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With finals week just around the corner, many of us are already in the summer vacation mindset and have started making plans with our friends and families for exciting events. Especially for those who are graduating, summer 2018 is a time for relaxation and freedom from school-related stress. Although we should definitely dedicate time in our end-of-year plans to our friends and families and enjoying ourselves after a long semester of stress, exams and existential crises, we should also devote a significant chunk of our schedules to pursuing intellectual and personal growth.
On April 16, NASA launched its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The satellite’s aim is to search for and find extensive numbers of planets outside of Earth’s solar system. Utilizing new and more advanced technology with very sensitive cameras, the satellite will provide a wider and clearer view of space to our researchers. To many, investing time and money into space exploration and research is a waste, especially considering the fact that we seem to know more about our solar system than our own planet’s oceans. With that said, research and discoveries regarding space and exoplanets can be extraordinarily valuable for multiple reasons.
Climate change is real, and the effects are spiraling now.
Two U.S. Senators rolled out stunning proposals this week that would fundamentally change how the United States government deals with economic downturns and persistent unemployment. Both Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bernie Sanders (D-V.T.) expressed support for a “job guarantee,” a type of program designed to act as a permanent backstop to unemployment. The idea itself is so riddled with flaws that it is probably unworkable in practice, but that is almost besides the point. Rather, its truly important contribution to our national discussion will be forcing America to reexamine — and hopefully reaffirm — our government’s longstanding pledge to stabilize the economy and ease financial hardship within our borders.
In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in favor of curtailing the net neutrality rules set forth by 2015’s Open Internet Order. Those regulations worked to restrict Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast and a few others from blocking certain content or slowing down services — also known as throttling — to those who are not able to pay as much as others. When President Donald J. Trump entered office, he appointed Ajit Pai, who is adamantly against net neutrality, as head of the FCC. Any day now, the former President Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules preventing a tiered system of internet access will be lifted. Puzzlingly, though, the internet’s users are considerably more silent on the issue today than they were back in December.
An article that appeared in the Daily Targum on Monday, April 23, discussed a recent online petition demanding that Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Felicia McGinty not participate in the upcoming Rites of Passage Ceremony, organized by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center (PRCC) and scheduled for May 9.
More and more people are participating in a phenomenal age of a greater understanding of the colonial history of much of the Western world. But, for some reason, this trade-off between ignorance and knowledge falls short when many of those same people are asked to question the settler-colonialism of the state of Israel. This recognition is not, as Scarlet Knights for Israel put it, “denial of the Jewish people’s basic right to their historical homeland” or a “double standard to the world’s only Jewish state.” It is standing up for an indigenous Palestinian population and showing people that the establishment of a Jewish state came at the expense of expelling native populations during the 1948 Nakba. The claim that “Arabs” (an overused term intended to erase Palestinian identity and delegitimize their history) and Israelis live harmoniously together in one nation, while enjoying equal rights and protection under the law, is a gross and blatant lie that erases the levels of Palestinian oppression by Israel. Palestinians in Gaza face brutal physical violence and systemic starvation of basic resources. Palestinians in the West Bank face night raids, checkpoints and segregated roads. Palestinians that hold Israeli citizenships in Israel (some of whom get deported to the West Bank to make room for settler expansion projects) face racial discrimination at every turn, even as they hold positions in the Knesset.
On Saturday, New Brunswick High School hosted the fourth-annual Trans Youth Forum with the aim of discussing the experiences and issues within the transgender community, as well as the importance of education with regard to it. A transgender person, or someone with gender dysphoria, experiences a conflict between their physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he, she or they identify. Included in the event held Saturday were workshops and panels to help inform the community on this subject. The transgender community itself is growing in visibility and gaining a strong voice, but there are many who still fail to see the necessity for acceptance and understanding.
Two Fridays ago President Donald J. Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack against its own people. The strikes, intended to both punish the Syrian government for the attack and to deter them from using such weapons in the future, targeted weapons research and storage facilities. These strikes, though, accomplished little and despite having taken action the president maintained that he wanted the U.S. to get out of Syria. It is becoming all too clear that the Trump administration does not seem to have a coherent long-term strategy for Syria — and it desperately needs one.
Unlike Mother’s Day where you can avoid your mother or Thanksgiving where you can be ungrateful and ungiving like every other day of the year, Earth Day is the one holiday you are implicit in celebrating just by merely existing.
During his campaign for governor, Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) made multiple promises with regard to properly investing in and funding education in the Garden State, which are reflected in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. Among the points of discussion around education was the idea of working toward providing free tuition at New Jersey’s community colleges on the basis that education is a right, not a privilege. A proposal like this is heartening on the face, as equal opportunity for education across the board is important. That being said, it comes with multiple questions — the first of which for many will be: How much will this cost?
