The Minnesota Daily

All content by Luis Ruuska

Can schools make MOOCs work?

May 8, 2014

A decade ago, an idea like massive open online courses would have seemed impossible. Yet in recent years, developers from the Ivy League and even Google have jumped on the MOOC bandwagon, exponentially...

Students are making the shadow grade

May 7, 2014

At the University of Minnesota, students may take courses either on the traditional A-F scale or on the pass-fail (S-N) scale. Classes in which a student receives an “S” do not carry grade...

The future of affirmative action

May 1, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. In a 6-2 decision, the court did not dispute the constitutionality of affirmative action but rather upheld the right of...

The future of energy looks bright

April 30, 2014

The Energy Information Administration recently announced that the United States’ solar capacity has increased by 418 percent — from 2,326 to 12,057 megawatts — since 2010. This translates...

Time to can the Electoral College

April 24, 2014

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently made New York the 11th state to join the fight to effectively end the Electoral College by joining the National Popular Vote. Under the National Popular Vote effort, states move...

A case of Heartbleed

April 23, 2014

By now you’ve likely heard about or taken actions to protect yourself from the Heartbleed bug. The bug made as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites vulnerable by exploiting a flaw within...

A new kind of indentured servitude

April 17, 2014

Of the approximately 20 million Americans who attend college each year, 60 percent take out loans to cover their education. Today, student loan debt in the United States totals between $902 billion...

Late-night TV hosts lack diversity

April 16, 2014

When CBS announced that comedian Stephen Colbert would inherit the “Late Show” from David Letterman less than a week after Letterman announced his retirement, public reaction was mixed but...

More money, more problems

April 10, 2014

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal aggregate limits that individuals could contribute to candidates, political parties and political action committees (PACs) in the McCutcheon...

Who’s to blame at GM?

April 9, 2014

Though Mary Barra has only been the CEO of General Motors for three months, she’s received enough criticism and public scrutiny for a lifetime. The pillory against Barra began after GM issued a recall...

Harassment-free higher education

April 3, 2014

Tyler Clementi committed suicide in 2010 after his Rutgers University roommate streamed a video of his sexual encounter online. Clementi’s death put cyberbullying in the national spotlight as...

Crafting the case against Hobby Lobby

April 2, 2014

The devout Southern Baptist family who owns the Hobby Lobby made its case for religious freedom on behalf of its company before the U.S. Supreme Court last Tuesday. Because the Green family believes human...

‘Pay It Forward’ works for Minn.

March 27, 2014

I wrote a column on Oregon’s revolutionary “Pay It Forward” program for college students back in September after Oregon’s Legislature approved a pilot test of it. While the model...

Census finds greater race accuracy

March 26, 2014

I am of European (Spanish) and indigenous American (Mayan) descent, with the latter making up most of my observable traits. When filling out census or other official forms, I know which boxes to check....

Sharing the burden of university bloat

March 13, 2014

Though administrators themselves have contested the issue, nearly everyone agrees that administrative bloat is a very bad thing. Colleges dole out higher tuition prices and consequently higher debt to...

Hispanic students need a greater presence

March 12, 2014

Though President Eric Kaler’s recent State of the University address successfully outlined a solid road map for the upcoming year, his plan for increasing diversity at the University of Minnesota...

Preparing students with new skills

March 6, 2014

A recent Gallup poll shows major discrepancies in opinions concerning how prepared college graduates are for the workplace. While 96 percent of chief academic officers said their academic institution was...

‘All we are saying is give peace a chance’

March 5, 2014

I’ve spent more than two-thirds of my life living in a country at war against terrorism. The war has cost more than $1.5 trillion since 2001 and has cost thousands of lives. At the end of this year,...

Do convicts deserve a degree?

February 27, 2014

Although the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, it holds nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners, with nearly 1.6 million Americans behind bars in 2012. These...

Is it time to sack standardized testing?

February 26, 2014

The National Association for College Admission Counseling published a study earlier this month revealing surprising statistics about the correlation between standardized tests like the ACT and SAT and...

A risk well worth the reward

February 20, 2014

With student loan debt and tuition at record highs, it’s easy to understand why more and more students are carefully weighing the costs and benefits of pursuing higher education. Some critics argue...

Should we separate the Olympics and politics?

February 19, 2014

From unfinished hotels with complimentary yellow tap water to balmier weather than in the Twin Cities, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have not been short of headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. While...

Betting on higher education

February 13, 2014

College affordability and accessibility are shaping up to be hot-button issues in higher education this year. Some states’ responses, such as Oregon’s “Pay It Forward” plan, are...

Time to get smart about smartcards

February 12, 2014

The recent string of cyber attacks against retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus has sparked a national conversation about the U.S.’s failure to adopt tried-and-true anti-theft technology. If...

Recruiting all types of students is important

February 6, 2014

I discussed my feelings on President Eric Kaler’s new initiative to retain low-income students after their first year at college in a column last week. While the program, Retaining all Our Students,...

