Op/Ed

Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: On Paris and Beirut

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I’m deeply troubled by the carnage this past weekend in both Paris and Beirut. This sadness comes from a number of places—I have friends, both from Lebanon and from France, and I feel the intense sadness they feel for their own people. I am also troubled because this is another tragic moment where fanaticism and hateful, exclusionary ideology has manifested itself as a violent outbreak, leaving the global community crippled and asking, yet again, “Why?”

Aside from my grief, I feel something else; I feel confused. I am confused as to why a global outpour of sympathy has been directed almost exclusively towards France, leaving Lebanon, for the most part, in the dark. This is not to say I think there should be no sympathy shown for France—on the contrary, I wonder why people do not see the bombing and loss of innocent life in Lebanon, by the same group of fanatics, as troubling as the French incident. Monuments were lit up with France’s colors of red, white and blue, as well as people’s Facebook profile pictures, and I was sitting there wondering, what about the rest of the victims? Aren’t their lives equally precious and important? I did not see this sort of solidarity for the victims of the Lebanese bombings, or the Yemeni civilians crippled by airstrikes, or the Jordanian fighter pilot, and all the other journalists and aid workers who were brutally murdered at the hands of ISIS. These are just a few examples that hit close to home.

I just wonder, what if my home in Jordan, which is just a borderline away from Lebanon, were to be subjected to such terror? Would the global community stand in solidarity with my people, my family, my friends and my home? Or will it be seen as just another act of violence that can be expected in such a turbulent region?

My thoughts and best wishes go out to anyone who has been affected by this past weekend’s global tragedy; no life is less precious than any other.

Life and social media, discordant

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Morgan Roth questions why she posted an Instagram photo in the midst of a family crisis. Photo courtesy of Morgan Roth.

Saturday morning, I posted a Instagram picture from the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. By then the tears had stopped, and I had begun mentally preparing for the journey ahead. My 14-year-old brother commented, curiously inquiring why I was in Miami. My heart hurt as I thought of how much he didn’t know. On Saturday afternoon, I hugged a cop whose partner had just committed suicide as I stood across from my dad’s hospital bed.

48 hours earlier: “Who am I speaking to?” An unfamiliar female voice answered the phone. I hesitated for a moment; it was far from the “Hello sunshine!” my father’s warm voice usually greets me with when I call. Regardless, I smiled, then responded that I was his daughter. The women, who turned out to be a nurse, nonchalantly answered, “We found your father unresponsive in his home this morning. Nurses tried to wake him up, but they couldn’t, so he’s on his way to the hospital. It’s not looking good. I have his phone, though I didn’t know who to call.” My mind went blank. It felt like a year passed before I finally thanked her. As if she had just realized the gravity of what she had told this man’s daughter, she added a shaky apology and hung up.

I wasn’t completely unprepared for a phone call like this, because my father’s health had been deteriorating for almost a year. But at this moment I was in the most helpless position. I put down the phone and stared blankly out of the 24th floor of my apartment in Shanghai. Days before all this happened, my Instagram featured a picture in Shanghai with the caption “I think I’ll stay here.” How ironic, because after that I was on the next flight out to Miami.

It is so easy to paint a pretty picture of a perfect life online—the hard part is getting through real times.

Why in the world did I Instagram while my dad’s life was in crisis? Was I being selfish, vain, ignorant or insensitive? As I think back and wonder why I did, I look at all the filtered moments of my life and realize I did it because it’s nice to see something that looks so pretty and perfect when you are living through what feels like the worst moments of your life.

It is rare to see a grown man in uniform crying in public. He stood silently weeping in the corner for this fallen friend. He recounted to me how it was completely unexpected, because his partner “was the happiest guy”; he had wife and a kid who he loved with all his heart. He told me that he just couldn’t wrap his mind around how this could happen. I thought silently to myself how it is always the ones who we least expect it to be. The ones who are in the most pain are usually the ones who are able to hide it the best.

Instagram and Snapchat make it so easy to make it look like life is perfect. There are filters, edits and timed views to give people a window into your life. You get to choose exactly what people see and you hold the power to control people’s perception of your life.

