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Now that I have spent two years here at Rutgers, I can say with confidence that one of the most eye-opening things for me in college has been witnessing the wide range of socioeconomic diversity. I come from an upper-middle class, 99 percent white, suburban town in Massachusetts. Growing up, I pitied myself for having to stay with my “crappy” iPhone 3, while all my friends had fancy iPhone 5s and grumbled when my parents handed me a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop from the 1990s to use as my own personal computer in high school. Despite belonging to that 1 percent minority population myself (my family is Indian) — all my friends were Caucasian — my family was pretty “Americanized,” and I did not feel out of place in any way. As you can imagine, coming to Rutgers, one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, was a huge culture shock.
Now more than ever, the transgender community is more visible on television and in social media, and yet more trans women are being murdered than ever before. Popular culture and media have opened a portal to a community that has not received enough attention in the past. There are currently five on-air TV shows bringing attention to the transgender community, “Pretty Little Liars,” “I Am Cait,” “I Am Jazz,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Becoming Us.”
We had to wait an extra week this year, but that makes it all the more worth it as college football kicks off today.
What is the function of journalism? For journalists, it is (supposed to be) to expose the truth and inform citizens so they can make better decisions. And as Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel put it in The Elements of Journalism, “the principles and purpose of journalism are defined by ... the function news plays in the lives of people.”
Two weeks ago, brothers Scott and Steve Leader drunkenly decided to beat up a homeless man that they suspected was Latino. He was pissed on, beaten with a metal pole and had his nose broken, as the Boston Globe reported. One brother declared to the cops that, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” Told of the attack, the real-estate mogul, presidential hopeful and full-time airbag responded nonchalantly that his supporters were “very passionate” and that, “They love this country and they want to make it great again.”
Somewhere, deep within Facebook’s graveyard of forgotten posts, there’s a picture of me, smiling, with a Targum in hand. Nothing in the background is distinguishable but Targums –– layers upon layers of Targums –– looking like waves of ink and paper ready to crash down on my unsuspecting body. It was taken on my 22nd birthday, after my roommates decided it would be funny to cover my entire side of the room with that day’s issues. Today, I look back at this picture and reflect on how perfectly it epitomizes my college career: At times, Targums flooded every nook and cranny of my life, but somehow, I didn’t drown. Instead, I look back, smiling.
War and terror are among us, but here in America, terrorism is not terrorism when the antagonist wears a blue uniform and a badge. Having a badge makes you invincible to the law. Having a badge means you have the right to ignore an individual's human rights. You have the right to harass. You have the right to rob, steal and even kill. You have that right, because you have that badge.
Saying goodbye to The Daily Targum is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
Exactly one month from today, I will begrudgingly tote a slew of belongings down to Charles de Gaulle. I will hoist my suitcases onto a conveyor belt and watch them disappear. My passport will be glanced over by an overwhelmingly disinterested Frenchman. I will feel a pang of melancholy as I pass by gaudy souvenir shops and the in-airport Ladurée.
It is that time of year again. It is time for sleepless nights and spikes in caffeine intake to cope with the crippling stress of the final exam season. For some of us University students, it will be the last series of exams before graduating, and for others, it may very well be the last series of exams before flunking out. The questions are: What differentiates these two groups? How can students of identical situations and backgrounds encounter such opposing outcomes?
If any historian needs a time capsule of China from fifteen years ago, that would be me. Immigrating to the U.S. at four years old, I was like an astronaut leaving Earth with a tiny suitcase from my past life — foods, movies and cultural values all frozen in the year of 2000.
Graduation is eighteen days away. I will receive my Bachelor of Arts in Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies (LHCS), and I will leave the department that helped me grow, learn, care, heal and love in ways that no other department could have done. Yet, I am leaving in a time when our department is being threatened. Will they combine our department with Africana Studies, Comparative Literature, AMESOL and Women & Gender Studies, and call this conglomeration Ethnic Studies? Will they reduce our resources or our funding? Will they eventually move our department off of the New Brunswick campus, so that this branch of Rutgers can focus more on business and STEM fields, the money-makers? Due to the uncertainty surrounding the department that I grew to love so much, I decided to write about my experiences with this department in the hope that more people will realize why these departments are so necessary.
