Op/Ed

Op/Ed

Community Unity Educators: From “salad bowl” to “melting pot”

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On its website, Babson proudly boasts of having as many as 80 countries represented in its student population. In front of the Horn Library, international flags wave in unison as another remind of the diversity on campus. Babson even dedicates an entire residence hall, the Pride tower, towards LGBT awareness.

Yet as much as Babson strives to cater to the needs of its multicultural community, it still has a long way to go. Babson is like a salad bowl, where students of different backgrounds are tossed together, as opposed to a melting pot, where everyone contributes to the development and wellbeing of the community.

As a CUE, or Community Unity Educator, my mission is to make the melting pot a reality. I, along with four other CUES, want to start the conversation around inclusion.

One of our initiatives was a question box that asked people to explain what the phrase “BISO” means to them. Since it was anonymous, we received many frank responses. Someone wrote in that he couldn’t stand to be called a BISO, because of all the negative connotations that come with the label.

Despite the stereotype, not all international students are wealthy or exclusive. Evidentially, there is a lot of potential for a more unified community here at Babson.

To promote this vision, the CUES are hosting office hours, where students are encouraged to stop by and share your thoughts and experiences. Whether it is an offensive comment or ideas about new initiatives and events, we are here to listen. CUE can be reached on Twitter: @BabsonCUES.

America Is Not A Democracy, And Why That’s Good

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If I say “democracy,” you will probably say “America.” When founded, the United States was one of the first modern nations to give power to the people and, consequently, the two words have become forever married.  However, even at its inception, the United States was never intended to be a democracy. The Founding Fathers knew this, and you should too.

Technically, the United States is considered a Constitutional Republic. This entails several aspects that differ from a democracy. To understand how they differ, let us first look at what a democracy is. In its truest form, a direct democracy means that citizens convene together to create and set policy based on majority rule (>50% must approve). There are no elected officials and each person gets one, equally weighted vote.

Off the bat, you can easily see that America is different, and that’s where the “Constitutional Republic” part comes in. Those two words outline where power is derived from and how the government is governed.

The Constitution, as I briefly touched upon in my last article “Protecting Rights vs. People,” is a document in which the government must adhere to. It is the Supreme Law of the Land that dictates in which way people are protected from the government and in which way the government is ruled by the people.

The Constitution specifically outlines that a Congress shall be set up and “shall be composed of Members chosen… by the People of the several States.” This essentially says that (1) there are a few people in governing positions and (2) those few people are voted in by people who share similar beliefs. A Representative.

Let’s tackle point one first. Having just a few people in government is monumentally more efficient than having each citizen vote and decided on every single issue. Simply in terms of allocation of time and resources, this makes far more sense, especially when you consider that having 330 million individuals vote on each piece of legislation would be virtually impossible.

Next is the actual representation part. Some believe that the Representative should be a “delegate” of the people and accurately reflect their desires, while others believe that they should be a “trustee” and vote in their best judgement while also considering their constituents’ needs. Again, the “delegate” role is somewhat unrealistic, so many elected officials assume the “trustee” role.

Now let me describe why this is good. The individual is (usually) ignorant, uncompromising, and uninformed. The trustee in theory is more informed and also has to work with opposing views to pass legislation. He is therefore more willing to compromise and consider the viewpoints of others as well as his constituents. He also considers the theory of Tyranny of the Majority, in which he understands that the majority cannot completely disregard the minority for eventually he will become the minority.

Let’s put this into Layman’s terms:  Congress is majority Republican right now, however they cannot completely disregard the Democratic party’s wants. The Republicans understand that their majority privilege will not last forever, and eventually they will become the minority again (such as when the Democrats where majority in 111th Congress and are now the minority). The power shifts force neither party to over-utilize their power in fear that they’ll be trampled when they are the minority.

