In the midst of the chaos that has been my life since the world turned upside down, finding time to virtually visit these projects seemed to be just another added piece of stress. Between online classes, preparing for finals and fulfilling the duty of helping home school my 14 and 8 year old sisters PSL was far from my mind. However, I am glad that I made the time to visit these projects as it was a welcome reminder that there is more to life than just COVID-19, and that though the virus is what dominates most of our minds and news nowadays, there are still other issues in our country, state and city.
I am much more of an auditory learner, so I would’ve much preferred to have been able to have visited these projects and their creators in person and actually discuss the issues they had dedicated so much time to. However, there was still knowledge to be gained from this activity. I am certain I will remember these projects when it is my turn next year as a standard to hold myself to.
This leads me to discuss topic ideas for next year. For someone who is in a Politics Society and Law Scholars group, I am not extremely fond of being overly vocal about my own political beliefs. I don’t aspire to be a politician, but politics still do interest me, even if I am typically more of an observer than a participant. In that way, I am both anxious and excited to be pushed out of my comfort zone next year. As to a specific topic, I will admit I am not certain of one at this time. However I am certain that, even if there is a vaccine and the quarantine itself is a distant memory, the effects will be long lasting. I am no expert, but I know that there will be important issues that we need to resolve as a result of this pandemic, and I think that addressing a specific issue caused would make for an excellent project, as well as an important cause.
Between the stress of schoolwork, overbearingness of my family and spotty WiFi that was stressing me out that day, virtually attending the Public Advocacy Forum seemed like it was going to be a chore. However, I am happy to say I was wrong and that I enjoyed, learned and was inspired by the projects I visited, and I know that this years sophomores have set a high standard for us freshmen to live up to next year.
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Congressional Apportionment has always been, and will likely always be, a widely debated issue. Larger states feel their population is proportionally underrepresented while smaller states feel they have no voice, while some citizens in territories demand representation while others would rather not have the extra taxes. To properly address this issue it must be broken down into the two main issues. The first is the disparity in proportionate representation between states. In Wyoming, for example, there is one representative representing it’s 597,315 constituents whereas Montana has the same amount of representatives for it’s population of 1,050,493. The second is whether citizens living in Washington DC and the U.S. territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico ought to have representation.
This always feels like a bold opinion to take, but I feel as if the apportionment of representatives amongst the fifty states does not need to change, barring the adjustments made after each census. Perhaps it’s the philosopher in me, but I believe it is important to uphold certain values that our nation was built upon. Way back when our country was first created, a major influence was federalism. Essentially, this means that the power is shared between our national and state government. Looking at the name of our nation, it is clear that while we our united, we are also a collection of individual states. The states were here first, and it was them that created a national government. Thus, it is important to make sure the voice of each state is represented, even if some states have smaller populations. Though Wyoming has a population that can accurately be described as tiny, they deserve a voice. If we were to add more representatives to give more to larger states, the voices of single representatives from smaller states could easily be lost in the crowd. Many argue that the Senate being set up in the way it is helps account for this, it is necessary to note that the senate and the house have different responsibilities, and thus it is not enough to simply have a voice in one of them. I do not argue that it is a perfect system, but I will argue that there is no fair way to fix it.
The issue of DC and other U.S. territories is another common topic of debate. While it is true that these citizens do not get to vote in federal elections or be represented in congress, they also reap benefits such as paying less taxes. In the spirit of democracy, I believe they should be given a choice. Put it to a vote, allow the citizens to choose whether the benefits of representation outweigh the costs. It has been attempted in Puerto Rico a few times, however their always seems to be some issue preventing them from actually following through on the results. I would argue, however, that this is not an issue of the idea of giving them a vote itself but rather an issue of poor implementation. From there, depending on how the vote goes in the different areas, there can be seats added to congress and then apportioned.
Apportionment of Congress is a complex issue, and I admit that I do not have all of the technicalities figured out. Despite this, I believe that all change must start somewhere and a somewhat broad outline is as good a place as any. I am also somewhat a realist in that I acknowledge that there is no perfect way to solve these issues and make everyone happy, and even if there were the government would likely struggle to implement it. However, in an ideal world, those are the steps that I believe should be taken.
Hello, my name is Anna Boulas. I am currently a freshman at The Ohio State University, and a member of the class of 2023. i am majoring in Philosophy, Pre-Law. I’m from Brecksville Ohio, a small suburb near Cleveland. No description of myself is ever truly complete unless I talk about what many would say is the largest factor of my personality: I am a Greek American. What this means is that my parents are both from Greece, but I myself was born in America. Because of this, growing up I was actively involved in Greek Dance, Greek School, and GOYA, the youth group at my Greek church., as well as volunteering at practically all the events at my church. Being a Greek American is not only something that provided me with a full schedule of extracurriculars, but something that motivates me to strive for success everyday. My parents both come from immigrant families, and the stories of their struggles is what inspires me to work hard to us the advantages they themselves worked hard to provide me with. These values that were instilled in me are a large part of what not only inspired me to come to OSU, but also to join PSL as a way to enrich my education. My other motivation for joining PSL would have to be my longtime love of all things law related. I’d have to say this passion goes back to when I was five years old and would eagerly ask my father, a lawyer, to tell me about his work each and every day. Looking back, I cannot even begin to imagine how annoying I must’ve been, asking questions after question until I was certain I understood everything he had said. Where most kids might’ve grown bored, I only grew more interested. My dad saw this as a phase, and when I would declare my intent to be a lawyer, he would smile and tell me that I didn’t have to do it just because he did, and that I could be whatever I wanted to be. Shockingly enough, the interest did not fade, and in high school I joined Debate and Mock Trial, which only further cultivated my interest in our legal system. When the time came to apply for college, applying for PSL was a no-brainer. What I hope to gain from PSL is something I’ve been trying to do since I was 5 years old, gain a better understanding of our legal system, with the added benefit of making friends and finding a community along the way.