Hard Pill to Swallow: “Regarding” vs. “In Regards To”

I believe using the word “regarding” instead of the phrase “in regards to” is infinitely superior, and it annoys me to no end when the latter is used in writing or speech. Though this preference of mine may seem to be mere semantics, I posit there is in fact a relevance to their difference — for a few reasons. Before I begin I want to be very clear: this is my attempt to convince you to sympathize with my nettles purely by means of my charmingly insufferable prose, and not by anything likely worth attending to. (I am a gadfly and this is my loitering, strictly speaking.)

My first reason in favor of the superiority of “regarding” is one of practicality. It is one word, while “in regards to” is three. Additionally, there are less keyboard strokes and syllables for the former, making your writing and/or speech slightly more efficient and saving you a considerable amount of time. While I would not disdain someone for using “in regards to” to meet a word count for an abnormally-strict professor, in any other case I thoroughly maintain “regarding” is far the better practical option.

Secondly, this is an issue of grammar as well. Perhaps I am being witheringly obtuse, but I find “in regards to” to be categorically and utterly obfuscatory. What does it mean to be “in” a regard, much less plural regards? Who or what, I implore, is in those “regards”? And why do we need to say “regards to” — employing that usage we’ve not defined or understood — when the preposition “regarding” says what we mean far more implicitly and clearly? Granted, the slightly less colloquial phraseological alternative to “in regards to” — “with regard to” —  is far more sensible grammatically. Yet, “regarding” indicates you’re specifying the object with a regard for its delineation. If you absolutely, needlessly must use multiple words, I beg of you to choose “with regard to” instead of “in regards to;” but I will reiterate — “regarding” is the best of them all.

Thirdly, I also think this is a debate of aesthetics, and if I am right and aesthetics have truly anything to do with this, then we have a provocatively philosophical matter on our hands. How we use words is paramount to the human experience, and certain uses of words (in this case, “regarding” and “in regards to”) we then find aesthetically thus philosophically appurtenant. How a word or phrase sounds to your listeners or readers, and to yourself as you speak it and even read it on the page, is indeed a matter of aesthetic. The words we choose indicate, on some level I’ve decided is beyond my scope, our regard for the love of wisdom. Hence, “regarding” ought to be used always in place of “in regards to,” which I find to be phonetically objectionable and melodically tedious. “Regarding,” on the other hand, has no particularly sticky consonants and features a distinctly agreeable cadence. But I have pontificated far too long; I shall abate.

I assure you that my attachment to “regarding” is entirely petty and nonserious. If someone else made this same opinion their hill to die on, they’d be mocked and run out of town, coddled by academics, or (worse) both. I’d rather avoid that demise. Perhaps, another time, I can argue our nonserious opinions actually have some significance to be acknowledged and valued. For now, though, know I genuinely and ultimately care very little, and really only enough to nurse a pet peeve and write a few hundred priggish words. If you press me on this, I shall inevitably rise up to the task of defending my opinion, but only for the sake of my pride. All the same, do remember this salient item: using one word instead of three to say the same thing is nearly always ideal. Ignore my theory if you must, but do me the honor of engaging my praxis.

Hollywood Should not be Idolized: People should stop idolizing and fixating on celebrities.

I know the Will Smith and Chris Rock moment has passed, but this pop culture moment that had all of social media talking reminded me of a very important concept; we should not idolize celebrities.

As social media has grown and fan bases grow, celebrities are gaining an almost cult-like following with the way their fans obsess and fixate on them. While surfing on social media, I find fan pages, meme accounts and fan fiction about X celebrity and what could happen to them with this extremely specific scenario.

Some fan bases become so obsessed and fixated on a particular individual that they start insulting and terrorizing another celebrity. Rachel DeSantis, of People Magazine, explained how Joshua Bassett, the star of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, expressed that he was receiving hate from Olivia Rodrigo, who stars in the show alongside Basset.  The two had a romantic relationship, but it did not work out. Rodrigo’s hit song, Drivers License,  is rumored to have been written about Basset and their breakup.  Since the release of this song, Basset has been receiving serious amounts of hate and threats from Rodrigo’s fan base. 