A lot of people do complain, however, the the Representatives do not listen to them enough. This is reflected in the fact that Congress has had an approval rating that hovers between 10-20% in recent years. I blame not Congress (fully), though, but rather the electorate. If you don’t like the people in power, vote.

More specifically, don’t vote for the incumbent. Too many people are not civically engaged and do not utilize their rights fully. Not only that, but people also need to vote on more positions. Most people only vote for Presidents and Congress, which is such a shame.

Your vote compared to millions of other of people does not hold much weight (which is why people feel as their vote doesn’t matter), but if you vote locally your vote will go further. If I vote for my local Board of Education, my vote is being considered against, say, 500 other electorates in my county. When I voted for President this year, however, my vote is being considered against potentially 6.8 million voters in North Carolina. Coming back from that small tangent; there is power in the people, just not too much to be disruptive to the process.

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.

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.

Letter to the Editor: On the diversity petition Op/Ed

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Dear Babson Free Press Editor,

I applaud your effort in taking the initiative to research and put forth factual data so that we as students are more informed about the various clubs and resources we have on campus. An article such as yours will receive backlash due to its sensitive subject matter however, it does what all great journalism pieces do: It forces people to have a difficult conversation from different points of view.

I cannot validate nor invalidate any individual’s experience at this school as every person’s experience is different. I can however, share my experience in the hopes that people realize that Babson is diverse in many aspects. I am not one to actively seek diverse courses or subjects but as my experience will convey, diversity permeates all throughout the college.

My second semester during my first year here I was required to take Rhetoric II in which an openly gay, white male professor taught us about the experiences of black lesbian females and the intersectional oppression they face from not one, but three groups. The professor was neither black nor female yet was still able to teach us and open our minds to the idea of oppression as “the sum of all parts” and apply those critical ideas to various topics including our own lives. The professor excelled at two things: exposing us to a group whose oppression often goes unnoticed and helping us realize that this oppression can be universally applied to every form of oppression. Once again, I did not know the topic of the class before I took it nor did I actively seek out this subject matter however I was exposed to it, and thereby allowed to make my own critical analysis.

This semester I took a course called South Asian History. Many people would expect a person from South Asia to teach this course. However, the person who taught me about the region where I am from was from Maine. Yes, a white man from Maine who has a PhD in History taught me about the South Asian region. He was able to deliver the material in a clear unbiased manner that taught us to think critically about the problems that plague the area. His race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender or sexual orientation simply did not allow him to have any advantages or disadvantages when it came to the delivery of the subject matter.

Professors at this school are hired because they are learned academics who have devoted years of their lives studying the subjects that they teach. Discrediting them because of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or perspectives is shamefully wrong. Professors who qualify for an open position based on merit should not be forgone in favor of professors who have a diverse social backgrounds. If hiring new faculty and staff to ‘be more diverse’ is the goal, what happens to the current faculty?

Furthermore, I would like to remind the first year students who are so vehemently in favor of this petition to realize that they have only experienced one semester at this college. There is simply not enough data for them to make conclusions about the entire institution without having experienced it fully. Their opinions are valued and offer a perspective into their experiences but it must be realized that most of them have only experienced 4 or 5 courses.

Lastly, I welcome informed discussion, debate and conversation about this topic but I will not stand for attacks on my own or other people’s character, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or socioeconomic background because they should not discredit my own opinions that I have expressed above. I further acknowledge that my experience may not be the same as other’s experiences but I am open to hearing about these. I would like to remind all students that diversity encompasses the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.

Thank You,
Vikrant Ghate

A Binary Choice

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When Americans cast their vote for president on November 8th, they will be deciding between two and only two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  While many voters, particularly millennials, are justifiably angry and frustrated with a political system that divides Americans in a way not seen since the Civil War, there is no room for a protest vote or for staying home — not this time.

If you are not convinced that a protest vote can have severe unintended consequences, we need look no further than 2000 when Al Gore lost Florida by 537 votes, throwing the election to George W. Bush, who started the Iraq War under false pretenses, ballooned the deficit, and drove our economy over a cliff.  The protest candidate that year was Ralph Nader, whose 97,488 Florida votes were directly responsible for the Bush victory.

