Category Archives: Opinion

It is time to do away with the SAT

By Aurora Rivera

Los Angeles, CA

I am a rising senior at an under-resourced charter school in Los Angeles. Our school currently offers an SAT-prep course that all students are required to take. Unfortunately, the teachers in this course were inexperienced and didn’t prepare us sufficiently for the exam. I understood at the time that SAT and ACT scores were a major factor in college admissions, so as a result I became extremely stressed and worried after the class. I was scared about not being able to compete with other students who were better prepared and had higher test scores. My “college preparatory” school made me feel as if I didn’t have a chance in the battle for college admissions. 

Bates College conducted a 20-year study about whether making SAT scores optional in college admissions affected the quality of admitted students. William C. Hiss, Bates’ former vice president of admissions, asked, “Does standardized testing narrow access to higher education, significantly reducing the pool of students who would succeed if admitted?” The study found that the difference in graduation rates between applicants who did and did not submit test scores was 0.1 percent. and the difference in GPAs was 0.05 on a four-point scale. 

Staff editorial: Embracing diversity, in journalism and beyond

By Princeton Summer Journal staff

Journalism in general is a struggling enterprise, one which can unfortunately deter plenty of hopefuls. Historically popular media outlets have seen a steep decline in their finances, and many American public schools do not provide students with a course in journalism or media. The declining popularity of traditional journalism among the millennial generation may spell doom for the industry. However, there is potential for aspiring young writers.

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Opinion: Don’t use white women to sell black hair products

By Jessica Simpson
Chicago, IL

From the time an African American girl is born, she’s told that she must aspire to have “good hair.” She is told that her hair is nappy and should be relaxed because it’s too difficult to style naturally. Years of relaxing hair developed the notion that black hair is “bad” and not as beautiful as it’s other counterparts. The hatred of natural black hair lasted for years, until recently.

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Opinion: The scourge of environmental racism

By Yamilet Velez
Los Angeles, CA

In the low-income neighborhoods that surround the worst factories in the United States, smoke fills workers’ lungs, clogs the environment, and paints the skies grey. As dystopian as that sounds, harsh factory conditions are a reality in many communities of color.

My own parents moved into East Los Angeles, near the Tesoro Oil Refinery, not because it had the cleanest air, but simply because they couldn’t afford homes in the “rich areas” of Los Angeles, California. That was their only option, and unbeknownst to them, it was a dangerous one.

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Opinion: Gentrification erodes authentic communities

By Gabby Santana
New York City, NY

In the 1980’s my grandmother emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the South Bronx, carrying her belongings, her wedding photographs, and jewelry passed down through several generations, all packed into three suitcases. She took any job she could, working as a waitress, a home attendant, and a babysitter. It wasn’t much, but she built a comfortable household. The South Bronx was a place where you could build a life for yourself.

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Opinion: Wikipedia as a scholarly source: More reliable than you might think

By Jadyn Vizcaino-Bishock
Jersey City, NJ

To the academic world, Wikipedia is synonymous with unreliable information. But that’s not really the case.

The major problem people have with Wikipedia is that anyone can edit any page on the website. This leads to misconceptions that the site is full of lies and exaggerations. However, these faults are the natural result of democratizing information.  

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Opinion: Social media squashes self-esteem

By Kimberly Gray
Martinsburg, WV

Waking up, I got dressed for school in a new outfit I had bought the day before, a black-and-white striped shirt with black distressed jean shorts. I felt cute.

At school, my friends complimented me on my outfit. It wasn’t everyday that I tried to dress nicely.

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Opinion: Black Americans aren’t appropriating African culture

By Alana Burke
Detroit, MI

Initially, the idea sounds absurd. Of course black people can’t appropriate African culture, because that’s their heritage. Appropriation is defined as the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture. Now the question becomes whether black Americans have the right to wear traditional African garb and immerse themselves in African cultural practices.

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