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As we stand in the wake of yet another tragedy at the hands of gun violence, this time in Las Vegas where at least 58 lives were lost and an additional 500 were injured, the American people are wondering how many massacres need to occur for something to be done. All decent human beings recognize that this is a despicable act that has no place in a moral society and we all send our love and support to those affected by it. We are all angry that something like this can happen in our communities, but this is not a new trend. This has been happening since the dawn of our country and as weapon capabilities have advanced, the death tolls have increased. The real question we need to ask is how are we going to prevent this from happening again. Our anger needs to be directed toward our leaders, who refuse to have a discussion on common sense gun legislation. Instead, they decide to send their thoughts and prayers to the victims while cashing their checks from the National Rifle Association (NRA) every election cycle. It appears every time there is another tragic mass murder, gun rights advocates rally behind the Second Amendment and argue that this would have happened regardless because there is nothing we can do to prevent these senseless shootings. Immediately after the Las Vegas shooting, politicians offered their thoughts and prayers to the families and victims affected by this heinous act. But prominent congressional leaders claim that now is not the time to work on thoughtful gun legislation, arguing instead that we should focus on aiding victims and their families, but the truth is their thoughts and prayers mean nothing if they refuse to act to prevent this senseless violence in the future.
Oftentimes, Rutgers hosts events within the University where panelists come to speak to the students about certain issues that are relevant to what is going on in the world around them. Last night, a panel of speakers visited the Douglass Student Center as a part of their tour entitled “Unsafe Space,” a name-play off of some groups on campus’ recent and ongoing efforts to deem New Brunswick as a “safe space.”
The unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is cemented in our now weathered and eroded national foundation. These rights meant for all, have been stolen by the few. It is upon the government, which functions through our consent, to bolster the general welfare and domestic tranquility such that life, freedom and happiness is unadulterated by violence and crime. Except, we have allowed for our representatives to be unresponsive to the unrelenting attacks on public safety. We have exchanged our freedom for fear and our liberty for the ability to own and operate military weapons against one another.
A recent study published in the medical journal, The Lancet has brought some light to a matter not talked much about these days: Unsafe abortions. The study has revealed that about half the abortions performed worldwide are unsafe. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion either as pregnancy that is terminated in an environment that does not meet medical standards or is performed by someone who lacks the necessary medical skills to do so. Either approach has a high chance of leaving the mother with many complications including uterine perforation, hemorrhage, an incomplete abortion (the failure to dispel all of the pregnancy tissue), and damage to the genitals and internal organs. Such complications make unsafe abortions the leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. Every year 4.7 percent to 13.2 percent of maternal deaths are due to the malpractice of abortion and each year there are more than 55 million abortions that take place worldwide, but close to 25.5 million are unsafe. Among this half of unsafe abortions, at least 8 million were carried out in harmful environments and over half of them were carried out in Asia. Overall though, the rate of abortions was higher in developed countries, but the rate of unsafe abortions was greater in undeveloped countries, with the risk of dying from one was greatest in Africa. About 97 percent of unsafe abortions take place in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. In North America, 99 percent of the performed procedures are regarded as safe. A trend that is noticed here is that countries that offer a larger selection of safe abortion procedures tend to have less restrictive abortion laws.
The nation has been left shaken after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The 64-year-old shooter from Nevada shot into a crowd of 22,000 people and managed to leave 59 people dead and 527 injured. He singlehandedly incited the “worst mass shooting in modern American history.” President Donald J. Trump, like many others, took to Twitter to send his “warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families.”
The Playboy empire began in 1953, during an immensely conservative, post-war era of American history. The 1950s held women to stereotypical house-wife standards — their only interests were serving their families, cooking, baking and cleaning. Men were held to a similar standard — domesticated, loyal and monogamous. Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, aimed to change all of this. But his success was only partial.
Shades of 1996! For over 50 years, through good times and mostly bad, I’ve rooted for three football teams: the Giants, the Jets and Rutgers.
As we move into yet another month of school, it is important to recognize that many people may not have realized that September was National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Rutgers Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships took part and established a week out of the month to spread awareness about the potential dangers of living on campus or off-campus at Rutgers. The week was also dedicated to teaching students how they can stay safe around campus.
Red and yellow leaves are starting to populate the sidewalks. My wooly socks are officially no longer confined to storage bins. Autumn is whistling a cool breeze upon our necks as temperatures drop and sweater season begins. October is here. While I hold no complaints against the slightly cold weather and the increasingly colorful view of Voorhees Mall, the idea of time has been preoccupying certain corners of my mind. It seems like the semester just started and now midterms are already approaching. The topic of time has arisen quite a bit in conversations I have had in the last week. How does one manage time? For some it flies by, for others it drags on, taking ever slow strides. Yet perhaps even before speaking about how one ought to “manage” it, some reflection upon its nature is necessary. Time is an elusive concept — difficult to define and grasp. Some may state that it is just a term utilized for the progression of the world’s existence or that it is a social construct designed to help humans structure and anchor their own activities and actions. Others may assert that it is something that exists outside our dimension of understanding and is not subjective to our experiences. All may be correct. What fundamentally interests me is the relation between time and my existence. While such an approach may seem self-centric, I can only in an honest manner reflect upon what my consciousness perceives and so, only engage in subjective reasoning. Yet, this should not come to mean that subjective reasonings cannot lead to objective truths. The contrary may be argued.