We face a choice between two candidates with very different visions for America.  Trump proposes mass deportation, building a wall to stop Mexican “rapists,” and banning Muslims from entering our country.  He believes that climate change is a Chinese hoax and that massive tax cuts for the rich will somehow trickle down to the middle class without ballooning our deficit.  He admires Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin and encourages Russia to conduct Internet espionage on Trump’s political opponents.  

Trump’s birther movement has falsely challenged the legitimacy of our first black president.  He promotes violence at his rallies to the point of encouraging “Second Amendment people” to take matters into their own hands should he lose the election.  He would pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and start a war with Iran when they make “gestures” at our sailors.  He would walk away from the Paris climate agreement signed by over 100 countries and appoint conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe vs. Wade while limiting a woman’s health care options.  

Alternatively, Hillary Clinton would carry forward the President Obama agenda that has focused on addressing climate change, expanded healthcare coverage, largely ended two wars, cut our deficit in half, and produced a record 78 consecutive months of job growth.  Clinton would also push forward an agenda of debt-free tuition for students whose families make under $125,000/year, a $15/hour minimum wage, gun safety initiatives, and increased taxes on the wealthy to pay for a needed infrastructure jobs program.  She has more experience than any previous presidential candidate having served as first lady of Arkansas, first lady of the United States, U.S. senator from New York, and secretary of state.

When we go to the polls on November 8th, we should heed the advice of Senator Bernie Sanders, whose extraordinary campaign brought millions of millennials into the election process.  

“I’m the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I know more about third-party politics than anyone else in the Congress, okay? And if people want to run as third-party candidates, God bless them! Run for Congress. Run for governor. Run for state legislature. When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton.”

Sen. Sanders has it right.

“To my fellow first-years…”

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Dearest collegiate freshman,

Here you are, the class of 2018. You’ve studied, you’ve crammed, you’ve been the president of school clubs, directors of plays, producers of television shows, and editors-in-chief of newspapers. You’ve done so much already in such a short period of time.

And now, here you are. Standing before me, I see a class filled with potential, a class that exudes charisma and charms that go beyond the classroom. Your passions bleed beyond the small Babson community into the global world. I see you all going places – some will be CEOs of Fortune 500, while others will take their innovative ideas into the nonprofit sector. Of course, there will be a plethora of careers in between, all gearing up to do more.

But before we go off and explore the infinite possibilities that lie ahead, let us take the time to reflect on some of the most important, and oftentimes overlooked, parts of our college experience. First off, high school may have adequately prepared some for the vigor of college academia, but for many of you, this is a new experience. Now, I’m no expert on college, nor do I have any exceptionally amazing credentials. These thoughts are mere suggestions and tips that I’ve picked up during my short time at Babson, and they are subjected to change as I morph into the entrepreneurial leader I wish to become. Here are three things you should keep in mind as your journey at Babson continues.

One

This marks the beginning of your adult life. You’re free for the first time – free from daily familial obligations, free to be your own person, free to explore your own boundaries and take charge of your own future. Take advantage of that freedom and go explore the unknown. Get out of your comfort zone, and be proactive about your future. Join that club or organization you’ve been interested in, or better yet, join and run for that e-board position. Take the time out of your day to recognize your strengths. Build upon them.

Two

I know this is an abstract concept, but I encourage failure. Our FME professors tell us “failing is growing” and “failure only leads to success in the long run.” But let’s be honest here: from the student perspective, failing sucks. Failing means you did not accomplished what you set out to – or that’s the definition as we know it now.

Let’s re-define failing. Failure is not defeat. Failure is a mere road bump which leads to greater understanding of our strengths and weaknesses and builds stronger leaders. We’ve been trained as a society to think that failure is the ultimate form of defeat, when in actuality, failure may lead to success. The ambitions that we, as a class, have are stronger than the adversities and naysayers that try to hold us back. We are resilient, we are strong, and we are united.

