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Jared Sutton- Contributing Writer

Recently, Rolling Stone profiled Florida’s gubernatorial election. In between the profanity-laden rants, catchy one-liners and conspicuous lack of anything associated with music, they argued something that the overwhelming majority of Floridians, regardless of their political affiliations, could agree on: Both candidates, to put it politely, are underwhelming.

On one hand, we have the  Republican incumbent, Governor Rick Scott. Astoundingly unpopular with unions, government workers and women (his recent advertisement comparing wedding dresses to politics didn’t help much), Scott has been accused of widespread Medicare fraud as CEO of his health insurance company. His anti-Obama rhetoric has isolated many Independents, and his rejection of federal funds for programs ranging from high-speed rail to education leave many shaking their heads.

On the other hand, Floridians are blessed (note the sarcasm) with his Democratic opponent, former Governor Charlie Crist. In the past five years, Governor Crist has changed his party affiliation twice. After serving as the opportunist and pseudo-populist Republican governor of Florida, he ran as an Independent in the Senate race in 2008 (spoiler: he lost) and soon after changed to a Democrat.

Critics from both sides of the aisle argue that his inability to take a definite stance on issues and politics, as well as his mediocre track record as governor, do not make him a very compelling candidate to topple the man lovingly nicknamed Voldemort. Ultimately, Florida’s governor race has two of the least popular candidates running in a gubernatorial election nationwide.

This problem isn’t unique to my beautiful home state. Bad candidates and bad races are rampant nationwide, as both parties move further and further to polar ends, isolating the growing middle.

Voter rates are tumbling as fewer and fewer people are making their ways to the polls for a variety of reasons. Most notably, there is less faith in the candidates who are supposed to lead us.

These bad candidates pose a catch-22: Either we don’t vote because we hate the candidates, which hurts the democratic process, or we vote and hate whoever takes office, and then they truly aren’t representing what we want. It’s embarrassing that the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee are pushing for such terrible candidates.

The other possibility regarding candidate selection is much worse, but extremely likely. It seems as if both parties are running out of good candidates to cultivate, mentor and eventually support. Unfortunately, we are the ones paying the price.

As a constituency, it is imperative that we support candidates who we think can legitimately make a difference. Although we, as college students, are restricted in a lot of ways (i.e., we aren’t one of the Koch brothers), we are the future. In a lot of ways, our arguably inept politicians cause many of us to ignore or avoid the situation at hand.

As such, ignoring what happens politically in Miami, Tallahassee or Washington, D.C. is the obvious and easy thing to do. We all have our own problems, and hearing about corruption and partisanship is not how most of us want to spend our time. But we have the obligation to demand more from our candidates. We have the duty to vote against people we consider bad candidates, or at least to select the lesser of two evils.

I’ll be honest. When I fill out my absentee ballot, I’ll be voting for one of the men I shamelessly and unabashedly criticized a few hundred words ago. However, I don’t expect either of them to change the situation of the state of Florida very quickly or effectively. At the end of the day, I am extremely hopeful that whomever I vote for will fulfill campaign promises and that he will improve on his track record.

Until either party can produce a leader I can be proud to say represents me, I will be perpetually disappointed.

Jared Sutton is a freshman

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The Drew Acorn Editorial Board

It’s the middle of the semester, and as midterms approach or conclude, and essays come due, students utilize library spaces and printing services more frequently. While the library staff and these services have always been supportive of the Drew community, some changes this semester were disappointing.

One standout disappointment to the money-conscious student was the computer labs and printing services in the Brothers College basement closing down for good. Printing in BC basement was five cents per sheet, half the price of the library. For one page, the price difference isn’t a big deal. But when you need to print 15 or 20 pages – not uncommon for many upperclassmen Drewids – the cost starts to add up. Saving money was not the only convenience of the BC printing services. Although there are plenty of printers and computers in the library, it was convenient to have those services right in BC near our classes, especially if we only had five minutes to print out a paper between classes. They’re a minor loss, but they were a nice convenience.