Every day, social media is flooded with endless images of the seemingly perfect lives of celebrities, models, socialites, and our own friends. They draw a range of emotions from those who view the images, from happiness, inspiration, and awe, to anger, jealously and sadness.

Whether it is freshman year of college and everyone looks like they’re having the time of their lives, or junior year and everyone is posting glamorous pictures from study abroad, it makes me wonder: is everyone’s life perfect? Of course not, but people aren’t going to post the moments of their lives where they are stressed out or in pain; they’re going to post the happiest, most exciting times.

I think I know what my friends are going through because I commented on their last Facebook post or liked their last Instagram picture. But it is not until I finally see them that I understand the whole story. It’s so easy to assume that you’re the only one going through a hard time and no one would understand if you told them. But chances are, no one knows you’re actually going through anything. Some problems are definitely bigger than others, but it doesn’t mean we are helpless. It is so easy to paint a pretty picture of a perfect life online—the hard part is getting through real times. So lean on your friends when you need to, because the real ones are always going to be there for you.

Babson student life: Ranked #1 in bureaucracy

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The Babson website proudly compares starting a club at Babson to “starting a new venture,”- even alluding to the notion that participating in student life functions as entrepreneurial practice. However, every club’s events must be approved by SGA, every piece of marketing material must include an SGA logo, and every dollar raised during these events must be returned to SGA. In reality, students who start and run clubs look less like entrepreneurs and more like bureaucrats. It is quite ironic that a school ranked #1 in entrepreneurship forces students to create the collegiate equivalent of government agencies in order to have a registered organization on campus.

While the structure of the system might be slightly ironic, the plethora of issues that stem from it are no laughing matter. The current incentive structure creates an environment where club leaders can ask for a large amount of money as many times as they can. Since the money they are spending is not “their” money, there is no organic incentive against requesting funding for pizza for every meeting, even if such spending is relatively frivolous.

Since the government decides which events can go through, and at times choose to not fund or partially fund events, club leaders are incentivized to submit as many budgets as possible, in the hope that some get approved. This system leads to an enormous amount of proposals and creates an environment that wastes the time of both club leaders and SGA members. On top of that, the need to request funding for each event creates a massive amount of uncertainty regarding whether the event will be able to be financed per the specifications of the club.

A good example of the issues with the current system can be found with the experience of the Babson Political Association. Caleb Wursten, founder of the BPA, expressed to me how difficult it is to plan events with such “immense levels of uncertainty.” He says that club leaders are essentially forced to “shotgun budgets and hope some get approved.” As someone incredibly passionate about politics who founded the very first political association on campus, Wursten (‘19) is exactly the type of student that the system should encourage. Instead, he finds himself in an environment that constantly inhibits his club’s flexibility and holds his passion bureaucratically hostage to the extent that running the club at times creates more stress than enjoyment. It comes as no surprise then that the government weights put on the back of organization leaders lead to high club turnover and lack of club longevity.

Clubs on campus should operate to fulfill the needs of their members and students who are interested in that particular club. The college should finance those organizations, not because every little function they perform benefits the whole campus, but because they provide value to the students who are interested in that activity.

Isaiah M. Williams, Co-President of Babson TV, explained to me how his club has had “a very difficult time pitching a budget” because SGA doesn’t exactly see the projects and events of Babson TV translating well to “the greater student body.” So much for the “diversity” of clubs that Babson advertises on their clubs page. Williams (’19) goes on to explain how in his presentation to SGA, many members seemed disinterested, on their phones, and generally seemed to lack care about a subject that he and the many members of his club are passionate about. His description of the immense difficulty in navigating the SGA “red tape” contrasts almost comically with Babson’s claim on their club page that “Red tape is kept to a minimum.” People who love media and film should be the ones deciding what projects can be completed, but in the centralized economy that is Babson student life, the government is the one who decides whether a a club’s function adds value, and they do that by questioning whether it adds value to the whole community. In the real world, instead of attempting to add a little value to the entire population, companies fill specific niches and add a lot of value to specific segments of the population. If we start emulating real world venture creation, maybe our student life can finally live up to our #1 entrepreneurship ranking.

