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WEEK IN REVIEW: Laurels and Darts | April 15, 2016



President Barack Obama threw us a curveball when he finally accepted Rutgers University's invitation to be this year's commencement speaker. Despite Rutgers' 250 years of existence, it has never had a sitting U.S. president speak at commencement. We laurel both the intensive efforts of the University community for making this possible, and the president for accepting this invitation and helping make Rutgers history.


"Take Back the Night" is a nationwide protest across college campuses that began in the 1970s, and University students organized the march this week to support victims of sexual and gender assault. Despite how the movement began almost 50 years ago, these issues are still relevant and pervasive. Gender-based violence persists, and we dart these issues that have harmed people's lives.


Last semester, University Chancellor Richard L. Edwards established the Task Force on Inclusion and Community Values, and it's composed of faculty, staff and students. The group will soon release a report on its findings, and so we laurel the task force for its work in exploring how the University can be more inclusive and how it can promote difficult conversations on race, bias and identity.


A Rutgers study conducted by Mary Himmelstein, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, found that men who endorse strong ideas of masculinity are likely to be less candid to female doctors. Men have a lifespan that is five years shorter than a woman's on average, so they can't afford to lie to doctors. We dart cultural scripts of masculinity that cause men to hold their ego over necessary communication with doctors who can give them the proper care they need.


We depend on our five senses everyday, but the capacity to taste, see, smell, hear and touch are sometimes taken for granted. The American Sign Language (ASL) club enters its second year, and it's teaching students how to sign while educating them about deaf and hard-of-hearing culture. We laurel the ASL club for promoting awareness and educating about a lesser-known culture.


Vanessa's Food Pantry has been assisting the local homeless population for more than 20 years. They're doing great work, but they're lacking space, time, money and volunteers. While we don't know solutions to the other three problems, we dart the fact that the food pantry isn't well known and is therefore lacking volunteers — there's surely a community within the University that has a strong commitment to public service and would love to help.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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