VOTE YES: Experience at Targum lays base for marriage
When we walk around the Rutgers campus today, we can't help but be a little bitter. With its own Jersey-style diner and winning sports teams, Rutgers is a much cooler place now than in 2005, the year we graduated.
Even without those things, the college experience was easily the best four years of our lives. The laundry list of what we love about Rutgers goes beyond the beer pong tournaments, Olive Branch happy hours and 2 a.m. grease truck sandwiches. Well, that was a huge part of it, but for us, it was also because of The Daily Targum, our own version of greek life, of Frelinghuysen 2 or of some club that uses "RU" in its name.
We both spent our four years working for The Daily Targum to gain work experience more valuable than getting coffee at some New York City internship. We learned something at a 9:50 a.m. SCILS class, and put it to use at a 5 p.m. newspaper planning meeting. But inside those walls, we also met our closest friends — the kind of friends who are like family — and we met each other. We have been married for almost a year and it's hard to believe that our relationship started after working long hours together at the Targum office more than 12 years ago.
But we aren't so vain as to think you care what Targum means to us, our lives and our careers. We want to tell you why Targum is important to you. Whether you like it or not, the media is ingrained in your life. College students spend between 8 and 10 hours per day on their smart phones, and much of that time is on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Mainly, it's about staying connected to your community of friends and finding out what's going on in the world.
When you attend a college with more than 37,000 students, it's easy to feel like, well, 1 in 37,000. Rutgers becomes a truly special place when you join the clubs, sports or groups that allow you to find those other students with whom you share common interests. That is your world. The way you survive in the sea of thousands and miles of five campuses is to find your place in the community. And the way these various niche places feel connected to the school is through the Targum.
The Daily Targum is your platform to know and be known. From the hundreds of events happening every month to the on-campus politics, the Targum is really the only way to stay connected with the rest of Rutgers. It defies the trend of most newspapers because it's how your projects and passions are shared with others who just might just be looking for that exact information.
You might not feel like dancing all night during the annual Dance Marathon, but you might like to know how much money was raised. You may not be able to name the Rutgers student body president, but you want to know if there are changes happening that could affect you. Even if it's something serviceable to read during a 100-level class at Scott Hall, or something you pick up just for the crossword or you never make it past the sports on the back page like one of us, it probably means more to you than you realize.
Rutgers can't be squeezed into a 140-character tweet or or a photo with a hashtag no one will remember 10 minutes from now. Being more than 10 years out of college, it's nice to feel connected to your alma matter. If you are anything like us, Rutgers truly defines four years of your life that are unlike any other.
But Rutgers won't be the same without the Targum, and right now that important part of your college experience needs you to simply take a few minutes to vote yes in the Referendum. We ran a referendum 12 years ago, and the responsible action of our classmates is the reason you are reading this newspaper today. Vote yes, not for us, but for you and the future Rutgers community.
Ryan Dunleavy covered Rutgers football and men's lacrosse and held the positions of Sports Desk Assistant and Associate Sports Editor for The Daily Targum from 2001-2005. He is currently the Rutgers University football beat reporter for the Asbury Park Press, APP.com, MyCentralJersey.com. He is also a Heisman Trophy voter.
Caitlin Rauch Dunleavy held the positions of Associate Design Editor, Design Editor and Managing Editor for The Daily Targum from 2001-2005. She currently works at Conde Nast as the Marketing Director for WIRED.
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