Aside from the minutiae and specifics of the funding process, the entire mindset behind student life is misguided. Marketing materials must have an SGA logo because the events are funded by SGA. Any money raised with the assistance of SGA funds must be returned immediately to SGA. The message is clear: it is SGA’s money and they are graciously giving it to you. If the SGA is truly a government for the people, then it is not their money at all. They should merely perform the job of fairly allocating it among the various student groups (and get paid the same $1000 they already get paid). As students and sources of tuition money, we, the broader student population of Babson, should have access to funds given for the purposes of student life without the restrictions (such as having an SGA logo on all flyers) levied on us by what is essentially a financial middleman.  

I propose that Babson migrate to a different system of financing student life in order to make it more vibrant and efficient. Rather than having organizations apply for funding for every little thing they do, they should instead apply for funding for every semester. They would submit a general outline of why they need the amount they are asking for and then SGA will allocate money to be spent by that organization for the semester. How large the funding an organization can receive should be based on past performance (how long they’ve been active, how much value they added last year, etc). Tying funds to past performance would also help reduce club turnover because clubs would be incentivized to be active and add value every year. A faculty advisor for each organization would have to approve each time funds are disbursed by a club in order to regulate spending.

Any perceived mismanagement of funds can be dealt with by the SGA in the form of asset freezes, lack of future funding, etc. This system would create an incentive structure that promotes conservation of funds because any dollar spent by an org would mean they couldn’t spend that dollar on an event later in the semester. Williams (’19) and Wursten (’19) both expressed extreme enthusiasm for the idea as they claimed it would allow their respective clubs to be more efficient and add more value to the student body by removing many of the incredibly restrictive regulations placed upon them by the SGA. This idea isn’t new either; many colleges use a similar system to fund their student life.

At Columbia University clubs put in funding requests to their student government at the end of the academic year and then receive a lump sum for the next year. When club leaders come back to campus in the fall they already know their resources for the year and can plan their club accordingly. Adopting a system like Columbia’s or some version of the one I proposed would make both clubs and the government more efficient.

The Babson website on their clubs page proclaims, “as in any entrepreneurial venture, at Babson anything is possible.” Well at the moment that should be modified to say that at Babson when the government supports your idea, anything is possible.

Protecting rights vs. people

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The Bill of Rights came into effect in 1791, some 225 years ago. It is considered the most prominent document in American law and still affects policy to this day. However, as time has passed, many believe that the document has become somewhat archaic in today’s world of changing technology and attitudes.

The 1st Amendment is perhaps the most recognizable amendment in the Bill of Rights (along with the 2nd). It separates Church and State, grants the freedom of religion, allows people to peacefully protest the government, and permits the Freedom of Speech and Press. For this piece, we will focus solely on the Freedom of Speech provision.

When written in 1789, it was abundantly clear why this provision was put in: to criticize the government without reprimands. However, while people still reserve the right to protest the government, the chief concern with the amendment today is that it enables and grants individuals the freedom to criticize others.  The same freedom that I have to verbally attack the government also allows me to attack an individual.  As one can imagine, this is cause for quite a bit of pain, as it opens up avenues of harassment. Even the Supreme Court has tackled the issue of “hate speech,” arguing that as long as it does not promote immediate violence (such as that outlined in Brandenburg v. Ohio), you can say whatever offensive words you want about anyone, so long as they are not considered libel (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan).

This has been particularly controversial on college campuses. Many people, especially minorities, feel as though vitriolic speech is unproductive and damaging, so speech codes are needed to protect individuals’ sanctity. Babson College itself has policies in place to protect people from acts or words that “demean, degrade, threaten, or harass” people based on their identities. This includes sexual orientation, gender, race, nationality, age, and disability, to name a few. It is argued that speech codes that protect these identities actually promote a collaborative, positive environment in which people feel safe to express themselves. This allows the success of students because they can pursue their passions without being discriminated against.

