack of heterosexuality.

An obvious answer as to why “lesbian” is used as an insult is homophobia, which leads people to see those of the LGBT community as lesser. But sexism and homophobia are deeply linked.

A woman’s worth is often linked to her ability to attract men, which is why women are taught to value appearance. Attractiveness goes beyond physicality; it has to do with what a woman says and does. Women are taught to be friendly and accommodating, and above all, non-threatening. This is why so many young girls have heard the phrase “you’ll never get a man talking like that” when speaking about feminism or something bold that potentially will intimidate men.

If a woman does not care for the attraction of men, men lose that power over women. The notion that has silenced women for so long is invalidated, as a woman is beyond what she is taught defines her worth. In addition, since she is not fulfilling her supposed duty of being the object of attraction, she is therefore seen as inferior.

The example of Gonzalez is one of countless others; women are devalued with attacks to their sexuality regularly. It comes from a place of systemic sexism that taught them to value gay women less. Women are powerful, no matter who they are attracted to, and society should catch up to this fact.

The Ripple Effect: You’re only elected twice (or thrice, or four times)

In the recent Russian presidential election, incumbent President Vladimir Putin secured a record 76.7 percent victory. Photo courtesy of Reuters.

“The shocking results of the Russian presidential election last week caught the world off-guard!”

Or, at least, that would be the first sentence of an article written in an alternate universe. Rather, the least surprising outcome resulted from the election: Vladimir Putin is, for a fourth term, president of Russia.  At this point, the predictability of elections is likely why, according to TIME magazine, there is little pomp surrounding them.

Putin secured a record 76.7 percent victory, though with the number of polling locations that reported suspiciously exact percent turnouts of 85, 90 and 95 percent, much of it was due to rigged votes.  Not to mention, despite the Russian Central Election Commission’s assurances that the election was “free, competitive and transparent,” voters didn’t have much of a choice when casting votes. None of the other candidates were predicted to poll above 10 percent of the vote, and Putin’s greatest obstacle, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was ultimately prevented from running.

Navalny responded by telling his YouTube followers — all 1.8 million of them, in a country of 144.3 million — to boycott the election.

In contrast, Putin’s campaign spent a sizeable amount trying to increase voter turnout, in a bid to outdo his performance in the 2012 election. Tactics included a weirdly (though perhaps not unexpectedly) homophobic ad about the threat of gay people coming to live in people’s homes if they didn’t vote, the opportunity to win tickets to a concert for voting and “Only for Adults” Facebook stickers targeted towards the young male demographic, according to The Guardian.

While I’m certainly not opposed to increasing voter turnout, seeing as a poll’s no good without a large enough number of respondents, these tactics skew more to the side of “terrible” and “bribery” than “an exercise in promoting the use of voting rights.” Moreover, factors like state pressure on poll workers, as reported by the Washington Post, have, unsurprisingly, made some legitimate votes all but negligible.

So is Navalny right? If the polls are rigged, should people stop making the effort to vote?

Not quite.

Giving up the right to voice one’s legitimate opinion, even if that opinion is silenced before it has the chance to make its intended effect, is only a form of giving in entirely. So long as there is someone working to frantically toss out a disagreeable vote, it means that that vote has been noticed. Maybe it seems like a useless waste of energy to go to the polls when it appears no difference will be made, but even if a nation at large doesn’t see the true results, those who count will be counting them — in a panic.

That’s not to say that other methods of being politically vocal are useless. Earlier this week, in the Russian city of Kemerovo, thousands have hit the streets to protest the inaction of officials after a mall fire that claimed the lives of at least 38 people, including children who’d been brought to the movies with their teacher.

In light of the revelation that fire safety precautions were horrifically lacking, angry calls for officials — from the governor of the region to Putin himself — to resign have abounded, according to the BBC.

For these protests to be taking place in Kemerovo, a region where votes for Putin are as consistently high and unyielding as a brick wall, certainly makes a more visible point than the results of rigged polls. But by combining the two — suspicion over rigged polls and outcry in the streets — helps to paint an even starker picture of a people’s opinion.

Either way, what with the Putin campaign crediting some of its success to Britain’s accusations that the Kremlin was behind the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, things are about to get a lot more convoluted. Welcome to the next James Bond movie — although this time, the data behind the scenes is just as important as the whizz-bang fireworks onscreen.

The Impatient Patient: The Paralympics’ dim spotlight

U.S. and South Korean ice hockey teams battle it out. Photo courtesy of The Atlantic.

