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The Rutgers Residence Hall Association is a student government
organization, which represents all students living in the
University residence halls. RHA works closely with University
administrators to improve the residential experience for all
students. Each year, RHA also organizes several educational,
leadership, service and social programming opportunities for
Mayor-for-life Michael Bloomberg has decided to attack the
public school system by shutting down the bottom 10 percent of
schools in his third term as mayor of New York City. This decision
is propagated by President Barack Obama's "Race to the Top" funding
for public school systems, which would qualify New York state for
more than $700 million.
As a University student, the flyer for the "Speed Dating at
Rutgers" event first caught my eye for its simplicity: A chance to
undertake a diverse, comprehensive dating journey for the price of
just one can of non-perishable food. Put on last month by the
student-run Rutgers University Programming Association, the
speed-dating event and others like it have been uniting
unsuspecting lovers on campus for years now.
In Wednesday's letter, "Tea Party's idea of government wrong,"
the author concludes with an impassioned statement, "I would hope
that they change the laws so they are just a little more kind and
just a little more fair." After I finished chanting "Yes we can!"
multiple times, I started thinking about the idea of fairness and
kindness. These two words are so often thrown around in our
political discourse that their true implications have been lost.
During a debate with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, presidential
candidate Barack Obama told the world he wanted to raise the
capital gains tax out of a sense of fairness, even though most
economists believe that lowering the capital gains tax increases
tax revenue. Moments like these, along with Wednesday's op-ed
piece, loudly represents progressives' mentalities. Because
progressives see political debates in terms of kindness and
fairness, they have no problem saying sentences like, "Those that
subscribe to the Tea Party platform reveal a purposeful callousness
toward their fellow humans." Wow. People who believe in limited
government are not only callous toward humanity, but we are doing
it purposefully! This is nonsense, of course. A person who holds a
different opinion is not necessarily a monster. A person whose
worldview leans toward "libertarian" is not an idiot.
Nike, Inc., a sportswear giant with much of the American retail
market cornered, has annual revenue of around $18 billion. Why is
it, then, that they are having so much trouble paying the $2.2
million in severance owed to laid-off factory workers in
Busch Campus Council is a name that students come across, but
rarely consider. Who are they? What do they do? The answers can be
a little surprising.
President Barack Obama this past Saturday signed a one-year
extension of the Patriot Act into law. The law, which allows the
federal government substantial powers to monitor U.S. citizens, has
been the bane of civil libertarians since 2001 when it passed.
There was some hope that Obama would allow the provisions of the
act lapse without his signature, especially since the U.S. Congress
was not able to secure a majority to add new language to the bill
that would have strengthened civil liberties protection.
There is an enormous lie told in America. It is told with great
regularity by all stripes of people on the right. Conservatives,
Republicans and Libertarians all love to tell the lie of small
government: That the ideal government is one that takes care of
only law and order and defense, and leaves everything else to the
states. Many Americans have fallen for this lie, even many here in
New Jersey as we saw with the election of Gov. Chris Christie. We
see this lie repeated by members of the Tea Party on Fox News and
even here at the University in The Daily Targum.
Mohandas Gandhi once said something that doesn't get revisited
enough is the place of religion in our public sphere. When asked
for his views on Christianity, he replied "I like your Christ; I do
not like your Christians."
The controversy that surrounds Rutgers University Student
Assembly as of late reveals a deeper question the student body is
asking; what is RUSA's place at the University? As it stand now,
RUSA has very little place at this University because is does not
act as a vehicle for students to positively change the University.
My experience with RUSA is that it acts like the U.S. Congress. It
passes resolutions hoping that some administrator will see the
proposal put into action. The Congress can act in such a manner —
our assembly of students cannot. Rather, RUSA and campus leaders
need to be the students championing initiatives, only referring to
administration when required. This is the only option for RUSA to
increase participation, relevance and effectiveness.
Regarding a recent column entitled "Strong not small
government," I was astounded by the characterization of today's Tea
Party movement. Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of
reading the column that the author rebutted, however I still feel
compelled to reply to the criticisms that the writer levies.
