by Haley Swartz
In advance of the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, public dialogue and political action must shift to emphasize exercise and physical education courses, in addition to a balanced, nutritionally rich diet.
Congress amends the CNA every five years to reflect new research on public health trends and refocus the goals of the National School Lunch Program. Preceding the most recent CNA reauthorization, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let’s Move!initiative to end childhood obesity in February 2010. This program reflected a new emphasis on childhood obesity within the 2010 reauthorization of the CNA, or the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. However, this law will expire on September 30, 2015.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one-third, or 12 million American children and adolescents, were overweight or obese in 2012. According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of Americans see obesity as a “very serious public health problem.” While 57 percent of Americans believe government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children, only 42 percent of the public believes the government should address adult obesity.
by Grady Brown
In his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama unveiled his plans for free community college. Surely one of the highlights of the address, the plan would offer two years of community college free to students who maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. The plan was largely based on the Tennessee Promise and is aimed at giving more students feasible pathways to higher education and, potentially, a four year degree. However, should the proposal make it to the floor, it will face a fight in Congress.
One of many areas of debate will simply be the price tag. In his recent 2016 budget proposal, the President outlines the cost of free community college. In 2016 alone, the plan would come at a price of $1.36 billion. By 2023, the price tag would be closer to $9 billion, bringing total costs to over $60 billion. Obama wants the federal government to pay 75 percent of the tab, leaving the remaining 25 percent to the states. Nevertheless, Republicans will be deeply concerned about program costs.
Another concern that may not be in the spotlight, is the current track record of community colleges. According to arecent study by the National Student Clearinghouse, just 15 percent of students started at a two year institution in 2006 actually completed a degree at a four-year institution within six years.
by Grady Brown
It has been a rough couple months for U.Va., since Rolling Stone released its, now mostly-retracted, story covering an alleged rape on U.Va.’s campus. While the fraternity mentioned in the article appears to have been falsely accused, the University is still at the forefront of a growing national issue. According to the Washington Post, there were more than 3,900 reported incidents of sexual assault on college campuses across the country in 2012. This was a 50 percent increase over the previous three years. Interestingly enough, University had decreasing reports of sexual assault between 2010 and 2012. Nevertheless, the University faces a reinvigorated federal review of its Title IX compliance.
Title IX, a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, is perhaps best known for ensuring female athletes have equal scholarship opportunities. Title IX is, more broadly, a federal civil rights law that prohibits education programs and activities that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. In fact, federal interpretation of Title IX outlines a process that universities must use when handling cases of sexual assault. The University is currently working with the Office for Civil Rights to review its policies and has been since 2011, but is now open to increased scrutiny about possible Title IX violations.