PAGE 2 I THE MEREDITH HERALD | NOVEMBER 4, 2009 herald@mei^itK^)l| Cdu^'k^tfgare' Z anger^^meredith, Assistant Editor; Wariamawlt Ta'dw^,:^| ■ A(1 ’Manager#^^^ Maria GIthua Staff Writers a ’ Danielle Beck ^ ‘ Elisabeth L Jennite’Cash , Jilllan Ciflts: AmyHrui^' Aleigha Ragei-! AnnaTupier Layout Editors Ashley Matthews .'Anna Perry SpenserTaub Literature Advisor Suzanne Bntt Design Advisor Dana Gay Th8 Me/Bcfitft HsraW Is r 'publi^^ by the College. ? throughput Sieacadet^ V' yMr'Thepaperfe^luhflikl, I,’’ by the CoU^ aid ttvough' independent adverlislhg.:' Aflacfvsrfiaefnentsshoildbe . senttoherakl@nte(e(filh.edit ' The opinions expressed in.^ the edttodal columns do not necwsarily reflect those of :: the Cdlege admnlstralon, > faculty, or student body.-, •- The policy of tttls paper^T; ’ require* thattubmis- - Slone be made by 5 p.m. the-Thureday bftfom - publication, allowing time for eonsulbition between. staff and contributors; - > that erticlsa not excaed >1^ roowofds; thatlettsrsto the editor not exceed 200 wonts; and that contrttMi* ton sign ail submlsalons:^^ and provide necessary contKt intormstlon. Ttm'. editor and staff welconw: submlsstom meethiB the above'fluM^nes.,'' Pubffshed by Hfntott Pnss GAY MARRIAGE IN KENYA Maria GIthua Staff Writer On October 17th, 2009, two gentlemen, Charles Ngengi and Chege Daniel Gichia, became the first Kenyan gay couple in history to publicly declare and make their vows. They attracted huge media attention eyen though the color ful wedding was held in London, oceans away from their home. Charles Ngengi, 40 and his bride, Daniel Chege Gichia, 39. became civil partners under the controver sial Civil Partnership Act which came into effect in the UK In 2005 and allows couples of the same sex to have legal recognition of their relationship. The couple tied the knot at a civil partnership ceremony at Is lington Town Hall in North London at 11.30 a.m. London time. Accord ing to the Act, a civil partnership is defined as a legal marriage between gay and lesbian couples, and any couple who enters into a civil partnership obtains the new , legal status of civil partners instead of the traditional husband and wife status. Among the guests at the contro versial nuptials were Chege’s for mer British partner David Cleaves, Julius Reuben, a top Tanzanian gay model, and a cross-section of the couple's close associates, mainly drawn from diverse gay and lesbian communities in London as well-wishers among Kenyan resi dents in London. Conspicuously absent from the closely guarded ceremony were family members of both men. which drew a lot of suspicion. If the couple was com fortable about publicly declaring their relationship, why didn’t they invite their family members? Did they fear rejection and were only comfortable around the welcoming gay community? In Kenya, this news has been received with public outcry and rage because unions of this nature are not culturally accepted: they are considered to be societal vices. The African traditions are conseivative, and once you decide to break the nonns, you are con sidered an outcast. These two are no exception. The situation is very tense and one of the couple’s fam ily members has faced numerous threats from the villagers and has been warned that he may have to be banished from the village because the villagers fear their ‘bad blood.’ The marriage has also raised a storm and widespread condem nation among Kenyan residents in the UK who have described it as ‘unnatural and socially unac ceptable.’ Chege reveals that he knew he was gay as early as the mid- nineties and his first partner was the British gentleman David Cleaves. In as much as being gay and same sex marriages have been accepted In other parts of the world, to some, it is a new trend. Sexual orientation in countries like the United States is often per ceived to be an individual choice, but in some countries it is viewed through a cultural ‘min’or,’ and some orientations are not socially acceptable. It goes to show that even though we are all in the same world, we are continents apart. Photo courtesy: AAAMAAAHog/r2oPGsJM6ul/s400Amage003%282%29.jpg A HIGH PRICE FOR A DEGREE Jennifer Cash Staff Writer Going to college has become al most mandatory: getting a job with out a college degree is extremely hard. Since the economy has been in such a rut, finding employment has become a full time job in itself for many people—hunting through classifieds, sending out resumes, and interviewing all take time. For those without a college degree it is very hard to find a substantial job that makes a decent income. For many, going back to college is not even an option because the cost of college has skyrocketed. According to, the high cost of colleges has made the Idea of a col lege degree further out of reach for many Americans. A recent College Board survey said that tuition and fees at private four year colleges rose 4.4% this year. Tuition is increasing in private schools because their endowments have dwindled. At public four year universities, tuition spiked over 6% for both in-state and out of state stu dents. Public schools are suffering because they are being hit from a dip in state funding which declined 5.7% per student this year. Right now more kids than ever are in school and continuing on to col lege right after high school. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education noted that the graduating class of 2009 con tained the largest number of high school graduates in history. The tuition increases at col leges and universities have also affected the financial aid avail able from schools. Grant funding increased 4.7% during the 2008- 2009 school year which means undergraduates' cost for school without financial assistance is higher than ever Mix this with high unemployment rates and stagnant household incomes, and afford ing college has become harder than ever for many people. Two thirds of full time college students receive financial aid that doesn't need to be repaid. However, one third of students still pay full tuition without any financial help. An average student at a private university pays about $11,900 each year after financial aid and a student at a public university pays about $1600. However, this doesn’t include room and board fees which also have increased by 5,4% at public schools and 4.2% at private schools. Sandy Baum, a senior policy analyst for College Board says, “Even though the net tuition might not be rising for stu dents who get grants, the aid is not enough to cover living costs.” Since the cost of college is so high and financial aid is down, stu dent loans have increased. Loans increased 5% from the 2007-2008 to the 2008-2009 school year. Pat Callan from the National Cen ter for Public Policy and Higher Education suggests that “schools need to invest more financial aid in students who really need it.” During the 2007-2008 school year nearly two thirds of grant money in public schools went to students without regard to financial circum stances. Students from low income families who need the money the most got an average of $570 where students from upper-middle income families received $730. Baum hopes the current economy will encourage schools to "waste less money on kids who don’t need it and focus on kids who need the funds." Regardless of a student’s income level, paying for higher education has become more dif ficult in recent years.

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