There is one remaining computer room in BC: BC 1. However, it is a classroom and not an actual lab, and so it is only publicly available at certain times. Also, it has yet to be announced what these now-empty BC labs will be used for. We can accept that they will not be labs anymore, but we hope they will be used for something.

We are generally pleased with the renovations to the first floor of the library. But there are a couple of sticking points here. For example, the first-floor study rooms are simply made of partitions, not full walls. If people use these study rooms for what study rooms are for – talking in large groups – they may disturb other patrons. If these rooms are intended as permanent fixtures, it would be nice if they eventually had ceilings or even permanent walls.

But this is nothing compared to the state of the other group study rooms, which are aging and have not been recarpeted or painted in what appears to be a very long time. Upon stepping into the library, it appears new and shiny, but the depths of the library need a facelift too. There is also, perhaps, an overabundance of “quiet study” space. Often, these large study rooms are used by only a few students at a time. Some of this space might be more useful as smaller group study spaces.

Admittedly these are not life-and-death concerns, and many students may not have even noticed them. However, repainting aging walls or providing computer labs in multiple locations are the kind of things that make students feel like the university is taking an extra step to serve us. We would appreciate them.

NOTE: The Lead Editorial reflects the collective opinion of the Drew Acorn’s editorial board. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinions of their respective authors.

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Lead Editorial

The Drew Acorn Editorial Board

Any students who read The Drew Acorn or followed their emails from Drew last semester were almost bombarded with news related to Drew’s budget crisis. Particularly, we received steady updates on the progress of the Drew2017 Committee, and constant news about the INTO program and its promise to bring us revenue while transforming us into an international school. In addition, there was a public fiasco over the proposed cuts of many smaller but unique academic programs.

In April, we learned that Drew2017 had achieved its goals, INTO was officially happening, and that the final report on cutting departments would be deferred until newly-appointed President MaryAnn Baenninger could review them and give her own recommendations.

And now, with the new semester nearly halfway through…crickets.

We know that INTO has begun and that the INTO students are doing well. But there are still many non-INTO students who don’t know what INTO is–and there have been a handful of INTO students who did not know what it is. Furthermore, since one of the main goals of INTO was to raise revenue, how has this matched with this year’s attendance? We would like some kind of update.

We appreciated the regular email updates about the 2017 Committee. While we know not everyone read them, we feel they connected us to an otherwise distant decision-making process. And they reminded us that the administration was continually at work to improve the situation of our school. As we begin to implement the 2017 Committee’s recommendations, we wish that similar updates would be issued about this broader financial improvement process.

Perhaps the most important issue is the fate of the many departments that are at risk of being cut. Students who were in progress with these programs last semester were promised that they would be allowed to finish their degrees before the programs were closed. However, there may be new freshmen who came to Drew for those programs, and are only one semester in. What will happen to them if the programs are cut?

We have not even heard an update on when–or even if–these proposals to cut programs are still being considered. This is of concern to everyone, but particularly for those students who do not know if they will be the last few in a defunct program.

In general, we wonder why there have been exactly zero updates this semester on the state of our debt, budget woes and various programs meant to remedy them. We hope the silence is not an indication of our deteriorating financial health. How long will it be before Drew gets back into the swing of things?

NOTE: The Lead Editorial reflects the collective opinion of the Drew Acorn’s editorial board. All other opinion pieces represent solely the opinions of their respective authors.

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Ivana Mitic – Assistant Opinions Editor

How much of a change did the Not Anymore program make on our campus? Not enough.

If you ask Drew students about how big of a problem sexual assault is on our campus, many will say that it does not seem to be a big issue. That may be due to us students being uninformed of what happens on our campus, or there may not be a high rate of sexual assault on our small campus.

The Not Anymore program has been talked about a lot in the first month of the semester–it is unavoidable. If Drew really wants to address a sexual assault problem as suggested by their starting sexual assault awareness program, then more needs to be done than just one online mandatory program.