Long after Colin Kaepernick began protesting systemic racism during last football season’s preseason, and right as millions of Americans in Puerto Rico are struggling through the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump has decided to start a war with the NFL over the national anthem protests that have become more prevalent during the pregame ritual. Speaking at a rally in Alabama for the now defeated Senate candidate Luther Strange, Trump stated that all NFL owners should, upon seeing a player protest the anthem, say: “‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired.’” But even though Trump and his supporters claim that their issues with the anthem protests are that they show “disrespect” toward the flag and our military, their actions contradict this sentiment.
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
Before I wrote this piece, I thought to myself, "Does the world really need another article about this? Is this topic overdone?"
Ah yes, the SAT — also known as the Saddening Analytical Torment. Well, it actually stands for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, but you get the picture. Every year, thousands of students miss out on their dream school, regardless of high GPAs, plenty of school involvement and extracurricular activities strictly because of their SAT scores. Those who normally do substantially well on the SAT spend over $1,000 on classes that go over tricks and other memorization tools to do well on the SAT. So then let me ask the reader this: Does that sound fair, or is the SAT more of a money game?
President Donald J. Trump delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly last Tuesday, and it was "different" from the usual speech American presidents give. Trump started his speech by talking about the stock market and domestic U.S. employment. Normally the leaders of small nations use the U.N. General Assembly platform as a speech to their domestic constituents and about domestic policies. The U.S. has always been different. When the American president stands up there, he speaks to the members of the U.N. and signals American foreign policy.
I haven’t been able to scroll through three posts on Facebook before
encountering yet another video about
how someone mastered the art of applying henna and has been crowned its “master”
by some off-radar media company. While personally, as an Indian, I’m proud of
the fact that one of our most treasured art forms has come to be appreciated in
the light of the Western world, I’m uneasy when I see yet another person from a
culture outside mine that is hailed as the harbinger of Mehndi, as someone
who’s newly discovered it, when those of Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern
descent have been wearing it for traditional and cultural purposes for
centuries. It’s one of many examples of cultural conquistador-ism, in which
people “discover” a culture that has already been well-established in the
global landscape and create a hype surrounding it that makes it look like
something “new” and “exotic.” There’s a fine line between appropriation and
appreciation, and calling anyone the “Queen of Henna” without properly understanding
and appreciating the history and the tradition behind it is an action that
falls firmly on the side of appropriation, and hence can destroy the cultural symbolism
of henna altogether and turn it into the next big Goop-sponsored fad instead.
Last semester, I wrote a column related to the growing student loan crisis in America. I essentially proposed to privatize loans to incentivize colleges to lower tuition rates since the guarantee of payment from the government in the event of a default would dissipate. New York has gone forward with attacking this student loan crisis by making New York's public colleges tuition free. Although this sounds like a good idea in principle, there are many problems with this policy.
Picture your favorite sports team coming out onto the field to play. As the players line up across the field and the "Star-Spangled Banner” hums over the loudspeaker, you see a player quietly take a knee. If you feel infuriated and disrespected, take a step back and consider the reason behind what you feel.
One of the oldest debates involving education has surrounded the topic of whether arts education within the classroom is necessary in curriculum. People have posed arguments for both sides, making this issue one of the most cliched topics middle-school students write a persuasive essay about. But recently, in New Jersey, the conversation has shifted slightly after surveys issued by the Eagleton Institute of Politics were conducted throughout the state. According to the results of the survey, 90 percent of people living in New Jersey believe that having arts education as part of a school's curriculum is important. By looking at this number, one would assume that the age-old debate has been practically resolved and that there are no longer divides in the opinions of people regarding wanting to implement more arts programs. But the rest of the poll indicates otherwise.
Nowadays, everything can be done online — you can pay your bills, find a date or watch your favorite television shows. And with the rapid expansion of the Internet, it seems as though everything will be shifting to online-only platforms. One local business in New Brunswick is challenging the odds. But, is the business’s success something that will be long-term?
Doctors are seen as trustworthy individuals who dedicate their careers to their communities and larger public service, yet, for marginalized people, especially black Americans, the medical community elicits fear and mistrust due to a record of discriminatory practices in diagnosis and treatment. While awareness of the ways in which doctors discriminate against patients of color is growing, the most infamous case of medical racism, the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, remains largely unknown by the populace. It is crucial that we recognize ways and instances in which “trusted” public institutions actively engage in racism so that we can build institutions that truly serve us all. Our public health system and scientific institutions are not exceptions to participating in institutional and systemic racism, and the Tuskegee Study is a testament to this legacy.