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Last Wednesday, students across the country took part in the national walkout in symbolic support of stricter gun laws. Naturally and reasonably, some people disagreed with the walkout for varying reasons. Instead of a walkout, some suggested, students should take part in a "walk up." Instead of a protest, the idea is that students would go up to kids who seem left out or alone and do something nice for them to make them feel welcome. In many respects, this is a good and necessary idea which should happen more often — but it is questionable with regard to the purpose at hand, which is to help solve the issue of gun violence in schools. Truthfully, neither demonstration will likely have a significant or direct impact on the issue.
Built in 1915 and one of Rutgers’ oldest landmarks, Ford Hall on the College Avenue campus is slated by the administration to be demolished. The building, which once acted as a dormitory, was constructed with a donation of $110,000 by former Board of Trustees member John Howard Ford and was designed by Bertram Goodhue, a historically renowned architect. Located across the street from the new Hillel House and not far from The Yard @ College Avenue, Ford Hall does well to bring the old feel of Voorhees Mall to the increasingly modernized College Avenue. In response to word of its intended destruction, a Change.org petition has been created to preserve the building, which has already garnered more than 300 signatures.
At 5 p.m. on Monday, members of multiple University-affiliated groups took to the streets of New Brunswick to march in support of a “clean” Dream Act for undocumented students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients that does not criminalize communities and separate families. The activists marched on the street from the Brower Commons steps all the way to the Douglass Student Center, holding banners that said things like, “#HERETOSTAY” and “NODREAMDEFERRED.” Considering the fact that this demonstration took place around rush hour, it resulted in a certain degree of traffic delays — which were likely frustrating to some. As with any demonstration, the point these protesters were making was meant to be heard, and as we have seen throughout history, being heard often times entails making somewhat of a ruckus. Regardless of if these protesters were in the right or wrong, what is not clear at first glance is if their march was in accordance with University policy.
Rutgers students will get to experience a little preemptive taste of spring break today as a result of the snow storm. To many students this may come as somewhat of a surprise, as this snow day is a rare occasion — something the University takes a lot of backlash for. The closing of all offices and cancellation of classes is in accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-N.J.) declaration of a state of emergency, which is interesting because it seems it takes an extremely high standard of danger and inclement weather, such as the one we are presented with, for the administration to make the decision to close.
New Brunswick and Rutgers police utilized a search warrant to raid an off-campus house on the College Avenue campus this past Saturday, in response to information that led them to believe the residents were in possession of assault weapons. The situation turned out to be a false alarm, as police found two imitation firearms — one resembling an assault rifle and the other a hand gun. At this time, no charges have been filed against the residents of the house. The information, according to the press release, came from people who had attended a party at the house in question earlier that day. Presumably, these individuals had noticed the weapons and then notified the police out of concern for the safety of the community. And after what happened in Parkland, Florida last month, in addition to the many other horrendous cases of that sort, it is reasonable for people to be on-edge about the real possibility of gun violence happening to them. With that said, the situation that unfolded here at Rutgers sparks some important questions.
Something that may still be unknown by many members of the Rutgers community is how closely intertwined their University is with America’s shameful past of slavery and the displacement of Native Americans. Not only was Henry Rutgers himself a slave owner, but so were multiple other significant and well-known University founders, professors and trustees, such as Frederick Frelinghuysen, John Neilson and Philip French. Several founders, including Henry Rutgers, were also active members of the American Colonization Society, which was an organization that advocated for the resettlement of freed slaves in Africa instead of allowing them to live freely in this country alongside white people.
The Student Affairs Committee recently drafted a report on what action might be taken to effectively increase student-voter turnout in federal, state and local elections. The draft discusses ways to address the need for more students to have knowledge about how to register to vote, and how to actually go about voting once registration is complete. Suggestions are also made in the draft on how to increase student-voter turnout, such as making election days holidays. According to the report, voter registration rates among students at Rutgers—New Brunswick were a strong 76.6 percent in 2016, which is an increase of 3 percent from 2012. A little more than half of Rutgers students eligible to vote did so in the 2016 election.
At the bottom of every opinions piece published in The Daily Targum is the following truth: "Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff."
In recent years, there has been a decreasing amount of parking on the College Avenue campus, partially resulting from certain improvements and additions to campus buildings, such as the construction of Rutgers Hillel and the Sojourner Truth Apartments. Additionally, the creation of bus lanes on College Avenue pursuant to Rutgers’ Transportation Master Plan eliminated the option for meter parking on the street. These things resulted in displacement of parking spaces and has made it increasingly more difficult for students to park their cars conveniently near their place of residence, which has become a common and understandable complaint among students at Rutgers—New Brunswick.
