The Minnesota Daily

All content by Ellen Ailts

Ailts: Everyone deserves the ‘right to be forgotten’

April 30, 2018

In the age of the Internet, the irrelevant past is no longer swallowed by oblivion. Even after you die, the record of your life — warts and all — will be available for discovery and scrutiny online....

Ailts: How calorie counts on menus could reshape our eating habits

April 23, 2018

Food establishments have until May 7 to comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements to provide calorie information for consumers, an Obama-era policy that’s experienced almost a decade...

Ailts: Widespread hunger across college campuses calls for institutional relief

April 16, 2018

It’s hard to exercise your mind on an empty stomach. But many college students are doing just that: skipping meals, surviving on ramen and peanut butter, jumping at the chance to attend a catered campus...

Ailts: Our generation could lead the way in sustainable meat consumption

April 9, 2018

I am a lifelong omnivore, and I have only recently considered making the switch and cutting out meat cold turkey. But I’m in the minority among my peers — turns out, millennials are ruining the meat...

Ailts: Why and how we should protect our online privacy

April 2, 2018

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s time we all pay more attention to the information we give out online.  It might seem harmless to give permission to Facebook quizzes or games...

Ailts: Raising the tobacco sale age to 21 could have unintended negative consequences

March 26, 2018

This month, Minnesota lawmakers introduced a bill to raise the state tobacco sale age to 21. Their argument is based on evidence that 95 percent of smokers start before age 21, and would prevent an estimated...

Ailts: Pillsbury Hall needs your help

March 19, 2018

English majors: our time has come. Pillsbury Hall is the second-oldest building on campus, and certainly one of the most distinctive. The building was built in 1889, and its blend of Richardsonian Romanesque,...

Ailts: Rename Coffman Union to support an inclusive and progressive campus culture

March 5, 2018

Coffman Union is an integral part of our campus — a center for students to work, eat and socialize. Many of us don’t think about the man named Coffman that the Union memorializes, or assume he's just...

Ailts: You’re worth more than an unpaid internship

February 26, 2018

“What am I going to do this summer?”  The question looms for students this time of year. As we near the middle of spring semester, the season of trying to plan a productive summer is upon us....

Ailts: In the wake of a brutal flu season, the University should reconsider its sick note policy

February 19, 2018

This year's flu season has been a particularly vicious one. With both influenza A and B strains circulating at the same time, and the CDC reporting that the vaccine was only 36 percent effective this year,...

Ailts: Art and morality: the Chuck Close problem

February 12, 2018

His paintings are staples of Minneapolis art museums: “Frank”, a distinctive 9 feet by 12 feet portrait of a man, resides in the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and one of his most famous works, “Big...

Ailts: Sex trafficking is still a problem after the Super Bowl

February 5, 2018

The rumor that the Super Bowl is the biggest sex trafficking event in the world is persistent and widespread, perpetuated through the Internet, media and word of mouth. The Super Bowl host city often sets...

Ailts: Why we should question our football culture

January 29, 2018

Americans love football. A Gallup poll indicates that around 63 percent of Americans consider themselves fans, with baseball a close second at 56 percent (so, really, football is America’s pastime)....

Ailts: Aziz Ansari, sexual misconduct and consent

January 22, 2018

Aziz Ansari, a self-proclaimed feminist, supporter of the Time’s Up movement, a feminist media-certified “woke bae,” was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous woman. Following this, opinion...

Ailts: Don’t give up on your New Year’s resolution just yet

January 16, 2018

As we all begin to settle into 2018, the excitement and determination we have to stick to our New Year’s resolutions can wane. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone — 80 percent of people give...

Ailts: The news is affecting our mental health

December 11, 2017

With the state of things as they are, it’s hard not to feel a little world-weary. We’re constantly barraged by our 24-hour news cycle with stories that are stressful, tragic, scary and infuriating....

Ailts: We place too much importance on a college major

December 4, 2017

“What’s your major?” The question is familiar to college students. Usually, it’s one of the first questions people ask of students upon first meeting. Whether the question comes from other students,...

Ailts: Reconsider our minimum legal drinking age

November 27, 2017

As a legal adult, you can join the military, sign a contract or rent an apartment, but you cannot legally purchase or consume alcohol until the age of 21. Lawmakers in Wisconsin may soon change that, having...

Ailts: Students today are more motivated by money and less by learning

November 20, 2017

It seems that students today are more motivated than ever by a potential paycheck. At least, that’s what a paper put forth by psychologists Jean Twenge and Kristin Donnelly suggests.  The study,...