However, critics of the speech codes argue that that rationale is inherently wrong: the real world doesn’t have any censorship policies and that people will be inevitably offended by someone. Speech codes are seen by many as a way of coddling and sheltering students from reality, therefore not expanding their horizons to challenging beliefs. It is argued that because certain ideas and words are not allowed to be even mentioned, then academic pursuits and advancements get choked. Furthermore, what is considered offensive is extremely arbitrary. What is deemed offensive to some may be menial to others, thus creating a shady grey area that can in essence turn into “thought control” by a few (most likely bureaucratic) governors. Additionally, simply enacting speech codes on campus won’t stop the hate either, since it is not necessarily the words that hurt but rather the intent behind words that can ultimately do the harm.

Why the Donald Trump represents the modern day republican party

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The Republican Party today seems astonished by the fact that Donald J. Trump is their party’s nominee in this election. The Republican establishment acts as if Trump is an unfair hand they have been dealt with, without any of their own actions contributing to his success.

There is a general outrage that the party has chosen an individual who is expressing hateful and vile judgements about various groups of potential voters.  However, there should be no surprise that Republican voters applaud Trump’s ideas such as the “Great, Great Wall” and “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” when the party has spent years telling immigrants they are not welcome here through “self-deportation”, the anti-Dream act, and anti-refugee rhetoric. The Republican Party has relied on fear mongering as a tactic for years by establishing suspicion of Latinos and Muslims long before Trump.

Republican lawmakers express shock when Republican voters cheer at Trump’s inappropriate derision and actions, even as they themselves deny our president common courtesy, for instance, by not standing during a state of the union address or by not giving a fair hearing to a supreme court nominee.

Republicans have no justification for their surprise at the rise of Trump considering that they have been laying the foundation over the last seven years for such an authoritarian and egotistical candidate. It all began when Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, said in an interview to the National Journal, “It is our top political priority over the next two years to deny President Obama a second term”. The Republican Party at that point decided to block all legislation and policy on all issues regardless of urgency or merit, with examples including: Veterans Affairs Funding Bill, Infrastructure Bill, Equal Pay for Women Bill, Student Loan Forgiveness, Bring Jobs Home Act etc… The greatest absurdity, however, is the fact that Republicans claim to back policies that support the former bills and acts, but since, it was President Obama who supported those policies, the Republican establishment couldn’t respect it.

In the seven years that President Obama has been in office, he has been filibustered over 500 times. For some context, Lyndon B. Johnson had two filibusters during the same time period. President Obama has also had 79 nominee blocks during his administration, versus 68 total for all of the other presidents combined.

That same disrespectful, uncompromising and dictatorial nature is exemplified in Donald Trump’s oratory, with examples such as, “Because you’ll be in jail” as he threatened his opponent with jail time or “You have to take out their families” referring to how to deal with terrorism through war crimes; clearly showing no respect for the judicial process.

The party is now reaping what they have sown. The Republican establishment prioritized the happiness of its right wing voter base rather than approaching the issues that mattered to the majority of Americans.

The Republican Party has not moved from that model. Even after condemning Trump’s policies, most Republican lawmakers have endorsed Donald Trump due to fear of their political futures. Until earlier this month, respected Republicans such as Paul Ryan and John McCain had backed Trump, even after Trump refused to denounce an endorsement from the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Republican leaders supported Donald Trump through comments that denigrate Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, disabled, and now women. Even now, the Republicans who are now abandoning Trump are doing so because his comments about sexual abuse affect their predominantly white right-wing voter base.

The Washington Post sums up the situation: “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster”. Conservative leaders through their words and actions demonstrated that government, politics, and political parties were institutions that did not deserve respect, and now it is their own nominee who is taking advantage of those perceptions.

Conservatives leaders have incited nothing but fear, hate, distrust, and resentment in their most avid supporters; therefore, it should be no surprise that they have nominated Donald Trump, a product of their own actions.

