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The Garden State’s first comprehensive “virtual” charter school has begun to enroll students for the coming fall semester. The New Jersey Virtual Charter School, a for-profit education company based out of Newark, N.J., will hold all of its classes online - an idea that has residents throughout the state - as well as our own editorial board - fervently throwing up our arms in protest.
Today is the last day for students to cast their vote in the third annual Rutgers University Student Assembly elections. On the Rutgers United Party ticket, RUSA Vice President John Connelly is running for president, Sherif Ibrahim for vice president and Pavel Sokolov for treasurer. The opposing ticket, running under the Old Raritan Party, is composed of RUSA Treasurer Scott Siegel for president, Joe Fontana for vice president and Sabrina Arias as treasurer.
In response to a civil rights claim brought to the court by a New Jersey man, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that detention centers do not need suspicion or probable cause to strip-search detainees. With hundreds of thousands held in custody in local jails across the country each year, the Supreme Court’s ruling could mean unneeded and wholly unnecessary strip searches for non-criminal defenders — like N.J. resident Albert Florence.
New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws have served as an important barrier between wealthy businesses looking to influence state and local politics, and candidates whose campaigns often depend largely on the donations of these businesses. More than 100 N.J. towns have enacted laws in recent years that prevent contractors and business from making large donations to political candidates. But despite these barriers, contractors throughout the state, including engineering firms and insurance brokers, are still managing to funnel considerable amounts of money to their chosen lawmakers, according to a recent Star-Ledger investigation.
The New York Post, adding to a long list of insensitive — and even more so, unfunny — commentary on the weight of Gov. Chris Christie, wrote an article on Tuesday titled “The whale at the wall.” The headline refers to the governor’s recent visit to Israel, during which he stopped to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. While some may find such degrading attitudes humorous, we personally find it inappropriate. Even N.J. Sen. Richard Codey, D-27 — who has publicly sparred with Christie on a number of occasions — has denounced the paper’s jab. We join Codey and dart The New York Post for resorting to such lows. In an age of tolerance, we’d expect more from a national publication.
Season ticket packages for Scarlet Knight home games went on sale Monday. For many, this is good news: Season ticket sales mean the beginning of a new football season and a another chance at success for the team in a newly realigned Division I Big East Conference. Unfortunately though, this realignment has not come without a cost.
The Daily Targum editorial board criticized Gov. Chris Christie last week for outright ignoring the entirely valid concerns of those opposed to a proposed merger between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University. But with the recent news of University President Richard L. McCormick’s response to a report, advising Rowan on how to carry the proposed takeover, we’re compelled to enter the debate once again.
That N.J. driver’s license stowed away in your wallet could soon represent more than just authorization to operate a moving vehicle.
New Brunswick, in an effort to foster a closer relationship with students on campus, launched its Student Connections program last week. In theory, this “city council on wheels,” in theory, a great way to strengthen a relationship between the city and the University that has a tendency to fall slack. It is also an improvement to past programs with the same aim, like Lunch with the Mayor. But next time around, we hope to see it better implemented.
The House of Representatives approved, by a narrow margin, a $3.6 trillion Republican budget last Thursday. With massive cuts to research grants and Pell Grants for low-income students, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan could force us to address a problem that concerns students not just here at the University, but across the country: the increasing costs of higher education.
Rutgers University Dance Marathon— a 32-hour, student-organized philanthropic event aimed at raising money to aid the needs of children suffering from cancer and blood disorders — celebrated its 14th year at the University yesterday. The event, which has become largely symbolic of greek life charity both at the University and abroad, receives increased enthusiasm from the University community, as well as participation from private and public sponsors across campus each year. Despite its clear benefits, however, we cannot help but notice a loss in emphasis placed on the cause itself.
The death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida resident who was fatally shot last month by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman, has erupted on the national scene in the form on debates on race in society. Displays of protest have taken place not only in Florida, but across the country, and recent protests in Newark and Plainfield, N.J., have indicated that these feelings of injustice extend well beyond Martin’s hometown.
Reporters recently discovered a link between the founder of the company responsible for the production the “pink slime” that has had everyone up in arms over the past few weeks and GOP candidate Mitt Romney. Apparently, Eldon Roth, the founder of Beef Products, is a major donor to the Republican frontrunner and his campaign. At a Sioux Falls fundraiser, Roth donated $190,000 to the Romney campaign. Clearly, this sort of publicity is not good for Romney’s campaign. The “pink slime” produced by Roth’s company has been denounced by public health advocates and has already been removed from many school districts as a result. Not surprisingly, Romney has failed to comment on the link. We dart Romney, along with Roth and his “pink slime” — Romney for failing to explain himself, and Roth for producing something that’s considered by many to be a health risk to those who consume it.
Twenty teenagers from Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y., were arrested last fall for being caught cheating on college entrance exams. The students used fake IDs to take the tests — either the SAT or the ACT — for other students. To prevent future instances of cheating from occurring, the SATs and the ACTs now require students to upload photos of themselves when they register for the exam, which proctors would check on the day of the test.
Social media is a relatively young player in the lives of individuals in the digital age. The way in which we use this form of media is constantly changing — as is the way in which it’s handled in regard to certain legal statutes. The recent trial of Dharun Ravi, a former University student charged with spying on his roommate via webcam, is just one example of this.
At a University as diverse as ours, it may sometimes be difficult for students of different backgrounds to overcome cultural barriers that accompany life in a college community. Students here for the first time are free, in a sense, from the obligations they once had growing up. They can make their own decisions. They can choose their own interests. They no longer live under their parents’ roofs. These traits are common to almost all students.
Walk down a New Brunswick side street on any given day, and you’ll likely find the discarded remains of a non-cigarette tobacco product. Colorful wrappers once enclosed small cigars, and an empty tin once held smokeless tobacco. These products, and more, have become a popular alternative to cigarettes for many New Jerseyans, who are attracted to comparably low prices. But because of their popularity, they’ve also become the target of certain N.J. lawmakers.
Stage Left, a popular restaurant located in downtown New Brunswick, will offer a new cocktail Wednesday as part of a nationwide campaign to raise money for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Van Gogh Vodka invented the cocktail, called a “Give a Damn Martini,” for their “Cocktails without Prejudice” campaign. The restaurant will donate $1 for every martini sold. We think this is a unique and creative way to raise money for an admirable cause. We laurel Stage Left for their participation in the campaign, and we encourage all those of legal age to get on down there and “give a damn” with one of their martinis.
Representatives of groups throughout the University and abroad — including students, faculty members and state officials — have sounded off on the proposal of a merger between four South Jersey institutions of higher education into one conglomerate school. And while many have come out in support of the merger, which was outlined by Gov. Chris Christie’s Task force on Higher Education, dissenting opinion has not gone without proper public display.
State officials will investigate nine New Jersey schools in the coming weeks for possible cheating, nj.com reported earlier this week. The probe comes on the heels of a two-year examination, during which investigators discovered unusually high rates of erasure marks on standardized tests at 34 schools across the Garden State. Now, we’re not necessarily savvy on the relationship between the number of erasure marks on a test and instances of cheating, but we cannot imagine that there’s a definite correlation between the two. Preliminary investigations cleared 14 of the original 34 schools of possible cheating, according to Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf — a strong indication that these erasure marks are leading investigators down a dead end. Education officials deserve a dart for going to these lengths. Students shouldn’t have to fear that they will be accused of cheating for making changes to their tests. Taking this kind of action seems not only strangely paranoid, but detrimental to a student’s test-taking experience.