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Letters to the Editor: Naut Talks    

The Nautilus welcomes Letters to the Editor regarding topics of interest to the students of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Disagree with our opinion writers? Have an opinion of your own you would like to share?

Write to the editor at to have your opinion published in the Nautilus.
Submissions must be more than 100 and fewer than 300 words. The Nautilus reserves the right to edit any submissions for clarity.


Stigma of the Century    

We have all heard the mantra of “You’ll never get a job with tattoos or piercings.”... but is that really still the case? It is undisputed that there exists double standards with every topic imaginable; in every generation. Body modification just happens to be an enduring stigma for this generation’s business culture.

The generations currently entering the job market (Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z) are slightly more “decorated” than our parents’ and their parents before them (Baby Boomers and Gen X). By “decorated” I obviously mean all of the mega-important and awe-inspiring piercings and tattoos of elephants, dolphins, and ill-researched Chinese symbols. There has been an undeniable increase in tattoos and piercings in the workplace, and regardless of your generation’s “classification” and resulting stereotypes, somehow society needs to adjust.

Most of us students with tattoos have thought about placement based solely on the ability to hide our ink. However, with the Baby Boomers retiring, why is it that we still place so much emphasis on visible tattoos in the workplace? We should be allowed, and encouraged, to branch out and decorate ourselves with whatever we deem necessary for every stage of our self-confidence’s feng-shui. My own confidence ebbs and flows like the waves of our remarkably blasé Galveston Island.

Despite how many arguments over curfews, skirt length, and creative “descriptive” words we have with our parents… we still respect the opinions of those older, and wiser, than us. So, where then is the line between respecting our elders/bosses and staying true to ourselves and our own creative freedoms? That seems to be the interminable question.

It was only recently that I dug deeper into this common train of thought; and yes, I am guilty of it before all seven of my tattoos and myriad of piercings. Upon further investigation, I found that other than the medical and food industry, most offices don’t have an issue with inconspicuous tattoos and piercings. The Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services did a census of 262 consumers regarding the perception of body art based on gender and occupation. The study had a very obvious lack of a racial component, but that may be a whole other can of worms for this social topic. The census’ results found that, on average, consumers in a medical environment preferred the doctors to have no facial modifications. While in regards to a mechanic’s facial modifications, there was a one point increase in the acceptance of a professional with tattoos (Timming, 2015).

Presently, other than the medical field, it seems that there is a higher acceptance of employees/professionals with body modification. The study mentioned above used a neck tattoo as the stimulus, so something less conspicuous is more likely to be unnoticed or unmentioned. The piercing that prompted this investigation was a nose piercing. A small stud, of course. No bull-nose septum ring in the office for me.

All-in-all, it seems that the hardest part of figuring all this stuff out is for us to find the precarious balance between staying true to ourselves while also finding an employer that won’t stifle our colorful identities.

– Nicole Zghaib, TAMUG student

When People Ask Why I Marched    

As I stood with 22,000 peacefully assembled and extremely diverse people that day, tears came to my eyes. I've never felt more at home. I've never felt more American.

I care more about the many getting an education and health care than I do about one man being able to make billions of dollars. We can't continue to call ourselves the greatest nation in the world if we can't allow people to obtain basic education and basic health care needs after working 40+ hours a week, and I don't mean by federally-subsidized dollars or taxpayer money. When you work a full-time job for companies who make millions or even billions of dollars a year, there should be a way for you to afford basic health care.

Basic health care for women includes reproductive rights. The consequences for women and relationships are different for those of men in those same relationships. When 80 percent of single-parent homes are run by mothers, according to the US Census Bureau, we are condemning that 80 percent to the inability to pay for basic health and education. We are failing entire future generations! Those single parent families are paid less on average than their male counterparts and their married female counterparts. America condemns that entire population to poverty without the ability for basic healthcare. Women have different biological needs- and that shouldn't mean we are inferior. In reality we are an indispensable asset. In this generation we are the caretakers and the providers for households.

Even if those poverty-stricken people had education they could assist themselves. However, at least in Texas, our public education is funded by property tax and school taxes. If you live in a poor neighborhood, your school is going to be underfunded. The school I went to had textbooks that dated back 15-20 years. I was lucky enough to love to read. Most people don't realize that 21 percent of adults in the US have a 5th grade reading level and 19 percent of high school graduates are illiterate.

Even with privilege and a college education, I would not pass the immigration test that is given to people seeking asylum in this country. It's not that I'm upset that Americans don't care about other people, it's that we pretend that we do care. Ironically, many Trump supporters call themselves Christian. I do not understand how someone can claim Jesus- but turn their back on their neighbor. We care more about hoarding our "scarce resources" than we do about helping people in need. In business and logistics not taking action is considered an action. In the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan, not taking an action is an action. Our neighbors are those downtrodden and in need.

People don't want to be honest about what the situation is. Our ancestors migrated here from many different countries - so many that we don't even know where many of us came from. If we don't think that it's okay that people are seeking Asylum here, how can we think that it was okay for our ancestors to do so? Especially when most US citizens wouldn’t pass our citizenship test? There are missing logic pieces here. When our ancestors migrated here, there was no test like the one we give now. We have to ask ourselves if we are playing a biased hand. Would we all be willing to migrate back to where we "came from" if we couldn't pass this test?

These are the reasons I marched. When people say that it's stupid that we had an anti-Trump rally, I want to tell them that it's because I stand up for everything that he is against. I don't care about one man's ability to make a bunch of money. I care about basic human rights of the American people. If we cannot educate most Americans and we cannot affordably provide healthcare for most Americans, we are failing to meet the most basic of human needs. When we cannot meet these needs we force future Generations to be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually destitute. Until the majority of Americans realize this, our history will be one that left many behind.

-Simone B. Walkin, TAMUG student

Editor's Note: The writer of this letter wished to remain anonymous.