Links used for Evidence:

http://www.citylab.com/work/2015/12/2015-year-anti-immigration-trump/421893/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/when-did-mcconnell-say-he-wanted-to-make-obama-a-one-term-president/2012/09/24/79fd5cd8-0696-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_blog.html

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/08/27/Top-20-Words-Voters-Use-Describe-Trump-Bush-and-Clinton

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-the-gops-frankenstein-monster-now-hes-strong-enough-to-destroy-the-party/2016/02/25/3e443f28-dbc1-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html?utm_term=.215d83f5c1f1

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/politics/harry-reid-donald-trump-frankenstein-monster/

Conflicted student seeks internship solutions

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“Middle-market. Leveraged capital buyout. T­–M–T.”

My friend is wearing a pink striped tie and a blazer. He has a video interview tonight, his eleventh recently, and recites contrived phrases as he paces the room.

“Enterprise software solutions. Accretion.”

I am lounging on a bed wearing a loose-fitting kurta and sipping iced coffee. I do not have an interview tonight, nor have I had one this month or the month before.

“This isn’t for lack of trying,” I would like to write. But, except for a few consulting applications, I haven’t embarked on my Junior Year Internship Search, that all-important third-year rite. Until now, I’ve hurdled through my college years like one of those Spartan racers. Having overcome classes and clubs and jobs, I feel like a mud-streaked champion, successful if not graceful. Now, an unexpected roadblock. I can’t bring myself to upload my resume and click submit.

Resources for students affected by DACA

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Additional reporting by Yun Liang.

  • Students who wish to speak with a counselor in the Health & Wellness Office for support during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) can call 781-239-6200.
  • Outside of normal hours, students should contact Public Safety at 781-239-5555 and ask to be connected with the Student Affairs staff member on call.
  • Students are never required to disclose DACA or undocumented status when seeking out information.

Students Can Also Connect With:

  • Alana Anderson: Multicultural Programs/Glavin Office, 781-239-4565
  • Stephanie Kuchova: Academic Service/First Gen Programs, 781-239-4075
  • Katherine McMahon: Residence Education, 781-239-5295
  • Denicia Ratley: Faith & Service,  781-239-5969

Confidential Resources at Babson Include:

  • Counseling staff in the Health & Wellness Office
  • Chaplains in the Office of Faith & Service
  • Nurse practitioners in Health Services
  • Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services
  • Health Promotion/Alcohol & Other Drug Services

Steer Away from Scams

You may receive an email and/or calls from someone claiming to be the FBI, ICE/DHS (or even the IRS with a request for money). In many cases, the emails and/or calls are threatening deportation or arrest. Sometimes the phone numbers and emails may match the official ones. If you hear anything like this, notify ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) or Public Safety immediately. Advise that the individual receiving these messages not reply or take any steps until they speak with Public Safety.

An Open Babson Community Knows To

  1. Listen respectfully and suspend judgment. Keep personal or political opinions to yourself. This should not be a debate or discussion about a group of people or about policy; it is about that individual opening up to you and trusting you.
  2. Respect your friend’s confidentiality and boundaries. Allow them to share what they want, when they want, and how they want.
  3. Resist the “single story” thought process about “illegals.” This identity does not define the person; it is one part of their complex identity.
  4. Ask questions you may have, but understand that your friend may not have all the answers. Your friend may or may not feel comfortable answering, and you should respect those boundaries.
  5. Educate yourself about current policies and political rhetoric that are impacting undocumented persons and communities in the U.S.
  6. Do not allow your friend to become isolated. Let them know about campus resources and groups, community organizations, and more. If they wish to know other undocumented students, ISSS will reach out to other undocumented students with whom they have a relationship and who have provided their consent for this. Students who share their immigration status with ISSS are never forced to share their information with others.

Multi-level marketing: One student’s experience

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Multi-level marketing is a business model that often gets criticized as a get-rich-quick or pyramid scheme. Companies such as Vector Marketing, Vemma, Avon, Wake Up Now, and others utilize this structure in order to simplify training and increase the reach of their direct selling by tapping into the networks of their sales representatives. Personally, I only have experience with one company, Vector Marketing.