Thus, we have a group of people, who idolize one person significantly, so they decide to verbally attack another individual. The Basset and Rodrigo scandal is just one of the more recent examples. 

When people become fixated on celebrities, they start to pick up on their lifestyles and agree with everything they speak. They soak up the words of celebrities and become influenced by their daily lives. Instagram and TikTok pages are created in their name, and people begin comparing themselves to these celebrities.  This creates communities that essentially view X celebrity as a god. 

Now, I don’t think being a fan of celebrities is necessarily a bad thing.  I think people need to be aware of just how much they grow to appreciate and view a celebrity.   

Celebrities are no better than any regular person walking on the street.  They mess up, they stumble and they certainly are not the golden girl or boy. Throughout the media, we see celebrities who go off on the deep end. Just think of Robert Downey Jr., Justin Beiber, Demi Lovato and Lindsey Lohan. 

These are people who made it in Hollywood, got caught up in bad behaviors and choices, and set their life off track for a couple of years.  Why? Well, I have a guess that the money and power got to their heads.  These specific individuals did eventually get their lives turned around, but they are reminders that we should not follow in celebrities footsteps.

Let’s turn back to the Smith-Rock moment.  Here we have two men, who have fame and power, and one says a lousy joke insulting the other’s wife and the other responds with violence. Two bad choices. 

As “normal” people, I think we should stop putting celebrities on pedestals and viewing them as greater than ourselves. It can cause us to do horrible things to other people, and they are just as sinful as the rest of us.

Instead, we should focus that energy on our loved ones, being respectful and closing the gap with those in our community; not lifting up Harry Styles or Taylor Swift as these magnificent beings. They make great music, but I really don’t care what they do in their personal lives. 

Sources: People

Calling for Transparency and Consistency: Eastern leaves students in the dark for remaining in Phase C.

And so here we are, 232 days since the start of the fall semester, and we are still in Phase C of Eastern University’s COVID-19 phases. I remember distinctly being told, at the beginning of last semester, that hopefully by next semester or earlier, we would be out of Phase C. Well as is now clear, this individual was wrong. We are still very much in Phase C.

I want to make it clear from the beginning of this article that I do have a bias. I am a commuter, so Phase C matters a lot more to me than it does to the average Eastern student. I do not have much to criticize concerning Eastern University’s approach to COVID-19. For the most part, I would say it was handled much better than other schools in the area. But if there is one thing I would complain about, it is that the Phase system is still in place and does not show any sign of leaving.

Before I write anything else, it would probably be best to give a brief explanation of what I call “the Phase system”, especially for those of you who do not even know what the word “Phase” means to Eastern students.

The Phase system was implemented by Eastern University to fight the spread of COVID-19 within the dorms. According to Eastern’s COVID-19 guidance page, the phase system consists of four phases labeled A-D, with A being the strictest and D the least. We are currently in Phase C, which according to the guidelines on Eastern’s website means, “Residential students may visit residential students in other residence halls. Commuters and non-Eastern students are not permitted in residence halls. Student rooms may not exceed one visitor per person assigned to the room at a given time. Roommates should discuss expectations for visitors.”

First of all, I have a sneaky suspicion these guidelines are not being followed. But putting my suspicions aside, these guidelines have become pointless. I am no expert in protecting people from COVID-19, but I do know that this is the only COVID-19 measure that Eastern has kept in place.

Furthermore, all residential students can go wherever they want and hang out with whoever they want. At this point, the only students who must suffer because of this measure are commuters, and of course, residents who want to have friends in their dorm.                                             

One reason I feel safe arguing against the Phase system is because COVID-19 cases have become minimal to non-existent in our area. The seven-day case average (April 18) for Delaware County is 66 cases with 0 deaths resulting from these cases.

I do understand why this is the only Covid restriction Eastern has kept. Quite frankly, it is practical for the university to keep it in place. Not allowing visitors and commuters in dorms prevents certain security issues. Visitors most likely pose a lawsuit risk to the university. I cannot verify these are the reasons that we still have the phase system, but because no clear explanation has been given, I can only begin to take guesses.

