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World AIDS Day, on Dec. 1, is a day to honor those who have fought and are fighting HIV/AIDS. This year, the White House honored the date by displaying a red ribbon and releasing a proclamation regarding HIV/AIDS. President Donald J. Trump’s statement was similar to that of former President Barack Obama, in the years prior, but one large difference stirred up certain members of the LGBTQ and AIDS community. Trump’s statement was similar to his predecessors, but was missing the following line — “Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, Black and Latino people living in the Southern United States, and people who inject drugs are at a disproportionate risk.”
Recently, it seems like every morning new allegations about sexual misconduct committed by a high-profile man alight the day’s tabloids and bombard our Twitter feeds. Finally, women are speaking up against the oppression and humiliation they are forced to face day in and day out. Finally, we are using our voices to fight for a cause that really boils down to basic human decency — a trait that is clearly lacking in several people (particularly of the male variety, if the news is any indication). Although I could use the next several hundred words to praise women and the recent trend in exposure of sexual predators, to do so would mean ignoring another issue altogether: the everyday street harassment women are subjected to, whether it be on their way to work, school or a night out with friends. Whatever time of day, no matter what kind of clothes we wear, it is an unfortunate circumstance that continues to pervade our society.
Normalizing bigotry and mainstreaming hateful speech, whether by a professor on a private Facebook account or the President of the United States for all the world to see, has to stop.
A few articles back, I wrote about Anthony Weiner’s horrific abuse of power by involving himself with a 15-year-old child through sexually explicit text messages, photos, videos and other things. I still stand by the fact that Weiner should be held fully accountable for his actions, but I think it is time I took back much of what I said.
Certainly, with the time of giving thanks just passing, we all ought not to overlook Rutgers workers in our expressions of gratitude. It should be obvious to any member of the Rutgers community the extent to which the University relies on its faculty and staff for its quotidian functions. The services on which Rutgers, as an institution, relies are provided by a host of University employees, employees who too often remain invisible to and under-appreciated by the community at large.
Recently there has been a lot of talk surrounding the emerging market of cryptocurrencies, most specifically Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that was originally released as an open source software in 2009. Users are able to purchase bitcoins through various exchanges of currency from around the world. The system is entirely decentralized and relies upon a block chain, which is a shared public ledger of all bitcoin transactions. Transfers of bitcoins and all transactions are confirmed through a process called mining. In essence, users can purchase bitcoin and use it directly to make purchases or exchanges as opposed to working through a financial intermediary or institution like a bank. Users can also avoid costly taxes or transaction fees, while transferring their assets openly and freely.
Net neutrality, the idea that all content on the internet should be equally accessible to all people and that Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) — which are few in number — should not be allowed to offer people more access at a higher speed based on how much they pay, has been a trending topic lately. This is because on Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on whether to curtail the net neutrality rules currently in place. Ajit Pai, the FCC’s chairman, is strongly against thorough rules regarding net neutrality, and if he succeeds in lifting the current regulations, there could be serious consequences for students.
Last week, the House of Representatives quietly voted to send thousands of Rutgers students into poverty. Entitled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the plan will both raise taxes on graduate students — in some cases tripling or quadrupling them — and force many of us to quit our jobs. As an English Ph.D. student, I can appreciate the ironic wordplay, even as I deplore the results.
In recent weeks, flyers have been pasted to the walls of buildings at Rutgers and other universities across the country that state the phrase, “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE.” These flyers appeared after a post on 4chan encouraged people with aligning views to go out on the night of Halloween and put up the flyers with the aim of provoking backlash from the “Leftist media.” In the end, the goal was to make it appear as if the media discriminates against white people to the point where they needed to defend themselves. By doing this, they assumed that people who are centrist politically would associate this assumed ideology of hatred toward white people with the Left, and therefore turn on them. All in all, it was a scheme conceived by internet trolls to rally support for far-Right activism.
One name that most people are familiar with these days is Harvey Weinstein, the 65-year-old Academy Award winner, American film producer, former co-chairman of The Weinstein Company and newly uncovered sexual predator.
