The Bar-On Brief

Shauli Bar-On

Shauli Bar-On is a senior writing about sociopolitical issues. His column, “The Bar-On Brief,” typically ran every other Tuesday.

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The Bar-On Brief: Lessons from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
If there’s one day to not only remember but never forget, it’s today. It’s the 27th day of the Jewish month of Nissan: Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Bar-On Brief: USC should keep employees on its payroll
How will USC alter its budget through this crisis? Near the top of the school’s list of priorities should be continuing to employ USC workers, which has several benefits.

The Bar-On Brief: Federally funded free public college is irresponsible
With all the craziness and shelter-in-place directives, it’s easy to forget that it’s an election year, and the Democratic nominee has yet to be officially selected.

The Bar-On Brief: It’s worth asking for a grade bump
Regardless of your gender, it’s worth asking a professor to bump your grade. If you never ask, you’ll never receive, and the odds they comply aren’t as low as you think.

The Bar-On Brief: Debate over secularity exposes issue’s complexity
Separation of church and state is beneficial to both society and religion.

The Bar-On Brief: Shabbat 1,000 is a community event to be enjoyed by all
Jan. 31 is no different in the Jewish world. Jews around the world will still celebrate the end of the week together. But at USC, it will be an extra special day: Shabbat 1,000.

The Bar-On Brief: Increased competition among universities will ease student debt
Thanks to the availability of the data, which excludes programs with too few students to protect their privacy, students have the opportunity to think twice before committing to a particular university given the financial payoff they receive after graduating.

The Bar-On Brief: Civil rights lawsuit disputing ACT, SAT holds questionable merits
The question of whether standardized testing is good policy is a separate matter entirely, and there are arguments to be made for both sides.

The Bar-On Brief: Daylight saving is more controversial than you think
Several states, including California, are so convinced by the benefits of daylight saving time and the drawbacks of returning to standard time that they have moved to make daylight saving time a permanent phenomena.

The Bar-On Brief: Fall break exists thanks to student demand
Change requires pressure from various fronts, from students who have no stake in the game besides helping their fellow Trojans.

The Bar-On Brief: USC must commit to campus-based kosher food option
These attempts at providing for religious students make it clear that the University must put students over profit and invest in a permanent, on-campus kosher food option.

The Bar-On Brief: Reaction to Felicity Huffman sentence is misguided
Thanks to the availability of the data, which excludes programs with too few students to protect their privacy, students have the opportunity to think twice before committing to a particular university given the financial payoff they receive after graduating.

The Bar-On Brief: Candidates’ student loan repayment plans miss the mark
Put aside the tremendous cost and economic strain that would inevitably occur should the government truly pay back the banks with interest; forgiving student debt simply will do nothing to address how unaffordable a college education has become.

The Bar-On Brief: Passover, end of spring semester mark new beginnings
This weekend marked the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover, a holiday that celebrates the Jewish people’s liberation from Egyptian slavery and the beginning of their journey through the desert before receiving the Torah and passing into Holy Land.

The Bar-On Brief: All free speech, no matter its content, must be protected
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month promising to enforce the First Amendment in colleges across the country.

The Bar-On Brief: Standardized testing is an effective tool – when it is actually standardized
Rather than explaining why standardized testing is obsolete and painting an inaccurate picture of whether students are prepared for college, the recent scandals demonstrate the exact opposite: We need tests.

The Bar-On Brief: Harvard affirmative action lawsuit exposes the irony of judicial politics
Earlier this month, both sides presented their closing arguments in the case Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard before the Massachusetts District Court.

The Bar-On Brief: College ranking methodology overlooks some with financial need
Hundreds of hopeful high school students will soon tour USC, attend Explore USC and ultimately make one of the most important decisions of their academic careers: where to attend college.

The Bar-On Brief: Beyond a designated day, we should never forget the Holocaust
There’s a difference between remembering something and never forgetting it.

The Bar-On Brief: We are the rightful owners of the abbreviation of ‘USC’
For those who believe the University of South Carolina is the rightful owner of the abbreviated title “USC,” I’m sorry to say they are simply wrong.

The Bar-On Brief: Free speech rights must extend to all groups, not just agreeable ones
Calling for the suppression of Palestinian voices is wrong because of one simple reason: free speech.

The Bar-On Brief: Ad hominem attacks must be avoided in political debates
Virtually all legal experts conclude that such an executive order would be unconstitutional.

The Bar-On Brief: Registering to vote is only the most basic of your civic duties
Registering to vote is just the first and, frankly, the easiest step in the display of citizenship.

The Bar-On Brief: Equality on company boards shouldn’t be a government mandate
Pressure for board diversity must come from the public and company shareholders, not from the government.

The Bar-On Brief: Removing criminal history will benefit Common App
While it is undoubtedly important for colleges to be informed about an applicant’s criminal background if one exists, the Common App’s removal of the question is the right decision.

The Bar-On Brief: Diversity of opinion must be considered in faculty hiring
If a university is diverse in race, ethnicity and gender but is composed of ideologically analogous professors, I would argue that this is as grave a sin as a college with exclusively white, straight and male professors. Universities are rightfully aiming to diversify their ranks, but ideology should be as important as all other factors.

The Bar-On Brief: Do not turn community colleges into diploma mills
As Jim Mahler, president of California’s Community College Council said, these two-year colleges will become mere “diploma mills” if given financial incentive to graduate more students.