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I read The Daily Targum almost daily, and I am tired of reading
about the economic crisis, politics and how all of these things are
affecting our University negatively. It appears I have one main
reason for despising these topics: I enjoy meaningful opinions on
student educational matters outside of "real-world" politics.
Somali pirates continue to wreak havoc on commercial shipping
off the coast of Africa. There are about 20 ships with more than
300 hundred hostages being held by the pirates for ransom.
As we wrap up another school year, I'm struck by what a historic
year it has been. We are at a defining moment as a generation. Over
and over again, I am amazed and inspired by what we can accomplish
by volunteering our time, organizing on our campus and advocating
for change locally and nationwide.
I was recently informed of the decision to consolidate
graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2010. As a Rutgers College
student, this decision came as a surprise to me. I elected to
remain a part of this individual college during the consolidation
into the School of Arts and Sciences for the following years.
The Daily Targum won the 2009 Sweepstakes Trophy for four-year
colleges on Saturday from the New Jersey Press Association for
earning the most quality points in individual awards categories.
Overall, the Targum took home 10 individual awards.
As members of the Rutgers University community, you are all well
aware of how grading works and have been able to successfully
achieve sufficient grades to get where you are today.
Unfortunately, the use of grading is something that is currently
used as a mechanism of labeling, waste, and abuse in education.
We should be aware of the implications of the language we use
when we discuss minorities who have been historically discriminated
against. Last week, in a commentary piece opposing gay marriage, a
student told us we should be "scared" of recent court rulings
declaring bans on gay marriage unconstitutional.
Congress passed the Higher Education Opportunity Act in August
2008, benefiting college students and faculty in New Jersey and the
nation. It obligates scholastic publishers to reveal textbook
prices, and it requires them to not include unnecessary packaging
and make notice of the proper textbooks for certain courses.
Textbookfacts.org asserts that the average cost undergraduates pay
is $650 annually — still too high, especially in these economic
times of struggling for jobs that may afford people a good higher
The Raritan River is essential to millions of people in New
Jersey and in fact provides drinking water for over 12 million
residents. Unfortunately, the Raritan is the 14th most polluted
waterway in the nation with over 200 toxic waste sites along its
banks. I ask, "What are you doing for Earth Day?"
As a transfer student from the University of Maryland, I am
fully aware of how it feels to go to a huge college where your
identity gets lost among the thousands of students. The reason that
I decided to transfer into Rutgers is because it did not make me
feel like a number. Rutgers is a very large school, but the
individual campuses make you forget that and give you the feeling
of a small neighborhood instead of a massive city, or at least they
The University Residence Hall Association is a student
government organization that represents all students living in
Rutgers University residence halls. The association works closely
with University administrators to improve the residential
experience for all students. Each year, the association also
organizes several educational, leadership, service and social
programming opportunities for residential students.
As I picked up yesterday's edition of The Daily Targum and read
the headline "U. consolidates 2010 graduation ceremonies," I was in
disbelief. It hit me hard seeing that starting in 2010, there will
only be one graduation ceremony for the last ever Rutgers College,
Livingston College, Douglass College and University College
classes. As I sat and read the article about the decision, I could
not help but feel like I was being made into a number and only a
number. I was told I am going to be packed into the stadium on
Busch campus and essentially not mean anything with bare minimal
recognition for my success with my name being displayed for a few
seconds on the scoreboard. With this change in graduation
procedures, I will no longer be a Rutgers College graduate of 2010
with lots of tradition and pride. The fact that I made it into a
competitive program, made it through and have waited my entire
academic career at the University to walk through the gates on Old
Queen's campus into Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus
means absolutely nothing. All the traditions that keep me linked to
a prestigious school will now be eliminated. Furthermore, the
traditions that will connect me with the rest of my family, a
Rutgers legacy who are Rutgers College graduates, will be
eliminated. I ask you: What was the point of telling the Class of
2010 that they were the last respective class for their individual
schools to uphold all their traditions if they were to be
eliminated by a select few individuals? Why take away all those
things that keep the Class of 2010 associated with their schools
when they were asked to choose between remaining in their colleges
or switching to the School of Arts and Sciences? It is absolutely
ludicrous to think that the Class of 2010 will be complacent with
this decision. There is no reason for us to be. We are being turned
from proud and honored individuals to numbers so the University can
boast about how successful it is instead of how successful
individual students are.
