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EXCELSIOR Georgetown University Roosevelt Institute Issue 1 // 2013



About Note from the President

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17 19

23 27

33 37

About GURI -


Note from the President: During my freshman year at Georgetown University, I experienced a disconnect between my academic life and my extracurricular involvement. There was not much synergy between the two. I did outside of it.



learn, grow, and reach higher. -



Editor’s Forward: comprised of policies researched and proposed by those in the Georgetown University community. proposals from Georgetown undergraduate students tackling a range of issues. Though the authors

gensen contend that there should be a spectrum of state fragility based on the level of threat that argue that the magnet school program in Florida’s Duval County should be dismantled and the money increasingly polluted water supply.


being debated on newspaper front pages or in the halls of legislatures soon.



“The issues that nation-states will continue to face in the 21st century, including and especially the United states, as the last global superpower, will be as critical as they will be complicated, emanating from and impacting a wide variety of areas. From this backdrop, defense and diplomacy - two sides of the coin of foreign policy will be key to addressing and overcoming national and international security threats.�

Christian Chung Defense & Diplomacy CHAIR

EXCELSIOR Fragile States: Shifting the Debate & Integrating Concepts of Fragility with the Threat Environment

Proposal: While many acknowledge that weak governance, combined with other issues such major threat to regional stability, there is wide variance in the nature of the threat

fragile states.


ragile state threats are (not) created equal

“A state,” German sociologist Max Weber once noted, “is a human community that (successfully) claims 1

Origins of the “state fragility” debate


1 Weber, Max, “Politics as Vocation,” Lecture, January 1919. 2 “Failed States, Collapsed States, Weak States: Causes and Indicators.” State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror. Ed. Robert I. Rotberg. Cambridge, MA: World




3 4 5 6

White House. (2002). National Security Strategy. Retrieved from “The Fund for Peace.” The Fund for Peace. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <>. White House. (2010). National Security Strategy. Retrieved from ty_strategy.pdf “The Fund for Peace.” The Fund for Peace. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <>.




Rafael Go

Economics co-Chair

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We devoted a lot of our discussions on a wide range of pertinent problems from the strength of the yen to land reform in developing countries. Given the volatile global economy, we thought that it was imperative for our peers to have a unique and vested interest in learning more about issues pertaining international economics.â&#x20AC;? Connor Lock Economics co-Chair

EXCELSIOR Stopping the Brain Drain: Business-Education Partnerships in Cleveland Courtney Kishbaugh

Proposal: skilled youth.


Analysis 2


1 2

Lankard, Bettina A. “Business/Education Partnerships.” ERIC Digest 156 (1995). Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Accessed December 7, 2012.


Pollard, Bill. “EDUCATION: Partnerships benefit companies.” Puget Sound Business Journal, August 5, 2011.




4 5 6

Berberet, Jerry, Leslie Joan Millenson, and Stephanie B. Goldberg. “Building Business-Education Partnerships for High-Need Schools.” Associated Colleges of Illinois. Last modified 2007. Accessed January 23, 2013. Kash, Kathleen Mary. “School-To-Work Programs Effectiveness.” Online Journal of Workforce Education and Development 3, no. 4 (Summer 2009). School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, S. 103 (1994).



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Education is an issue that cannot be ignored due to its incredible importance in shaping the futures of countries and societies. As such, it must always be a top priority for politicians and leaders alike due to the definitive role it plays.â&#x20AC;? Abhinav Tyagarajan

Education Chair

EXCELSIOR Duval County Public Schools: Dismantling the Magnet School Program Reno Varghese, James Gadea, and Kevin Tian

Proposal: Florida’s Duval County Public Schools should stop or severely curtail the magnet school program that has been in place for the past few decades in order to enforce the integra-


he magnet school program of Duval County has divided the students in the county and has encouraged the success of a few top students at the expense of the rest. The city of Jacksonville, Florida has two of the top high schools in the United States, Stanton College Preparatory School and Paxon School for Advanced Studies. Unfortunately, the other schools in the city cannot compare to these magnet 1 In 2010, only six out of the twenty high schools in Duval County scored above a “C” on state level high school assessments.2 the Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts, is set aside for students who scored highly on an IQ test in elementary school, depriving neighborhood schools of their most talented students.3 Another problem is that admission to middle schools that “fast-track” students to these magnet high schools is Analysis: dle-class lifestyle. As a result, social mobility has become intertwined with the ability to acquire a

magnet school programs at the expense of regular public schools. The County currently has 71 magnet programs, yet overall learning has not improved.4

