Veterans Day Breakfast

Veterans DayFree Breakfast? No way! Anyone is welcome for free breakfast hosted at the Alumni House Tuesday morning. Stop by and help us celebrate Veterans Day!

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Wilderness Panel

What is Wilderness? How has it evolved? Come find out more about your Wilderness at tonight’s panel debate 6:00 in the Student Center Living Room!

Wilderness Panel

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“End the Drug War”

drugwarIf you haven’t heard, come join us tonight in the Student Center Theater for a cosponsored event with the Young American’s for Liberty!

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Happy 50th Birthday Wilderness!

The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, signed by President Lyndon B Johnson. This act states, “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

Since its passing in 1964 there have been many questions asked: Has there been any measurable or exponential benefits to having designated wilderness areas? Should we leave wilderness alone or is 50 years enough? What is the benefit setting aside wilderness? Is wilderness the same thing as public lands? Come to pizza and politics this Wednesday in the Entertainment Bureau at noon to find the answers to these, and other important questions regarding wilderness.

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A Political Junkie’s Christmas Morning!

Tonight is the election watch party for all you political junkies. Come see if Democrats can hold the majority or if Republicans will beat them out in the Senate races!

We will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new and improved Bird Cage (near the tbird lounge) straight at 7:00 with refreshments and games provided.

Election Watch

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Podcast1

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by | October 30, 2014 · 2:36 pm

The Death Penalty

When it comes to the death penalty, the United States finds itself among a select group of countries. In 2011, the United States had the fifth most executions with 43. (Bohm & Haley, 2014). China led the way with 1,000+, followed by Iran with 360+. Saudi Arabia came in third with 82 and Iraq in fourth at 68. Last week, Pope Francis stated that “[a]ll Christians and people of good will are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”  In Europe, for example, the death penalty is viewed as a violation of human rights. A condition for admittance into the European Union (EU) is the abolition of the death penalty. (Bohm & Haley, 2014).

Although less than half of the world’s nations still have the death penalty, those that do have one seldom use it. “Among Western, industrialized nations, the United States stands alone as the only nation to employ capital punishment. However, even within the United States, 19 jurisdictions do not have the death penalty” (Bohm & Haley, 2014). Between January 17, 1977 and May 8, 2013, there have been 1,331 executions conducted in the United States. 53% of these executions have taken place in just three states – Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma (Bohm & Haley, 2014). Texas alone accounts for 37% of all the executions and more than 80% of all executions have occurred in the south. According to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Fall 2012), 43.17% of inmates on death row are white and 41.93% are black. 98% of the death row inmates are male. According to Bohm’s “Deathquest,” dozens of scientific studies clearly show that the death penalty continues to be administered in a legally impermissible and discriminatory fashion against blacks and the killers of whites. Harmon & Lofquist (2005) noted that as many as 25 people (and likely more) may have been executed in error in the United States since 1976. In 2010, 65% of Americans supported replacing the death penalty with life without parole (LWOP) if the money saved was used to fund crime prevention programs.

On the other hand, Dr. Ernest Van Den Haag stated that “Common sense, lately bolstered by statistics, tells us that the death penalty will deter murder… People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death… life in prison is less feared. Murderers clearly prefer it to execution — otherwise, they would not try to be sentenced to life in prison instead of death… Therefore, a life sentence must be less deterrent than a death sentence. And we must execute murderers as long as it is merely possible that their execution protects citizens from future murder.” Late Professor of Jurisprudence at Fordham University, “For the Death Penalty.”

Do you think the death penalty helps to prevent/deter crime in the United States? Do you think the death penalty should continue to be legal in this country? Do murderers deserve the death penalty? Should other crimes (besides murder) be considered for the death penalty? Is life in prison basically the same thing as receiving the death penalty? Is the death penalty administered in a discriminatory fashion? What message, if any, is the United States sending to the rest of the world that it has executed the fifth most people, right behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq? Join us at Pizza and Politics this Wednesday, October 29 at noon in the Entertainment Bureau and let us know whether you think we should keep or abolish the death penalty.

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