I began work at Vector the summer before my senior year of high school. I had been looking for a summer job and found a sales opportunity available off Craigslist that promised a base pay of at least minimum wage, and the possibility of making commission. I didn’t know anything about Vector; I just knew they were offering me an opportunity to make money, so I scheduled an interview. After being hired to join the team I began my career as a sales representative. The first step was a three-day training to educate new representatives on the product and the sales pitch used by the company. I was given a demonstration kit with a sample of the products Vector marketed, Cutco cutlery. This allowed me to perform in-home demonstrations, which are the key to the Vector sales pitch. The success of the direct sales method lies in the strength of the product itself. Cutco knives are exceptional quality and I can honestly say there was not a single home I visited which had better knives than the Cutco blades. The knives are priced to compete on the high end of the market, with some sets running into the thousands of dollars.

At first, you are tasked to visit friends and family to give a demo and refine your pitch, but an even bigger part of the marketing strategy is that after every demo you are expected to get the names of ten or more recommendations of people you can call to schedule another demo. By doing this, your list of potential customers grows exponentially. This is an effective system of selling. By getting college age students to tap into their family and friend network, Vector is breaking down the barrier to the customer right off the bat. People are far more likely to trust a friend of a friend than a salesperson at Macy’s. The potential customers do not even have to be in the market for cutlery because the sales reps will get paid whether or not they make a sale.

We have to remember that customers have a choice to buy or not to buy and that people have a choice to go into sales or not.”

Now that I have described a little more about Vector, I will talk about why they can sometimes get flack. One major factor is that some offices force new representatives to buy their demonstration kit. People feel that this is just a quick way for Vector to make a buck, without any regard for the success of the sales rep. Luckily, in many offices Vector has begun to offer you free kits for your entire tenure as a sales rep. The kit is a necessary part of the job and by making one small sale a person can offset the cost of the kit.

Another common criticism is that profits trickle up the ladder in a pyramid scheme-like flow. While it is true that office, district, and regional managers get a percentage of the sales in their area, it is all part of the motivation to strive for success across the board. Sales reps benefit from commissions when they do well, and managers benefit from a percentage when they have trained a sales force to do well. This is part of the allure of Vector—there is no limit to your potential to earn or advance. Vector is a great example of a “get what you give” arrangement. For this reason, a lot of people end up making very little money. Vector is not like a typical retail position where you are essentially guaranteed pay whether or not you excel at your tasks. Some people come into Vector expecting a big paycheck, but don’t put in the effort or the hours in order to learn the system and get in front of enough people to make a sale. Sales is a tough job, even for those who are good at it. It can be a long time between sales and nothing is guaranteed. This is not the right job for everyone.

Babson Professor and Chair of the Marketing Division Victoria Crittenden is on the Academic Advisory board of Vector. Her first experience with the company came when she was putting together a case on Cutco, Vectors manufacturing and product lines. She met with the startup team to review their efforts to expand internationally and toured the manufacturing facility in Olean, New York. She was able to get a grant from the Direct Selling Association to write a case on Cutco. She joined the Academic Advisory Board in 2000.

“We have to remember that customers have a choice to buy or not buy and that people have a choice to go into sales or not. Setting that aspect of selling aside, working in sales always involves a salesperson who is attempting to sell something. When the salespeople are doing their jobs well, everyone in the organization thrives. That’s not a pyramid scheme or a scam—as long as the legitimate practices are in place to make sure all are compensated legally and that customers are receiving the quality products they thought they were purchasing,” Professor Crittenden said.

While I personally believe that working in a structured environment like Vector may not allow an entrepreneur to thrive, Professor Crittenden made a good point that no matter what business you are in, you are always selling something. I can definitely support her view that Vector allows its reps and managers to hone skills that are applicable to other business situations, but also in daily life. Being a sales rep teaches you skills in sales, marketing, organization, and communication. You learn to have an interaction with a customer in order to make a sale based on their needs. Vector is a rarity in that it allows people the chance to dive into the sales and management experience.

