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Hello Scarlet Knights, my name is Ian Wolf, and I am your elections chair for the Rutgers University Student Assembly, the undergraduate student government for Rutgers University. You may or may not have received annoying mass emails from me about the RUSA elections reminding you to vote.
On March 7, 2014, University President Robert L. Barchi sent a letter by email to the entire Rutgers community responding to the controversy over inviting Condoleezza Rice to speak at our commencement. Among other things, Barchi’s letter called for “open discourse.” Taking him at his word, a number of faculty members (including some of the most distinguished ones at Rutgers) and even the Executive Committee of the New Brunswick Faculty Council wrote letters in response, some of which were published in the Daily Targum and the rest of which can be found on the “Rice@Rutgers?” Sakai page.
Since 2009, Rutgers has been issuing the Survey of Student Experiences at the Research University (SERU). The university has joined the Universities of California, Minnesota, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Oregon, Southern California, Virginia, Iowa, Indiana, and Washington as well as Texas A&M and Purdue University in a combined effort to improve the educational experiences of students.
Trigger warning: This column contains references to sexual abuse. Sexual abuse has life altering affects and is harmful to everyone. Men, women and children who have been sexually violated are drastically distorted emotionally, psychologically and symbolically. Sexual abuse should not be happening in our society, and no one deserves to be violated — there is no excuse.
The world-class faculty of Rutgers Business Schools of Newark and New Brunswick serves a diverse, ambitious and growing student body. Our faculty and staff are immensely proud that we maintain academic excellence while providing business education to more and more Rutgers students.
After the Board of Governors unilaterally decided to extend an invitation to Condoleezza Rice for this year’s commencement address, Rutgers University faculty responded. First, Rutgers New Brunswick’s Faculty Council, which is “the principal faculty body from which the administration will seek advice and to which the administration will be accountable on campus wide academic policy issues,” passed a resolution calling on the administration to rescind its invitation to Rice.
After reading the March 11 column, “Do universities need to reconsider value of greek life?” I felt the need to respond to its blatant butchering of every statistic presented. Please bear with me as I, the completely sober fraternity brother (hard to believe right?), systematically dissect the column. To begin, it quotes the National Institutes of Health by saying “alcohol takes 1,825 student lives annually.”
The Rutgers Business School has just initiated its third dean search in eight years. Ever since the merger of the New Brunswick and Newark business schools in the years 1996 to 1997, three of the four deans have been forced out, ranking and reputation of the combined school has deteriorated and morale among the faculty has been in steady decline, and as a result of this, business students on both campuses have been shortchanged.
The Medical College Admission Test is a required exam for entry into U.S. medical schools. Last year, the MCAT was administered 94,907 times, and of the individuals who took the exam, roughly 48,000 applied to medical school while only 20,055 matriculated, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Recently, Rutgers’ New Brunswick Faculty Council has issued a resolution calling on the University’s Board of Governors to rescind its invitation to Condoleezza Rice as speaker for the commencement ceremony. She will accept a $35,000 honorarium and an honorary doctorate from the University.
As an American college student, I am often appalled at the attacks on higher education by our country’s hard-right minority. Arguments that our universities are places of elitist snobbery hit close to home for many of us, and the caricature of top schools as intolerant ivory towers guarded by ideological brownshirts fly in the face of what many of us know universities to be: places of respect for dissent, diverse thought and tolerance of all opinions.
The first thing to note about Rutgers’ new Strategic Plan is that there is no serious talk about reducing the burden of tuition costs imposed on students. The increasing costs students have had to shoulder are mentioned only in passing with no further comment. If the Board of Governors truly cared about the mounting financial hardship students have had to endure, and its consequent detriment to genuine education, not to mention “creative expression and human experience,” they would make mitigating this hardship one of the main priorities of the Strategic Plan.
Are men’s rights being taken away when women are granted more? In most situations, such as equal pay and equal treatment in the workforce, the answer is no. The case of Title IX, however, is more complicated. Title IX sets criteria for universities to ensure that “sex discrimination [is banned] in educational institutions receiving federal funds.”
At Rutgers University, greeks have a problem. It is a problem that sororities have excluded themselves from by following their own policies down to the letter, leaving fraternities to take the blame. The culture at this university is one that encourages students to pregame, go out to binge drink and return home late at night, not remembering much of the night.
The past few years have been pretty fantastic for women of color on primetime television. With the introduction of shows like “Scandal,” “Suits,” “The Mindy Project,” “Elementary” and 2013’s breakout hit “Sleepy Hollow,” we have seen a steady rise of female actresses of color in leading roles. Not just as parts of an ensemble but as real, central, plot-driving leading ladies.
Living somewhere where the air hurts my face when I walk outside makes me question my life decisions everyday. In the end, there are some things in life that just seem unavoidable: Taxes, my beloved Cleveland Browns winning less than five games a year on a consistent basis, Rutgers not closing down during winter storms that rain snowflakes the size of Flappy Bird.
Americans everywhere both marveled and broke out in anger over Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial this year and its broad support for our country’s ethnic and linguistic diversity. Some were incredibly glad to see the United States portrayed in the media as multicultural and multilingual, while others were shocked and appalled at this image of the U.S. speaking languages other than English, and showcasing people other than the white population.
Recently, there has been a building discussion on the use of capital punishment in the U.S. Back in January, my home state of Ohio executed Dennis McGuire who was convicted of the rape and murder of a pregnant woman back in 1989. The controversy arose after the state used a new cocktail of drugs to execute McGuire, who died 25 minutes following the injection — during which witnesses claimed he visibly struggled and gasped for air before expiring.
As I study for exams, I occasionally reminisce on my pre-undergraduate days. The term “academic neglect” comes to mind. I remember coasting through summer school to make it into high school. I remember my high school overcrowding lower-level classes with my minority friends, yet claiming there was no space in honors and Advanced Placement classes, although I saw half the seats vacant.
Equality is a dream we strive to make a reality. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela spoke words of equality, which reverberate in our ears. Equality is fair and equal treatment for people regardless of any differences. Having respect for others helps us to treat people equally, to transform thoughts into both words and actions that help to unite us as a human community.