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WEEK IN REVIEW: Laurels and Darts | November 30, 2018


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RUTGERS SUSTAINABILITY 

According to The Daily Targum reporting, Rutgers’ sustainability efforts have increased in recent years, culminating in 30 percent of all campus energy currently coming from renewable resources. As more reports and evidence are released, our environmental future appears increasingly dire. While the University must continue its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and working with the community to build a better, cleaner future, we laurel the progress made by Rutgers. 

RELIANCE ON CROWD-SOURCING

According to GoFundMe, the site hosts more than 250,000 medical campaigns each year, with more than $650 million raised across those campaigns. Medical bills account for 1 in 3 GoFundMe campaigns. While donations to aid these efforts are incredible, this reliance should not exist in the first place. Social problems must be addressed by social institutions as they lower costs and aid in overcoming obstacles. Similarly, Rutgers should take a larger role in ensuring no student goes hungry or has to skip a meal. Rutgers can do more to address hunger and food access on campus. For example, students should be allowed to use their meal swipes to swipe in students at their own discretion. We dart the fact that such donations are needed and the lack of support from larger institutions.

CANNABIS LEGISLATION

New Jersey moved one step closer to the much anticipated cannabis legalization. The bill as it currently stands will legalize possession and consumption of limited amounts of cannabis, expand the state’s medical marijuana program and start to address expungement. While much work is needed on the bill that is waiting to reach the State Senate floor, the movement of legislation is an important milestone that we laurel.

EXCESSIVE FORCE

After 16 months of investigation, the NJ Advance Media released a report on the use of force by New Jersey police officers. The findings painted a picture of a state in need of police reform. Some of the report's findings revealed 296 officers used force more than five times the state average, a black person was three times more likely to be subjected to police force in New Jersey than someone who was white and more than twice as likely to be shot. Excessive force claims cost the state millions in taxpayer dollars every year. This comprehensive report should be a commonplace read on campus and we dart the quantified revelations of excessive use of force.

IMMIGRANT TRUST DIRECTIVE

New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir Grewal established the Immigrant Trust Directive, which created new rules for police officers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). New Jersey police officers cannot “stop, question, arrest, search or detain any individual based solely on their suspected immigration status,” and they cannot ask the immigration status of anyone unless it is part of an ongoing investigation. No officer in New Jersey can participate in ICE immigration raids or operations and ICE cannot access state or local law enforcement resources, nor interview anyone arrested unless suspects are advised of their rights. We laurel the Attorney General’s directive. 

BORDER TEAR GAS

According to the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency, tear gas was used by the agency 126 times between 2012 and 2018. In 2016, the number of uses recorded was three. In 2017, the use increased to 18 deployments and in 2018, that number rose significantly to 29. Tear gas was recently used against asylum-seekers at the border, sparking outrage and debate. While the data show that tear gas is not new to the border, the use on those who have the right to seek asylum is abhorrent. We dart the recent use of tear gas on the men, women and children who have left their destabilized and violent countries to use their right to apply for asylum in a beacon of prosperity and hope.


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