SWASING | Why Don’t You Drink?

“Why don’t you drink?” The question itself is innocuous enough. In a sea of college students who couldn’t imagine St. Patrick’s Day without jugs of green alcohol from Thursday night through the duration of the weekend, it can seem off-putting when someone chooses not to indulge. To me, the real question is, “Why do you?” 

Truthfully, the whole concept of drinking has always been a little bit odd to me. I’m not talking about the occasional beer or glass of wine, but rather the ritual of dedicating every weekend to trying to set a new personal record of alcohol consumed. The idea that you have to reduce your inhibitions or change who you are in order to have fun or feel comfortable socializing is something I’ve never resonated with. I like myself and my friends. I don’t need to change my personality to have fun with them or to feel confident in who I am.

SWASING | Women’s Rights to Paid Parental Leave 

Over the course of Women’s History Month — and especially on International Women’s Day — our social media feeds are flooded with posts dedicated to women. Universities share stories of well-known female graduates or professors, and politicians give shout-outs to the “strong women” in their lives. While it can be exciting to see women given credit for their contributions to society, these posts as a whole are generally misguided and severely lacking in actual effects on women’s rights and equality. This year for Women’s History Month, instead of more posts “honoring the women in our lives,” I want real policy changes that create tangible and lasting impacts for gender equality — namely, mandated paid parental leave for men and women. 

There are currently no federal laws in the United States that mandate paid parental leave for men or women. Policy decisions on paid parental leave have been left to the states, only 11 of which (plus Washington, D.C.) have enacted laws to guarantee paid family leave. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2022, only 24-27 percent of workers had access to paid family leave.