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America has seen a decrease in socioeconomic mobility. There has been a decline in lifetime earnings mobility and an increase in probability that one will end where they started for every income group. Rutgers is joining 130 public colleges in an effort to increase college access, close the achievement gap and award significantly more degrees by 2025. In this day and age, a college education is arguably more important than ever. We laurel Rutgers’ commitment to confront the pressing issue of mobility in America.
During Tuesday’s midterm elections, Florida voted “yes” on Amendment 4. The amendment will restore the right to vote to the vast majority of the state’s approximately 1.5 million felons. Prior to this change, Floridian citizens convicted of felonies had to apply by petition to vote again after serving their sentences or otherwise receive a pardon by the governor. These felony disenfranchisement laws in Florida have disproportionately affected people of color, and for that reason we laurel the Floridian electorate for taking a big step in making our country a fairer place.
Rutgers has begun the process of filling the Student Charter Trustee seat, taking an important step in including student voice in Board of Trustees deliberation. As student organizations continue to protest the Board of Trustee meetings, the student selected will have an increasingly crucial role. The Nomination Committee is now taking nominations. While some argue student perspective ought to be incorporated more in the administrative process, we laurel the continued commitment to including a degree of student voice
TEDxRutgers, a local subset of the larger TED organization, which in short aims to promote “ideas worth spreading,” holds multiple events each year that allow students and faculty to convey to the Rutgers community and beyond their brilliant ideas — which, as a university community, we experience no shortage of. We laurel TEDxRutgers for giving the Rutgers community a platform to spread its own influential ideas and experiences, as well as listen to those of others.
This week is the annual Turn the Campus Purple week, which is a campaign organized by the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) to spread awareness about interpersonal violence. Turn the Campus Purple is part of the larger Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Multiple events were scheduled to be held during the past few days that addressed these issues, such as the Clothesline Project held at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus, and a human trafficking presentation by a FBI victim specialist. We laurel the VPVA and the other organizers of this campaign for their extremely important work.
On Wednesday night, activists from various Rutgers organizations gathered on the steps at Brower Commons to discuss experiences with sexual assault in the wake of last week’s Senate hearings of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Among those at the rally were survivors of sexual assault and harassment, as well as advocates aiming to spread awareness of sexual violence. We laurel those who took part in this gathering for speaking the truth that needs to be heard with regard to this issue, and working toward real change.
Last Friday, University President Robert L. Barchi announced the formation of a Free Speech panel at Rutgers in light of constitutional protections that allow for speech that some find “offensive or morally repugnant.” This standing panel will consist of First Amendment experts and legal scholars and it will advise the Office of the General Counsel and, in turn, the Office of Employment Equity in assessing all matters that involve questions of free speech. While the line between offensive or morally reprehensible speech and hate speech is very thin, we laurel the formation of this panel as an important step to ensure that inalienable rights are protected.
One of the aims of Rutgers University’s chapter of the organization Enactus is to use “principles of management and entrepreneurship to improve the quality of life and the standard of living of people in need.” Currently, it is working to aid a nonprofit organization called Popcorn for the People, which trains and hires people diagnosed with Autism. Rutgers Enactus’ mission is something we at The Daily Targum sympathize with, and we laurel the organization for the meaningful work it continues to do.
Seventeen years ago, thousands of incredibly brave men and women risked their lives and selflessly entered the Twin Towers seeking lives to save. Since the aftermath of the attacks, 10,000 first-responders and others involved in cleanup of the attack have been diagnosed with cancer attributed to toxins remitted in Ground Zero’s vicinity. Some at Rutgers, though, are helping to treat 3,000 of those affected by way of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, located on Busch campus. We laurel Iris Udasin, the principal investigator of the Center, as well as all of those involved with this commendable program.
With the new Scarlet Plan, Rutgers students are no longer limited to a finite number of meal swipes per semester. The plan, which costs the same as the 285-swipe plan, gives students complete access and unlimited swipes at all Rutgers dining halls, in addition to 250 Dining Dollars to spend at other Rutgers Dining Services locations. What is great about this plan is that students no longer have to worry about budgeting their meal swipes or wasting a swipe when they only have time to run into the dining hall and grab, say, a banana. With all of that said, we laurel the implementation of the Scarlet Plan for helping to make students’ lives a little bit easier.
