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Friday, June 5, 2020

Brenna’s Take on the News: Tuition protests and drought benefits

Welcome back this week’s edition of Brenna’s Take on the News. What’s going down on Monday, Oct. 19:

#FeesMustFall

People like to complain about the cost of going to a university—which in the United States where it can be upwards up $60,000 a year, it’s totally founded. But students in South Africa have actually gotten so angry by how much college costs they have built a makeshift barricade out of burning tires and benches out of protest.

Rhodes University, the institution in question, consequently shut down University operations for the day, because Monday mornings are bad enough without burning tires in your way.

Though ultimately students are aiming to lower tuition in general, the specific injustice protesters are looking to change is something called the “MIP,” Minimal Initial Payment. At Rhoades University, students are required to pay 50 percent of their fees before the school year even starts. That’s like if Western asked us to give up upwards of $11,000 on day one. Your average unpaid internship or minimum wage service industry summer job is simply not going to cover that.

To be fair, I’d probably start setting things on fire if I had to pay that much money for anything. So far, the president of the University is agreeing to negotiate on some level so it will only cost students an arm, not an arm AND a leg, to get educated.

“Colonial Church Re-Emerges From Reservoir”

In case you were wondering if there were any benefits to having a drought this year, there be at least one: the emergence of 400-year-old Mexican churches.

The Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, located in southern Mexico, has dropped more than 80 feet as a result of this year’s drought, the Associated Press reports, which sucks for the people of Mexico but is awesome for finding monasteries from 1564. The church was apparently abandoned in the mid-1700s due to a plague.

For a drought to be this severe is pretty terrifying in its own right, but at least in Mexico it uncovers cool history. When our rivers and lakes dry up in the U.S., all we’re going to find is old Miller Light cans and flip-flops.

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