2019 Thesis Finalist: Ryan Duncan - What Would Jesus Do- An Argument Against Christian Support Of The Death Penalty
Christians should not support capital punishment, for three reasons. Firstly, the death penalty devalues human life by disregarding its status as an image-bearer to God. Secondly, the death penalty greatly reduces capital offenders’ chance of Christian redemption. Finally, the death penalty prohibits the pursuit of a restoring and renewing justice, as is biblically necessary.
2019 Thesis Finalist: Bonnie Lowrie - The Birds, The Bees, And The Bureaucracy- Implementing Abstinence & Sex Ed Into TX Pub Sch
Texas public school districts should implement abstinence-plus sex education as part of a health education standard. Sex education in public schools is a necessary measure to improve public health, and adequately address the prevention of STIs and unintended pregnancies in the state of Texas. Among the many different sex education curricula, abstinence plus is the most beneficial program for students, through incorporating medically accurate information about contraception combined with stressing abstinence. Along with educating students on the physical consequences of sex, abstinence-plus provides a holistic curriculum that incorporates the mind and heart, by examining the emotional and psychological benefits of abstaining from premarital sex, as well as identifying what makes a healthy relationship.
2019 Thesis Finalist:Mackenzie Noell - Happy Drugs And Scary Bugs- The Need To Address The Antibiotic Resistance Pandemic
In order to combat the inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, outpatient doctors should be required to employ a diagnostic test before prescribing an antibiotic. Doctors prescribe antibiotics inappropriately due to false positive prescriptions and patient pressure. Unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions result in further resistance and other adverse health ramifications. Finally, diagnostic tests can mitigate the catastrophic effects of resistance by ameliorating antibiotic prescriptions.
2019 Thesis Finalist:Avery Smitheal - The (in)justice System- The Need For Federal Legislation To Combat Violence On Reser
Native American women should be more heavily protected from the high rates of violence they experience in the whirlwind of a broken and unnecessarily complex law enforcement system. A bill called “Savanna’s Act” should be enacted to improve victim services and tribal access to federal databases for missing persons, to require the collection of data related to these crimes, and to promote inter-jurisdictional collaboration.
2019 Thesis Finalist:Preston Thomas - Por Que No- Why Puerto Rico Should Be Ratified As The 51st State
Puerto Rico should be ratified as the 51st state for several reasons. The first is that the commonwealth system that Puerto Rico is governed under is an outdated system left over from colonialism that was only meant as a stepping stone to statehood. Secondly, Puerto Ricans are, by law, American citizens, yet they do not have the same rights and benefits that mainland citizens have because essentially the island does not have citizenship. Lastly, admitting Puerto Rico to the U.S. would have political and financial benefits for the nation.
2019 Thesis Finalist:Evelyn Voelter - It's Time To Draw The Line- Why The Supreme Court Should Address Political Gerrymandering
The Supreme Court should set a standard for finding partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional. The Court must abide by their past rulings on racial gerrymandering cases and fulfill their responsibility to protect the rights of American citizens. In considering standards for determining gerrymandering metrics, the Court has the support of the mathematical community to use technological techniques in approaching definitive rulings.