Vector may not be a long-term fit for some, but after spending 8 months as a sales rep and assistant manager, I believe that Vector has something to offer everyone, and can be an ideal platform to thrive. Professor voiced to me what she thought were the greatest strengths of Vector, and I completely agree. She mentions that the system “enables a young person to expand his/her people skillset in a nurturing environment.” A young person can be proud of the product and the company itself. Cutco is a premium product, no question. Possibly most important is the “investment that the company makes in creating and delivering sales training for students.” Vector is not going to be perfect for everyone, but it is a system that puts the power in the hands of the sales representatives. If you commit to the training and listen to your manager, you will be able to sell. Not everyone is going to have a six-figure sales campaign, but the life skills that I learned at Vector are more valuable than the money I made.

Decompressing (for free) on Babson’s beautiful trails

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Photo courtesy of Andrew Plifka

As any Babson student knows, multitasking and being extremely efficient are necessities for survival. Drowning in work, excessive stress, and the feeling of being completely inadequate compared to one’s peers are not uncommon occurrences on this campus. And, While not the best culinary experience any of us has ever had, Trim’s infamous “all you care to eat” style can really start to become “all you care to gain” on our waistlines. However, when a student looks to have a relaxing experience or peel themselves away from their overflowing email inbox, they should not simply look for the typical activities and happenings on campus. They should do something that offers a multitude of benefits for just one investment of time.

With limited financial resources, many students can seem trapped here at Babson, which is simply an unpleasant way to feel about one’s college. However, many students do not know is that they are actually within a safe walking distance to walking and running trails and multiple grocery stores. Over the past few weeks, I explored ways to get off campus for a grand total of nothing.

Right here on campus, we have a running and walking trail that offers students an innovative and healthy way to check out some of New England’s iconic foliage and fall weather in the next few weeks. Past Coleman Hall, one can find the Sudbury Path. The Town of Wellesley has actually created an expansive network of safe and easily accessible trails. I was able to start near Coleman Hall, travel through parts of Olin College, and continue into the forest near the Wellesley Recycling center. The path was well marked, clean, and close to help. It offers students an opportunity to get exercise, fresh air, and decompress after a long day here at Babson. In addition to the Sudbury Path, I have also discovered a safe route, complete with sidewalks, to Whole Food Market in Wellesley. A twenty- to thirty-minute walk each way offers exercise, an opportunity to explore the community surrounding Babson, and the chance to grab a variety of food and necessities.

So go run, walk, or take a leisurely stroll in nature; it’s actually a very feasible option. We have great resources that are not well marked or talked about. Take advantage of the benefits that these free trails and routes have to offer so you don’t find yourself as stressed out, bloated from Trim Food, or bored in the future.

Map courtesy of the Town of Wellesley

Our Presidential Candidates: What You NEED to Know

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Our Presidential Candidates: What you NEED to know

Hillary Clinton

         Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton is the democratic party nominee who also happens to be the first major female candidate in history. Her candidacy marks an era where gender no longer bars political ambition, where one can campaign on a message of inclusion and diversity. On policy, the Secretary has been unapologetically centrist on issues, an accusation to which she pleads “guilty.” Her personal center-left politics are moderate to say the least, as she is not extreme at all. Notwithstanding the occasional tug of a primary race, or a flip flop to address a new age, her positions are roughly the same: centrist policy that hardly anyone can agree or disagree with.

What you need to know

After the primary, Hillary Clinton took a very hard, and uncharacteristic, turn to leftist ideology in order to appease Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters. She favors more government intervention, or “investment” as she refers to it, in the economy. Entitlement growth, government subsidies, and public sector expansion are all to be expected under a Clinton administration. Clinton has also explicitly expressed a potent sense of fiscal responsibility. Being quoted for claiming to pay for everything she proposes, and “not adding a penny to the national debt,” one can also expect to see high tax spikes under her term. These taxes are meant to come from the wealthiest persons and corporations in the United States.

On foreign policy, Clinton has a very hawkish attitude. In Syria, she proposes a “no fly zone” over Aleppo that would prohibit any nation from flying into the area; an action that Generals in the United States military say would cause war with the Russian Federation.