The buzz from the 2018 Winter Olympics may be dying down, but the hype for the Paralympics is just igniting — but barely. Since 1976, the year of the first winter Paralympic games, winter Paralympians have won 278 medals, more than the 197 medals earned by Olympians.

Despite this, there is a longstanding disparity between Paralympians and Olympians worldwide in terms of coverage received and money earned for winning medals, among others. This is not an issue exclusive to the U.S., but one that happens worldwide.

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed an agreement that will extend to 2032 with goals to not only bring about more awareness to the Paralympics, but also to ensure their longevity.

While this agreement is promising, it is hard to ignore the Olympic-sized gap between the two major sporting events. According to an article in the New York Times, the number of American reporters at the Paralympics dropped from 57 to 33 reporters. NBC alone sent 89 reporters to the 2018 Olympics, according to their website.

Of the 801 reporters worldwide covering the Paralympics, American reporters comprise of roughly four percent. Meanwhile, American athletes make up 43 percent of all Paralympic athletes competing, according to the official Team USA website. That constitutes, roughly, to seven athletes per reporter — extremely uneven coverage.

American Paralympians have been making great strides at the Olympics, currently owning the largest number of medals. It is a shame that we cannot be bothered to provide equal coverage to such athletes. We have athletes overcoming tremendous feats, yet their stories, much less their accomplishments, are given a very dim spotlight to be showcased in.

The same lack of coverage was apparent in the 2016 Paralympics as well. According to an article on The Conversation, 52 reporters (excluding NBC) were sent to the Paralympics compared to the 400 sent to the Olympics.

So what is causing the Paralympic coverage drought? According to this study published in 2003, journalists did not cover the event because they felt as though readers were simply not interested, and it was not worth the actual the cost of coverage. Another reason was the sentiment that the Paralympics did not rival the Olympics in that it was not a “real competition.”

Journalists may think that the Paralympics may not be an area of interest for the general public, and perhaps they are right. But, you cannot light a flame without a spark. How can the general public even get interested in the Paralympics when there is no coverage readily available?

While this study was published 15 years ago, the amount of coverage remains consistent — consistently low. The “para-” in “Paralympics” comes from the Greek preposition meaning “to be beside with.”

It was given to illustrate that both the Olympics and Paralympics were to exist together, with one not being placed on a higher pedestal than other. The origins of the Paralympic name has its heart in the right place, but until the same respect that is given to the Olympics is awarded to the Paralympics, the Paralympic name remains untrue.

An article on the South China Morning Post proposes an intriguing question — why are the accomplishments of an able-bodied person far more celebrated than the accomplishments of someone with a disability?

The fact of the matter is that the Paralympics were not created as a kind gesture for people with disabilities to compete in a pseudo-major sporting event, and as such, its athletes should not be seen as secondary.

(SATIRE) Students graffiti bathrooms in hopes of forcing repairs

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o motivate HHS administration to repaint the — notably faded — green of the restroom walls on campus, students have turned to the ageless protest-method of high schoolers: vandalism.

Across campus, restroom patrons have dotted the walls of their stalls with everything from artwork to inspirational quotes to insults to comments on the quality of the bathrooms. The haze of graffiti has forced administration to repaint the stalls to cover up the vulgarity.

Although this has caused controversy, not to mention a wash of detentions, the vandalism is opening a necessary conversation about the quality of on-campus facilities.

Rampant graffiti has helped promote new paint jobs and led to the replacement of broken stall doors.

Enticed by the new forest-green shade of many of the restroom stalls, the on-campus initiative Student Anarchy for Better Bathrooms (SABB) has begun discussing plans to expand to stealing sinks and breaking down stall doors.

“In some of the bathrooms, none of the faucets even work anyway,” SABB representative John Loo said. “The doors don’t lock either, so it’s not like we are making things any worse with these vandalisms.”

By all accounts, Loo and SABB compatrients may have the right idea. On-campus bathrooms have long existed in a state of semi-functional limbo. Since “when you gotta, go you gotta go,” Students weigh down latchless stall doors with everything from backpacks, to nearby friends, to the force of gravity and several carefully worded prayers.

The walls of non-repainted stalls reveal an unappealing history of inexplicable stains, white scratches and scrubbed-out graffiti. More to the point, most bathroom hand-dryers, though otherwise technical marvels, have sat inactive for months, when not for years.

Admittedly, the less-than-ideal state of the bathrooms is likely more an issue of communication than of simply administration failing to fix existing problems. There is no clear “complaint” box for when bathrooms are in need of repairs; students lack a clear medium to communicate their commode conundrums.