Three

As we grow up and migrate away from the metaphorical “nest,” we often lose sight of the important things in life. We change as individuals, and sometimes, we stray from our core values and beliefs in hopes of discovering something better. I’m not here to tell you not to experiment and not to find yourself. What I will say is the grass is not always greener on the other side. Sometimes you must be adamant with your beliefs and stay true to your values.

College is a time of discovery and rediscovery; it’s a time of innovation. As cliché as it sounds, it truly is the time for you to be selfish and find yourself. Don’t waste this time. Take advantage of all the resources and activities offered, and live these next four years with no regrets. Put yourself out there and stay forever young in your thoughts and unafraid of change—set forth to make a difference, and do it.

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.

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.

Suite selection process spurns seniors

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Mandell Family Hall has four-person suites.

Sunday morning, 11:30 a.m.: figures straggle into the common room one by one. “What a night, huh?” “Trim in a bit?” “I’ll give you my One Card if you get me a coffee from Dunks.”—all common phrases heard throughout a Babson suite on a Sunday morning after a long night spent studying. All participating in a scene that is as traditional as Woody at Dunks, Midnight Breakfast, or stooping.

Having the opportunity to live in a suite at Babson is a privilege. However, that privilege is currently being taken away from those who have earned it the most: seniors. After this year’s suite selection process was completed, it was clear something was awry. Instantly, large numbers of seniors took to social media to display their dismay at how quickly the suites ran out. Numbers that were previously considered locks for a suite did not even come close. One common theme was prevalent: there are currently a large number of senior students without suites.

Numbers have been thrown out, such as 65% of suites being composed of juniors. Furthermore, examples of suites being occupied by a majority of juniors are being cited left and right. Over 85 seniors without suites are currently a part of a Facebook group message. Amongst all this speculation, one thing remains clear: something went wrong.

The housing system is supposed to be designed to ensure fairness. However, there are rising juniors with better housing numbers than rising seniors. As the current housing code is written, rising juniors with enough credits to be considered rising seniors are entered into the same lottery as all rising seniors. This provision was designed considering that these rising juniors would be graduating early with rising seniors. However, there is no stipulation that these rising juniors must declare their intention to actually graduate early. This leaves a large number of rising juniors with the same opportunity to live in a suite as a rising senior.

The grievance is not with juniors living in suites. The grievance lies in the fact that certain juniors were given the same opportunity to live in a suite as seniors. It is understood that it is common practice for seniors to pull in one or two juniors to complete their suite, but the fact that there are suites composed mainly of juniors is simply not right.

Seniority is a term that has never been more applicable. Seniors who have contributed to the Babson community for three years are now being hung out to dry by the very community they helped to build. No senior wants to spend their final year living in a single in Putney while the suites are occupied by a large percentage of juniors.

Senior year is supposed to be a year spent making memories and cultivating relationships that have been formed over the first three years of college. The current housing system seriously compromises that opportunity, and something must be done.

Four- and six-person housing must be redrawn. Juniors should not be placed in the same pool as seniors unless they declare their intent to graduate early. Occupancy of suites should also be reconsidered. Suites should be forced to be occupied by a majority of seniors. Therefore, two juniors could live in a Mcullough or Pietz suite, or one junior could live in Map Hill.

As a rising senior, I want to look back on my Babson experience positively. I want a fair opportunity to have that Sunday morning in a suite comprised of my closest friends. I want the same opportunity for rising juniors when they become rising seniors. I want a housing system that rewards seniority instead of deeming it insignificant.

I am not alone in these sentiments, and we urge Babson to hear our concerns. As future graduates going out into the real world, we will certainly be asked about our college experience. Will we say that we had an amazing four years fostered by a supportive administration, or will we say #ThisIsNotOurBabson?