Banishing Political Blindness: The Necessity of Beauty for a Flourishing Political Society

Description
Using the thought of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, this paper will analyze the way in which this loss of the transcendentals has permeated society. Particularly through the distortion of the human person, I will show that this problem is affecting

Using the thought of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, this paper will analyze the way in which this loss of the transcendentals has permeated society. Particularly through the distortion of the human person, I will show that this problem is affecting the very root of our society. More importantly, the way to reclaim the transcendentals and work towards rebuilding our society is to recognize the need for beauty. What beauty does is open the door to truth and goodness, and allows us to see the reality of who we are as human persons. In order to address the problem impeding the flourishing of American society, we must recognize and promote a correct understanding of beauty.
Date Created
2023-12
Agent

Mental Health in Policing

Description

Mental health in the profession of policing is a topic that needs more attention. Many departments have readily available mental health resources however, they are only mandated for officers to use after an incident such as a shooting or suicide

Mental health in the profession of policing is a topic that needs more attention. Many departments have readily available mental health resources however, they are only mandated for officers to use after an incident such as a shooting or suicide has occurred. Shift work, and police culture coupled with the traumatic events that take place on the job negatively impact the mental health of officers and more support is needed for officers to overcome their mental struggles. Through snowball sample interviews of officers and those who work with officers in a mental health capacity, this thesis found that it is evident that most police departments should be more proactive instead of reactive with their mental health support. Police officials should take mental health as seriously as physical health.

Date Created
2023-12
Agent

A Computational Analysis on the Efficacy of Independent Redistricting Commissions

Description
Gerrymandering involves the purposeful manipulation of districts in order to gain some political advantage. Because legislators have a vested interest in continuing their tenure, they can easily hijack the redistricting process each decade for their and their political party's benefit.

Gerrymandering involves the purposeful manipulation of districts in order to gain some political advantage. Because legislators have a vested interest in continuing their tenure, they can easily hijack the redistricting process each decade for their and their political party's benefit. This threatens the cornerstone of democracy: a voter’s capability to select an elected official that accurately represents their interests. Instead, gerrymandering has legislators to choose their voters. In recent years, the Supreme Court has heard challenges to state legislature-drawn districts, most recently in Allen v. Milligan for Alabama and Moore v. Harper for North Carolina. The highest court of the United States ruled that the two state maps were gerrymandered, and in coming to their decision, the 9 justices relied on a plethora of amicus briefs- one of which included the Markov Chain Monte Carlo method, a computational method used to find gerrymandering. Because of how widespread gerrymandering has become on both sides of the political aisle, states have moved to create independent redistricting commissions. Qualitative research regarding the efficacy of independent commissions is present, but there is little research using the quantitative computational methods from these SCOTUS cases. As a result, my thesis will use the Markov Chain Monte Carlo method to answer if impartial redistricting commissions (like we have in Arizona) actually preclude unfair redistricting practices. My completed project is located here: https://dheetideliwala.github.io/honors-thesis/
Date Created
2023-12
Agent

“Mr. Vice President, I’m Speaking” An Exploration of Political Ambition, Communication Dynamics, and the Creation of Safe Spaces Among Women in Law

Description
Blending the theoretical foundations of gendered political socialization (Bos et. al 2021) with the distinct communication patterns observed between male and female justices on the United States Supreme Court (Schweers & Jacobi, 2017).– this participant observer study seeks to analyze

Blending the theoretical foundations of gendered political socialization (Bos et. al 2021) with the distinct communication patterns observed between male and female justices on the United States Supreme Court (Schweers & Jacobi, 2017).– this participant observer study seeks to analyze the mechanisms of gendered communication within a unique population of men and women– law students. Throughout this study, I explore the mechanisms that dictate gendered ambition levels within a group of highly ambitious individuals. Additionally, I examine gendered communication patterns and the impact of digital safe spaces in the classroom setting. On the whole, I aim to investigate gendered communication levels within the microcosm of the law school environment to gain a more realistic and granular understanding of the interplay between ambition and gender in the field of law. Overall, I find that women are disproportionately interrupted by men in an attempt to maintain male hegemony, ultimately stifling female voices in the classroom. While the creation of safe spaces for women can begin to mitigate the negative downstream effects of interruption, womens’ ideas, and ultimately female agency, is negatively affected by repeated patterns of male behavior.
Date Created
2023-12
Agent

Racial Disparities in Death Penalty Sentencing in the United States

Description
In the United States, Black defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death than their white counterparts exclusively due to their race. There are several aspects that work to explain why this pattern is present, and this paper analyzes

