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While President Robert L. Barchi continues to stand by his and the Board of Governors’ decision to invite Condoleezza Rice to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony, ironically enough, Rice herself announced that she will be declining the invitation in light of student, faculty and community protests. The fact that Rice is capable of recognizing and responding to students’ adamant dissatisfaction and Barchi is not says a lot about how little the administration values its own students. Protests were expressed in the form of op-eds and open letters published in The Daily Targum and sent directly to the administration, a faculty petition and ultimately, direct action including a sit-in at Old Queens and other public protests. These were all peaceful actions that posed no harm to anyone and escalated only because of Barchi’s failure to even acknowledge protesters’ concerns.
To the men of Rutgers — and by this, I don’t mean all men. I mean men who have a penis and for some reason feel that this simple fact, this chromosomal trick, imbues within them a superiority otherwise undeserved. Many of these men are referred to as “bros” by others, though in truth I feel they must be only children, orphans, or else have only male siblings as I cannot fathom someone with a sister or mother they care for acting this way. Let me give you some advice to begin. You know that “rule” about racist jokes? If you have to look around to see if someone of that race is around before you tell it, you shouldn’t tell it. That rule. I hope to help you understand that this rule applies to more than just racist jokes. It applies to speaking about women as well.
On Monday, April 28, roughly 160 students protested inside and outside of Old Queens, the building that headquarters the brain trust of the Rutgers University Administration.
In order to help mitigate the never-ending debate of gun control, manufactures have created the seemingly efficient way to keep firearms in the hands of their rightful owners. By installing a specialized chip inside of the gun that will only activate the weapon when the owner is close by in proximity, it figures to reduce the number of violent altercations that occur, including suicides and accidental shootings. The chip communicates with a certain type of watch that the user must have on to give the signal that it is okay to fire the gun. In essence, all this new technology really does is put an Elmo Band-Aid on an already-leaky faucet.
When I wrote my commentary about liberal arts math education for the Targum last week, I didn’t really expect it to get much attention — which is why I was overjoyed to find that Kellen Myers, a math Ph.D candidate at Rutgers, had taken time to write a nice, long post of his own in response. My joy quickly faded, as nowhere in Myers’ retort did he actually address the issue at hand — namely, what kind of math should be taught to mathematically uninterested liberal arts majors. Let’s look at his three central claims, then go on to talk about the real issue.
What is democracy? What does it mean to be democratic? Democracy is the form of government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln once said. A democratic government is one that hears and acts upon its people’s wishes and concerns. As such, “the principle of accountability holds that government officials — whether elected or appointed by those who have been elected — are responsible to the citizenry for their decisions and actions.” What role do honor and justice play in this ideology? These concepts help form the backbone of this ideology. Those who are chosen by the people to lead must ultimately answer to the people, and also have a duty to fulfill the obligations of the people. These principles were what former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, like much of the Busch administration responsible for the invasion of Iraq, desecrated when they agreed to send the United States military abroad under the false pretense of protecting our freedoms and the American way of life.
As we head down the road toward this year’s commencement ceremony, the focal point of the event so far has been the debate surrounding Condoleezza Rice, namely, whether or not Rutgers should allow Rice to speak at the 2014 Commencement Ceremony. Not only will Rice be the commencement speaker, but she will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the institution. A great number of students, myself included, believe that Rice should not be our commencement speaker. Why?
In a commentary in The Daily Targum on Wednesday, Leo Kozachkov expresses some misguided sentiments regarding mathematics education at Rutgers. While I appreciate the author’s love of the Elements, I believe the entirety of the commentary displays some serious, and perhaps deliberate, misunderstandings of the facts in question.
Brandeis University reversed its decision to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali with an honorary degree last week because of her Islamophobic rhetoric. The argument for rescinding her honorary degree is hefty, but not nearly as formidable as the argument to rescind Condoleezza Rice’s invitation and honorary degree here at Rutgers. Unlike Rice, Ali is not considered by most of the world to be a war criminal. For a much lesser offense, the Brandeis administration moved forward anyway. At Rutgers, President Robert L. Barchi has confined the debate on Rice’s invitation to a question of free speech in America, instead of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people who had families, dreams, friends and passions. This neglects the reality of the invitation and simplifies the issue to one that is incredibly narcissistic. Rutgers is one of the greatest universities in the world, and as such, it is imperative that we intellectually engage the question of our commencement speaker as an inclusive, thoughtful community. With this in mind, we must also remember that some of our own community members are deeply hurt and personally affected by the Iraq War. The invitation to Condoleezza Rice began on the foot of exclusivity and disregard for consciousness and justice on this campus.
