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Culture, though largely intangible, costs money. To cultivate a
shared sense of history — and the pride that comes along with it —
communities have to shell out the cash necessary to maintain
historic sights, museums and so forth. In times of perpetual budget
crisis, however, scraping together such large sums of money can
often be difficult, resulting in landmarks which lapse into
America is not a theocracy, and the Constitution makes it quite
clear that the founding fathers never intended on a state-imposed
religion. Despite this, we still find instances today of
politicians not quite grasping the concept that, in the United
States, you are free to practice whatever religion you desire.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear participated in a ground-blessing
ceremony last Friday for Indian company Flex Film. Gubernatorial
candidate David Williams, a Republican, has a problem with
Prime Minister David Cameron took a bold step this weekend when,
while attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in
Australia, U.K., he announced that countries that ban homosexuality
would lose British aid unless they started to practice tolerance.
We are used to seeing politicians act as tepid people-pleasers who
say what those around them want them to say.
The It Gets Better Project has been a major name in
anti-bullying movements since its inception in 2010. During all
that time, not a single Republican elected official has
participated in the campaign — until now. Ten members of New
Jersey’s congressional delegation have teamed up to release and
video for the project, and three of the members are Republicans,
making this the first time that GOP-backed officials have joined
the It Gets Better project to condemn bullying.
Way back in 2008, when Barack Obama was running for president on
his platform of “Change we can believe in,” one of the many avenues
of progress he touted was the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Three years later, he’s finally delivering on that promise. Obama
announced Friday that every one of our soldiers would be out of
Iraq at the end of the year, after nine long years of war.
For the past 80 years, The FBI has operated with an dangerously
narrow definition of rape, which limited the act to “the carnal
knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” Such a faulty
conceptualization of the crime excludes a plethora of other
horrifying atrocities from being legally handled as rapes —
including nonconsensual anal or oral sex, rape committed with an
object and cases where the victims were men or transgender.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is trying rather hard to become
the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. Unfortunately for her,
she just cannot help shooting herself in the foot, so to speak.
Bachmann’s latest slip-up is geographical in nature. Expressing
discontent with President Barack Obama’s decision to send 100 U.S.
troops to Uganda, Bachmann asserted, “the president, he put us in
Halloween is supposed to be a fun time for children, a time to
dress up and, for once, safely accept candy from strangers. In
order to ensure the safety of these young trick-or-treaters — i.e.,
make sure taking candy from strangers remains a viable option for
the holiday — legislators of Riverside County in California are
considering a measure that would effectively shut sex offenders out
of Halloween festivities altogether.
Elizabeth Snyder, a history professor at the County College of
Morris in Randolph, N.J., is under fire for the way she treated a
student with a speech impediment. Once the public found out that
Snyder told student Philip Garber Jr., who suffers from a stutter,
to save his questions for after class, Snyder began to receive what
she calls “the most hateful, vile, vicious emails,” according to
The University has always been pretty good at utilizing new
technologies for the benefit of the student population. Take, for
example, the recent creation of Scarlet Apps, a new system of
online tools, which students can use for email, a chat client and
so forth. Scarlet Apps is the result of the marriage of myRutgers
with a collection of Google services.
Despite the economic shambles in which our country is currently
floundering, a lot of people still favor the “if you’re unemployed,
go get a job” narrative. Of course, it isn’t that easy in reality,
thanks to the fairly common practice of businesses refusing to
consider applicants who have been out of work for extended periods
of time. A survey by the National Employment Law Project discovered
more than 150 job listings on employment websites excluding
candidates who were not currently employed.
Who says the University’s football program doesn’t do any good?
Since last October, the Rutgers University Touchdown Club has been
donating football game tickets to Integrity House, a substance
abuse recovery house. While most attendees at the football games
take the tailgates and fun for granted, a day at the stadium makes
a real difference for members of Integrity House.
Facebook is for more than just fun and games now. According to a
study done by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
and the University of Washington, Seattle, Facebook is also useful
as a tool for screening people for drinking problems. In the study,
researchers divided 300 undergraduate Facebook profiles into three
groups — those whose profiles contained no references to alcohol,
those whose profiles reference alcohol, but not drunkenness and
those whose profiles referenced phrases like “being drunk” and
Washington became the first state to offer a minimum wage above
$9 per hour. Starting Jan. 1, 2011, the state’s minimum wage will
be $9.04. That’s $1.79 higher than the measly federal minimum of
$7.25. Unlike that federal minimum wage, Washington’s minimum has
been keeping pace with inflation and increasing costs of living.
Opponents of raising the minimum wage usually argue that doing so
will force companies to offer fewer jobs, since they would be
required to pay their workers more.
This semester marks the beginning of Project Civility’s second
year. For those of you who may not be aware of what it is — either
because you’re new to the school, or because you spent last year
actively avoiding the project — it is a University-wide initiative
to foster kindness and respect. What makes Project Civility
noteworthy is the fact that it is much more than just lip
The Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education
(RIBGHE) made a huge step forward for education reform on Monday
when they passed a policy that lets undocumented students pay
in-state tuition at public colleges. Such a policy sends a laudable
message to the public: If America is to be a land of opportunity,
those opportunities should be open to as many people as
It is tough for anyone to find a job in the current economic
climate, but it is even tougher than normal for veterans who, upon
returning from war, face challenges assimilating back to normal
life. That’s why The New Jersey State Building & Construction
Trades Council’s Helmets to Hardhats (NJ H2H) is such a great idea:
The program helps place veterans of war into positions in the
construction industry in order to give them a smoother transition
back into the society they served.
There may never come a day when everyone at the University is
completely satisfied with the bus service. In all likelihood, there
will always remain a vocal portion of the population who finds
reasons to be disgruntled over the University’s public transit
system. For those naysayers, however, there is a new,
little-advertised program that may help them avoid the buses all
together. This year, the University launched a bike rental
No one is immune from money troubles in this economy, least of
all the University. Thankfully, however, there are people in the
world who are willing to help our school out in its time of need.
Take, for a very good example, the anonymous donor who gave the
University the larges donation it has ever received: A staggering
$27 million to help create 18 endowed chairs.
Libertarianism, while not necessarily a dangerous political
philosophy, can easily lead its more extreme adherents to draw
dubious conclusions. For an example of this, one needs to look no
further than Monday’s debate on CNN, during which Wolf Blitzer
asked Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), “What do you tell a guy who is sick,
goes into a coma and doesn’t have health insurance?