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In less than 48 hours after Swift broke her staunchly “apolitical” streak to endorse the Democratic candidates in Tennessee in a message to her Instagram followers, more than 169,000 people registered to vote. On the other hand, vote.org’s non-partisan effort to promote voting only added 56,669 new voters in all of August. The difference is damning.
If there were anything the past two years have taught us, it is that a small innocuous green frog became the center of a counterculture movement. Pepe the Frog, created by Matt Furie, existed on the internet for around a decade before it was supposedly “co-opted” by Right-wing radicals on websites like 4chan. These images are “symbols” of the pervasive bigotry of American citizens. I mention this with skepticism because the out-of-touch journalists, social activists and older politicians who clutch their pearls at some edgy memes do not understand the sometimes apathetic and chaotic culture of the internet to the point where sharing some innocent meme may land you with the likes of some radical political ideology.
TEDxRutgers, a local subset of the larger TED organization, which in short aims to promote “ideas worth spreading,” holds multiple events each year that allow students and faculty to convey to the Rutgers community and beyond their brilliant ideas — which, as a university community, we experience no shortage of. We laurel TEDxRutgers for giving the Rutgers community a platform to spread its own influential ideas and experiences, as well as listen to those of others.
An echo from the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh debacle, and a sentiment being expressed throughout the #MeToo movement in general, is this notion that as women come forward about sexual assault, men are being “attacked.” The movement to somehow implicate men as the victims in the #MeToo movement is strong enough that there is an (admittedly relatively unpopular) #HimToo hashtag. The most popular example of the #HimToo movement is a mother’s post about her son being afraid to go on "solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind.”
The organization known as TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading. Twice a year, the organization holds TED Conferences, where they invite some of the world’s most profound thinkers and creators. As a subset of the overarching organization, there are TEDx programs, including one here at Rutgers, which too aims to promote ideas worth spreading in more of a local and self-organized community setting. On Oct. 15, TEDxRutgers held their annual "Speechcraft" event, where 10 students gave talks about their own ideas and experiences.
In November, Republican Bob Hugin will challenge Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) for his office, and all 12 of the House seats will be on the ballot. All 12 seats being open means that, depending on who gets out and votes, there could be some important changes to the state’s legislature. On the ballot, New Jersey voters will be asked about their approval of things like protecting students from lead exposure, expanding county and vocational college programs and the state borrowing $500 million to ramp up security in public schools.
For those of you who do not know, Forza Horizon 4 is now available for purchase on Xbox and PC. I have spent nearly 30 hours frolicking about Horizon 4’s new open world, and I have been able to gain a solid grasp of the game’s mechanics, features and story arc. Horizon 4 is the follow up to developer Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 3, which boasted the Australian outback for its open world setting.
The Law of Attraction is a philosophy built on turning positive thoughts into actuality. The concept of accepting how life is, realizing just how special the universe is and focusing on positive thoughts and goals without doubt. Practicing the Law of Attraction has no age, has no religious or cultural belief. The energy within someone has the power to pull things that they want from this universe into reality.
The fight over disinvitations, in which public figures are invited to speak on college campuses and then uninvited because of student backlash, is several years old now. There is nothing to be said about them that has not been said before, and that also goes for the recent disinvitation of journalist Lisa Daftari from Rutgers University. Andrea Vacchiano, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, wrote an op-ed for The Daily Targum entitled “Lisa Daftari is not Islamophobic, deserves to speak.”
The quote used in the petition to cancel Lisa Daftari's speech is as follows, “Islamic terror takes its guidance and teachings from the Quran, which is Sharia law.” The proper quote is “What ISIS claims to be doing is to take the Quran and its teachings and Sharia Law.” The removal of the word claims changes the meaning of the entire sentence, self-evidently. The individual whom started the petition has taken a moral high ground on an issue denouncing ISIS and converted a group of people into a mob whom is afraid the denunciation of ISIS could snowball into violence against Muslims, as if this were not a conclusion of an out-of-control positive feedback loop, but a totally rational conclusion.
New Jersey lawmakers are confident that a final bill proposing the legalization of marijuana will be passed before Halloween. Legislators have their eye on Oct. 29 as the day this big step will be taken. Though there may still be some issues to iron out regarding things like the level of taxation that should be attributed to the substance, it seems we are quickly approaching a big and positive change.
I knew "The Hate U Give" was important to read before I even picked it up or before I saw all of the award stickers emblazoned on the front. These politically charged times sparked a desire in me to search for a piece of writing that would fundamentally alter my perception of the issues plaguing our society. I found what I was looking for with this story, and yet it still managed to surprise me with the numerous complicated issues it tackles as well the depth with which it tackles them with.
As a result of a student-led petition produced last week, Rutgers Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA) has officially canceled the appearance of foreign policy journalist, Lisa Daftari, due to perceived Islamophobia in a speech she gave to The Heritage Foundation regarding Islamic terrorism. But, the perpetuation of deplatforming as a response to speakers with unpopular ideas not only runs contrary to the “cultural and religious diversity” that the petition purports to uphold, but also runs fundamentally in opposition to the liberal values and principles this nation was founded upon.
Some of Rutgers’ main values are diversity and inclusion, and the encouragement of communal support no matter one’s creed or color — we want to protect members of our community against hate and prejudice. As an institution of higher education and advanced research, though, our community also seeks to promote academic freedom and serious intellectual discourse. At this point in time, it seems clear that those two values are clashing.
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, prides itself on being one of the most diverse academic institutions and claims to be revolutionary throughout its rich history. These are few of many reasons that Rutgers University needs to offer a major in Arabic language and literature.
It was here and it happened — Fashion Month, but most importantly, Fashion Week. If you are fortunate enough to take a daily stroll down the streets of Soho, New York City, then during Fashion Week, which took place in the first half of last month, you likely saw the sidewalks flooded with fashion lovers decorated head to toe. If you are not sure what I am talking about, you may be thinking, “Yeah people wear clothes, but why is there a week dedicated to it?” So let me start explaining — Fashion Week is a whole week where fashion designers get to run their shows and have some of the most famous runway models flaunt the season’s newest designs.
In this sink or swim environment being fostered in the STEM community at Rutgers, weed out classes are yet another trial students have to be put through. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost half of the incoming STEM majors end up switching majors or dropping out of college.
This week is the annual Turn the Campus Purple week, which is a campaign organized by the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) to spread awareness about interpersonal violence. Turn the Campus Purple is part of the larger Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Multiple events were scheduled to be held during the past few days that addressed these issues, such as the Clothesline Project held at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus, and a human trafficking presentation by a FBI victim specialist. We laurel the VPVA and the other organizers of this campaign for their extremely important work.
Renowned Psychologist Steven Pinker brought a message of unrelenting optimism to Rutgers last week as he lectured from his new book, "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress." In an age of pessimism in Western culture and politics, Pinker argues that by nearly every metric — from income, health and happiness to literacy, nutrition and violent conflict — the world is far better off than at any point in human history, particularly for the globe’s poorest people.
Lisa Daftari, an investigative journalist and political analyst, is scheduled to speak at Rutgers on Oct. 16. at an event called “Radicalism on College Campuses." Daftari is a first generation American from Iran whose work focuses on Middle Eastern foreign affairs and counter-terrorism. Though by no means unqualified, her views are undoubtedly controversial and are interpreted by some as being hateful toward people of Muslim faith. As a result of this view, a Rutgers student recently started a petition to prevent Daftari from coming to the University to speak. By now, the petition now has more than 1,000 signatures.