Editorial: On the Edge

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, March 21, 2005

The best in last week's editorials from college campuses around the nation

Need to celebrate Women's Day

(U-WIRE) NORMAN, Okla. - We should celebrate March 8 as one of the most important dates of the United States. On March 8, here in Norman, it was normal as usual, but in the rest of the world it was not.

In 1975, the United Nations proclaimed March 8 International Women's Day, and as a tradition in the rest of the world - though not here - we give women a rose, and we recognize their work and their achievements.

I believe that behind a great woman there is a great man, and behind the same great man there is that same great woman, and they respect each other pretty well. When a relationship between a man and woman does not work, it is because this mutual respect does not exist.

So is why March 8 their date? On March 8, 1857, in New York, women who were working in textile manufacturing went on strike for better working conditions and better payment. Those 133 women were locked in their factory, and mysteriously a fire was set and they all died.

Women should have the same rights as men; this is not happening in the world.

Why not celebrate this date? The majority of the most powerful women in the world with money, education and independence come from the United States of America.

So now, I would ask OU President David L. Boren to start celebrating this important date next year. We need to recognize all women who make this Sooner Nation better. To me, "university" means a universe in a city, and we try to create and develop ideas, and later put them out in the real world.

We all have great qualities; if we are united, we are powerful. If the rest of the world is doing it now, why not us?

- From the University of Oklahoma's Oklahoma Daily

Pell Grant doesn't keep up with costs

(U-WIRE) HONOLULU - The Federal Pell Grant is a foundation for various forms of financial aid across the United States. Students who demonstrate financial need can be awarded as much as $4,050 per year toward an undergraduate degree, which will help them reach greater educational and professional opportunities in the future. The grant is an indispensable tool in the American higher education system. However, the Pell Grant and the college students who depend upon it are now facing a crisis.

Inflation, a rising cost of living, a declining median household income and a rise in poverty nationwide threaten the ability of low-income families to pay for a college education. Meanwhile, the cost of that education has risen substantially in recent years. Unfortunately, the Federal Pell Grant has failed to effectively keep up with these changes.

It has gradually been chipped away at over time, leaving less reliable forms of assistance to pick up the slack. Consider that in the 1970s the Federal Pell Grant covered roughly 80 percent of college costs, while today it only covers 40 percent of them. Then, take into account skyrocketing tuition costs and the problem becomes much clearer.

On the other hand, the fear of debt coupled with the already difficult circumstances of living in poverty, such as the lack of medical insurance, inadequate housing, and so on, make student loans an unattractive option for the neediest college students. In addition, most state governments will be facing budget deficits for at least the next decade, making them largely incapable of solving this problem on their own. So, it falls upon the federal government to fix things.

This illustrates the need for action in order to improve access to higher education for all Americans. At the same time, increasing the amount of money that individual students can receive offers young people from even the most impoverished backgrounds greater opportunities for the future. Above all else, it is imperative that the Federal Pell Grant changes as times change. Its stagnation in recent years is a disturbing trend. If allowed to continue, the trend will further burden college students and their families.

- From the University of Hawaii's Ka Leo O Hawaii