Ellen Ailts


Ailts: Sex trafficking is still a problem after the Super Bowl

Some Minnesotans have grown paranoid while the Super Bowl is in town, perhaps believing sex trafficking is typically a more international, foreign issue, but the fact is, this problem is transpiring in our own backyards 365 days a year. In fact, Minnesota had the third-highest number of human trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2015.

Ailts: Why we should question our football culture

Those who played for the NFL had the highest rate of severe CTE at 95 percent, compared to 27 percent of college players with severe CTE. The concussion has long been considered the cause of CTE, and is an injury that’s all too common among players — recently, Gopher football player Nick Connelly retired from the game after sustaining his fifth concussion, which was his third in two years.

Ailts: Aziz Ansari, sexual misconduct and consent

We need to change the way we think about sex in general — we live in a culture in which many women don’t prioritize their own sexual pleasure and autonomy, who don’t express their desires explicitly. Consent is not something to be taken lightly, on either side; both men and women need to understand their responsibility to communicate, and understand everyone is responsible for ensuring the comfort of their partner. 

Ailts: Don't give up on your New Year's resolution just yet

As we all begin to settle into 2018, the excitement and determination we have to stick to our New Year’s resolutions can wane. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone — 80 percent of people give up on their resolutions before the second week of February.

Ailts: The news is affecting our mental health

Psychologists have reported that negative news can make our own personal issues seem more threatening and insurmountable; our worry becomes a cycle, constantly feeding off itself. 

Ailts: We place too much importance on a college major

Naturally, the assumptions people make about you based on your major are derived from vague stereotypes they hold about different fields of study, and can therefore feel very reductive. College students themselves might pick a major due to their own preconceived notions about what certain majors mean, or because they’re influenced by the preconceptions of others. 

Ailts: Reconsider our minimum legal drinking age

The drinking culture in the U.S. is often unhealthy, especially among young people. The minimum legal drinking age, or MLDA, being 21 creates a kind of “forbidden fruit” culture around alcohol, causing young people to drink in unregulated environments and decide among themselves what “normal” drinking habits look like.