Beyond policy, Clinton has an impressive array of personal qualifications, yielding experience that undoubtedly equals what is asked of the President of the United States. She has been a successful attorney, the First Lady of Arkansas, the First Lady of the United States, a New York Senator, the Secretary of State, and now a premiere presidential candidate. Her political experience is unparalleled, unrivaled, and beyond comparison to Trump. Her experience is so overwhelming that some consider it to be a fault.

On a more personal level, Clinton has a few problems. Firstly, both President Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders have said that Hillary Clinton has poor judgment. Clinton also lied about Benghazi, her state department emails, and even in the third presidential debate, she was caught in a lie over her desire for “open borders.”

She is also on the record for having “a public and private” political position on issues, suggesting that her real intentions are not as transparent as previously thought. She has repeatedly refused to release her transcripts from speeches made to big banking donors behind closed doors.

Additionally, Clinton has been accused of operating a “pay to play” system at the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State. The accusation includes giving her donors special favors after a monetary exchange, or donation, to the Clinton Foundation. Her charity foundation took in millions of dollars from foreign governments- the same she dealt with in the State Department. Clinton represents the status quo. She is an establishment candidate who has been in politics for 40+ years. Her policies would largely represent an extension of the laws and processes that Obama has been pushing forward for the last 8 years.

Donald Trump

          Donald John Trump is a billionaire business mogul who is the Republican presidential nominee. Rather than pursuing politics, he has spent his life crafting a personal brand of opulence and success that is self evident from any of his real estate ventures. Donald Trump’s landmark candidacy is particularly surprising because of his ability to, well, win. As a total and complete political outsider, he beat a well-qualified group of 16 candidates in a primary that he was never, ever supposed to win. He is unapologetically brash and uncensored, preferring to speak his mind than use a politician’s filter.

Using plain and imprecise language, Trump has often landed himself in controversy, perhaps purposefully. Through a clever use of the media cycle, and a belief that bad publicity is better than none, Mr. Trump prefers the media to do his advertising for him through name recognition, as he is now known to be “the Loudest Man on the Planet”.

What you need to know

                    Donald Trump’s political background is murky to say the least. By “playing off both sides” Trump has built up a very convoluted political past. He has supported and critiqued both democratic and republican presidents, showing his unconventional political stances. Beyond his support for varying policies, Trump is very outspoken.

He does not care whether his comments are misunderstood, offensive, misleading, or purposefully unclear. Since Trump so clearly represents a populist surge in American politics, he has faced hurdles at every step of his campaign. No party establishment wants an outsider- someone who will completely break apart their status quo, and yet he managed to pull off a landslide victory.

Trump answers to an extraordinarily angry and distraught electorate, the kind of people who lost their jobs as they watched their communities fall apart. These people feel betrayed by the political class, by everyone who has had the power to help them out, so it’s not surprising that they are so willing to overlook Trump’s comments and faults.

Trump’s policies are not what one would expect from the typical Republican playbook. He is not for free trade as others, but would rather have “fair” trade. He wants a system that allows workers in America to pursue good jobs. Trump’s greatest appeal lies in his proposition to help fix the broken trade deals that America is currently engaged in.

             Another position is his hardline stance on immigration. Just as the Republican party was about to concede the immigration debate, Trump exploded the conversation. He wants to fully overhaul the immigration process, as he says “there is none; they’re pouring over our border!” Building a wall, deportations, and strict adherence to immigration laws would be expected from a Trump administration.

Trump would also like to lessen the tax burden on American families, individuals, and companies. The Trump tax cuts would slash the federal budget, and in the short run blow up the yearly deficit. At the same time, however, Trump believes the plan to spur the economy into robust growth (of about 3-4% GDP as opposed to 1-2%) and massive reinvestment due to the low corporate tax rate.

Trump has also expressed concern over our National Debt, however, he considers fixing the economy a primary concern. On foreign policy Trump is less hawkish than Mrs. Clinton. He proposes working together with Russia, and pulling out of the Middle east; an action that would avoid large conflicts with other countries in the area.