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Savanna Vest

Savanna Vest
Politics

U.S. Ambassador to Panama Resigns, Says He Cannot Serve Trump Administration

John Feeley, the U.S. Ambassador to Panama, said he is resigning effective Mar. 9 from his position in the Trump administration. In his letter to the U.S. Department of State, Feeley said his decision was due to “personal reasons” and discussed the requirement of the position to serve the president and his policies. “As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the President and his administration in an apolitical fashion,

LGBT+

First Openly Transgender State Legislator, Danica Roem, Elected in Virginia

Danica Roem (D) has become the first openly trans legislator in Virginian history after winning the state’s 13th District election today, thereby obtaining membership in the Virginia House of Delegates. Roem, formerly a journalist who tended to political issues of her state, defeated Del. Robert Marshall (R) with approximately 90% of votes based upon preliminary counting. Marshall served in the House of Delegates for over a decade before his loss this election. Marshall previously authored the “Physical

Politics

The Donald Trump Method: Belittling Opponents in Substitution for Argument and Credibility

From the initial stages of his campaign to his office in the White House, Donald Trump has facilitated no shortage of controversy over his usage of name-calling and insults when responding to his opponents and critics. The tactic is not particularly new as it is simply more blunt; it is best akin to the mudslinging campaigns that presidential candidates have used for more than 200 years to attack their competition with degrading slogans, rumors and

Politics

Betsy DeVos to Rescind Title IX Guidance and Revise Approach to Campus Sexual Assault Cases

On Thursday, Sept. 7, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. that the Department of Education is undergoing the process of rescinding the Title IX “Dear Colleague Letter” guidance presented by the Obama administration and editing the Department’s procedures for colleges investigating sexual assault cases in order to ensure equal consideration of the accused. Rescinding the precedents that the Department of Education had utilized to enforce active institution

Feminism

Feminism, Move Forward: We Shouldn’t Only Celebrate Women Who Defy Gender Roles

Historically, women have been empowering themselves through the feminist movement by trouncing stereotypes and limitations and going against the grain: advocating for and obtaining voting rights; overcoming the “homemaker” façade; and, more recently, entering the STEM fields; encouraging a generation that doesn’t tie women to beauty standards; and performing as elite world athletes, to name just a few accomplishments of the movement and work of women. It is important to celebrate these accomplishments of feminism,

Race

FaceApp Added Stereotypical “Ethnicity Filters” That Change Users Appearances

FaceApp, a website and application known for allowing users to change a person’s image with aging effects and other editing software, released “Black,” “Asian”, “Caucasian” and “Indian” race and ethnicity filters today that enabled users to change their skin tones and facial features. The face-editing app subsequently said that it was in the process of removing the filters within a few hours of the release due to public criticism of the racist nature of the

Feminism

Salvadoran Teen Rape Victim Receives 30 Years in Prison for Death of Her Stillborn Baby

A judge in a Salvadoran court sentenced 19-year-old Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz to three decades in prison for aggravated homicide after Hernandez gave birth to a stillborn child in April of 2016. The judge justified the ruling on the basis that Hernandez, a woman that according to The Guardian is “from a small rural community in Cuscatlán” in El Salvador, did not seek proper antenatal care, causing her to have a stillbirth in her third

Politics

Some Are More Equal Than Others: Governor Christie Vacations on State Beach after Closing All Parks to Public

Despite initially denying it upon reporter prompting, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spent yesterday with his family at Island Beach State Park amidst a state government shutdown closing all of New Jersey’s parks to the public. When asked about whether he “got any sun today” at a press conference that same day, Christie negated the suggestion. Upon being prompted by the beach situation, however, Christie’s spokesman, Brian Murray, upheld the governor’s statement to be true because

LGBT+

Oregon Introduces Third Gender Option for Driver’s Licenses

Coinciding with the LGBTQIA+ community’s Pride Month, Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles has recently announced a new policy change that will allow non-binary drivers to choose a third gender on their state-mandated licenses. The law previously required drivers to define their sex between the two binary genders, male and female. Oregon’s Transportation Commission approved for the new gender option to be available beginning in July of 2017. In light of this news, it is always

Race

Institutional Racism Is at the Heart of Continued Educational Disparity in the Classroom

As we wrap up another school year, it is beneficial to look back and reflect upon the state that student educational attainment is moving toward. However, to do such a task requires one to recognize that there are severe disparities between racial groups that place white students at an advantage over their minority classmates. According to ACT, Inc., which is the company that administers the ACT — one of the most renowned international tests for

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