On March 26, I attended the screening of “Tricked,” which was sponsored by the Rutgers School of Social Work Graduate Student Association, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey and the Center on Violence Against Women and Children. It is a documentary about domestic sex trafficking of minors in the United States. The film was followed by a Q&A session with one of the survivors, guest speaker Danielle Douglas, who was featured in the film. The film immediately captured my attention, as it depicted the horrifying truth behind sex trafficking. It is disturbing that in this day and age, thousands of young girls and boys are coerced into a slavery that forces them into prostitution. Many naïve and innocent lives are ripped out of suburbia and thrown into a world filled with pimps, sex and slavery.
In last Wednesday’s editorial titled “AD Situation Overblown By Media,” — ironic, seeing as they ran an editorial the day before criticizing Hermann for “drag[ing] us all through the mud” — The Daily Targum’s editorial board quoted a section of Muckgers’ Mission & Disclosures page about objectivity and mused: “Yet this brings us to a larger issue of new media. Do we read the articles on websites like Muckgers.com as we would a blog, or as an actual news outlet?”
Introductory-level mathematics education is a festering wart on this country’s nose. More locally, Rutgers — a university that touts some of the best researchers in applied mathematics, as well as a top-twenty graduate program — is doing nothing to heal the deep intellectual wounds incoming liberal arts freshman have sustained as part of their mandatory mathematics education in public school. Recall that if you place into pre-calculus or higher on the Rutgers math placement entrance exam, you have the option of taking a course called “Math 103 — Topics in Mathematics for The Liberal Arts” to satisfy the “QQ” and “QR” School of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum. Many liberal arts majors enroll in “Math 103” intending for it to be the last math class they ever take. Let’s look at some of the topics for that class and use them as a stepping-stone to briefly discuss the problems of math education today. But first, let’s inspect why so many people hate mathematics.
If you go on YouTube and go to the discussion page of a user named Rebecca Watson, you’ll see a series of angry comments going on for about three years. The word “c---” appears 30 times. “B----” appears 31 times. Scrolling down, you’ll see the positive or even neutral comments are few and far between, while comments like, “You’re a piece of garbage. Please never have children, and die alone,” are never ending. That particular comment has more than 30 upvotes, by the way.
The launch of the Time Banking System in the New Brunswick area, by Julie Fagan, has provided many opportunities for individuals to get involved in the community. This system implements the theory of giving time in exchange for services. An individual can give an hour of their time doing a service for someone else, that hour will be stored in a bank, and when that individual needs a service done for them, they use their hour and exchange it for a service. These services may include babysitting, mowing the lawn, tutoring, a ride to an appointment, etc.
Athletic Director Julie Hermann’s comments about The Star-Ledger are as ironic as a university neglecting to do a background check on an alleged abuser after the fallout from an abusive coach. Or as ironic as a student journalist with no ethics in a media ethics class.
As reported in the Daily Targum (March 13, 2014: “Apartment Building to Replace Abandoned Lot”), a commercial real estate developer, Construction Management Associates, is seeking approval of variances from the New Brunswick Planning Board for the purpose of building a four-story apartment building at 17 Mine St., the former location of the Catholic Center, in the heart of the College Avenue Campus.
As you may have noticed, the United States Student Association is on the ballot this year for referendum. However, what supporting USSA means for Rutgers has not been presented as a two-sided argument, and as an alumna of the program, I would like to state my views on the organization to help you decide how to vote on the ballot. I intend to give a multifaceted view on the situation. While there are good things about the organization, there are also elements of USSA that you should know about before deciding to support.
Hello Scarlet Knights, my name is Ian Wolf, and I am your elections chair for the Rutgers University Student Assembly, the undergraduate student government for Rutgers University.
On March 7, 2014, University President Robert L. Barchi sent a letter by email to the entire Rutgers community responding to the controversy over inviting Condoleezza Rice to speak at our commencement.
Since 2009, Rutgers has been issuing the Survey of Student Experiences at the Research University (SERU). The university has joined the Universities of California, Minnesota, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Oregon, Southern California, Virginia, Iowa, Indiana, and Washington as well as Texas A&M and Purdue University in a combined effort to improve the educational experiences of students. The survey allows students to provide their opinions on what they are or are not satisfied with. The SERU, as well as other surveys, does however lack an emphasis on attitude. It is believed that simply asking about satisfaction of various aspects of the student experience is not enough, and that more emphasis on attitude should be placed when evaluating the college experience.