Opinion: Guest Columns

Give people the choice on drugs

Fri Aug 29, 2014

It should not be illegal for a person to harm themselves.

From marijuana to methamphetamine, a range of drugs have been criminalized on the premise they are harmful to the user and their peers. There are many reasons to decriminalize drugs. It could end violent crime from the drug trade ...

You, me and The Daily Beacon

Fri Aug 15, 2014

Hey there, Volunteers.

Long time, no see. It's been, what, a few months? Unless you've been following the Beacon's weekly summer paper (shameless plug), you're probably not up to speed on what's been happening here in Knoxvegas. Chances are, you've been hiking the AT or eating pizza in Rome or playing Yahtzee with your parents all summer. Maybe even all three. And that's okay (well, depending on how you feel about Yahtzee). We Beaconites have your back. We're here for you as you struggle to transition back to life on campus, which is notably devoid of lush green forestry as well as authentic Italian fare.

It's going to be tough, prodigal Vols, but The Daily Beacon's Welcome Back edition is bound to help. In fact, this paper could be the antidote to your back-to-school malaise. That's right. The Daily Beacon is known to have curative and restorative powers. It is also a useful substitute for gift wrap and pet cage liner, or so the Internet tells me. So even if you don't want to read this paper, why assume your hamster won't?

Oh, and just imagine the papier-mâché possibilities this paper offers. Sixty-two pages, my friend. Think of all the volcanoes you could make, each dripping with baking soda and vinegar lava.

But for those of you who don't own a hamster/don't give presents/hate crafts, here's my argument for picking up the Beacon everyday from now on. If you're already reading this letter, you're at least considering it. Admittedly, I'm biased. I've essentially sacrificed my life on the altar of student journalism. I'm currently contemplating a tattoo, just to make things official. But hear me out.

Welcome to Knoxville: an ode to the college experience

Fri Aug 15, 2014

Welcome back sophomores, juniors and seniors. Welcome back faculty, staff and graduate students. Welcome back, freshmen. You may not feel like you've become a part of UT yet, but you have – in your ACT preparation (or lack thereof), in your tours of campus and in your dreams and fears ...

Bleeding orange, leaking green

Fri Aug 15, 2014

Please, audience, try to guess exactly how much money UT has spent since 1999. I'm talking about all the money the university has received from the state combined with the tuition and fees of every single student that has attended UT in the past decade and a half.

Twenty ...

Everything you need to know in life you learn in kindergarten

Fri Aug 15, 2014

Five-year-olds are fascinating–they sprint everywhere; they sneeze with reckless abandon; they regularly rank 'rolling in the dirt' among their top-five-things-to-do-today. To be 5 is to know freedom.

This summer, I worked as a camp counselor for a group of 12 kindergartners. After spending just over a week with these ...

Popular music leaves much to be desired

Fri Aug 15, 2014

From the discovery of hand-eye coordination, music has been central to culture. Across the ages, we have invented new instruments, produced new sounds and slowly established the system of notes and harmonies now used by those like Miley Cyrus who sings while she swings on a wrecking ball licking a ...

In defense of skateboarding

Fri Aug 15, 2014

It was a Thursday afternoon during my regular commute to Market Square. I must've been blazing four or five miles per hour when two KPD officers on bikes called me over; I dismounted my skateboard and walked to greet the officers.

Before this particular encounter, I had never fully ...

Vote: It's your civic duty

Fri Aug 15, 2014

There's a five-year span in our lives when each year seems to bring a new "rite of passage."

You turn 16, you can hit the road. You turn 21, you can buy yourself a drink. And right in the middle, there's the big 18th birthday. Welcome to official ...

Supreme Court correctly sides with freedom

Fri Aug 15, 2014

Hobby Lobby is owned by the Green family, individuals that religiously object to paying for four forms of contraception for their employees. Under the Affordable Care Act, certain employers were required to provide its workers with health care, including contraception. Seeking an exemption from this mandate, the Greens appealed their ...

Supreme Court rules against women

Fri Aug 15, 2014

Hobby Lobby is owned by the Green family, individuals that religiously object to paying for four forms of contraception for their employees. Under the Affordable Care Act, certain employers were required to provide its workers with health care, including contraception. Seeking an exemption from this mandate, the Greens appealed their ...