As a commuter, I would sincerely appreciate it if Eastern lifted the Phase system. I understand the dilemma they are placed in, but for consistency’s sake and the sake of its students, I call upon the university to get rid of this measure starting next semester. I understand that there may be a reason for these measures which I have overlooked. If this is the case, I would appreciate it if the university was transparent and explained exactly why the Phase system is still being used.

 Sources: eastern.edu, usafacts.org

Study Guides Prepare and Reduce Anxiety for Final Exams: Why professors should be required to distribute study guides for exams.

As the semester comes to an end, many students are preparing for finals week. This is one of the most stressful weeks in a college student’s life because of the multiple exams they have to take in a week. Most exams at Eastern are cumulative and require students to remember a lot of information that could be hard to recall or even prepare beforehand. Professors should provide students with study guides to reduce stress and uncertainty about these exams.

College is already a difficult time for student’s mental health. Between the constant assignments, balancing a social life and working, it can seem overwhelming when a student needs to prepare for exams that have no direction to it. Study guides are a great way to show students what professors expect of them and help them better prepare for an exam that impacts their grade heavily.

Providing a study guide will help students better understand the material as well. When you are stressed out about something, it is easy to focus more on the stress rather than what you need to learn. Many students focus on just memorizing the material and then disregard it later in life because they know it can make or break their final grade in a class. Study guides will give them a sense of direction and will help them feel less stressed.

Many students are thankful and relieved when professors create a study guide for any type of test, especially finals or midterms. When you are told you are expected to know everything but have nothing to go off of besides notes and handouts, it can be overwhelming and having that done in multiple classes makes it worse. While stress is a part of a college student’s life, I think study guides should be created to help students better understand the material and reduce anxiety. 

When you know what to expect and what types of questions or problems will be on an exam, stress levels can decrease and performance can go up. I know that many students feel that they are more organized when they have study guides. Tamalei Sharp, a sophomore at Eastern University, believes that professors who provide a study guide help their students’ mental health because they know what is covered and it helps students stress less. 

Hannah Wilson, a freshman at Eastern, thinks that it would be beneficial to students to have study guides provided to reduce the stress of trying to study everything. Many other students agree that they feel a lot more comfortable when study guides are provided before exams. 

Many people suffer from test anxiety, which means they can perform badly on a test even if they studied for hours. Providing study guides can help boost performance on exams because students know what to expect and will learn more about the subject. I believe that professors should provide students with study guides so that they can understand the material better and feel less overwhelmed during a very stressful time in their lives.

Eastern’s Freshman Living Communities: Eastern’s new freshman dorm policy will create a bigger divide among the EU community.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors are upset about the new housing policy change taking place in Fall 2022. Gough, a primarily upper class man building, has now become an entirely freshman building. Eastern students are upset that the administration decided to pass this policy after SGA explained it was not a good idea. Administration completely discarded what our student government had to say and made their own choice. 

I believe this is a bad choice on the administration’s part because they knew how their students felt and went ahead with it. It sets the standard that our voices do not matter. We have our own thoughts and opinions on what Eastern administration does, however, their decision shows that our voice is not as important as they say they are. 

They care more about the incoming students rather than the students who are already here. Upperclassmen normally get the nicer buildings, Gough being one of them, but now we have a limited selection of housing and many upperclassmen may end up in a worse building rather than a nicer one. I know seniority is a rule but sometimes that gets tossed out the window.  

SGA has been trying to reverse this, and for that I am thankful. Having Gough as a freshman building is going to create a sense of divide between our community rather than connection. Eastern wants to build community with their students, but by disregarding what students had to say, they have created a divide that will only get worse next semester. 

Many students, especially those who live in Gough, are lost on what to do. Housing has become more stressful and it seems as though the administration cares that the freshmen have a nicer building and not those who have been here longer. It would make more sense for the incoming freshman to have Kea-Guffin and Hainer or Doane, not Gough. 