More to the point, the student bathrooms are only used by students. Since staff do not use student restrooms, staff is not aware of student restroom problems. While SABB’s methods are, admittedly, extreme, they provide a communication method that is both resoundingly clear and readily available to students.

So far, they have also proven effective. Across campus, several stalls have already been repainted to cover up the aggressive coat of graffiti covering them. The few that have not been are so heavily coated with graffiti that they look black anyway.

As a result, student morale has improved tremendously and lines for SABB treated stalls are out the (still lockless) stall door.

The Garlick Press: Greener student driving

The student parking lot is always packed in the morning, with different types of vehicles: trucks, Mini Coopers and family SUVs. For families who are planning on getting a new car for their driving student, an electric car for simple commutes sounds ideal. One problem, however, is where to charge.

Charging stations will allow students and staff with electric vehicles to plug in during school hours.

That issue is going to be solved in a year. After construction for the new F building finishes, charging stations for both students and admin will be installed near the student parking lot.

Tara Grande, FUHSD facilities coordinator, is working on a joint project with Charge! Program to implement the new charging station plan.

“At Homestead, [where] we are looking to put [charging stations] is actually between the student lot and the access road,” Grande said.

In this way, the charging stations can be used by both administration, students and for the public after school hours.

Making charging stations available for students will benefit the campus by allowing families with electric vehicles to utilize the opportunity for a green and cost-effective commute. A newer option for charging stations will also allow prospective students to consider buying an electric vehicle as their first car.

Some college campuses have already taken this opportunity and put electric chargers into effect. Pomona College has 55 plug-in stations available for 1,500 students, installing it’s first six charging stations in 2011 according to a case study conducted by the EPA. Each station cost $6,000, and drivers pay $1.25 and admin get a discounted price at $0.15 per kWh.

Mountain View and Los Altos are also installing charging stations on their campus, according to Mercury News. Admin will be able to charge their electric vehicles at 240 volts for just a small fee. This strategy ultimately helps teachers with long commutes and who wish to use their electric cars to get to work.

Having an electricity-powered car can be more cost-effective than a classic gasoline-fueled vehicle. The California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project administered by CSE for the California Air Resources Board has raised incentives for lower-income households while capping eligibility for higher-income consumers, encouraging a solution to the divide created by financial differences.

When it comes to the cost-benefit analysis in terms of pollution, going electric is an excellent option to reduce greenhouse emissions.

According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found the emissions produced by an electric vehicle are less than the emissions of an average compact conventional vehicle, no matter the location of where the vehicle is used.

Our campus is green, and should also not just be green because of our colors. These new charging stations will benefit the staff and students and will encourage a greener commute.

The HHS charging stations will be implemented after the construction of the new F building, and soon, individuals with electric vehicles will have a place to plug in.

If you are looking for green options, resources such as DriveClean can help individuals find a valuable and affordable electric car that will benefit your family.

The Ripple Effect: The political facades of cuddling lambs and shaking hands

So, here we go again.

Although Forza Italia, the party led by Silvio Berlusconi, is leading a successful right-wing coalition in the Italian general elections, Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement has, by itself, arisen as a challenger. Photo courtesy of NBC.

In the vein of Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Frauke Petry in Germany, the Italian general elections on Sunday skewed hard towards populists, the far-right and skepticism aimed at the European Union. Over half of the votes cast, according to the New York Times, went to populist parties such as the emerging Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Northern League.

But unlike France, the Netherlands or Germany, the entire center appears to have gone under as well. The currently-governing center-left Democratic Party (PD) hasn’t done too badly by itself, but the party coalition it leads is in third place, compared to the right-wing coalition and lone wolf M5S, according to CNN.

In an even more striking contrast, this election, which took a microscope to immigrant and refugee issues, occurred after much of the crises regarding them happened.

Italy has already hit its peak migrant influx, having shrugged refugees off thanks to an Italian-led EU policy of helping Libyan authorities intercept migrants traversing the Mediterranean. Of course, in the cases of all these nations, immigrants have been the easiest scapegoat, but at this point, Italy’s 10 percent foreign population is lower than that of a majority of EU countries, according to PRI.

One would think that this, coupled with the discouraging defeat of populist parties in other European nations, would have simmered down Italian support of similar movements. But instead, it’s clear that this Italian election cycle is a culmination of the far-right movements sweeping Europe these past few years.

