Daily Editorial Board


Editorial: We must work to correct ethics shortcomings at UMN

In 2015, the head of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychiatry stepped down over criticism of the treatment of human subjects in research. This criticism came after the state of Minnesota conducted a legislative audit, finding that the University severely mishandled its treatment of a mentally ill man, Dan Markingson, who died by suicide during one of the school’s psychiatric drug trials in 2004.

Editorial: Kaler's new UMN sexual assault initiatives are a welcome move

During Eric Kaler’s recent State of the University speech, the University of Minnesota president noted the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, which has been brought to light this school year, especially after the Gophers football boycott last fall. One change to the culture and practices at the University regarding sexual assault — “enhanced training and additional education for students after their first year,” as Kaler put it — is a welcome move. This was one of five points of improvement focused on sexual assault awareness and resources that the president brought up. Each of these points — from creating better tools to collect data on campus sexual assault, to instituting mandatory sexual assault training for every University faculty and staff member — should be applauded.

White House press shutout is an opportunity for journalists

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer barred a number of press outlets, including The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN, from attending a press briefing on Friday. The Washington Post notes that such practice is “unusual, if not unprecedented.” The majority of new organizations that were admitted to the briefing have conservative leanings, including Brietbart News, the Washington Times and the One American News Network. On Friday, President Donald Trump singled out The New York Times and CNN, tweeting “FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn’t tell the truth.

Scott Pruitt as EPA head is harmful for our environment

Last week, the Senate approved the nomination of Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency — the government entity whose purpose is to protect our country’s land, water, and air. The nomination — heavily contested by Senate Democrats — marks a deep irony: Pruitt has spent the majority of his career as an opponent of the EPA.

Action must be taken to address uptick in anti-Semitic cases on UMN campus

The University of Minnesota campus was hit with a spate of anti-Semitic incidents last week, mirroring an unsettling national trend of increased hate speech directed at Jews. Since December, the University’s Bias Response and Referral Network reported seven cases of swastikas, neo-Nazi propaganda and other anti-Semitic graffiti on campus. The two latest incidents — an anti-Semitic poster found near the McNamara Academic Center on Friday, and the Thursday arrest of an 18-year-old University student over a swastika incident at 17th Avenue Residence Hall — come less than two weeks after a Jewish first-year found a drawing of a Nazi death camp emblazoned on a whiteboard in his dorm room. President Eric Kaler, Provost Karen Hanson and Vice President of Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert responded to the anti-Semitic events in a letter Sunday, writing: “We are committed to working closely with all on campus, including the leadership of Minnesota Hillel and Chabad, to determine how best to address these anti-Semitic incidents and move forward, always together, as a unified University of Minnesota community standing against hate.” It’s reassuring to see our administration take appropriate action. But this dour trend of anti-Semitic rhetoric — which has reached levels unseen since the 1930s, according to Anti-Defamation League chief, Jonathan Greenblatt — is only worsened by President Donald Trump’s vacuous and apathetic response to the issue. In a press conference last week, a Jewish reporter asked about the rise in anti-Semitic acts in the U.S., and worries that Trump’s administration is stoking the flames of racist and xenophobic movements across the nation. Like a robot programed without empathy, Trump dodged the question: “Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory we had.

Minnesota Student Association, like all politics, is subject to stalemates

For the past few years, students have petitioned for the installation of a fall break. Nearly every year, candidates running for top positions in the Minnesota Student Association — the University’s student government body — campaign for fall break. This year, MSA passed a resolution “supporting” fall break.