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In one of my last opinions I’ll ever write for The Torch unless I come back as an alumnae and submit a Letter to the Editor, I’m begging you to delete at least one of your social media apps for the remainder of the semester. 

In my past four years writing for the Torch, I’ve written opinion pieces on an array of topics ranging from sustainability, climate change, politics and various life lessons. As my time comes to an end, I only find it fitting to address another life lesson for one of my last “Ask Ashley” columns. 

I kind of feel like I’ve lived 4 different lives in each year I’ve been at Valpo, so looking back it’s hard to see it as one cohesive experience because they’re split up so starkly. It was hard to find common positive experiences that walked me through all 4 of those seasons but I feel like …

Social media is where you can go viral for a dance, receive thousands of likes for a picture and gain tons of followers overnight for doing something cool. While I think social media has tremendous benefits such as advocacy for various issues and an outlet for creativity and expression there…

The second you choose to commodify your creative outlet or hobby, you’re sacrificing the therapeutic effect you get from it so capitalism can profit from it. At the core of my being I have a lot of qualms with our country (no surprise to anyone) but the pressure to turn our hobbies into side…

At the beginning of quarantine I spent hours a day outside. I’ve always loved running and when COVID began I started going for walks instead because they took up more time. Now, I’m lucky if I see daylight. I still have quite a bit of free time. I live a couple blocks away from campus and am…

The last movie that I saw in theaters was “Tenet” (2020). This was in September of last year. I went by myself and the theater was practically empty. While this is in large part due to the pandemic, this isn’t something that was uncommon even before COVID-19 decided to make its unwelcome app…

You may have noticed more people in your circle putting their pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them, she/they, he/they, xe/xem, etc.) in their bios on social media, in their email signatures, in their Zoom titles and more. I was so excited to see this become more common because it’s an import…

Even if you believed COVID was a hoax this whole time, I know there was a tiny part of you asking “What if?” every time you saw your grandparents or went to a secret party without a mask before you shoved it back down and continued putting others at risk. 

Rejection doesn’t mean redirection. Read that again and let it sink in. Too many times in this world we are rejected from a job, university or leadership position and we think that’s our sign to find a new calling in life. We take one“no” and use that as our cue to shift gears and find a dif…

This week an ad popped up on my computer reminding me to check in on my New Year’s resolutions. I started to panic when I saw this and had to pause to gather my thoughts. We’re already three months into the new year. Where did the time go? The more I started to reflect on the goals I set, I …

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Imagine being in a professional environment where everything you do is second-guessed by your co-workers. Imagine every time you weigh in on a conversation, a coworker begins to explain every little detail of the situation to you (most of which you already know). Imagine explaining to your c…

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed basically every aspect of our lives, you don’t need me to tell you that. It has impacted classes, social events, clubs, and to many people’s dismay, sports. 

If you read last week’s article you would know I addressed my qualms with Amazon and their lack of environmental standards, so I offered sustainable companies to turn you away from using Amazon. To continue the theme of sustainability let’s talk about those new spring clothes you’re eyeing. …

Apparently, there is a heated debate about whether or not the Oxford comma should be embraced or cast aside. Honestly, I thought this little banter was just a joking debate between people who were accustomed to different styles of writing.

As we know, Jeff Bezos stepped down as Amazon’s CEO to take on the new title of executive chairman of Amazon’s board. What you may not know is this gives Bezos more decision-making power. The new CEO is Andy Jassy and together they will work to advance the reign Amazon has over online retail…

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Valparaiso University has removed the Crusader mascot because historically the Crusaders are associated with values this university claims to no longer uphold. A promising first step in what could provide growth for an uplifting and respectful community, this significant event has potential …

The Crusades Organizations that choose to emphasize feelings over facts engage in a dangerous undertaking, particularly if the organization is an academic one. It is also futile in the end because facts do not go away and do not ultimately care about anyone’s feelings. The prevalent politica…

This week I found myself mindlessly scrolling through social media and I came across a post reflecting on the year since the pandemic started. The post summed up the year from contactless interactions with friends and loved ones, to endless Zoom calls and working from home, to completely ada…

I think we all deserve some lightheartedness in this section, especially after the strong opinions I’ve been voicing -- both here and on Twitter. It may be hard to believe, but I haven’t always thought everything is terrible. But after 2020, it’s kind of impossible for me to see the good anywhere. 

The days of anticipating the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election are over and Joe Biden has been inaugurated as the 46th president. With that being said, you may be wondering -- after months of phone banking and writing letters to voters what are ways to still stay politically engaged …

How many Melania Trumps do you think there are? I bet this is a question you have asked yourself at least once. Whether or not you answered similar to me is up for debate. 

What’s next, more specifically, what’s ensuing after Election Day? I’ll let you in on a secret: no matter the outcome, our job is not finished. There is still work that needs to be done and conversations that need to be had. Our fight for social justice, dismantling oppressive systems and cr…

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A ‘non-scalable’ fence was built around the White House for Election Day. The sitting president will not commit to following a peaceful transition of power if he loses. Seems like a sign of a healthy, well functioning democracy to me!

Here we are with a little less than four weeks left of classes; we have almost made it through the first semester of being back on campus in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s been a lengthy, exhausting and surprising semester back, to put it simply. 

Dance Marathon has been an active fundraiser since 1994 and has collectively raised over $300 million. On our campus, fraternities and sororities most commonly make up the main demographic of fundraisers and has become the philanthropy for the community at large. 

It’s common for Valpo students to joke about how little hours in a day we allow ourselves to breathe and how we rarely sit down for a meal if we remember to eat at all. We take e-board positions for multiple organizations, we go into academic overload, we work jobs that pay us nothing and te…

As a college student, it seems like there are never enough hours in the day between studying, extracurricular activities and finding time to socialize. That’s why it’s important to maximize your time and get the most out of each day. But how does one do that? Well, here are a few things I’ve…

There’s less than a month until the presidential election that will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 3. At this point, I suspect you’re already registered to vote but if not, let’s start there and then we can continue the conversation on what you can and should be doing up until Nov. 3. 

On Sept. 24, Valparaiso students received an email from the Interim Provost with the subject line: “Valpo Secures $1 Million Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.” Upon seeing this pop up on my email alerts, I felt immediate excitement. As a student double majoring in secondary education and engli…