1 “The 50 Best Public High Schools in the U.S..” The Best Schools. The Best Schools. Web. 7 Apr 2013. < blog/2013/03/27/50-public-high-schools-u-s/>. 2 “Actual 2012 School Grades: Recalculated by DOE.”Duval Schools. Duval County Public Schools. Web. 7 Apr 2013. <http://www.duvalschools. org/reseval/DistrictPerformance/2012/OFFICIAL_2012_School_Grades_by_SchNum.pdf>. 3 “Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School of the Medical Arts.” Duval Choice. Duval Choice, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. < schools/darnell-cookman-middlehigh-school-medical-arts>. 4 “Magnet Programs.” Duval County Public Schools. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. <>.

dents, and by stealing these top academic talents from neighborhood schools, magnet schools “make it tough for [neighborhood schools] to enroll students that can fuel a consistent culture of learning that 5 increase. For example, magnet schools, which are forced to accept students from all over Jacksonville, 6

This huge increase in cost is especially worrying for a cash

select few.7



rid itself of its magnet school program for this and reasons of fairness. Instead, the county should prostudents in Duval County.

percentage of top students. The Duval County School District should immediately start the process of ing busing for magnet schools in order to save money and discourage the talent drain of neighborhood schools. The school board should also take the issue of magnet schools to a public referendum in order them in the neighborhood schools.

5 Weathersbee, Tonyaa. “Budget Cuts Threaten School Equality.” N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013. < blog/403605/tonyaa-weathersbee/2011-08-02/budget-cuts-threaten-school-equality>. 6 Lyons, Mike. “Magnet School Bus Transportation Will Resume in Duval County.” First Coast News, 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. <>. 7 “Welcome to Jacksonville!” City of Jacksonville, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. <>.



Chloe Krawczyk Energy & Environment Co-Chair

â&#x20AC;&#x153;As more countries achieve economic development and join the community of globalized states, our collective demand for energy and natural resources continues to skyrocket. If we are to ensure that all 7 billion inhabitants of the Earth are able to sustain fulfilling livelihoods, we must find ways to use these precious resources efficiently, manage their development sustainably, and protect them from irreversible damage.â&#x20AC;?

Tyler Eldridge Energy & Environment Co-Chair

EXCELSIOR Combating water pollution in China: Prospects of bioremediation Kyle Rice




Analysis: -



Next Steps:



EXCELSIOR Sewage-to-Energy Technologies Phil Wong

Proposal: capitalized space that the United States should support through tax breaks and great-


imply because human waste is unappealing and quite literally relegated to below Earth’s surface does not mean that this very same waste cannot be useful. In fact, sewage-to-energy technologies can use the methane in human waste as natural gas or to generate electricity. Of the seven million tons 1

Analysis: house gas. Thus sewage has an environmental footprint that far exceeds its unpleasant smell. The EPA 3 4

pose risks to human and ecological health. Some pollutants, such as dioxin, are very toxic but have 5


to handling human sewage. As a result of this range of issues, the current market for sewage-to-energy

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

“A Guide to Understanding Biosolids Issues,” Water Environment Federation and National Association of Clean Water Agencies, 1-2. “Basic Information: LMOP,” EPA. “Landfill Methane Outreach Program,” EPA. “LFGE Energy Project Development Handbook,” EPA, 4-14-4-15. Milbourn, Cathy, “EPA MAKES FINAL DECISION ON DIOXIN IN SEWAGE SLUDGE,” EPA, December 21, 2001. Biosolids Biennial Reviews, EPA, March 2012. Ibid.

Next Steps: -

controls, and solar-powered electronics.8 technologies would help to widen and deepen the sewage-to-energy industry as well as to bring to are necessary for the sewage-to-energy process. Improvements in sewage-to-energy technology may Regulatory policy could drive the growth of sewage-to-energy through three principal means: taxes, subsidies, and wastewater treatment requirements. Taxes on wastewater treatment could fund imple-



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Annual Report for FY2011,â&#x20AC;? United States Department of Energy, June 2012, 1.


