Ask The Editors: 3rd Edition


In our third edition of Ask The Editors, we will discuss a controversial topic that each editor feels passionately about, and tips to stop procrastination.

If you’d like to ask the editors a question, you can do so here:

Question #1 from anonymous:

What is a controversy that you feel very passionately about (on one side)?

Clarice’s Response:

A controversy that I feel passionately about would have to be the U.S.’s policy on churches paying taxes.

As of now, churches are not required to pay taxes to the IRS. There’s lots of arguments for why they shouldn’t have to, some of the most popular being the Supreme Court’s ruling that “the power of tax has the power to destroy” and that by the government taxing churches, they would actually be violating the idea of separation of church and state.

However, by allowing church (a body and symbol of religion) to be set apart from other non-profit institutions, you allow special treatment to a group solely on the purpose of their organization. Which, being a church, is most likely a place of worship for religion. The government clearly gives an advantage to religion. There is no inherent privilege of being tax exempt. It is a privilege designated by the government. No group of people has a “right” to avoid paying their fair share to the American government which operates on the fundamentals of freedom of religion, working towards the churches benefits.

If the government allows this exemption, we find that certain “religions” bully the government into giving them tax exempt status. Scientology gained their status after virtually bullying the IRS by filing suits against them on all fronts. They said if they gained this status, all the lawsuits would be dropped. If that is not the opposite purpose of which tax-exemption status was formed, because the church supposedly benefits our community, I’m not sure what would be. The church of Scientology, in this case, caused more harm than good in our community.

In regards to the argument that a tax would destroy a church, we must realize that they would be taxed accordingly– if not many people were donating, then the church does not have a very high income tax. Vice versa, if a church is gaining millions of dollars per year, they’ll be taxed on their income.


Veronica’s Response:

A topic that I think raises some problems in the society is the use of tanning beds. The law in Oregon changed two years ago to making it so only those 18 or older are able to use a tanning bed, and if under the age of 18, they can only be permitted with a doctor’s prescription. As someone who loves the sun and has tanned in a tanning bed before, I actually do agree with this law. Some people think that they should be able to tan at whatever age if they want, but for the health risks, it can be important to pay attention to. The American Cancer Society estimates 76,000 news cases and nearly 9,200 deaths from melanoma in 2012. To add to that, not only can people develop skin cancer, but tanning can also result in aging faster (like wrinkles), destroying skin cells, and getting blisters that can be very damaging to the body. Thinking that someone who is 14, could get a life threatening cancer, is scary enough. By this law, it makes it so this can be preventable from tanning beds.

However, it’s still important to see that people can still get skin cancer from being out in the actual sun. Tanning beds can just increase this possibility because people can go everyday with a shorter amount of time and strength. What I mean by this is that tanning beds have a very strong UV index, which is what causes the pigmentation in people’s skin to change. Someone could spend 20 minutes in a bed with a very strong UV index and that can add up to about 2 hours in say Cabo San Lucas, Mexico because the UV index is about an 8-11+ which is very strong. I think that people who are allowed to use tanning beds should use it correctly and not abuse it. Yes, it is your body and skin that you are putting in danger, but it’s important to remember how important it is to take care of your body also.


Alex’s Response:

I feel very strongly that state governments should not be running a lottery. In fact I believe there shouldn’t even be a lottery but I figure that, since we are in a free country, you should be able to gamble your money how you please. So my beef is not necessarily with the lottery itself, even though it disgusts me, but that state governments run the lottery and effectively subsidize the poverty and devastation of those who participate.

Making gambling an illegal activity, and then running a lottery, is an obvious contradiction that nobody seems to care about. The lottery is the worst possible form of gambling out there and it continues to blow my mind that people still buy tickets even when you are more likely to be bitten by a shark and struck by lightning on the same day. It hurts the poorest of the poor all in the name of funding our education system. I refuse to accept that we fund our education system directly off the backs of our most marginalized citizens.

Now I say the poorest because nobody who is financially smart is going to spend money on the lottery where your chance of winning is practically zero. I have never seen or heard of smart people buying lottery tickets. Never. Bill Gates wouldn’t buy a lottery ticket and neither would Warren Buffett or Robert Kiyosaki.

Plus if you win the lottery, your name is published along with your photo. Now everyone who wants a lot of money knows who you are and your chance of being robbed or killed just went up. A lot. The internet is filled with stories of lottery winners who were killed or had their newfound wealth stolen. Now if you manage to avoid being killed, you will probably end up just as poor as you were before you won. Perhaps even worse. There aren’t a whole lot of lottery success stories because people who buy lottery tickets are not those who have good financial educations.

The fact that the state runs the lottery appalls me, especially when they say it helps out our education system. How about those people who you stole that money from? Have you helped them out? I’ll willingly pay more taxes to fund our education system if it means sparing those most vulnerable in our society. Oregon Lottery supports your local Oregon Poverty.


Question #2 from Zoey 101:

What are some tips to prevent procrastination during finals week?

Veronica’s Response:

With three years of trying to find the best ways to prevent procrastination during finals week, I do have a few tips for my peers!

  1. Remember that doing things last minute will stress you out. Saving only one night to study everything for your biology final is not going to end well. It’s important to start studying maybe the week before and just taking a few minutes out of your day to go over things you do not understand.
  2. Talk to your teachers! They are here to help you do well. They do not want you to do well in their class, but bomb the final test. Make sure to go to their study sessions if they offer one, or go in after school to ask a few questions about the study guide or anything else that might feel fuzzy to you. They care about your grade as much as you do, so let them help you and be a tool for success. Even going in just for a little bit after school will add to your knowledge and being able to ace the test.
  3. Take time for yourself. You do not need to spend every waking minute studying for all your classes. Make sure to give yourself breaks when needed. Go outside and enjoy the fresh air, or go do an activity that you love. Even just a nap can help you be more focused and less stressed. By giving yourself free time to enjoy things in your life and the company of your friends or family, can help you feel less stress during a time that is very stressful for many teens and it will make it so you can focus more after the break you take. My freshman and sophomore year would have been a lot less stressful if I knew this for my finals.
  4. Stop going on social media and your phone. Your boyfriend or girlfriend can wait, and so can all your followers on your social media account. Your grades are important, so to stop procrastination, turn it off or put it somewhere that you won’t feel the need to grab it while studying. I know it’s hard, but I promise you, you will be happy that you actually study and did not waste your time.


Clarice’s Response:

Hi Zoey 101,

How to prevent procrastination (in my experience):

  1. Make a list. Something about physically checking something off on a list is very satisfying. Also, this way you have everything you need to do in front of you. Daunting? Yes. Can you handle it? Yes. If your list is really too long for you to complete because you’ve procrastinated that hard, get what you can done and hope for the best.
  2. Turn off your phone. Turn off my WHAT? My pride and joy? Yes. Turn it off. Though holding down the power button may be the hardest thing you will do this year, it will benefit you. I know you can say you’ll put your phone face down or on the other side of the room… But let’s be real. You will check the time and then notice there is a text from someone and then check your Twitter and thenwaitjustletmecheckmySnap– TURN IT OFF.
  3. Tell other people about your goals. If you tell your mom you’re going to finish your research paper and you need her to look at it, her constant nagging of “Have you sent it? Now? How about now?” will encourage you to get it done. ALSO, you won’t be as willing to disappoint others as easily as you would yourself.
  4. Live like Nike and Just Do It.