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In Minneapolis, a man shot five Black Lives Matter protestors during a demonstration. In Colorado, a man shot and killed three people — two civilians and a police officer — at a Planned Parenthood clinic. The protest shooter confessed to his crimes and is reported to have had “very intense opinions” and “had negative experiences with and opinions about African-Americans.” The clinic shooter was known as a Christian with extremist evangelical viewpoints, and while it has not yet been confirmed, it is assumed that he opposed abortion, which is unsurprising. Both of these tales of horror and repulsion exemplify the problem with discourse in America — it no longer exists. We see it at the small scale in classrooms and workplaces, as well as nationally with politicians and world leaders. There are no more healthy conversations. Far too many Americans are solely concerned with their own views that they rarely take the time to discuss their views with others. The concept of respectfully agreeing to disagree is no longer a reality, and people are dying as a result.
The confluence of several events, Rutgers’ 250th anniversary and nationwide protests for improving the environment of college campuses for minority students, encourages the analysis of our own school’s history. Activists on campus have been adamant in reevaluating the way the University’s 250 years is presented, advocating for a holistic and inclusive delivery of the school’s narrative that does not hide shameful historical events. At the same time, universities throughout the U.S. exist in states of discontent due to the inhospitable atmosphere for students of color, now rallying to demand just conditions within their institutions. From this collection of issues arises an important question: How can we reconcile an ignoble past with the contours of the present?
Journalism is in a hopeless state. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, its hard to pinpoint just exactly where the problem began. One side of the issue is finding a source of funding, which has likely been a difficulty since the advent of print media. Printing pages on newsprint is not cheap. But more recently the problem has become a juxtaposition of no money and lack of readership. With the fast-paced lives that so many Americans currently lead, the time that individuals once invested in paying attention to news has begun to fade. But what came first? The onset of a shortened national attention span or the push for shorter articles and news stories? This “chicken or the egg” situation has become a run around of listicles, aggregated stories and underpaid journalists.
Twin tragedies, a day apart, occurred last week. On Thursday, bombs detonated in a busy shopping street in Beirut. More than 200 people were wounded and 43 people died. The first bomber set his off his explosive vest outside a Shia mosque, the second bomber blew himself up inside a nearby bakery and the third bomber — who failed to set off his explosives — was found at the scene of the second blast. This was the deadliest bombing in the capital of Lebanon since the end of the country’s civil war in 1990. And the next day, on Friday, Paris was attacked. Casualties of the event included 200 people who were injured and at least 128 who people died. Eight of the attackers died, with seven of them detonating explosive suicide belts. Since the coordinated bombings of commuter trains in Madrid 11 years ago, this instance is said to be the worst terrorist attack in Europe. So within the span of two days, two cities were taken by surprise by militants from the Islamic State group, and the world was watching.
We don’t expect to hear from University President Robert L. Barchi. When students voice their concerns, when staff and faculty point out systematic shortcomings and when athletic teams triumph or fail, the University president consistently remains silent.
No one should get a pass when it comes to domestic violence, but UFC fighter Ronda Rousey is getting away scot-free. In her autobiography, “My Fight / Your Fight,” Rousey writes about the violent and abusive events that transpired between her and an ex-boyfriend. While she doesn’t officially name her ex in the book, Rousey instead refers to him as “Snappers McCreepy.” In the incident, the man allegedly threatened to release naked photos of the fighter, and she swiftly responded with violence. “I slapped him across the face so hard my hand hurt,” Rousey writes.
This week marked the start of the yearlong celebration of Rutgers’ 250th anniversary. Yet the campaign slogan, “Revolutionary for 250 Years,” has come under fire. Frustrations primarily arose over a campaign poster depicting a stained glass scene of white men signing a document, which is in fact the charter that made Rutgers, well, Rutgers. The response from many was “how is this revolutionary?” Such opinions are incredibly valid.
There is a fascinating practice in Japan that could never be implemented in the United States, but it is something we can learn from. In Japan, schools teach their students a simple lesson: how to clean up after themselves.
College football trumps all else — we have witnessed it at our own University. And the scenes currently playing out at the University of Missouri affirm this assumption in the most dramatic fashion.
Social media is inextricable to the lifestyle of the millennial generation: Every day, we check our Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and a variety of other online networks. And for each of us, there is at least that one person whose updates we closely follow. Whether it is a celebrity or someone personally known, there’s that person who has it all — the perfect person we want to emulate.
