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Finals week is as much of a legend on college campuses as it is a reality. For some, it can make or break their grades for the semester. It is not rare for a class’s only grades to be the midterm and the final, which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on students to perform well on their exams. With the mental health struggles many students face on college campuses, it is time to move away from high-pressure testing and move toward methods of assessment that take pressure off of students and are more practical and relevant to their fields of study.
It has been weeks since the heinous Pittsburgh shooting in which 11 Jewish worshippers were massacred in their most sacred quarters by a Nazi terrorist. This past November also marks 80 years since the Night of Broken Glass saw the destruction of Jewish homes, schools and synagogues at the hands of the Nazis who would go on to slaughter 6 million of Europe’s Jews.
Our dear University has found itself in the news over the past few months. No, not because our unfortunate athletics record or the unreliability of the bus system, but because of its policies with free speech. From the investigation of James Livingston, a professor in the Department of History, for a Facebook post to the deplatforming of a University-sponsored talk, it is clear that Rutgers problems with free speech are endemic to the great amount of ambiguity and interpretation of present speech codes.
Faculty, staff and graduate students have been working at Rutgers without a contract since July. The administration only agreed to bargain in March, and until recently would only do so for 8 hours a month. Now, in New Jersey, home of the backroom deal, the administration has announced that it will say nothing substantive, it will ask no questions and it will put forward no proposals unless graduate students are excluded.
Please wake up New Brunswick. There is a proposed gas compressor station coming to Franklin Township. You will smell it. You will taste it too, despite the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 which authorizes New Jersey to protect headwaters and wetlands because they filter and flush polluted downstream waters while storing flood water. Its pipelines will cross headwaters and wetlands of the already-contaminated Cheesequake Creek and Tennent Brook. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) lists more than 1,900 contaminated water bodies in New Jersey. We drink this water.
We are Rutgers faculty who write you today with a deep sense of concern for the broader community and future of our University. We have learned that on Sept. 29, the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) picked up a suspected undocumented person in New Brunswick, made multiple excessive charges (including a duplicate charge), notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of its detention of this individual and held the person for seven hours until ICE arrived to pick up and detain this person themselves.
Mass shootings have become an affliction in this country. Just in the past 10 years, there have been dozens of horrendous gun attacks in the United States. The affliction goes way back, for at least people of my age — 30 and under — to 1999 in Columbine, Colo., in which two students Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, killed 12 high school students and a teacher.
Today is one of the most important days for the City of New Brunswick, as residents have the opportunity to elect a new Mayor for the first time in almost three decades. The current mayor has been in office since 1991, and I for one think it is time for new leadership that will finally put the people of our city first.
Midterm elections in the United States are misunderstood and undervalued. A critical element to our democracy, midterms can prove to be the changing force in a current presidency, creating new policies and even standstills where the government can shut down as we saw in 2013. Midterms represent a symbolic step in our democracy that can serve to inspire the public to support a new candidate while ensuring incumbents do not shirk their responsibilities or their duties. Even with this information, it is curious that many young adults still choose to ignore the midterm elections in favor of waiting for the “more important” general election.
One of many lists in Carolyn Mackler’s "The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things," which in addition to being a fun, quick read really puts the spotlight on body shaming in the 21st century. Centered around main character Virginia, we get a first hand look at what it is like to be the fat daughter in an otherwise perfect family, and being the only plus sized girl in a private school. Virginia thinks about her weight a lot. She feels, on a fundamental level, that she is less desirable and in some cases less important than skinny girls. She lets her fatness dictate her life, believing she has to keep her interactions with boys a secret to avoid embarrassing them and, even worse, believing she has to go farther than skinny girls in order to keep a guy interested. It really hurt me to read that.
University President Robert L. Barchi barred student activists from delivering an important message at Van Nest Hall’s ribbon cutting ceremony. Student demonstrators from Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) hoped to inform gathered alumni of posed criminal charges of 12 student activists following a peaceful protest last December.
The quote used in the petition to cancel Lisa Daftari's speech is as follows, “Islamic terror takes its guidance and teachings from the Quran, which is Sharia law.” The proper quote is “What ISIS claims to be doing is to take the Quran and its teachings and Sharia Law.” The removal of the word claims changes the meaning of the entire sentence, self-evidently. The individual whom started the petition has taken a moral high ground on an issue denouncing ISIS and converted a group of people into a mob whom is afraid the denunciation of ISIS could snowball into violence against Muslims, as if this were not a conclusion of an out-of-control positive feedback loop, but a totally rational conclusion.
It was here and it happened — Fashion Month, but most importantly, Fashion Week. If you are fortunate enough to take a daily stroll down the streets of Soho, New York City, then during Fashion Week, which took place in the first half of last month, you likely saw the sidewalks flooded with fashion lovers decorated head to toe. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you may be thinking, “Yeah people wear clothes, but why is there a week dedicated to it?” So let me start explaining — Fashion Week is a whole week where fashion designers get to run their shows and have some of the most famous runway models flaunt the season’s newest designs.
Student activism has met a new low. On Monday night, a Change.org petition began circulating around Rutgers groups calling for journalist Lisa Daftari’s talk on Oct. 16 to be cancelled due to her Islamophobia. By Tuesday afternoon, this dishonest petition had more than 1,000 signatures. Daftari, an accomplished foreign policy analyst who has spent her career covering ISIS and counter-terrorism, is far from an Islamophobe — her work is incredibly important to the lives of the countless Muslims who fall prey to ISIS. Student activists’ attempts to take her quotes out of context are shameful, dishonest and contrary to the purpose of a university, which is to educate and expose students to new ideas.
As a first-year student who enjoys hours of watching political videos happening on college campuses all across the United States, I admit I could not wait to see what Rutgers would have to offer in terms of political activism on campus. With the hotly contested midterm elections coming soon, I thought I may see Republicans and Democrats walking with their usual signs wanting to convince me to vote for one or the other, and I awaited the day I could have a good debate with both sides.
This fall I am teaching an American Studies course on the role of museums and monuments in American culture and history. I planned a three-week unit around the history of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and the controversies that surrounded the construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and WWII Memorial. We are also examining the National Museum of the American Indian and the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the struggle that went into seeing these institutions realized as part of the landscape that is referred to as “America’s front yard.”
Society is becoming more aware of the prevalence of sexual assault and dating violence on campus. Part of this growing awareness is credited to campus climate surveys designed to measure on-campus sexual assault and domestic violence. Around the nation, these surveys estimate that approximately 20 percent of women and 6 percent of men experience sexual violence while in college.