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The nation seems to be in a state of hysteria as the effects of President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order settle in. Trump’s orders, referred to by the public as the “Muslim Ban,” entails the temporary halting of refugees from entering the United States for several months. This order also blocks new visas for people who are from any of the seven Muslim-majority countries listed in the statute. These countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. There have also been incidents of green card holders, who are legal U.S. residents, being blocked from U.S.-bound flights. This means that this order, although not stated explicitly, blocks people who have legal access to the U.S. and have lived here for many years, from coming home. Trump has waged war against the very values that this nation functions upon.
In a time where the differences of others are being condemned rather than celebrated, Rutgers and the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) seem to be shining a hopeful light. The energy services company has teamed up with the University’s Tyler Clementi Center to create an “LGBT Youth Empowerment Initiative.” This daylong event, targeted at high school students, is offered at the University because of a $10,000 grant offered by PSE&G. Most people would wonder why Rutgers would offer a program to high school students, but Rutgers is doing more than merely advertising itself as a university. The University is opening the conversation to larger issues in America and providing a way for young adults to transition into another stage of their lives.
From 2013 to 2015, 47 percent of school shootings occurred at colleges and at universities. So it is appropriate that the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) executed a drill in order to practice what faculty and staff should do in the case of an active-shooter threat on campus.
RUTGERS IS TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
It has only been five days since President Donald J. Trump has taken office, and yet it feels like it has been a lifetime. Each day of the Trump presidency brings in another day of endless concerns and frightening realizations about the possible fate of this country. These concerns begin with Trump’s implementation of new policies.
The future of America seems to be looking even grimmer with each new choice of members for President Donald J. Trump's cabinet. Every member comes equipped with a track record of controversy, as well as a resume empty of relevant experience. And with the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Trump’s secretary of education, it seems as though the future of American schools is beginning to look a little frightening as well.
With over 2.9 million people protesting in the Women’s March just this past weekend, it seems like President Donald J. Trump’s latest reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, or global gag rule, on women’s health seems like a severe punch to the gut and to the uterus.
If you have any form of social media or are even slightly in tune with your surroundings, you would know that the Women’s March on Washington took place on Saturday, along with sister marches around the world. From New York to Los Angeles and further, men and women came out to have their voices be heard. The protest, dedicated to championing human rights and highlighting progressive voices, was estimated to have been the largest protest in American history. People from Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Boston and other cities such as Paris and London, marched in solidarity just a day after President Donald J. Trump swore into office. Protestors who held signs up such as, “Misogyny and racism aren’t normal,” and “Keep your hands off my rights,” sent a clear message that not only were they standing up for basic human rights, but also the policies and attitudes that Trump had incited throughout his campaign. The biggest question that seems to be buzzing is: Can the ideas behind the protests fuel a larger movement? With such a large following and media attraction, what started as a march can become the driving force into a bigger pool of possibility for change. And despite some of the criticism from opponents of the protest, this march was one of the most impressive displays of unity and determination that America has ever seen, in both size and in purpose.
ACTIVE MIND, HEALTHY MIND
One of the growing discussions of this era is the legalization and use of marijuana. And with the 2016 presidential election still visible in America’s rear-view mirror, it is not difficult for one to see how vital the discussion of cannabis use in the United States is to voters, candidates and their governmental allies. While the debate over whether the legalization of marijuana is one that can be disputed time and time again, one would think that the mere research of cannabis would be something that would be implemented, if not encouraged, amongst these debates. But after the release of a new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, many are beginning to realize that there may be more on the table to discuss.
There had already been a mélange of different sentiments surrounding the fast-approaching Presidential Inauguration. But as President-elect Donald J. Trump and civil rights leader John Lewis faced an indirect dispute, the atmosphere of pre-Inaugural America has been even more muddled.
New controversy surrounding Santa Claus has been circulating just in time for Christmas. A Slate culture writer, Aisha Harris, wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece about how the image of Santa should be depicted as a penguin, so as to avoid the alienation of certain races from the original image of a white Santa. Her piece held an important message about representation and identity.
All this time that people had brushed off Donald Trump’s claims that the 2016 presidential election was rigged, it turns out that in a sense, it might have been.
The only thing more shocking than 22-year-old Dylann Roof’s chilling confession to the 2015 Charleston Church shooting is his steadfast belief in racist ideologies that lead to the shooting.
COFFEE AND CAREFUL CONVERSATION
The loudest rallying cry against the deportation of undocumented immigrants comes from university students who condemn the threats of President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration. Thousands of students from universities throughout the nation were steadfast in organizing to call for policies to protect themselves and their peers, as well as denouncing the president-elect through protests and walkouts, which quickly proceeded after the dismaying news of the November elections.
It seems as though the nation waits with bated breath every time that President-elect Donald J. Trump prepares to make a bid for a member of his cabinet. But after Trump announced his choice of Ben Carson as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the nation might not be able to release its collective sigh of relief.
Twitter was animated as news of 19-year-old rapper Kodak Black’s release from jail hit the web. A wave of “#FreeKodak” tweets were trending and people were excited to have the rapper back in the studio and recording more songs. But what was rather alarming was that not many people, even during the time of his first arrest, were talking about why he was in jail in the first place. In fact, it seemed as though no one really knew what Black was originally convicted of.
Contrary to the popular belief of legislators who feverishly attempt to label them as such, impoverished citizens are not all drug abusers and addicts. A year-long study in Michigan that tried to prove otherwise, just helped this statement instead.
PROTECTION AGAINST PESTICIDES