Daily Archives: April 23, 2012

Starbucks is a positive corporation

Because corporations are such powerful figures in the economy, they have a social responsibility to make their economic, environmental and global effects known.

Corporations like Starbucks are inevitable in our economy. Starbucks is arguably the most popular coffee store in the world. With 19,345 stores in 58 countries, it has twice as many locations as Wal-Mart. Although I fully agree with supporting local businesses, Starbucks is one of my favorite coffee shops.

Starbucks treats its employees well with health care coverage, bonuses and other benefits. Part of its mission statement is to treat its employees with respect. It was named one of Fortune’s “Top 100 best companies to work for.”

Starbucks advocates for positive action within the community. The people of Starbucks do this with their environmental awareness and volunteer involvement in areas such as after-school programs.

The Hands On Network and Starbucks have partnered to create more volunteer opportunities for employees of the coffee chain. Their goal is to contribute one million volunteer hours by 2015.

Many Starbucks stores have “Grounds for your Garden,” which is one of my favorite things about the company. They give their leftover coffee grounds to anyone who wants them for composting.

Starbucks is a large contributor of the fair trade movement. The company buys much of its coffee from developing countries, helping family farmers and bringing consumer attention to the fair trade labels.

EPA.org says that in 2004, Starbucks decreased its waste load by 1.8 million pounds. In 2009, the company implemented a water-saving system that reportedly saves up to 150 gallons of water a day.

Starbucks needs to have recyclable cups; however, customers get discounts when they bring reusable cups, and the coffee sleeves are made from 60 percent recycled fiber.

Starbucks also prides itself on supporting human rights and ending discrimination in the workplace. The company is a known supporter of marriage equality and various charitable organizations.

During the winter holiday season, Starbucks donates five cents per drink to help eliminate AIDS through its partnership with Product RED. The corporation is also a sponsor of Planned Parenthood.

Through the Starbucks Pride Alliance Partner Network, the company works to enact positive change and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The company offers the same benefits to same-sex and opposite-sex partners.

Transgender employees are offered mental health counseling and short-term leave after surgical procedures. Starbucks stores in Washington D.C. have switched all of their bathrooms to be gender-neutral, in an effort to be more inclusive of trans customers.

So, you can rest assured that when you buy a cup of coffee that you’re buying from a company that takes social responsibility and doesn’t contribute to any unethical labor practices.

But also, remember to support local and independently owned coffee shops in McMinnville like Cornerstone. They are more sustainable and build stronger communities.

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Kelsey Sutton/
Copy chief
linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com

War on terror subverts civil liberties

Holder v. The Humanitarian Law Project is a June 2010 decision made by the Supreme Court that seriously challenges our freedoms of speech and association.

Although a bit dated, I feel the lack of popular knowledge on this topic justifies the lack of novelty.

The Humanitarian Law Project challenged the material support provision of an anti-terror law passed in 1996 that banned Americans from aiding groups labeled by the government as terrorists.

The HLP sought to assist the Kurdistan Workers Party in Turkey and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by giving them legal advice on how to non-violently end their respective conflicts.

Unfortunately, their plans fell under the material support provision, and thus they challenged it, winning several rulings in the lower courts by arguing that the language of the provision was too vague and conflicted with the First Amendment right to free speech.

The Supreme Court failed to see similarly, acquiescing 6-3 to the continued criminalization of the type of work that the HLP wanted to perform.

Justice John G. Roberts, who wrote the majority decision, claimed that even intangible aid could allow terrorist groups to redirect their funds toward arms.

Although this situation is truly a possibility, a few questions arise. Does this hypothetical scenario justify the watering down of our freedoms of speech and association, long praised as the cornerstone of America?

I would argue that it doesn’t, and that we ought not to succumb to the paranoid, jingoistic rhetoric that has become the post-9/11 standard regarding foreign policy.

It is also important to highlight the arbitrary nature of the State Department’s list of terrorist groups. There is no review despite the fact there is widespread international dispute concerning some groups presently labeled as terrorists by our government.

If we are going to assume the worst and extrapolate the hypothetical regarding groups like the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Liberation Tigers, I argue that we must hold our government to the same standard: what is there to stop them from abusing their ability to designate groups as terrorists? Presently, nothing.

The decision itself is alarming, but what deserves more attention is the response which it has received.

In the post- 9/11 era, terrorism has become the magic bullet that allows the government to exempt itself from its end of the constitutional bargain.

Yesterday’s communism is today’s terrorism. I suspect this systematic assault on liberty will be looked back upon much how we view McCarthyism; why can’t we learn from the past?

Although quoted almost to the point of exhaustion, I will leave you with the words of Benjamin Franklin, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. “

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Nick Hahn/Copy editor
linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Students shouldn’t be eager to hurry through college

The more high school students take college classes, the more college becomes like a glorified high school.

It’s hard to admit—especially because I earned a few college credits during high school—but until we stop seeing college as something to finish as quickly as possible, the power of our higher education system will continue to decline.

Rather than supporting the pursuit of knowledge and experience, which should be the goal of higher education, college classes in high schools create the culturally destructive mindset that higher education is something to race through as quickly and cheaply as you can, so you can get a high paying job and start earning money.

Money seems to be the primary motivation for everyone who champions the college during high school programs. Parents support it because finances are tight and college tuition is intimidating.

