With the recession–and students’ unemployment rates over 20 percent–it may be hard to find that summer job. What can you do? Don’t get discouraged– get surfing! Surfing the Web that is.

The Healthcare Bill and the Student Loan Initiative have both been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, so now what? Do you understand them? If you’re a college student and you don’t understand these legislations, read on to discover a little bit of the cold, hard, truth.

This past week, universities across the country have been spending millions upon millions of dollars in race to see who can get the best, brightest, funniest, and most famous commencement speakers. Mostly so that college grads can all name-drop about who spoke at their own graduation. For instance, financial analyst, CNBC talkshow host, and two-time nominee for TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Suze Orman, spoke at my graduation yesterday.

But all the frivolity of it aside, there has been a surprising amount of controversy this past week over the speaker at Notre Dame: none other than President Barack Obama. Some members of the Catholic church were outraged when the leading Catholic university invited the President to speak there, since he is pro-choice, and the Catholic church is strongly opposed to abortion.

“Presidents from both parties have come to Notre Dame for decades to speak to our graduates — and to our nation and world — about a wide range of pressing issues — from foreign policy to poverty, from societal transformation to social service. We are delighted that President Obama will follow in this long tradition of speaking from Notre Dame on issues of substance and significance,” said university President John Jenkins.

However, Obama went ahead and delivered the speech anyways, and discussed the abortion issue while he was there, too.

“I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away,” he said. “At some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.”

What do you think? Should the protesters have put politics aside in favor of respect for the President of the United States? Or is it not fair for someone pro-choice to speak at a Catholic university?

This past Saturday, while we were all cramming for finals, Washington, DC was alive and full of journalists, politicians and celebrities all converging at the Washington Hilton for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, also affectionately known as “Nerd Prom.” It was a lot less nerdy than usual though, since the dinner was filled no only with media and political elites, but stars like Ashton Kutcher, Eva Longoria, and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, to name a few.

The highlight of the evening, which is always broadcast on cable TV, is the two speeches given every year: one by the President, and one by a hired entertainment speaker or comedian. The President, in my opinion, really hit it out of the park with his speech this year, delivering punchline after punchline (video below).

Last week, Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced that he would be retiring from the bench, at the age of 69. Souter was appointed by the first President Bush and had been on the bench ever since. This touched off a flurry of activity last week as millions of Americans began to speculate: who will President Obama appoint to the Supreme Court now? President Bush had appointed two justices during his term — it is suspected that Obama will have the chance to nominate at least 2-3 judges during his term. Currently, there is only one woman on the bench (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and there has never been a Latino or Asian American justice. Many people are suggesting President Obama should appoint a woman, perhaps a Latina woman. Many are already speculating that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a frontrunner for the position and a likely appointee.

But should Supreme Court appointments be focused on diversity? What do you think? Is it important to you to put another woman on the bench?


For most of us, today is just another Monday. Maybe it’s an extra-stressful Monday with finals, exams, projects, and papers driving us a little insane. But for a few Americans in Iowa, today is a particularly historic day. Today, a recent ourt ruling gay unions legal in Iowa finally took effect, and gay couples have been lining up outside government offices this morning in Iowa to apply for their marriage licenses.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously on April 3 that making gay marriage illegal would be unconstitutional, and thus became the third state in America (after Massachusetts and Vermont) to allow gay couples to wed. Many couple from neighboring midwestern states such as Minnesota are reported to be planning to go to Iowa to get married soon. However, gay rights groups have cautioned that in the eyes of the law, other states do not necessarily recognize same-sex marriages from another state. Despite that news, there is still expected to be an influx of same-sex couples travelling to Iowa to get married in the coming months.

Read more about it here.

The New York Times has a new story up this week about the surge in popularity of community organizing jobs. It seems our generation is taking to community organizing — and community service — in larger numbers than previous generations.

A job that has not been all that alluring to college graduates is in resurgence, according to leading community organizers and educators. Once thought of as a destination for lefty radicals committed to living lives of low pay, frustration and bitter burnout, community organizing is now seen by many young people an exciting career.

With their jobs, students envision helping communities address urgent issues — economics or the environment, education or social justice — while developing leadership skills. And these jobs, students say, can actually lead to … well, you know.

“Community organizing has become cool,” said Marshall Ganz, who dropped out of Harvard in 1964 to join the civil rights movement in Mississippi and spent 16 years with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. Of course, a tough economy helps attract people to professions they might not have otherwise considered, as does a crusading time when Wall Street has become a symbol of greed, arrogance and irresponsibility.

Surprised? I’m not. I myself have been considering community organizing, community service, and activist organizations as I search for jobs post-graduation. I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking for a job that will get me a sweet six-figure salary and a comfortable apartment in the Lower East Side of New York. I’m looking for something that will allow me to make a difference. I think in today’s rapidly changingh world, what with our deteriorating economy and all, money is becoming less important as people realize that markets are unstable and money is not constant. What’s becoming more important to many young people is finding work that is fulfilling and rewarding.

What do you think? Would you consider community organizing?


Everywhere you look today, everyone’s talking about going green. “Going green” is the latest in trendy buzzwords and catchphrases to hit the masses.

However, for all the talk out there about the green movement, there’s a whole lot less action. There are small, easy ways everyone can take action to make the world a better place, but often the organizations working towards this cause struggle to gain the attention they truly deserve for their efforts.

However, one nonprofit organization called GreatNonprofits, aims to solve that very problem by creating the first ever Green Choice Awards —  a contest to identify the best environmental nonprofits out there, according to everyday, concerned reviewers. Nonprofits as big as the NRDC and Greenpeace will be reviewed alongside small, focused, local groups…think Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Committee or the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. Everyone and everything is game — hundreds of reviews specifically on environmental nonprofits. Good, bad, scathing, praising — you name it.

Anyone can submit a review of any nonprofit organization on GreatNonprofits.org. Winning organizations will get national media coverage, and anyone who submits a review will be entered to win prizes such as earth-friendly wines from Fetzer, a stay at Joie De Vivre hotels, Whole Foods gift certificates, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream coupons, a subscription to Stanford Social Innovation Review and more.  Reviews of nonprofits can be submitted at: www.greatnonprofits.org/green.

If you’re interested in the green movement, helping nonprofits, or if you’re just interested in winning some cool prizes, check out GreatNonprofits.org and consider taking two minutes to write a review of a nonprofit you might know that’s doing something cool to help the planet. You can also check out GreatNonprofits on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/GreatNonprofits.

Hey—do you like reading our Chicsters’ thoughts and advice about college life? Then you’ll want to check out U Chic: The College Girl’s Guide to Everything, available on Amazon and at your local bookstores!

Recently in the media, President Obama’s solution for solving America’s economic problems is an old and tired tactic- playing the blame game. In the past month, Obama has said flat out that he “inherited” the economy’s troubles from former President Bush in a number of different speeches, according to msnbc.com. And maybe this is true.

If you've been watching the news closely this weekend, you may have noticed that there's talk of President Obama signing an Executive Order about stem cell research tomorrow. The order will lift previous Bush administration limits on human embryonic stem cell research. President Bush had put those limits in place in 2001, and the debate