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I write to amplify your recent editorial, "Lack of faculty diversity needs mending,” which points out that faculty poorly represent the diversity of New Jersey citizens, and that Rutgers is among the worst of its peers in gender and racial diversity in its senior administration.
The year began in turmoil for the recently established Zimbabwean government, as it battles its worst economic crisis to date. The post-Mugabe era, in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised he would take a different economic and human rights approach, spiraled downward, with the aid of increased government debt and scarcity of foreign currency such as the U.S. dollar, which the country adopted as its national currency in 2009. This led to failure of the government to reach its national tax revenue, causing an increase in unemployment reaching approximately 90 percent. On top of that, fuel prices skyrocketed, causing public panic and backlash.
It was a graduation party, one that was beautifully decorated with lights, a fire surrounded by chairs for the guests to sit on and food, that made me realize how disconnected our generation really is from each other. There were games, music, sparklers and smores. It looked and felt perfect when I walked in.
During his campaign, President Donald J. Trump proposed to build a wall at the Mexican-American border. On Dec. 22, 2018, he shut down the government in response to the refusal for wall funds from Congress. More than a month later, he conceded to reopen the government without wall funds, making this the longest shut down in history. During the shutdown, there was considerable opposition to the wall questioning the wall’s morality, notably from Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,12) and Pope Francis.
Over the weekend a priest at my parish, usually known for thoughtful sermons, delivered a rather polarizing talk. As someone who is wary of political discussions in church, I cringed when the priest broached the issue of building a wall along the southern border. He quoted Pope Francis's repeated calls against the wall, urged that American Catholics should stand against this rhetoric as German Catholics should have done during the Holocaust and decried it as wholly immoral.
In a highly diverse and densely populated area such as Central Jersey, it is easy to overlook discrimination against certain minorities, especially South Asian Americans. Due to their accessibility and proximity to large international airports, big cities near the coasts are home to many South Asian American immigrant families. According to the 2010 United States Census, more than 528,000 Indian Americans lived in California, while more than 292,000 lived in New Jersey. This statistic is on a constant rise, and “Indians have a higher percentage as a ratio of a state's total population in New Jersey,” according to the census. These statistics also do not include all South Asian American populations from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and others. As any Rutgers student knows, South Asian Americans are a prevalent community. So, why are we so often misrepresented and mistreated?
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 of 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. Though this might seem to be too complicated to resolve, the University of Chicago’s Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression has already provided us with a format for the formal commitment that, "guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn." In response to these recent controversies, the current administration should adopt the so-called “Chicago Statement” to bolster First Amendment protections on campus and facilitate a vibrant culture centered around the free exchange of ideas.
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 eight 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. Not only must graduate students remain silent, which they have been doing in bargaining sessions for the past several months, they are not even allowed to be in the room during bargaining.
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.
Dear President Robert L. Barchi,
I kept looking at one of the open doors of the classroom while the professor was lecturing on Scatter Plot. I feared an armed man could enter at any time and shoot us down to the floor. Then, I was planning in my head what ways to protect myself and alert the professor and my colleagues to the possible danger. While this captured my mind, the lecture became a mere noise in the background.
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. No girl should ever feel pressure to do anything she may not want or be ready to do, especially not because she thinks it is her place to do so. So many women base their attractiveness, how they feel and how they act, on what men think. No matter who you are or what you look like, if you feel pressure to act a certain way around a guy for him to like you, especially if it makes you uncomfortable, your fishing in the wrong pond. You should never have to change yourself or feel ashamed of yourself because of a man. If a guy is not willing to be seen in public with you, then it is probably time to move on.
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.
A petition went live approximately 48 hours ago, calling for the cancellation of Lisa Daftari’s University-funded talk on “Radicalism on College Campuses” over concerns of her Islamophobic rhetoric. In such a short time, this petition has accumulated more than 1,300 signatures and widespread support.
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 perceived 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.