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April 10, 2015 | 5
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Brazil calls for impeachment after bribe scandal
I believe that our country needs a government that shows
confidence, we need a government that is going to be
there for.us. The only thing we expect from Dilma's party
is another scandal.
ENGINEERING STUDENT PeDRO HENRIQUE CONCfUO
^ Staff Writer
How would you feel if a whole
country went to the streets calling for
your impeachment after they have
elected you as their president? This
scenario is currently facing Dilma
Rousseff, Brazil’s president.
Rousseff is facing a lot of
problems less than five months after
A huge scandal involving the
country’s most important oil and
gas company, Petrobras, became
public in 2014 and is still imder
Brazil’s Supreme Court is leading
the investigation into top politicians
who are accused of tal^g at least
$800 million in bribes in exchange
for lucrative oil contracts from
President Rousseff is dne of the
'r ^ '
“Dilma knew what was going on
with Petrobras,” said law student
Philippe Barros in a phone interview
with The Guilfordian. “It’s hard
to believe she didn’t know a thing
because she has always been too
involved with her party.”
The incident affects not only
Brazil itself but other companies
which are linked to Petrobras.
“This scandal could affect U.S.
companies who might be invested
in oil exploration and production
off the coast of Brazil,” said Visiting
Professor of History William
Hamilton in an email interview.
Trying to calm people down,
Rousseff went on frp on March 8,
Women’s International Day, and
spoke about the^Ycandal. She said
Brazilians had every right to be
worried, but they should be patient
and understanding because the
situation was temporary.
During the president’s speech
many people started to bang pots
and honk horns, a form of protest
called “panela90.” The protests have
been ongoing since.
On March 15, the movement
“Vem Pra Rua,” which translates
to “come to the street,” reunited
thousands of indignant individuals
all around the country who wore the
Brazilian green and yellow jersey and
“We are tired of being
disrespected,” said Rogerio Chequer,
leader ofVem Pra Rua, in an interview
with television show Roda Viva.
“Politicians are elected by the people.
(They) receive money through our
taxes. But they end up using it for
personal interests. We are done.”
Another protest will take place on
April 12 to express frustration with
the lack of change since last month.
“Our government sees and speaks
what it wants,” said comedian and
screenwriter Criss Paiva in an email
interview with The Guilfordian.
“We pressure them, but they don’t
feel pressured. Screaming is not the
answer, but we can’t just stay quiet
Some people believe the
government is actually doing a good
“Dilma had nothing to do with the
Petrobras scandal,” said engineering
student Isac Chagas in a phone
interview with The Guilfordian. “She
was always against corruption, and
the protests are not getting anywhere.
They call for impeachment when
that is not even legally possible. A
lot of people are mixing ideologies.”
Numbers of people say otherwise.
“I think chances of an
impeachment are fairly high,
especially with the protests and the
fact that her popularity (has) plunged
from 42 percent to 23 percent
over the past several months,” said
Besides calling for impeachment,
protesters also complain about
their country’s high inflation,
tmemployment and exchange rates.
“These problems are reflexes of
our economy’s chsruption,” said
engineer Valeria Pacheco in an email
interview with The Guilfordian. “And
since Dilma and her party are the
ones in charge, they are obviously
the ones to blame, especially after so
many situations of corruption.”
Again, not everyone agrees that
Rousseff should be condemned.
“We tend to link the image of our
president with everyone involved in
her party,” said law student Mariana
Morais in a phone interview. “But
we know that the decisions made in
Brazil come from the Congress. So
Protesters in Brazil dennand the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.
high inflation and unemployment
rates are not Dilma’s party’s fault.”
Besides many demands, Brazilians
are also providing solutions.
“I believe that our country needs a
government that shows confidence,”
said engineering student Pedro
Henrique Concflio in a phone
interview. “We need a government
that is going to be there for us. The
only thing we expect from Dilma’s
party is another scandal.
“A great solution would be
increasing investigations of both our
former and current president.”
In four months of infamy,
confusion, arguments and anger,
Brazil’s future seems uncertain.
“I worry about not finding a way
out,” said Paiva. “We need help. All
the help we can get. We need to save
State cuts expected to hurt Guilford County Schools
BY AUBREY KING
Guilford College students and faculty
know as well as anyone the harsh realities
of budget cuts, and now it seems local high
schools are facing a similar problem.
Over the past few weeks, preliminary
budget announcements by Guilford County
Schools have caused discontent over the
possibility of continued cuts. Far from a
onetime occurrence, this year’s cuts reflect
a startling trend of state-mandated cuts to a
school system in need of capital.
In response, the school system has turned
to the county for extra funds.
“In the past we have focused on cuts, and
significant cuts, to compensate for budget
shortfalls,” said Guilford County Schools
Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green in an
announcement on GCSNC.com. “Now that
we are moving out of the Great Recession, it
is time to make up for those cuts and start to
adequately fund our children’s education.”
Though many blame the school system
for the cuts Green mentioned, cuts beyond
the system’s control have put them in a
In a presentation to the Guilford County
School Board, Green revealed that the state
had cut the school budget by almost $1.8
million, down from $7.4 million last year.
Targeting teachers’ assistants and driver’s
education, the cuts forced the school system
to look elsewhere for funds.
“(Green) calls for $205.3 million from
(Guilford County), up from $179.4 million
provided for this year,” reads GCSNC’s web
page. “The majority of that money would
go to restoring cuts to schools.”
Though the allocated amount would
certainly lighten the load, hopes for the
grant are not high.
Since 2008, the county has shifted its
focus from county schools to charter
schools. Though the total given to schools
by the county has slowly grown, not all of
the schools have reaped the same benefit.
“The State allocates money based on the
number of students in your building,” said
Caryl Schunk, chair and assistant professor
of education studies. “If you have fewer
students, your building receives less money
for your faculty and staff, as well as for
With failing state funds and a variety of
issues preventing particular schools from
receiving the funds they need, cuts are still
likely, and community members have begun
to think about where the cuts would do the
“The school I go to, the Early College at
Guilford, is a huge GCS-funded program for
a very small group of students,” said Early
College junior Harris Billings. “Though I
know this experience has been invaluable to
advanced students like us, I do not know if
programs for the benefit of the top students
outweigh the importance of programs that
help students struggling to keep up.”
Green and the board also realize that cuts
have to happen, and in response, they are
trying to do what they can to keep programs
Green announced on the GCSNC
website that his first priority is to save
teachers, though they cannot save them
all, a sentiment which agrees with the
“I think cutting electives is better than
cutting teachers,” said Early College junior
Katherine Quinn in an email interview.
“Programs providing kids from lower class
families with school supplies should also be
kept because they are always neglected.”
The board cannot finalize the school
budget until the county releases their
budget on June 1, but, until then, the
Guilford county community waits with
In Guilford County, a continuation of
harmful cuts casts doubt on the effectiveness
of the current educational system. Change
has to happen if local schools want to
continue to operate, but, for now, all
residents can do is hope the changes do not
hurt too much.