Cultural nights are put on by a variety of multicultural student organizations such as Latino Heritage Committee, Indian Students Association, and Russian Speaking Students Association — that just names a few organizations. These events offer a great opportunity for the international students at Iowa State to educate others about their culture and give the community the opportunity to learn and try something different.

The month of February means we are in the middle of our winter depression. We are making spring break plans to snap us out of that depression, increasing coursework and attending career fairs. As daunting as the latter of these events can seem, they can be beneficial for all students no matter where you are in your studies. Even if you do not have the time (or desire) to attend any of these events, career services can help you start thinking about your post-college career. It is never to…

During his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for an increase of the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 by 2015 and indexing it for inflation (so that workers actually make more money). This is sure to lead to another long drawn out Congressional debate, but the question that needs to be answered before that is whether raising the minimum wage is actually a good idea. The answer may seem obvious depending on your political leanings, but let’s actually look at t…

The fiscal cliff “negotiations” were yet another embarrassment by Congress. Our national debt is a serious problem, and both parties are going to have to make a lot of compromises to get it under control. The American people are and should be angry that our leaders cannot work together on any issue. It is embarrassing and unnecessary, and as citizens, we should demand more from our leaders. The discussions about our debt will continue, and maybe in this time, our leaders should listen to…

If you thought we were going to get a break from all of the political bantering after the election, don’t hold your breath. Congress and the president have until Jan. 1, 2013, to make a decision about the coming “fiscal cliff.”

Over Thanksgiving break I went down to Honduras for a cultural immersion trip. We were up in the mountains in small rural villages. We stayed in one village that didn’t even have clean drinking water. It was a very eye opening experience for me. One of the interesting things I gave thought to is the complexity of our food system.

Partisanship has been a part of the legislative branch for a long time. When you have two political parties competing for control of each chamber, things are going to get intense, but the past few years it has been just obnoxious. One senator chose not to run for re-election because she did not see a change in partisanship coming in the short term. If you paid any attention to the health care debate in 2010, you know what I am talking about.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about why you should consider studying abroad. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you will make memories that you will never forget. Now I’m back with another idea for you to consider: learning a second language. I know a lot of people do not see how learning a second language could possibly benefit you in any way, so allow me to explain.

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