To little avail, the Rutgers Students With Children (RSWC) organization has been working to advocate for what they see as necessary accommodations for student parents on campus since 2015. Despite numerous prior meetings with members of the University’s administration, their requests seem to continuously fail to be heard. Last Thursday, RSWC had another meeting with the administration with the expectation that this time would be different, considering their recent petition to University President Robert L. Barchi that had been signed by more than 400 people.
It is true — money technically cannot buy health. But what it can do is offer a person the option to eat healthily, which is largely the same thing.
RU Dreamers created a petition with the goal of disinviting the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) from Rutgers—Newark’s Government and Public Service Career Fair. After this petition was set forth, ICE withdrew from the fair, which is set to take place today. In their petition, the organization stated that, “The invitation to ICE challenges the proactive and inclusive stance (Rutgers—Newark) has taken in fostering safety, support and diversity in our community.” Additionally, it was stated that upholding ICE’s invitation to the event would create an “intolerable and unsafe environment for students.”
On Dec. 12, 2017, a Rutgers Board of Trustees meeting was severely interrupted when members of Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), Rutgers Puerto Rican Student Union and Black Lives Matter Rutgers, among others, took the center of attention by rallying and chanting together, causing disruption and refusing to leave until University President Robert L. Barchi raised the student worker minimum wage to $15 an hour. Twelve of the students involved in the protest now face charges related to disorderly persons offenses, as well as disciplinary action by the University pursuant to the student code of conduct. Some believe that the administration’s behavior in this situation is uncalled for, and that students should be able to speak up for what they believe in without fear of retaliation. So, then, which side is in the right?
Last Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead. No matter one’s political affiliation, it can be agreed upon that events like this are horrific and have no place in our country. Now, it seems as though everyone across the political spectrum is searching for answers to the same question — how do we ensure that nothing like this ever happens again?
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are vitally important for the continuing progress of humanity. For American citizens, general success in STEM fields promotes economic growth and stability — creating the basis for innovation. In the face of resurging rival sovereign powers, such as China and Russia, innovation with regard to STEM may very well play a big part in determining the future of the United States on the world stage. Considering the aforementioned, it is safe to say that we need our best and brightest American students studying subjects in STEM fields. It is the case that STEM majors are becoming increasingly popular among college students, but while STEM fields become more and more widely studied each year, the opposite is the case for the humanities.
In October of last year, women started to come forward in solidarity to discuss the pervasive sexual assault issue in Hollywood — at first, in the form of telling their stories about Harvey Weinstein. The #MeToo movement to discuss and prevent sexual assault has continued since, not only with regard to entertainment but also perhaps most recently with regard to athletics. Recently in the news was the trial of Larry Nassar, a doctor who worked for U.S.A. Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Nassar was charged three separate times, one federal charge for child pornography and two state charges for sexual abuse. In his trail regarding the sexual abuse of female gymnasts, some of whom went to the Olympics, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina gave the floor to more than 150 victims to speak about their assault by Nassar.
Like geological timescales, it is rarely the case that significant historical and societal changes are intelligible during the time they take place. But it seems as though it is no secret that we are presently riding the wake of a relatively new and consequential movement — #MeToo. The #MeToo movement was, at its foundation, created to ensure that survivors of sexual assault and harassment, especially involving figures of power, know they are not alone in their struggles. By shedding light on this subject — one which was previously largely ignored — society may be able to take steps toward at least significantly lessening the prevalence of sexual assault in our culture today, but this requires us to tread carefully.
As high school comes to an end for young adults, a vast amount of them apply to college almost thoughtlessly. Their older siblings went to college in many cases, their friends are applying, their parents expect it from them and it just seems like an implicit “next step” to take before truly reaching adulthood —at least that is what you have probably been told. But how often do high school students who decide to go to college take a step back and really contemplate what it means to attend an institution of higher education?
As midterms approach, the stress associated with college life begins to set in once again. Students who have jobs so as to give themselves a bit of extra financial support experience even higher levels of stress around this part of the semester, trying to balance their work schedules with the time necessary to be allocated toward studying. For some students, this can seem almost impossible. But seemingly invisible to much of Rutgers’ student body is a group that experiences the pressure of both school and work on top of an even more stressful feat — parenthood.
Last week, New Jersey Principal Deputy Commissioner of Health Jackie Cornell got her flu shot at Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick, which she hoped would serve as a reminder to the community to do the same. Between September and this past Saturday, there have been more than 5,000 positive tests of influenza in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Department of Health’s Respiratory Virus Surveillance Report. A significant spike in number of positive tests began in early January, and the H3N2 influenza virus, which is one of three common subsets of Influenza A, is particularly widespread this year.