<![CDATA[The Daily Tar Heel: Opinion]]> Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:54:00 -0500 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:54:00 -0500 SNworks CEO 2019 The Daily Tar Heel <![CDATA[Column: Inescapable Misogyny]]> Has anyone looked at the OldRow or Barstool Sports Instagram comments lately? No? We're just letting those slide? Cool, cool…

Okay, so here's the thing. I'm not exactly cool with it? I love Old Row as much as the next person, but these online lifestyle sites have evolved into spaces of ridicule and public shaming - particularly of women.

Just look at some of the recent comments on posts featuring women: "when you let the sandwich makers out of the kitchen"; "out of 10, their father's prides are all at about a -3"; and my personal favorite "son or abortion."

I'm sorry, what? This whole father/daughter narrative makes me want to tag my favorite Facebook group: "sounds incestuously possessive of your daughter's virginity but okay."

Also, the whole 'women belong in the kitchen' narrative is so tired and overused. Like, at least come up with a sexist standard we haven't heard before. Keep us on our toes.

Women are also frequently objectified and even numerically ranked by site administrators and followers. A recent @tarheelbarstool Instagram post shows a video of two women making out at a bar, but mostly focuses on the grinning reaction of a male witness.

"Make a wish foundation is the best" is one of the comments. I mean, I personally would consider the girls the lucky ones in this situation, because they're statistically more likely to orgasm from sex with each other than they are from Shawn over here, but we all have our opinions.

The UNC community pleasantly surprised me on that post, because many commenters pointed out the fetishizing and objectification and asked the account to take the post down. However, at time of publication, the video remains up. Hashtag, take it down.

Videos of drunk people at bars also invoke issues of privacy and ownership. Sure, it's technically legal for you to video the girl twerking on the dance floor at Might as Well, but the ethical question is SHOULD you? Probably not.

What's emphatically not legal are the audio recordings of women's noises during sex. Are they funny? Maybe. Should they be posted on a public internet site without participants' knowledge or permission? Nope.

You may be asking "Who cares what some idiots on the internet are doing? Just unfollow them!" Alas, the misogyny is inescapable. Old Row has 1.8 million followers on Instagram. Barstool has 7.3 million followers, and separate accounts for specific schools. UNC Barstool alone has almost 39,000 Instagram followers.

From what I've seen, we should be extremely concerned about the potential impacts these sites may have. The normalization of objectification and sexism as well as the erasure of consent culture are very real and very worrisome consequences of something as trivial as social media posts.

The culture of these sites threatens to reverse whatever progress we've made in the past fifty years promoting sexual agency and reducing the shame and stigma of female sexuality. Personally, that's not really a path I want to go down. Do you?


<![CDATA[Editorial: Cancel Culture Viewpoints]]> Canceled

Paige: Papa John's. Papa John himself has been spotted at Trump rallies and even received flak for letting the n-word slip on a conference call. Besides, if we're being honest, their pizza isn't even that good - your money would be better spent elsewhere.

Paige: 13 Reasons Why. I feel strongly about this one. Graphic suicide scene aside, the show glorifies mental illness and suicide and utterly fails to characterize suicide as something that is preventable. The entire portrayal of suicide as revenge, or a game, is sickening and insulting to those affected by it. Plus, studies have shown that teen suicide rates spiked after the show debuted in 2017. Do better, Netflix.

Ella: Chick-fil-A. The way Chick-fil-A spends their money is bad, no way around it. It's a homophobic organization that supports conversion therapy. The food is good, but not good enough to be served with a side of homophobia. It's easy enough to just eat at a different fast food chain. Bojangles has much better fries anyway.

Kyende: Facebook. The fact that Facebook is willing to collect and sell user data to turn a profit regardless of implications is alarming.

Benched (Debatable)

Paige: Aramark. In addition to feeding college students, Aramark also provides food in private prisons in the U.S. But it doesn't even do a good job of that - reports say Aramark has failed to adequately feed inmates and abide by basic safety standards. Aramark sucks. But we understand that "canceling" them is a privilege - they are pretty much the only available and relatively affordable food provider on campus. Not everyone has the resources to purchase and prepare their own food as a busy, broke college student.

Ella: Joe Biden. This is hard because he seemed so harmless during the Obama administration. He definitely has done things that are creepy and weird and need to be stopped, especially now that he is running for president. But he doesn't seem to do it with any malicious intent. I think he is deep down probably a good person and needs strong guidance to becoming the kind of person who 1) has a shot at winning the presidency 2) isn't potentially being canceled anymore. He also has shown that he isn't really going away anytime soon, so if we're stuck with him let's do what we can to make it better

Paige: Kanye. He has used his platform to say some pretty problematic things, but he's also used it for good.

Kyende. Facebook. Maybe it's not just Facebook we need to talk about, but rather all other social media and sites that are willing to collect user data and sell it (e.g. College Board).

Ella: Gina Rodriguez. I wish her apology for saying the n-word was more meaningful/sincere. It's a terrible, terrible thing to say, and if you somehow "slip up" and say it, make it clear that you are deeply sorry. She didn't do this. But, she has done a lot of good. She has shown that she can do good and with a better apology shouldn't be totally canceled. Maybe probation until then?

Not Canceled

Bennett: Joe Biden. The complaints against Joe Biden more or less boil down to being creepy and somewhat careless with public statements. Intent, I believe, is an important distinction when determining to cancel or not to cancel. Is the occasional instance of being overly-touchy and lack of sensitivity toward word choice problematic? Sure. But these are not "cancelable" offenses when looking at the issue holistically. Biden is a product of old-school politics, the conventions of which were changed almost overnight. His record speaks to his true character. Give him some time to adjust. Pushing him to improve is constructive; canceling him outright is not.

Bennett: Kanye. Mr. West presents an excellent example of why "canceling" someone is much more complicated than it appears. Does it mean that we boycott his music? If so, why? His personal opinions, not the songs, are the problem, and even then, all he's done is state them publicly. It's possible to support the music without listening or caring to what a musician has to say about politics. And if that's akin to "canceling" someone, then we're incentivized to cancel anyone with differing opinions. Overall, this is an issue about the artist vs. the personality. If canceling Kanye means boycotting his music because of his stated political opinions, and not any concrete action, then he should not be canceled.

Ella: Friend who microagresses. Microaggressions suck and need to be addressed. If your friend is doing it, you're in a unique position to address their mistakes from a place of friendship and love and actually make a difference in how they speak/interact with people. If you value this person as a friend, having a conversation about their microaggressions is a good way to strengthen your bond while making sure you feel comfortable around them.