Many students on campus have voiced their opinions, RAs included, about the policy and believe that it is going to cause freshmen to be isolated and upperclassmen to ignore them. I know I found it helpful living in a building with upperclassmen because they were able to help me figure things out like where buildings and classrooms were, how to access Eastern’s online system “my.eastern.edu” and how to set up my Brightspace page. 

There was a sense of acceptance from the upperclassmen because we were on the same floor or in the same building. Now, freshmen are thrown into one building with no one but RAs to rely on who have other duties outside of helping freshmen find classes. 

It affects every person on campus, not just the freshmen. The students living in Gough are scrambling to figure out what to do about their living situation while balancing schoolwork and activities. SGA has tried to reverse the change and Eastern administration will not hear them out. Eastern markets itself as building community and connections but how can they do that if they are isolating freshmen from upperclassmen? 

This decision has blind sided many people after the administration was told to not do it. I feel that there were good intentions when it came to this decision but it was executed poorly and there has been no explanation as to why they did not listen to SGA or why administration believes this will benefit us all. I wish Eastern administrators would listen to what their current students have to say. A sense of divide has been created and the incoming freshmen class have not even arrived yet. I believe that once they are on campus, the divide may become greater.

“Spring Forward ” to be Permanent: The U.S. Senate has united to pass a bill to remain in DayLight Savings.

News Flash! Russia starts a cold war with the U.S., Gas prices skyrocket and America looks more and more divided. Who knows, by the time this is published we might be in the middle of World War III.

But do not be afraid my friends, it is at times like these that we can turn our eyes to our leaders, especially Congress, the historic body formed from the very best of our nation. Many have lost faith in this institution. The factions and divisions that have torn its soul to shreds of partisanship, are indeed disheartening.

Yet, today I can bring you good news. The Senate, the governing body that is now formed of individuals who would all kill each other in duels, if duels were still legal, have decided to put down their weapons and step across the aisle in a gesture of peace.

You may wonder, what momentous occasion is the cause for such unity? After all, neither a global pandemic, nor a fight against racism, nor protecting our borders, nor police reform, nor protecting freedom of speech, nor limiting freedom of speech, nor confirming supreme court justices, nor increasing their own power, nor watching sports, nor ending a prayer has been able to add the smallest speck of unity to the Senate. 

It would seem that the Senate might unify if we had a World War III. Actually, I just lied, they definitely would not. In fact, only a week ago I would have made the argument that unity was impossible, but I must humbly admit that I was quite wrong. On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed a bill. What was it that brought the Senate together? It was spring ahead…

Yes, we are passing a bill to eternally remain in spring ahead time. I can’t really complain about the bill. I will definitely miss fall backs, but spring aheads are thoroughly disgusting. I feel like anything that causes us to be unified must be a good thing, at least hopefully. Sadly, we can’t get our hopes up too soon. The bill still has a long way to go because it still must pass the House of Representatives and then be signed by President Biden.

I honestly wonder why this is at the forefront of our Senate’s agenda. Are things not as bad as they seem? Or perhaps this is a power move, to show the American people that the Senate is still in control?  Perhaps it is to show the American people that the Senate is still boss: look, they can even make laws about time!

If this is a piece of legislation along these lines, I have a proposal. Why not just eliminate spring ahead, but keep fall back? Nobody likes spring ahead and everyone loves fall back. This would be the most appealing bill of all time. I know you’re thinking, “Christian, you can’t just add an hour every year. Where would you get it?” I beg to differ. After all, we print money, and we don’t worry about its value. What if we treated time the same way? Just think about that for a second.

The Ethical Implications of True Crime: The entertainment world is showcasing true crime stories in a way that seeks entertainment, not truth.

True crime is a topic that sparks an interest in a lot of people. Regardless of fields of study, true crime has become a form of entertainment for a large portion of our population. 

But should we be using these stories as entertainment? Should true crime podcasts, television shows and youtubers be using these cases to profit off of them? 

