• Election reform, voting both important

    Last week, Jeremi Suri reminded us about the importance of informed voting. Too many people vote for personalities instead of policy. That’s why we see the stagnation, hyper-partisanship and “public ugliness” he talks about in our politics today. But let’s talk about what your vote means.

    Your vote is most important to whichever city you’re from. In "Local Elections and the Politics of Small-Scale Democracy," political scientist J. Eric Oliver called local government "the hidden leviathan of American politics." 

    These elections determine where your house, grocery stores and schools are. They also tax you, directly and indirectly. Property taxes are often determined by the local government and can be unrestricted. The local government also determines the business tax breaks that you’re obliged to pay for. Local politics affect you from your home to the workplace. Remember this the next time you blow off tablers outside of the SAC trying to register you to vote.

    So voting is huge. Especially locally. But there are huge parts of the government that don’t work off of how you vote, either. This is where Suri and I may diverge. The rally to energize voters should be met with intense change from the top.

    Consider that my influence on the system is not the same as Bill Gates’. Or Goldman Sachs’. I do not have the same political resources nor the same privileges. Corporations hold property, enter into contracts, enjoy free speech and are constitutionally protected. But when a corporation and I disagree, my interests are put in competition with theirs. And that’s a losing game.

    If I’m concerned with the protection of natural resources in a way in which a corporation is not, what happens? The people decide, right? Well, no. I have nowhere near the same resources as a corporation when it comes to lobbying, media appearances, sponsoring a think tank, consulting my critics and contributing to political campaigns that will favor my policies. Corporations are just one example of the power players that set the national agenda.

    There are others, many others.

    What Suri is focusing on is the process; but we should take the product into account. We should encourage “lazy” voters to actually look at policy platforms, but we should be more publicly critical of the power players involved.

    Shah is a business and government sophomore from Temple.

  • Hillary Clinton's logo is not newsworthy

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidates hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the Fairmont Hotel, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in San Francisco. Eric Risberg | AP Photo
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidates hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the Fairmont Hotel, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in San Francisco. Eric Risberg | AP Photo

    On Sunday, without surprising much of anyone, Hillary Clinton announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Clinton, as former First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State, is one of the most experienced and famous people to run for the high office in recent memory. She, of course, came very close to receiving the Democratic nomination in 2008, losing to Barack Obama, who then obviously became president.  

    However, amid Clinton's announcements, few are talking about her decades of experience and fewer still are talking about her policy prescriptions, which have been numerous in recent days. Instead, all the attention from the press and the public has seemingly focused on Clinton's logo, a blue uppercase "H" with a red arrow — pointing to the right — overlaid on top of it

    The logo has been the topic of both praise and derision, namely the latter from Clinton's ostensible ideological compatriots. The New Yorker's editorial cartoon on April 13th, long a bastion of liberal, skewered the logo as ironic, given the arrow's color and direction. Closer to home, many found the logo disappointing and reminiscent of former state Sen. Wendy Davis', D-Fort Worth, first logo, which fittingly looked like a sinking ship.

    In one respect, the fact that Clinton doing something as inconsequential as unveiling a silly little logo has garnered so much nonstop media attention speaks to her huge notoriety as a powerful person in the public image. In another respect, it serves to demonstrate just how broken American politics is, with the press groveling before the lowest common denominator, just using buzz words to describe a picture as pretty or ugly, in lieu of — for example — substantial policy discussions. Evidently, world of 140 characters has sadly made those debates passé.

  • Repeal of Dream Act would unfairly harm those who live in Texas

    Senate Bill 1819 is a bill proposed by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, in the Texas Senate this session. Its passage would effectively repeal 2001's almost unanimously supported HB 1403, otherwise known as the Dream Act. 

    The Dream Act essentially allows undocumented students to take advantage of in-state tuition at in-state public universities if they meet a list of requirements, including having lived in Texas for longer than three years and graduating from a Texas public high school.  

    If SB 1819 passes, these students would have to pay much higher fees in order to attend college in Texas. If anything, this will only further the problem of undocumented citizens struggling to get by.  

    Education is a powerful resource. A degree is an invaluable achievement and can lead to economic success and stability. Texas should allow these students to take advantage of lower tuition prices given to those who reside in Texas because they DO live in Texas and qualify for the Dream Act based on its requirements. With a repeal, families without the financial ability to send their children to school will be scared to do so and economic struggle will continue.  

    I do not think the Dream Act should be repealed. Let these students and their families who live in-state pay in-state tuition. It will be better in the long run. 

    Bounds is an associate editor.

  • Avoid pitfalls of exaggerating, lying in job search

    Exaggeration is human nature. We exaggerate about how happy we are to see a show, or how scared we are to encounter a minor traffic accident. Those exaggerations fill our life with drama and excitement, attracting more attention when we are in conversations. However, when it comes to recounting our own accomplishment on resume, we need to think twice about exaggerating. 

    Brian Williams, the iconic NBC news anchor, was suspended for six months by the news organization after lying about riding in a military helicopter that was struck by a grenade during the Iraq war. Not only has Williams’ reputation plummeted, but NBC is also being viewed as an organization that violates the trust of its viewers. Once that trust is broken, it may never return. 

    It is easy enough for us to fudge the facts on our resume, changing a grade from a “B” to an “A” in a marketing class, listing proficiency in Photoshop when we've only used the software once, saying we did more on a project than we actually did. Unfortunately, those seemingly small issues will work against us in the long term. 

    “If an employer finds discrepancies on a resume … that’s pretty much grounds for termination,” Debbie Kubena said. Kubena is the director of communication career services in the Moody College of Communication and has worked in career advising for more than 20 years. 

    Of course, not everyone will get caught. But those who do can suffer serious consequences. In 2014, Walmart’s top company spokesman, David Tovar, claimed he had a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, when in fact he did not. He was forced to resign after his lie was exposed. 

    According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 53 percent of individuals lie about a “fact” on their resume. In the same study, it pointed out that more than 70 percent of college students lie on their resume just to land their dream job. 

    Those numbers are staggering. For employers, it is not difficult to spot fuzzy numbers and fabrications. A recent grad’s resume with more experience than an internship should lead to questions. 

    If you find yourself exaggerating on your resume, be sure to make an appointment with your college's Career Services, where professional staff can help you craft a strong resume that impressively and honestly trumpets your achievements. If it's a good fit, there's no need to stretch the truth and your qualifications will eventually speak for you. 

    Liu is an associate editor.

  • Texas Revue