No easy solution to the wage debate

February 5, 2014

The minimum wage debate is shaping up to be the hot-button issue of the year. On the right, they argue that increasing the minimum wage forces employers to cut jobs and hire less often to recoup the financial...

FERPA’S failures are cause for concern

January 30, 2014

A growing number of col­lege students are concerned about how col­leges are keep­ing their person­al data confiden­tial, and it’s not hard to see why. Even before they are admit­ted...

Income inequality in higher education

January 27, 2014

The country’s higher education industry has seen numerous efforts to remedy income inequality in higher education, though many of them have failed. It’s a daunting task, to say the least. Nevertheless,...

Nelson Mandela’s legacy

December 9, 2013

History’s greatest figures all had their defining characteristics. Recall Martin Luther King Jr.’s charisma, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s iron will or World War II industrialist...

Affordable textbooks for all

December 4, 2013

   Although the current top concern of most students is to make it through finals week, they’ll have a not-so-new problem come 2014: the price of text­books. An American Enterprise...

Holiday shopping with purpose

December 2, 2013

With Black Friday madness now a fresh memory, and only three weekends left for Christmas shopping, the holiday season is upon us. The National Retail Foundation expects consumers to spend $602.1 billion...

We need gender-inclusive housing

November 25, 2013

One of the primary concerns of new, transfer and returning students is determining their housing arrangements. These students typically fear they won’t have enough room or their floor will be too...

Work-study woes

November 20, 2013

As November draws to a close, I have a folder full of countless cover letters, writing samples, resumes and references, and I still have nothing to show for it. I had no idea looking for a work-study job...

Financing America’s finest

November 18, 2013

On Veterans Day last week, we honored those who have served, but we must also combat the problems facing our nation’s finest. One problem veterans face is something that most students can relate...

Having faith in the progressive pope

November 14, 2013

Although Pope Francis has only led the world’s smallest country since March, he’s on his way to becoming the most popular pope yet. From his inclusive statements about the LGBT and non-religious...

Find safety in self-defense

November 12, 2013

With sundown creeping up earlier each day, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel unnerved walking through campus at nightfall. Due to the recent string of robberies and burglaries and a sexual...

The ACA isn’t out yet

November 7, 2013

Since its debut, HealthCare.gov has been a prime example of not how to build, launch and operate a website. Mired by slow loading times, internal errors and a myriad of user complaints, HealthCare.gov...

The pathway for pot

November 5, 2013

A recent Gallup poll showed that for the first time, a clear majority — 58 percent — of all Americans support legalizing marijuana, a 10 percent surge since last year. Marijuana use has become...

Voting: Just do it

October 31, 2013

In the wake of the recent government shutdown, there are likely few who would argue our country’s politicians are paragons of cooperation and functionality. But this only stresses the importance...

Men, misogyny and domestic violence

October 24, 2013

You’ve probably heard some of the following statistics before: Every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten; women get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes; and women...

Hispanics and higher education

October 22, 2013

A recent KSTP investigation showed Hispanic enrollment at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is about 3 percent, lagging far behind the national average of 16.9 percent. This is a less than 1 percent...

College: There’s an app for that

October 17, 2013

With nearly 1 million apps in the iOS App Store and more than 800,000 apps available in the Android market, smartphone users have more options than ever. Although gaming and social networking apps are...

Students must protect their character

October 15, 2013

We are taught from a young age to respect the First Amendment. On campus, however, protesters unethically abused their freedom to speak. I saw many students looking shocked last week by a small group of...

Reel in your social media net

October 9, 2013

Like many of my peers, my first introduction to the social networking world was Facebook. In my first few days of Facebook, I sent out friend requests in batches to anyone and everyone I had mutual friends...

The Tea Party hostage crisis

October 7, 2013

It’s been nearly a week since the U.S. government shut down for the first time in 17 years. How did we come to this? Congress’ approval ratings and productivity levels have consistently slid...

Comparing college costs: Pay it forward

September 30, 2013

As college students, we worry about the loans we’re going to have to pay back. While homework and jobs may be enough on our minds, paying tuition is a constant reminder of the high price of a college...

Comparing college costs: MN vs. US

September 25, 2013

This past Monday, I compared the cost of college affordability between the U.S. and several European countries, which got me wondering just how Minnesota ranks when it comes to college affordability nationwide. To...

Comparing college costs

September 23, 2013

You don’t need a degree these days to know the U.S. lags behind many European countries in education. The U.S. ranks behind every country from Finland and Denmark to South Korea and Singapore when...

A letter from one of America’s interns

September 19, 2013

Dear American businesses, Although you get a new crop of us every semester, and in time may forget our names and faces, you should know that your interns never forget you. By the time we graduate, 55 percent...

The falsity of college rankings

September 17, 2013

Last week, U.S. News & World  Report released its annual National University Rankings  list. As usual, Ivy League schools like Princeton, Harvard and Yale took the top spots. Please, take...