The Prism: Every Side of the Story

SecondAmendment

The United States faces a major issue with gun control, or the lack thereof. This issue has not gone away, mainly because of the lobbying of politicians.The National Rifle Association “and its affiliates spent a record $54m to secure Republican control of the White House and Congress, including at least $30.3m to help elect Donald Trump” (The Guardian).

Financial concept with education fund label.

Talk of college admissions has reached national news recently as big universities and celebrities have been involved in a college admissions scandal. The U.S Department of Education has recently launched an investigation of UCLA, USC, Yale, and other universities due to fraudulent acceptances into these top colleges. Also involved in this scandal are many wealthy individuals who pay the schools an absurd amount of money for their child’s college acceptance. While both celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin have been involved in this scandal, about 50 other people have been charged with fraudulently influencing admissions. Together, those charged with these crimes paid a whopping 25 million dollars to William Rick Singer, a man who manipulates test scores and bribes universities to get the children of his clients into top colleges. However, with a scandal like this, it is important to look at all the socioeconomic advantages and disadvantages, with respect to the college admissions process and attending college.

It’s no secret that the wealthy have an easier time with the college process. Regarding test scores, the wealthy have access to better prep books, tutors, and more tests, as all of these steps in the standardized testing process together cost a large sum of money. As for college admissions, applying to college is an expensive feat as well. Generally speaking, college application fees are around 50 dollars each, and it is becoming increasingly popular to apply to 5 to 10 colleges, sometimes even 15. Wealthy parents also have a leg up in terms of boosting their children’s applications because they have the means to send their kids to summer programs, pay for tutors, and cover the costs of expensive extracurricular activities that are appealing to college admissions offices. Sometimes wealthy parents pay for a special admissions counselor, which is another added cost that less fortunate parents simply cannot pay for. All of these costs add up, and they add up quickly. Even after being accepted into college, the real disadvantage comes with paying tuition. Private universities like USC and Yale cost 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year without aid. With financial aid, these schools still cost around 30 thousand dollars. These figures simply are just not an option for poor and middle-class families. Even if their children apply to state schools, with cheaper in-state tuition, it is still very expensive and requires the student to take out student loans. UCLA in-state tuition is around 12 thousand dollars, which can still break the bank for families when adding up with the cost of all college prep and admissions materials, and the cost of things like textbooks and other school supplies. The majority of families have multiple children, and are still looking at around 30 thousand dollars annually even if they have just 2 kids. This is only an outline of the kind of money colleges require these days, even for just admission to their university. It is clear wealthy parents have a leg up.

While the scandal is far from a typical college admissions experience, it still highlights the inevitable advantage that rich families have. It brings to light the lengths colleges go to for an extra 50 thousand dollars, and exposes the ever growing competitiveness of college admissions. When surveying this larger than life scandal, it is important to notice the real life aspects of the college admissions process, and the disadvantages of the poor and middle-class when it comes to getting their children an education.

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The popularity of makeup is a phenomenon used by people worldwide, regardless of age, gender or who they are. People  use it and apply it on their faces for various reasons, whether it is to express themselves, cover a blemish, or to boost their self-confidence. It has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years, with social media makeup trends coming in and out weekly. Social media icons such as James Charles and Kylie Jenner’s have made makeup’s popularity soar even more. It is no secret that the makeup business is at an all time high but the makeup business isn’t as inclusive as it should be. People of darker complexions constantly  find themselves limited in foundation shades and brands they can purchase from.

TSAI ING WEN

In the summer of 2015, Tsai received an endorsement from the late John McCain, allowing her to become the first female president of the Republic of China. She is the seventh president of the Republic…

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What does it mean to be going to a good college? For many, the answer to that question lies in the acceptance rate. Normally an acceptance rate that is lower is perceived as more selective and therefore better. However, that is not the full story.

From binders filled with papers, bulky textbooks and overloaded folders there is a lot of weight students must carry around in school everyday. Recent studies now show that a heavy backpack could cause back pain and other back issues in the future.

marijuana

Within the most frequently used drugs in America,  marijuana falls at number three, behind alcohol and tobacco. It is a relatively safe drug according to NORML (National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) compared to cocaine and methamphetamine, which are highly addictive drugs and easy to overdose on.  Around 64% of Americans in fact, are in favor of the legalization of marijuana. In 2018, 10 states including our capital, passed bills to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21, while 33 states have legalized marijuana but only for medicinal purposes.

Although medicinal marijuana is legal in more states than it is not, the practice of it for recreational purposes is quite different. Studies show that using marijuana for medical purposes can lead to pain relief for nerve damage, stopping nausea, movement disorders, HIV/AIDS and dementia. Out of the 33 states that have legalized medicinal use of marijuana, each individual state has their own specific sub-laws regarding its legalization.

In New York, only medical marijuana is legal, and it is illegal for cannabis plants to be grown in homes. In Rhode Island, however, residents are allowed to grow 24 mature cannabis plants and 24 saplings. Patients are allowed to have a 30 day supply in New York, but in Rhode Island, patients are permitted to have two and a half ounces of cannabis on their person. Organizations that are registered under New York State, of which there are 10, are allowed to sell non-smokable forms of the plant that can come lotion, patches, ointment, and lozenges.

Just like each state has their own laws and legalities regarding marijuana usage,  they also have different penalties. In New York, if it is your first offense, having anywhere up to 25 grams, is a fine of one hundred dollars but doesn’t result in any jail time. Growing marijuana, however, in any amount is a felony charge and the minimum time sentence is 15 years. Selling to a minor is a class D felony and can be punished by up to seven  years with a five thousand dollar fine.

California was the first state that made medical marijuana legal in 1996 and they legalized it for recreational purposes in 2016. Adults 21 and older can purchase up to eight grams of weed at a time and grow up to six plants at once.  In Colorado, the most popular state for legal recreational use of marijuana, there are more marijuana dispensaries than there are Starbucks and McDonald’s combined.

There are many misconceptions where it comes to the dangerous and varying effects of marijuana. As we step into 2019, more and more states will pass and decline bills to legalize and regulate the use, selling, and growing of marijuana. Doctors and business will reap the reward while politicians go at it with one another to make up their minds about the legalities and use of marijuana.

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The PRISM Press

The PRISM Press is the student written, edited, and published newspaper of Lawrence Woodmere Academy © 2019