NASA launched its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) last Wednesday as part of a mission aimed at discovering thousands of exoplanets orbiting bright stars. Many would likely say that funding research about distant planets and space in general may be a waste of money and time, but people should not lose sight of the values that exploring things beyond Earth can hold. Searching for and studying exoplanets can help us learn more about ourselves, and allow us to appreciate more thoroughly our own world and its seemingly unique and uncommon characteristics. We laurel the launch of the new TESS satellite, and hope that it can help humans learn a great deal more about the nature of our universe.
This year, 11 members of the Rutgers student body and community have died. On Wednesday, the University — specifically the Division of Student Affairs — held a service in remembrance of these losses to our community. Sponsored in part by The Alliance to Advance Interfaith Collaboration, the memoriam included prayers and discussion. Despite the sorrow that comes along with losing valued fellow students, the service showed that when we all come together we can help each other heal. We laurel the University and The Alliance to Advance Interfaith Collaboration for hosting this event in honor of our classmates who passed away far too early.
Approximately a month ago flyers began to spread around the United Kingdom encouraging people to commit hate crimes against Muslims on Tuesday, April 3, stating that perpetrators would score points for various sorts of assault and harassment. These flyers eventually spread into the United States as well. In response to this, the University initiated #LoveAScarletKnight week and encouraged Rutgers students to combat hate with love for one another. Thankfully nothing serious happened Tuesday, at least at Rutgers, but one can imagine the fear that may have been needlessly invoked in many members of our community. We laurel the initiative’s aim to rid our learning environment of prejudice and opposition.
Last week, two groups of Rutgers students became titleholders of the Hult Prize Regionals Competition, which is a competition that encourages young innovators to create or invent a single thing that has the ability to change the lives of millions. The two teams that are moving on to the next round of the competition, SULIS and LivingWaters, are made up of eight students total. In the finals they will show the world how special Rutgers students are. We laurel these two teams for their excellent ideas and for representing Rutgers successfully for the impressive and competitive Hult Prize.
Rutgers engineers recently created a way to print a 4D hydrogel that may be able to have a significant impact on the future of both the scientific and medical worlds. The project was led by Assistant Professor Howon Lee of Rutgers’ Schools of Engineering. The gel itself is highly reactive to changes in temperature, which gives it an enormous potential to function inside of a person’s body for various potential medical purposes, which may include, “soft robotic microdevices, targeted drug delivery and tissue scaffolds mimicking active bodily functions.” We laurel Howon Lee and the team of engineers that created this hydrogel for helping make advancements in important fields and bringing an even better name to Rutgers.
At $ to $7 each, Rutgers Cinema on Livingston campus allows students to purchase movie tickets at the lowest prices in New Jersey. Watching movies has been a common pass-time in American culture for many years. People use motion pictures to take their mind off the real world for a moment, which is a break students can use in their stressful academic lives that doesn’t involve getting intoxicated. We laurel Rutgers Cinema for offering students the chance to see new films for reasonable prices.
Students spend an enormous amount of time sitting on buses going to and from class. Additionally, many introverted students often do not feel comfortable speaking publicly, and as a result decide not to participate in class to the extent that they need to for full credit. Ian Dunham, a doctoral student in the School of Arts and Sciences, said that online courses can significantly benefit students with social anxieties among other things, such as issues with verbal fluency. Student lives can be stressful. We laurel the availability of online courses for their many beneficial factors to students.
Being a student is difficult enough in and of itself, but when you add parenthood to the mix it can seem almost impossible without help from your institution of higher education. Unsatisfied with the minimal help they had received from the University, Rutgers Students With Children (RSWC) has been pushing to be heard by the University administration for the past two years. In an open letter to Barchi, RSWC discussed its task in advocating for institutional reform with regard to student-parents. They have had over 35 meetings with members of the administration, and have received more than 400 signatures on their petition. We laurel RSWC for their efforts, and consider their work in speaking up for themselves inspiring.
OUT WITH OPIOIDS
Rutgers’ New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) will require all of its students to receive training that qualifies them to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication to treat against opioid abuse disorder. Buprenorphine has the ability to both reduce addict dependency and partially satisfy one's craving for the drug, preventing withdrawal and other complications. Opioid abuse is an enormous issue, especially in New Jersey, and the trend is only increasing. We laurel NJMS for making this a requirement and helping push toward an opioid addiction free population.
Rutgers alumnus Jim Simos founded an organization that decorates wreaths on the graves of deceased Rutgers alumni who were U.S. military veterans.