Across the Atlantic Ocean and thousands of miles away from New Brunswick, students won a major victory after the nascent of their own revolution. In Pretoria, South Africa, more than 10,000 people gathered on Friday, as the culmination of nationwide protests to rally against plans to raise university fees. Students called for President Jacob Zuma to personally address their concerns at Pretoria, the city that holds the main seat of South African government. This was the largest single student protest since the Soweto uprising in 1976, a historical movement against South Africa’s apartheid regime, and participants represented the diversity of the country by cutting across racial groups and political parties. In the face of mounting public pressure, the president of South Africa agreed to freeze tuition fees for South Africa’s public universities.
American society would never expect a child to file taxes or drive a car. Why then are children being subjected to the adult realities of media mistreatment, overly sexualized exploitation and physical harm?
New Brunswick is changing rapidly. As you traverse the city, you’re bound to encounter several construction sites that you didn’t think were there yesterday. The City of New Brunswick’s official website readily touts these developments with tabs called, “What’s New in New Brunswick,” showing off The Aspire (a luxury condominium) on Somerset Street and a synthetic turf field at Memorial Stadium on Joyce Kilmer Avenue. The “Coming Soon in New Brunswick” tab explains plans for Broadstone at River’s Bend (another luxury condominium), a Neilson Street park and bike lanes. In addition to the city’s endorsed developments are independent construction sites from restaurants and stores moving into the area. And of course, the University has its own plans to enhance its current architecture and build new edifices. In partnership with the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), the University has a “College Avenue Redevelopment Initiative” that consists of creating the Honors College buildings, a Theological Seminary, a Rutgers Academic Building and University apartment housing.
Gov. Chris Christie has always been a bombastic man, but in his attempt to salvage his floundering campaign, he has taken more politically extreme stances in order to gain a wink of the eye, a nod of the head and a pat on the back from the far right-wing. One, namely, is mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. Last October, when he was fundraising to elect republican governors, Gov. Christie evaded answering where he stood on the issue. But just earlier this month at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, he was asked if he’d require welfare recipients to first pass a drug test. He called the answer “easy” and unequivocally answered, “Yes.”
Think of what upsets you most in your everyday life, either here or in your hometown. Is it parking near the bagel shop, or construction on the main roads? Now think — did you vote in the last town or state election? If you’re a millennial, the answer is probably no, and it’s easy to understand why. When it comes to voting, the presidential election is touted as the most important. It’s glamorous: you get an “I Voted” sticker, you see the remainder of the elections play out on national television later that night and you wake up the next morning knowing a new man — or woman — will soon be in control of the nation. It’s the purest form of political instant gratification.
As the Halloween suspense sets in, students all across campus are clamoring to find costumes for "Halloweekend," the three-day bar crawl and house party celebrations that are coming up this weekend. If you're making the choice to venture outside of more traditional Halloween costumes like being a witch or some sort of an animal, someone somewhere is probably going to cringe when they see you, or be offended at your costume idea. Maybe your costume is too short, perhaps it brings back a scary childhood memory or maybe it’s a prime example of cultural appropriation. The latter form of offense is usually the most common.
The prison industrial complex is running the nation into the ground: The tendency to put citizens into prisons as a means of reforming economic, social and political problems is deeply flawed. Reform is needed now more than ever, and a set of individuals with the power to make changes are doing just that.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As millions across the nation break out their pink shirts and knee high socks, the attention of the masses shifted to “saving the ta-ta’s.” With “I Heart Boobies” bracelets, pink hair ribbons, pink lemonade-flavored 5-hour ENERGY shots and more, everyone has the chance to showcase their assumed support for this terrible disease. About 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer in her lifetime. More than 40,000 women are expected to die from breast cancer annually. Nonetheless, breast cancer is the most sexualized and commercialized disease. Reducing a woman to the worth of her secondary sexual body parts is archaic to say the least. Directly branding clothing and accessories with phrases that glorify a woman’s chest — as opposed to her entire person or the disease threatening to ravage her body — is deplorable.
When it comes to raising sexual assault awareness, Rutgers University is all talk and no action. For the past year, University officials have been touting the "#iSpeak: Rutgers Campus Climate Survey" as an accomplishment. But when it boils down to it, what does that really do? A bunch of students took part in a White House initiative and piloted the program. That’s all. Raising sexual assault awareness is not about the numbers. It’s about real people with real stories: victims and survivors who need to have their voices heard, who should never be afraid to speak up. Similarly, the current campaign, “The Revolution Starts Here. End Sexual Violence Now,” does nothing more but continue to highlight University shortcomings.
Is it really worth it? College that is. Think about it: all of the late nights studying material that wasn’t even on the test. The hours spent writing essays only to have the deadline get pushed back. The hundreds of dollars you spent on textbooks that you only opened once throughout the entire semester. What was the point? Did you really learn anything?