Kyende. Facebook. Perhaps what's even more alarming is how powerful corporations are allowed to be. So maybe it's not so much Facebook, but rather the government granting corporations the same rights as human beings and subsequently failing to protest user rights. Why are these large corporations allowed to lobby policies that continue to disenfranchise people and limit their privacy

Kyende. Blocking on social media. Social media can be a scary place. Sometimes you have people that are stalking you, sending threats and repeatedly harassing you. Best to block and not risk your safety.


<![CDATA[Editorial: Cancel Culture Abstract]]> "Cancel culture" is something that this generation seemingly knows everything about, but is generally amorphous in its definition. With social media and the internet putting corporations, celebrities, politicians and others under a microscope, "canceling" is a form of accountability and a way to call out the questionable or inappropriate acts of these groups. The severity of the "cancel," or the types of people or groups that get canceled, can cause much debate.

Generally, we're very quick to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude and quickly cancel anyone who says or does one problematic thing - but is "canceling" effective? Can one redeem themselves after being canceled? What is the cause for canceling something or someone, and is there a more productive alternative? These are all questions that do not have a definitive answer, yet "cancel culture" persists.

Below, some Editorial Board members have listed a few corporations, celebrities, politicians and everyday people that they believe should be canceled or not. Some we have "benched," which is the act of putting someone on the sidelines, somewhere in between canceled or not. Each person or group has a brief description of why they have been canceled, benched or neither. Who do you think should be canceled, benched or shown grace? Tweet us @DTHOpinion

<![CDATA[Column: Rowhouses -- the tour de force of urban housing]]> A lot of our Chapel Hill and Carrboro municipal candidates talked a big game about affordable housing. Candidates wanted more affordable housing in Chapel Hill, but what they envisioned that affordable housing to look like was vague.

As to what that affordable housing would look like, here's my proposal: let's build us some rowhomes.

The OG affordable housing rowhouse construction allowed average working people in American cities to buy homes, something not particularly common before then. Compared to detached housing, rowhomes were incredibly cheap and efficient to build. All a prospective rowhome developer needed to do was build a large, linear building and then separate compartments with firewalls.

In addition to being stupidly cheap, rowhomes were (and still are) an incredibly versatile urban building block. On the first floor, shopkeepers could peddle their wares and then have their home on the second floor. This type of mixed-use development is coming back into style, and we don't need to look far to see that: just take a look at Carolina Square. Even if they are purely residential, rowhomes can be chopped up into several apartments should the need arise.

During the election, some of the candidates pointed out the difficulties faced by local government when proposing affordable housing solutions. Among these are ordinances that restrict the number of tenants that can live on an acre of land. Have no fear, however, because there is this brand new method in municipal governance of changing ordinances called "passing new ordinances, thereby repealing the old ones." It is possible, I promise.

Our solutions to affordable housing don't have to be shining, happy, single family homes or gleaming apartment towers. Sometimes, one of the oldest solutions can be the best. So, Chapel Hill Town Council: let's build some rowhomes.


<![CDATA[Registration]]> @jagalapon

<![CDATA[Editorial: Visit Cash Crop! to learn about the legacy of slavery]]> Starting on Oct. 20, you might have noticed an art gallery fill up one of the empty storefronts on Franklin. Cash Crop!, is an art installation by Durham artist Stephen Hayes. The gallery consists of 15 life-size sculptures that represent that 15 million enslaved Africans sold through the slave trade. This gallery is a must-see.

This free pop-up gallery is part of a greater University initiative to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the first enslaved people from Africa brought to the United States. Sponsored by the UNC Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, this is a community effort to remember and understand the slave trade in a different setting. As opposed to traditional classroom education, this gallery challenges the ideas of what enslavement, and enslaved peoples, looked like.

The artist hopes that, "when people see it, they think, 'It looks like somebody I know,' or, 'It looks like me." Through this display, Hayes is able to bring audiences in to begin to comprehend the human element of the slave trade and modern racism.

Hayes' work is also reflective of North Carolina history. The shackles on the bodies in the exhibit are made from nails taken from railroad tracks. Many of these nails were placed by imprisoned African Americans forced onto chain gangs to produce infrastructure in this state. As a local artist, Hayes is tying together local history to the greater narrative of enslavement and its legacies.

All members of the Chapel Hill community should visit this space. Take a break from your walk to Frutta Bowls, and spend some time enjoying and grappling with art. This work provides important historical context and a unique view into the world of slavery. It is not easy, but it is incredibly meaningful to face these realities up close. Doing so through art can facilitate this understanding and preserve history.

Along with viewing an incredible gallery, this art should be appreciated in support of local artists. Stephen Hayes is a Durham native, and prefers to be called a "creator" instead of an artist. We should be uplifting local creators that challenge our perceptions of the past and encourage us to think critically about what they create. Hayes does just this with "Cash Crop!"

The gallery will close on Nov. 18. The gallery is located in the center of our community, and it shines light on the ways in which slavery brought this place to where it is today. Students, faculty and members of the community should visit this exhibit to get a deeper understanding of what "Cash Crop!" represents, and experience the power of the statues first-hand.


<![CDATA[Editorial: UNC covers up its racist past - literally]]> Last week, The Daily Tar Heel reported that the plaque dedicating Kenan Memorial Stadium to the violent white supremacist William R. Kenan, Sr. had been covered up with a large UNC logo.

Why does this matter?

Last year, former Chancellor Carol Folt announced that the University would recontextualize the stadium to instead focus on Kenan's son, William R. Kenan, Jr. This allowed them to sidestep the 16-year moratorium that the Board of Trustees imposed on renaming campus buildings back in 2015.

But rather than adding context to or removing the plaque, the dedication was simply obscured by the UNC logo in what the University referred to as a "temporary fix."

The University's History Task Force was assigned to the Kenan Stadium project, but the group's latest news update on its website was on Oct. 12, 2018, The Daily Tar Heel reported.

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of UNC's attempts to cover up its racist past.

The University itself is built on white supremacy. The names of approximately 30 buildings on UNC's campus have ties to white supremacy, past yearbooks show brothers of Chi Phi wearing Ku Klux Klan robes and blackface and the University routinely fails to recognize the role of civil rights activists in fighting Black oppression and segregation in Chapel Hill.

We can't erase our past -but what we can do is learn from it. Our history informs our present, and we need to be intentional about acknowledging who we were in order to change who we are. Centuries of institutional racism have resulted in profound and irrevocable harm to communities of color. But the University has failed to truly reckon with it, despite many half-hearted attempts to do so.

So much of UNC's legacy is thanks to the Black community, from the slaves who helped build this campus 229 years ago to the Black athletes who play for its beloved basketball team. The University owes the Black community so much more than a souped-up UNC logo slapped on top of the name of a man responsible for the massacre of at least 25 Black individuals. It's just a Band-Aid fix - literally - to a much bigger issue.