Don’t get me wrong, I grew up listening to these podcasts and watching these true crime shows, but as I get older, I am starting to realize that glorifying these killers and their crimes is extremely disrespectful.

I have heard people say “oh, this is my favorite muder!” or “so and so is my favorite serial killer” more times than I can count, and honestly it is just really weird to say these things about people who have done so much harm to others. And don’t even get me started on the people that talk about having a crush on Ted Bundy. He was a serial killer, get over yourself. 

The fascination and romantic obsession with killers is astonishing to me. A more recent example being the countless women who sent love letters to Chris Watts in prison after he murdered his family, being his pregnant wife and their two daughters under the age of five. I simply cannot fathom glorifying this man or claiming that he did nothing wrong despite his confession and even talking about his daughter’s last words before killing her. It’s sickening, and a prime example of how the documentary that came out of this case did more harm than good. To be fair to the documentary makers, the intention behind the documentary was not to glorify this man, and most podcasts and documentaries do not aim for this type of response, but they still run that risk of having this disgusting outcome. 

Again, I listen to these podcasts and watch these documentaries too. I myself do find true crime interesting, but I also know better than to glorify murderers and to speak ill of their victims.

Imagine being in the situation of the victim and their families, imagine hearing people refer to the trauma you’ve gone through as ‘their favorite case.” I just can’t get over the amount of disrespect these statements have towards victims and their families. 

This is not to say that all true crime podcasts/coverage is bad. It can be done and it can be done well and respectfully. It can be truly beneficial to a case to have the coverage of true crime, however, I feel like we are starting to lose touch with the respectful format and we have been slowly evolving into a more disrespectful form of telling people’s stories. 

I fear we have gone too far from realizing that these people are real; their stories are not just stories, they actually happened, it’s not just a podcast or youtube video and they’re likely either gone or traumatized from the events that happened to them. These instances aren’t something to be gossiped about or glorified. 

There are plenty of alternatives to these true crime money grabs as well. There are a plethora of TV shows and movies that depict similar crimes, or even events based on real instances that make an emphasis to not glorify the crime in itself and tend to show more respect towards crime victims. These shows can be found virtually anywhere. Most streaming services have at least one show or movie that can likely scratch the true crime itch without risking adding more harm to an existing victim. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the term victim extends to victims’ families too. Just because the victim was lost to their crime does not mean their family is not also suffering from their loss and hearing people talk about their lost loved ones making uncalled for assumptions about the events. 

There are some podcasts and documentaries/docuseries that do an excellent job highlighting the victims of crime and show true compassion for said victims. 

One of my favorite documentaries, The Witness, was actually made by the brother of the crime victim (Kitty Genovese). He was able to take an alternative side that differs from most true crime media.  His alternative showed how his sister’s death left a lasting negative impact on his family, even decades after. In this documentary, he also talked about having to avoid the media for most of his life so they didn’t have to hear the harsh words from the general public. 

This is a reality for many victims’ families who feel the need to avoid the media so they don’t have to hear people talking about their loved ones. It can be cruel to put a family through trauma over and over again. It’s perfectly fine to have an interest in true crime and to listen to/watch these programs, but please be considerate to victims and their families.

Where did all the Food go?: Explaining why Zime has been experiencing item shortages.

If you frequent the coffee shop Zime here on Eastern’s campus, you’ll be aware that there’s at least one thing missing or unavailable nearly every day. Most recently, they were out of two drink sizes, multiple flavors and ingredients for drinks and some food items as well. There’s usually a list near the register indicating what’s unavailable. You’ll also know that Zime now serves Starbucks: a massive, ubiquitous coffee corporation. That is the key to why we’re experiencing shortages. 

The problem of shortages at Starbucks, and therefore Zime, is global — and geopolitical. The COVID-19 pandemic that we’re still attempting to squelch two years later has been the catalyst for enormous change in the United States and abroad. According to UNCTAD, there are two changes at play in our situation at Zime: the global supply chain crisis, and labor movements like unionization and resignation. And these affect each other as well; labor movements affect product turnaround, and then those supply shortages can make work environments so stressful that workers seriously consider walking out or unionizing. 

