The Editorial Board


Politics and student fees

Last week, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart revealed that an adviser for Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, Bill Gilles, encouraged members of the College Republicans to apply for the Student Services Fees Committee dishonestly. Gilles advocated gaming the system with the clear intent to get more conservatives on the Fees Committee to balance out its supposed âÄúliberal bias.âÄù

From Heartland to Havana

Minnesota Democrats Rep. Collin Peterson and Sen. Amy Klobuchar might seem like odd candidates to jump into the muddy waters of U.S.-Cuba relations. Yet together, theyâÄôve authored a pair of bills that would lift a decades-old travel ban to Cuba and poke holes in the U.S. trade embargo of that island nation.

Incentivize graduation

If you have more than 130 credits or if youâÄôve been a student for more than four years, University of Minnesota officials are considering raising your tuition. Their goal is to improve the four-year graduation rate is an admirable one. But instead of crassly punishing students for not graduating on time, the University should offer positive incentives for those who do.

For dining, U should look local

ItâÄôs not often several problems can be solved with one solution. But by incorporating more locally produced food into its menus, the University of Minnesota could help fight obesity in giving students healthy food and expand the market for small producers struggling to compete with big agriculture, thereby keeping more money in the state.

Repeal ‘don’t ask don’t tell’

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted down a bill that would overturn the military’s controversial policy that prevents anyone who is openly gay from serving in our armed forces. In an almost party-line vote, 40 Republicans and three Democrats voted no, preventing the bill from getting the 60 votes it needed to pass.

Real corporate personhood

Civil rights groups chided Minneapolis-based Target following its $150,000 donation to MN Forward, a conservative group supporting Tom Emmer’s campaign for governor over the summer. But there’s at least one group that didn’t even want voters to know these contributions took place.

Minneapolis’ blue wall of silence

In May 2009, the Metro Gang Strike Force was shut down after a report from the Minnesota Legislative Auditor’s office found that more than $18,000 in cash and 13 vehicles seized by the unit went missing. Since then, four separate investigations have resulted in charges against only one member for kicking a boy in the head during an arrest.

Troubled U relations

It’s been bewildering observing University of Minnesota officials try to explain why they censored “Troubled Waters,” the documentary about pollution in the Mississippi River. The Twin Cities Daily Planet article that broke the story quoted University spokesman Dan Wolter saying the Bell Museum was responsible for halting its Oct. 3 release. Then, a Star Tribune article the same day laid the responsibility for cancelling the film on Karen Himle, who, as the Vice President of University Relations, works with Wolter.

Gambling out of the red

In the last month, politically divided Minnesota has seen gubernatorial candidates, state legislators and small business owners agree that Minnesota’s current gambling law requires changing. Both Democrat Mark Dayton and Independent Tom Horner support expanded gambling opportunities that would help fill the state’s $5.8 billion budget deficit. The former proposed a new casino be established at the Mall of America or the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, while the latter wants slot machines installed at the state’s two horse tracks.