Choose discussion over senseless argumentation
After reading about the disputes between Rutgers Hillel and BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice in The Daily Targum over the past few weeks, I propose the following question: Instead of arguing about the faults of each group's mission and actions, why can't the groups come together and try to make a peaceful resolution on campus?
We are all students at the University. This campus is known for its diversity of educational backgrounds, religions, race and so many other things that put our fair and hallowed place among the top places to learn in the country. As students, we have come together in so many recent events — 9/11, the tragic passing of Tyler Clementi and the unfortunate injury of Eric LeGrand. Quoting the "Eric LeGrand Believe Fund's" slogan, we have to "believe" in ourselves as people, as students, as Scarlet Knights.
The diversity and background of the University does matter when describing both Hillel and BAKA because the debate affects not only how unbiased students see religious organizations but also how the aforementioned groups represent themselves on campus. If both student activist groups are going to be debating publicly — in such a forum as the Targum — the groups should get together and describe the unprejudiced facts that are common knowledge to the student population rather than flinging religious and political epithets at each other which can emotionally and physically offend all parties involved.
Both organizations know the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has caused some recent uproar at the University, but knowing the true facts of the conflict does matter to us who are affected at home. With this being said, our strong political and religious beliefs should not get in the way of us knowing the correct information. Clouded conservative and liberal viewpoints have detracted both groups' mission to fight for peace and justice while on campus.
The key word for both organizations is peace. Both organizations want a peaceful resolution to the current Middle Eastern conflict. Although they have different strategies and tactics to propose a pledge for harmony, both BAKA and Hillel have the same goal and that is the important tenet in this debate.
Both organizations should consider that unaffected students want a resolution to this conflict as much as they do, but they have to realize that students are getting sick of constantly hearing about this negative debate. All we, the student body, want is for both organizations to give peace a chance.
Scott Sincoff is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies and environmental policy, institutions and behaviors with a minor in professional youth work.
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