The Revolutionary Student Front Is Holding UT Austin Accountable

The Revolutionary Student Front Is Holding UT Austin Accountable

On March 8, 2018 UT students found the Littlefield Fountain's waters dyed purple and a message spray painted on the wall to accompany it.
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International Women's Day at UT Austin began with a message spray painted onto the Littlefield Fountain along with its waters turned purple, initially red. The message read, " This is the blood of survivors that UT ignored." The Revolutionary Student Front claimed responsibility for the act after a similar message was found on the UT pharmacy building a few weeks ago.

The "survivors" RSF is referring to are sexual assault victims. These graffiti memos come from a convicted UT pharmacy professor Richard Morrisett pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge in 2016. Morrisett still continues teaching at the University of Texas at Austin.

In an attempt to shed light on UT's assault issues on campus, their actions dim their cause. Rather than being abhorred by the numbers of sexual and domestic assault victims walking around on campus, students are furious about the tacky graffiti on UT property.

Although this group may not have gotten the response it was looking for, they bring up a good point. There are some serious issues concerning violence on and around campus, and there's not enough being done about it.

Just the other day after the first round of student government elections were over,Guneez Ibrahim talked about her experiences as a candidate for SG president.

Throughout her campaign leading up to the election, she was spat on, shoved, called derogatory names, and sent death threats by her own community.

Sadly, such acts have become a common experience for women on campus. I've heard friends talk about being spat on and having alcohol poured on them while walking home.

There are two reasons why someone would treat another person so heinously without knowing them:

1) Guneez and Hannah were such a threat that they forgot their human decency skills.

2) They were never decent human beings to begin with.

There's no excuse in the world that can justify spitting, hitting, or stalking someone simply because they hold different beliefs than you.

Hell, it's not even okay to touch someone without their permission, let alone make them suffer because of your personal unhappiness.

If you're so easily threatened by someone's vision to change the status quo, then that's you're own problem to solve. That doesn't mean you call the victim a liar when she/he comes out about their violent experiences.

As someone who's gone through it in the past and is going through it again, trust me when I say it's harder for the victim living with the scars than it is for people to give them the benefit of the doubt.

According to the 2017 sexual assault survey, 15 percent of undergraduate women have reported being raped and 28 percent said they were victims of unwanted sexual contact.

This report doesn't talk about how many students have experienced domestic violence and considering how many UTPD updates I get throughout the week, it suggests those numbers are high as well. Especially when Wildfire is quicker to alert students of dangerous situations happening on or close to campus than UT does.

Although most students prefer marching to the capitol than vandalizing school property, it's agreed that UT does have an abuse issue, specifically preventing the abuse of it's students.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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