Properly recontextualizing Kenan Stadium, as Folt promised over a year ago, should move to the top of the University's priority list. By postponing the changes, the University continues to dehumanize and devalue its Black students, sending the message that their concerns aren't worthwhile.

Kenan is more than a name. It's indicative of a power structure that disproportionately favors white lives over Black ones, and it perpetuates the glorification of white supremacists who never deserved to be heroes in the first place.

If UNC cares about diversity and Black lives as much as it claims to, the administration should immediately follow through on the promise it made and remove Kenan Sr.'s name from the stadium. Reparative steps like this are the only way the University can begin to regain trust and credibility among its students.

We're tired of writing different versions of the same editorial, begging UNC to recognize the humanity of its marginalized students. At this point, it feels like we're just screaming into the void. But more importantly, we know students of color are tired of living it.

This is an easy fix. Do better, UNC.


<![CDATA[Editorial: Legislative inaction means rural North Carolinians are without health care]]> Thirty-two of 33 developed countries have adopted universal healthcare, but can you guess which one hasn't?

The United States currently runs on a health care system that allows for both governmental and private coverage. In 2010, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which attempted to make health care mandatory for all citizens.

However, a variety of exceptions allowed by the reform law, as well as states' ability to decide whether to expand individual government programs like Medicaid, led over 13 million Americans to go without health care.

Thirty-seven states have expanded Medicaid in their legislative decisions, but North Carolina isn't one of them. Even though over 500,000 North Carolinians would benefit from an expansion in Medicaid eligibility and access to affordable care, a lack of funding has made the timeline any potential policy changes unclear.

In June, Roy Cooper vetoed a $24 billion budget deal because the Republican-led General Assembly refused to include expanded Medicaid eligibility. If it were expanded, over half a million lower-income individuals could qualify for affordable care.

Meanwhile, the state health department made different plans to move 1.6 million Medicaid recipients to a pay-for-value system early next February. But due to the disputes among the state government, the switch will likely be pushed back. This delay in the timeline may also be incredibly costly, and the pay-for-value system will likely hurt institutions in rural areas that may not have the means to serve patients at the highest quality of care.

For example, Rocky Mount is one of North Carolina's most rural counties and faces some of the poorest health outcomes in the state. Leaders of Rocky Mount's community health center are worried that, due to their lack of resources, the new system will likely provide them with less Medicaid funding. This could prevent them from continuing to serve patients with chronic illnesses, housing instabilities and a variety of other issues.

In addition, money isn't the only issue - the process of enrolling for the new Medicaid plans is tedious, complex and only online. This puts individuals in rural areas at a severe disadvantage due to the lack of internet access and low literacy rates. The community health center itself has staffed employees who have been doing nothing but help patients with enrollment since the application opened up.

The indecisive nature of the state leaders, combined with an unclear future for Medicaid and health care, has led North Carolina to be ninth in the nation for the highest rate of uninsured residents. Over a million North Carolinians, about 10.7 percent of all residents, did not have health insurance during 2018. In addition, the state is one of 15 that saw a statistically significant jump in 130,000 children without insurance, almost 15,000 more than last year.

Unsurprisingly, the rate of uninsured individuals in North Carolina is rising three times as fast as states that have elected to expand Medicaid. Officials have estimated that the expansion of Medicaid would potentially decrease the rate of uninsured individuals by 3 percent and lessen the stress on rural institutions like Rocky Mount's community health center.

With a universal health care system under governmental regulation, the citizens of the United States can benefit from not only affordable care, but also strict drug pricing and higher care quality. In North Carolina, legislators can do their part by expanding Medicaid. This move would effectively lessen the high stress placed on rural healthcare providers and help over half a million underserved individuals get the affordable care that they need and deserve.


<![CDATA[Column: The odd traditions of the Nacirema: The oldest authoritarian regime]]> The term Nacirema is American spelled backward. It was first introduced by Horace Miner in, "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema." Today, it is mainly used by anthropologists to distance themselves, and avoid personal bias, when writing about American culture, its rituals and its customs.

Nacireman federal elections are coming up in less than a year. Unfortunately for Nacireman folk, they have to vote in yet another election under an authoritarian regime that is becoming increasingly oligarchic.

Although Nacirema country labels itself as a representative democracy, it is quite evident that the country is under the grips of an authoritarian regime. In Nacirema country, political pluralism is limited due to a two-party system - one can hardly say that this is any better than a one-party system.

Naciremans can form other parties. However, similar to one-party authoritarian systems, those other parties will never win. Hence, if a Nacireman wants to join state or federal politics, they are forced to pledge allegiance to one of the two parties in order to stand a chance of success. This also affects their legislature, which is often at a stalemate between the two parties.

The country has always had a turbulent history with democracy. In fact, it's low-income and minority citizens have never truly tasted democracy. At various points of Nacireman history, non-property-holding white males, African Americans, Native Americans and women could not vote. Moreover, contemporary voter suppression continues to prevent Naciremans from voting.

If Nacireman folks actually manage to cast a ballot, it sometimes doesn't even matter. In a democracy, each person gets one vote. However, in Nacirema country, votes are distributed unequally. In 2016, for the Wyoming tribe, each person's vote effectively counts for about 2.97 votes. However, for the Florida tribe, each person's vote really only counts as 0.78 of a vote.

Even worse, depending on the village that a Nacireman is living in, their vote - rather their 2.97 votes or 0.78 of a vote - is already predetermined by other tribesmen due to the winner-take-all system and gerrymandering.

Sometimes it may not even matter at all if Nacireman villagers skip work to go and vote (voting day is not a public holiday here. Unusual? Yes). The 2016 election was decided by people from the tribes of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Only about 80,000 votes made a difference out of the 136 million votes cast.

Soon enough, no Nacireman votes will even matter. The country is becoming increasingly oligarchic. A small group of rich elites and corporations are found to be controlling and dictating a substantial part of Nacireman policy making.

There have been numerous anti-government protests since the previous elections. With next year's elections looming, there is an increasing possibility that rebel groups will emerge. It appears that Nacireman folk are beginning to demand democracy. During this tumultuous time, perhaps it is best that the New African Team against Oligarchs (NATO) intervenes. The Team should send troops to Nacirema country to help promote democracy - and definitely not go looking for oil.


<![CDATA[Let's never forget the Wilmington massacre]]> Turn-of-the-century America was very different from the present, to say the least. New factories, foundries and ships belched steam and smoke in and around America's bustling ports, with elites and the growing middle class reaping the rewards of the nation's rapid industrialization.

The port city of Wilmington, N.C. was no different; new shopfronts popped up on Market and Front Streets, and extravagant Victorian mansions were built on the surrounding roadways. Amid all of this prosperity, unfortunately, lurked a dark undercurrent of the fledgling institutions of the Jim Crow South as well as tensions between whites and their new freedman neighbors.