This one program definitely did not do much in changing our culture on campus. The term “not anymore” has even become a punchline to students’ jokes on campus. This should not be how students react to Drew’s efforts to raise awareness of sexual assault.

Students at Drew need to feel that they do not just need to get one program over with and that will be the end of their sexual assault awareness education.

When Christiana Tenuto (’17) was asked if she thought the program had impacted students on our campus she replied, “No. I think that the program was just another thing students had to complete, no one actually digested the program.” It is apparent that the program did not reach many students.

If so few students took the program seriously, how will Drew get their message across? The culture on our campus has still not even begun to change with this program, so more needs to be done.

Drew needs to improve their campaign for sexual assault awareness and make bigger strides for what they will do moving forward to make a change on our campus. The Not Anymore program is a great big first step for Drew in raising awareness of sexual assault.

Programs on sexual assault, mandatory events for students and more sensitivity to the way people talk about sexual assault must be some of the next steps we take. We need to reach students throughout the year, not just once by making them complete an online program.

I am looking forward to see what Drew will do next in order to pursue sexual assault awareness on our campus.

If Drew expects students to not treat Not Anymore as a joke, then they need to be serious about actually taking further steps to improve sexual assault awareness and intervention throughout our campus.

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Jared Sutton- Contributing Writer

In a society where we spend so much time focusing on what’s in front of us, it is now more important than ever to look toward the stars.

Finally, our government has responded. On Sept. 16, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) awarded Boeing and SpaceX contracts worth $6.8 billion to build “space taxis” to shuttle American astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Since the shuttering of the manned space program in 2011, the United States space program has relied on Russian spacecraft to take our astronauts to and from the ISS.

Unfortunately, our relationship with Russia isn’t the peachiest at the moment: The Ukraine crisis continues to rage, President Vladimir Putin has taken to buddying up with several of our favorite autocratic rulers and President Obama is taking an uncharacteristically hard stance against our friends from the Northeast.

As such, the Russian government continues to threaten to stop shepherding American astronauts to and from the ISS.

This poses a problem since the American government cannot and should not let Americans serving their country sit stranded in the cold confines of space. However, this expansion of space policy extends to a deeper level.

In general, American independence in key sectors such as space, alternate energy technology and manufacturing is competing with rising global powers such as Russia, China, India and Brazil, and the more we concede, the more we falter. Overall, the United States has taken a fancy to outsourcing an astounding number of sectors.

However, when American power and American scientific and medical goals are at stake, it is important to ensure that these goals are furthered. By being independent in space, or at least having the capabilities to be independent in space, we are able to further our goals in space while ensuring our allies aren’t bullied by our foes that continue to make outreaches in the extraterrestrial sphere.

In a way, it is ironic that we are conceding space to the Russians. Throughout the 20th century, the Space Race filled TV screens and front pages of newspapers worldwide. Our victory in space typified the notion of American power and supremacy. Although we should not return to the Reagan-era notion of “Star Wars” (i.e., putting missiles in space), we need to ensure that we can continue our work in space.

Interestingly, the federal government has put its faith in private companies. This tendency has been highly controversial, as many wonder if this is the final nail in the coffin for NASA’s stranglehold on space objectives. This represents a turning point in general American bureaucratic affairs.

Outside contracting now extends beyond weapons and Humvees–it extends to the far reaches of the Solar System. Although this may be the final hurrah for NASA, the benefits of privatization to American taxpayers are invaluable. The bureaucracy that restricts, limits and cripples the space program makes our space endeavors less appealing.

However, by forcing competition, there is a higher level of certainty that the product will be a lot better than anything NASA could conceive otherwise. In a sense, we are guaranteeing the longevity of the space program in its entirety.

Unfortunately, Americans in general don’t really care about the space program. Many consider it an archaic excuse for jingoistic gluttony. While this stigma won’t immediately evaporate over time, by moving toward privatization and recapturing the American imagination, the United States will engage in constructive space development in the long term.

–Jared Sutton is a freshman

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