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I’m writing to comment on The Daily Targum’s April 28 article, “Students storm Barchi’s office to protest Rice’s commencement invitation.”“This was one of the largest sit-ins in Rutgers history,” the author explained, “drawing police to the scene after a glass door was broken and a student allegedly cut their [sic] hand.”
And so it ends. After three semesters of regular columns and before that, five semesters of regular op-eds, my time as a columnist for The Daily Targum comes to a close. My classmates and I will march onto the next phase of our lives — the vaunted “real world” we’ve heard so much about. Some of us will enter the workforce. Others will attend graduate school. Still others will move home, while others move to faraway places.
In one episode of the TV show “Seinfeld,” the title character Jerry Seinfeld suspects that his dentist converted to Judaism just to tell Jewish jokes. Jerry meets his dentist’s former priest in a confessional booth and explains his theory. The priest asks, “And this offends you as a Jewish person?” Jerry answers, “No, it offends me as a comedian.”What offends me most about the University’s weekly “satirical” newspaper, The Medium, is not its writers’ regular use of bigoted slurs to refer to women, blacks, Jews, Arabs, Latinos, Indian-Americans, Asian-Americans and countless other groups. No, what offends me is that they think it’s funny.
Brouhaha erupted in the pages of The Daily Targum this past week regarding the revelation that Muslim students at the University were under surveillance by the New York Police Department. The Associated Press reported that the NYPD monitored Muslim students across the Northeast, including the New Brunswick campus of the University, where the NYPD established a safe house to serve as a base of operations.
The University has had a rough couple of years, and there appears to be no end in sight. And the trial of Dharun Ravi, the former roommate of Tyler Clementi, has only kept the University in the media spotlight, as scores of journalists have trekked to New Brunswick to cover the case. The seminal report came in Ian Parker’s article published in The New Yorker. Those of us who attended the University at the time remember the horror we felt when we heard the news about Clementi.
Among the perks of being the president of the United States,
having a doctrine named after you has to be near the top of the
list. A doctrine is a core set of principles that guides American
policy. Sometimes, doctrines change as soon as a new president is
sworn in, but many remain long after. Although the most famous
examples — the Monroe Doctrine, the Reagan Doctrine and the Bush
Doctrine — focus on foreign policy, there is no law saying they
The United States is a unique country. While some political
regimes continue to restrict voices of dissent, America welcomes
them as an integral aspect of democracy. While some nations
discriminate against religious minorities, America opened its
shores to Jews, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus, and they have made
this country stronger. The United States is far from perfect, but
compared to other nations that have existed throughout world
history, it is an oasis of freedom.
Here are two stories about people who recently had run-ins with
the law. Both have been labeled criminals. Their backgrounds could
not be more different, but they share a common distinction — they
are both victims.
The first is a 46-year-old black man from New Brunswick who had
been convicted of two drug charges in the past several years. On
the night of Sept. 22, he and two other men fled from two police
officers that stopped to question them.
It has long been assumed by most Americans that politicians are
corrupt megalomaniacs. We tend to indulge the recurring fantasy
that a knight in shining armor will arrive in Washington, D.C., to
stand up for the American people against the “K-Street” lobbyists.
But we are a hardened people, and we know that even our most
promising political heroes inevitably turn into cigar-smoking
wheelers and dealers, trading special favors for political
William Golding’s classic novel “Lord of the Flies” tells the
story of a group of boys lost on an island where they descend into
savagery and anarchy. Separated from their parents and society’s
rules, the boys split into two factions: one led by Ralph, who
seeks to restore order, and the other led by Jack, a savage boy who
is only interested in hunting and destroying others to achieve
Quick, tell me the meaning of life in one sentence. I’m waiting
…Don’t feel bad if you cannot answer the question because it’s a
dumb question. I doubt anyone can summarize the world, human
existence or the meaning of life at all, let alone in one
sentence.When describing historic figures, we can manage somewhat
Students are mad. Student loan debt is piling up higher,
and there are fewer jobs available for them. What to do? “Get mad.”
Why get mad? “Because Wall Street screwed us, man.” How did they
screw us? “The government bailed out the Wall Street bankers,
because they were greedy and made loans to people who they knew
couldn’t afford it. Now, we are stuck paying for their
In many ways, I am proud to be part of this generation. We are
generally a good group of people. We are entrepreneurial, yet
devoted to public and community service. We generally strike a
healthy balance between narcissism (see Facebook and Twitter) and
altruism (see Teach for America and AmeriCorps).
Sometimes, though, I am ashamed of us.
Matt Cordeiro doesn’t remind me of a politician, let alone a
student politician — the kind who has planned his political ascent
since his first day as an undergrad. When I think of University
students traveling to Trenton to lobby state government, I imagine
creased suit pants, expensive cologne and a father’s borrowed
I have a confession. I can't stand baby boomers. More
specifically, I can't stand self-righteous baby boomers who spend
all their waking hours complaining about kids these days. I'm sure
you've heard it before: "You're lazy! You don't care about anything
other than yourself," etc. When it comes to baby-boomer bashing, I
take a backseat to no one.
In a letter to The Daily Targum entitled "Affirmative action
combats discrimination," published on March 29, the author cited
two sad statistics. Even though they are only 12 percent of the
total population, blacks "comprise more than 40 percent of our
current prison population," and "nearly one in three young black
men and well over half of young black high school dropouts will
spend some time in prison."
On the official University website, there is a small, barely
noticeable note at the bottom of the page. Despite its lack of
size, it carries a strong punch: "Rutgers, The State University of
New Jersey, an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution."
Affirmative action is a policy that gives special preference to
certain groups of people, depending on different factors, like
race, sex and national origin. Admittance to the University is not
simply based on SAT scores, high school GPAs and extracurricular
activities, but also on these personal factors.
March is a great month because it has a little something for
everyone. Sports lovers have spring training and March Madness. The
Irish have St. Patrick's Day. College kids have spring break. There
is one unfortunate event during March, though, that brings much
animosity to college campuses for one week every year: Palestinian
activist groups sponsor Israeli Apartheid Week. The problem with
Israeli Apartheid Week is not that it merely brings a dark cloud to
an otherwise great month, but it is based on a dangerous lie that
seeks to inflict pain not only on Israel, but on all of Israel's
supporters as well.
Every year, thousands of Conservative and Republican activists
descend onto Washington D.C. for the Conservative Political Action
Conference. CPAC holds a straw poll for its participants to express
their opinions on whom they want to be the Republican nominee for
president in the upcoming election. Texas Representative Ron Paul
won last year, and he won again this year — as widely expected —
with 30 percent of the vote. Winning two CPAC straw polls seems
like a high-water mark for Mr. Paul's ambitions. But in fact, Ron
Paul remains a marginal, yet dangerous figure.
If we have learned one thing from this latest recession, it is
that greed is bad. Even though the recession is technically over,
the unemployment rate is still hovering around 10 percent, and it
is all because of greed. In particular, those greedy bankers
offered those greedy loans and mortgages and that greedy former
President George W. Bush gave those greedy rich people those greedy
tax breaks. Don't forget about those greedy regulators who spent
the past decade deregulating everything in sight. All those
politicians who droned on about corporate greed would not lie to
us, the American people, would they?