With Obama in office, here’s hoping for more civil liberties

Under the Bush administration the phrase "illegal wiretapping" became a part of the American vernacular. Some Americans accepted this disgraceful act as a justifi able bi-product of Homeland Security, America's war against those nasty little terrorists while others proclaimed it to be a step toward full-blown fascism.

Intersection needs change

It's two minutes until your class starts and you are stuck behind an endless line of cars heading toward UAA. Somehow you've caught most of the traffic lights on red and now you're hoping time will magically stand still so you will make it to class on time.

Incentives, not investments

The Federal Government’s recently failed bet on the future success of solar panel start-up Solyndra wasted roughly half a billion dollars of taxpayer money....

Strong voter turnout leaves room for alternatives

There are two positive outcomes from the 2008 presidential primary. Presidential candidates are slowly taking more notice of Alaska, and better yet, Alaska residents are getting more involved with politics. As a result, Super Tuesday set a record in Alaska for the caucus turnout but revealed flaws in the caucus setup.

Virtual worlds can have far-reaching implications

This issue's feature article on Second Life, an open-ended virtual landscape, touches on a few of the interesting social aspects of the user-built virtual world. But Second Life has the potential to have a far-reaching impact on the real world - that is, if the real world's impulse to control virtual society can be restrained.

If we can’t keep our stuff safe on campus, where can we?

Part of going green depends on students taking it upon themselves to reduce the carbon footprint that they produce, which usually seems to entail driving less and biking more. But every school year, it gets harder and harder to see the incentive of that. Especially when a student brings his or her bike to school just for it to get stolen.

Letter from the editor: A season of awareness

Managing Editor Kathryn DuFresne suggests readers check in with loved ones and be aware of available resources as the cold and dark of winter sets in

Inside MAC: more intoxication problems than other UAA housing

A week rarely goes by without multiple reports of alcohol-related incidents appearing in the "Police Scanner" of The Northern Light. Students being rowdy, getting alcohol poisoning or being escorted to hospitals has become a horrible and reprehensible epidemic in Main Apartment Complex housing.

Becoming a society member

You open up the mail and receive a letter that says “Congratulations! Your outstanding grades and/or achievements have opened up the opportunity to be...

Friends’ funerals should never trump birthday parties in frequency: Free STI testing on campus

A penis or tongue can fit into three holes commonly associated with the loss of virginity. If you’ve been putting or receiving a body part in any of those holes, you should take advantage of the free STI testing taking place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Student Health and Counseling Center in Room 116/120 of Rasmuson Hall.

It’s not just about party politics this year

Before the polls had even closed in Alaska, Americans had learned that Barack Obama had been elected the 44th president. Without a doubt, this has been one of the most controversial presidential races in the history of the U.S. With the early outcome last Tuesday night, the blogs, status updates and comments have made their stand with equally impassioned statements of every opinion.

Sometimes not saying anything is best option, especially when using Twitter

Here at The Northern Light, we like to think we're pretty hip - especially when it comes to technology. Even more so when it comes to social networking sites. Most of us came of age around the same time as MySpace and Facebook, and have spent most of our formative years immersed in the sites our parents all thought of as "devious.

UAA students have no excuse not to vote in November

The Nov. 4 general election of 2008 might be one of the most historic elections in America with the first black man on the Democrat ticket to be nominated for president and the first woman to be nominated to a Republican ticket for vice president. But the general elections also hold important races for Alaskan political positions in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Proposals to decrease Native dropout rate fall flat

A new debate hit campus this month: How can UAA stop 60 percent of a student population from dropping out in their freshman year? Alaska Natives, who took 4,244 credit hours or 8 percent of the credits at the university last spring according to Office of Planning, Research and Assessment, are dropping like flies.

Americans’ right to defend not a casual privilege

Arizona is considering legislation that would further loosen gun laws in favor of the Second Amendment. Among the provisions is one that is already in place at UAA: the right for students to have a gun on campus as long as it remains locked in their vehicle. While Arizona contemplates catching up to the great state of Alaska, the real question is: are they going far enough? Having guns in locked vehicles helps, but it does not go far enough in increasing student’s safety. Anyone opposed to the open interpretation of the Second Amendment has heard the following arguments before.

