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The contracts agreed upon between the University and Rutgers’ faculty union, the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT), expired this past July, but a number of faculty members still remain without a new contract. That is not to say that our professors are not getting paid — they are — but negotiations are ongoing, and faculty members have not received raises or adjustments in salary based on cost of living.
In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights investigated a complaint issued by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) that alleged the University violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and discriminated on the basis of national origin against students of Jewish ancestry by failing to adequately respond to multiple allegations of unequal treatment and harassment.
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.
Yesterday, a student posted the following message in the Rutgers University Class of 2020 Facebook group:
“I just dropped the first class I’ve ever dropped in my college life. Why? Because the first f***ing 10 mins of a course should not be about (President Donald J.) Trump and Liberal agenda. this is the 7th course I’ve had with a super biased liberal professor and I’m sick of it.” He finished the post with, “I’m not even a f***in conservative.”
On Sept. 5, The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed entitled, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The piece was written by a senior official in President Donald J. Trump’s administration — senior official being a term used in Washington, D.C. to refer to people who hold positions in the upper echelons of the government, like a member of the cabinet. The op-ed, in an odd way, both praised the successes of the nation since Trump took office, while at the same time discrediting and casting doubt on the president’s competence, assuring its readers that there are people in the administration working to steer the country away from otherwise imminent danger.
The Rutgers University Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) implemented a brand new system for granting parking permits and issuing parking tickets this year. Basically, the new system has done away with physical parking passes, or hang tags, as well as physical parking tickets. It now relies on an electronic system that recognizes vehicles registered by scanning their license plates.
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.
A successful football team can mean a lot for a university, and this past Saturday was a great day for Rutgers football team. The squad triumphed over Texas State with a great student section turnout — which hopefully set the pace for the rest of the season. Last season, crowd attendance at Rutgers football games decreased 11.3 percent from 2016. Being that Rutgers football is far from being the most lively or well-attended football program in the Big Ten to begin with, a further decrease would be painful.
Colin Kaepernick is now the face of Nike’s new “Just Do It” 30th anniversary ad campaign. A black and white image of Kaepernick’s face is the backdrop for an objectively inspiring statement — “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” But, as was likely foreseen, Nike has received backlash by many who disapprove of Kaepernick’s kneeling for the national anthem. A #NikeBoycott Twitter movement was sparked in the wake of the ad, and Nike’s stock has gone down since its release.
The investigation found, and the University has ultimately decided, that Livingston’s speech in this case is not protected by the First Amendment, and that in making the post he violated the University’s Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment. On the face, social media posts of the sort in question seem to have nothing to do with the University, but upon further contemplation it seems obvious that speech like this by a University employee certainly reflects badly on the University itself as well as its mission to promote diversity, inclusion and acceptance, in which case Rutgers can rightly take action.
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.
On April 16, NASA launched its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The satellite’s aim is to search for and find extensive numbers of planets outside of Earth’s solar system. Utilizing new and more advanced technology with very sensitive cameras, the satellite will provide a wider and clearer view of space to our researchers. To many, investing time and money into space exploration and research is a waste, especially considering the fact that we seem to know more about our solar system than our own planet’s oceans. With that said, research and discoveries regarding space and exoplanets can be extraordinarily valuable for multiple reasons.
In December, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in favor of curtailing the net neutrality rules set forth by 2015’s Open Internet Order. Those regulations worked to restrict Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Verizon, Comcast and a few others from blocking certain content or slowing down services — also known as throttling — to those who are not able to pay as much as others. When President Donald J. Trump entered office, he appointed Ajit Pai, who is adamantly against net neutrality, as head of the FCC.
On Saturday, New Brunswick High School hosted the fourth-annual Trans Youth Forum with the aim of discussing the experiences and issues within the transgender community, as well as the importance of education with regard to it. A transgender person, or someone with gender dysphoria, experiences a conflict between their physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he, she or they identify. Included in the event held Saturday were workshops and panels to help inform the community on this subject. The transgender community itself is growing in visibility and gaining a strong voice, but there are many who still fail to see the necessity for acceptance and understanding.
During his campaign for governor, Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) made multiple promises with regard to properly investing in and funding education in the Garden State, which are reflected in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. Among the points of discussion around education was the idea of working toward providing free tuition at New Jersey’s community colleges on the basis that education is a right, not a privilege. A proposal like this is heartening on the face, as equal opportunity for education across the board is important.
On December 20, 2013, former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) signed into law the Tuition Equality Act, a bill that allowed for thousands of undocumented students to pay in-state tuition to attend public colleges and universities in New Jersey — but now the next step toward educational equity is being taken. Having already passed through the state Senate and Assembly, a bill to offer financial aid to DREAMers now sits on the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.). As early as the Fall 2018 semester, students who lack citizenship but meet the necessary requirements will be able to apply for and participate in all student financial aid programs.
Despite being a natural and necessary part of life, menstruation has been considered by many to be somewhat taboo and dirty. Possibly for that reason, among others, until recently public accommodations with regard to it have been seemingly non-existent in the United States. The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) did well in joining the several other U.S. colleges and universities that have been successfully pushing for readily accessible and affordable menstrual hygiene products on campus.
University President Robert L. Barchi commended the University for its ongoing growth at the Board of Governors meeting last week. In recent years there has been a marked increase in new student applications — since last year we are up 7.3 percent at New Brunswick and 9.3 percent for all three campuses together. The number of out-of-state students coming to Rutgers is also continuing to steadily increase.
While ramen noodles and mac and cheese seem to be the typical college student’s meal of choice, it has become apparent that many students may actually not have many other options. Food insecurity among college students is a significant issue across the country, but when we come to realize its prominence at Rutgers, the problem becomes more personal.