Ellen Ailts


Ailts: In the wake of Harvey and Irma, it's time to reconsider how we're donating

After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, many Americans did not hesitate to donate what they could to charitable organizations such as Red Cross. Of course, such a large collective donating charitably is always uplifting to see, but whether or not donors look into which charities will use their money most effectively is becoming an increasingly important question.

Ailts: How can we learn to think for ourselves?

Unlearning conformity and protecting intrinsic curiosity is a pathway to becoming an engaged citizen and making education fun for ourselves — it doesn’t necessarily have to be a grind; it doesn’t always have to feel like an obligation. Especially if you enjoy your major, you have the opportunity to relearn how to think and to reconsider how you approach education and being a lifelong student.

Ailts: Avoid the stress spiral this semester by taking your mental health seriously

A new school year inevitably means the gnashing of teeth and nails bitten down to the quick. The transition from the romantic, pleasurable detachment of summer to the fluorescent lights of a lecture hall is an abrupt shock, like leaping from the warm cocoon of a part-time job and lingering sunsets into the icy, relentless waves of predetermined social, academic, and extracurricular responsibilities. The beginning of the school year always seems to come just as I begin to settle into a peaceful routine of few obligations; it has always been, and will continue to be, unnerving. 

Ailts: Changes to sexual assault policies loom

There are few issues more contentious and polarizing on college campuses than sexual assault. Acts of sexual misconduct are notoriously prevalent, and yet underreported, on college campuses, with most abusers ultimately facing no punishment as a result.

Ailts: Flaws in university enrollment

Though the incoming class at the University of Minnesota will be the largest the school has seen in 40 years, these numbers are an anomaly among current trends in university enrollment nationwide.

Ailts: Israel dissenters silenced with new law

Beginning July 1, a bill that bans state vendors from boycotting Israel was enacted as law in Minnesota. The law bans the state of Minnesota, including colleges and universities, from contracting with vendors boycotting Israel, requiring anyone who enters a contract worth more than $1,000 with the state to certify they would not engage in discrimination against Israel.

Column: The tipping point

Minneapolis appears poised to become the latest city to implement a minimum hourly wage of $15. City Council will likely vote on the minimum wage ordinance by the end of the summer, with the outcome looking relatively set. Most members of the Minneapolis City Council support the wage hike with no tip credit, but this decision could be potentially harmful to local businesses, specifically restaurants and servers.