Ailts: “Food for Fines” could help you give back while also lessening your debt

November 13, 2017

What if you could spread some holiday cheer and pay off your library fines or parking tickets at the same time? On some campuses and in cities across the country, it’s possible to indulge in the holiday...

Ailts: Prioritize your sleep schedule and watch your grades and your health improve

November 6, 2017

Midterm season is just beginning to wrap up for many, and we’re all a little worse for wear because of it. During busy seasons like midterms and finals, it’s near impossible to not have your sleep...

Ailts: Income-based loan repayment could set a generation free

October 31, 2017

Over the past decade, outstanding student debt has skyrocketed from around $450 billion to more than $1.25 trillion. This can be explained, in part, by the increase in university enrollment, but it’s...

Ailts: Generational conflict and the myth of the “Me Me Me” generation

October 23, 2017

It’s no secret what older generations think of us youngsters: entitled, lazy, and, arguably above all, narcissists. Many of us deny these accusations, but it doesn’t seem that we’re able to convince...

Ailts: Open textbooks and the future of higher education

October 16, 2017

Last month, Senator Al Franken reintroduced the Affordable Textbook Act in Congress – this is a bill Franken has been trying to push for the past few years, but has yet to make real headway. This bill...

Ailts: A “Plan B vending machine” could revolutionize sexual wellness at UMN

October 9, 2017

Last month, Stanford University introduced a vending machine that sells products including feminine hygiene products, pregnancy tests and morning-after pills. Rachel Samuels, who was Stanford’s student...

Ailts: The wasted time of binge drinking

October 2, 2017

Defining binge drinking as something that’s truly impossible to avoid in college is hardly an exaggeration. With every weekend night and football game, the liquor flows freely and endlessly — a force...

Ailts: How has being part of the iPhone generation shaped us?

September 25, 2017

On Sept. 12, Apple announced the upcoming release of two new iPhone models: the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The excitement around new features was as expected; besides promises of being faster, clearer, smarter...

Ailts: In the wake of Harvey and Irma, it’s time to reconsider how we’re donating

September 18, 2017

After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, many Americans did not hesitate to donate what they could to charitable organizations such as Red Cross. So far, Red Cross has raised $300 million in the wake of these...

Ailts: How can we learn to think for ourselves?

September 11, 2017

Though the 2017-18 school year has only just begun, it’s obvious that the tense, heated political atmosphere of 2017 thus far is going nowhere and will continue to bubble up on college campuses. The...

Ailts: Avoid the stress spiral this semester by taking your mental health seriously

September 5, 2017

A new school year inevitably means the gnashing of teeth and nails bitten down to the quick. The transition from the romantic, pleasurable detachment of summer to the fluorescent lights of a lecture hall...

Ailts: MPD in need of serious reform after Damond shooting

August 2, 2017

The recent shooting of Justine Damond has sparked mass outrage and garnered a considerable amount of media attention, national and international. It is appalling there was no body cam footage available...

Ailts: Changes to sexual assault policies loom

July 26, 2017

There are few issues more contentious and polarizing on college campuses than sexual assault.Acts of sexual misconduct are notoriously prevalent, and yet underreported, on college campuses, with most abusers...

Ailts: Flaws in university enrollment

July 19, 2017

Though the incoming class at the University of Minnesota will be the largest the school has seen in 40 years, these numbers are an anomaly among current trends in university enrollment nationwide. 2017...

Ailts: Israel dissenters silenced with new law

July 12, 2017

Beginning July 1, a bill that bans state vendors from boycotting Israel was enacted as law in Minnesota.The law bans the state of Minnesota, including colleges and universities, from contracting with vendors...

Ailts: The issue of college homelessness

July 5, 2017

Recent studies have confirmed that homelessness among college students is prevalent and on the rise. Temple University released a study that found 13-14 percent of surveyed community college students are...

Ailts: Creating change from the Castile conversation

June 28, 2017

Our country has once again been swept by waves of indignation and sadness in the wake of the not guilty verdict of Philando Castile’s murder, with thousands of citizens taking to the streets of St. Paul...

Column: The tipping point

June 21, 2017

Minneapolis appears poised to become the latest city to implement a minimum hourly wage of $15. City Council will likely vote on the minimum wage ordinance by the end of the summer, with the outcome looking...

Column: Memes, Harvard and the First Amendment

June 14, 2017

Last week, Harvard University rescinded the admissions offers of at least ten prospective students upon discovering obscene and explicit memes exchanged by the group in a private Facebook chat. The decision...