This is the election cycle that has seen former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — once the face of Italian politics whom no one could take seriously, and slapped with fraud convictions that bar him from office until next year — turn into the moderate leader of the center-right coalition. In fact, he’s crafted an image of now being so much mellower, it’s totally ordinary for him to sit around cuddling lambs and talking about vegetarianism in a campaign ad, according to Deutsche Welle.

Despite, of course, the glaring fact that he has been making campaign promises of forcibly removing Italy’s 600,000 undocumented immigrants the whole while.

This is the election cycle in which the wild card that is the Five Star Movement gained ground with the youth vote. Emphatically pro-environmental issues and vaguely anti-European Union, it straddles whatever is left of the middle ground between the far right and the center  — and then some. The party, founded by a comedian and now led by an anti-establishment 31-year-old, refuses to form a coalition with others, meaning that while it gained a huge part of the vote, it still can’t technically “win.”

This is the election cycle that has seen a spike in politically-motivated violence, and also the one during which, according to the Atlantic, Facebook rolled out a new feature for Italian users designed to combat fake news. A wave of Islamophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-establishment articles followed almost immediately.

And, to round it all off, this is the election cycle in which Russia barely had to meddle in. Berlusconi is friends with Putin to such an extent that he once gifted Putin a duvet with a photo of the pair shaking hands printed on it. And Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Northern League, which came out as the strongest party in the right-wing coalition, is also an ardent admirer of Putin (and also a pal of Le Pen’s).

If the Italian elections aren’t a bellwether for shifting attitudes in Europe — the pendulum swinging back to the far-right just after appearing to have been beaten down — then they are at least a sign of cracks in a facade that leaders like European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker continue to deny is crumbling. Maybe “Italexit” isn’t going to happen anytime soon, maybe Italy’s immigrant situation won’t change at all, but the reactionary instability whipped up by this election will last. And it may set a precedent to drag others down with it.

The Denome’s Advocate: Show some solidarity to striking teachers

Gun violence as a problem in schools has reached a new level In the news; it is overshadowing the fact that in West Virginia, school has not been happening for the past week.

West Virginia educators have been on strike since Feb. 22, claiming they are underpaid. They have continued to negotiate, even after the state legislature and governor approved slight raises for them.

No raise they receive, however, is going to change the fact that teachers are indeed ridiculously underpaid, nor will it correct the teacher shortages California and many other states face.

The first of those problems is an infamous nationwide issue. A Brookings Institute study found that in comparison to other developed countries, American teachers are paid far less than even the poorest-paying of foreign nations. American high school teachers make about 71 percent of what similarly educated Americans make, compared to Finland, where upper secondary teachers make 91 percent of what their highly educated peers in other fields make.

Americans can’t do anything about Finnish teachers, although we would do well to look at their highly-ranked education system and improve our own. However, here’s a radical idea about America’s teachers: give them the same salary as a similarly educated worker.

In West Virginia, teacher pay is unjustly low; non-career/technical education secondary school teachers make only $45,000 a year, according to TeachingDegree.org. That’s a solid $13,000 below what the average high school teacher makes throughout the U.S. Moreover, teachers are saddled with extra expenses that come with their line of work, such as buying school supplies. In response to a question from NPR’s Education Team, some teachers said they spend over $1,000 yearly on classroom supplies.

Comparatively, the median salary for an engineer in the U.S. is $94,000 a year, according to Sokanu, in a field that often requires less education than teaching. And with all due respect to the engineers of America, none of them would be where they are today if not for their teachers.

If America is to have a meritocratic pay system and call it fair, it would be wise to actually make it fair. Otherwise, people aren’t going to enter the profession in the first place.

That’s how the aforementioned teacher shortage in California has taken shape. According to the California Teachers Association, a third of teachers in the state are nearing retirement age, and in order to offset the already-existing deficit of educators, 100,000 new teachers are needed over the next decade.

Unfortunately, the problem typically goes unnoticed in the Silicon Valley; teachers here often make double the median salary of educators in America, based on numbers from Transparent California. However, Silicon Valley is so exorbitantly expensive that even a six-figure salary isn’t enough for a person to not be considered low-income in some cases, according to the Mercury News.

To offset both the shortage and the pay issue, the CTA endorses the idea of simply paying teachers more. Of course, it’s not just as easy as passing legislation to raise salaries, but rather than give millionaires another tax break, the government could at least expand the tax credit for teachers buying school supplies.

Until their salaries go up more than the 5 percent raise their governor proposed, or other action is taken to fairly compensate educators for their work, West Virginia teachers should feel more than entitled to remain on strike. And even though student activists already have their hands full with gun control, the least they can do is raise a fist in solidarity with teachers during the March for Our Lives.