This tension and animosity exploded on Nov. 10, 1898. On that day, a mob of white supremacists overthrew the democratically elected government of Wilmington and replaced it with a junta. A local Black-owned newspaper was burned to the ground, and as many as 60 local African Americans were killed during the attack. The insurrection that occurred remains the only coup d'etat to occur on American soil.

The United States has a poor reputation for sweeping racially inspired violence under the rug. While things have certainly gotten better recently, coverage of such events used to be dismal at best. The 1921 Tulsa massacre, during which as many as 300 African Americans were killed and more than 35 city blocks were razed, was all but covered up by the white community there.

An 1873 riot in Colfax, La. culminated in the execution of likely more than 100 African Americans in that community. And yet, a monument still stands commemorating the event as the "end of carpetbagging misrule" in the town.

We feel as though the Wilmington Massacre should not be another Colfax, or another Tulsa: a dark memory kept in a closet somewhere, ignored because it is incredibly uncomfortable to acknowledge. We should instead bring it to the forefront of our consciousness, especially now when political divisiveness could create an environment ripe for politically or racially motivated violence. Especially now when one of the buildings at our school, Aycock Hall, is still named after an instigator of that maelstrom of violence.

We encourage you to learn more about the massacre and its root causes. LeRae S. Umfleet's "A Day of Blood" is an authoritative source on the riots, as its author was also the principal researcher for the state's 2006 "1898 Wilmington Race Riot Report." The Wilson Library's North Carolina Collection also houses a plethora of other sources concerning the massacre.

Living in the South forces you to accept a number of uncomfortable and unfortunate truths. Past Southern leaders and citizens participated in and prolonged the existence of a system that disproportionately affected the African-American populace. It was that system that caused massive bloodshed in Colfax, Tulsa and Wilmington. We have undoubtedly come a long way since then, but that does not mean that large-scale politically or racially charged violence couldn't once again descend upon our cities and towns - in fact, it has, in cities like Charlottesville, Va. in 2017.

It is up to us, those in the present day, to keep ourselves informed about the terrible events that occurred in Wilmington in November 1898, so that we can ensure that they never happen again.


<![CDATA[Editorial: The New York MTA should take notes from Chapel Hill transit]]> This year, the fare for New York City subways increased to $2.75. Along with the increase in fare, Gov. Andrew Cuomo committed 500 new MTA police officers to patrol train stations and introduced a new campaign against fare evasion.

During demonstrations against the increase in fare, longstanding racial and class tensions reached a breaking point when a 19-year-old was pulled from his seat, thrown onto the floor of the subway car and arrested. Police officers explained the arrest to onlookers, "He did not pay his fare." Later police said that they were responding to a report that the teen had a gun; this report wasn't true, he was unarmed.

This case is unfortunately not unique. Photos of police violence in the New York subway went viral after police officers tased and hand-cuffed a young man. In another incident, police officers punched teenagers in the face on a subway platform, which social media commentators said was sparked by fare evasion.

It's clear that the increased presence of police officers in stations isn't resulting in the peace or the increased fare revenue that Cuomo was intending.

Unlike NYC, Chapel Hill transit is fare-free, and we have the second-largest transit system in North Carolina. One of our student fees goes toward maintaining the system without having to implement a fare, which is an example of progressive wealth redistribution policy done right - in short, it's awesome.

The bus system in Chapel Hill is widely used, and the buses are accessible and extensive. This is proof that a fare-free system can work.

Also, one unintended benefit of fare-free public transit is that it can serve as both a mode of transportation and shelter for homeless individuals as temperatures start to drop. If you're bothered by a homeless person taking your seat on a 20-minute bus ride, check your privilege.

Admittedly Chapel Hill and NYC have quite a few differences, but if we take Chapel Hill as a case study, imagine the good that could come of a fare-free transit system in the Big Apple.

Paying 500 officers to patrol stations is not cheap, and leads to unnecessary confrontations and arrests. This money could've gone to reducing or subsidizing fares so people don't have to evade the fare in the first place.

Fare evasion doesn't even cause a significant loss of revenue for the city; it's almost negligible when compared to how much money is made from paid fares. The issue is the disproportionate response from law enforcement.

Punching a teenager in the face is not the correct response to avoiding a $2.75 fare, and the cops know that. The fare evasion crackdown is just another loophole that allows law enforcement to unfairly target minority groups, Blacks and Hispanics in particular. In fact, the most recent NYPD arrest reports for fare evasion at the top 10 subway stations show that 101 Blacks and 30 Hispanics were arrested compared to just 14 whites.

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has never once skipped the fare on public transportation, especially during New York City rush hour. You'd be equally hard pressed to find a well-off white person who was violently apprehended for doing so - even though individuals making the highest incomes are shown to evade fares more frequently than those making between $28,000 and $86,000.

In an ideal world, NYC would have a fare-free system. We know that NYC has more than enough wealth to make this happen, perhaps with a slight tax increase on the nearly 1 million millionaires who live there. We also know that a fare-free system works here in Chapel Hill, and even broke college students are willing to pay our ~fare~ share to keep it that way.

That said, the status quo of police violence targeted at low-income and minority New Yorkers must begin its transition toward being fare-free, perhaps using Chapel Hill as a scalable model.


<![CDATA[Editorial: Personal data fuels impersonal politics]]> Social media has been at the center of the political arena since the innovative tactics of Obama's presidential campaign. A deluge of political advertisements followed, and the advent of big data allowed for more targeted, inflammatory advertisements that were buoyed by Facebook's proprietary algorithms.

Following controversy surrounding data collection during the 2016 election, Facebook has maintained a hands-off, free-speech-oriented approach to regulating political ads. However, due to their control over our news feeds, Facebook cannot claim neutrality. As such, Facebook has a social responsibility to more closely monitor the political advertising on their platform.

The creation of targeted political ads begins with the constant data streams that flow through our daily lives. Users transmit tons of information that technology conglomerates like Google and Facebook use to target advertising. Everything from our GPS location to our browsing habits are stored and turned into a portrait of our online personalities.

While traditionally used in consumer markets, firms like Cambridge Analytica pioneered methods of leveraging this information for political messages. Utilizing personality tests and Facebook likes, Cambridge Analytica targeted inflammatory political ads toward specific users. The ads quickly dominated Facebook, resulting in the breakdown of political discourse on the site and the public at large.

Yet, Facebook refuses to do anything about it.

Zuckerberg has tried to sidestep the issue by framing it as a question of free speech in an attempt to absolve Facebook of responsibility for these harmful ads. The claim that Facebook is an arbiter of free speech is disingenuous, because this implies impartiality. However, the site is far from impartial, as Facebook's algorithms enable misinformed, targeted ads to rise to the top of its users' feeds.