In the United States, Black defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death than their white counterparts exclusively due to their race. There are several aspects that work to explain why this pattern is present, and this paper analyzes our current sentencing disparity through the lens of race to understand why this is the case. First, the historical context of legal racial discrimination will be explored as I discuss the legacy slavery and how the trade and ownership of Black people led to the devaluation of African Americans long after the 13th Amendment abolished the practice. This is seen from the establishment of convict leasing directly following abolition, to the development of Black Codes and Jim Crow laws, and eventually this legacy became the foundation that contributed to the targeted mass incarceration of African Americans beginning with Richard Nixon’s 1970s “war on drugs” campaign and spanning to today. Next, six important milestone Supreme Court cases relating to the evolution of capital punishment in the United States will be described. These cases include Furman v. Georgia, Gregg v. Georgia, Lockett v. Ohio, Batson v. Kentucky, and McCleskey v. Kemp. This research also presents data that illustrates the current trends in death penalty sentencing within 26 states who currently implement this punishment. The results show that there is an overwhelming amount of data in support of harsher criminal sentences and therefore a higher likelihood of Black defendants being sentenced to death in comparison to their white counterparts. Lastly, the systemic inequalities embedded within several aspects of capital trials are outlined—both in terms of juror bias against African American defendants as well as racial issues when hiring an attorney—and works to inform my argument that the death penalty should be abolished. An offender’s race should not play any role in determining the severity of their punishment, but the historic criminalization of Black people works to ensure that these groups of people are typically at a severe disadvantage when navigating the American justice system. Overall, the application of the death penalty can not be applied in a standard manner, nor can there be regulations passed in such a way to guarantee an absence of racism within our current system. Therefore, the United States should abolish this unjust, discriminatory practice.
Date Created
2023-12
Agent

West End Theatre: A Review of the 2023 Season

Description
Written reviews and rankings of fifteen shows that played in the West End during the 2023 season.
Date Created
2023-12
Agent

An Unapologetically Critical Analysis of the Conservative Coordinated Efforts to End Abortion Access and the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center Decision

Description

In the 1970’s, the United States was revolutionized by second-wave feminism as conversations about sex and contraception reached the forefront of the political stage. Roe v. Wade (410 US 113-178, Supreme Court of the United States) reshaped how the Constitution

In the 1970’s, the United States was revolutionized by second-wave feminism as conversations about sex and contraception reached the forefront of the political stage. Roe v. Wade (410 US 113-178, Supreme Court of the United States) reshaped how the Constitution protects privacy and autonomy, while also taking a stance on the cultural war between "pro-choice" and "pro-life" advocates. Since 1973, the conservative movement has launched a coordinated campaign to create pro-life policies at the state and federal levels. Since Roe was decided, access to reproductive care has faced continuous attacks, with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center (No. 19-1392, 597 U.S Supreme Court (2022)) representing a definitive tipping point in the ongoing battle for reproductive rights. The Dobbs decision now leaves millions of Americans in limbo as state legislatures are left to battle what abortion will look like in their state. Driven by political objectives, the Supreme Court employed an originalist interpretation to advance a specific and narrow understanding of the Constitution, ultimately subjectively overturning precedent. This analysis aims not only to offer an exact critique of the logic weaponized by the court and the hypocrisy wielded by the conservative judges on the court, but also to situate this case in the national and historical context. The fight to overturn Roe was a coordinated effort and was by no means accidental or coincidental. Evaluating this critique without acknowledging the context is naïve because to do so is to miss half of the picture. Understanding why this case was brought to the Supreme Court when it was is just as important as the content of the decision.

Date Created
2023-12
Agent

Solving the Citizenship Deficit: Restoring the Intended Vision for American Civic Education

Description
Active and healthy citizenship in America has diminished greatly in recent decades. On the whole, Americans do not have the relevant information for participating in civic life while symptoms of a declining American political society, such as heightened polarization and

Active and healthy citizenship in America has diminished greatly in recent decades. On the whole, Americans do not have the relevant information for participating in civic life while symptoms of a declining American political society, such as heightened polarization and declining community engagement, have become widespread. These trends highlight the failure of American civic education and formation in recent years. This paper argues that American civic education was originally intended to be an enterprise focused on fostering quality citizenship, utilizing both academic instruction and social and political institutions to instruct and shape Americans, and proposes returning to this model to address the adverse trends currently affecting citizenship and civic life.
Date Created
2023-12
Agent