In 1981, on the cusp of what we know today as the HIV/AIDS epidemic, change was already in the air. Born of Manhattan’s West Side as a result of mass military discharges of gay and lesbian soldiers on the heels of World War II, and emulated most-notably thereafter in San Francisco, Boston and Chicago, densely-populated urban neighborhoods tenanted by gays and lesbians, dubbed “gayborhoods," were blossoming and thriving in record quantities across the country. Built out of necessity, these communities were inhabited by many of the generation’s most prominent figureheads and vocal proponents for reform in respect to American antipathy toward queers in the eyes of the law as well as in the media. But in the years that proceeded, many of the nation’s first cases of GRID, an early diagnosis of the HIV virus, were being transmitted within those very neighborhood lines, dispersing the virus among their primarily “out” populations. It was these men turned activists, often infected themselves and fighting as much for gay visibility as they were for their own lives, who catalyzed our modern campaign for the equalized treatment of gay people in this country. They were writers and bankers, dancers, dreamers and doers: an entire generation of our community’s finest and proudest, gone. But their legacies live on immeasurably today in the strides we as a community have made both socially and legally within the past thirty years alone.
This generation has an unabashed love for attention, and with social media at its prime, it’s no surprise. Got a new job? Make a status on Facebook. Tried a new hairstyle? Post a picture on Instagram. Bought a cute pair of shoes? Tweet about them. Everything posted online is posted for people to see it and give feedback. We are addicted to this attention, and we crave having a powerful online presence. And are these signs of possible narcissism? Absolutely.
Democrats need to be “ready for Hillary.” Since her announcement video was published, Hillary Clinton has become the most discussed person in politics. Her GOP counterparts cannot stop bashing her in the press, and the 24-hour news cycle has made the news all Hillary, all the time. While many, including myself, are jumping for joy at Clinton’s announcement, some of the most ardent attacks against Former Secretary of State Clinton are coming from within her own party.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
When I was in elementary school, I remember reading about Martin Luther King Jr. being an American Baptist Minister. I remember Christopher Columbus being a Christian, and I remember Jewish people being the wealthiest in the nation. I remember the one sentence in the textbook that mentioned my religion. I remember my history teacher saying, “the Muslims behind 9/11,” and raising my hand to question why Mohammed Ali’s boxing, Malcolm X’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and Muhammad al-Khwarizmi's creation of algebra were nowhere in the book. She told me to put my hand down: if I had a problem, I could call the publishing company. That was the same year I was called “Naazy Mohamed Modan” — despite not having a middle name — and was chased down my own street by other children. Nine years later, it seems my history book was only a prelude to today’s media coverage, and my history teacher was only a trailer for the real theatrical stigma surrounding the success of Muslims in the West.
When I was in eighth and ninth grade, Hillary Clinton was making her first bid for the presidency. On the brink of high school, I was full of big dreams for the future, and Clinton, at the time, represented the heights women could attain. When Barack Obama won the candidacy for the Democratic Party, I shifted my support to him just as Clinton did. I was convinced that having a minority in a position of power could only mean good things for my community and for minorities as a whole. They promised to end war, to close Guantanamo Bay, to be champions of human rights and in all my naiveté, I believed them. I celebrated Obama's historic victory and awaited the momentous changes to come.
Recently, a group of doctors from across the country accused Dr. Mehmet Oz of The Doctor Oz Show of promoting products that do not have health benefits for the purpose of financial gain. For this reason, the doctors called for the removal of Dr. Oz from his senior administrative position at Columbia University. The letter was spearheaded by Dr. Henry Miller, of Stanford University’s Hoover Institute.
New Jerseyans take it slow on Sundays, especially when the weather gets nice. People bring their drop tops out of storage and go for a spin around the block, or down to the shore. But what if this wasn’t common? What if everyone decided to keep the cars in their garage, opt for a thinner set of wheels and set out on a bike ride? Ciclovia, an outdoor event that encourages movement, seeks to do just that.