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley made headlines last week after she got into a flap with the White House. On Sunday, April 15, Haley announced new sanctions against Russia before President Donald J. Trump appeared to change his mind on the issue. A White House official blamed Haley for announcing the sanctions too early but she stood her ground. This forced Larry Kudlow, the president’s economics advisor, to apologize. Haley being in the news is as good a time as any to tell you why I think she should and will be the first female president of the United States.
In a letter published in The Daily Targum on Feb. 20, I gave myriad reasons for phasing out “animal science,” including climate breakdown, devastation of lands, pollution of water and soil, inflation of prices for grains, which could be redirected to eradicate human hunger, rampant and irresponsible use of pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics and other chemicals, horrific abuse and exploitation of nonhuman animals, lifestyle diseases, including cancers, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and the spread of infectious diseases, including the recent deadly influenza epidemic.
On December 20, 2013, former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) signed into law the Tuition Equality Act, a bill that allowed for thousands of undocumented students to pay in-state tuition to attend public colleges and universities in New Jersey — but now the next step toward educational equity is being taken. Having already passed through the state Senate and Assembly, a bill to offer financial aid to DREAMers now sits on the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.). As early as the Fall 2018 semester, students who lack citizenship but meet the necessary requirements will be able to apply for and participate in all student financial aid programs. Potential undocumented recipients must meet the requirements for the Tuition Equality Act, which for example, include the student having attended high school for three or more years, graduated high school or received a GED and filed an affidavit with the college or university stating that they have (or soon will) filed an application to validate their legal status.
Strongly-opinionated people have always clashed over what they believed was best for society. Yet, there always seemed to be a code of common decency and respect for those with opposing views. In contrast, this day and age has felt especially polarizing and divisive with it being compared to the likes of the Civil War. Some have attributed this divide to the rise of social media, which allows for the formation of echo-chambers consisting of like-minded people. Case in point, the rise of the alt-Right, which was seen as a product of the citizens' festering belief that the government no longer had its best interests in mind. In fact, it was this sense of mistrust in the bureaucratic process that ended up being a large factor in the election of President Donald J. Trump, who was viewed as the “outsider” or “people’s president.” Although, radically-conservative beliefs do not instill themselves overnight, or even over the course of the year-and-a-half 2016 presidential campaign. They are passed down from generation to generation and/or shaped by one’s life experiences as well as by who one surrounds oneself with.
With graduation quickly approaching, I have been preparing my last words for Rutgers University students, faculty and staff about my views on health and wellness. Throughout my time at Rutgers, I hunted endlessly for a peaceful balance in my health — a task hundreds of students are facing every day. Over the years, I have altered my diet and exercise habits to achieve three different goals: losing weight, gaining weight and gaining muscle. Contrary to popular belief, all three goals are equally exhausting, mentally trying and require pure dedication. My advice to anyone interested in falling in love with living a healthy lifestyle every day is to find your own personal balance, do your research and aim for overall wellness.
Despite being a natural and necessary part of life, menstruation has been considered by many to be somewhat taboo and dirty. Possibly for that reason, among others, until recently public accommodations with regard to it have been seemingly non-existent in the United States. The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) did well in joining the several other U.S. colleges and universities that have been successfully pushing for readily accessible and affordable menstrual hygiene products on campus.
In 2012, the Rutgers/Princeton Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Program was established to help develop future officers for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The program here is one of the newest, but in just the span of a few years Rutgers/Princeton NROTC has shown that determination and hard work truly do pay off.
Niccolò Machiavelli was a Renaissance writer, an Italian politician, humanist and philosopher among many other things. He is seen as the father of modern political science and wrote the famous work known as "The Prince" in which he discusses how to obtain and preserve political power by outlining some characteristics rulers should have. Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" during his exile from Italy. During this time, Italy was split into independent city states which led to constant unrest with neighboring states. Many people have a bad connotation of Machiavelli and they see him as the teacher of evil and sin. Machiavelli states that he would much rather choose the balance to be both loved and feared, but if he could only pick one, being feared would be in his best interest to consolidate and protect his power.
University President Robert L. Barchi commended the University for its ongoing growth at the Board of Governors meeting last week. In recent years there has been a marked increase in new student applications — since last year we are up 7.3 percent at New Brunswick and 9.3 percent for all three campuses together. The number of out-of-state students coming to Rutgers is also continuing to steadily increase. To boot, Rutgers has an extremely high retention rate of more than 90 percent. This progress is likely at least a partial result of the work Rutgers has been putting into spreading and marketing the school’s brand across the country. Of course cross-country marketing requires the allocation of a most likely hefty sum of money — which many members of the Rutgers community probably believe should be spent elsewhere. That being said, it seems the benefits that likely entail the spending of that money make it worthwhile.