Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Commentary on "Texans and Voting"

I recently have read a fellow classmates blog titled “Jumping into Texas Government”. Blogger, Whitney wrote the post “Texans and Voting” discussing how many Texans do not vote. With the upcoming election I am sure Whitney will agree this “not voting” needs to change. Whitney discusses in her article about the need for a better knowledge about the government, I agree. I too had only taken one government class in high school and felt confused when people would ask me the most general questions about our government following that class. In her article Whitney says, “ If we continue making cuts to education, especially in Texas where we are already doing horrible statistically when it comes to education, this problem is only going to continually get worse.” Needless to say I agree with Whitney that we need to reach out to the youth so they may be able to gain more knowledge about our government as they become old enough to vote and have a voice.

I was somewhat surprised to read one of Whitney’s solutions for this problem; “We need to get some of the celebrities off the television screen and spend more money advertising something important, such as getting more Texans to vote and letting them know why it is important.” Although this would not be the first thought that comes to mind, I think that those who influence the youth the most need to start being the change we need. Personally, I think the authority in schools as well as parents at home need to help change these statistics in voting. If we want to reach out to the youth about voting we have to make them more knowledgeable as well as more confortable about their political views. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

University Of Texas Sued For Race As A Factor In Admission

On August 5, 2012 The Daily Texan released an article where an applicant for the University of Texas at Austin was denied admission even though she claims she is just as qualified as those of other ethnicities who were admitted. The article titled “Supremecourt case puts spotlight on UT admissions policy” presents the argument of Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas when she was denied admission. Although Fisher was not in the top ten percent of her class she still claims that her Caucasian ethnicity hindered her admission.

Michael Williams, a Senior African American student studying sociology and applied learning and development, was in the top ten percent of his high school graduating class. During his first year at UT someone told Williams that he would not be at UT if it were not for the top 10 percent rule implying that because he is African American he would have not been admitted. Williams’ comments, “I would hope I would be admitted even if I was not in top ten percent.” The debate on this issue will be presented in the Supreme Court in October.  

Further into the article Williams’ states, “although race is not the only factor in admissions, it is important . . . this is a case that will affect admissions and a lot of schools of higher education . . . it’s not just going to change UT, it’s going to change a nation. I don’t know if students know that.”

Others interviewed for this article debate whether the University of Texas at Austin uses race as a factor in admissions. Although I do not believe that UT would accept or deny a student solely based on race I believe that it does factor in slightly due to the requirement for diversity among higher education.

In order to have the best chance of admission, regardless of top ten percent rule, students need to focus on building their resume, doing extracurricular activities, and just becoming the best overall student you can be. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Commentary on "Voter ID Laws"

I recently have read a fellow classmates blog titled “Our Fair Texas”. Blogger, Kyle Pina’s post, “Voter ID Law” discusses his viewpoints on why a valid Texas does not need to be required for voting. I had heard back in June 2012 that several Texas voter ID laws were going back to court to end the dispute on whether Texas ID’s should be required when voting. Knowing that Pina does not have a valid Texas ID and does not believe it is a necessity here is my comment about his post:

I believe there are several reasons in which Texas should require ID for voting as well as for various other purposes. In an article posted in early spring 2012 by “National Review Online” author John Fund gives several examples on why Texas needs to impose Voter ID laws. Fund states, “average voters understand that it’s only common sense to require ID because of how easy it is for people to pretend they are someone else” and with that invalid or fake ID those who are posing as others would be committing a felony. 

In CNN’s article, Texas voter ID law goes to court”, author Bill Mears provides commentary on this issue discussing, “Texas is among eight states to require official photo identification in an effort to stop what officials say is voter fraud. Opponents of the laws say they disenfranchise poor, minority and disabled voters.” I understand why Pina would oppose this, especially because he does not have a valid Texas ID but for those who are eligible to vote and encouraged to vote a valid ID is necessary.

Another reason provided by Fund debates, “people know you can’t function in the modern world without showing ID — you can’t cash a check, travel by plane or even train, or rent a video without being asked for one.” Without a Texas ID how would you be identified in case of emergency? How could you prove your own identity? These are all questions I wonder about for those who do not have a valid ID in any state.