WEEK IN REVIEW: Laurels and Darts | October 5, 2018
KEEP KAVANAUGH OUT
On Wednesday night, activists from various Rutgers organizations gathered on the steps at Brower Commons to discuss experiences with sexual assault in the wake of last week’s Senate hearings of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Among those at the rally were survivors of sexual assault and harassment, as well as advocates aiming to spread awareness of sexual violence. We laurel those who took part in this gathering for speaking the truth that needs to be heard with regard to this issue, and working toward real change.
At the Livingston Student Center on Wednesday, a group of people stood outside holding signs with controversial statements on them. These statements included things like, “Homos go to Hell," “Muslims are going to hell” and “Lesbos can’t raise kids.” This sort of demonstration is not uncommon these days on college campuses. Groups like the one at Rutgers on Wednesday seemingly come and picket to get a rise out students, who they likely perceive as a predominantly progressive body of people. We dart yesterday’s picketers, because no matter a student’s political lean, it can be agreed on by most that the sort of intolerance displayed by these demonstrators is contrary to Rutgers’ values.
A recent study led by Rutgers researchers discovered that as a result of their certain genes taken from bacteria, a specific type of green algae may survive more effectively in the face of climate change in comparison to their counterparts. There are rather important implications with regard to this research, such as the fact that learning more about this sort of algae can someday help us create an efficient source of biofuel, or understand the potential impact of climate change on species at the bottom of the food chain. We laurel the researchers involved in this study for representing Rutgers on an issue that will only become more pressing in the future.
CHALLENGE THE NORM
Rutgers University—Newark’s Sabrina Ahmed was elected student body president for the 2018-2019 school year. As she grew up in a predominantly white town in Morris County, Ahmed was surprised by the diversity at Rutgers. She said, “Yes me — a covered Muslim woman — got elected by a majority of students here to serve as your student body president.” Rutgers—Newark provided her with an experience outside of the norm and we dart the experience that she and others have faced and continue to face. It should not be a shock to elect a woman like Ahmed at Rutgers.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION
This week, Rutgers is celebrating 50 years of offering aid to students in need through the Education Opportunity Fund (EOF). This program and others like it play an essential role in balancing access to education. College is invaluable, and the experiences and knowledge one gains during college result in significant individual growth. Young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately affected by roadblocks when it comes to attaining an education, and as a result many of those students are unable to attend college. We laurel EOF and the like that help make equal opportunity for access to quality education an actual possibility.
CHANGING UNIVERSITY CULTURE
Rutgers Law Professor, Suzanne A. Kim, released a guest column this week about her experiences with sexual assault. In admitting her trauma while hearing about Ford’s experiences with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Kim criticizes university culture. She questions “the role of an institution's culture in making it more difficult for us to reckon with sexual assault ... Places that prize power and elite accomplishment (that) compel the sorting of strong versus weak.” We dart the institutional culture that universities possess that add to the traumatic experiences that victims like Kim face.
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