The Guardian explains how labor movements, like the widespread unionization and the Great Resignation (as it’s being called) are massive, and not to be underestimated. And there’s something important about Starbucks here. Bloomberg reported that Starbucks is a well-documented union-buster, which according to the National Labor Relations Act 1935, is illegal.  

Bloomberg further explained how union-busting is when workers on the ground try to unionize, their superiors — if they hear of the unionization attempts — are encouraged by corporate to make their workload as difficult as possible and inundate them with anti-union material and bullying tactics. That results in unionizers often being forced to quit or their location being closed down. It’s illegal to fire someone for unionizing, but it’s not technically illegal to drive unionizers to their breaking point.

The Associated Press reported that Starbucks is one of many, many American corporations experiencing widespread unionization efforts. More recent domestic strikes include Chevron and Amazon, and some recent international strikes have been in Germany, Turkey, Canada, and Haiti. These global labor movements, including in the United States, have been triggered by the overworking and under-recognition of workers — and widespread deaths of workers — during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is the ultimate exacerbator of the supply chain crisis. 

The New York Times explains how the issue functions like a massive Rube-Goldberg machine: if just one element is off, then it won’t work, and we at home are feeling the effects of that in the form of shortages. 

So what does that have to do with us at Zime? Well, all of this is happening far away from Eastern, and the workers we interact with at Zime are the last of many, many middlemen. If anything has gone wrong, it is very likely to be entirely out of the hands of Zime workers, and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about the shortages. I encourage us to treat them with grace and solidarity. Corporations like Starbucks end up hurting us all — consumer and worker — for the sake of profit at any cost.

Sources: UNCTAD, AP, New York Times, The Guardian, Bloomberg, National Labor Relations Board

Hard Pill to Swallow: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is the Multiverse Done Right.

I know that on the heels of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and the upcoming release of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” all of the talk is focused on how [x] movie brought back [y] character from the [z] cinematic universe. But I’m here to tell you that only one film has done the multiverse right: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” 

For some background, “EEAAO” — being abbreviated for the sake of space — is a film about a Chinese immigrant family that lives a mundane life of running a laundromat and has a loveless marriage on the verge of breaking between Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond (Ke Huy Quan). The IRS is somehow not even their biggest concern, as their daughter Joy is slowly drifting apart from them. During one fateful meeting with their auditor, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, Evelyn is dragged into a fight spanning the multiverse.

Mind you, this is not a review of the film, rather an attempt to do justice for the film’s usage of the multiverse concept. The multiverse isn’t used as an excuse to bring back old characters in “EEAAO,” which is a welcomed change of pace (not that this film has any previous entries to take from). But for as cool of a concept as the multiverse is — who wouldn’t want to see alternate timelines? — the multiverse has been reduced down to a gimmick to get easy cheers from audiences. It’s reached a point similar to the “science” in comic book movies. Again, I’m not expecting any verbiage spewed out by characters in the MCU to be approved by the world’s smartest scientists, but slapping “quantum” at the end of every sentence doesn’t excuse the laziness, and I don’t care that the movies tried to be self-aware of this. It’s similar to how Tony Stark made the quantum-sized leap from metal suits to nanotechnology. Forgive me if I’m forgetting the lore of the films, but I don’t know what possibly happened in between “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Infinity War” that would suggest that nanotech was available to him, but I digress. 

Back to the multiverse, rather than using the multiverse to stop past events, or recruit/fight past versions of themselves to save the world, “EEAAO” uses it to unlock more potential for Evelyn like power-ups in a video game. And if nothing else, the bodies of Evelyn are used as a vessel to channel other versions of Evelyn that are helpful in certain situations whether it be trained in martial arts or has hot dog hands. These abilities take over Evelyn in her battles and make for some hilarious, albeit unexpected moments. “EEAAO” is an absurd movie that truly throws spaghetti at the wall and sees what sticks; it’s almost sensory overload but it is somehow the right kind of chaos.

