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Model UN: A good experience for all students, despite your major

MODEL United Nations. APRIL 13 TO APRIL 16 2017. I will never forget my Model United Nations experience because it was such an amazing time. First of all, I had been to Model Arab league in the past and that was amazing too. Model Arab League was hosted by the University of North Dakota. Model Arab League is a diplomatic simulation and leadership development program. It is designed to give students insight into the Middle East and the Arab world as well as build critical leadership skills from public speaking to negotiation and compromise. I represented Somalia and was in the political and security council. I loved meeting students from other schools and networking. I loved being able to talk to other students who acted as diplomats and I was able to get support to pass my resolution. My favorite parts were the debates. I saw amazing public speakers stand… Keep Reading


Looking to get out of your comfort zone? Try a board game!

College is arguably the best societal once-in-a-lifetime experience, even for graduate students like me. If there’s one thing I have come to understand, it’s that we need to make the most of it, expand horizons, and get out of our comfort zones. For some of you, that may be meeting people.  For others, it could be athletics. For me, it was putting down my Xbox controller and kicking it with some classics. Below, in order, are my top five non-electronic games to play while in college (at least once):  #5: Monopoly  Timeless, classic, and a great way to see your friends absolutely lose it. Few games can touch Monopoly’s combination of skill, luck, and spite. If you haven’t played it in ages, take a Saturday or Sunday to remember why it is affectionately nicknamed “The Friendship-Killing Game”.   #4: Diplomacy  Diplomacy is one of the toughest games you’ve never heard of.… Keep Reading


Repealing and replacing Obamacare… here we go again

The Republican Party last week trotted out their latest attempt to give a tax break to their corporatist masters in the form of the Graham-Cassidy Bill. This was the latest attempt to roll back Obamacare and weaken the current healthcare system as it stands today. In the Trump Administration, preserving the current status quo is the best average Americans can hope for. The Graham-Cassidy bill would have essentially punished the 31 states that have already expanded coverage under the marketplace. By taking the same pot of money allocated for those states and spreading it to all fifty, this would decrease the funds available for families already struggling. Beyond simply moving money around, it would have essentially ended the marketplace itself. Even more revolting, it would have permitted insurance companies to sell plans that don’t meet federal requirements to sick people and charge them more for those preexisting conditions. This included… Keep Reading


Taking a glance at NFC predictions, Packers in control

Hey, everyone! I know that you usually tune in for my political/social commentary (by the way, the Chronicle has blessed me with a new column, named “Freedom and Fiene” and I can’t wait to sink into it!), but I am a huge Cheesehead. With the NFL kicking off this weekend, I wanted to give a sneak peek into my expectations for the Black and Blue Division. Green Bay Packers (13-3) With the #1 quarterback in the league, the Packers stand to make another Super Bowl run. The additions of cornerback Davon House and rookie cornerback Kevin King bring a much-needed boost to the league’s 31st-ranked pass defense. 3 rookie running backs join Ty Montgomery in the backfield, with Jamaal Williams looking to be the change-of-pace back. Martellus Bennet and Lance Kendricks more than compensate for Jared Cook, lost to free agency. Despite scares from Minnesota and Detroit in their home… Keep Reading


Online classes need significant overhaul

One big critique of the government is it’s inefficient. There’s a duplication of resources, delays in responses and other frustrating features. Those are legitimate criticisms. No organization, public or private is perfect.   The public university system in the United States is competing with itself, not just state-to-state, but intrastate for students. In a bid to become more competitive and efficient, online learning has exploded in recent years, including the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (my alma mater) and St. Cloud State University. Unfortunately, online learning lags behind traditional classroom learning in a big way.  However, there are benefits to online learning. It has freed up a significant number of students to achieve postsecondary education for the first time. It has democratized information. It has opened up a new web of opportunity for literally the entire world.  That being said, there are not many guides on how to run a great online… Keep Reading


Hurricane victims need more than just money

In times of great national and international disaster, no single country gives anymore in aid than the United States. We’re very charitable and compassionate people. Money isn’t everything though, and I think it’s important to rediscover that. We all have busy lives, but there are truckers dropping everything to take supplies down to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Red Cross is sending lots of its available manpower there. Law enforcement and other first responders are organizing item drives. Churches and other religious institutions are adopting families until homes get rebuilt. For those of you who may not know, I am an Eagle Scout. Volunteering and being a good citizen are central tenants to Scouting. In a perfect world, there would be enough volunteers to at least begin the rebuilding process in short order. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and I don’t believe it’s the case now.… Keep Reading


Alabama State Primary: What to expect in a Trump-friendly stronghold

You might be asking why you should care about Alabama, or if I have completely lost my mind talking about the potential replacement for now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Trump-friendly state. Have I? Let me break this down for you. The President’s approval rating in Alabama is roughly 80 percent. The primary pits incumbent senator Luther Strange against former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. Strange has been endorsed by the President and Vice President while also being a reliable ally of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Backed by both the White House and Senate leadership, shouldn’t it be a slam dunk for Strange? Why waste precious time with this discussion? Moore has had a solid lead since the beginning of the primary over Strange. He was kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to remove the Ten Commandments off of government property after being ordered to do so by… Keep Reading


Take care of your mental health!

Hello, Dear Reader! This opinion writer is happy to be back with the Chronicle and use both quick wit and dry sarcasm to entertain you while discussing otherwise-boring topics like government, society, and politics. I’ll be tickled to get to those topics later, but today I’d like to talk to you about something near and dear to me: mental health. You see, Dear Reader, I have depression. Not the sort that arises from having a bad day, or event-based depression like losing a beloved pet or dear family member, but the biochemical sort that can stay for a lifetime. I’ve had it about seven or eight years, but have only been diagnosed recently. It was terrifying for me to get evaluated because I thought mental health was supposed to be a given. I’m supposed to be able to fix myself. We all need help sometimes, from Move-In Day to Graduation… Keep Reading


Is Governor Dayton wrong about the budget battle?

Besides our spray-tan-addicted Tweeter-in-Chief against basically everyone that breathes, another interesting political battle involving Governor Dayton squaring off against the Republican Minnesota Legislature has been going all summer. The battle centers around the Governor’s constitutional right to use the line-item veto the Legislature’s bills and budget funding. Ordinarily, if it was just a normal part of the budget, there would be no issue. This was not the case. On the last day of the legislative year, Governor Dayton vetoed all funding for the Legislature itself. No salaries, no reimbursements, nada. He was quickly sued by the leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate. Ordinarily, I am in favor of a strong executive, but this crosses the line. The difference between vetoing funding for, say natural resource protection and the Legislature itself is the idea of co-equal branches of government, one of the bases of our republic. To give a quick… Keep Reading

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