Hazing costs more than a few bruises

Hazing has been a problem that consistently wielded its ugly head on this campus. However in light of recent news, it should finally become loud and clear to those who haze that walking away scot-free from these cases is very unlikely.

According to a National Public Radio report, former “Marching 100” band member Marcus Parker won his $1.8 million civil battery lawsuit against the five men found liable in the 2001 hazing incident.

After the Jacksonville trumpet player was repeatedly beaten with a paddleboard, he was hospitalized for temporary kidney failure. Since then, Parker has had four surgeries and is currently in need of a kidney transplant.

His lawyer is now set to seek retribution for Parker through garnisheeing his assailants’ wages and going after their assets.

Parker’s case should be a point of reference to those gripping wood because when victims are brave enough, those who haze may prove to be the ones hit harder. In the pocket, that is.

When split five ways, each of Parker’s attackers will have to shell out $360,000. This is a large sum to pay off when many students barely have enough money to pay the few thousands for tuition.

More importantly, hitting and taking hits from a fellow classmate to the point of hospitalization (or even at all) in the name of fellowship is ridiculous and senseless. This is an institution of higher education, so those registered here should act like they are receiving one.

All parties involved in the decision of this civil suit should be commended for holding accountable those directly responsible for causing Parker’s injuries.

Although suing an organization may mean a larger payment, it bears little consequence on those to blame, which is why this dreadful practice continues to occur. Maybe more victims will follow Parker’s lead, and make an example of their abusers.

Bush has a second shot to honor promises

President George W. Bush laid out his plans for the next four years on Wednesday. He detailed his intentions for fighting the war on terror, Social Security and economic growth. While he is laying out his plans, Bush must consider heavily how he plans to make these actions occur.

“I earned capital in the campaign-political capital-and now I intend to spend it,” Bush said, according to AP reports. He received political capital when he won the election four years ago, but proceeded to squander it with poor decisions.

With this second opportunity to do right by the nation, Bush must set forth the genuine effort to actually make a difference for the better.

This election season, President Bush listed excuses to cover his inaction and focused on plans that were “in the works.” The American people deserve to see the results of these plans.

Bush was given the faith to do a better job and do more. He has discussed his plans to unite America. This united nation can only start to emerge if there are actions to build upon from Bush.

He has the political capital and has the opportunity to invest it properly. Bush must recognize the fact this is his time to actually build a legacy even though 55 million American citizens would rather have John Kerry in office.

The time for talk and political maneuvering is over. Action is the order of the day.

Blacks should strive for political change

It is obvious President Bush’s re-election to a second term in the White House came with little support from black voters. Many publicly stated their opposition while opting to vote against him in support of Sen. John Kerry.

The question of why would Bush do anything for blacks becomes a greater concern.

Political analysts and critics are predicting that Bush’s appointment of three or four judges to the Supreme Court will result in an end to affirmative action and his plan to reduce the national deficit includes cutting domestic programs. In addition, the Republicans have regained control over every branch of government. All of these cases will have a direct effect on the black community.

Having said that, the same efforts made to register black voters and inform them of their rights should continue in the form of political lobbying. It has become more important than ever for leaders of these initiatives to make substantial attempts at mobilizing the new voting blocs. To do so means political empowerment and an emerging influence over decisions that have an immediate affect on us.

Not extending the “Get out the Vote” efforts of pre-Election Day to meaningful organization would make it safe to conclude that those initiatives were merely acts of pseudo-activism and notches to be added under the demise of black politics.

We must be recognized as a viable constituency by building a powerful political base. When it comes to our social and political rights, they should not be regarded as negotiable or expendable.