Look, Marvel can and will continue to use the multiverse for the foreseeable future and that’s fine. That well will inevitably run dry when all of the X-Men characters have been brought back and every Batman actor has graced the silver screen for one last curtain call. Watch “EEAAO” when it makes its wide release on April 8 for a multiverse adventure that is so unique that you can’t help but take it all in. It’s the multiverse done right, and I don’t care what Doctor Strange has to say about it.

Do Russian People Deserve to Suffer?: Russia’s citizens are being punished for the actions of the country.

As economic sanctions have been imposed upon Russia, I aim to better understand the ethics of imposing sanctions and how this will and has affected Russian people. However, I hope to do so without diverting attention away from the destruction and displacement that Ukraine is experiencing. 

Economic sanctions have been a long-standing element of international relations. They are defined as the implementation of commercial and financial penalties in response to a wide array of economic, military, political and social issues. Following the Cold War, sanctions were used more frequently as a way of dealing with serious conflict with another country. Sanctions inflict serious damage on the nations they are imposed upon. This is exemplified by the sanctions imposed on Iraq from 1990 to 2003, noted as causing the worst harm. UNICEF reported that an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died from malnutrition and disease following the imposed economic sanctions. Although these sanctions were meant to undermine dictator Saddam Hussein’s power, they strengthened his control as the government became the main lifeline of goods and income.

After devastation resulting from imposed sanctions in Iraq, various organizations started to investigate alternative responses, specifically responses that did not harm everyday citizens. “Targeted” economic sanctions were introduced as a way of targeting those believed to be morally responsible without also hurting everyday people. “Targeted” economic sanctions may include, for example, freezing the assets of government officials or banning trade on weapons to deter violence. While targeted economic sanctions are not harmless and perhaps unethical, the harm caused is less extensive to the nation’s citizens. 

While exploring the ethics of imposing sanctions, my basis for understanding this complex issue derived from a series of questions: Is it ethical to pursue such sanctions on Russia? Is punishing Russia necessary in diminishing harm despite being unethical? If the implementation of sanctions on Russia is considered unethical, then what are the alternatives to prevent Russia’s invasion? I would like to emphasize that I do not have the answers to these questions, rather I have included details about what is happening and the repercussions they may cause. 

In response to Putin ordering troops to invade eastern Ukraine, the country’s stocks and currency severely declined as the stock market shut down. The European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada have imposed sanctions that blocked widely-used Russian banks from SWIFT. Russians watched their savings deplete as the Moscow stock exchange eroded. Similar to Iraq, academics theorize that, as Russia’s economy continues to spiral, this allows for Putin to gain more power. Samuel Goldman, George Washington University professor of political science, forewarned, “Even when sanctions succeed in destabilizing the regimes they target, new dictators may come to power under conditions of economic collapse and social disorder.” 

Although a flight ban and visa ban is not formally in place as of now, the fear of this transpiring would be especially horrifying for LGBTQ+ people in Russia. LGBTQ+ people living in Russia have been known to experience widespread homophobic harrassment and discimination. In 2017, hundreds of gay men were taken by security forces and tortured at an unknown detention site. Multiple men were never seen again and are presumed to have been killed. If a flight ban and visa ban is enacted as a form of economic sanction, this could mean dire consequences for the LGBTQ+ people living in Russia seeking refuge from oppressive forces. 

While I have much more research to do surrounding this matter, the conclusion that I have come to thus far is as follows: the sanctions currently enacted on Russia are unethical. These sanctions serve as a breeding ground for further dictatorship of Putin over Russia. However, I am inconclusive regarding whether these sanctions would prevent further harm from Russia on Ukraine. If these sanctions would prevent further harm on Ukraine, would this classify their implementation as unethical yet necessary? 

I would like to reiterate that I do not aim to divert attention away from what is happening in Ukraine. For my philosophy surrounding this article is as follows: Perhaps it is the capacity to stand in the place of our enemy that permits us the freedom and the focus to be a constructive advocate for healing, instead of a perpetual partisan at arms. 

Source: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, CNN, Aljazeera