As of right now, it looks as if the Rutgers football team is stuck in an unfortunate paradox. Despite being on a clear trajectory upward, the Scarlet Knights have not yet managed to garner a significant fan base, and this is likely contributing to the rut that they are in.
In the midst of countless actors, politicians and other public figures being revealed for misconduct against women, other acts of unfairness are going unnoticed. In mid-October, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that they would soon be allowing girls to join their program. While this is advantageous for young girls who feel they do not fit in with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) community, this decision is problematic for many reasons including the BSA’s motive and implementation of this decision.
Before I started college, I only thought about the world outside the United States in pretty limited contexts. I was an active member of my high school’s Model United Nations club, but any debate or discourse that I engaged in about low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) had no awareness of global justice or the dynamics of institutional powers. As is the case with many a white college liberal, upon learning at the university level of international relations, global health, neoliberalism and development, I quickly became aggrieved over the plight of populations I had never known or felt a kinship towards.
Thanksgiving in the United States has become a sort of deeply ingrained culture with specific symbols, images and memories that enter our minds as soon as we hear the word. Such include Native Americans, pilgrims and turkey. While these things are accurate to the holiday in the sense that there is some perceived connection between them and Thanksgiving, the historical accuracy of these associations is not necessarily acknowledged. In fact, there are multiple holidays that lack historical accuracy, including Christmas, and governments pick and choose specific aspects of them to exploit. According to plimoth.org, former President Franklin D. Roosevelt lengthened the Christmas shopping season by declaring Thanksgiving for the next-to-the-last Thursday in November during his time in office, and in 1941 Congress permanently established the holiday as the fourth Thursday in the month. The symbols that have come to be associated with Thanksgiving are taught to people in school from a young age, and the truth behind the unfortunate history of the holiday is often euphemized or ignored.
We all need a health-promoting environment. Without it, a number of social and economic problems can arise for individuals and communities at large. But not everyone has access to a healthy environment as evidenced by where pollution-producing facilities are located. While some may argue that these facilities need to be located somewhere, it is the likelihood of their siting in Black, Latino and working class and low-income communities that calls into question the fairness of these decision making procedures. How can we espouse a culture of democracy and equality when immutable characteristics like race, ethnicity and class determine your health outcomes through aspects of your community’s built and natural environment? When addressing disparities in environmental quality, it is important to understand what factors contribute to this kind of inequity and how these problems manifest themselves geographically. To advance an intersectional agenda of racial and economic justice, identifying the cause, consequences and implications of all types of inequity is necessary and foundational.
The media has misrepresented male and female bodies for decades, and this trend has continued with the emergence of the digital age. Nowadays, we have access to unrealistic body images through social media on a 24-hour basis. Platforms such as Instagram misrepresent sustainable fitness and body goals through the profiles of fitness models, bloggers and body builders.
Universities have an incredible capacity to promote intellectual progress through research and discussion, which is why freedom of speech, as well as thought, are so important on college campuses. A University that seeks to promote academic freedom must be careful when making decisions about the extent of the faculty’s right to free speech and their personal backgrounds, as censoring, banning or forbidding specific ideologies can lead us down a perilous road.
Much of modern medicine is built on the foundation of antibiotics. Organ transplants and other major surgeries are much less risky when antibiotics are available to treat any infections that may arise during recovery. Cancer treatments that often reduce the effectiveness of an individual’s immune system would be significantly riskier or non existent without antibiotics. Antibiotics are relied on by much of the medical world, which is why it is hard to believe that antibiotics might one day stop working.
Even though today’s social media platforms are filled with content that promotes body positivity, the same cannot be said for college campuses across the nation. For example: the idea of the "freshman 15." As a graduating senior in high school, I was both excited and anxious at the prospect of starting college and preparing for this next phase in my life. I spent hours researching all of my academic options, reading about different professors and devising lists of residence hall essentials. But there is one thing that repeatedly kept coming up in my research: the dreaded "freshman 15" and how to avoid it. YouTubers that I admired and looked up to at the time who dedicated entire digital series to college-related advice would have at least one video in which they detailed their “weight-loss journey” after packing on the pounds their first year at university.