Make your opinion heard: Don’t just complain about issues, vote

USUAA realized their election broke a record for the number of ballots they received after the April 8 and April 9 ballots were tallied. Unofficially, 1,101 ballots were counted, beating the previous record of 1,054, according to an e-mail from Sarah Roberson, chair of the Election Board.

Web ushers in new era for politics

Alaska residents have seen few, if any, television commercials endorsed by the 2008 presidential candidates. However, logging on to popular social networking Web sites like MySpace and Facebook shows that the candidates and their teams of Internet geeks have the campaigns plastered everywhere.

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.

Pregnancy, gender, race and religion not as important as actions and policies

The news is always buzzing with information about government officials. After all, the public should know what decisions theses officials are making for the people they represent. However, lately many local and national news sources are failing to deliver pertinent information to the public.

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.

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.

Ignoring massacres doesn’t prevent future violence

When hearing the news that a deranged shooter killed five innocent people at Northern Illinois University, people can react many different ways. Sadness. Anger. Fear. Some, though, might respond with a "So what? Another school shooting doesn't really affect me.

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.

Calorie counts on fast-food menus reveal healthier choices

With the beginning of the New Year comes the inevitable New Year's resolution to lose weight, and this year New York City decided to make it a citywide aspiration. On Jan. 22 the city's Board of Health approved new legislation that requires fast-food outlets to display calorie counts on their menus.

Elmore extension is a gift with glitches

Any UAA student who lives on the south side of Anchorage and commutes to or from school during rush hour has probably cursed the Tudor Road and Lake Otis Parkway intersection at least once (and let's not kid ourselves; we've all done it plenty of times). The Seward Highway is a better alternative only part of the time.

Develop sustainable habits to last a lifetime

The garbage can is a place most people visit several times a day. If it talked, it could be a person's best friend, because it's probably visited more than human friends. Have you ever thought about ways to reduce trips to the garbage? Most people have talked about the importance of making our world more sustainable.

Don’t show loved ones you care – tell them

It's fairly easy to detect the falsehood in commercials that equate love and personal fulfillment with materialism. A diamond ring doesn't truly mean forever. An eco-car doesn't mean caring about the environment. And all the iPods and gadgets in the world aren't going to make your loved one happy or like you more.

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.

A responsibility to the UAA community

It comes up every semester: Student organizations and UAA administrations are sometimes surprised and even upset to discover The Northern Light's mission does not include promoting the agenda of any UAA department or organization. It is an independent organization, over which they have no authority or influence.

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.

Extending I/M test frequency still maintains air quality

The Anchorage assembly will soon debate whether or not to end the city's emissions testing program. Vehicle owners are currently required to retest vehicles biannually, with exceptions for the first four model years of a vehicle's existence. According to the municipality Web site, the Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program started in 1985 to cut back carbon monoxide pollution from Anchorage vehicles.

Fans should bring respect to the university

Excessive face paint and green and yellow wigs highlight rabid UAA sports fans. They bear cold weather and the uncomfortable dryness from caked-on body paint all in an effort to showcase their green and gold spirit. But the sports fans around the world also have a darker side.

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.

Bill helps, but responsibility for education lies with students

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act will raise federal financial aid by $20 billion, the single largest increase since the GI Bill in 1944. President Bush signed the new bill into law Sept. 27. The bill will decrease interest rates on federal student loans and gradually increase the maximum amount for the Pell grant.

Increase in nationwide campus violence hits home

It's hard to miss the white banner that reads, "Safety is Everybody's Business," while walking into the Student Union next to the Bookstore. However, most students glance away from its message and ignore the issue at hand: Campus violence continues to increase across the country and at our own university.

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.

Smaller gender gap brings new view of feminism

Is a new feminism in existence now - one both men and women are embracing but may not notice? Though the old feminism movement to win rights for women is still in existence for some, many women and men are part of a new form of feminism, one that allows the past form to influence them but doesn't guide their lives.

Professors’ guide to improve teaching style

The Northern Light has compiled this guide as an example of the positive and negative teaching styles seen on campus. Please note that most professors fall to the positive side, but every instructor can benefit from seeing the students' perspective on effective learning.

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.

Organic, Alaska-only milk is a future for Mat Maid

When the Alaska creamery board announced that they had shut down the Matanuska Maid dairy plant, mixed feelings came from Alaskans when Governor Sarah Palin dismissed the agricultural board and announced new members days later. This led to new faces in the creamery board and a reversal of the decision.

Bigger paycheck no cure for corrupt characters

In a classic study conducted at Stanford University in 1959, a subject is asked to perform a boring task, then bribed to convince someone else that it's more fun than it really is. In other words, to lie. Some are bribed $1. Others, $20. When they have to do the boring task again, those who sold out for a buck tend to rate it as pretty fun, while those who lied for $20 remain unenthusiastic.

The cold, hard truth hurts, but we need it

Despite the outcry over its decision, NBC did the right thing by deciding to air the video footage sent in by Cho Seung-Hui, who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself. The one thing people wanted more than anything else after the shooting spree was answers.

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.

Student’s death was an unnecessary tragedy

UAA student Ilia Ipatov was driving along Dowling Road in the early morning of Thursday, April 5, when an SUV crossed the median, rode over his small Acura and killed him. He would have graduated this fall. The culprit in this accident wasn't alcohol. It wasn't even a lack of seatbelt use.

Student government representatives don’t represent

If you've spent any time at all on campus the last several weeks, you've probably noticed the abundance of campaigning posters for USUAA president covering bulletin boards, all of them promising something - better leadership, an improved parking situation, lower tuition or just a change in general.