Through algorithms and personal data, Facebook has a tremendous amount of say over which ads live and which ads fade into obscurity. These proprietary algorithms are the linchpin of their entire business model. This means that Facebook cannot act as a neutral party, since it indirectly controls the flow of information from advertiser to user. Facebook is therefore partially responsible for policing the political advertisements on their site.

At the center of this controversy is personal data. Personal data is what allows advertisers to craft ads that are almost surgically targeted towards the users' psyche. Personal data allows campaigns to target the users who are most likely to share their ads for maximum impact.

Unfortunately, personal data is also the center of Facebook's business model. As long as revenue continues strong for Facebook, their plans won't change. As such, we should look to Congress for legislation to curb the collection of personal data.

Thus far, companies have been able to reduce consumers to a collection of statistics. This has allowed them to target products with astounding accuracy. This has also allowed them to lower the quality of public discourse in America.

This should not, and cannot, continue unabated. This is no longer a question of business models, but rather of social responsibility. Congress must act to protect the privacy and security of American data. Then, perhaps, bit by bit, we can begin to talk to one another again without misinformation muddying the conversation.


<![CDATA[Editorial: Get BRT done]]> With the demise of the regional light rail project last April, Chapel Hill officials have been working on a new solution to serve the Town's continuing need for better public transit. Bus Rapid Transit has been proposed as an alternative. Chapel Hill Transit is currently working on a North-South Route between the Eubanks Road Park & Ride and the Southern Village Park & Ride lots. In recent town elections, most candidates supported BRT as the next step in transit development. Yet with all this hype surrounding BRT, there seems to be one lingering question among many: what exactly is BRT?

BRT is essentially a spiced-up version of the bus system we already have. Under BRT, buses have dedicated lanes, traffic light priority and improved stops and stations. The idea is to make everything about riding a bus as frictionless as possible. The increased ease of bus movement aids in the frequency buses arrive at stops, making planning for the rider simpler. Under BRT, you can trust your bus to arrive in a short period of time and you won't wait more than thirty minutes.

Passengers with wheelchairs, mobility challenges, or strollers would also be better served under a BRT system. Elevated platforms at stops will enable encumbered passengers to embark and disembark from buses more easily, providing better transportation access. Although our current bus system has some initiatives for these passengers, like EZ Rider and fixed-route services, along with features of buses themselves, a BRT system would better serve their needs with additional features.

"This all sounds great on paper," you might say, "but how much is this going to cost and why do we need BRT?" We're glad you asked! Let's first talk about the need. Chapel Hill's transportation system is one of the best in the country for serving the needs of its residents and out-of-town workers. In fact, it's the largest fare-free system in the country. But while it's good at doing what it does now, our transit system needs to be better.

BRT can be developed over time to serve the needs of Chapel Hill residents and workers. Just consider your morning and evening drives: the intersection of MLK and Franklin is a nightmare, not to mention the rest of the roads. What if you had a reliable and fast bus system you could take instead, a short walk from your door? BRT can provide that for you.The potential for economic development along transit corridors is unfathomable. And that doesn't even consider the reduced emissions from fewer cars on the road.

The Town Council has said they will release cost estimates this fall, but has yet to do so. Although they claim funding will come from a combination of state, local and federal funding, they have yet to release figures. We urge the Town to release costs and implement funding initiatives to make BRT feasible in Chapel Hill. A better transit system will allow Chapel Hill to continue to develop as a town and improve the quality of life. BRT is the best solution we have to do it. Get it done.


<![CDATA[Stripped: Anal sex is not my idea of a good time, but maybe it's yours?]]> It's okay if you're into anal. It's just not for me! Whenever anal sex comes up in conversation (which is more often than you'd probably imagine), the most frequent question I hear is, "Why do boys want it?" and "Why would a girl let him do that?"

So, I don't have a great answer to either of those questions. There's data that suggests watching porn is linked to teens being more likely to try anal sex; there's also speculation that as digital media made pornography more accessible, the limits had to be pushed further beyond vaginal intercourse.

I'm not saying that porn made anal the final frontier of sex, but data does show a parallel trend of rising online porn consumption and rising participation in anal sex. However, records indicate that various groups of ancient peoples engaged in anal, so it's been around for a while.

Men who have sex with men could tell you how great anal is. The prostate, the gland which produces the liquid in semen, can be stimulated through receiving anal penetration, supposedly leading to better orgasms.

Women, however, do not have the same prostate gland structure and nerve receptors that men have inside the anus. Women DO have an equivalent to the prostate - called the Skene's gland, it can be stimulated through vaginal penetration and is what researchers believe is responsible for female ejaculation.

But if you aren't getting a life-changing orgasm from it, why would you want something stuck up your butt? My personal theory is that the act itself brings the recipient a sort of forbidden pleasure. While not necessarily physically pleasant, it's still mentally and emotionally arousing. The ideas of giving and receiving anal sex may be arousing in ways that other sexual practices are not.

As BDSM has become more prominent in mass culture ("Fifty Shades," anyone?), the boundaries between pain and pleasure have become blurred. Practices once thought to be "sexually deviant" are now accepted and even trendy. Choking, slapping and spanking aren't unheard of on college campuses. So how different then, is the blend of pain, pleasure and taboo of anal?

The most important things to keep in mind when studying and considering anal sex are the same factors we emphasize in other sexual practices: protection and consent. Don't stick anything in someone's butt without asking first, and remember that STIs can still be spread through anal contact, even if there's no risk of pregnancy.

My personal plan is to keep anal as something to try if I ever get too bored. It's on my list of possibilities, probably right after a sex swing but before verbal humiliation. But hey - don't knock it till you try it.


<![CDATA[Editorial: A closer look at the campus climate survey]]> Campus safety has been a hot topic at UNC for some time. But this year, there has been even more buzz than usual surrounding the issue of sexual assault.

On Oct. 15, the University released the results of the Association of American Universities' Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct, and the results were concerning, to say the least.

Thirty-four percent of student respondents reported that sexual assault or other sexual misconduct is "very to extremely problematic" at UNC - a 9.5 percent increase from 2015.

Most notably, the survey revealed that more than a third of all female undergraduate UNC students reported being sexually assaulted during their time in college. In about 72 percent of cases, the offender was another UNC student.

In many ways, these results are hardly surprising. We know that sexual assault on college campuses, especially ours, occurs far too frequently. Still, to see this knowledge unquestionably confirmed through numbers and raw data is a shock.

More than 21 percent of assaults occurred in fraternity houses and nearly 21 percent occurred in University residence halls or dorms, the results said -areas under the University's direct jurisdiction.

