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When I grabbed The Daily Targum last Thursday, I flipped to the
Opinions section and thought to myself, “Today is finally the day I
am printed in The Daily Targum.” My personal jubilation soon
shifted to a feeling of annoyance. On the left page, the blow quote
from the column “La Nausée” read, “[Rutgers United is] a
manifestation of a larger progressive liberal movement.” I was
annoyed because, for the second day in a row, instead of doing my
homework for my “American Presidency” class, I would have to read
an entire Targum column and respond.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned at this university
has been the meaning of kindness. To put it as simply as I now
understand it — being nice is the surface and being kind is the
deeper level of concern for others. A kind person is someone who
genuinely cares for the wellbeing and happiness of others and
demonstrates it through his or her actions. It is not others’
perception of them that compels kind people, but rather the desire
for the betterment of themselves, and others, that is their
compulsion to act on their kindness.
I have spent the better part of the last few days doing social
media damage control for the latest “controversy” to hit the
University. This alleged grease truck controversy holds that the
University is trying to get rid of the grease trucks and with them,
a storied tradition that has become a cultural and iconic landmark.
While I am not surprised that the media has latched onto this story
and portrayed it as something controversial, I feel it necessary to
restate the facts.
Tuesday’s column, “Pay respect to President Reagan,” attempts to
portray Ronald Reagan as the champion of a decade of economic
growth. The author does this simply by quoting statistics in 1980
and 1988 and attributing all of the nation’s economic growth and
its ability to cut inflation to Reagan. But the author clearly has
not done his homework — for if he had, he would have seen that
Reagan might have done more harm than good.
I would first like to thank the author of yesterday’s letter to
The Daily Targum, “Student government needs to establish real
purpose.” Although the information is not found in our mission
statement, the Rutgers University Student Assembly always wants to
hear student concerns, by any means and in any form, to better
improve our standing with the student body. This is one reason why
we have a public sector portion of our open meetings every other
Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Activities Center on the
College Avenue campus.
One of my teachers once said to look at any endeavor,
organization or movement, and search out its purpose. If the
endeavor fulfills its purpose, then it will succeed. If it fails to
fulfill its purpose, then the endeavor will fail. With this focus
on purpose in mind, I turn now to the Rutgers University Student
Assembly. In my musings on the matter, I thought that a student
assembly’s purpose would be to address student concerns with the
In reading conservative writing about Occupy Wall Street and the
movement it spawned, the phrase “class warfare,” as to be expected,
comes up often. This term is a favorite invective of the American
right, which is strange, considering how little the right likes to
talk about class in other contexts. What I find most interesting,
of course, is that to the American right, class warfare seems to be
a one-way street.
The entire New Jersey State Legislature will go up for election
on Nov. 8. This means that in addition to local races, you will
have the opportunity to vote for your district’s assembly member
and state senator. I understand how busy everyone is studying for exams, writing
papers and figuring out class schedules for next semester — all
while trying to stay healthy as the weather gets colder.
The author of Tuesday’s column, “Liberals perpetuate poverty,”
demonstrates a mind-bogglingly limited capacity for perspective and
seeks, one can only assume, to spew inflammatory invective in hopes
of gaining notoriety. The other option is that he truly believes
liberals deliberately seek to propagate poverty, which I submit
would reflect more poorly on his character. I will therefore
proceed under the assumption of the former.
I am writing today regarding the Oct. 27 editorial in The Daily
Targum titled, “Amendment could promote corruption.”While I thank the editorial board for recognizing the potential of
a residency requirement to improve relations between police
officers and community members, I take issue with the argument that
by encouraging officers to live in the city, this could somehow
lead to more corruption.
I’m writing in response to the column “Recognize infrequency of
racism,” which appeared on Oct. 31 in The Daily Targum. It was
disappointing to hear such a misguided opinion on race, especially
at the University, one of the most diverse schools in the
country.The author maintains that “true racism” in the United States is not
nearly as commonplace as people think and holds that what passes as
racism is actually a form of classism.
I am unsure if yesterday’s column regarding race relations in
America, entitled “Recognize infrequency of racism,” is a sincere
opinion or an attempt to draw a response.First, the piece equates American society’s negative attitudes
toward Hispanic and African-Americans in poverty with Caucasians in
Bobby Montoya is a transgender child who, like most little
girls, wanted to join the Girl Scouts. When Montoya’s mother took
her to see a troop leader about signing up, though, the leader
denied her, citing the fact that Montoya had “boy parts” and was
therefore not a girl. Luckily, though, the Girl Scouts of Colorado
have since decided that denying Montoya was a mistake, and the
organization has extended membership to her.
Every other Tuesday I read The Daily Targum column
“Irreconcilable Differences,” which never fails to be a loosely
patched together column of misrepresented facts and fiction. Let’s
take the author’s “Let people spend their money” piece and
scrutinize it.First, while compact fluorescent light bulbs do contain mercury,
does the author realize that the mercury contained in them is less
then the amount of mercury that would be released into the
atmosphere if we continued to use incandescent bulbs instead?
Every morning I drive my daughter to her school across town.
This gives me the opportunity to view many of the different
neighborhoods of the city. The most obvious neighborhood I pass
through is the “college town” area. I know I am there when suddenly
I see red Solo cups strewn about the streets and lawns. I know I am
there when I see piles of flattened boxes from cases of beer in
untied heaps — I’m sure the pile was high until the rain drenched
the boxes and the wind made the boxes move further and further out,
lowering and widening the pile.
I’m writing this piece because I want to tell the University
community to keep on helping people in need and to bring a greater
awareness around those who, like us, are struggling and need
support now more than ever. As president of the University chapter
of the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, some members of the
organization and I went to the Robert Wood Johnson University
Children’s Hospital last Friday to carve pumpkins, an idea I had
last year but never fully implemented.
We read in The Daily Targum on Oct. 19 that the Big East has
increased their exit fee to $10 million.The University could choose to leave the Big East and pay $10
million from their reserves or choose to invest this money in the
individuals who teach one-third of the classes at the University,
the part-time lecturers (PTLs).
A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend told me that the 2011 Nobel
Peace Prize was awarded to three women “for their non-violent
struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full
participation in peace-building work,” according to the Norwegian
Nobel Committee. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is the first democratically
elected female president in Africa. Since 2006, her efforts have
supplied Liberia with peace as well as social and economic
Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow’s new book, “Ten Letters,”
is more interesting than you would probably expect a book about
letters presidents read to be. That is because of one small bit of
information contained within the book’s pages. According to
Saslow’s account, President Barack Obama admitted to sending
personal checks to troubled citizens whose letters moved him.
The New Brunswick community will join communities nationwide
this Saturday in standing up against police brutality. Of course,
recent events in New Brunswick have put police violence back in the
headlines, with the tragic death of resident Barry Deloatch fresh
in the minds of many in the community. We in the Rutgers United
Student Coalition express sympathy for those mourning Deloatch’s
death and support the efforts of Deloatch family spokesman and
activist Walter Hudson and other community organizers to hold the
City Hall accountable for the actions of its police force.