If you spent any time on the Cook campus lately, you may have
noticed that the Foran Conservation Garden is undergoing a
face-lift. In case you were wondering where and what is the garden,
it is located between Foran Hall and the Cook/Douglass Lecture Hall
on the Cook campus and contains a sculpture known as "the
Birdcage," but which the artist had named "Spiral Field." The
garden is part of a courtyard, which also has several in-progress
rain gardens. Rain gardens serve to recharge rainwater to
underground aquifers and keep students from having to walk through
puddles. Currently, students and others are creating their own
footpaths on their way up from the bus and elsewhere, this is
packing down the soil, damaging our new trees and the all-important
switch grass — which we are researching as a raw material for
biofuels — and harms other native plant and wild life.
Get Involved! That is the advice I have been hearing since I was
an eighth grader going to what would be my future high school's
open house. At the University, I attended Leadership Quest this
past summer, and the program got me used to the idea of college and
motivated me to be even more active in school. However, when I
arrived here, I was so overwhelmed that all I decided to do was
concentrate on my schoolwork.
The author of yesterday's column in The Daily Targum, "Strong
not small government," threw some rather course barbs at advocates
of small government. In his article, the author "pointed out that
the rights to life, liberty and property that members of the Tea
Party cherish require a competent, well-funded and strong
government for their enforcement. Therefore, the Tea Party's
generalized demonization of a strong government was misguided."
Like most humans, I like to eat. Not only do I like to eat, but
I like to eat well — not exactly in a healthy sense. Sorry, RU
Healthy. I like to eat well in a sense that I look for good
quality. I pretty much live by a quote from Kevin James, when he
said "For you guys, food is just fuel but for me … it's like an
unexplored country." As a native of the Philadelphia metropolitan
area, I sometimes will disagree with my fellow North and Central
Jersey friends on what exactly good quality is. Where I come from,
we know our stuff. A sandwich is a hoagie not a sub, nor a hero,
although my friend from Long Island would disagree with me, we know
where to get the best cheesesteaks — I could debate for hours about
this — and we love our water ice, not to be confused with snow
cones or Italian ices. However, putting these discrepancies aside,
I believe we can all reach an agreement. I am here to write about
food from all over the great state of New Jersey and our
surrounding neighbors — New York and Philadelphia.
President Barack Obama is promoting a new $300 billion economic
stimulus program. When he took office in January 2009, he said the
$787 billion stimulus program will create 3.5 million jobs by the
end of 2010 and unemployment will remain below 8 percent.
Unemployment is hovering around 10 percent, and the jobs promised
by Obama might hit 1.5 million by the end of 2010, but during the
last 13 months we lost 5 million jobs.
An investment of $40,000 and a four-year commitment from
students warrants a standard of quality; but, as the University's
tuition rises each year, returning students must endure class sizes
and other accommodations that grow disproportionately to the
population increase. As The Daily Targum article, "Congested
classrooms prompt safety concerns," from Monday suggests that as
long as student numbers are within the amount of seats in a lecture
hall or student passengers stand behind the yellow marker on buses,
the University is within legal bounds of operation — yet legality
does not that guarantee the University conducts are best for its
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-IN's announcement this week that he will not
be seeking reelection when his current term ends in 2010 is the
latest in a series of ill-timed retirements that have seemed to put
the Democratic Party in danger of large losses in the upcoming
midterm elections. These projected losses are even more pronounced
when one considers the fact it was just a year ago that the
Democrats were voted into the House and Senate in such great
numbers they held a supermajority in both houses, which was
presumed to be all the Democrats needed to pass major legislation.
Considering the major threat the 2010 midterm elections seem to
pose for the Democrats, the question that must be answered is
simple: how did the Democrats go from unbeatable supermajority to
scrambling to hold onto a simple majority?
I think I need to get one of those fancy beds you see advertised
by '80s celebrities, or perhaps get my high school Chemistry
teacher to talk me to sleep. The odds University students have
trouble getting to bed at night. In fact, I am writing this piece
after having spent the last three hours wobbling about
uncomfortably under my comforter. So what's the deal?
Many people who have picked up The Daily Targum have heard news
about student government. Whether it is a campus council report or
an advertisement from Rutgers University Student Assembly, the news
is always there. But does anyone ever stop and think about what
student government is really there for? Student government has a
particular function that is often overlooked or unknown.