It's hard to fault the University for off-campus incidents that occur on private property. But the University is very much responsible for what happens on campus - its authority yields a responsibility to do as much as possible to prevent these instances from happening. And even when incidents do occur off-campus, the University needs to do everything it can to ensure the report is handled appropriately.

Also of note was students' perception of school policies and practices regarding sexual assault and misconduct. The results reflect the growing divide between students and the University, characterized by students' clear lack of trust in campus officials and the University as an institution.

When asked how campus officials would respond to a report of sexual assault or other misconduct, only 33.1 percent of undergraduate women perceived that it is very or extremely likely that campus officials would take the report seriously.

Similarly, just 22.4 percent of undergraduate women indicated that it is very or extremely likely that campus officials would conduct a fair investigation in response to a report of sexual assault or other misconduct.

It's alarming that students don't trust the University to seek justice following an instance of sexual assault. In our opinion, expecting the University to do as much as possible to make sure we don't get sexually assaulted is not too much to ask. Nor is it too much to expect that our experiences are validated and investigated fairly.

The University still harbors a remarkable lack of transparency when it comes to Title IX cases. In fact, the lawsuit which The Daily Tar Heel filed against UNC for access to public records regarding sexual assault cases on campus is still ongoing.

Seeing these results should prompt the University to adjust its policies regarding sexual assault prevention and the handling of Title IX complaints. These statistics are not normal. Sexual assault is not inevitable. When one-third of the female student body are victims of sexual assault, there's something wrong.


<![CDATA[Major]]> @jagalapon


<![CDATA[Editorial: The Editorial Board's endorsements for Chapel Hill Town Council]]> On Tuesday, voters will have to pick four of the following seven candidates to serve on Town Council. All of the candidates running have diverse qualifications and ideas, and we feel encouraged by the quality of all of the candidates running to serve the town of Chapel Hill.

With that in mind, the Editorial Board has chosen to endorse Sue Hunter, Michael Parker, Jessica Anderson and Amy Ryan for Chapel Hill Town Council.

The Daily Tar Heel's Editorial Board is endorsing the following candidates:

Sue Hunter (A)

Affordable Housing (A)

Hunter has a deep, personal connection to the Affordable Housing crisis that Chapel Hill faces. As such, she treats the issue with the respect it deserves. She demonstrates a detailed knowledge of the economic underpinnings of the crisis. Her platform outlines plans to promote more variety in housing developments, offer more market rate housing to ease strain on affordable houses and use housing bond funds and town-owned land to promote more affordable developments. She will be a leading voice on this issue.

Transportation (A)

Hunter understands that transportation is a regional, not isolated, issue. As such, her solution calls for cooperation with surrounding areas like Chatham County and Durham. She believes the key to this is a more robust public transport system, prioritizing existing bus routes. Over time, she hopes to improve our transportation system by improving walkability inside the town, and encouraging car-less transportation between various regions of the Research Triangle. This is an excellent way to approach the issue, and her understanding of the multi-faceted issues that affect transportation make her a fantastic perspective to add to the council on transportation issues.

Climate Change (A-)

Hunter views fighting climate change as an integral part of larger policy solutions. As such, her solutions center around transportation issues, specifically, reducing car dependency. This is a smart way of looking at the problem, and her detailed plan to encourage sustainability in Chapel Hill by increasing walkability through expanding greenways and a more robust busing system will have big impacts on our energy consumption in the future.

Downtown Development (A-)

Hunter understands that developers aren't a boogeyman, and that downtown needs to attract more business in order to be sustainable. Hunter plans to revitalize the downtown area by promoting mixed-use developments, which will be effective in promoting growth of businesses and a larger resident population, both of which are essential to a vibrant downtown.

Diversity and Inclusion (B+)

Hunter understands that sometimes minority residents and students feel unsafe and marginalized, both as a result of unfair policing and due to an unwelcoming climate. Going forward, her call for more cooperation between University and Town police could be helpful in promoting a more inclusive town. Although we're not sure if the police are the best institution for making marginalized communities feel safe, working toward reform could be productive if minority voices are centered in the dialogue.

Amy Ryan (A-)

Affordable Housing (A)

Ryan brings a needed empirical vision for the affordable housing crisis in Chapel Hill. Her deep knowledge of Chapel Hill's zoning and land use laws are complemented by her background in land planning. She points to a zoning law restricting the amount of residential units per acre as a key obstacle to better development that must be changed. Understanding that affordable housing also has deep social roots, she will combine expertise and vision to provide affordable housing in Chapel Hill.

Transportation (A-)

She has a robust working knowledge of the goals that need to be accomplished for further development of transit in Chapel Hill, strongly advocating for bus rapid transit. She sees the expansion of service hours and complementing busy transit corridors as a way to ease congestion and take cars off the road. However, her vision for working toward regional transit isn't completely fleshed out.

Climate Change (B+)

She understands the problem, but it's unclear if she understands the urgency. Nevertheless, she puts up several good proposals, namely electrifying and expanding public transit and improving the greenway system for transportation and carbon sequestration. She also promotes greening our building codes and making residents aware of how they can be involved in sustainability efforts.

Downtown Development (A-)

Ryan brings an innovative vision for downtown, hallmarked by a plan to incentivize downtown expansion down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. This would complement existing student housing, as well as provide additional room for new businesses. Not to mention that MLK is already a huge transit corridor that is accustomed to plenty of traffic. She claims that this expansion will ease pressure on traditional neighborhoods, which is the most creative plan we heard on this topic.

Diversity and Inclusion (A-)

Ryan is clearly passionate about social issues, and understands that her proposals have deep social impacts in a community like Chapel Hill. She's an advocate for protecting and uplifting low-income and minority residents through affordable housing and development that takes pressure off historic communities. Her plans show that she understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in Chapel Hill, and will work to protect and proliferate it.

Michael Parker (A)

Affordable Housing (A)

Coming from an understanding of the deep social issues surrounding affordable housing, Parker has a broad and informed plan to create affordable housing in Chapel Hill. He sees the challenge in two pieces: first, incentivizing developers to build housing through higher in lieu payments and other incentives; second, using Town land and capital to make developers more willing to build affordable units. He is clearly knowledgeable about current policies and solutions and their shortcomings, and he proposes innovative solutions to address them.

Transportation (A)

Proud of the success of our current system yet cognizant of its issues, Parker understands the urgent need for strong public transit. He has plans to coordinate local and regional growth simultaneously, and make Chapel Hill a more walkable and accessible town. His plan includes the creation of a two-trunked BRT system offering North-South and East-West Routes, improving regional connections to other parts of the Triangle. He also promotes making Chapel Hill more walkable through more compact development along transit routes, and the introduction of e-bikes. As chairman of the board for GoTriangle, he also sees a future for commuter rail, but said he is open to whatever solution will serve the population best.

