Emily Troyer

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Emily is a sophomore from Fishers, IN. She is majoring in Economics and minoring in Chemistry and Spanish. Emily is the Treasurer for College Republicans, a member of Alpha Chi Omega, and a member of Timmy Global Health.

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"Classroom" by Taken is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Pixabay)

Betsy DeVos’ controversial nomination to the Secretary of Education position has left many folks on both sides of the aisle wondering where exactly the future of our schools lie. DeVos, a staunch believer in school choice, is hoping to fix the public school system in the United States by forcing schools to compete with each other. Critics were appalled when DeVos “called traditional public schools a ‘dead end,’” leading them to launch a hashtag on social media, #publicschoolproud, to show that public schools are still making an impact on the lives of them and their children.

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At the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference, Kellyanne Conway revealed that she does not identify as a feminist “in the classical sense.” This seems a bit paradoxical, considering the fact that she was the first woman to ever successfully run a presidential campaign, thereby setting further precedents for what women can do. The Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes, but Conway does not believe that is how the current feminist movement is coming across. During her CPAC appearance, she cited the term “feminism” as having “anti-male and pro-abortion” tendencies.

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"mother" by Jessica Pankratz is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 (via Flickr)

It is no secret that the United States lags far behind other nations on their benefits for new parents. In fact, it is the only developed economy in the world that does not mandate some form of paid maternal leave for workers, and one of only nine OECD (the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) nations which does not have any policies in place for new fathers. Because the government is not making any changes on this front, many companies have recently been striving to change the norm in America about paid parental leave on their own terms. Facebook COO Sheryl Strandberg is taking it a step further, positing that companies should be offering paid leave to any employee with caregiving responsibilities—whether it be parenting, caring for a sick child or helping an ill parent. This raises interesting questions about a company’s obligations to its employees. At what point does a firm start and stop having a responsibility to compensate workers for leaves of absence? How does a company balance the potential financial burden of absent employees with allowing a healthy working environment?

"Kremlin" by Larry Koester is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (via Flickr)

Within every state, leaders strive to find a perfect equilibrium between individual liberty and the state’s responsibility to protect its people. The balance found, however, is often based on the ideals of the system of government in place. Finding this balance is complex enough on its own, and becomes far more complex when one considers the corruption of Russia’s government and the KGB officer-turned-president, Vladimir  PutinRussia’s recent decision to pass a bill to decriminalize domestic violence, then, has many wondering what the true motives of this bill are. Does the government believe it to be in the nation’s best interest, or was it passed to alleviate financial burdens and reinforce gender inequality and the old Russian proverb, “if he beats you it means he loves you?” It is also important to consider that even if the government believes it is in the state’s best interest, does it have a responsibility to protect and punish violent actions taken inside families, or is it acceptable to allow families individual liberty to make their own judgment calls?

"Silhouette mother and child" by Wyncliffe is licensed under CC0 Public Domain (via Flickr)

It is doubtful that any individual ever grows up expecting to have a child with any type of physical or mental disability. No one plans their life thinking that one day they will have to care for a person with special needs. Parenting is a challenge as it is, but learning to parent a child with disabilities is infinitely more difficult because of this lack of preparedness.

"Angela Merkel" by Tobias Koch is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Although nations have been dealing with international Islamic terrorism since the 1960s, Islamism’s threat has expanded over the last half-century. It has seeped out of immediate regional disputes in the Middle East and found its way directly into Western territory with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centers and the subsequent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

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"All Souls Procession 2009" by Jöshua Barnett via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) was originally an ancient Aztec tradition which celebrated the passing of loved ones from years past. Over the last 3,000 years, the tradition has spread from southern Mexico up through northern Mexico and has combined with Christian practices as well. It used to occur in the beginning of the summer, but has since shifted to align with All Souls Day, also known as All Saints Day. Despite the tradition’s longstanding history of adaptation and change, Tuscon, Arizona’s 26th All Souls’ Procession, a celebration of the community’s deceased loved ones, was greeted with disapproval from some for alleged cultural appropriation of Mexicans. How legitimate are these allegations?

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"Reddit" by Luke Roberts via Flickr (CC BY-SA-NC 2.0)

It’s no secret that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been known to write inflammatory posts on his social media platforms. Facebook employees have been questioning how to deal with these; some say that Trump’s posts calling for a ban on Muslim immigration “should be removed for violating the site’s rules on hate speech.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg definitively halted this talk when he said, “we can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate.” A Wall Street Journal article uses this as a stepping stone to discuss whether or not presidential candidates should have more wiggle room when it comes to potentially damaging post than an average Joe. Regardless of who is posting, however, such incidents raise the question of, to what extent is it appropriate for social media platforms to censor posts at all?

"Donald Trump Backyard Photo Sign at Night" by Tony Webster is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (via flickr)

It seems every time Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump takes the stage, something he says is met with outrage. These inflammatory statements range from harmless hogwash to potentially misogynistic or racist judgments. His competitor, a seasoned politician who understands the consequences that result from disregard for political norms, does not have these problems. Hillary Clinton chooses her battles and words with caution.

Screen Capture from "Me Before You - Official Trailer 2" by Warner Bros. Pictures

In early June, Me Before You, a film set in a small town just outside modern-day London, was released in theaters. The movie depicts a budding relationship between a young woman and a man from vastly different backgrounds. Lou has been trapped in the same town her whole life doing the same mundane tasks, while Will lived a lavish life of adventure and exhilaration until it was altered drastically after a motorcycle accident. The accident caused him to become a quadriplegic, ending his life as he knew it.