You cannot separate the art from the artist

BY CASEY ROEPKE ’21

There has always been tension surrounding the question of whether one can separate the “art” from the “artist.” I don’t feel comfortable with ignoring, excusing or condoning sexual abuse and harassment simply because the abuser is important to society in a different sphere.

A box of tampons shouldn’t be five dollars — it should be free

A box of tampons shouldn’t be five dollars — it should be free

BY MIMI HUCKINS ’21

When I walk into the new Grab ’n Go in Blanchard, there are plenty of items for purchase besides the full meal included with my meal plan. But what catches my eye is a tiny box of tampons for almost $5. I would think a historically women’s college would be progressive enough to provide pads and tampons, a necessity for many students on campus, for free.

India's legalization of gay sex is not an act of westernization

India's legalization of gay sex is not an act of westernization

BY SRISHTI MUKHERJEE ’21

This week has been an important one for Indians, both at Mount Holyoke and across the world, thanks to India’s legalization of gay sex. As India reels from the acts of intolerance performed in the name of religion, caste and gender within the country, the warm light of forbearance has embraced us at a time when we least expected it. On Sept. 6, the Supreme Court of India rolled back the colonial-era law Section 377 (a law that criminalized “unnatural” sex between men or women, which could lead to a maximum sentence of life in prison),  thereby allowing 18 percent of the world’s LGBTQ+ population a chance to reclaim their humanity. 

The Mount Holyoke Parents and Family group encourages “helicopter parenting”

The Mount Holyoke Parents and Family group encourages “helicopter parenting”

BY MIMI HUCKINS ’21

When arriving at Mount Holyoke my first year, I finally felt truly independent. It was a time for me to have more responsibility and be more confident in my own abilities. I have always been taught the importance of advocating for myself, but I have come to realize that not everyone has this experience. 

The Pratt basement should be accessible to all students

The Pratt basement should be accessible to all students

BY OLIVIA MARBLE ’21

The day before my friend and I planned to audition for a cappella, we decided to rehearse together. We went to Pratt to use one of the practice rooms, but when we got there, all of the rooms on the first floor were full. For most students, this would not be a problem because there are plenty of other practice rooms in the basement of the building. But my friend had ankle surgery, leaving him unable to use stairs — the only way to access the basement.

Students and alums should not donate to Mount Holyoke College until it divests from fossil fuels

Students and alums should not donate to Mount Holyoke College until it divests from fossil fuels

BY JULIA KLUKOFF ’21,  ANNA BAYNTON ’21, RAVEN GEIGER ’18 AND JOSS CHILDS ’21 

The Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition is an organization dedicated to fossil fuel divestment activism. Our ultimate goal is that Mount Holyoke College remove its money from the fossil fuel industry, and it is around this goal that our activism is centered. However, we have noticed that many students hold misconceptions about our cause and methods.

Exclusionary politics have international implications

Exclusionary politics have international implications

BY CASEY ROEPKE ’21

In a speech on April 27, 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump addressed his foreign policy as making decisions to “put the interests of the American people and American security above all else … ‘America First’ [would] be the major and overriding theme of [his] administration,” according to the Washington Post. Although his statement rallied a large base of support, its nationalist rhetoric is extremely destructive to the international system of collaboration and collective security. 

Paul Ryan should never have become Speaker of the House

Paul Ryan should never have become Speaker of the House

BY LILY REAVIS ’21

Paul Ryan’s April 11 announcement that he will not seek re-election is indicative of a much larger problem — Ryan should never have been elected to Speaker of the House. In allowing him to even reach that position, the GOP has bitten off more than it can chew, and the effects are becoming increasingly obvious with the approaching midterm elections. 

If the E.U. stands for anything it must stand against Hungary

BY MADELINE FITZGERALD ’21

Too often, the most noble of institutions and the most admirable of ideas are the ones which, when instituted, quickly become the most disappointing and meaningless. Today, the EU clearly illustrates this phenomenon. Their website states that the EU aims to “combat social exclusion and discrimination” and claims that values such as equality and respect for human dignity “are common to the member countries in a society in which inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination prevail.” These goals, however, belie a major issue. Hungary is a member country. Hungary, where a quasi-state-owned media promotes bigotry. Hungary, where the prime minister brags about his “illiberal democracy.” Hungary, where the government erodes liberty, in all its forms. If the EU truly stands for its claimed values, it cannot continue to stand with Hungary.