Climate Change (A)

Parker was quick to point out the two big elephants in the room, transportation and land use, and proposed solutions to both problems. He says incentivizing more compact development along transit routes is certainly important, as well as improving public transportation and providing infrastructure for electric vehicles. He also picks up on less-discussed issues, such as reuse and socially equitable development when tackling climate change. His passion for quick and effective solutions is apparent, and is the kind of attitude we need on the Town Council.

Downtown Development (A)

Knowing that downtown development requires a balance between the needs of residents and businesses, Parker has a deep-seated plan for sustainable and profitable development for Chapel Hill. His vision for downtown truly encapsulates what makes downtown Chapel Hill iconic, yet proposes policies that would enhance and support the town into the future. He sees it in three dimensions: more jobs and 12-month residents, more destinations for tourism and residents and using the future land use map as a tool for continued development. Parker's philosophy is that full economic and social potential can be unlocked by a combination of residential and commercial development, and enhanced by cultural centers and attractions.

Diversity and Inclusion (A)

Parker's perspective is intersectional. Always pointing to the social implications of his plans, he wants social justice, diversity and inclusion to thrive in Chapel Hill in every way. His passion for social justice is reflected in his plans for affordable housing, climate change and equitable development and transportation access. A man who sees people first in every situation? Perfect for public office in a place like Chapel Hill.

Jessica Anderson (A)

Affordable Housing (A)

Anderson hopes to develop a plan to get a baseline to understand the need for housing. She wants to leverage the $10 million bond to get as many units as possible and develop the master leasing project with Glen Lennox to subsidize housing for lower-income families. She also wants to continue to advocate for additional mixed-income housing development projects such as those at 2200 Homestead Road to minimize segregation within our town, and stresses the importance of letting the public know of changes and advancements.

Transportation (A)

Anderson wants to expand on the bus rapid transit system to make a heavily traveled route better and quicker. In the long-term, she'll look at more routes to connect current riders and projected riders to Chatham Park, Hillsborough and the Research Triangle. She hopes to use data-driven approaches to serve lower-income residents, and reduce parking at places with high transit to motivate the use of public transportation.

Climate Change (A)

She wants to improve transit and place newer developments along transit corners. She has a variety of ideas: charging stations around town, replacing town vehicles with electric ones, adjusting land ordinance rewrites and requiring developers to be more environmentally friendly. She wants to connect greenways and bike paths, as well as ask developers to take into account stormwater infrastructure. She also hopes to engage young people in local sustainability efforts, as they will be most impacted by climate change, and they usually have ways of communicating with each other and have the most innovative ideas.

Downtown Development (A)

Anderson notes that Chapel Hill has an excellent new development director, and wants the council to fulfill their budget requirements and get out of the way to enable them to do their work. She believes that downtown needs to advocate for more residents to support local businesses, and cited efforts by the council to make downtown more accessible (ex. festivals, pop ups, etc.). Anderson also wants to open a larger parking deck and looking at multimodal options to get people downtown, allowing the opening up of smaller surface decks so they can be redeveloped into something exciting.

Diversity and Inclusion (A)

On Confederates marching: "Honestly, they have a First Amendment right to rally peacefully, but do I personally want them here? Good god, no."

She would like the community to be more diverse and seen as a progressive community, integrating as many socioeconomic groups and allowing the people who work here to afford to live here. Anderson is very active in the community; she spoke to people about the sexual assault issue before the recent news coverage, and works on the Youth Homelessness Demonstration project. She also has a master's in public policy, and uses it to improve educational support and services for youth experiencing homelessness.

While we are not endorsing the following candidates, we believe that they are honorable mentions who are deserving of consideration:

Tai Huynh (A-)

Affordable Housing (A)

Huynh brings an excellent perspective to the affordable housing issue. He understands that race is at the core of the issue, and has been on the Housing Advisory Board for some time. His proposals are comprehensive and varied, from pursuing more project-specific grants to building more varied developments, like duplexes.

Transportation (A-)

Huynh has a good understanding of the roots of the issue and how to solve the problem on a larger scale. Reflecting on the shortcomings of the light rail proposal, Huynh has innovative proposals, like an electric bus system that will truly make Chapel Hill's transportation more efficient and convenient. He also touches on the racial equity concerns of the current system, citing that it is not friendly to non-9-to-5 workers.

Climate Change (B+)

Huynh combines his perspectives on affordable housing and transportation to his proposals to fight against climate change. His plans to reduce car dependency and building more duplexes and other housing developments show that he understands the underlying mechanisms that must be addressed to lower our energy consumption.

Downtown Development (B+)

Huynh's entrepreneurial experience helps him understand why Chapel Hill is having problems retaining businesses. His goal is to create a better entrepreneurial ecosystem by creating more office space and resources for businesses. Through working with the University, he has a comprehensive approach to growing downtown Chapel Hill with the entrepreneurial vision it needs.

Diversity and Inclusion (A)

Huynh understands the multi-faceted struggles that marginalized communities because he's lived them. As the son of refugees, he has unique perspectives on how many of the biggest issues of the day, like affordable housing, have unique impacts on marginalized communities. Most of Huynh's proposals embody this knowledge and focus on innovative ways to help marginalized communities feel welcome through things like providing more equitable police protection to ensuring they have an affordable place to live.

Renuka Soll (A-):

Affordable Housing (B+)

Although she seems to have the big picture right, we're not sure if she has the knowledge of the details to get her proposals done. She doesn't seem as familiar with land use ordinances or zoning laws as some other candidates. It's also unclear that she recognizes affordable housing in Chapel Hill is going to be an ongoing issue, paired with development of downtown in particular. Nevertheless, she does have some good ideas, namely incentivizing density through land ordinances and zoning laws and using Town-owned land for housing.

Transportation (A-)

She's a strong advocate of Bus Rapid Transit as the future of Chapel Hill Transit. She's adamant that electrification of buses is necessary, and that development along major East-West and North-South corridors is essential. She's also innovative in her plan to further utilize the greenway system for foot traffic. Her regional vision is a little underdeveloped, but she sees that the need is paramount.

Climate Change (A)

Soll puts forward a rigorous climate plan and emphasizes urgency. She recognizes that transportation and buildings are the two biggest sources of emissions. She thinks that we need to provide new ways to get people out of cars through transit development and committing the Town to the Architecture 2030 project, which calls for all new buildings, developments and renovations to be carbon-neutral by 2030. She also supports mixed-use development, an important aspect for building density and staying all-around sustainable.

Downtown Development (A-)

Soll sees the future of Chapel Hill as a combination of development and keeping the town's charm alive. A staunch advocate for providing supports and incentives for new, local businesses, she pairs her vision with a more pedestrian-friendly downtown with canopy trees, walking spaces and art installations. It's unclear if she sees the downtown area growing in size over the years, but she's got the right goals and values to keep downtown Chapel Hill as good as ever.