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Issues of Equal Justice pervade our daily lives they are questions that are readily discussed but hardly ever answered. The work of this team of writers and researchers reflects the conviction that at a certain point, issues transcend the political and become about ensuring basic human rights.â&#x20AC;? Elaine Ding Equal Justice Chair

EXCELSIOR Abolish LWOP for juvenile homicide offenders Sabrina Khan


S denied any chance of release.

culpable if they receive life without possibility of parole through mandatory sentencing schemes than through a judge.

possibility of parole.

1 Human Rights Advocates, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Special Report on Human Rights Violations in Sentencing: Imprisoning Children for Life without Possibility of Releaseâ&#x20AC;? (2007).

According to the American 3

Because juveniles do

goal for young adults capable of change. Life without possibility of parole categorically assumes that

healthy lifestyle.5

2 M. Sickmund, T.J. Sladky, W. Kang, and C. Puzzanchera, Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2008) 3 American Correctional Association, 2008 Directory: Adult and Juvenile Correctional Departments, Institutions, Agencies, and Probation and Parole Authorities (Alexandria, VA: American Correctional Association, 2008). 4 E.g., Nitin Gogtay & Paul Thompson, Mapping Gray Matter Development, 72 Brain & Cognition 6, 7 (2010); Neir Eshel et al., Neural Substrates of Choice Selection in Adults and Adolescents, 45 Neuropsychologia 1270, 1270-1271 (2007); Spear, supra note 62, at 87-90. 5 Michael Fendrich and Melanie Archer, “Long-Term Re-Arrest Rates in a Sample of Adjudicated Delinquents: Evaluating the Impact of Alternative Programs,” The Prison Journal 78, no. 4 (1998): 360-389. 6 National Mental Health Association, Mental health treatment for youth in the juvenile justice system: A compendium of promising practices. (Alexandria, VA: National Mental Health Association, 2004) 7 vii J. H. Kashani, G.W. Manning, D.H. McKnew, L. Cytryn, J.F. Simonds, and P.C. Wooderson, “Depression Among Incarcerated Delinquents,” Psychiatry Resources 3 (1980): 185-191.


the mental health and safety of juveniles actually worsens when they are denied access to vital reha behavior and are less able to access psychological and social resources. Sentencing a juvenile to die in

and unusual because the judgment was made without tangible evidence.


According to the federal

Next Steps:

have life without possibility of parole have the resources to lead healthy lives once released from jail. do well to adopt this program.

8 9 10

Lefevre, Greg. “Death Row Inmate Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.” Cable News Network, 04 Dec. 2000. Web. 08 Apr. 2013 Fed. Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States, Table 38 (2010) Piquero et al., (2003) The Criminal Career Paradigm: Background and Recent Developments. Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 30,359360


EXCELSIOR Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Similar problems and solutions Mitchel Hochberg


luralism, diversity, and coexistence are all supposed hallmarks of modern liberal life. The greatest accomplishment of Western society is said to be tolerance. Respect for fellow humanity regardless of


out that while Muslim opinion of western society may not be high, and while some would and do act



2 3

While this definition is not explicitly lifted from any work, it owes heavily to many of the authors I have read, especially, Thomas Cincotta, “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace,” Public Eye (2011), <>, John L. Esposito and İbrahim Kalın, eds., Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011), Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg, Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), and Stephen Sheehi, Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign against Muslims (Atlanta, GA: Clarity, 2011). Ivan D. Kalmar, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: The Formation of a Secret,” Human Architecture 7.2 (2009): 137-9. Paul Pillar, “Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.” Telephone interview. 17 Aug. 2012.



There is simply not enough room in this



cases.8 able and educated secular and religious minority.