APD does not help in undercover bar slings

It’s been nearly a month since Anchorage police began searching bars for people who were a bit too drunk, aka the “drunk plus.” Through Alaska statue 04.16.040 Access of Drunken Persons to Licensed Premises, police enter bars in plainclothes and identify those they believe are intoxicated, eventually charging them with drunkenness on a licensed premise.

Burbee alert system works well, but there’s still room for improvement

As all probably know by now, there was an assault on campus on Sept. 2. It is a terrible thing to see happen, especially...

Graduation brings new leadership at paper

As another round of graduates prepare to leave UAA and move out into the working world, some may be shocked to find that having a degree doesn't signify much in itself. It says that someone can read and remember basic information. It says that someone can stick to a goal for years and see it to completion.

Hanging in there at the end of a semester

The snow and slippery ice on the streets is becoming a permanent fixture around town. Next, turkey will be in our bellies, and holiday decorations will be carefully strung through trees and lining sidewalks.

Talking about sustainability pointless without cleaning up our own act first

Spring is here, according to our calendars. Trees are budding, flowers beginning to bloom, young men's fancies lightly turning to thoughts of love - the whole nine yards. At least, that's probably the story further south where spring really does start on March 21; here, if we're lucky, we get temperatures edging into the 40s and enough sun to turn mounds of dirty snow into gritty mud, plus standing water where the ground is still too frozen to absorb any of it.

UA nondiscrimination policy is obsolete

The University of Alaska’s nondiscrimination policy needs to be ushered into the 21st century. What will bring this policy up-to-date is the addition of LGBT...

Bad accessibility makes new garage a poor fit

While a new parking garage may bring relief from snow and rain, it won't ease the congestion found on other parts of campus or add ease of use to a campus already lacking in accessibility. So the addition of a new parking garage seems unfounded. While more parking is always a welcome relief for students, a parking garage on the edge of campus will not ease the issues students have with parking to begin with.

Cyclists shouldn’t blame cars, need to be alert

Even though gas prices maybe slowly coming down, the still higher than average price is forcing more people to find alternate modes of transportation. For the active type, hopping on a bike is one of the more efficient (and wallet friendly) forms of transportation.

Setting personal goals is the key to success

It’s happened to everyone. On the first day of class, backpacks are full of clean notebook paper, a half-dozen pens, and a multicolor tipped highlighter....

New dining provider not fulfilling expectations

At the end of last year, UAA eagerly anticipated revived dining on campus. Aramark was out and replacing it was NANA Management Services, a combination of co-owners NANA Regional Corp Inc., a Native corporation, and Sodexho, the largest food-service provider in the country.

Student apathy hinders campus progress

For what may very well have been the first time ever, student leaders are making serious efforts to work together for the benefit of...

Permanent Fund investments need to change

Alaska legislators need to act fast and pass a bill designed to stop the Alaska Permanent Fund from investing in companies operating in Sudan. House Bill 287 "mandates targeted divestment and prohibits future investment in the state managed PFD and Pension Funds in targeted companies that do business awith Sudan," according to the House Majority Web site.

Team’s loss aside, Wild is off to a lousy start

The Alaska Wild played its first game last week. By the time they play their second game April 21, they will have their third coach in team history. Not exactly a sign of stability. Coach Keith Evans was hired in late January to be the coach of the Alaska Wild after it replaced Haywood Hill, who the team originally desired to be the head coach but never got around to actually hiring.

Lack of voter turnout merely a symptom of uninvolved campus

With the passing of another election at UAA, most students might respond with "There was an election?" Technically, yes, there was an election. A little over 300 people out of the entire UAA population took the time to participate in the process. However, the results would have been the same no matter how many or how few people voted.

Foreign or not, hockey coach should stay

UAA Athletic Director Steve Cobb announced Jan. 26 that the search for a men's hockey coach has concluded. This might come as a surprise to many, considering the Seawolves already have a hockey coach in Dave Shyiak, who has served since June 2005. He's the same coach who last season produced 10 student-athletes on the WCHA all-academic team, and this season has lead the Division I Seawolves to a Nye Frontier Classic win and victories over national powers Wisconsin and Colorado College, while also recapturing the Governor's Cup from rival UAF.