Some employers enjoy it because it provides them with newer, younger members of the workforce. The government benefits because it uses up less of its education budget, and those new members of the workforce become taxpayers.

Obviously, money naturally plays a key role in choosing to attend a university because the costs of a four-year program can be daunting, but earning a higher education is one of the greatest investments you can make.

Receiving a lot of college credits in high school to save money and expedite your university graduation date only dilutes your educational experience and puts you in the nine to five work force sooner than usual, causing you to miss out on the transition from youth to adulthood that a four-year span at a university can provide (e.g., breaking away from parents, being immersed in a diverse community, etc…).

Not only does speeding through college damage your educational experience, but it also compromises the effectiveness of democracy. The goal to receive a diploma as quickly as possible just to become eligible for a specific job skips over the important goals of becoming fully knowledgeable and engaged in society.

How can we take advantage of freedoms like voting, serving jury duty, and raising families if our primary vision for higher education is career training instead of becoming well-rounded and informed participants in the world?

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Joanna Peterson/Managing editor
linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com

 

Choose your major based on your passions

“What do you want to do for the rest of your life?” This common question is always popping up around campus, and it is usually the follow up question to “what is your major?”

These questions are often answered with something like, “business major with a minor in economics, and hopefully that will get me a good-paying job after college,” or something entirely different, such as, “art major with a minor in philosophy… I’ll be going to work as an interior designer.”

Are those taking business and economics classes doing this just to get a high paying job, or do they truly love what they do?

Are the art majors taking these classes because they are extremely passionate about their artwork, even though they know that they may likely struggle to secure a job after college?

Either way, we all choose our majors for a multitude of different reasons.

One good reason for choosing a major is money. Everyone worries about money, and choosing a major that would score you a high paying job right off the bat is ideal for being financially successful, but is it necessarily the right thing to do?

If you choose a major that will land you swimming in cash, you might be able to buy a ridiculous amount of cool stuff, but will you be happy?

And is choosing a major that allows you to only explore your passions a good idea? How many artists out there actually make it big and get discovered?

Unfortunately, few art majors will end up hanging their paintings in the Guggenheim. But how does one go about sacrificing  his or her passions for cash, and vice versa?

As college students, we often don’t think about our futures further than the paper that’s due tomorrow.

We often procrastinate to the point of writing a 10-page paper the night before it’s due.

Thinking about our future beyond college can be a stretch, but it is something we all worry about. We’ve all heard our parents or friends talk about how difficult the job market is right now. Naturally, this stresses us out.

For those who are taking the business classes, they can easily shrug this remark off. But for those of us who choose majors that will not land us a secured job after college, this remark worries us.

It sends our brains spinning in different directions. We even begin to doubt ourselves, wondering if we even chose the right major.

However, I believe that those of us who choose our majors because we are passionate about them, regardless of the money that we will or will not make, will end up content and successful in life.

We’ll get the opportunity to love what we do, day in and day out.

While we might not be rolling in cash, we’ll certainly live in a loving, positive environment.

And even though we may struggle at times, such as when we have to pay our mortgages or begin to raise families, we’ll always be happy knowing that we chose to spend our lives loving every single moment that we spend at work.

After all, what if Beethoven had chosen to focus on mathematics instead of music?

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Alyssa Carano/
Senior photographer
linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Apartments should be coed

Many college campuses around the nation allow students of the opposite sex to live together. The University of Oregon, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California-Davis are examples of universities that allow coed housing.

At colleges that allow coed housing, people of the opposite sex are only paired with one another upon request.

The closest that Linfield has to coed housing is coed dorm halls, with each floor being separated by gender. Even in the on-campus apartments, members of the opposite gender can’t live together.

Linfield should reconsider its rules on coed living, at least for the apartments. In the real world, apartments don’t have rules about who can live with one another. Why should the on-campus apartments at Linfield be any different?

By the time Linfield students are allowed to live in the on-campus apartments, they are of at least junior status, which means that the majority of students living in these apartments are between the ages of 20-22. These students are adults and are old enough to decide who to live with. If that means someone of the opposite gender, then they should have that freedom.

One reason why coed housing isn’t always encouraged is that two people may be in a relationship and break up, resulting in them being stuck together.

While this can be an issue for some, this doesn’t seem like a valid reason to not let members of the opposite gender live together.

If a couple wants to live together, they should be allowed the option. Of course, there is always the chance that they may break up, but if they are willing to take that risk and live with each other anyway, than they should.

Moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend is a part of growing up for many, and one can learn a lot about being in a relationship by moving in with someone.

In regard to couples living
together, homosexual couples technically already have the option to live with one another, even in the dorm rooms.

A homosexual couple living together is no different from a heterosexual couple living together. The same issues can come up, regardless of sexual orientation.

Homosexual students may feel uncomfortable living with other students of the same gender in the same way that heterosexual students may feel uncomfortable living with students of the opposite gender.

In this case, homosexual students may feel more comfortable living with a friend or friends of the opposite sex.

Besides couples living together, anyone can have a problem with a roommate. Best friends who become roommates can stop being friends.

The bottom line is that anyone can have issues with a roommate, regardless of gender. Learning how to live with another person is part of growing up.

If people of the opposite gender want to live with each other by the time they are allowed to live in the apartments, they should have that option.

-The Review Editorial Board

 

The Review Editorial Board

linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com