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Student Government President at Virginia Commonwealth University discusses defunding Greek life

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RICHMOND, Va. — The institution of college Greek life has been thrust into the spotlight yet again. After a student’s death suspected to be caused by hazing, some Virginia Commonwealth University students are calling into question the ethics, history and purpose of Greek life on college campuses.

The death of freshman Adam Oakes, a hopeful pledge to VCU’s chapter for Delta Chi, has brought forth a movement to abolish Greek letter organizations from campus. Critics of Greek life say the institution receives unfair treatment from the school in comparison to other types of student organizations and clubs.

“I’m definitely down…


How Greek life’s history gave way to classism and white supremacy on college campuses

The Raleigh Tavern in downtown Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. It was in this building in 1776 that students of the College of William and Mary first met to form what would become Phi Beta Kappa — America’s first official Greek letter organization. (PHOTO: Tom)

The 1978 hit film “National Lampoon’s Animal House”, depicts a ridiculous and unlikely power struggle. The authoritarian Dean Vernon of the fictional Faber College routinely and energetically clashes with a slovenly bunch of brothers from the college’s Delta Tau Chi fraternity chapter.

In the second-half of the film, the brothers of “Delta House” are put on trial before the school’s Pan-Hellenic Disciplinary Council. When the dean tries to shut down the trial before the Deltas have a fair chance to defend themselves, Eric “Otter” Stratton, portrayed by Tim Matheson, stands up and delivers a fiery speech.

“The issue here is…


How the murder of a friend taught me to support outlawing the death penalty

Since 2018, New Years Eve has not been the same holiday it once was for me. Where before stood a holiday dedicated to looking past the toils of 365 days, welcoming in new hopes as a new year arrives, now stands nothing but a moment of grim reflection.

On Dec. 30, 2018, my close friend, Mason, was murdered in his home during a burglary gone-awry. At only 20 years old, a young man filled with nothing but potential was stripped of his life by three measly twitches of a finger.

This comes to mind with voluminous recollection at every New…


When insurgent QAnon candidates rattle an already-weakening political party.

Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, (third from left) announced her candidacy for governor of Virginia in February this year. Chase and her personal senate aide, Lauren Fulcher (second from left), both frequently espouse dangerous misinformation online, and are suspected to be enwrapped in the QAnon conspiracy theory. ()

Even after the tense election that just took place, some Virginia voters are already looking ahead at the race for governor. But, with the inclusion of some extreme, insurgent candidates — like Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield — many voters are fearing a predictably messy electoral process in the Old Dominion.

Chase placed her bid for Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election on Feb. 17, 2020. Some believe Chase’s candidacy is a sign of weakening republican influence in Virginia, as conservatives continue to allow more room in the party for extremism rather than disavowing it. But, with


Can a radical “anti-Antifa” strip club manager win an election? Or will history repeat itself for the fourth time?

(PHOTO: Kristopher Goad via Twitter)

A wave of fierce progressive democrats will be appearing on the ballots for many states in 2020. However, the antithetical opposition is just as numerous, and Virginia is no exception.

With candidates like Laura Loomer, R-Florida, Lauren Witzke, R-Delaware, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, on the ballot for 2020, it’s become clear that the GOP is headed in a new and uncertain direction. Virginia has received less-than adequate coverage in this context, which is odd considering the current state of affairs.

To understand this phenomenon, you need not look further than but should look very deeply at Mike Dickinson; candidate…


“Avatar: the Last Airbender” and the importance of morals in children’s entertainment.

I’ve always thought it unfair to pass off reasonable criticisms of children’s TV and movies simply on the basis of “it’s a kid’s show … it’s not that deep.” Fair enough, but then again that’s far from rationality.

Children’s entertainment, if anything, should haul the heaviest duty of ensuring its content is decent and intentional. The impressionable minds of a young audience is never to be discredited. …


How ‘social distancing’ has impacted life around Virginia’s capital city of Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va– Since the early weeks of March 2020, the world has collectively begun to adopt a wholly new zeitgeist of how to protect and respect one another; social distancing. As per towards reducing the spread of COVID-19, wearing masks is “in” and shaking hands is “out”.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed on Mar. 30, which called for a temporary stay at home order after having already on Mar. 12. …


The subjective nature of symbolism and how it manifests through emotions

Precedent gives us comfort in a crisis, and the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic is by and large the most unprecedented global issue humans have faced in a very long time. This pandemic soft-pedals the uncertainty that ensued during events like 9/11, World War 1 and the Black Plague. Precedent existed in those crises … terrorists have brought fear to U.S. soil in the past, wars have waged since the dawn of man and villages in the Middle Ages might as well have been waiting for something else to kill them if not Bubonic Plague. But never before has a modern, hyper-connected…


Six documentaries to expand your thinking while quarantined

Coronavirus has arrived with gusto here in America, or so it seems to most people. If you’re the responsible type , you’re practicing social distancing … if you’re selfish, you’re suddenly finding it easier to catch the attention of bartenders.

While many Millennials are joyously basking in an extra week of spring break at nightclubs and beachfront concerts, the virus is having a field day of its own. Boomers are holed-up in their houses … too afraid to so much as breathe the outside air. …


Trump 2020 … not so far fetched, ‘eh?

Doom lies in yourself, not in your name.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, from “The Children of Hurin”

I try not to check my phone for notifications after 10 in the evening because those are the witching hours. Shady moves happen underneath dark skies, especially in Washington. The 2020 Democratic Primaries are no different, as the night before Super Tuesday was an absolute tailspin of unfortunate events; a train wreck that no journalist could avoid rubber-necking to.

Elizabeth Warren dropped the ball for every progressive that evening by refusing to drop out and endorse the only candidate with a chance now and…

Tom

I write about right-wing extremism, Virginia politics & American culture | Student Journalist | Richmond, VA

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