The trees are in bloom, spring break has ended, final exams are
on the horizon and the sound of crunching matzah fills my ears.
These are the sure signs that Passover — the holiday of Jewish
liberation from slavery to freedom — has come once again. This
holiday, one of the three most important in Judaism, is well known
in popular culture from films such as The Ten Commandments and The
Prince of Egypt and cannot be missed by anyone in a grocery store
after March 1, when the matzah displays begin to appear. But what
is less well known is the true meaning of the holiday, and how it
is observed in the 21st century.
Most students that have a meal plan have probably have been
asked at some point to donate a meal to a charitable organizationn
on campus. And while many of you probably have whole-hearted
intentions to do so, the problem with your desire to help others is
that the Dining dining Hall hall does not appreciate your
efforts. They will simply say "‘no"' to you if you want to donate
your regular meal swipes (and only accepts guest swipes), which you
paid for, to charities, as they only accept guest swipes. Why does
the Dining dining Hall hall go out of its way to stop students from
doing good deeds? Where are the consciousness consciousness and
social responsibilities of Dining dining Hallhall? Students should
have the final say in how they are going to use their own meal
As I type this, I am angry. I logged into my Yahoo e-mail at 2
a.m. before beginning readings for my morning class. I clicked on
the e-mail with the link to today's online version of The Daily
Targum and, as usual, went straight to the "Opinions/Editorials"
section. If you haven't seen my name in the paper enough already
this semester, my name is Denarii Monroe, and I am one of two
current co-presidents of LLEGO, the People of Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Ally Color
Union at Rutgers. I am a black woman, bisexual-identified and a
graduating senior. I am angry. I am angry because I read Tuesday's
opinion piece on the recent legal proceedings concerning same-sex
marriage in Iowa, "Gay marriage in Iowa sign of country's
In yesterday's "Zeitgeist" column, "Welcome to the gun show,"
Josh Baker argues that the Second Amendment to the Constitution
"specifically mentions the maintenance of a well-regulated militia
as the reason for the [amendment's] existence." He argues that the
right to bear arms is one granted to military forces, but not to
the general public. Well, no. Read the words: "A well regulated
militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right
of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Note
that the word "militia" is not the same as "people." If the authors
of the amendment had wanted to ensure a strong military, then the
amendment would read, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to
the security of a free state, the right of the militia to keep and
bear arms, shall not be infringed." The amendment uses two
different words, the people and the militia, for a reason — so that
everyone could distinguish these separate rights.
In recent scientific advancements, neuroscientists have had to
single out the area responsible for memory retention in our minds.
Such memories may be pleasurable or painful; they could remind us
of the day we graduated kindergarten or be the painful idea of the
passing of a relative. What if doctors were capable of giving you a
drug allowing for the mental liberation of your worst fears,
excruciating events and most menacing habits?
The recent ruling in Iowa to permit homosexual marriage should
scare all Americans. This change in thinking is indeed indicative
of a country's regression. Here in New Jersey, we sometimes forget
that the country is not as diverse as we may like to believe; to
consider our perspective analogous is obtuse. I agree, to us, the
notion of homosexuality may not be foreign, yet that does not give
us license to transcend the laws and consensus of the nation. We
may harbor a more affable sentiment toward homosexuals, but that is
in no way representative of the nation.
In fall 2008, the Rutgers computer labs began limiting how much
paper could be used for free for printing. This helped to curb
wasteful paper use and promoted responsible printing at the
computer labs. While this has been a very beneficial way to promote
responsibility and paper conservations, it is not the only way.
In essence, hunger is the most extreme form of poverty, where
individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need
for food. Every day almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related
causes — one child every five seconds. Poor nutrition and calorie
deficiencies cause nearly one in three people to die prematurely or
have disabilities, according to the World Health Organization.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations survey, in 2006 about 9.7 million children died before they
reached their fifth birthday. Almost all of these deaths occurred
in developing countries, four-fifths of them in sub-Saharan Africa
and South Asia, the two regions that also suffer from the highest
rates of hunger and malnutrition. Most of these deaths are
attributed not to outright starvation but to diseases that move in
on vulnerable children whose bodies have been weakened by