Ellen Ailts


Ailts: "Food for Fines" could help you give back while also lessening your debt

What if you could spread some holiday cheer and pay off your library fines or parking tickets at the same time? On some campuses and in cities across the country, it’s possible to indulge in the holiday spirit of giving by donating to food shelters, while also lessening your debt to the city or university through Food for Fines. 

Ailts: Prioritize your sleep schedule and watch your grades and your health improve

Midterm season is just beginning to wrap up for many, and we’re all a little worse for wear because of it. During busy seasons like midterms and finals, it’s near impossible to not have your sleep schedule disrupted — if you even had one to begin with. With school, extracurricular activities, jobs and attempting a social life, 3-4 hours of sleep and a few all-nighters are par for the course.

Ailts: Income-based loan repayment could set a generation free

Over the past decade, outstanding student debt has skyrocketed from around $450 billion to more than $1.25 trillion. This can be explained, in part, by the increase in university enrollment, but it’s also due to the rising cost of higher education. 

Ailts: Generational conflict and the myth of the "Me Me Me" generation

It’s no secret what older generations think of us youngsters: entitled, lazy, and, arguably above all, narcissists. Many of us deny these accusations, but it doesn’t seem that we’re able to convince anyone otherwise. It’s easy to view any group besides the one you’re a part of as a monolith; they are decidedly other. 

Ailts: Open textbooks and the future of higher education

Last month, Senator Al Franken reintroduced the Affordable Textbook Act in Congress – this is a bill Franken has been trying to push for the past few years, but has yet to make real headway. This bill needs to be taken seriously by Congress.

Ailts: A "Plan B vending machine" could revolutionize sexual wellness at UMN

Last month, Stanford University introduced a vending machine that sells products including feminine hygiene products, pregnancy tests and morning-after pills. Rachel Samuels, who was Stanford’s student body executive chief of staff last year, worked for three years to introduce this safe-sex initiative onto her campus. But many other colleges have already unveiled “Plan B vending machines” on their own campuses, often due to student-led action, including Dartmouth, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara. This is a viable and desirable option for students and something that we shouldn’t have to wait years for on our own campus.

Ailts: The wasted time of binge drinking

Defining binge drinking as something that’s truly impossible to avoid in college is hardly an exaggeration. With every weekend night and football game, the liquor flows freely and endlessly — a force unto itself that continues to manifest, as if it is an inescapable curse placed on college campuses for young people to learn lessons about their body’s limits in the most punishing way possible.

Ailts: How has being part of the iPhone generation shaped us?

Smartphones, and iPhones especially, have become such an enormous and inextricable part of our lives. For young people, particularly the late millennial generation, the smartphone has shaped us. Life without the iPhone seems almost inconceivable at this point — how would we keep up with friends? Find our way around a new city? Order McDonald’s delivery at 2 a.m.? 

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.