Editorial: IN THE LOOP Hong Kong protesters represent a good example for those facing injustice

Thousands of youth protesters have crowded the streets the past weeks in central Hong Kong, demanding increased democracy and universal suffrage. Protesters are responding to China’s refusal to allow open selection of candidates for the leader of Hong Kong, according to USA Today. The first “democratic” election is scheduled for 2017, for which a panel of Chinese officials will select the candidates. One banner created by protesters read, “don’t want fake democracy.”

Although issues in the U.S. are usually not as severe as China’s untrustworthy Communist regime, the youth culture here can still learn from student-led protests. Students in America are not as involved in politics as students in other countries are, or at least not as involved as they should be. For example, in 2012, only 38 percent of citizens aged 18-24 voted in the presidential election, and that is not the lowest percentage, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Hong Kong citizen and 17-year-old Joshua Wong has been called the symbol of democracy across the city by the New York Times, and is one of the leaders of the protests. This student, not even of voting age , exemplifies what students should be in any government.

Many of the older generation in Hong Kong, especially those old enough to remember the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, do not approve of the protests for fear of aggravating the Chinese government for what they believe to be a lost cause, according to a TIME article.

While people have reason to be wary, the protesters are right and brave in their decisions to stand firm in their positions. If the government resorts to force to remove them from the streets, hopefully they will have the sense to keep themselves safe. Until then, those students remain powerful role models for anyone who is faced with an injustice.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.

In the Loop: Equal pay should be reached to promote equality nationally

Gender equality has long been an issue not only in the U.S., but around the world. Back in April 2014, senate Republicans voted against equal pay for men and women— an unthinkable act of discrimination in this era. Even though the bill was voted against back in April, it continues to be a contentious topic. Considering that the average working woman in America earns around 70 cents for every dollar that a man earns in the same job, working the same amount of hours, it’s confusing as to how this is still an issue. Republicans have said that the bill that was presented was redundant, according to the New York Times. If it was redundant, we would not have the need to present a bill to close the pay gap.

The bill, called the Paycheck Fairness Act, would remove the illegality of discussing wages in the workplace and require workplaces to submit what they pay employees to the Equal Opportunity Commission. This would bring transparency to workers’ pay and allow workers who are in the same or similar position to others in their company or workplace to demand fair and equal pay, regardless of gender, beliefs or any other discriminatory levels.

Equality is not a cat-and-mouse game for political parties to play. It should not be a ploy to win votes or to gain investment and capital for their parties. It is not about more women being Democrats or males being conservative. It is not something to employ stereotypes to garner support.

Everyone should be allowed the opportunity to receive equal pay, regardless of one’s gender, regardless if one decides to have a child, regardless of anything that could impact pay unfairly. It’s 2014. It’s time we see equal opportunity and equal pay in the workplace. We shouldn’t have to plead, beg or protest.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.

In the Loop: StewVille dance should transition to freshman-only event

The StewVille Mystery Mix made steps in the right direction toward improving the experience and reputation of the Stewart Lawn Dance. However, taking the modifications further by restricting the dance to only freshmen in future years would be beneficial to students, easier for security and favorable for StewVille’s reputation.

An all-campus dance seems like a fun and exciting way for freshman to connect with returning students. However, most of the attendees are freshman.

Even if all grades were represented evenly, dances are much more fun and energetic than they are social. This approach to integrate freshman with the upperclassman may not be effective. Having an all-freshman dance would also be an appropriate climax to the freshman orientation events that precede it.

This year, the location was moved to a closed-in space and security checked identification before allowing students to enter. The changes were meant to address the safety issues and non-Whitworth students attending, which were both particularly problematic last year.

While these changes were successful and managed well, they would hardly be necessary if only freshmen attended. The dance seemed geared toward freshmen this year anyway, based on the marketing of the Mystery Mix, which involved clues given in the orientation packet and during orientation at freshmen-only events.

Making this change would allow the traditional dance to continue, but would also allow for an improvement in safety by keeping non-Whitworth students or unscrupulous upperclassmen from taking advantage of freshmen. It would also provide a way for freshmen to be integrated into university life more effectively.

Last year’s events significantly damaged the reputation of the Stewart Lawn Dance. Reputations and trust are not easy to get back. If the event were to be renovated completely, by making it an all-freshman event, it could repair the identity of the dance.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.