We need the College Republicans, but not like this

We need the College Republicans, but not like this

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

 Sitting in Blanch, waiting to meet a staff writer, I overheard a group of students cold-calling community members to advertise The Conservative Women’s Summit. Another student approached them and began arguing with the group. Being both journalistically obsessed with a good story and super nosy, I listened in. The student who approached the group was initially met with respectful challenges to her ideas. This, I thought, was what campus discourse should be: multiple voices bouncing ideas around. However, as the conversation continued, the questions became more personal, the tone more biting. After that student left, the table joked for a bit and continued making calls. One student reached a caller and began to chat with them, complaining loudly about the “liberals” on campus. “They just don’t like confrontation,” she said. “They’d rather just cry.” 

Technology presents a danger in everyone’s daily life

Technology presents a danger in everyone’s daily life

BY SRISHTI MUKHERJEE ’21

I was one of the last people in my age group to get a Facebook account — or so I felt, at the age of 16 --— a fact that I felt greatly hindered my placement on the scale of coolness. I joined Instagram only a month before graduating high school, and I still only have 4,601 snap points on Snapchat. Despite this, I can no longer remember a time when I didn’t turn to these same social media platforms at the slightest boredom — for example, the boredom encountered while sitting on the toilet. I have begun to wonder whether it is time to delete my Facebook page entirely and relearn how to turn the lights on using a thumb and a switch, without any help from Alexa. 

Cis men are demonized on campus based on physical appearance

Cis men are demonized on campus based on physical appearance

BY OLIVIA MARBLE ’21

As a bisexual woman, I often feel very torn about the negative perception of cis men on campus. On one hand, I feel very connected to the queer community and I empathize with the general feeling of wariness towards cis men. But on the other hand, I am in love with a cis man, and the fact that people on this campus judge him solely because of his gender identity feels wrong to me. 

Past domestic abuse is always relevant in cases of criminal violence, but ignored by lawyers

Past domestic abuse is always relevant in cases of criminal violence, but ignored by lawyers

BY CHLOE JENSEN ’20

On March 30, Noor Salman, the widow of 2016 Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, was acquitted of all charges of supposed aiding and abetting. Mateen killed himself after committing this atrocity, but  victims and families of the massacre still wanted justice. However, the defense team, according to The New York Times, successfully argued that Salman did not reasonably withhold knowledge about the crime before it occurred, and the jury found her innocent. While the defense team based their argument on whether or not Salman knew about or withheld information about her husband’s crime, there was a huge aspect of the case that was largely left out of the courtroom: Mateen’s history of domestic violence and abuse of Salman. 

Letters to the Editor: Noche Latina

Dear Mount Holyoke News,

I want to offer a correction to your reporting of “Noche Latina” in the March 29 issue. The student PowerPoint presentation about sanctuary was about immigrant sanctuary and not sanctuary from Hurricane Maria and the Trump administration’s response to the catastrophe. My class, “History of Deportation,” visited Springfield resident Lucío Pérez in sanctuary at the First Congregational Church in Amherst. He has been there since October. The students also held a fundraiser for the Pérez family. 

Letters to the Editor: Peer Health Educators

Sex education is a field where inclusion of sexual and gender diversity is key. If the goal is  ensuring that those who have the least access to sexual health resources (sexual and gender minorities) receive the most knowledge, we need to provide information that is relevant to queer and trans populations. Despite this logic, many sex ed classes continue to only discuss heterosexual, cisgender encounters. This omission of trans and queer experiences in sex ed can leave queer people feeling uninformed — and results in serious  health consequences. For example, trans and gender nonconforming people are at higher risk for HIV infection than the general population. From 2009 to 2014, 2,351 transgender people were diagnosed with HIV in the United States, according to the CDC. Eighty-four percent (1,974) were transgender women and 15 percent (361) were transgender men.

Doing the work and the power of personal reflection

BY SONYA STEPHENS

The College’s Strategic Plan for 2021 articulates four priorities, one of which is: “Mount Holyoke will shape and sustain an increasingly diverse, global and inclusive community of students, faculty and staff in an environment of mutual respect in which all thrive and contribute to the flourishing of others.” Our distinctive diversity demands nothing less. And yet, like many colleges and universities, and like society more broadly, we still have a long way to go to fully achieve this aspiration.