Diversity and Inclusion (A)

Soll's vision for Chapel Hill is multicultural, diverse and inclusive. She's consistent with talking about a community that's open to "mixing" between people, believing that it makes Chapel Hill a better place for all. We wholeheartedly agree.

Nancy Oates (B+)

Affordable Housing (B+)

Oates' solution focused on working with developers to adjust the affordable rate, which is sometimes skewed based on the vacancy rate in housing. She believes that we need to focus less on luxury housing, since it increases rent baselines across town, and more on affordable options. She has previous experience advocating for affordable housing and would like to partner and work more closely with the UNC administration to keep more undergraduates on campus.

Transportation (A)

Oates is a member of the Transit Partners board, and she wants to tweak the bus schedule to serve people working at UNC, both on campus and in the healthcare system (the two biggest employers who employ people with non-traditional hours). She hopes to focus on serving commuters better to help with traffic and parking issues, and to connect them with regional transit east and west, as we currently have Bus Rapid Transit moving south. She also hopes to implement a plan to begin serving Chatham and other areas across the Triangle.

Climate Change (A-)

Oates is hopeful to put together a climate action plan as a council and decide on a budget to hopefully push more eco-friendly options, such as electric buses. She particularly would like to get individuals and the community involved with things like Ban the Straw month and compostable to-go boxes at restaurants and keeping awareness levels up. In comparison to other candidates, her plan for climate change action was slightly less extensive and actionable.

Downtown Development (B+)

Oates vows to lobby for affordable housing downtown, and she mentions her desire to implement sufficient parking and transit to support businesses downtown. Oates envisions the area increasing with commercial office retail space.

Diversity and Inclusion (B+)

Oates has a lot of confidence in the police for being able to keep people safe, as well as the new town manager from Charlottesville who has dealt with racial tension. She would like to work closer with the UNC administration to ensure the safety of students, as well as work to keep more undergraduates living on campus longer. She enjoys canvassing and working with the community, and has a personal goal of getting more people involved on advisory boards, regardless of their viewpoints and backgrounds.


<![CDATA[Editorial: Finally, 'no' truly does mean no]]> Editor's note: This editorial discusses sensitive topics such as sexual assault.


North Carolina lawmakers have finally closed a sexual assault loophole that has existed for more than four decades.

On Oct. 31, the right to revoke consent was approved unanimously by the General Assembly as part of Senate Bill 199; a bill intended to "strengthen and modernize" sexual assault laws in North Carolina.

Prior to the passage of SB 199, North Carolina was the only state where consent could not be legally withdrawn once a sexual act had begun. A decision by the North Carolina State Supreme Court established the precedent for this law in 1979.

The bill also closed another loophole based on a 2008 court decision. The ruling said that sexual assault laws didn't apply to those who were mentally incapacitated as a result of their own actions - such as voluntarily choosing to consume drugs or alcohol.

It comes as no surprise that laws like this one have continued to exist well into the 21st century, especially when we look at who is in charge of making them.

A man accused by multiple women of sexual assault holds a seat on the highest court in the land. At least 25 different women have accused our president of sexual misconduct (and we hardly ever talk about it). And, in February, the Associated Press found that at least 90 state lawmakers have faced public allegations or repercussions over sexual misconduct claims since 2017.

How can we expect our elected officials to adequately address sexual assault when a number of them are guilty of it themselves?

These policy changes are part of a larger cultural shift toward sexual assault prevention and victim protection. Since the #MeToo movement swept the nation in 2017, more emphasis has been placed on strengthening sexual assault laws. Also, an increasing number of people have come forward to accuse powerful men of sexual misconduct in what has become known as the Weinstein effect.

The decision to close this loophole was certainly a victory. However, we still have a long way to go in a country where 1 in 6 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Establishing the right to revoke consent is the bare minimum, and it doesn't mean a whole lot when the system is fundamentally broken - a system wherein only five out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison.

To fully address the issue of sexual assault, we must continue to advocate for changes to social and cultural norms in addition to policy. Though our society is remarkably modern in many ways, it lags behind considerably in its treatment of women and minorities. Minimization, denial and victim blaming are commonplace -which is why three out of every four sexual assaults are never reported.

We're happy that as far as the law is concerned, 'no' truly does mean no. But there are still many people out there who refuse to take 'no' for an answer. The loophole may be closed, but it doesn't guarantee punishment or accountability - justice is something that women everywhere must continue to fight for.


<![CDATA[CollegeTown Halloween]]> @young_huer

<![CDATA[Column: Fridamania still deserves the hype]]> Frida Kahlo's art and fame were once eclipsed by her more acclaimed husband, Diego Rivera, as evidenced by the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism exhibit from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Frida's image today is a symbol of feminism, Latinx pride, beauty, defiance and resilience. Her fame has far surpassed what it was in her lifetime, and overtaken Diego's own legacy.

Interestingly, much of Frida's fame comes from her frequent casting of herself as the subject of her art - self-portraits comprise nearly a third of her work. This was driven both out of necessity, due to her frequent confinement to medical bed rest, and because she felt like she knew herself better than she knew anyone else.

With this seemingly larger-than-life figure, then, how much can we really separate art from artist? Or is this image of the artist itself an illusion that does not perfectly align with the real person?

The vulnerability she shows in her art, drawn from the physical pain she endured through the loss of miscarriage, leads viewers to feel like she has let us in and allowed us to see the most intimate parts of her.

Frida's self-portraits never feel voyeuristic, though. She stares us down with her self-possessed eyes. She shows us what she wants us to see.

One of the greatest gems in the exhibit is a series of four photos, taken by Frida's friend and colleague, Lola Álvarez Bravo. Each photo features Frida and a mirror, alluding to the mirrors she used to guide her self-portraits. In a meta sense, we are watching Frida watch herself and get to witness her self-reflection ourselves.

These women's lenses capture a more truthful, complex representation of their subjects as opposed to the objectified, sexualized interpretation that was so prevalent among the men who dominated the art field at the time.

This is especially apparent in the side-by-side comparison of Frida and Diego's portraits of the exhibition's collector, Natasha Gelman. Diego's piece has Natasha lounging like a Hollywood movie star, described as "a nod to her husband's profession as a film producer." This portrait was meant to please her husband.

Frida's portrait, however, is in a classic head and shoulders frame, thus removing the female body from the scene, drawing attention instead to the sobering expression on Natasha's face and making it all the more personal.

Art is so often funneled through the male gaze. This is why it is so important to celebrate artists like Frida Kahlo, who see themselves and allow you to see them, too.

The exhibit is running until Jan. 19, and students get free admission every Friday (including today!) with ID.