THE HIGH TIDE

News Catch Up: What is the Power of Student Voice?

Ava Devine, Art's Editor

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As a teenager, it can be difficult to maintain interest in the political and social issues that are prominent within the United States, especially when young people’s opinions are so often looked down upon by older adults. However, even if our voices may not always feel heard, it is incredibly important to recognize that they are not irrelevant or powerless. It is time for this generation of students to get off of Twitter and exchange our hashtags for signs of protest. Those members of Generation Z who are old enough (or nearing the age when they will be able) to vote must remain educated on the topics at hand and refuse to let others continue making decisions for them. The future of the United States should not be decided by those who live in the past. Today, we are sharing with you the first High Tide News Catch Up in the hope that a better understanding of what’s really happening in our country will motivate you to vote in the next election, help eliminate ignorance around you, and most importantly, share your voice with the world.

Immigration

It is no secret that immigration has been a touchy subject within the U.S., but the topic was brought back into the limelight just after Thanksgiving when tear gas was used against migrants on the U.S. border. While tear gas has been used in previous altercations at the border, the photos of the more recent use went viral and caused quite an uproar. People inside and outside of the United States became distraught upon seeing that the tear gas used at the border just before Thanksgiving was deployed in the presence of families with children. President Trump continues to stand by his belief that immigration has a primarily negative effect on the United States, and many of his Republican counterparts agree. The next year will most likely see a big push for change in immigration policy, and when an issue of such extreme magnitude is being poised for consideration, it is essential to not only be well-educated on the topic, but to also take part in the discussion.

For more information on immigration policy in the United States, see the links below.

Pew Research

Migration Policy

 

Title X

When it comes to health care rights for women, The Title X Family Planning Program is essential to supporting family planning programs in the United States, especially for low-income or uninsured Americans. Recently the Trump administration has taken a stance to prevent federal funding toward abortion, and this includes changing the availability to the kinds of services Title X has provided to women for years. While this issue may not feel significant to people our age, it could lead to more legislation that would limit abortion access in the future. Abortion remains a widely controversial topic, especially among religious groups. The fact remains that without safe, accessible abortions within the United States, many women could turn to other means of terminating pregnancies, most of which are unsanitary, dangerous, and harmful.

For more information on abortion policy within the United States, see the links below.

KFF

HHS

National Family Planning

 

Net Neutrality

Recent years have seen a push for the elimination of net neutrality, which helps prevent censorship or monitored distribution of information on the internet. Net neutrality also keeps big name service providers from prioritizing what people see based on how much websites are paying them, and in the past two years, Congress has taken a serious stance to rid the United States of net neutrality for good. Those for repealing net neutrality are primarily those with money on their minds. Net neutrality mean less competition between big names, more cash toward over-regulation, and more investment, so it would make sense that those in support of repealing net neutrality are primarily businesspeople. There’s also an argument that without net neutrality, smaller providers would have more opportunity for innovation in an attempt to compete with larger brands. Those who support net neutrality and don’t want to see it repealed fear that repealing net neutrality will prevent poorer Americans from having access to the internet, thus inhibiting their ability to access information and knowledge. They also fear more severe online censorship and the discrimination that could come with a controlled internet.

For more information on net neutrality policy within the United States, see the links below.

The Byte

Net Neutrality for Dummies

 

Poaching

It’s not uncommon for a topic to become hot because of something going viral. The issue of poaching has blown up with a recent video of a rhinoceros that was injured by poachers that was shared massively all over Instagram and Twitter. The video demonstrates the horrific act of poaching, and just how inhumane it really is, showing a rhino that was left to die after recently having its horn cut off by poachers. While it’s incredible that attention was drawn to such a devastating issue (one that continues to draw in billions of dollars annually), it’s important to recognize that sharing a video only does so much. 2016 saw the reinstitution of ivory sales within the United States, something that widely went undiscussed within the social sphere, especially among young people. Poaching is a serious worldwide issue, one that contributes massively to the extinction of endangered species and the mistreatment of animals, and it’s an issue that should be addressed more seriously in upcoming years.

For more information on poaching policy within the United States, see the links below.

The Cornell Lab

 

Transgender Rights

The LGBTQ+ community has made incredible strides in the past decade, but with the administration at hand, they may see a major setback. Transgender teens all across the country could be facing a devastating loss as the Trump administration looks to redefine gender as biological and completely dependent on genitalia. At first glance, this may not seem to make much of a difference in policy, but changing the meaning of gender could also lead to less protection for transgender people under federal law. As of now, sex is generally referred to when describing a person’s biological state of being, or the genitalia that they are born with. Alternatively, gender takes into consideration the mental preferences of a person when it comes to feeling male, female, or somewhere in between (for more information on third gender, click here, for more information on gender vs sex, click here). Essentially, the proposed legislation would redefine gender as sex, ultimately eliminating all federal recognition of people who identify as a gender other than the one that they were born as.

For more information on transgender policy within the United States, see the links below.

NBC

Vox

 

It would be unfair to claim that every teenager is ignorant to the happenings of United State’s policy and its proposed changes, but what can be said is that young people of today remain largely uninvolved in politics. The highest percentage of Americans who do not vote are those between the ages of 18 and 24, meaning that the majority of people who are voting are those who the future has the least effect on. It’s one thing to post a picture with a hashtag, or buy a shirt that advocates for a specific right, and it is another thing entirely to cast your ballot, attend protests, and attempt to persuade those around you that what you are fighting for is worth hearing out. That is not to say that posting on social media is not a valid way to share your voice, but it can not stop there. America’s youth will build the next generation and shape the government that is to come, and it is an injustice to remain silent in the face of issues within the United States that must be resolved.

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