4 5

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Ibid, 3 Hussein Ibish, “Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.” Ibish Blog (21 Nov. 2009) < anti_semitism>, Sheila Musaji, “Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism: Everything Old Is New Again,” The American Muslim (23 June 2012) <http://>, James Zogby “Double Standard on Anti-Arab Bigry Repeats Old Errors.” The National. 24 June 2012. Web. 18 July 2012. < ble-standard-on-anti-arab-bigotry-repeats-old-errors>, and Sheehi, ibid. Good places to start include the books by Esposito and Kalin, Gottschalk and Greenberg, or Sheehi mentioned above Steven Beller, Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007): 72. Ibid, 7, pg. 23-24 Ibid, 7, pg. 32-33. Ibid, 7, pg. 36-37. Ibid, 7, pg. 39. Ibid, 7, pg. 40.



The religions themselves are portrayed as pathologies with values that cannot be reconciled with modernity.

was replaced by pluralism. like these, that does not mean they must be.




13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Ibid, 7, pg. 41 and 47. Ibish, ibid, and Musaji, ibid. Musaji, ibid. and Sabine Schiffer and Constantin Wagner, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia – New Enemies, Old Patterns.” Race & Class 52.3 (2011) <>: 80-1. Schiffer and Wagner, 80, Musaji, ibid. Gottschalk and Greenberg, 71-2, and Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978): 286-7. Ibid, 7, 98-106. Indeed not playing such a role is dangerous, see Daniel Luban, “Islamophobia: Bad For The Jews.” Lobe Log. IPS News Agency (21 Jan. 2010) <>. Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition, “About Us” and “About the Coalition Members.” <>. Zoe Winograd, “Walk-outs over ‘Islamophobia’ at anti-Semitism symposium.” Jewish Chronicle Online (6 Dec. 2012) < news/uk-news/93498/walk-outs-over-islamophobia%E2%80%99-antisemitism-symposium>. Abraham Foxman, “Exploiting the Mosque Controversy” Huffington Post (27 Aug. 2010) < exploiting-the-mosque-con_b_697106.html>, and Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel, “How the Anti-Defamation League Fuels Islamophobia.” AlterNet (1 Feb. 2013) <>.



â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because we have a diverse and talented mix of students, including a large number of students intending to pursue M.D.s and students with interests in lawmaking, we adopt a view of policy that takes a balanced approach to considering doctor and patient viewpoints, which often get distorted in real lawmaking decisions.â&#x20AC;? Sonia Vora Healthcare Chair

EXCELSIOR Expanding Health Care access to rural Americans through community providers Mitchell Bradford and Katrina Yeh

Proposal: -








non-medical services and support. -



Hansen, Suzy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Can Mississippi Learn From Iran?â&#x20AC;? The New York Times. N.p., 27 July 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.





EXCELSIOR Mandated surgical checklists to reduce preventable medical errors Derek Altema, Gregory Gelzinis, and Tyler Newhall

Proposal: implemented in hospitals across the country. It will help reduce the frequency of pre-


lthough surgery is an integral part of the health care system, it involves inherent risks. Obviously,





On top of these costs, error If hospi-

1 2 3 4 5 Ibid. 2

surgical checklist.




noncompliance of the checklist. -

6 7 8 9 Ibid.



of the checklist by hospitals.


Acknowledgements Asjed Hussain // President VP Dao // Vice-President Amy Liu // Executive Director Andrew Wooster // Deputy Executive Director Connie Yang // Director of Communications Lucas Chan // Director of Membership and Outreach Arushi Das // Director of Events Thomas Guthrie // Editor-in-Chief Robin Go // Managing/Design Editor Policy Chairs: Christian Chung // Defense & Diplomacy Rafael Go // Economics Connor Lock // Economics Abhinav Tyagarajan // Education Tyler Eldridge // Environment Chloe Krawcyzk // Environment Elaine Ding // Equal Justice Sonia Vora // Healthcare Contributors: Derek Altema Courtney Kishbaugh Mitchell Bradford Ian Marshall Christian Chung Tyler Newhall Chris Dienst Kyle Rice James Gadea Kevin Tian Gregory Gelzinis Reno Varghese Mitchel Hochberg Phil Wong Peter Jorgensen Katrina Yeh Sabrina Khan

EXCELSIOR, Issue 1  

The Georgetown University Roosevelt Institute (GURI) is an undergraduate, non-partisan policy think tank at Georgetown University, with the...

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